On Friday of this week, many people came together to celebrate the Mass of Resurrection for one of our retired priests, Fr. Dan Colibraro. Father was born to Italian immigrant parents in Casper, Wyoming in 1922. He died early Tuesday morning, April 19. He has a younger sister, Sr. Mary Carlo, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas, and a younger brother, also a priest of the Diocese of Cheyenne, Rev. Phil Colibraro.
Father Dan was a brilliant man, with a unique personal history. He had a profound capacity for math. I’m told when he could not sleep at night, he would work math problems. Before he was ordained, he obtained a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Wyoming. He then spent two years in the navy, and then again as a civilian worked on the famous Manhattan Project, in Los Alamos in Albuquerque.
Even before ‘the bomb’ was dropped, he was becoming restless working with numbers, and was curious about his next step in life. President Truman made the decision to drop the bomb over Hiroshima, Japan in August 1945. Dan, along with all the rest of the world witnessed its devastation, and he was convinced he would spend the rest of his life serving people. He was ordained a priest in 1956.
Fr. Dan was a solitary man. He lived a simple life, and demonstrated extraordinary charity to many. He served as the editor of the diocesan newspaper from 1958 – 1967. He was then given permission for continued theological studies in Rome and in Cambridge, England. When he returned to the States, he taught Philosophy at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver from 1970 – 1974. He spent the rest of his active ministry as a pastor, the last twenty years as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima in Casper.
We are grateful for his life and ministry. Please join me in praying for his eternal rest. You may also wish to join me in my request that he now intercede for us, especially that many other young men of Wyoming hear God’s call to serve this local church as diocesan priests!
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him!
May he rest in peace.