Pittsford native Ryan Realbuto, 23; Franciscan volunteer - Catholic Courier

Pittsford native Ryan Realbuto, 23; Franciscan volunteer

Pittsford native Ryan Pippo Realbuto died suddenly Jan. 19, 2024, in Washington, D.C., where he had been carrying out a year of service with the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps. He was 23.

Even as a child, Mr. Realbuto had always been drawn to helping others, according to his mother, Janet Realbuto. His Catholic faith had always been important to him as well, and his experiences as a teen in the youth group at Church of the Transfiguration in Pittsford helped him combine those two passions, she said. He attended the National Catholic Youth Conference in 2017 and volunteered with such organizations as the House of Mercy and Bethany House homeless shelters and Morning Star, a foster home for medically fragile children. He also sang in the choir at Transfiguration.

After graduating from Pittsford Mendon High School in 2019, Mr. Realbuto studied at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, where he became an active member of the Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Community and frequently led retreats as a student minister. He also frequently volunteered at the student-led soup kitchen called The Warming House, sang at Mass and participated in several service trips.

After graduating cum laude from St. Bonaventure in 2023, Mr. Realbuto joined the Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps and began serving at Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, a Catholic school for young people with limited economic means. Being able to live a life of service made Mr. Realbuto happier than she’d ever seen him before, his mother said.

“He was at the top of his mountain the last six months,” Realbuto said. “He was a very special, unique soul that really went out of his way to help people. That’s what he was all about.”

Mr. Realbuto was predeceased by his grandparents, Pasquale and Maria Realbuto. He is survived by his parents, Pippo and Janet Realbuto; brothers, Christian and Evan Realbuto; grandparents, Armand and Teresa Fenicchia; aunts and uncles, Filippo and Elio (Judy) Realbuto, Karen and Lynn Fenicchia; cousins, Elio (Amy), Anthony (Jessica), Caroline, Teresa Claire and Kyle; many family members in Sicily; and his fellow Cap Corps volunteers and friends in the friar community.

Mr. Realbuto’s funeral liturgy took place Jan. 27, 2024, at Church of the Transfiguration in Pittsford. Interment was at The Pittsford Cemetery.

Contributions in Mr. Realbuto’s memory may be made to one of the organizations that was important to him, such as the following:

• Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps, 16406 Marquis Ave., Cleveland, OH 44111.

• Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School, 1010 Larch Ave., Takoma Park, MD 20912. Memorial donations may be made online at www.dbcr.org/donate.

• The Warming House Soup Kitchen, St. Bonaventure University — The Warming House, PO Box AR, St. Bonaventure, NY 14778.

Tags: Monroe County East
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