Agapitus Rothmann, OFM
1910 – 2001
Br. Agapitus Rothmann, OFM, was born on July 22, 1910 in Fulda, Germany. At age 16, he became a tertiary brother, and was received into the novitiate of the Fulda Province of St. Elizabeth in 1930 at age 20. He professed temporary vows one year later and made his solemn profession in 1934.
Trained as a carpenter and cabinetmaker, Br. Agapitus served the Order well as a highly skilled craftsman who spent time in Holland as a tertiary and in Germany as a professed brother before emigrating to the United States in 1935. Assigned to the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., he served there for 15 years, becoming incorporated into Holy Name Province and a United States citizen in 1947.
His next assignment was to St. Francis Friary, Rye Beach, N.H., as a member of the first community there. Br. Agapitus ministered in Rye Beach on four separate occasions for a total of 32 years. His other assignments included two years in Anapolis, Goias, Brazil, six years at St. Anthony’s College in Rome and two years back at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson. All of his assignments related to his woodworking talents. During his retirement, he lived at St. Anthony Residence, Boston, from 1993 until 1996, when he was transferred to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.
He died there on Jan. 20, 2001. Br. Agapitus was 90 years old, a professed friar for 69 years and the last surviving member of the German Franciscan brothers who emigrated to America to assist Holy Name Province in its years of burgeoning growth. Three of his brothers were Franciscan priests, two of them missionaries.