Dancing with the Priests

Rev. Richard Narciso will be dancing at a fundraiser this Saturday night to benefit the St. Elizabeth Church in Bristol. Submitted Photo

BRISTOL — Four priests connected with the town of Bristol have been working on their coordination, as they will be taking some challenging steps this weekend.
The Men of Cloth will be putting on their dancing shoes and showing off their Ballroom dancing skills to raise money for St. Elizabeth Church.
Rev. Richard Narciso, the parish’s pastor and brainchild of the event, is counting on his teenage experience as a dancer for the Our Lady of Rosary Folkloric Group to shine on the dance floor.
“It’s definitely been a process; it’s been fun,” quipped Rev. Narciso about his ongoing rehearsals. “We’re always looking at new ideas to bring unity and fellowship to the church community… this seemed like a nice idea.”
Hosted by the Santo Cristo Committee, the “Dancing with the Priests” fundraiser will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. in the parish hall, located at 577 Wood St.
“As we raise money for the Santo Cristo feast committee, we’re actually supporting the work of the church and the work of the parish community,” said Rev. Narciso.
Joining him on the dance floor will be Rev. Victor Silva, former assistant pastor at St. Elizabeth Church; Rev. Matthew Glover, a Bristol native and chaplain at the University of Rhode Island; and Rev. Barry Gamache, pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Bristol.
The four men have been rehearsing their routines for the last few weeks with dance instructors from Studio One R.I. in Lincoln, R.I.
“It’s been a lot of fun getting to know the dance instructors and developing a connection with them… just laughing with them and being able to laugh at ourselves,” said Rev. Narciso, who confessed that he and at least two of the other priests are known to dance casually at feasts with their parishioners, friends and family members.
Each priest will perform an individual dance and a group dance. However, Father Narciso would rather not reveal what tune he will be dancing to.
“Can we leave that to the imagination until Saturday?” he quipped. “It’s not a familiar song at all… it’s a Latin dance.”
Attendees will judge the contestants’ dancing abilities.
Judging by the amount of tickets sold, the event can already be deemed a success.
“The response has been overwhelming,” said Santo Cristo Committee Treasurer Berta Raposo on Tuesday. “We’ll find out at tonight’s meeting if the event is sold out. We have to look at the physical layout of the room before we can sell any more tickets.”
Tickets for the event, which includes dinner, cost $30.
Father Narciso, who was assigned to St. Elizabeth’s parish last July, said he hopes to make this an annual event and extend it to other priests.
“Maybe we could do this over the course of two weekends,” he said. “I know there are a few other priests who said they would like to get involved in the future and the dance instructors seem to be willing to get on board to help us.”
For more information, please call Berta Raposo at 401-451-2735.