Rev. Rudolph V. Carchidi, C.S.C.

Fr. Rioux0018

Jun. 30, 1927-Sept. 24, 2016

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Rev. Rudolph V. Carchidi, C.S.C., 89, died at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.

He was born on June 30, 1927 in Newark, New Jersey, to Dominic and Teresina (Verano) Carchidi, who immigrated from Southern Italy, the region of Calabria. The 14th of 15 children, Fr. Carchidi attended public high school during World War II, then entered Our Lady of Holy Cross Seminary in North Easton, Mass., the summer of 1945. Fr. Carchidi was received into the Congregation of Holy Cross on August 15, 1948, professed his first vows on September 12, 1949, and made his final profession on September 12, 1952. He received his BA in philosophy with a minor in English and Latin from the University of Notre Dame, and after four years of theology at Holy Cross College in Washington, D.C., he was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1955 by Cardinal O’Hara in Philadelphia.

Fr. Carchidi’s first assignment was a teaching position at Father Baker High School in Lackawana, N.Y., after which he was sent to the University of Notre Dame to pursue courses in mathematics for a year before returning to Father Baker H.S., Notre Dame High School in Bridgeport, CT, and St. Peter’s H.S. in Gloucester, Mass. While teaching in the various high schools, he spent 12 summers and many Saturdays at several colleges and universities studying math. In 1960, he received a grant from the NSF to study for two summers and a full year at Harvard University where he earned his master’s degree. In 1991, he was assigned to teach mathematics at Stonehill College. The highlight of his 23 years of teaching at Stonehill College came at the Commencement Ceremony of 1997, when he received the “Louise Hegarty Award for Excellence in Teaching.” In 2014, Fr. Carchidi hung up the chalk and eraser and retired at the age of 87, where he had the distinction of being the oldest professor who ever taught at Stonehill College. He entered Holy Cross House in 2014 and celebrated his 60th anniversary of ordination in May of 2015.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Dominic and Teresina Carchidi; brothers, George, Samual, Joseph, and Dominic; sisters, Mary Frisina, Augusta Picone, Antonetta DiRusso, and Katherine Grieci; as well as four infant siblings.

He is survived by one sister, Sister Teresa Rose Carchidi, MPV of Worchester, Mass.; and a brother, Charles Carchidi, from Los Angeles, Cali., as well as many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 6, 2016) at the Chapel of Mary, Stonehill College, Easton, MA with a Wake Service at 7:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday (Oct. 7, 2016) at the Chapel of Mary, Stonehill College, Easton, MA. Burial will follow at the Holy Cross Community Cemetery at Stonehill College.Kaniewski Funeral Home of South Bend, IN and Kane Funeral Home of Easton, MA are in charge of the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, gifts can be made in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross via: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, 500 Washington Street, North Easton, MA 02356-1299 or online at

Wake Eulogy by Rev. John Denning, C.S.C., President, Stonehill College
Oct. 6, 2016

On behalf of my Holy Cross Brothers, I extend our deepest sympathy to Rudy’s sister Tess and his brother Charles, and to his many nieces, nephews, cousins, and to his friends who gather this night to celebrate the life of this wonderful teacher and priest. Rudy really treasured his family, his brothers and sisters, his cousins, and he was so proud of his nieces and nephews.

I first met Rudy in the early 90s when we were both moving to Stonehill, Rudy to begin teaching calculus, and I was heading to work part-time in campus ministry while serving as vocation director for Holy Cross. We both were moving into residence halls – I was heading to the basement of O’Hara and Rudy to the Sem. I am still not sure who got the better room that year … actually he pretty much did.

Rudy loved teaching, and he was so good at it. He was a model teacher; he would work with students in his office, hold study sessions at night, help students in any way to succeed in their studies. He would get homework, quizzes and exams back in a very short period of time so that students would know what they need to focus on. And that was true throughout his life and ministry.

In a very short period of time after his arrival at Stonehill, Rudy received the Hegarty Award for Excellence in Teaching at the commencement ceremony in 1997. This was a source of great pride for him. The students who nominated him wrote about Rudy’s teaching in these words:

“Fr. Carchidi is the best mathematics teacher I have ever had. I have never been very good at math let alone calculus, but Fr. Carchidi really cared about my success. Through his classroom instruction as well as review sessions I have been able to get higher grades than I ever thought I could.”

Another student wrote:

“Until I entered his class I had never succeeded in math. Thanks to Fr. Carchidi’s clear teaching methods, I consistently do well in my tests and quizzes. I can honestly say that this class is my favorite. I never thought I’d enjoy math as much as I do now.”

Rudy truly had a gift for drawing the best out of his students enabling them to do so much better than they ever dreamed possible.

I have probably spent more time in a car with Rudy than with any other person in my life. We drove out together to California when he was going on sabbatical, and then back to Stonehill the following year. I really enjoyed the trip to California; it gave me a chance to spend time on the cattle ranch which was his home for a number of years and to meet some of his wonderful friends who showed such great affection for him. But, the trip we made most often was to the Holy Cross House at Notre Dame to see his dear friend Paul Duff. Each time we would visit he’d say, “Don’t forget me, I am coming back with you.”

Rudy had a keen sense of self awareness. He knew when he needed to move to Holy Cross House for his own health and well being. I think the most difficult thing for him about moving to Holy Cross House was that he would be at a distance from his family in Leominster and his colleagues and friends at Stonehill, all of whom he loved so much. Each time I visited him there I was struck by how much he was involved in the life of the house, prayer, meals, liturgy, and of course, socials, as well as attending Notre Dame Basketball games and musical and theatre productions. I don’t know how he did this, but he also managed to accompany Fr. Tim Mouton to join his dear friend Pat Boen, and the Stonehill baseball team in a tournament in Myrtle Beach. That was pretty amazing feat.

He lived with a profound sense of both being at peace and gratitude. Gratitude to the staff and health professionals at Holy Cross House, the seminarians from Moreau who visited him and took him out to dinner, in fact, anyone visited him and took him out to dinner, and his brothers at Holy Cross House.

I remember visiting him after he had entered hospice treatment. I asked him how he was dealing with being in hospice. And he said, “I am so grateful for the time John; it gives me a chance to say good bye, to talk with folks and to finish some things that are important to me.” The last time I saw Rudy was at the end of August; you could tell that he was physically tired. He spoke with such affection for the community there and particularly about Fr. Stout who would come in each night and pray the Lord’s Prayer with him, and how that was such a great source of comfort and consolation for him.

This weekend we celebrate Columbus Day, which for Rudy was really the beginning of the Christmas Season. Lights and trees would be brought up from the basement, candles would soon be placed in the window, everything in place for a couple of days after Halloween. Rudy loved Christmas. He would host an annual Christmas party that everyone looked forward to. His gift wrapping skills were amazing. He could a wrap a piece of coal and you would think you would be getting a diamond. He loved Christmas.

I remember one homily he gave on Christmas Eve in this chapel. To me it speaks about the message each day he communicated through word and deed. He spoke about how the birth of Jesus was such a profound affirmation of our humanity. He referenced in his Christmas homily how the best thing we can do is to live our lives in such a way that we reflect those human qualities exemplified in the life of Jesus, compassion, mercy, celebrating life in all its beauty.

Rudy lived a blessed life. Like all of us he had moments of struggle, but through it all he had a deep faith in the goodness of God. I think Rudy’s life is a testimony to what he heard in the letter to the Ephesians, “for he grew each day in the knowledge and love of Christ.” I am so thankful for his friendship, these many years, we will all miss you Rudy, and we are all grateful for your ministry as priest and teacher, but especially as friend and brother.

May you rest in peace, my friend.

Funeral Homilyby Rev. Joe Callahan, C.S.C.
Sept. 28, 2016

Death. So final. So definitive. So universal…death visits us all. We make the journey alone…as at birth. Death is the portal, the Gateway from this life to the next. We must die before we can Experience God in His fullness. Death accompanied Him to the end And then slipped away. For Rudy death is over. He knows the Kingdom of light and life. No need to pray for him now; rather we should pray for ourselves, we who are left behind in the shadows of this life. Here death worries us. Our brother and friend, Father rudy has gone before us. And death is not our friend. Death is the enemy which must be conquered; so we are made to think. Most of us dwell little upon it. We pray for ourselves that we might stay the course and find our way home as Rudy did. What force or power exists that can stand up to death? Death which claims us all and shows no partiality.

The answer is given in our first reading from the song of songs: love is strong as death passion fierce as the grave. It is God’s love that is as strong as death, stronger even. It is this loving God whom Rudy sought and served. For him, God was like a grandmotherly grandfather. His God overlooked sins and concentrated on the positive aspects of life. Rudy’s God was an amnesiac, forgetting sin and inequity, not remembering the things of the past. Like a good Grandparent, our God exaggerates and amplifies our good points and downplays our misbehavior. He holds not our sins against us. It is we who cling to our sins and make much of them; we who harbor resentments, judging others and ourselves at the same time. Love is stronger than these human tendencies and is the remedy for our sinfulness.

Rudy had a mathematical brain and a loving heart. He mastered the world of equations and irrational numbers. He had a clear and analytic mind. He was able to push beyond the safe confines of the conventional to fathom new theories and insights.

At the level of the heart and spirit, Rudy was emotional, honest and humble. He was capable of strong feelings about things. He felt matters deeply. He had a sensitive soul. Things bothered him especially if they touched on family, friendship or religious community. He cared enough to get upset, he cared enough to talk about it (in a spiritual context). Rudy was an honest man. He spoke his mind. He was very forthcoming in spiritual conversation. He was humble…he had his eye on the prize. He often read the Passion narratives of the four gospels for his meditationsthroughout the year, not reserving them to Holy Week. He walked with the suffering servant and followed along with his brother Jesus. In his religious imagination he was rehearsing his own passage to Calvary (Golgotha) and unto resurrection. Both at the level of the mind and of the heart and spirit, Rudy also experienced the God of silence. He would often go to chapel and be still and listen, listen to the silence of God. He would come away from this simple prayer wiser and moved to the core.

When thinking of Rudy Iam put in mind of some lines from T.S. Eliot: (lines from the four quartets):

Old men ought to be explorers, here or there does not matter.
We must be still and still moving into another intensity.
For a further union, a deeper communion…..

So, just as Rudy sought new horizons in math and spirituality, now he is exploring God’s heart where is stored up a record of all his loving deeds, many of which he would have been unaware of. These are revealed to him as to the sheep in the judgment scene in the 25th chapter of Matthew’s gospel. The sheep asks: when did we see you hungry and feed you? Jesus answers: when you did it to the least of the brothers and sisters you did it to me. Their actions were revealed to them. So with Rudy now. He is experiencing the deeper communion he longed for. His joy is complete. There are many rooms in the father’s house….lots of places to explore. The question remains for us: are we going to play it safe? Or are we going to push the boundaries and explore new spaces and places in this spiritual universe? Rudy’s life remains a challenge to us. It is autumn…the season of dying. Listen to the words of the Poet Rilke: The leaves are falling, falling as from far off, As though from gardens withered in the skies. They are falling with denying gestures. And in the nights the heavy earth is falling, falling from all the stars down into holiness. We are all falling. This hand falls. And look at others: it is in them all. And yet there is one who holds this falling endlessly, gently in his hands.


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