James V. Vitali, O.S.A.

Vitali James OSA.jpg

1952 – 2021 (September 4)

James Victor Vitali was born in Philadelphia, PA on October 26, 1952, the son of Albert John Vitali and Rosemary Lucy Procopio. He had three brothers, Steven, David and Andrew, and a sister, Monica. Shortly after birth, he was baptized in Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Philadelphia. Jim began his elementary education at St. Rose of Lima Parish School in Philadelphia and, when the family moved to Ardmore, PA, he continued his education at St. Denis Parish School. He enrolled at Monsignor Bonner High School in Drexel Hill, PA, and completed his education in 1970 at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor, PA. After graduation, he did construction work and then entered the novitiate at New Hamburg, NY in August of 1972, making his profession of simple vows on August 28, 1973. He professed his solemn vows on January 8, 1977. Jim received a degree in Philosophy from Villanova University in 1975 and then pursued theological studies until 1978 at the Washington Theological Union, Washington, DC. In June of that year, he was assigned to Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY as maintenance facilitator and then for a short time to Mount Augustine Retreat House with the same responsibility. He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Rev. Edward Hughes, Auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, on February 14, 1981, at St. Denis Parish, Havertown, PA.

Following ordination, from 1981 to 1986, he served as parochial vicar at St. Augustine Parish, Andover, Massachusetts. He was then parochial vicar at Assumption/St. Paul Parish, Mechanicville, New York for three months in 1986, and was transferred to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish until October 1987 when assigned to St. Augustine Friary, Villanova. In 1988, he was assigned to Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill where he remained until 1991. He then returned to parish ministry at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, Golden Gate, FL from 1991 to 2002. He served briefly at Blessed of Lecceto Friary, Maggie Valley, NC in 2002, then at Augustinian College from 2002 to 2004, when he returned to St. Augustine Parish, Andover. For health reasons, he was stationed at St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery from 2006 to 2009. In June 2009 he moved to St. Augustine Friary, Villanova.  In March 2013, again for reasons of declining health, he returned to St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery where he remained until proper care required that he enter a skilled nursing facility in 2020. During the summer months of 2021 he suffered a stroke which required brief hospitalization but returned to Arden Courts of King of Prussia where he passed over to the Lord on the afternoon of September 4, 2021, the Solemnity of Our Mother of Consolation.

 While Father Jim’s priesthood was exercised principally in parish assignments where his gift as a preacher was especially appreciated, an additional interest and talent he brought to his assignments was in the care of facilities and general handyman. At his death he was 68 years old and a friar for 48 years.