Father Xavier Colleoni, Comboni Missionary and priest at Holy Cross Church in Los Angeles, celebrated his 90th birthday and the 65th anniversary of this ordination in 2017.

Father Xavier was born in Bergamo, Italy in 1927 and for 65 years he has served as a  Comboni Missionary. He currently works at Holy Cross Parish in Los Angeles doing pastoral ministry among the Latino community.

During and shortly after World War II, many German and Italian Comboni Missionaries were not free to mission in Africa. So the superiors started sending students to other countries, including the United States. Father Xavier was sent to the United States in 1948 as a seminarian. After his ordination in 1952, Fr. Xavier taught Latin at Sacred Heart Seminary in Cincinnati. He has served in parishes throughout the United States, mainly in California. Fr. Xavier has served at Holy Cross Parish for more than 20 years.

Besides his pastoral work, Father Xavier also makes candles. This started out as a hobby. A local business man used wax for his business and donated the extra wax to the mission. Fr. Xavier still makes candles on a regular basis for Holy Cross.

Since he no longer travels long distances to keep his energy for pastoral work at Holy Cross, the Comboni Community asked his brother and fellow priest Enrico Colleoni, who is a Comboni Missionary in Zambia, to visit him in Los Angeles. Tina Colleoni, their sister, accompanied Father Enrico to visit Father Xavier from May 3 to May 13.

Holy Cross parish and the Comboni Missionaries took this opportunity to join both anniversaries into one big heartfelt celebration, Father Xavier’s 90th birthday and the 65th anniversary of priestly ordination.