Bernadine Ward, OFM
1913 – 2006
Fr. Bernardine Ward, OFM, was born Jan. 27, 1913 in Rochester, N.Y., and baptized Joseph. He entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1932 and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1936 and given the name Bernardine. He professed temporary vows in 1937, made his solemn profession in 1940 and was ordained in 1942. In 1943, he was assigned to the Province of the Holy Cospel, Calpulalpan, Mexico. He helped found a new mission, Santa Maria de los Angeles, in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1954. Fr. Bernardine spent nine years in San Juan, serving as treasurer, pastor and guardian from 1958 to 1961. Two years later, he volunteered as a missionary in Bolivia. Fr. Bernardine dreamed of founding a parochial radio station and, in 1970, started broadcasting his first radio station, “San Francisco.” In 1978, he inaugurated the more powerful “Santa Clara” station. In 1991, Fr. Bernardine served at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Copacabana, where he stayed for 12 years. In 2003, he returned to the United States, living at St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., until 2005. He then moved to Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J. He died there on Feb. 25, 2006. Fr. Bernardine was 93 years old, a professed friar for 68 years and a priest for 63 years.