Jun 9, 2014

OBITUARY: Maryknoll Father Donald J. Vittengl; graduate of St. Mary schools in Westfield



MARYKNOLL, N.Y. – Father Donald J. Vittengl, 83, of Glens Falls, N.Y., died on May 11 at the Maryknoll Mission, St. Teresa’s Residence, Maryknoll. He was a Maryknoll priest for 57 years.

Born in Fairfield, Conn., Father Vittengl moved with his family to Westfield, Mass., where he attended St. Mary Elementary School. After graduating from St. Mary High School in 1947, he entered Maryknoll at the Venard, Clark’s Summit, Pa. His family then moved to Glens Falls, N.Y. 

After his ordination on June 9, 1956, Father Vittengl was assigned to the Maryknoll Mission Region in Japan, where he began his pastoral and educational work. In 1967, he was assigned to study theology at the Catholic University of Paris. He received a licentiate in sacred theology in 1969.

Returning to Japan in 1969, Father Vittengl was appointed the first assistant to the regional superior for Maryknoll’s Japan Region, an office which he held in conjunction with his work at Hope House, a social works project for outcasts and marginated workers in the Kyoto Diocese. 

From 1969 through 1999, Father Vittengl served in the dioceses of Sapporo (on the northern island of Hokkaido), Olta (on the southern island of Kyushu) and Kyoto (on the main island of Honshu). In the diocese of Kyoto, he served as pastor, hospital chaplain and religion teacher for 700 high school students in St. Paul's Academy in the city of Kustasu.

Father Vittengl returned to the United States in 1999. In August 2000, he began a one-year assignment to the Albany Diocese in New York as administrator at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Cherry Valley. In 2002, he was assigned to Maryknoll’s Retirement Community at the Maryknoll Mission St. Teresa’s Residence, Maryknoll.

Father Vittengl held a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (1951), a bachelor’s degree of sacred theology (1955), and a master’s degree in religious education (1956) from Maryknoll Seminary, Ossining, N.Y.; and a licentiate in sacred theology (1969) from Catholic University of Paris.

He is survived by his sisters, Mary Vittengl of Albany; Sister Joan Vittengl of Rapid City, S.D.; and Jane Mozolak of Toms River, N. J.; and sister-in-law, Helen Vittengl, of Gansevoort, N.Y.  He was predeceased by a brother, Morgan, who also was a Maryknoll priest.

A funeral Mass was concelebrated in Queen of Apostles Chapel on May 21, followed by burial in the Maryknoll Society Cemetery, Ossining.

Memorial donations may be made to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY  10545.