I had the pleasure of meeting Father Rinaldo Custodio, a retired priest of this archdiocese, last Friday at the Leo Byrne Residence for retired priests. I was there to photograph him for an upcoming special section on the Catholic Services Appeal.
After the photo shoot, we got to talking and he mentioned his love of the outdoors, specifically, fishing. He went on to describe an annual trip he takes with his friend, Tom Schwein. They met when Father Custodio was helping Tom and his wife, Susan (Krmpotich), prepare for marriage in 1985. She is originally from Minnetonka and the two were married in 1986 at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Minnetonka. The story of Tom’s friendship with Father Custodio began there.
“At the groom’s dinner, I gave Father Custodio a fly rod as a gift for performing our wedding ceremony,” Tom said. “He asked: ‘If I ever want to come out to Colorado to go fly fishing, would you take me?’ I said, ‘No problem, Father, just call me.’
“This past summer was Father Custodio’s 19th trip to Colorado to go fly fishing since 1986. But, this is no ordinary fishing trip. We generally have between six and 10 guys. We drive four hours from Denver up to the north central part of the state. The last 50 miles to get to the trail head is dirt road. We hire a guide to take us into the lake, which sits at 10,000 feet above sea level. The guide packs all of our gear on horses and drops us off at the lake. We generally go into the lake for four days.”
Despite being retirement age, Father Custodio has been able to withstand the rigors of the trip. And, he has been rewarded with fantastic fishing, which the photo above attests.
It’s really awesome to see retired priests enjoy the outdoors like this. After many years of service, I’m glad they can reap at least a small reward for their hard work.
Here’s hoping and praying Father Custodio will have many more fun trips to Colorado!