Ralph Anthony DiOrio, Jr. was born on Saturday, July 19th, 1930 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was the first child of Ralph DiOrio, Sr. and Molly Pazienza DiOrio. His father, an Italo-American was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1912; his mother was born in the Roman Province of Quercino, Italy, in 1909 and was brought to the shores of the United States at the age of two.
At the age of turning to 15, under the spiritual direction of his Scalabrinian parish priest, he entered the Minor Seminary of The Missionary Fathers of St. Charles (Scalabrinians, named after the founder, Bishop John Baptist Scalabrini, ordinary in Piacenza, Italy), where he began his very excellent twelve year religious and academic educational training for the Holy Priesthood (1945 – 1957).
In September of 1949, he graduated from the minor seminary in Chicago and entered the Immaculate Conception Novitiate in Staten Island, New York where he professed his first religious vows a year later on October 7th, 1950, the feast of the Holy Rosary of Mary.
In 1953 at the age of 23 he received a Bachelor of Arts and Letters at St. Charles' Seminary, after which he returned to the Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Melrose Park, Illinois to complete his four years of Sacred Theology –the seminary being under the auspices and authorization of the Chicago Archdiocesan Seminary of Mundelein, Illinois.
On Saturday, June 1st, 1957, he was ordained a priest in Chicago, Illinois and became Father Ralph Anthony DiOrio, Jr. He began his zealous priesthood and pastoral assignments in both the United States and Canada.
In 1961, he was assigned as Assistant Master of Novices in the Immaculate Conception Novitiate located in Cornwall, New York. His added mission was preaching and teaching along the areas of Cornwall and Newburgh, New York, as well as an assignment to teach the children of the officers at the nearby West Point Army Academy, West Point, New York.
Later assigned in Utica, New York, Father DiOrio initiated on a local Radio Show WBVM his program “L'Ora Catolica” (The Catholic Hour) which he designed, produced and personally presented in the Italian language from 1963 to 1967. This weekly program dealt with an Evangelization Radio Presentation mostly directed for Italian emigrants. This work was included along other priestly ministries in local parish work, and teaching programs located within the Syracuse Diocese in Utica, New York.
On March 29th, 1968, Father DiOrio, due to long standing family pressing needs and the oncoming death of his father (July 16, 1967), transferred his association to the Missionary Fathers who were then known as the Pious Society of St. Charles. At this time he became a Diocesan Priest in the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts.
Under the enriching blessings of the Diocese of Worcester and in the permissions from his new Spiritual Father and bishop, the now deceased Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan, and also the successor Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, now deceased, Father DiOrio continued his academic studies, receiving postgraduate degrees at Fitchburg State College where he majored in School Psychology with additional training in Social Work Psychology, and subsequently through studies in the University of Ponce, Puerto Rico, as well as further studies at Worcester State College.
Father Ralph had also obtained his Massachusetts certificates in teaching in three languages (Italian, Latin and Spanish), in addition to that of School Psychologist. Father DiOrio also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Cum Laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1997), and an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy bestowed upon him by Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts (1992).
On Sunday, May 9th, 1976 (Mother’s Day), Father Ralph Anthony DiOrio, Jr. was openly blessed with the Holistic Charisma of Healings. After much ecclesiastical discernment, Father began his mission as the Founder and Director of the Apostolate of Divine Mercy and Healing which is pursued to this day. This discernment was most important and necessary as to the essence and nature being demonstrated in the “Charismata of the Holy Spirit Gifts” by major superiors. Such prudent discernment from Rome, the then (now deceased) Cardinal John Wright Office, and that of the local bishops, was (and should still be for such Charismata authenticity) a very important step for the Church’s role which is never to deceive nor hurt God’s people, the Church.
A Moral Certitude was evidenced and established that God had blessed the Church of Worcester with such a gift to one of its priests, as well as doing so with other gifts to its priests who also were being blessed in many other Holy Spirit Charisma.
In that time, since receiving the gifts of healing, Father Ralph, under the auspices of ecclesiastical authorities (i.e. an absolute condition without which), has traveled the world touching, inspiring and evangelizing countless souls from all denominations and nationalities. In such a mission he was corroborating the Church’s Revealed Doctrine of Faith confirming such presentations by authentic Divine holistic healings. Enormous crowds, such as in India (250,000 at just one main open air service), Madison Square Garden (20,000), and other large national and international open air and closed arenas, attended and experienced God’s Presence in spirit, soul and body – holistic healings.
He has done extensive Crusade work oversees as mentioned in India, across the majority of European Countries, and most of the states and dioceses here in the United States. Many services have allowed thousands of persons to experience God’s merciful love, forgiveness and Divine healing compassion especially observed in Mexico, Canada, West Indies, and in the Leper Colony of Molokai and its adjacent Pacific areas as near to Pearl Harbor.
A Memorable, Encouraging and Affirming Moment 1987:
Father was most privileged to conduct in 1987, at the invitation of Archbishop Kelvin Felix, a two week Crusade for the Island inhabitants of St. Lucia in preparation of the people for the first visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Lucia, West Indies. This was Father Ralph’s first sensitive, gentle, most happy and humbled opportunity, among four other following personal interactions with John Paul II in Rome, Italy.
In that first meeting at the Cathedral session and following dinner with the Holy Father, John Paul II, Father Ralph has never forgotten the comforting and directive words of and from the Holy Father who said to him – while pressing forcefully his strong Polish finger into Father Ralph’s Chest – “In all your labors for our Church, never, never compromise the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I bless you and your Apostolate.”
The Church as a whole has guided and welcomed Father Ralph throughout these 32 years in the Apostolate mission. He has appeared in numerous secular and various Christian newspaper articles and magazines. He has been featured in many Catholic, Protestant and secular television shows, including an outstanding episode of "Unsolved Mysteries" with actor Robert Stack (now deceased) as narrator.
Father DiOrio has received many awards and honors for his church and humanitarian works, and notably in building a Children’s Hospital, now a Hospice, in Alleppey, India. He was awarded by actresses Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, Founders of Childhelp for the healing of abused children, the 1982 “Children's Village USA Angel Award” in Hollywood, California. He also was awarded the UNICO Man of The Year Award in 1982; the 1997 Bishop O'Reilly Assembly (Knights of Columbus) Citizen of the Year Award; and the Witness Award in 2006 from the Passionist Community.
In conjunction with his ministry of Evangelization, Father DiOrio has shared his life in Soulwinning through multiple media: television programs, radio programming, national and international crusades, retreats and seminars. In publications, Father is the author of eight books, his prayerful daily meditations through the following literary presentations: “The Man Beneath the Gift”; “The Healing Power of Affirmation”; “Called to Heal”; “In His Footsteps”; “A Miracle to Proclaim”; “Healing Love”; “Signs and Wonders”; “God’s Embracing Love”; pamphlets, audio tapes and CD ministries….
Father DiOrio, under the past formal auspices, guidance and direction of Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan, D.D., Spiritual Father and mentor during the ministerial years of his Diocesan Priesthood, is the Founder and Director of the Apostolate of Prayer for Evangelization and Divine Mercy Healing (1981).
The soul and the spirit of Father Ralph have always been based upon a personal relationship in his priorities, namely, the Person of Jesus Christ Only. Motivated by these personal priorities, the power of the Holy Spirit has urged him, his faithful holy staff workers, and those with whom he serves in Soulwinning, to speak tenderly but honestly and firmly to the hearts of God’s people. His spiritual power exposes him to the responsibility and the duty, without exception, to offer comfort, to impart the Holy Spirit’s grace of Exhortation / Encouragement, and so demonstrate God’s healing to the World’s Crying Suffering Humanity.
Father Ralph’s “conscientious, scrupulous responsibility enslavement” to and in his priestly works, as he identifies his present 53 priestly years of service to God and to the Peoples of all Faiths and Nationalities (his very staunch conviction to this) is that there are only four basic needs to religious zeal. These are (1) Holy Spirit; (2) Authentic non-legalistic Prayer; (3) Soulwinning, (4) and a personal love and devotion to the Holy Mother of God.
In the Relationship to the Holy Spirit, he scrupulously “foundations” his daily life in authentic, daily, full-life honesty to Prayer, and then to selfless untiring labors in Soulwinning.
Being so often asked how he does this, Father DiOrio takes the opportunity to answer this to so many who really want to know. His personal spiritual motto and the fire of his untiring zeal comes from St. Augustine’s belief,
“Qui non amat, non zelat / he who has no love has no zeal.” (no fire, no passion)
These principles of his life are:
It is the hope of the author Fr. Ralph that reading this Profile will encourage many who have placed time to read this adventure of a young boy’s call to Holy Priesthood, and the purpose of God Creating and Calling every human creature to a purposeful service of love, be it secular or religious.
A PRIEST IN PROFILE
A PRIEST IN GOD'S SERVICE