Today we received news of the sudden passing of Fr. Bernard from the pilgrimage of this life. He was Provincial Minister when I entered the Order, and was something of a father figure for many of us younger friars. I will never forget the spring morning that I rushed home from Mass to wait for his phone call with the news of the results of my application. He always looked after and encouraged us along the way. The birthday email he wrote to me two days ago is still sitting here in the gmail inbox! I shall have to answer it in a different way now.
Under his always entertaining bravado and endlessly recounted travelogues, Fr. Bernard was a man of big and gentle heart, whom one could trust and love right away. May he rest in peace, and may his good example live in our hearts.
In your charity, please offer a prayer for his rest, and for all who will mourn his loss and miss his pastoral solicitude.
UPDATE: Fr. Bernard will be waked on Thursday. The funeral Mass will be on Friday. Please click this link for the obituary and specific arrangements.
Requiescat in pace.