Deacon Noel Vivaldi dies at 83

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Deacon Noel Vivaldi, assigned to St. Leo the Great Church in Fairfax, died June 17. He was 83.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered June 23 at 1 p.m. at St. Leo the Great, 3700 Old Lee Hwy., Fairfax.

Deacon Vivaldi was born Dec. 18, 1934, in Puerto Rico. He was raised and educated in Mayaguez, where he attended Immaculate Conception Academy. He earned his bachelor’s in fine arts in 1957 from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.

He worked as a public information officer for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

He was ordained to the permanent diaconate by Bishop John R. Keating May 23, 1987. He was assigned to St. Philip Church in Falls Church (1987-2008) and assisted at St. Rita Church in Alexandria (2002-03). He was assigned to St. Leo the Great in 2008. 

Deacon Vivaldi is preceded in death by his wife, Carmen Maria Gavilari, and survived by five children.

A fellow deacon at St. Leo, Deacon José Lopez worked with Deacon Vivaldi for many years. “He loved his family very much and did everything for his five children,” said Deacon Lopez. “He (also) was very devoted to his vocation.”

Deacon Vivaldi was a member of the Spanish Cursillo Movement and started the food pantry program at St. Philip.

There was no time in the day that was off limits to call Deacon Vivaldi. “Every time we called him he was always open to say ‘yes’ and help you,” said Father José E. Hoyos, diocesan director of the Spanish Apostolate. “He always had 24 hours available to help others.”

Father Hoyos said Deacon Vivaldi was a happy man and good counselor. “We sent a lot of couples to him. He gave good advice,” Father Hoyos said. “I admired him because he was humble and faithful to the church.”

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018