Father Damian Albert Abbaticchio, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Monday, June 19, 2006. He was a son of the late Edward and Anne (Connor) Abbaticchio.
Born in Latrobe, on February 3, 1917, Father Damian was one of Ed Abbaticchio’s seven children. His siblings, Dr. Edward Abbey, Mrs. Catherine McGilvery, Howard, Mrs. Martha Bland, Rose and Anne, are deceased. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.
He attended Holy Family Grade School in Latrobe, and was a 1936 graduate of Saint Vincent Preparatory School. He graduated from Saint Vincent College in 1941 and Saint Vincent Seminary in 1945.
He entered the Benedictine monastic community of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1938. He made simple profession of vows on July 2, 1939, and made solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1943. He was ordained a priest in Saint Vincent Archabbey Church by the late Hugh C. Boyle, Bishop of Pittsburgh, on November 4, 1945.
Father Damian began serving the monastic community as socius of novices (1939-1941); a prefect in Saint Vincent Scholasticate (1943-1945); and as a prefect (1945-1953 and 1955-1957), director (1957-1958) at the James Barry-Robinson Home for Boys in Norfolk, Virginia.
In the Archabbey’s apostolates, he was assistant pastor at Saint Bartholomew Parish, Crabtree (1953-1955) and Saint Joseph Parish, Johnstown (1968-1972). From 1967-1968 he was chaplain at Saint Vincent Seminary. He was also pastor at Saint Gregory the Great Parish, Virginia Beach, Va. (1958-1965); Saint Gertrude Parish, Vandergrift (1965-1967); and Saint Mary Parish, St. Marys (1972-1992). Since 1992, he served as a senior priest at Saint Gregory the Great Parish in Virginia Beach with special pastoral ministry at Saint Benedict Chapel. He also served as part-time chaplain at DePaul Medical Center, Norfolk, Virginia.
Father Damian’s father, Ed, was an infielder who played for four Major League teams between 1897 and 1910, and played on the 1909 Pirates team which won the World Series. He was also a professional football player, and was known as the creator of the spiral punt. Ed Abbaticchio was effectively the first two-sport professional athlete.
Viewing will be held from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 22 and from 3-5 p.m. Friday, June 23 at the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center on the Saint Vincent campus. A vigil service will be held at 7:45 p.m. Friday, June 23 at Saint Vincent Basilica. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 24 at Saint Vincent Basilica, with interment to follow in Saint Vincent Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Father Damian Abbaticchio, O.S.B., International Students Fund at Saint Vincent College, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650.