Ralph Torsiello, Catholic priest

January 22

The Rev. Ralph Torsiello, a Catholic priest who spent his four-decade ministry in the Washington Archdiocese, died Dec. 29 at the Sacred Heart Home, a nursing home in Hyattsville, Md. He was 83.

The cause was complications from diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, his brother Roland Torsiello said.

In 1978, Father Torsiello was the founding pastor of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Gaithersburg, Md., where he remained for nearly two decades. Other churches he served include St. Thomas More and St. Ann, both in Washington, and St. Joseph’s in Landover, Md.

Ralph Charles Torsiello was born in Newark. He received a bachelor’s degree from Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., in the early 1950s. He studied at Darlington Seminary in New Jersey and at Catholic University’s seminary. He was ordained in 1958.

Father Torsiello served in the Navy in the late 1940s and later was a chaplain in the Army Reserve for more than 30 years, attaining the rank of colonel.

After his retirement from the priesthood in 2000, he lived in Ocean View, Del., and recently returned to the Washington area.

Survivors include two brothers, Roland Torsiello of Toms River, N.J., and Alan Torsiello of Waretown, N.J.; and a sister, Elizabeth Walker of West Melbourne, Fla.

— Emily Langer