ALBANY, N.Y. — Richard Biasiotto, OFM, 76, a Franciscan friar for 56 years and a priest for 51, died on May 14 at Albany Memorial Hospital. A viewing will be held on May 19 from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J., with a Mass of Christian Burial following. Provincial Vicar Lawrence Hayes, OFM, will serve as principal celebrant at the 11 a.m. liturgy and William Beaudin, OFM, as homilist.
A wake was held on May 17 at St. Bernardine of Siena Friary outside Albany, where Richard had lived since 2005.
Born on Nov. 18, 1938 in Allentown, Pa., to Richard and Mary Biasiotto, Richard was baptized Francis at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Allentown. After attending Saints Peter and Paul Grammar School in New Braunfels, Tex., he studied at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., from 1955 to 1957.
Received into the Order of Friars Minor in 1957, in Lafayette, N.J., Richard professed his first vows there the following year. He attended St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H., from 1958 to 1960, and then studied theology at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C., from 1960 to 1964. He professed solemn vows in 1961 at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., before Donald Hoag, OFM. Richard was ordained to the priesthood in 1964 in Washington, D.C.
As his first assignment, Richard taught math and science at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, N.Y., from 1965 to 1969. Relocating to New York City, he was director of ministries at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Manhattan for four years, and then served as Provincial Secretary from 1973 to 1985.
In 1985, Richard was assigned as pastor and guardian of St. Bonaventure Parish in Paterson, N.J., where he ministered for six years. From 1991 to 1998, he served as guardian of St. Anthony Friary in Butler, where he was also director of personnel for five years.
After spending a year as interim librarian at Washington Theological Union, Richard was appointed parochial vicar at St. Leo Church in Elmwood Park, N.J., where he served from 1999 to 2005.
From 2005 to 2015, Richard was on the staff of St. Francis Chapel in Albany, while residing at St. Bernardine of Siena Friary at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. Last year, he and seven other friars who were ordained in 1964 commemorated their golden jubilee of priesthood in New York City.
Richard is survived by a sister, Maria Biasiotto of Escondito, Calif., and cousins Judith McBrairty of Easton, Pa., and Peter Martinko, of Coopersburg, Pa.
Memorial donations may be made to Franciscan Friars-Holy Name Province, 144 W. 32nd St., New York, N.Y., 10001.
— Compiled by Carolyn Croke and Jocelyn Thomas