About Our Pastor
The Reverend Douglas J. Spina, Ph.D. was appointed Pastor of St. Mary’s Church, West Warwick, RI on July 1, 2012. He was formally installed as Pastor by the Most Reverend Robert C. Evans, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Providence, on September 30, 2012.
Father Doug was born on April 27, 1949 in Providence, RI. He is the son of the late Angelo & Gilda (Petrucci) Spina. Father has one sibling, Sandra A. Curran, and his brother-in-law, Marc.
He attended Providence public schools, until entering Our Lady of Providence Preparatory Seminary, Warwick, RI in September of 1963. He received his high school diploma and was admitted to the National Honor Society in 1967. He continued his academic studies at Our Lady of Providence Seminary College, receiving his BA in Liberal Arts in 1971.
In August of 1971, Father Doug left for the University of Louvain, Belgium. He resided at the American College in Louvain. He received his BA in Religious Studies in 1973, his MA in Religious Studies in 1974 and the Masters in Moral & Religious Sciences in 1975. He was ordained a deacon on May 1, 1974 at the Church of St. Anthony in Louvain by Bishop Stephen A. Leven. He returned to RI and served as deacon assistant at St. James Church, Lincoln, RI. He was ordained a priest in St. James Church on July 17, 1976 by Bishop Louis E. Gelineau. Father Doug returned to the University of Louvain in 1978 and was awarded the Ph.D. in Religious Studies on June 24, 1979.
Father has ministered in a number of parishes as an assistant priest: St. Augustine’s Church, Providence, RI; St. Clement’s Church, Warwick, RI; St. Mary’s Church, Newport, RI; the Cathedral of SS Peter & Paul, Providence, RI; St. Mary’s Church, Bristol, RI; and St. Joan of Arc Church, Cumberland, RI.
Father also served in a variety of specialized ministries: CYO Regional Director – Warwick/East Greenwich; Instructor of Italian grammar, literature and advanced writing skills, at the Ursuline Convent School, Tildonc, Belgium; Instructor of Religion at Our Lady of Providence Preparatory Seminary, Providence, RI; Chaplain, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI; Associate Professor/Chaplain Salve Regina University, Newport, RI; part-time professor/chaplain Bryant University, Smithfield, RI; chaplain to the Knights of Columbus, St. Lawrence Council, North Providence, RI, assistant chaplain Mary Doran Council, West Warwick, RI; and chaplain to the Johnston Police/Fire Departments, Johnston, RI.
Over the years, Father was assigned Pastor at a number of RI churches: St. Anthony’s Church, Woonsocket, Our Lady of Grace Church, Johnston, St. Martha’s Church, East Providence and St. Kevin’s Church, Warwick.
Father Doug is the author of many articles written in the areas of: Philosophy, Theology and American Literature. He is published in a variety of academic journals such as: Louvain Studies, The College Theology Society Journal and the Theta, Alpha, Kappa Journal. He is the author of the book: Reaching across the Table as well as a published playwright. His play, Could’ve Been, produced by the Telecommunications Office of the Diocese of Providence, received the RI Cable Award. Father is also a published poet and a writer of short stories. One of his best loved tales is: “How the Rich Man Recaptured His Soul,” published in Catholic Digest. Father is a lyricist/song writer. He wrote the lyrics to “Lady of the Light” and is best known for his hymn, “Maria”, which was recently included in a CD. Father’s biography can also be found in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
Father Doug’s greatest love is serving the Lord as a parish priest. Since he was a little boy of about 4 years old, he expressed a desire to serve God in this way. Please, pray for him so that he may grow and mature in his desire to love God and His People.
To listen to Fr. Doug’s hymn, “Maria”, please press play: