January 15, 1940 - January 21, 2015
January 23, 2015 Msgr. Franco Luigi Troi passed away peacefully on January 21, 2015 at the St. Francis Hospice in Honolulu. Msgr. Troi was born in the town of Belluno, Italy. Then he moved to a tiny village, Pieve di Livinallongo, in the Ladin-speaking part of the Dolomites Mountains. Msgr. Troi was very proud of his heritage and in his valley they only spoke Ladin language which was a language of the early Romans who settled in the Dolomites after the fall of the Roman Empire. So Msgr. Troi was a true descendent of the Roman soldiers. He still spoke his native tongue when he returned to his beautiful home valleys for a vacation. Msgr. Troi’s father was killed in 1945 after being forced into the German army at the end of the war. So Franco’s mother who was a midwife raised Franco who was 5 years old and his brother Carlo who was 2 years old at the time. Later on Franco became a herder of his grandfather’s cows during the summer months and would sleep out under the stars in the Dolomites Mountains. Little did he know that he would become a shepherd of men! Msgr. Troi started skiing very early in his life and no one could beat him in the down hill races. He was a true champion on the slopes. He never broke a bone in 60 years of skiing! Along came a Comboni Missionary priest to his village, who told his classmates that they should consider being missionaries down in Africa. This missionary was so compelling to Msgr. Troi that at the age of 11 Msgr. Troi left his family and he headed for the seminary school for Comboni students and began his education in Trento, Italy. From that point on he only returned to his Mama and brother for two weeks in the summer. He received the best education ever and spent his high school living in Florence, Italy. And his theology studies in Verona, Italy. He was ordained a Comboni Missionary priest in June 27, 1965. Two weeks after his ordination he received his first assignment and that was to go to America and attend Seton Hall University in New Jersey. He majored in biology and chemistry and studied in the College of Education. He had one problem, he could not speak English. He spoke his nature tongue of Landin, Italian, German, French, and Spanish. He truly had the gift of languages but not English. So his two cousins in New York City helped him learn English in six weeks. He did so well at Seton Hall University that he graduated with honors in 3 and ½ years with a Degree in Education majoring in Chemistry and Biology. His next assignment was to teach at the Comboni College for Science and Technology in Khartoum, Sudan. He taught Chemistry and Biology for four years. He enjoyed his time there and a few years ago his former students who many now live in Sydney, Australia asked him to come to their 40th Reunion. He went and he had a marvelous time seeing how successful his students had become and they told him that it was because of the excellent education they received from him. Then Msgr. Troi decided to go back to Italy and he left the Comboni Fathers and became a diocesan priest. Msgr. Troi then became a Police Chaplain at the Police Academy in Bolzano, Italy. It was a difficult time in Italy during the Red Brigade Terrorist Group activities and Msgr. Troi had to go on many calls with the police as their chaplain. Then he was asked to become an Alpini Chaplain for the elite mountain warfare soldiers of the Italian army. His first assignment was up in Dolomite Mountains where he grew up and he just loved it. He took the young soldiers skiing and taught them the ways of the mountains where he often held Mass in some of the highest peaks. Several times he set up the altar for Mass in the higher elevation of the Dolomite Mountains for Saint Pope John Paul who would fly in by helicopter and then Msgr. Troi would concelebrate Mass with him. Saint Pope John Paul just wanted to be with the soldiers and be in the mountains and then Saint Pope John Paul would sometimes ski with Msgr. Troi. Msgr. Troi was then made Chief of Chaplains for the Alpini Chaplains. He loved his work and he always said that “Working with the soldiers kept him young!” Also because of his language skills he was the representative for the chaplains from Italy for NATO. So he travel through out the NATO region, holding seminars to teach other chaplains, from every branch of the military, how to become loving and caring chaplains for their men. It is standard in the Italian Army for chaplains to retired at 62. Msgr. Troi retired at the rank of full Colonel, but at the time of his retirement they gave him the rank of General. So Msgr. Troi returned to the city of Bressanone, Italy where his father and his uncles had built a three story apartment building before World War II and one of the flats was given to Msgr. Troi. He brought his mother down from the Dolomites Mountains and she lived with Msgr. Troi in Bressanone. Bressanone was also a very special place for Pope E. Benedict. The Ratzingers (his brother George and their sister, Maria) visited Bressanone for over 30 years and even returned for a visit in August 2008 for two weeks after he became Pope. Msgr. Troi’s cousin was always the Ratzingers driver whenever they visited Bressanone. Bressanone is a beautiful town in South Tyrol in northern Italy. It lies 25 miles south of Innsbruck, Austria. It is like a Bavarian village and 75% of the people speak German. Pope Emeritus Benedict wrote many of his books while visiting Bressanone. Msgr. Troi enjoyed a friendship with Pope Emeritus Benedict. Pope Benedict has been recently praying for Msgr. Franco while he has been sick, and he even wrote a personal note to Msgr Troi to let him know that he was in his daily prayers. Now why did Msgr. Troi come to Honolulu in the first place? When he was a student at Seton Hall he had to write a paper on Pearl Harbor for his American History Class. He was so touched by what had happened and being a war orphan, he was always very sensitive to war victims. He also knew that America did get involved in the war after Pearl Harbor and without America coming to Europe to liberate the people, he knew he would have grown up in a much different world. So he told himself then that he would go to Honolulu and honor the people whose lives were lost at Pearl Harbor. So forty years later in April 2002 he used his first retirement check to purchase a ticket to Honolulu. He wrote to Father Thomas Choo, who was pastor of St. Augustine Church, and asked if he could give him a room at the rectory and he would help out with Masses. Father Choo called him in Italy and found out that he spoke English and he told him come on over and Msgr. Troi loved his stay in Honolulu and enjoyed the people and felt immediately at home. He wanted to return as soon as he was able to come back. So he returned to the island in 2004 as a tourist. Then at the invitation of Bishop Larry Silva he procured a visa allowing him to take a parish assignment in Hawaii. He helped at St. Elizabeth in Aiea, and then became Parochial Vicar at St. Theresa and also helped out at Holy Trinity in Hawaii Kai. He dearly loved his parishioners and they truly loved him. Many of his parishioners recently sent cards, especially for his 75th birthday on January 15, 2015. Many visited him at the St. Francis Hospice to tell him how much they appreciated every thing he did at the parishes. Msgr. Troi was a very humble and joyful priest and he had the most beautiful smile. He made everyone feel good. He truly was a very happy priest. He would have celebrated 50 years a priest on June 27, 2015. Msgr. Troi is survived by a brother, Dr. Carlo Troi and his wife Roseanna, and his niece, Dr. Christina Troi and her husband Markus and their children, Thomas and Lukas. They all live in Bressanone, Italy. Msgr. Troi will be buried in Bressanone, Italy along side his Mama and Daddy. Msgr. Troi was very grateful to the wonderful care he received by the doctors and staff at Straub Hospital especially Dr. Katherine Williams. To the staff at St. Francis Hospice who so lovingly looked after Msgr. Troi in his last days and hours on earth. A special thank you to Sister Pat and Father William Kunisch who were constantly by Msgr. Troi side and to Bishop Larry Silva who made many visits to comfort and pray with Msgr. Troi. Also to Robert Heib, who flew down from Seattle on Christmas Day to help Msgr. Troi when he first came home and stayed by his side 24/7 for two weeks before being moved to St. Francis Hospice. Msgr. Troi was a humble and joyful servant to the Lord for 50 years and when you consider that he entered the seminary at ll years old he actually devoted 64 years.
January 23, 2015 Msgr. Franco Luigi Troi passed away peacefully on January 21, 2015 at the St. Francis Hospice in Honolulu. Msgr. Troi was born in the town of Belluno, Italy. Then he moved to a tiny village, Pieve di Livinallongo, in the Ladin-speaking... View Obituary & Service Information
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January 23, 2015
Msgr. Franco Luigi Troi passed away peacefully...
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