St. Stephen's Parish welcomes Rev. Richard Marrano as its parochial vicar

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  • Photo by Roger Gavan The Rev. Richard Marrano is the new Parochial Vicar at Warwick's Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr.

— The Rev. Richard Marrano, newly assigned parochial vicar at the R.C. Church of St. Stephen, the First Martyr, received a warm welcome at all the Masses this past weekend.

And he returned the well wishes by taking time to greet each parishioner after the liturgy.

Marrano, who was ordained in 2014, had been serving as parochial vicar at St. Rose of Lima parish in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. He was assigned to St. Stephen's parish as of July 1 to replace the Rev. Lorenzo Laboy, who was reassigned to St. Raymond's parish in the Bronx.

Although he enthusiastically looks forward to his new assignment in Warwick and serving his parishioners, he admitted, "I'm a city slicker."

Marrano, the son of Ricardo and Rosalie Marrano, is originally from St. Theresa of the Infant Jesus parish in the Bronx. He is also a graduate of the University of Hartford in piano performance and served for a time as music director of St. Frances de Chantal in the Bronx.

During his introduction, Pastor Rev. Jack Arlotta put to rest any concerns Marrano might have about his move from the Bronx to rural Warwick. The pastor reported that he is also a Bronx native.

"Don't worry," he quipped. "You'll get over it. The only problem will be getting to sleep for the first two weeks because it's so quiet."

There was also good news for the Latino community.

Although his mother is Italian, Marrano's father was born in Argentina and many of the priest's cousins, great-aunts and uncles live there. He is fluent in Spanish and has visited his family in Buenos Aires.

On July 1, Marrano celebrated the Spanish language Mass which is held at 7 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of each month.

"Father Richard is spirit filled with amazing energy," said Judy Battista, an advocate for the growing Latino community. "He will be great for our parish. We are so grateful and blessed to not only have had Father Lorenzo as a resident Spanish speaking priest, but now to have Father Richard with us to continue the Spanish Mass and Ministry here in Warwick."

- Roger Gavan

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