Fr. Louis Caputo, S.D.V., on July 29, 2000, during the XII General Chapter of the Vocationist Fathers was elected Superior General of the Society of Divine Vocations. He became the 4th successor of Blessed Fr. Justin M. Russolillo, founder of the Congregation.
Son of Bartolomeo Caputo and Antonia Cassano Irpino, Ludovico Caputo was born on March 3, 1941. He was the ninth of 11 children. On 15 September 1953, at the age of 12 years old, he entered the seminary of Plain-Naples, where he had the joy of knowing Fr. Justin, the holy founder of the congregation. He made his religious vows on October 29, 1959. He studied theology at the Pontifical University of St. Luigi in Naples at the Jesuits and two months later he was sent by his superiors with his confrere, Fr. Michael Vassallo, in the United States to join the first group of Vocationist Fathers in the mission. He finished his theological studies at the Seminary of the Third Order Regular of the Franciscan Fathers in Loreto, Pennsylvania. He was ordained a priest in Newark on May 27, 1967.
While working as an associate pastor in the Church of St. James in Penns Grove, New Jersey, he continued his studies at the University of Glassboro, NJ, where in 1971 he obtained a licentiate in Education. He taught Italian and Spanish in secondary schools in Penns Grove, NJ and Latin and Spanish in secondary schools in Carney’s Point, NJ. In August of 1973, he was transferred to Newark where he worked as an associate pastor in the Church of Perpetual Help. In the same period he also taught English in secondary schools of Webster.
In 1977 he was appointed Treasurer Director of the parish of St Michael and principal of St. Michael’s elementary and secondary school.
From 1974 to 1994 he served the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel has received various awards and military decorations.
On June 1, 1989, he was elected pastor of the Church of St. Michael’s in Newark. In 1995 he realized his dream to renovate St. Michael’s rectory, home of the religious community of the Fathers Vocationist. During his time as pastor, he also inaugurated the third floor of the school, built to increase the number of students (about 2000) of primary and secondary schools and provide opportunities for young people to be able to have a massive library, a computer lab and a good comprehensive music .
Fr. Louis has published, in English, the life of the Blessed Fr. Justin and translated many of his writings as “The Devotional” and “The Ascension.”
In 1985 he began to visit Nigeria with a desire to install a new Vocationist mission in that country. In 1991, his dream became reality. Accompanied by his religious brother, Fr. Michael Vassallo, S.D.V., he went to Nigeria to help some young Nigerians who desired to consecrate themselves to the Lord. Later he helped to buy the land and build a Vocationary (this is defined in the seminars of the Fathers Vocationist) in the city of Operanadim, Imo State. His love for vocations pushed him up to Trichur, Kerala in India where he opened another seminar. He was also, for 12 years, secretary and treasurer of the Delegation of the Vocationists in the United States.
Fr. Louis was elected Father General of the Society of Divine Vocations on July of 2000, and he served two terms of six years each. After returning to the United States, Fr. Louis was elected Delegate of the Vocationists in the US for two terms. At the end of his service, he served as Parochial Vicar at St. Nicholas RC Church in Palisades Park, NJ, where he re-established the Vocationist Apostles of Universal Sanctification and the Friends of Father Justin’s groups in the parish. He also celebrates masses in English, Italian and Portuguese.
In 2022, Fr. Louis Caputo returned to St. Nicholas Parish as Parochial Vicar for a short period of time. He is now serving as a priest in residence at St. Matthew’s RC Church in Ridgefield, a parish now under the care of the Vocationist Fathers.
At the age of 82, Fr. Louis shows no sign of slowing down. He celebrates Masses at St. Matthew’s and is often invited to celebrate at St. Nicholas Church in Italian and English. He is often accepting requested to celebrate Masses, Baptisms and Funerals by those who have learned to love and admire his preaching. As a good shepherd of souls, Fr. Louis visits the homebound bringing the love and compassion of the Lord to those who cannot get to church anymore.