Bernard Tobin, OFM
1909 – 1983
Fr. Bernard Tobin, OFM, was born in Pittsfield, Mass., on April 14, 1909. In 1927, he enrolled at St. Bonaventure College, Allegany, N.Y., and after two years he decided to become a priest in the Diocese of Springfield, Mass. He went to the Séminaire de S. Sulpice in Paris for two years, and then returned to finish his studies at St. Bonaventure.
He entered the Province’s novitiate Aug. 24, 1931, at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and professed temporary vows Aug. 15, 1932. Fr. Bernard made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1935, and was ordained a priest Oct. 20, 1935, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City.
In 1937, Fr. Bernard was one of seven friars sent to begin a new college — Siena — in Loudonville, N.Y. He taught at Siena for three years. He then went to St. Francis Retreat House in Brookline, Mass., where he served for 15 years as the retreat director. Fr. Bernard also served the Province as guardian at St. Bonaventure in Paterson and St. Francis of Assisi in New York.
From 1961 to 1971, he continued his retreat ministry while living in Paterson. He became the curator of Margate in 1973. Fr. Bernard’s easy-going, friendly personality was appreciated by friars, people and students during his many years of ministry. During the years he was curator at Margate, there was a steady stream of friars who visited and enjoyed his friendly ways and open hospitality.
On June 8, 1983, his brother, Fr. Flavian Tobin, OFM, arrived in Margate to visit him. The two brothers had been talking but a few minutes when Fr. Bernard suddenly suffered a heart attack and died. He was 74 years old, a professed friar for 50 years and a priest for 47 years.