Felician Berkery, OFM
1899 – 1986
Fr. Felician Berkery, OFM, was born July 28, 1899 in Marlborough, N.Y. When he was 15 years old, he entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y. Fr. Felician was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., in 1919, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession in 1923 and was ordained in 1926.
Following his ordination, Fr. Felician was sent to Rome to study theology at the Pontifical University Antonianum. After completing his studies in 1930, he began teaching theology at St. Bonaventure Seminary in Allegany, N.Y. After a fire in 1930, he moved to Paterson to teach moral theology to the clerics who were forced to move there from St. Bonaventure.
When Holy Name College in Washington opened in 1930, Fr. Felician was assigned there to teach moral theology. One year later, he returned to St. Bonaventure Seminary, where he taught for 18 years. He retired from teaching in 1949 and was assigned to St. Stephen of Hungary Parish in New York City, where he served as pastor and guardian for six years.
In 1958, he became an assistant at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. Almost a decade later, he was assigned as chaplain of the Frances Shervier Home in the Bronx, N.Y., where he served for seven years. He retired in 1975 to St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, N.J., and was transferred to the Provincial infirmary at St. Bonaventure University in 1983. An easy-going friar, he enjoyed entertaining his brothers as well as the sick and elderly.
He died on Oct. 30, 1986 at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Warwick, N.Y. Fr. Felician was 87 years old, a professed friar for 66 years and a priest for 60 years.