September 19, 2009

RIP: Fr. Thaddeus Sapio, OFM

Tonight I hear that Fr. Thaddeus Sapio, OFM, died yesterday on the feast of the Stigmata. May he rest in peace. Fr. Thaddeus was a member of the first community of friars I ever lived in, at the former Holy Cross Friary on Soundview Ave. in the Bronx. He was to me such a good example of a friar minor: devoted to the people, plain and straightforward, and very funny.

Fr. Thaddeus was also the first confrere in community whom I ever approached to hear my confessions. I was two years baptized, and in those days I was full of convert zeal, a little bit scrupulous, and very worked up. Having such a gentle and humble confessor did a lot to help me relax and appreciate grace.

Somehow I came to have his copy of the 1992 Liturgy of the Hours Supplement. I don't remember how. Maybe I expressed anxiety about not having the proper prayers and he gave it to me. He had written his name in the front of the booklet, and I always kept and used it as a way to remember his good example. I had it for fourteen years until I gave it to a nun from the Dominican Republic who wanted the propers for Our Lady of Guadalupe and was moving to Rome the next day. I bought a new one for $2.95 at the Daughters of St. Paul, but it's not the same.

No problem, though, Fr. Thaddeus, I was only imitating you by giving away the booklet. I can keep your good example close without my third class relic.

Requiescat in pace.

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Paul A. Zalonski said...

May Father Thaddeus' memory be eternal.

Julia said...

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord.

cuaguy said...

Eternal Rest grant unto him O Lord.
And let perpetual light shine upon him.
May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

I will remember his soul in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I will remember him at Mass tomorrow.

Brother, on a lighter note that you might enjoy, at Villanova this weekend there is a conference entitled Reconsiderations, where various scholars come and present papers on St. Augustine's thought. One of the presenters today was Fr. Robert Dodaro, the president of Augustinianum. Just thought that you should know that he is indeed aware of you and remembers your communications :) His paper was excellent, too!

phil said...

Thank you for your recollections. I also recall an evening where I encountered him after he had been ministering to an AIDS patient who was in the final throes of the disease. He was truly angry at what the suffering the disease had caused him. He spoke to me with a self-righteous indignation at the injustice of this world that I, a young man less than half his age, could not have mustered if my life had depended upon it.

Unquestionably, that indignation informed much of who he was, as though he had to try to heal the world single-handedly through warmth and generosity. A wonderful response to be sure, but one that I suspect caused him both physical and emotional torment over the years.

4narnia said...

Fr. Thaddeus is in my prayers, Fr. C! (and so are you!) it seems that you have lost a few people close to you in a short time. i hope you're ok. it's not easy. i can relate to your loses in a way because i've lost many who have been key peole in my life who have inspired me on my journey. many of these people were Friars and Sisters of the Atonement. it seems that all i mostly go there for is a funeral. there are close to 40 that i knew (maybe more) who are buried up there at Graymoor who have been instrumental in one way or another in my life. it's the opposite (thanks be to God) with your Order of Capuchins-there are about 40 or so of you who have been or are now instrumental, inspiring and a good example on my life journey and you're all alive and well. for this, i'm grateful. it's also encouraging and very uplifting to attend special Masses of Professions and Ordinations either at Graymoor or Sacred Heart. PEACE! ~tara t~

Anonymous said...

Thaddeus was also one of the first friars I lived with (I was an affiliate at Holy Cross in 2003-4). I cherish the funny times (finding him muttering prayers in Latin in front of the new coffee dispenser) and the lessons learned after he died (he never denied someone money, and therefore ran up a credit card bill of more than $20 thousand, but took out insurance on it when he got the terminal diagnosis). I was also at his funeral. Thanks for your reflections, they have been spiritually edifying to me.

Brother Charles said...

@Anonymous: I was a the funeral too. I was sure that there were other former affiliates there.