Photo : Abbey Church and Seminary at St. Meinrad Archabbey, cropped and enlarged | By Chris Light – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Merciful Father, Eternal Shepherd, hear the prayers of your faithful people for your servant Brother Angelo. He labored tirelessly for your Church and faithfully witnessed in his life to the death and resurrection of Jesus, your Son. In your mercy, bring him to the reward promised to the faithful servant. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
BR. ANGELO VITALE, OSB
Monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey
Died peacefully in the Lord
May 2, 2021
In the mid-morning of Sunday, May 2, 2021, Brother Angelo Vitale, OSB, monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, died peacefully in the Lord after a slow but steady decline in health. He was a jubilarian of profession.
Brother Angelo was born in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, on February 26, 1941, the third of five sons to Anthony J. and Catherine E. (Suwila) Vitale, and he was given the name Pasquale William at his baptism. For the first three grades of his elementary education, he attended St. Rita and Immaculate Conception Catholic schools in Connellsville, and then attended public school in Hope, Indiana, for grades 4 and 5.
Due to his father serving in the U.S. Army, the family continued to travel, and so Brother Angelo spent grades 6 through 8 at Service Schools in Ulm and Heilbronn, Germany, before returning to Hope for his freshman year of high school. He attended the Bruté Latin School in Indianapolis for his sophomore year, and then St. Mary’s College in St. Mary, Kentucky, for junior year. In 1958, he entered our St. Placid Hall, where, at his request, he repeated his junior year and then continued through his senior year. During this time, he worked in the Abbey’s Carpenter Shop.
He was confirmed in the St. Meinrad Parish Church on March 27, 1960, at the age of 19, after which he affiliated with Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Invested as a novice on May 10, 1961, he professed his simple vows on May 13, 1962, and his perpetual vows on November 13, 1965. Brother Angelo solemnly affirmed his vows on Marcy 21, 1973. Brother Angelo’s first monastic assignment was in the bakery. He also rang the tower bells for Mass and Vespers for several years. He enjoyed long tenures as one of the monastic community’s barbers and as a radio operator for the Saint Meinrad Volunteer Fire Department.
Brother Angelo will be remembered most for his 56 years as tailor and shoemaker. He supplied his confreres with habits, cucullas, albs, and stoles, and performed these services for various religious communities throughout the country. He was a student of the Myers School of Fashion Making of New York City, specializing in pattern making. Brother Angelo also was a member of the National Registry for Orthopedic Shoe Technicians and was thus recognized for his craftsmanship in the art and skill of shoe modifications and the custom making of shoes as directed by the medical profession.
Brother Angelo was a no-nonsense person, down to earth in his views and expressions, and he valued his independence. He especially enjoyed attending family gatherings, and scrupulously devoted equal loving attention to the Italian and Polish sides of his genealogy. He enjoyed sharing his skill with fabrics and shoes with co-workers and apprentices. Many years ago, during an interview with a reporter, he proudly claimed that while he as a tailor had never stitched his finger, he had as a cobbler been known to occasionally hit his finger with a hammer. “What does a monk say when that happens?” the curious reporter inquired. Brother Angelo smiled easily and said, “Probably the same thing you would say.”
Having provided the clothing and footwear for hundreds of monks, priests, and religious over the years, we confidently pray that now the Lord our God “has wrapped him in light as in a robe, so that everything of the old is gone and now all is made anew.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Brother Angelo had celebrated his 80th birthday a few months before his death, and he was in the 58th year of his monastic profession.
The Office of the Dead will be prayed at 7 p.m. Central Time on Tuesday, May 4, in the Archabbey Church. The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Central Time on Wednesday, May 5, in the Archabbey Church, with burial following in the Archabbey Cemetery. For the repose of his soul, three Masses will be offered by each monk of the Archabbey. The customary suffrages are recommended to all monks of our Congregation.
Archabbot Kurt and Community
Saint Meinrad Archabbey