RINGWOOD, N.J. — Thomas Vigliotta, OFM, 66, a Franciscan friar for 34 years and a priest for 29, died July 4 at Holy Name Friary.
A wake will be held Tuesday from 3 to 8 p.m., with a wake service at 7:30 p.m., at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J. Richard McFeely, OFM, guardian and director of Holy Name Friary, will preside, and David Hyman, OFM, will be the eulogist. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow at St. Anthony Church, with Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, as principal celebrant and homilist. Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Butler.
Born on March 25, 1949 to Thomas and Rosella Vigliotta, Tom was baptized at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Patchogue, N.Y. After high school, he attended St. Leo, Fla., University, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1971 before attending the University of South Florida in Tampa, where he completed his master’s in education and counseling in 1975.
Five years later, Tom was received into the Francis Order at the novitiate in Brookline, Mass. He professed first vows in 1981 and made his solemn profession in June 1985 at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. That same year, he completed a master of divinity degree from Washington Theological Union and was ordained to the priesthood in October 1985 at St. Camillus Church in Silver Spring, Md.
His first assignment in 1985 was as associate pastor and director of religious education at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Greenville, S.C., where he served until 1988. He then ministered as associate pastor at St. Stephen of Hungary Church in New York City for the next year.
In 1989, Tom joined and began coordinating the Province’s Franciscan Ministry of the Word, planning and leading retreats and educational events around the country for almost 20 years. During this time, he was stationed in Rochelle Park, N.J., (from 1989 to 1992), Belleair Bluffs, Fla., (1992 to 1996), and at St. Mary of the Angels Church in Anderson, S.C. (1996 to 2005).
In 2005, Tom transferred to the Catholic Center at the University of Georgia in Athens, where he continued his involvement with the Ministry of the Word for another two years. He was appointed director of UGA’s campus ministry in 2007, and served in that capacity until last month. During much of this time, he was also guardian of the center and regional vocation director for the Southern region of Holy Name Province.
Due to failing health, Tom moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood on June 9.
He is survived by his father, Thomas, his sisters Celia Vigliotta and Donna Finnegan, brothers David, Dennis, Bruce and Jeff, as well as a number of nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Condolences may be sent to Thomas Vigliotta Sr., care of Dennis Vigliotta, P.O. Box 793, East Moriches, NY 11940. They can also be posted on the Facebook pages of the UGA Catholic Center and the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars — Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Carolyn Croke and Maria Hayes