Fr. Jorge Rocha, Pastor
Fr. Jorge Rocha was born in the Cabo Verde Islands and moved to Providence at the age of 11. He attended Nathan Bishop Middle School and Classical High School. After graduating from Classical, Fr. Jorge attended Franklin Pierce University, where he studied journalism and played on the varsity soccer team. He developed an interest in sports media and worked briefly at UMass Lowell before returning to Rhode Island to pursue a master’s degree and work as a graduate assistant at Providence College. He was offered a position in the athletic department handling media relations and worked at PC for 10 years.
Fr. Rocha entered Pope St. John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass., in 2012. In 2013, he attended the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. He also served as a seminarian at St. Timothy Parish in Warwick in the summer of 2014. He was ordained a transitional deacon on May 16, 2015 by Bishop Robert Evans at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Providence, his home parish. He then served as a deacon at St. Philip Parish in Greenville, before returning to the Seminary to complete his formation for the priesthood.
On June 25, 2016, Bishop Thomas Tobin ordained Fr. Rocha to the priesthood at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul and was assigned to Saint Francis Xavier as the parochial vicar. In August 2017, Fr. Rocha was named Administrator of St. Francis Xavier, before being name pastor in July of 2018.
Fr. Nathan Ricci, Associate Pastor (Part-time)
Fr. Nathan Ricci grew up in Warwick, RI and attended Greenwood Elementary School, Winman Jr. High, and Bishop Hendricken High School. He attended Our Lady of Providence Seminary and graduated from Providence College in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy. He was a Smith Fellow at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, during the summer of 2011.
Fr. Ricci was assigned to theological studies in Rome at the Pontifical North American College, where he completed his S.T.B. in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. In October of 2015, he was ordained a transitional deacon in St. Peter’s Basilica by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York. Bishop Thomas Tobin ordained Fr. Ricci to the priesthood on the 25th of June 2016 at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul in Providence. After serving as a summer assistant chaplain at Rhode Island Hospital in 2016, Fr. Ricci returned to Rome, where he received a licentiate in Canon Law (J.C.L.) at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He also served as summer Assistant Pastor of St. Francis Assisi Parish, Wakefield.
In addition to his role at St. Francis Xavier, Fr. Ricci also serves as the Assistant Chancellor for the Diocese of Providence. He enjoys spending time with his family, running, tennis, skiing, and reading in his spare time, and is an avid fan of trying different foods (although he’s slowly learning to cook).