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Fr. Bertrand Campbell, OFM


Fr. Bertrand Campbell, OFM, was born in Moorestown, N.J., on Jan. 16, 1896. He was a member of the first graduating class of the Province’s Our Lady of the Holy Angels School in Little Falls, N.J.

After finishing high school, he entered St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and was received into the novitiate in 1918 at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J. He professed temporary vows in 1919 and solemn vows in 1922. In 1925, Fr. Bertrand was ordained a priest in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

From 1926 to 1933, Fr. Bertrand taught at St. Bonaventure’s College and Seminary in Allegany, N.Y. He then pursued graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy in 1936. He then returned to St. Bonaventure as professor of philosophy. Elected to the Provincial Council in 1940, Fr. Bertrand was chosen to the office of Provincial Minister of Holy Name Province in 1943.

Fr. Bertrand quickly became known as a decisive leader. During his administration, the Province opened a new mission field in Goiás, Brazil, in 1943; the same year, he sent nine friars to assist the struggling Franciscan provinces in Mexico. In 1947, the Province opened Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y. and a downtown chapel in Boston, Mass.

After leaving office, Fr, Bertrand served as president of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., and was again a member of the Provincial Council from 1952 to 1955. In 1956, he was assigned to St. Francis Friary in New York City, where he ministered until 1967.

He served as general visitator to Sacred Heart Province, based in St. Louis, Mo., and to the Australian province. Fr. Bertrand was a patient in St. Clare’s Hospital in New York City for two years and was then transferred to Frances Schervier Home in the Bronx. He died there Aug. 9, 1970. He was 74 years old, a professed friar for almost 51 years and a priest for 45 years.