Massachusetts Native Callistus Bamberg Dies

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BOSTON — Callistus Bamberg, OFM, 74, a professed Franciscan friar for 53 years and priest for 48, died from circulation complications March 12 at Tufts New England Medical Center here.

His ministry included mainly teaching and serving as a pilgrimage chaplain.

Callistus was born on Sept. 20, 1934, in Cambridge, Mass., to Frederick and Mary (nee McIntyre) Bamberg. On Oct. 20, he was baptized Robert at St. Agnes Church, Arlington, Mass. In 1948, after completing eighth grade at Holy Trinity School in Roxbury, Mass., he enrolled in St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., for six years. He was received into the Order of Friars Minor on Aug. 12, 1954, at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., receiving the name Callistus. He professed his first vows there on Aug. 13, 1955, before Donald Hoag, OFM.

Callistus then studied philosophy at St. Francis College, Rye Beach, N.H., and theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. He professed final vows at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, N.Y., on Aug. 20, 1958, beforeCelsus Wheeler, OFM, and was ordained to the priesthood at Mount St. Sepulchre Friary in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, the Apostolic Delegate, on Feb. 25, 1961. 

Following ordination, Callistus served as pastoral associate for one year at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. He then taught mathematics from 1962 to 1969 at Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean, N.Y., and at Bishop Stang High School in New Dartmouth, Mass., from 1969 to 1981.

After one year as an associate at St. Francis Chapel in Providence , R.I., Callistus was assigned to St. Francis Friary, West 31st Street in New York City, where he served from 1982 to 1995, as pilgrimage chaplain while working on the daily operations of the Franciscan Pilgrimage Office. From 1987 to 1992, he served as its director. In 1992, he was accepted into the sabbatical program at the University of Louvain in Belgium. From 1995 to 2004, he was pastoral minister at St. Francis Chapel in Albany, N.Y., while residing at Siena College Friary, Loudonville, N.Y. He served as its director from 1996 to 2002. In May 2004, he retired to St. Anthony’s Friary in St. Petersburg, Fla., where he lived for seven months before transferring to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston.

Funeral Services
A wake was held March 15 at St. Anthony Shrine. Richard McFeely, OFM, and David Convertino, OFM, presided at the wake service and Conrad Harkins, OFM, gave the eulogy. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 16 at St. Anthony Shrine. Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, was the principal celebrant and Kevin Daly, OFM, gave the homily. Burial was in the friars’ plot at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in West Roxbury, Mass.

Callistus is survived by his sister-in-law, Kathleen, and nephews Frederick and Robert of Revere, Mass., Joseph of Jamaica Plain, Mass., and cousin, Elaine Catino of Kingston, Mass. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Kathleen Bamberg, 85 Bickford Avenue, Revere MA 02151-1722.