FAIRHAVEN, Mass. — Father Michael Anthony (Dominic) Annunziato, SS.CC., an ordained member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary-United States Province, passed away January 13. At his bedside were his sister Elaine and her husband George and three of his SS.CC. Brothers.
Father Mike, who would have celebrated his 88th birthday on March 21, was born in Providence, R.I. The second of five children, he was the son of Michelangelo and Angelina (Greco) Annunziato. He is survived by his sister, Elaine (Annunziato) Oldfield and her husband George of Raynham; sisters-in-law, Constance (Frappier) Annunziato of Taunton and Helen (Fraga) Annunziato of Taunton; 11 nieces and nephews and 13 grandnieces and grandnephews. He was pre-deceased by his three brothers, John, Amalio and Msgr. Armando Annunziato of the Fall River Diocese.
Father Annunziato had been a member of the Congregation for more than 60 years, having entered the novitiate in 1946 at the age of 19. He followed in the path of his uncle Father Amalio Greco S.A.C. who was also a missionary priest. After his ordination in Washington D.C. in 1953, he was assigned to the Province Mission in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan. For the next 14 years, he served in various capacities helping to administer parishes in Shimodate, Hitachi, Yamagata, Tomobe and Yonezawa and mastering the Japanese language.
In 1968, he returned to the East Coast Province in Fairhaven and for a short time was the administrator at St. Anthony Parish in Mattapoisett. Early 1969 brought Father Annunziato to Texas where he was assigned as associate pastor at Queen of Peace Parish in Harlingen. He remained there for eight years before being asked to become the pastor of Our Lady of the Angels and its five mission churches in La Joya, Texas. Once again he mastered a third language becoming fluent in Spanish and thoroughly enjoying the Texas culture — and its food! After remaining in La Joya for 10 years, he returned to Queen of Peace as pastor for three years before accepting his final assignment as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Edinburg, Texas in 1990, retiring from there in 2005 to return to Damien Residence in Fairhaven.
He especially loved spending his retirement time visiting with his sister Elaine, and her family and was particularly boastful of his great nieces Angela and Christine and great nephew, Michael. Father Annunziato still has ties to his birth town with several cousins in Providence, Cranston and Smithfield, R.I.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church in Fairhaven, January 19 followed by burial in the Sacred Hearts Community Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sacred Hearts Community, Damien Residence in Fairhaven.