April 7, 1931 – March 22, 2018 | Fr. Colavechio, age 86, a member of the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey and a Norbertine priest, passed into God’s Eternal Kingdom on March 22, 2018.
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April 7, 1931 – March 22, 2018

Fr. Xavier Colavechio, O. Praem.
Fr. Xavier Colavechio, O. Praem.

Fr. Colavechio, age 86, a member of the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey and a Norbertine priest, passed into God’s Eternal Kingdom on March 22, 2018.

Fr. Colavechio was born on April 7, 1931, in Philadelphia to Archibald and Catherine (McCrossen) Colavechio.

In 1948, Fr. Colavechio graduated from Southeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia. He graduated with a B.A. degree in philosophy from St. Norbert College (SNC) in 1952 and continued his education, earning graduate degrees in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy, in 1957, and from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 1959.

Upon entering St. Norbert Abbey, he was vested as a novice on August 28, 1948. He professed Simple Vows on August 28, 1950, Solemn Vows on August 28, 1953, and was ordained to the priesthood on June 29, 1955. He celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priesthood ordination on June 5, 2015.

Fr. Colavechio taught at SNC for more than 15 years, where he also served as chairman of the humanities division for much of his tenure. He was known to most of the college students as “Rocky.”

He later served as the rector of the Norbertine Generalate in Rome.

In 1989, Fr. Colavechio was one of the original members of the Norbertine Priory of St. Moses the Black in Raymond, Mississippi, where he served as administrator and pastor of St. Mary Parish, Jackson, Mississippi, and vocation coordinator until 2003.

Upon his return to De Pere, he was appointed director of the Norbertine Center for Spirituality at St. Norbert Abbey and held that position for two years.

From 1999-2005, he served on the Board of Trustees of SNC.

In 2005, the Norbertine Abbot General appointed Fr. Colavechio to represent the order to a small community of priests who were seeking affiliation with the Norbertine Order. This appointment found him traveling to Sant’ Antimo, Italy, and during his several visits he worked with the community—teaching about the history, customs, and constitutions of the Norbertine Order.

In addition to this, Fr. Colavechio also assisted at St. Agnes Parish, Green Bay, and ministered at the Quad Parishes of Green Bay.

In his later years, he resided at St. Norbert Abbey, working in internal ministry.

Fr. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Colavechio is survived by the Norbertine Community of St. Norbert Abbey; one sister, Sr. Regina Fidelis, I.H.M., in Immaculata, Pennsylvania; and three nieces: Patricia Colavechio, Kathleen Colavechio, and Anna Barr, all of Philadelphia.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: Thomas (Nancy) Colavechio and Rev. Francis Colavechio; and one sister: Sr. Therese Maureen Colavechio, I.H.M.

The Norbertine Community is grateful for the extraordinary care Fr. Colavechio received from the abbey medical and nursing staff.


Visitation will be held at the Church of St. Norbert Abbey on Palm Sunday evening, March 25, 2018, beginning with Vespers of the Dead – Reception of the Body at 5 p.m. and continuing until 8 p.m.

Visitation will continue at the abbey on Monday of Holy Week, March 26, 2018, from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m.

The Mass of Christian Burial, expressing our faith and hope in the promised glory of the Lord’s Resurrection, will be held in the abbey church on Monday, March 26, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.; the Very Rev. James T. Baraniak, O. Praem., prior administrator of St. Norbert Abbey, will serve as principal celebrant; the Rt. Rev. Jerome G. Tremel, O. Praem., abbot emeritus, will serve as the homilist at the concelebrated funeral liturgy.

Burial will follow immediately in the St. Norbert Abbey Cemetery.

Ryan Funeral Home, De Pere, is in charge of the arrangements.

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