Fr. William (Bill) Bried, OFM, Dies at Age 83

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Fr. William Bried, OFM, a member of the Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province, died on December 29, 2022 at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, Florida, where he had been living in retirement since March 2018. He was 83 years old. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, Fr. Bried was a professed Franciscan friar for 45 years, and an ordained priest for 43 years.

A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, Arizona, where Fr. Bried served as parochial vicar from 2014 to 2018. Fr. John Anglin, OFM, who lives at St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg, will preside at the Mass. Burial will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona. A Memorial Mass was held for Fr. Bried by Holy Name Province friars on Jan. 5 at St. Anthony Friary.

In addition to many years in retreat work and hospital chaplaincy, Fr. Bried’s robust apostolic assignments included 16 years of pastoral and sacramental ministry in parishes in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Florida, where he served in several posts, such as associate pastor, parochial vicar, and administrator. He also spent nine years assisting at local parishes while he was chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg.

One of four sons of Henry and Rose (Zell) Bried, he was born in Teaneck, New Jersey, on May 25, 1939, and raised in Wilmington, Delaware. His religious life began with the Brothers of Holy Cross when he joined the Order’s postulancy program in 1957 after graduating from Salesianum High School. He entered the Holy Cross novitiate in 1958 and professed his vows the following year. He attended St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1962, and taught at Catholic schools until 1975 – the same year he decided to transfer from the Brothers of Holy Cross to become a Franciscan friar with Holy Name Province.

He entered the pre-novitiate program in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, and received a master’s degree in theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, New Jersey. He was received into the novitiate by HNP in 1977 and professed his solemn vows the following year in Brookline, Massachusetts. He lived at the friary in St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, while completing his master’s in Divinity.

In August 1979, he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in West Milford, New Jersey, and was ordained to the priesthood four months later on Dec. 8, 1979 at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City. He went on to serve at several parishes, including a team ministry assignment in Beach Haven, New Jersey; St. Francis Church, Apopka, Florida; St. Francis Church, Long Beach Island, New Jersey; St. Anthony-St. Patrick Church, Hartford, Connecticut, and Holy Name of Jesus Church on West 96th Street, New York City.

Fr. Bried served from 2002 to 2011 as chaplain of St. Anthony Hospital in St. Petersburg. After a three-month sabbatical, he returned to New York, where he was stationed for three years at St. Stephen of Hungary Church on the Upper East Side, serving two years as parochial vicar and one year as temporary administrator before his four-year ministry at the Franciscan Renewal Center. In 2018, he moved to St. Anthony Friary in St. Petersburg to live in retirement.

Fr. Bried is survived by his Franciscan confreres, two brothers – Henry Bried of Scottsdale, and Robert Bried of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania – as well as many nieces and nephews and their children. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Edward Bried, and a nephew, Henry William Bried.