Paul Arthur Bernardin, O.P.
Birth: December 29, 1925
Profession: August 16, 1955
Ordination: June 9, 1961
Died: April 29, 2002
Paul Emile Bernardin was born in Lawrence, MA to Emile and Lucille (Moison) Bernardin. He was educated at St. Theresa Grammar School (1932-40) in Methuen, MA and Lawrence Central Catholic High School (1940-1944) in his native city. Following his graduation from High School, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps and was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Corporal. He continued his academic studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA graduating in 1950 with a B.S. degree in Entomology. From 1950-53 he continued his studies in this field at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.
Paul entered the novitiate of St. Joseph’s Province receiving the habit of St. Dominic on August 15, 1954 at St. Stephen Priory, Dover, MA taking the religious name Arthur. A year later he made his profession there. He began his studies in philosophy at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY (1955-56) and completed them at St. Stephen Priory in 1958. He studied theology at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC from 1958-62 receiving the degree of Licentiate in Sacred Theology. In that city he was ordained to the priesthood at St. Dominic Church by Most Reverend Patrick O’Boyle, Archbishop of Washington.
Fr. Bernardin’s first assignment was to teach French and Religion at Aquinas College High School, Columbus, OH (1962-63). From 1963-68 he furthered his graduate studies in Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Beginning in 1968 until 1985 he taught biology and natural science courses at Providence College, Providence, RI. His years of teaching at this institution were interrupted to continue his studies in Entomology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (1973-75). During his years at PC he was a resident director of a men’s dorm, director of the College’s off-campus housing and moderator of the Greater Providence area Mal Brown Alumni Club.
From 1985-89 he was chaplain at the Dominican Sisters Priory in Sparkill, NJ. The remainder of his priestly ministry was spent as a parochial minister at St. Mary’s Parish, New Haven, CT (1989-2000). When his health failed, he was sent to St. Joseph’s Residence, Little Sisters of the Poor, in Endfield, CT. Here he had a heart attack and died suddenly.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary’s Church, New Haven, CT. Fr. Norman A. Haddad, Provincial and classmate of Fr. Bernardin, was the principal concelebrant and homilist. His body was laid to rest in the Dominican Plot at St. Lawrence Cemetery, West Haven, CT.