Brother Nicholas V. Nicol, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Saturday, March 3, 2007. He was a son of the late Martha Ann (Meloy) and Edward J. Nicol of Connellsville.
Born in Connellsville on February 6, 1940, Brother Nicholas is survived by his sister, Sandra Nicol Swink and his brother-in-law, Myron, of Stafford, Virginia, and his sister-in-law, Dolores Nicol of Mount Pleasant, and three nieces and one great-nephew. He was predeceased by his brother, Emmerson L. Nicol.
He attended Immaculate Conception Parochial School, Connellsville, and Saint Vincent Preparatory School. He received a degree and state certification in clothing design, specializing in ecclesiastical vesture, from the Clarissa School of Fashion, Pittsburgh, in 1966.
He entered the Benedictine monastic community of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1956, and made monastic profession of vows on July 2, 1957.
Brother Nicholas served the monastic community as infirmarian (1956-1959); assistant curator of the museum (1958-1966); assistant sacristan (1956-1962). He was the Monastic residence coordinator from 1980 to 1985.
He started work in the Monastic tailor shop in 1957 and was named director of the tailor shop in 1969, a position he held until his death. He was responsible for clothing the Benedictine priests, brothers and novices at the Archabbey, making garments styled after clothing worn by Saint Benedict in the fifth century.
His Baptismal name was Vincent; however, when he became a Benedictine brother, he took the name Nicholas in honor of Saint Nicholas, a bishop of fourth-century Asia Minor, who was his favorite saint. Brother Nicholas was well-known throughout the region and each year would appear in his Saint Nicholas costume at schools, community programs and a variety of social events throughout the Christmas season.
He was District Committee Chairman for Alcoholics Anonymous, and helped organize the Unity 12-Step Group. He worked on various committees for the group, primarily in public information, distributing literature to various institutions and agencies throughout the region. For 19 years he organized the annual New Year’s Eve gathering for the group, held at Saint Vincent, and founded an A.A. group at the Department of Corrections, SCI-Somerset. In 1998 he received the Distinguished Service Award for Volunteers for his work at SCI-Somerset.
The body of Brother Nicholas will be received in the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center on the Saint Vincent campus at 3 p.m. Monday, March 5. Viewing will be held from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, and from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday in the parlor of the Roderick Center. The body will be transferred to the Basilica for the vigil service at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, in the Archabbey Basilica. The Rite of Committal will follow in Saint Vincent Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund at Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650.