Teresi Bernardine, OFM
1923 – 1989
Fr. Bernardine was born on May 8, 1923 in Albany, N.Y. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, and then attended Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y.
Influenced by the friars there, he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1948, professing temporary vows there one year later. He made his solemn vows in 1952 and was ordained a priest in 1954.
During the summers from 1949 to 1957, Fr. Bernardine studied music at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., where he received two bachelor’s degrees — in music and sacred music. From 1955 to 1957, he served as assistant master of clerics and professor of chant and liturgy in Butler, N.J. From 1956 to 1962, he also taught chant at St. Raphael’s Novitiate, Lafayette, N.J., where he resided from 1960 to 1962.
He was then assigned to Siena College as professor of music and chairman of the fine arts department. In 1969, he received permission to resume studies in music at New York University, and he took up residence at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J. However, his health prevented him from continuing his studies, so he moved to Sacred Heart Friary in East Rutherford, N.J., where he assisted in the friary and served as bookkeeper.
He died on Sept. 20, 1989 in St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y. He was 66 years old, a professed friar for 40 years and a priest for 35 years. Fr. Bernardine is the uncle of Fr. Vincent Laviano, OFM.