The Rev. John Pantuso left the priesthood decades ago for love. He then returned after his wife's death

May 01, 2019 492

BY: Karen Pilarski

A former Wauwatosa resident held many roles in his lifetime. He was a husband, a dad and — twice — a Catholic priest. The Rev. John Pantuso died April 26 at the age of 79. He had a unique personal history, leaving the priesthood for love and being reinstated after his wife's death. Pantuso's children, former Wauwatosa Ald. Bobby Pantuso and Joe Pantuso, remember their dad for his kindness and unwavering faith. 

"My dad being a priest gave me a unique perspective on religion and the church," said Joe Pantuso. He described his dad as "complete of a person as you could be." John Pantuso fulfilled all seven of the Catholic Church's sacraments: baptism, reconciliation, Holy Communion, confirmation, matrimony, holy orders and anointing the sick.

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