RINGWOOD, N.J. — The life of Rosario Vieira, OFM, 85, who died Dec. 22, was commemorated at a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Provincial MinisterJohn O’Connor, OFM, in Cortona Chapel of Holy Name Friary here.
Ignatius Smith, OFM, preached the homily at the Dec. 29 Mass in honor of Rosario, a professed Franciscan friar for 54 years and a missionary in Brazil for more than 25 years.
Rosario was born Aug. 15, 1924 in Sande, Marco de Canavezes, Portugal, the son of Antonio and Laura Vieira. He was baptized Antonio on Sept. 28, 1924, at St. Martin’s Church in Sande. In 1938, his family immigrated to the United States where Rosario attended William H. Taft High School in the Bronx, N.Y. From 1943 to 1946, he served in the Air Force — first in the United States, then abroad in France, Germany and Holland.
After World War II, Rosario worked as an electronic technician before entering as a tertiary in the brothers’ training program of Holy Name Province in 1952.
On Aug. 12, 1954, he was received into the novitiate of the Order of Friars Minor at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., by Cassian Kirk, OFM. The following year, Rosario professed his first vows there before Donald Hoag, OFM, on Aug. 13. He professed final vows Aug. 21, 1958, at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., before Celsus Wheeler, OFM.
Rosario served the Province as refectorian, caring for the dining rooms at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson and Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. He spent one year as a staff member at St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City. Rosario then pursued studies in nursing at St. Francis Hospital in Olean, N.Y.
After becoming a licensed practical nurse in 1960, Rosario volunteered for the Province’s mission in Goiás, Brazil, where he served for nearly 30 years. He worked first as a nurse in Araguacema from 1961 to 1970 and Cristalandia from 1971 to 1983. He then transferred to the formation team at Goiânia and later Anàpolis. After a year of service at the parish in Pires do Rio, he served as vicar and then guardian at Goiânia from 1986 to 1989 and finally as parish assistant at Quirinópolis.
In 1990, Rosario returned to the United States, where he joined the staff at the Province’s skilled nursing facility in Ringwood, N.J. Later that year, he was named vicar of St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., serving in that position until 1996. Rosario continued to reside in Butler as a senior associate until 2005, when he again returned to Ringwood, first as a senior associate and later fully retired.
A wake service and viewing were held Dec. 28 at Cortona Chapel. Following the Mass of Christian Burial, Rosario was interred at God’s Acre Cemetery in Ringwood. He is survived by his father, Antonio, 106, of Riverdale, N.Y., and brother, Joseph, to whom condolences may be sent at 36 Shadow Creek Court, Jackson, NJ 08527.
Memorial contributions can be made to: The Franciscans — St. Anthony’s Guild, 7 Jersey Street, East Rutherford, NJ 07073-1012.