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San Jose Monastery Mourns Priest Killed in Car Crash

"He was one of those priests in the community that did whatever was needed," another priest at his monastery said.

A San Jose-based Catholic monastery is mourning the loss of a long-time priest killed Sunday when his car was struck on Highway 101 and sent careening into a tree.

Rev. Richard Mandoli, 68, had just attended Mass at the monastery's church Sunday and was driving to San Francisco for his weekly visit to his brother Robert's home when his car was struck and sent careening into a tree, the monastery's Rev. Matthew Williams said.

Mandoli, a San Francisco native, was a member of Mount St. Joseph Carmelite Monastery, where he lived with five other Carmelite friars.

Mandoli had lived there ever since he was ordained as a priest in 1992, Williams said, and those who knew him there called him Father Richard.

"He was one of those priests in the community that did whatever was needed — Mass and confessions — and performed the sacraments as needed," Williams said, adding, "He was a very quiet man who went about his business."

Mandoli was driving north on Highway 101 in San Jose at 11:20 a.m. Sunday when, according to California Highway Patrol, a 27-year-old San Jose man lost control of his 1994 Ford Mustang and swerved into Mandoli's Toyota Corolla, sending it spinning off the road, down a dirt embankment and into a tree.
 
Mandoli was brought to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The Mustang crashed into the center guardrail. Neither its driver nor its passenger was injured, CHP officials said.

Williams said that an autopsy will be performed on Mandoli before funeral arrangements can be made.

Mandoli was born and raised in San Francisco, where he attended Guadalupe Elementary School, Balboa High School and San Francisco State University and earned a bachelor's degree in history in 1967, according to Williams.

He then worked for Bank of America for about 20 years before deciding to become a priest and joining the Carmelite order, Williams said.

The Mount St. Joseph Carmelite Monastery is affiliated with the Discalced Carmelite Communities of the California-Arizona Province, part of the Order of Carmelites, a group of friars who remained to live on Mount Carmel in Palestine after the Crusades in the 12th century, Williams said.

"Carmelites live a life of prayer and help other people to deepen their life of prayer," he said.

The monastery was started in San Jose in 1959, he said.

Some people wrote condolence messages about Mandoli's passing on the monastery's Facebook page.

"May the Lord, in His mercy, grant him remission of sins, and everlasting peace and joy in the heavenly Kingdom," wrote the Rev. Anthony Hernandez of St. Basil the Great Parish in Los Gatos.

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