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Brother Bernard Bulfin RIP

27th December, 1936 - 17th July, 2018

Brother Bernard Noel Buflin died of pneumonia at Hornsby Hospital at 11pm on the 17th July, 2018. He had been in hospital for ten days with pneumonia his breathing assisted by a ventilator. He died with his brother Brother Gerard Bulfin at his bedside.

Congregation Leader, Br Peter Ryan, now in Bangaluru, India, has written:

We have lost a giant in Bernard.  He was courageous to the last ... We recall his zest for life and interest in people -
his perpetual curiosity about every imaginable thing.  A journeyman all his life in every respect but grounded in solid faith
that released unbounded optimism and a positive view about anyone he should meet along the way. 

May his soul rest peacefully
in the arms of his family, Bishop Daniel Delany,
and our Compassionate God.

Thank You

Wednesday 25th July 10.30am
at Holy Cross College, Ryde,
in the Patrician Centenary Hall.
Parking will be available behind the hall
on the college’s top oval. See bottom of page.
Following immediately will be the
burial at the Field of Mars Cemetery
(three kilometres from the College).
Parking is rather limited there.
Refreshments then in the
Patrician Centenary Hall back at Holy Cross College.
Fr Austin Bulfin, Bernard and Gerard’s brother living in England,
will be the chief celebrant.

Mass Booklet
Mass Booklet Cover

The video below is the live-stream version of the funeral Mass. It was streamed across the globe to family and fellow Patricians.
Only a static camera was used.

And this video is much the same as the above one but it was videoed using an old digital video camera.
The advantages being it could rotate and zoom. And remember you can always fast forward.

The following video on Bernie’s life was made for his Diamond Jubilee in 2014. It will be shown before the Mass on Wednesday.

This video produced by students of Holy Cross College, Ryde. Thank you, boys!

This video from a PowerPoint produced by Patrician Brothers College, Blacktown. Well done!

A small sample of the messages being received.

It was with great sadness that we, Brother Bernard’s family in Ballinure, Tipperary, Ireland learned of our wonderful and much loved uncle and brother Noel, Brother Bernard to his friends, in Australia passed away on Thursday. Noel was a regular visitor to his home village, Ballinure and we always looked forward to seeing him and hearing all his stories. He had time for everyone and was always so interested in our lives. We will miss Noel very much and are very thankful to the community of the Patrician Brothers who were his family for six decades and will continue to support Brother Gerry.
A special thank you to our uncle Jack (Brother Gerry) for being with Noel during his final hours. Noel would have felt so much comfort with Jack by his side. Thank you to the Doctors and nurses who cared for Noel in the last week. Heaven will be a hive of activity with the arrival of Noel, he always liked to keep to a tight schedule of appointemnts, activities, and visits. God bless Noel and may you rest in peace.
- Claire and all the Bulfins, especially Tom, Joe, and Pat, Ballinure, Tipperary, Ireland.

We have lost a giant in Bernard.  He was courageous to the last.  We recall his zest for life and interest in people - his perpetual curiosity about every imaginable thing.  A journeyman all his life in every respect but grounded in solid faith that released unbounded optimism and a positive view about anyone he should meet along the way.  Heartfelt condolence to you Gerry and to Mark, Pat and Aengus who have shared years of companionship with him.  May he rest in peace. - Br Peter Ryan, Congregation Leader

On behalf of Indian Province, I convey my condolence to Bro. Gerard Bulfin, Bro. Peter Ryan, Bro. Paul O' Keeffe, to all Australian Brothers & Bro. Bernard's family members. May his soul rest in peace. -Br Bosco A, Province Leader, India

Sincere sympathy on the death of Bernard Bulfin especially to Gerard Bulfin. Bernard was a hard-working gentleman spending his life in the service of people. I was with him in the Juniorate. - Br Camillus Regan, Province Leader, Ireland

Sincere sympathy to you all on the death of Bernie Bulfin.  He was a great Patrician and we pray that God will reward him for his great contribution to the Congregation , in particular his many years of dedicated service to the Australian Province.    May he rest in peace. - Br Cormac Commins, Newbridge, Ireland

We are deeply saddened by the unexpected news of Bernard's passing. He visited Midway City on a number of occasions and deeply impressed all who met him. May he rest in peace. – Br Aquinas Cassin, Midway City, USA

It was very sad news. Since I have experienced his love and affection I really feel sad he is not with us any more. My Prayers are with the family and his bro Jerry. May his soul rest in peace. - Bro. George. P.U., India

I am schocked to hear that Bernard had gone to rest. My sympathy for loosing our Br Bernard Bulfin. I pray that he is enjoying heaven’s graces. – Br Thomas Boship, Aitape, Papua New Guinea

T'was only two weeks ago that he was going strong in his ministry at Parklea Prison, where each day he showed the face of Christ to the inmates.   One of life's gentlemen and an elder of the Patrician tribe who will be truly missed.  Loved by all who knew him. Bernie was Principal at Fairfield from 1991 to 2001 and worked with SCS to plan, design and build the beautiful campus that we enjoy at Fairfield Pats today. - Mr Peter Wade, Principal Patrician Brothers’ College, Fairfield, Sydney, and Patrician ex-student.

Incredibly sad and a great loss of a man who has contributed so much to Catholic education and to society, - all given so generously. My prayers are with the Patricians
- Mr Phillip Stewart, Principal Holy Cross College, Ryde, NSW

I have just learned of the passing of Bernie. I feel both sad and elated. I don’t think I need to explain my feelings of admiration for him at this time - Adam Taylor, Former Principal Holy Cross College, Ryde, NSW

So sorry to hear of Bro Bernards passing. He was a great host when we visited Ryde for two weeks in July 2009. It was wonderful that so many were by his side as he passed to his eternal reward. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Patrician community. May he rest in peace. - Mr Patrick O’Leary, Principal Patrician Secondary School, Newbridge, Ireland.

My condolences (and those of the All Saints' community) are extended to Br Bernard and his family, and all of the Patricians. That is very sad news. Br Bernard will be in our thoughts and prayers in the days to come. – Michael Hollis, Principal All Saints Catholic College, Liverpool, NSW

Be assured that the Bernie and Brothers will be in our prayers. We've lost a great man and a great educator. I look forward to celebrating a life well lived. – Mr Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Schools, Parramatta Diocese, NSW.

My tears are with the Patricians on the sad loss of a wonderful man and a giant in the story of Catholic schools. - Br Kelvin Canavan FMS, Former Director of Catholic Schools, Sydney.

What a sad, sad shock it was to receive the news about Bernie. So many, many fond memories. It was always a delight to catch up with him. He was a great mate to many Marists. - Br Michael Green FMS, Rector Aquinas College, Adelaide.

I am deeply saddened by this news and although I did not know Brother Bernard on a more professional capacity I understand that his life was spent in service and dedication to Our Lord.  I extend condolences to his family and also to his extended Patrician Brothers family.  May  he rest in peace.  1 John 3: 22 “Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” - Mrs Carmel Fante, Religious Education Co-ordinator, All Saints Catholic College, Liverpool.

I am so sorry that dear Brother Bernard passed away last night. He was a lovely man and will be missed by us all here at Parklea Correctional Centre. Our consolation is that he is with our Father. - Janice Krieger, Human Resource Manager, Parklea Correctional Centre, New South Wales

Wanting to extend my condolences and promise of prayers on Bernard's passing to you and the Patrician Brothers. He was a hugely loved member of the gaol chaplaincy team. I will miss him very much; - Fr Greg Walsh cm, Chaplain Parklea Correctional Centre, New South Wales

It was with great sadness to hear from you regarding Brother Bernard. While never having been taught by Bernard I have known him over 30 years and always found him to be the great ambassador for the Patrician Brothers. Personally, I found him both charming and witty, but at the same time you could see his sharpness and intellect just waiting to burst through but always with a smile. - Mr Paul Blair, Inner-City Old Boys Association

I am truly devastated to learn about the death of Br Bernie; please accept my sincerest condolences.  Like many people, I had a very close affinity with Bernie - a friendship over many years! We enjoyed regular banter during the rugby league season (he supported the mighty Parramatta Eels and I barrack for the Wests Tigers!); he was a constant supporter in my duties as Honorary Archivist at Holy Cross College (helping me set up and pack up on open days); and became a spiritual mentor of mine in more recent years. I will miss him greatly!  Please know that you and the Patrician Brothers family will be very close in my thoughts and prayers over the next little while, and that you are not alone at this time. - Dr Zachariah Duke, Broken Bay Institute, New South Wales

Mary and I were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Br Bernard. We have wonderful memories of his kindness, gentleness, positivity and generosity. It is hard to believe that such goodness is stilled in this life. - Christopher and Mary McQuinn, Tullow, Ireland.

To all our Brothers in Australia and particularly to the family and Community of our late gentleman Brother Bernard....sincere condolence to all on his passing to eternal glory. May he rest in eternal peace.

It is with sadness that I read of the passing of Br Bernard. My thoughts and prayers are with Gerard and Austin and the Patrician Brothers. May he rest in the peace of the Lord.
- Marie Lourie

Michael just got the message that Bernie passed away. God rest his soul. He surely has his eternal happiness. He and Michael were good mates - ever since their days in Chicago, Loyola. I, of course, go back many years before that and have the fondest of memories of Bernie. When in Ireland he came to our place a few times. Always good to meet up - and, he and Michael were always in touch. Twas good to see him when we were in Australia in 2008.We pray for Bernie (who has his heavenly reward) and for his family, Patrician Brothers included. Guess that we are all at that stage of life where we will be meeting up in the next life. We thank God for each day/night. – Irene Solo, teacher John Paul II Senior High, Blacktown

Dear Brothers,  It is with extreme shock and overwhelming sadness to learn of Brother Bernard's passing having had a long reminiscing yarn with him at our 2017 luncheon. Whilst he was extremely hard on us on long, long hours of nightly homework etc. he always displayed great interest in our future as growing teenagers. I wish to express sincere condolences to ALL his family and fellow Brothers for their loss.  I will remember him in our prayers and will ask my brother- Rev. Father Laurence to offer Mass for the repose of his soul – Anthony Cauchi, Forest Lodge, 1961 – 1963

On my behalf of my family, I am writing to extend our deepest condolences to you and the entire Patrician community following the passing of Brother Bernard.  We are deeply saddened by this news, like many, and pray that our Lord rests his soul in peace.  I was in the Class of 2001, the final year that Brother Bernard served as school principal, and only have great memories of this wonderful leader and man of Christ. - 
Daniel Merza, Class of ’01, Fairfield Pats I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Father Austin Bulfin and to Brother Gerard Bulfin and the other members of the Patrician Brothers Community following the death of Brother Bernard Bulfin. "...I was in jail and you visited me, I was sick and you cared for me..." In 1961 I was in Fifth Class at Patrician Brothers Granville and Brother Gerard Bulfin was my Religion teacher. Since December 2008 I have had five major surgeries and on each occasion Brother Gerard visited me in hospital and gave me Holy Communion. He is no longer teaching me religion - he doesn't have to, instead he is living his religion - providing pastoral care to the hospitals, both Public and Private, at Westmead. Similarly, Brother Bernard provided pastoral care at Parklea Prison - also living his faith. We were extremely fortunate to have been taught by these remarkable men - the Patrician Brothers, who left their families and travelled to the other side of the world. Here they taught children of families who had arrived with that great wave of emigration following World War II. Brother Bernard, Brother Gerard and the other brothers, both from Ireland and Australia, did a tremendous job in educating us. We are forever in their debt. - Joseph Boulous, ex-student, Patrician Brothers Granville, 1960 - 1966 Bernie would often come out with some classics. Too many to recount. By chance I am in his beloved Tipperary who wear the famed BLUE & GOLD, hence his allegience to Parramatta. Bernie was a special person in my life. I will miss him. - David Sullivan, once a Patrician

Many thanks for letting me know the sad news of Bernie's passing - so sudden and unexpected!  I was only speaking with him before the holidays and he was his usual loquacious self, curious for a stimulating conversation and full of enthusiasm for life.  He has been a great Patrician and I'm sure you agree has eminently made the most of the challenges and opportunities God has seen fit to gift him in his life's journey.  In many ways we can be grateful that his path to Heaven happened within such a short space of time, as a slow demise would have been contrary to his personality, and he would have hated to have been bed-ridden or distanced from social contact.  Dying 'with his boots on' is a great kindness, as it mirrors the way he has lived - as a hard-working influencer, always willing to make a difference.  Although you will not be present at his farewell, no doubt you can feel confident that the Australian Province will fittingly acknowledge and celebrate the enormous contribution Bernie has made to the Patrician family. – Judith Rooney, Staff Member, Holy Cross College

My wife and I would like to offer our sincere condolences on the death of Brother Bernard. Our prayers are with the brothers and his family at this time. – Hugh McCann, NSW

I would just like to pass on my prayers, thoughts and thanks to Brother Bernard and his family. He was my Principal at Patrician Brothers Blacktown where I attended from 1980 to 1985. He along with Brother Stephen Aitken, my Principal at JP2 IN 1986 & 1987, they are a big part of the reason why I went on to become a teacher and now Primary School Principal.  He was also the College Principal in my first year of teaching who continued to support me then at Patrician Brothers, Fairfield back in 1993. – Danny Ariel, St Patrick’s Primary School, Wallsend, NSW

As I sit here in my room in India, it is with a heavy heart. The sudden death of Brother Bernard has come as a complete shock, because only three days before leaving he was at the Fairfield Community celebrating the birthdays of Nicholas and Charles. I wish to take this opportunity of paying my respect to Bernard. From my earliest years in Australia I was at Blacktown. From 1972 to 1975 and from 1980 to 1985. It was under Bernard’s guidance that I have become the person I am today. He guided me in my classroom., teaching and community living. From 1986 to 1996 we worked together as Principals. Bernard’s passing has left a great void in our congregation. He was passionate, caring. When I was in New Guinea there were times when loneliness took its toll and somehow through some intuitive gift, Bernard would ring to see how things were going. Bernard thank you for being everything for me and my prayer for you now is to enjoy the heavenly banquet which you so richly deserve. “Well done good and faithful servant enter into the house of your Lord and Savour.” – Br Thomas Rice, from Bengaluru, India

I am truly saddened by this sad news of the death of Br Bernard Bulfin.  He was truly a legend in his own time. I can think of few people for whom I have higher respect. Although a very serious man, he was also a very happy man, who saw the silver lining of every cloud. In the late seventies, when I was Mayor, we used to spend many hours together discussing matters serious, and not so serious. He was both a mentor and an inspiration, and although due to the “tyranny of distance” we now have not seen each other for some years, our friendship prevails to this day. I recall with some amusement the day during my mayoralty when I administered to him the Oath to become an Australian Citizen. It was a tough swallow for a proud son of Erin to have to “swear allegiance to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth !!, Her Heirs and Successors, according to law”. I can still see that stern look of defiance, and the clenched teeth, followed by the shrug of the shoulders, and the boyish grin. May He Rest in Peace + - Mr John Aquilina AM, Mayor of Blacktown 1977 –1981.

I am writing to offer my condolences and prayers on the death of Brother Berney. We were colleagues for a long time in the Parramatta Diocese and I am full of admiration for his commitment to the prisoners and their families in his role of prison chaplain. I have enjoyed his deep faith, his sense of humour, his Irish accent, his love of his students and staff. He will be deeply missed by so many but none to the extent that he is missed by his brothers. - Beverley Johnson, Deputy Chair of the Board of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Parramatta.

Br Bernie was one of life 's gentlemen and an elder of the Patrician Brothers who will be tmly missed, as he was loved by all who knew him. Br Bernie had been taken to the hospital just over a week ago and succumbed to pneumonia and further complications. He died peacefully with his brother, Br Gerard, by his side. Only two weeks ago, Br Bernie was going strong in his ministry in the chaplaincy at Parklea Prison, where each day he showed the face of Christ to the inmates. Br Bernie was Principal at Patrician Brothers' College, Fairfield from 1991 to 2001 and worked with Sydney Catholic Schools to plan, design and build the beautiful College in Fairfield Parish that many enjoy to this day. Eternal rest grant unto Br Bernie, 0 Lord. May perpetual light shine upon him and may he rest in peace. – Fr Michael de Stoop, Parish Priest, Fairfield

As a mother of boys who were influenced by the many qualities of Brother Bernard, I would like to offer my thanks to God for the vocation of Brother Bernard.  God, through Brother Bernard's compassion and love of others, that were hallmarks of Brother Bernard, my boys received their Patrician education. at Blacktown Patrician Brothers and later (also their sister) at JPII. I know I was  blessed by Brother Bernard's response to my family situation. Undoubtedly he was welcomed up above by my son and other students who have gone before him. May Brother Bernard's family and his Patrician Family find comfort in the knowledge that they had among them a truly great son of God. May we who remain behind take inspiration from his life and try to emulate it. - Katherine Stubbs

That was one of the finest farewells I have witnessed yesterday for our beloved Bernie. You [Br Gerard Bulfin] spoke very well and I’m sure that wasn’t easy for you to do. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet your brother Austin because I wasn’t feeling too well during the ceremony, went outside and left soon after it was over. Congratulate Austin too please. He must have been impressed with the size and quality of Bernard’s Farewell. He certainly was so well admitted and loved. RIP – Bishop David Cremin.

It is with extreme shock and overwhelming sadness to learn of Brother Bernard's passing having had a long reminiscing yarn with him at our 2017 luncheon. Whilst he was extremely hard on us on long, long hours of nightly homework etc. he always displayed great interest in our future as growing teenagers. I wish to express sincere condolences to ALL his family and fellow Brothers for their loss. I will remember him in our prayers and will ask my brother- Rev. Father Laurence to offer Mass for the repose of his soul also an ex pupil at St James). May he rest in peace. – Anthony Cauchi, St James Forest Lodge, 1961 - 1963

This morning, Sue Walsh and I were privileged to attend the funeral of Br Bernard Bulfin fsp, who passed away on Tuesday 17 July. The funeral was held in the hall of Holy Cross College Ryde. The service was a wonderful acknowledgement of a man of great faith, generosity and compassion. His pioneering work in Catholic education gave opportunities to many thousands of young people, particularly in Western Sydney.  Br Bernard was an extraordinary Patrician leader. He was the Principal of Patrician Brothers College Blacktown from 1966 to 1988, and the Principal of Patrician Brothers College Fairfield from 1991 to 2001. He has been providing chaplaincy support at Parklea Prison since 2013. Br Bernard was a giant in the story of Catholic schools. As I reflect on his life-long contribution to Catholic education, it is clear to me that we are all beneficiaries of his legacies. As educators and leaders, are able to do the work we do today because of people like Br Bernard. He was guided by his commitment to the Church and to the students in his care. There was never a bridge too far for him to cross to ensure that his students had the opportunities they deserved. His story deserves to be told.  Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. - Gregory B Whitby AM KSG Executive Director, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

Patrician Wake

On Friday the 20th, the Brothers gathered at the Brothers’ monastery at Ryde for Bernie’s wake: prayer and a lunch. We were delighted to have with us Bernie’s brother Fr Austin all the way from England. Also with us was Sr Marcia Cox who work with Bernie as a chaplain at Parklea Correctional Centre.
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