BRISTOL — Father Bernard E. Toal, 101, of the Columban Fathers, died on November 14 at St. Elizabeth’s Manor. He was a Columban Missionary priest for nearly 73 years.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was the son of the late Bernard Edward and Alice Elizabeth (Walsh) Toal. In addition to his Columban missionary priest colleagues, he is survived by his sister-in-law, Selma Toal of Gloucester City, New Jersey; nieces, nephews and numerous cousins. Father Toal attended St. Columban’s Minor Seminary in Silver Creek, New York.
He then entered the Columban Fathers spiritual program in Bristol and completed his theological studies at St. Columban’s, Nebraska. He was ordained on December 18, 1943 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Buffalo, NY. His first assignments were in the Southwestern U.S. where he served parishes in Redlands, California and Douglas, Arizona. He was appointed to the Philippines where he taught high school students on the island of Mindanao. In 1952, he was appointed as Spiritual Director and Bursar of the St. Columban’s Seminary in Bristol. In 1957 he became Director of Probationers a position he held until 1968 when he was reassigned to Peru. Upon returning from Peru in 1978, he ministered at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Westminster, California, Immaculate Conception Parish in Las Crues, New Mexico and Immaculate Conception in Grand Prairie, Texas. He was then assigned to St. Mary’s Parish in Fontana California, his last pastoral assignment.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Friday, November 18, at the St. Columban’s Chapel, Bristol.