ANAPOLIS, GOIÁS, Brazil — Berard Hanlon, OFM, 85, a professed friar for 61 years and a priest for 56, died on Dec. 30 in Goiás, where he had lived for more than half a century. A funeral Mass was celebrated on Dec. 31 at the Paróquia São Francisco in Anápolis. Burial followed at the nearby Seminário Regina Minorum.
Berard was born on April 11, 1934, in Boston, Massachusetts, to William and Frances (née Sheehan) Hanlon, and was baptized William in Roxbury, Massachusetts.
He graduated from College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1956 and joined the Franciscan Order in 1957. The following year, on July 15, 1958, he professed his first vows in Lafayette, N.J., before Celsus Wheeler, OFM, and took the religious name Berard Joseph. He professed his final vows on Aug. 22, 1961, before Donald Hoag, OFM, at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., and was ordained by Bishop Philip Hannan to the priesthood in 1963 at Mount St. Sepulchre in Washington, D.C.
Following his ordination, Berard was assigned to serve in the Province’s mission in the state of Goiás, Brazil, where he would spend the rest of his life. He ministered at parishes in Anápolis, Brasília, Catalão, Cristalândia, Goiânia, Pires do Rio, and Porangatu, and taught friars in formation at the Seminário Regina Minorum in Anápolis and the house of formation in Goiânia, where he served as vocation director from 1983 to 1985. In addition, Berard was a gifted musician who enjoyed using liturgical music to evangelize.
Berard also served as a councilor for the Holy Name Custody in Brazil from 1988 to 1989. He chose to remain in Brazil when the custody became the independent Província do Santíssimo Nome de Jesus in 1989, and would later serve on its Provincial Council. He participated in the special Mass in Goiás in June 2018 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the arrival of friars from Holy Name Province in Brazil.
He is survived by two sisters: Mary Lou Poisson of Florida and Sr. Colette Hanlon, SCSH, of Pennsylvania.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Jocelyn Thomas and Maria Hayes
- “Friars Participate in Brazil Anniversary Celebration” – Aug. 8, 2018, HNP Today