TAYCHEEDAH (AP) — A Catholic priest was struck and killed while riding his bike in Fond du Lac County.
Sheriff’s officials say the Rev. Victor Capriolo was biking on the Prairie Trail about 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 22nd and was crossing the Highway 151 bypass when he was hit. The 67-year-old priest died at the scene.
Authorities say a 74-year-old woman was driving the vehicle that struck Capriolo.
His death was announced during an early service at Holy Family Church Thursday morning.
In a statement released on Thursday, August 23rd, the Holy Family Catholic Community said: “Clergy, staff and parishioners are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Fr. Vic Capriolo in a traffic accident on the evening of Wednesday, August 22. He was a compassionate pastor, dedicated to all he served in the archdiocese and beyond. We ask that his family and friends be kept in your prayers.”
A prayer service to remember Father Capriolo was held Thursday evening at St. Peter church. A Mass in Spanish was held at Sacred Heart Parish in Fond du Lac. Churches were open Thursday for those who wished to pray for Fr. Vic and his family, friends and parishioners.
Counselors were available starting Thursday afternoon at the parish center office at Holy Family church until 4:30 p.m.
FOX6 News spoke with one of Father Capriolo’s classmates, and parishioners who knew the priest for decades. Capriolo served at two Milwaukee parishes, as well as St. Joseph in Grafton, St. Monica’s in Whitefish Bay and St. Bernard in Wauwatosa.
Father Chuck Schramm of St. Mary’s in Hales Corners says his relationship with Father Capriolo dated back to 1965.
“We went through the seminary. He was a real Christian gentleman able to relate to just about anybody,” Father Schramm said.
Father Capriolo was known as a personable priest who influenced many. Parishioners at St. Bernard in Wauwatosa were deeply saddened by the loss of their former pastor.
Mary and John King say Father Capriolo had a unique way about him that captured hearts.
“He always had a smile on, and just was always so nice to talk to. He was just a wonderful person and most blessed priest and good friend,” the Kings said.
The Kings said they went out to dinner with Capriolo and watched Packers games at his house. They also went to Alaska with him for two weeks.
“He would walk down the street, and people would greet him and everyone gave him a hug,” the Kings said.
Father Capriolo had a passion for traveling and a sense of humor, but many remembered Capriolo for his active lifestyle.
“He was such a health nut. He rode his bike and canoed and was very active, and so full of life,” the Kings said.
Many who knew him take solace knowing Father Capriolo was a vibrant man who made an impact on the lives of many.
“We believe there is a life beyond death, and that life is a life of joy and being at peace with God, and in communion with the people who have gone before us, so there’s a message of joy in all this, in a time of sadness, as we grieve,” Father Schramm said.
A visitation is planned for Father Capriolo at Holy Family Parish in Fond du Lac on Monday, August 27th from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a 7:00 p.m. vigil service. Another visitation is planned for Tuesday morning, August 28th from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. — with a funeral liturgy to follow.