Vice president returns home to remember Father Balducelli [video]

 Hundreds pack into a Wilmington church to pay their last respects to Father Balducelli.(Tre Bracey/for NewsWorks)

Hundreds pack into a Wilmington church to pay their last respects to Father Balducelli.(Tre Bracey/for NewsWorks)

Vice President Joe Biden was among hundreds of mourners of Father Roberto Balducelli at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington.

Balducelli died Friday just before his 100th birthday. He had immigrated to Delaware from Italy and served as the pastor and pastor emeritus of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Wilmington’s Westside neighborhood.

Speaking with WHYY after the service, Biden remembered Balducelli’s leadership in uniting a Wilmington community that had been ripped apart by riots and racial tension in the late 1960s. “It’s rare a man or woman comes along that actually inspires a whole community,” Biden said. “This guy fundamentally altered this community for the better.”

Biden said he traveled with Balducelli to Europe on a visit to Rome. “He was a guy I conversed with about the church, he was also a guy I conversed with about foreign policy. He was an incredible guy.” 

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