Broderick, Bernard Michael (Father)

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            Father B.M. Broderick Maintains Faith in People After 40 Years Ministry


From a fisherman in Kedgwick, Restigouche County, where he acted as a guide in a family business to a “fisher of men” in Chatham, Rev. B.M. Broderick will celebrate his 40th year as a priest on Monday, August 13th.

Father Broderick is a native of Restigouche County where he was born on December 8, 1913, a son of the late Michael and Isabella (MacDonald) Broderick. He was ordained in his parish church on October 15, 1939 by Most Rev. P.A. Chaisson, Bishop of Bathurst.

                                    At St. Thomas

After receiving his early education in Kedgwick, Father Broderick completed his high school studies at St. Thomas High School in Chatham. It was here at St. Thomas that Father Broderick feels the honesty, truthfulness and sincere interest in people that the priests showed may have influenced him towards the priesthood. His mother and grandmother, he says, were also a driving force in the direction of that decision. At St. Thomas his friends knew him as a star on their basketball team and a good friend.

He graduated from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish in May 1935 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree and that fall entered Holy Heart Seminary, Halifax. His first appointment was as an assistant for a few months in Balmoral and in 1940-41 at Our Lady of Snows, Campbellton.

                                Came To The Miramichi

In 1941 Father Broderick was named assistant at St. Michael’s Parish in Chatham. With the exception of a year of post graduate study at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana and three years as pastor in the town of Nackawic, he has remained on the Miramichi ever since.

After six years as assistant at St. Michael’s he was appointed to the teaching staff of St. Thomas College. After his year in Indiana he returned in 1950 to St. Thomas until his appointment as pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish, Nelson-Miramichi in 1956. HE remained as parish priest in Nelson until 1970 when the new community of Nackawic sprang up. He went to this community where over 200 catholic families were among others from all across Canada and other parts of the world who had come to start the St. Anne Nackawic Pulp Mill.

In 1973 Father Broderick returned to St. Michael’s as Pastor, back on the Miramichi where he now considers himself a native son. Father Broderick has built a home in Millbank which he uses as a vacation residence and plans to make his home upon retirement.

Forty Years As A Priest Father Bernard Michael Broderick spoke of his forty years as a priest. “It is not the forty years as a priest for the man alone that we celebrate. Rather it is a feast of forty years of the priesthood itself that we attempt to honour. Over the past 40 years, of course, there have been many changes. This is not the same world I grew up in as a child but I am not saying it is better or worse. Human nature will always be the same so people will basically be the same, no matter what changes we may go through.”

In discussing whether the state of the world is worse now, he feels that although it may appear that the moral fibre of the world may be weaker he finds “great satisfaction in seeing personally the great number of really good people, especially young people. I am always conscious of the many really good young people with high ideals.”

Traditionally, people seek out the help of their clergy in times of trouble and stress. Father Broderick says in itself that is fine. It is wonderful that they do turn to God in times of trouble but the priest gets to see the other side of the coin also. In times of celebration, such as Baptism and Marriage and other good times we get to see the whole picture.”

                                Celebrations

Two celebrations will be held on August 13th to honour the occasion and the priest. A gathering of Father Broderick’s family and many of his clergy friends will be held at his Millbank home in the afternoon. This family reunion will end with a buffet supper preceding a special mass and reception in Chatham.

The Bishop of Saint John, Most Rev. A. J. Gilbert will con-celebrate mass with Father Broderick and many clergy friends. The Bishop will preside at the mass while Master of Ceremonies at the church will be Bennie Donovan. Father Broderick’s family will also take an active part in the mass itself as well as the reception to follow.

Parishioners from St. Michael’s Parish, as well as former parishioners from Nelson-Miramichi and Nackawic will honor him at a reception at the Knights of Columbus Hall on King St. In keeping with the International Year Of The Child Theme. The usual ushers at the church have been replaced by the youth of the parish. Twenty-two young people from St. Michael’s will meet and greet the public, both at the special mass and at the reception.

The reception is informal and may be more accurately called Open House. A buffet lunchon will be served and all parishioners, as well as any of Father Broderick’s former parishioners and friends are invited.


Source: Northumberland News - August 08, 1979 This text is available for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For more information, select the following link: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

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