Meet the Clergy

Father Henry J. Bodah, Pastor

bodah2 websiteFather Henry Bodah was raised in Portsmouth, RI and attended St. Anthony’s parish school.  He entered Our Lady of Providence Preparatory Seminary and after graduating from the College Seminary of Our Lady of Providence, was sent by Bishop Gelineau to the American College in Leuven, Belgium, to study at the Catholic University of Louvain (KUL),  from which he received his Bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology and his Master’s in Religious Studies.

In 1978 he was ordained to the priesthood and assigned for two years to St. Mary’s in West Warwick and then for six years to St. Paul’s in Edgewood.  After teaching for a year at St. Mary Academy-Bay View, he was assigned for the next six years to St. Luke’s in Barrington.

In 1993, he was appointed as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in the Hillsgrove section of Warwick, and after four years in that assignment was asked by Bishop Gelineau to become chaplain of the Catholic community at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design, a position he held for the next 17 years until being assigned to St. Francis, Wakefield in the Spring of 2014.

Click here to email Father Bodah.

Father Joseph R. Upton, Associate Pastor

Fr. UptonFather Joseph Upton grew up in the Edgewood section of Cranston, Rhode Island, and was educated in Cranston public schools.  He graduated from Providence College in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy, and was assigned by Bishop Tobin to complete his seminary studies at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland.  Fr. Upton graduated from the Mount in May, 2010 with a Master of Divinity degree.  He also holds a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree (S.T.B.) from the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC.

Fr. Upton was ordained a priest on June 26, 2010 by Bishop Tobin at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, and was assigned as assistant pastor at St. Francis and chaplain at The Prout School.

Click here to email Father Upton.

Deacon Paul O. Iacono, Pastoral Assistant

Deacon Paul IaconoDeacon Paul Iacono was born in Providence, RI, the son of Dr. and Mrs. Orlando Iacono. He graduated from LaSalle Academy and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from St. Louis University. He received a Master of Arts degree from the University of Chicago concentrating in organizational behavior/leadership and a Master of Arts degree from Providence College in Theology.

Deacon Iacono and his wife Jacqueline will celebrate forty years of marriage in 2011. They have three children and five beautiful granddaughters. Jackie is a speech and language pathologist and special education teacher; she served the children and families of the South Kingstown School System for thirty years and retired in 2007. The Iacono family have been members of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wakefield, RI since 1977 and Deacon Paul has served as a deacon here since his ordination by Bishop Mulvee in 1998.

Deacon Iacono’s professional career was also in the field of public education. He taught at Rogers High School in Newport, RI, but spent the majority of his career teaching history and the social sciences at Narragansett High School in Narragansett, RI. He was the chairperson of the Social Studies Department from 1994 until his retirement in 2006. During his career he received recognition and commendations for his teaching methods, mentoring abilities, and innovative curriculum development and implementation from the AT&T Corporation, Tufts University, and the various high school principals and Superintendent of Schools in the Narragansett School System.

Since 2006 an important part of Deacon Iacono’s ministry has been in the field of painting sacred images as aids to personal prayer.  Deacon Paul and his wife Jackie are the founders of the Fra Angelico Institute for the Sacred Arts (read more about this under the Adult Education banner at the top of this page). The mission of the Fra Angelico Institute for the Sacred Arts is to evangelize the truth, goodness, and beauty of God through the study and creation of sacred art. He offers sacred art presentations and workshops in the painting of sacred images in the tradition of the Latin Rite. Besides his parish liturgical and ministerial duties, Deacon Iacono serves as one of the chaplains at the RI Veterans Cemetery and coordinates and teaches our parish’s Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and Baptismal Preparation programs.

Click here to email Deacon Iacono.