Franciscan Father Vianney Cunningham was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and was ordained to the priesthood in his hometown on Jan. 31, 1970.
He is a member of the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Third Order Regular Franciscans. Father Cunningham is a graduate of two Catholic institutions of higher learning located in Washington, D.C. — the Catholic University of America and Georgetown University.
His 50 years of services has taken him up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States. He served in churches and schools in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Rhode Island before arriving in Florida.
In 1994 he was appointed school pastor of Santa Fe Catholic High School in Lakeland and campus minister at Florida Southern Community College (now university).
In 1995 he was appointed parochial vicar of St. Joseph Parish in Lakeland while continuing as school pastor at Santa Fe.
From 1996 to 2001, Father Vianney served as pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Lakeland. From 2002 to 2019, he served at the San Pedro Spiritual Development Center as a retreat leader and senior day speaker.
Father Cunningham also has served for many years as spiritual animator for the Lady Poverty Fraternity Secular Franciscan Order based at San Pedro.
He continues to lead retreats at San Pedro Spiritual Development Center during his retirement.