Father Robert L. Santa Barbara
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Father Robert L. Santa Barbara, Pastor of St Mary of Mount Virgin Church, New Brunswick, NJ., passed away peacefully early Wednesday, November 30, 2011 in the Haven Hospice at JFK Medical Center in Edison. Father Bob, as he was known to so many, was born in Plainfield to recently deceased Catherine Bottone Santa Barbara Conselina and the late Andrew Santa Barbara. He had three siblings, a sister, Marie Corbo and two brothers, Walter and Andrew, who have all predeceased him. He attended South Plainfield Elementary School and graduated from St. Peter's High School in New Brunswick. Before entering Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut, Father Santa Barbara worked in various supervision and sales positions and served in the U.S. Navy. As a seminarian he ministered in St. Stephen Parish, Perth Amboy. As a Deacon he worked for the Religious Education program in St. Mary Parish, Middletown, Connecticut; and did hospital ministry in Middletown Hospital and served as Deacon in St. John Parish, Middletown. He also served as Deacon at St. Matthias Parish in Somerset, New Jersey. Father Santa Barbara was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1990 by Bishop Edward T. Hughes at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen, New Jersey. His assignments have included service as Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Church in Bound Brook; Immaculate Conception Church in Spotswood; St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen and St. Mary of Mount Virgin Church in New Brunswick. Father Santa Barbara was named Pastor of St. Mary of Mt. Virgin Parish, New Brunswick, on June 16, 1999. He served as Chaplain for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, Bound Brook and New Brunswick. He presently served as Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus; Msgr. Pasquale Mugnano Council; #6572; St. Anne Society, Golden Age Club of St. Mary of Mount Virgin Parish. He was also Chaplain to the Italian American Club of North Brunswick and the New Brunswick Fire Department. In addition, he was a firm believer and avid supporter of Catholic Education. Father Santa Barbara enjoyed tropical aquarium fish and collecting stamps. He loved to read and travel, especially trips to the casino.
Surviving are his aunt, Carrie Bottone Russo, three cousins; Henry Russo, Caroline Marigliano and Brenda Marshall, eight nieces and nephews; Gail Somers, Walter, Edward, Dianne, Michele, and Andrew Santa Barbara and Lisa & Louise Corbo, eight great nieces and nephews and two sisters in law; Trudy and Julia.
A Vigil for Father will begin with the reception of his body lead by the Knights of Columbus, Council #6572 on Sunday, December 4, 2011 at 2 PM in his parish,.St Mary of Mount Virgin Church, 190 Sanford Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901. Visitation will follow from 2:30 - until 7:15 PM, followed by a Mass of Commemoration celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Daniel Herlihy beginning at 7:30 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial, celebrated by Rev. Monsignor John B. Szymanski, P.A., and presided by the Most Rev. Edward T. Hughs will be held Monday, December 5, 2011 at 11:00 AM in his parish. Interment services will follow at the family plot in Hillside Cemetery, Scotch Plains. Donations in his memory have been requested to the Restoration Fund of his parish.
Published in Courier News & Home News Tribune on Dec. 2, 2011