The passing of our beloved brother, Fr. Bernard R. MacDonald, occurred on September 22, 2023 after declining health. He is at peace now and with our Heavenly Father.
Fr. Bernie was born in Boston, MA on August 16, 1942 to the late Donald C and Mary (Rory) MacDonald, formerly of Antigonish and West Mabou, Nova Scotia. He was the eldest of seven children and is survived by his sisters, Dorothy, Barbara and Marjorie; brothers, Kenneth and Edwin. He was predeceased by his brother, Christopher. He also leaves his beloved in-laws, nieces and nephews as well as cherished cousins, dear friends and parishioners.
Fr. Bernie began his vocation as a Maryknoll Missionary and was ordained in 1968 in Ossining, NY.
He was educated at Maryknoll Seminary and the University of New York and earned his BA in Divinity and Masters in History. He taught both English and History at St. Joseph’s in San Francisco, CA before he began his missionary work in Hong Kong and in Tanzania, Africa.
His mission work led him to become fluent in Swahili, French and Cantonese. He was also fluent in Latin and Gaelic. Languages come for him.
Fr. Bernie visited family in Nova Scotia all through his life and loved his scottish heritage. He returned to do his novitiate work at Talbot House, Frenchvale, under the guidance of Fr. Webb, a great mentor. His heart and home was always Cape Breton. He returned permanently and served in the Diocese of Antigonish first as Assistant at St. Anthony Daniel Church in Sydney in 1973, in 1974 as Chaplain at St. Rita’s Hospital in Sydney, in 1975 as Assistant at Holy Redeemer in Whitney Pier, in 1976 as Administrator at St. Mary’s in Frenchvale, in 1982 as Director of Talbot House in Frenchvale, in 1999 as Pastor at St. John the Baptist in Brookvillage, which included St. Joseph’s Church in Glencoe, Immaculate Conception in West Lake Ainslie and Holy Trinity in Whycocomagh. In 2016, he served as Pastor at St. Mary’s Church, Mabou as well as the Mission Church of Brookvillage, Glencoe, and West Lake Ainslie. While he resigned from St. Mary’s in 2019, he remained Pastor of the other Churches to this day.
Funeral Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in St. Mary’s Church, Mabou, on Thursday, September 28th.
Fr. Bernie lived his faith through his endless acts of kindness. All were welcome with no judgement, only love and understanding of the human experience.
We hope you choose to do an act of kindness for someone in remembrance of Fr. Bernie.
Online condolences may be made to: www.invernessfuneralhome.com