Oct. 27, 2021- Fr. Vincent Lapomarda, SJ, was born on February 28, 1934, in Portland, Maine, the second-oldest of the five children of Mary (Bartholomew) and Pasquale Lapomarda, Jr. Both his parents’ families were part of the large wave of immigrants who came to the U.S. from southern Italy at the end of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. He was always very proud of his Italian heritage and later devoted some of his scholarly work to the history of Italian emigration to New England.
He attended Cheverus High School and was greatly influenced by the numerous Jesuit priests and scholastics then teaching at Cheverus. In 1951 he graduated from Cheverus and entered the Shadowbrook novitiate.
He was at Shadowbrook for four years (1951-1955) and then did philosophy studies at Weston College (1958-1961). In three years of Regency he taught at Boston College high School and then returned to Weston for four years of theology studies (1961-1965). He was ordained at Weston on June 13, 1964.
From 1965 to 1968 he did doctoral studies in history at Boston University, receiving the degree in 1968. The following year he completed tertianship in Seattle.
Then he began his long association with the College of the Holy Cross, from 1969 to his retirement in 2018, teaching history and writing several books and numerous articles, especially on topics related to the Jesuit and Catholic history of New England, Jesuits and the Third Reich, and the work of Jesuits of Italian descent in New England. He was also a prodigious contributor of letters to newspapers and journals, local and national, about the issues of the day. And, from his first years at Holy Cross until his retirement, he was chaplain of the Crusader Council of the Knights of Columbus.
In the late summer of 2021 his failing health led to his moving to Campion Health Center in Weston, Mass., where he died peacefully in the late evening of October 23, 2021.