A Home Going Tribute To A Humanitarian: Rev. Father Joseph D. Santos, Jr. of Rhode Island, USA By Sir. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor,

In African
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“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others? This question has been answered throughout the entire existence of Rev. Father Joseph D. Santos, Jr. of the African Catholic Community of Rhode Island; U.S.A. Rev. Father Santos, Jr. is a Humanitarian who was called from labor to rest after a month-long struggle with COVID-19 on Saturday, December 4, 2021.

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Rev. Father Joseph D. Santos during a visit to Nigeria

Rev. Father Santos was a humanitarian who cared about people and was often participating in charity work to show his concern for all of God’s people. He believed caring about people and doing good works does not have to be done through an official organization alone. He did it with his own resources. He donated money to organization that helped people who were facing difficult situations or otherwise were in need of help. He visited older people in the hospital and in nursing homes regularly. He gave speeches about how others could get involve in humanitarian efforts.

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Rev. Fr. Santos and Rev. Fr. Lazarus Onuh (Chaplain and Spiritual Director of the African Catholic Community of Rhode Island)

It was this exemplary quality that attracted me to meet Father Santos in August of 2004. At that time, I was President of the African Catholic Community of Rhode Island. We worked very well, and by 2007, he and the Spiritual Director of the African Catholic Community, Rev. Fr. Jude, recommended me to be the 2007 Community Service Award Recipient of the Sister Judy Soares, RSM, through the Office of Black Catholic Ministry of the Diocese of Providence.

Since then I have been impressed by his level of reception and accommodation of African presence within the Holy Name Jesus Parish. He encouraged African priests and bishops, especially those from Nigeria and Liberia. He did everything within his power to accommodate African priests freely without hesitation.

Rev. Father Joseph D. Santos Jr., Parish Administrator of the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, was born on June 2, 1959, in Fall River, Massachusetts and his parents were Mr. Joseph Daniel Santos, Sr. and Mrs. Jessie Lone McNally Santos. He graduated in 1981 from Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in New York, but he went to work for three years at a commercial shipping department before deciding to attend the seminary in Braga, Portugal. He studied Theology, at the Catholic University of Portugal, Braga, Portugal. He was ordained on August 27, 1989, in Braga, Portugal and the Celebrant was Most Rev. D. Eurico Dias Nogueira.

Before his appointment as Administrator at Holy Name Jesus Parish in Providence, on July 1, 2004, he served as a residence at Bristol’s St. Elizabeth’s Church and assisted at St. Mary’s Church, also in Bristol.

After a month-long struggle with COVID-19, Father Joe Santos died during the early hours of Saturday, December 4, 2021.

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Late Rev. Father Joseph D. Santos, Jr

The funeral arrangements are as follows:

On Friday, December 10th, 2021.

The Wake/Viewing, will take place at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus Parish, 99 Camp Street, Providence, from 4:00PM to 7:00PM.

On Saturday, December 11th, 2021.

Funeral Mass (Extraordinary Form) will also take place at the Holy Name Parish as well, at 10:00 AM. Following, Collation will be held at St. Elizabeth’s Parish Hall, 577 Wood St, Bristol, RI 02809.



Whenever I hear the death news of individuals, especially those who have given so much of their time to the improvement and advancement of others, irrespective of race or national origins, it saddens me. Are we truly ready to follow their path; are we ready to make the sacrifices which they rendered on our behalf, are we conscious enough to take up the cross of service? Each Catholic has an obligation to carry on the legacy of this great priest.  Rev. Father Joseph D. Santos, Jr. lived his life in the service of humanity. He was indeed a great Soul.

May I, on behalf of the members of African Catholic Community extend our deepest appreciation to the Bishop of the Diocese of Providence and all those responsible for the timely appointment of late Rev. Fr. Santos, Jr. to the Holy Name of Jesus Parish. His meaningful services rendered, have touched so many, he was indeed a great follower of Jesus Christ. Also, my sentiments of appreciation to the Santos Family for giving us a great son, a humanitarian, a Christ like Personality. All members of the Holy Name Jesus Parish, especially the minority population, will greatly miss his presence. Thank you! His life touched so many. And may his soul rest to perfect peace!

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Late Rev. Fr. Santos, far left and Rev. Fr. Jude, far right, ( Founder of African Catholic Community of Rhode Island), during the First Induction of the Grand Knight of Columbus , Council 73, Holy Name Church, 99 Camp St., Providence.


 Let me close with the following eulogy verse:

“Nature it seems stands on its head

When you mourn the loss of a great man

Today we remember his life with us

The years of laughter and fun      ,

We’re thinking of all the times that we shared

And though we are bowed with grief

Today we celebrate the great man we once had

Because it is our firm belief

That his life enriched us in so many ways

Brought sunshine and happiness into our days

And though we are heartbroken and very sad

Today we admit that we’re also glad

That we had him, if only for too short a while

Not yet but sometimes, we’ll remember and smile.”

(Author Unknown)




A picture containing text, person, person, indoor Description automatically generatedMr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor is an Educator. He is a graduate of Cuttington University, Liberia; Howard University Washington, D.C, and Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. He is a former President of the African Catholic Community of Rhode Island and Former Grand Knight of Council 73, Knights of Columbus, Former Deputy Managing Director of the National Port Authority of Liberia, NPA. He is a graduate of Bishop Carroll High School. He can be contacted at: [email protected]


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