Rosario Vieira, OFM
1924 – 2009
Br. Rosario Vieira, OFM, was born on Aug. 15, 1924 in Sande, Marco de Canavezes, Portugal, and was baptized Antonio. In 1938, his family immigrated to the United States. From 1943 to 1946, he served in the U.S. Air Force, first in the United States, and then in France, Germany and Holland. After World War II, Br. Rosario worked as an electronic technician for some years before becoming a tertiary brother in 1952. Two years later, he was received into the Order at the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., where he professed temporary vows one year later.
Following his profession, he served as refectorian at St. Bonaventure Friary for one year, and then at Holy Name College in Washington from 1956 to 1958. The following year, he was porter at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City. He pursued nursing studies at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, N.Y. After becoming a licensed practical nurse in 1960, he volunteered for the Province’s mission in Goiás, Brazil, where he worked as a nurse at Araguacema and then Cristalandia from 1961 to 1983.
He served on the formation team at Goiânia from 1983 to 1984 and Anàpolis from 1984 to 1985. After a brief year at the parish in Pires do Rio, he served as vicar and then guardian at Goiânia from 1986 to 1989 as one of the first lay brothers to be appointed a canonical guardian in the Order. During his final year in Brazil, he served as parish assistant at Quirinópolis.
Upon returning to the United States in 1990, Br. Rosario briefly joined the staff at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., before being named vicar of St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., later that year. He served in that position until 1996 and continued to reside there as a senior associate friar until 2005, when he again returned to Ringwood, first as a senior associate, and then as a fully retired brother.
He died there on Dec. 22, 2009. Br. Rosario was 85 years old and a professed Franciscan friar for 54 years.