Wednesday, September 9, 2015

52 Ancestors No. 34: Brother Berchmans F.S.C. - A "True Son of De La Salle"

I have written previously about Bernard Broderick who I met in November 1987. The transcript from that brief meeting has proved to be invaluable to me in my Broderick family history research over the years.

Recently, my sister Kelly gave me a new document written in 1992 for Bernard Broderick's memorial that fills in a lot of the gaps in my earlier research.

1992 Memorial document excerpt
The Memorial document stated that Bernard entered the Juniorate at De La Salle College, Aurora in 1929. He was born in 1916 so he was thirteen years of age. His mother Clara (Moynahan) Broderick died ten years earlier when Bernard was only three years old on December 12, 1919.

It's important to differentiate between the Brothers' vocation and that of priesthood. The Brothers' life is centered upon community life and educational ministry. They take the traditional religious vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, along with a special vow of association for the educational service of the poor.

Boys enter the Juniorate usually with Grade 8. When Bernard received his Senior Novitiate he took the name Brother Berchmans.

Bernard Broderick as a Novitiate
What surprised me most about Brother Berchman's memorial document was that I learned for the first time that:

  • His tour of duty from 1933-1992 took him to many countries all over the world. 
  • He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1950 ( he was 34 years old)
  • He received his Master of Education from the University of Ottawa in 1971 (he was 55 years old)

Source: Amherstburg Echo, 1956

Brother Berchmans in Nigeria with craftsman who had made a cross for the church.
He founded the mission in Nigeria and was "a true pioneer missionary"

Brother Berchmans visiting my grandfather Ernest Moynahan in Windsor, Ontario

Memorial document describes Brother Berchmans as a "true son of De La Salle"

Bernard is pictured below in 1989, two years after I met him at LaSalle manor in Scarborough, Ontario and after he had a new stone made for his parent's grave in Maidstone, Ontario.

Bernard Broderick pictured at the new stone made in 1989 for his parents
Patrick and Clara (Moynahan) Broderick

Toronto Star May 3, 1992 (H8)

My previous posts about Bernard Broderick:

Other links of interest:


  1. So interesting! I wish I could have met him!
    You are doing an awesome job Cindi

    1. Thanks Kelly and thanks for sharing this document!