In Memoriam

Rev. Charles Michael Santoro, O.P.,
M.A., M.A.

Born June 5, 1944 -- Professed: Aug. 16, 1965 -- Ordained: 22 May 1971
Died August 2, 2004

Fr. Charles Santoro of Grand Rapids, MI, formerly of Minneapolis, died Tuesday, August 2, 2004 of a cardiac arrest. Fr. Charles was well- known in the Minneapolis. area.

He entered the Dominican Order of Priests in 1964 and was ordained in 1971, after receiving 2 Master's Degrees in Philosophy and Theology. His priestly assignments included Campus Ministry at South Dakota State, University of Arizona, University of Wisconsin, and Dominican University (Rosary College). His pastoral duties included Assistant Pastor at Holy Rosary Parish in Mpls. and later Pastor.

Presently, he was doing Campus Ministry at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI, where he received the Spirit Award twice for his loyalty to the college.

He is survived by brothers, Richard and Fr. David of Des Moines, IA; 3 nephews, a niece, and a grand nephew. Mass of Christian Burial 10 AM Monday, August 9, 2004 at HOLY ROSARY CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2424 18th Ave S, Mpls. Visitation Sunday, August 8, 3:30- 4:30 PM with prayer service 4:30 PM, and one hour prior to Mass on Monday AT THE CHURCH. Bradshaw 3131 Minnehaha Avenue 612-724-3621 Published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune from 8/5/2004 - 8/6/2004.

StarTribune Legacy Page

Chaplain shared passion at Aquinas
Thursday, August 05, 2004
By Matt Vandebunte
The Grand Rapids Press

Losing his voice from cheering at basketball games is just one example of how the Rev. Charles Santoro made fast friends at Aquinas College. His outgoing nature is what will be remembered about the college chaplain who brought a spark to campus with his passion for living.

The Rev. Santoro, 60, collapsed and died at his home Tuesday less than one month after having prostate surgery. "He immersed himself in life," said Mary Clark-Kaiser, director of campus ministry. "He liked to eat. He loved to visit with people. He yelled and screamed at basketball games."

Students awarded the Rev. Santoro the school spirit award each year since he came to Aquinas in August 2002. An avid tennis player, he also was a devout fan of men's and women's basketball, often handing out pompons and othercheerleading supplies at games.

The Rev. Santoro also brought a "deeply ecumenical" perspective to his relationships with other people, Clark-Kaiser said. "His love and acceptance for each person he met was quite remarkable," she said. "He related to everybody. He looked sort of like Friar Tuck. The students would tease him."

The Rev. Santoro had successful surgery in mid-July to remove cancerous prostate and lymph glands, and he was recovering well until an infection sent him back to the hospital. He was treated and on Tuesday morning released but collapsed as he arrived home.

The cause of death is not yet determined, though doctors speculate a blood clot traveled to the heart, said the Rev. Bob Kelly, a Dominican brother at Aquinas.

"Everybody was so encouraged with the news that he had gotten on the prostate. Things were hopeful," Kelly said.

The Rev. Santoro taught non-credit evening courses at Aquinas on topics such as church history and Christian-Muslim relations. His style attracted students and community members, Kelly said.

"He was very pastoral in the sense that he would listen first and then he would respond to what he heard," he said.

The Rev. Santoro was born and raised near Des Moines, Iowa, and earned master's degrees in philosophy and theology. He was ordained in 1971 and spent the first decade of his career as an associate pastor of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Minneapolis.

His campus ministry included stints at the University of Arizona, University of Wisconsin, South Dakota State University and Rosary College in Illinois before coming to Aquinas. The Rev. Santoro also served from 1995-2002 as pastor of Holy Rosary. Visitation and the funeral will take place Sunday and Monday in Minneapolis, where he will be buried in a Dominican cemetery.

© 2004 Grand Rapids Press.

Sun, 8 Aug 2004

I would like to add my personal message to Chuck Santoro's memorial page. We were together in the Winona novitiate beginning forty years ago exactly. I always liked Chuck and considered him one of the best classmates in his friendly and humble relationships with the whole class. Since I returned to Bolivia at the time of solemn profession in 1968, I didn't see him again. But I wrote him last week to congratulate him for our forty years of receiving the dominican habit. Now I know he never read my letter. May he be in God's bosom. Now only Tom Doyle and myself of that class remain waiting for our turn.
-- Oscar Dominic Uzin, OP