Father Leo P. Rothrauff, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Sunday, September 19, 2010. He was born September 6, 1928 in Turtle Creek, a son of the late Harry W. Rothrauff and Mary Reagan Rothrauff. Surviving are his brother, Father Noel H. Rothrauff, O.S.B., also a monk of the Archabbey, and his sister, Jane Rothrauff Downing, North Versailles.
He was a 1947 graduate of Saint Vincent Preparatory School. He received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1952. He earned a master of business administration degree from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana in 1958.
He entered the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1949, professed first vows on July 2, 1950; solemn vows on July 11, 1953 and was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop Hugh Lamb on May 27, 1956.
He served as a prefect in the College from 1954 to 1957, was instructor of accounting at Saint Vincent College (1956-1957); and assistant professor of finances, statistics and management at Saint Vincent (1961-1964). He was also a prefect of students in Bonaventure Hall.
In October of 1964 Father Leo was named the first Prior of São Bento Priory, the Archabbey’s foundation in Vinhedo, Brazil, serving in that capacity until until 1975 and again from 1988 to 1991. He served as subprior, procurator and master of novices at various times throughout his 36 years in the Brazil mission. In 1972, while Prior, the community in Vinhedo built a new monastery, and in 1975, a new retreat house, Siloe Retreat Center, where he preached retreats for youth, religious and married couples. He received the title of “Citizen of Vinhedo” on February 26, 1998, from the Municipal Council of Vinhedo in recognition of his contributions to the broader community.
Father Leo was one of the founders of the Brazilian Conference of Benedictine men and women in 1967 and later President for six years. He helped to organize Latin American meetings of Benedictines from Mexico, Central and South America. During this time he gave retreats in most of the monasteries in Brazil.
He returned to Saint Vincent Archabbey in 2000, and was appointed senior priest at Saint Gertrude Parish, Vandergrift, serving there until his retirement to the Archabbey in 2008. Father Leo continued to assist in the pastoral work of the Archabbey through weekend pastoral ministry in dioceses served by the Benedictines of Saint Vincent.
The body will be received at 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 21, 2010, in the Elizabeth J. Roderick Center of Saint Vincent Archabbey. Viewing will be held from 3 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and from 3 to 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The body will be transferred to the Basilica at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday for a vigil service. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Thursday, September 23, by Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., in the Archabbey Basilica. Interment will follow in the Saint Vincent Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Rev. Leo P. Rothrauff, O.S.B., Scholarsip at Saint Vincent College, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, Pennsylvania 15650.