Vianney Vormwald, OFM
1918 – 1984
Fr. Vianney Vormwald, OFM, was born on April 21, 1918 in Cortland, N.Y. He graduated from Cortland State College in 1939 and taught grammar school in Asbury Church, N.Y., before joining the United States Army in 1942 and serving as a member of the Signal Corps in Australia, Japan and Germany.
After studying for one year at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.Y., in 1948, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1952 and was ordained a priest later that year.
Fr. Vianney was first assigned to Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., where he taught for nine years. He obtained a master’s degree in English from Notre Dame University in 1958. While at Siena College, he served as moderator of the debate club and editor of Greyfriars, as well as chair of the English department from 1955 to 1962.
In 1962, Fr. Vianney volunteered for missionary work in Bolivia, and spent four years as pastor in the village of Teo Ponte. He returned to the United States in 1966 and ministered at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, Mass., for one year. He was appointed guardian of the retreat house in Brookline, Mass., one year later. Ill health forced him to resign, and in 1970, Fr. Vianney returned to Siena College as a full-time chaplain, a post he held until 1976. He became curator of Siena’s art collection in 1974, and he returned to the classroom in 1976. In 1981, Fr. Vianney enrolled at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to prepare for a doctoral program in English, and he received his degree in 1983.
He died on Oct. 14, 1984 at Siena College. Fr. Vianney was 66 years old, a professed friar for 35 years, and a priest for 32 years.