Capuchin Father Bennett Colucci O.F.M. Cap.- 89, victim of Covid-19 of Via Christi Village Care Center in Hays, Kansas, died Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, just 28 days short of his 90th birthday, having tested positive for Covid-19 virus a few days earlier.


The youngest of the eight children of late Pasquale and Pasqualina (Citarelli) Colucci, Pasquale Jr., was born on October 22, 1930, in Hillsville, Pennsylvania.


Early in childhood his parents died, and he was raised by his uncle and aunt, Frank and Nellie Colucci. He received the new name Bennett, when he joined the Capuchin Franciscan Order in 1951. Bennett studied for the priesthood at St. Fidelis Seminary and College in Herman, Pennsylvania, and Capuchin College in Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest in 1957.


His first assignment was to the Capuchin Missions in Puerto Rico, where he ministered as associate pastor in Ponce, Utuado, Trujillo Alto, and Adjuntas, and then as director of a school for lay brothers and a retreat house in Adjuntas.  In 1970, he moved to Colorado and served for four years as an associate pastor in Annunciation church in Denver. He then was on the staff of Denver’s Marycrest High School for 14 years while engaging in pastoral ministry at Clare Gardens. From 1986 till 1993 he was associate director and chaplain of Samaritan House for the homeless. Father served next in Kansas on the pastoral care team at Hays Medical Center, becoming its director in 2001. Retiring from public ministry in 2005, he took up residence at St. Fidelis Friary in Victoria, until his move to Via Christi Village in 2017. Father was the last member of his immediate family to die.


Reception of the Body and Morning Prayer will be celebrated at 8:00 A.M. Tuesday, September 29, 2020, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 A.M. Tuesday, at The Basilica of St. Fidelis, Victoria, Kansas. Burial will be in the Friar’s Plot at St. Fidelis Cemetery, Victoria, Kansas.


A visitation will be held from 9:00 to 10:00 A.M. Tuesday, at The Basilica of St. Fidelis, Victoria, Kansas.


Memorials are suggests to the Capuchin Franciscans Province of Mid-America Inc.


Due to the coronavirus if you have a cough, fever or are not feeling well, please use our e-mail or on line guestbook. Social distancing and wearing masks is suggested at the visitation and funeral services.


Services are entrusted to Cline’s-Keithley Mortuary of Hays, 1919 East 22nd Street, Hays, Kansas 67601.


Condolences can be sent via e-mail to clinesmortuary@eaglecom.net or can be left at guest book at www.keithleyfuneralchapels.com