Jesuit Father John E. Bernbrock died on Nov. 11, 2016, at St. Camillus Jesuit Community in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 89 years old, a Jesuit for 72 years, and a priest for 60 years.
Born in Aurora, Illinois, on Nov. 25, 1926, Fr. Bernbrock attended grade school in Aurora and at Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, before entering the Society on Feb. 4, 1944, at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri. Fr. Bernbrock had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, Saint Louis University, and St. Mary’s College. He was ordained a priest on June 20, 1956, made tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, and pronounced his final vows on August 15, 1961. Fr. Bernbrock earned a PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1961.
Fr. Bernbrock did his regency at Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, Nebraska from 1951 to 1953. Immediately after completing doctoral studies, he was assigned to what was then the Korean Mission to teach at what was then Sogang College. Fr. Bernbrock ministered in Korea from 1961 to 1970 and saw the young mission begin to grow into what is today the Province of Korea and the young college begin to grow into what is today Seoul University. From 1970 to 1986, Fr. Bernbrock taught English at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee. From 1986 until he moved to St. Camillus in 2010, he served in various parishes in Mankato, Minnesota, Tampa, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Scottsdale, Arizona.
Fr. Bernbrock was an admirable Jesuit: an excellent teacher, a good pastor, and a lively member of the Jesuit communities in which he lived. He had many, many friends, Jesuit and lay. Just to prove that Jesuits do all things, Fr. Bernbrock took time over the years to develop a set of special skills which made him a recognized expert in restoring old grandfather clocks.