ANDERSON, S.C. — Thaddeus Sapio, OFM, 71, died Sept. 17 at Hospice of the Upstate here, after battling cancer for several years. He was a professed Franciscan friar for 50 years and a priest for 44.
Provincial Minister John O’Connor OFM, was principal celebrant at the Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. on Sept. 23 at Holy Cross Church in the Bronx, where Thaddeus had lived and ministered from 1995 to 2007.
Thaddeus was born Aug. 7, 1938, in Haddonfield, N.J., the only child of Nicholas and Helen Sapio. He was baptized Raymond Nicholas on Nov. 6, 1938, at Christ the King Church in Haddonfield. He attended the parish school and graduated from St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1958.
He was received in the Order of Friars Minor, Holy Name Province, on July 14, 1958, receiving the name Thaddeus Michael, at St. Raphael Friary in Lafayette, N.J. On July 15, 1959, he professed first vows there before Celsus Wheeler, OFM.
Thaddeus studied philosophy at St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H., and theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., and professed solemn vows on Aug. 22, 1962, at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., before Donald Hoag, OFM. On March 13, 1965, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Philip Hannan at the Church of Mt. St. Sepulchre in Washington, D.C.
During his many years of service to God’s people, Thaddeus’ assignments included serving St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Beach Haven, N.J., St. Francis College in Rye Beach, St. Anthony of Padua Church in Camden, N.J., St. Anthony of Padua Church in Yulan, N.Y., Holy Cross Church and most recently at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Anderson.
Funeral services for Thaddeus were held in Anderson and the Bronx, beginning in Anderson on Sept. 20 with a wake and prayer service. On Sept. 21, Aubrey McNeil, OFM, celebrated a memorial Mass at St. Mary of the Angels.
The following day, the body was received at Holy Cross Church. Aubrey presided and Deacon Jaime Bello was homilist at the 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christ the High Priest. Anthony Carrozzo, OFM, gave the homily at the Mass of Christian Burial. Interment followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, N.J.
Thaddeus is survived by two aunts, many cousins, Franciscan brothers of the Province and his dog Jumper.