Father Carmine J. Sacco, SJ, who was pastor of St. Rita Catholic Church in Tacoma for 32 years, 1979 to 2011, entered into God’s peace on September 21 at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, Calif. He was 91.
Fr. Sacco was born in Seattle in 1924 and entered the Jesuit Order in 1944. After the usual studies, he was ordained a priest in Spokane in 1957 by Bishop Bernard Topel. After that he was a teacher of religion at Seattle Preparatory School and then at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma. Most of his priestly ministry, however, was spent as pastor of a parish.
From 1971 to 1974 he was pastor of St. Luke Church, Woodburn, Ore. After graduate study in theology, he became pastor of St. Ignatius Church in Portland from 1975 to 1979.
The major life work of Fr. Sacco was as pastor of St. Rita Church in the hilltop area of Tacoma. For 32 years he provided daily spiritual and material help to the members of his parish and others. St. Rita was originally an Italian national parish, and he was only the fourth pastor over a period of approximately 90 years.
Fr. Sacco was a caring and loving pastor who was beloved by his parishioners because he was always there for them, because of his good humor, and because of his excellent preaching.
In 2011, at the age of 86, and due to ill health, he was no longer able to serve as pastor so he moved to the Jesuit Community at Bellarmine. There he spent his time in prayer, reading, receiving visitors from St. Rita Parish, and performing tasks around the house as best he could.
Fr. Sacco is survived by his sister Anna Popovich and his sister in-law Theresa Sacco. He also has many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews.
A vigil and Rosary service will be held at St. Rita Church on September 28 at 7:00 p.m. The funeral Mass for Fr. Sacco will be held at St. Rita Church on September 29 at 10:30 a.m. Interment will take place at Mt. St. Michael 's Cemetery in Spokane at a time to be determined.
Notes of condolence may be sent to his sister, Anna Popovich, or to St. Rita Parish at 1403 S Ainsworth, Tacoma, Wash., 98405.
Contributions in honor of Fr. Sacco may be sent to: The Senior Fund, c/o The Oregon Province, Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 86010, Portland, OR, 97286. Gifts may also be made at www.jesuitswest.org/OREdonations on our secure donation site.