NIAGARA, Wis. - Rev. Fr. Patrick A. Bernardy, 83, of Niagara, entered eternal life Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, at Dickinson County Healthcare System, Iron Mountain.
He was the seventh of nine children and a twin, born Jan. 11, 1929, in Menominee to the late Albert and Julia (O'Neill) Bernardy. Patrick was raised on a farm in Walsh, Wis., owned by his grandparents and run by his father. He grew up in a close knit, loving family, learning the discipline of hard work and the love of sharing Christian principles.
When Patrick was in his late teens, he found work in local shipyards, but in 1950, while selling typewriters with his brother-in-law in Waterloo, Iowa, he decided to become a priest. During his seminary years, Patrick found summer work in the papermill in Marinette.
REV. FR. PATRICK BERNARDY
He entered Jordan Seminary in Menominee in September 1950 for a two-year preparatory training and then transferred to the Green Bay Diocesan Minor Seminary in St. Nazianz, Wis. After two years, Patrick was sent to St. John Seminary in Collegeville, Minn., for his philosophy and theology training and was ordained at St. Francix Xavier Cathedral by Bishop Stanislaus V. Bona on June 11, 1960. The next day, he said his first Mass at his home parish, Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Marinette.
After ordination, Fr. Patrick served the Lord in the Manitowoc, New London, and Green Bay areas as an assistant and was assigned as pastor to St. Anthony Church in Oconto Falls in 1971, serving the people there until July 1979, at which time he accepted the position of pastor at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara, where he served for almost 20 years.
One of Fr. Patrick's greatest joys was the building of the new Maryhill Manor in Niagara. Sr. Mary Francis and Fr. Patrick realized a new dwelling was needed when the old hotel no longer met the Wisconsin codes and remodeling the old building was not an option. With support from the local people, the Diocese, and the government, their dream came true. Today, the new Maryhill is serving the community with excellent care and an enthusiastic staff. Fr. Patrick was still serving as a senior priest doing what he could for clients, staff, and volunteers at Maryhill.
He is survived by one brother, Francis "Johnny" Bernardy of Marinette; two sisters, Joyce Meschar of Louisville, Ky. and Betty Ann Edlebeck, Wausaukee, Wis.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Fr. Patrick was preceded in death by three brothers, Albert, Harold, and Raymond Bernardy and two sisters, Irene Dal Santo, and his twin Patricia Elmer.
Visitation will be Monday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Niagara.
The funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Monday at the church. Most Reverend Robert F. Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay and Most Reverend Robert J. Banks, Retired Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay will officiate. Reverend Matthew Settle will be the homilist with other priests of the Diocese of Green Bay concelebrating.
Burial will be in St. Joseph Cemetery in Walsh, Wis.
You may light a candle in remembrance of Fr. Bernardy or leave a condolence for his family online at JacobsFuneralHomes.com
The family has chosen the Jacobs Funeral Home Niagara Chapel to honor Fr. Patrick's legacy of life.