Obituary of Bro. Bonfilius M. McGovern, O.S.M.
by James Forester, Communications Director at Friar Servants of Mary
Bro. Bonfilius M. McGovern, O.S.M. a solemn professed friar of the Order of Order of Friar of Mary, USA Province of America Province, died Sunday, December 14, 2014, at Chicago, IL. He was eighty-one years of age and a friar for sixty years.
He was born Peter Christopher McGovern in Newry, County Down, Ireland in 1932. At the age of nineteen, he entered the Servite Order at Our Lady of Benburb Priory in Benburb, Ireland, not far from the family home in Newry. He professed his solemn vows there in 1958. In his funeral homily, Fr. Michael Guimon, OSM, noted that from that point on, Bro. Bonfilius was “on the move, walking in love to Louvain, Belgium, to Lake Bluff, IL, to Granville, WI, to Hillside, IL, to Detroit, MI, to the southwest side of Chicago, to Anaheim CA, back to Hillside,” and finally to Our Lady of Sorrows Monastery, Chicago. And not only did Bonnie walk in love, “but he interjected that love into his life and ministry: offering a cup of tea and a biscuit, or a kind and affirming word, storytelling, Irish dancing, singing his beloved Irish songs, building Nativity scenes, cooking ,cleaning and maintaining buildings, keeping silence in school libraries, coordinating bingo, monitoring school cafeterias, learning to use computers and to play golf, helping in parishes and high schools, organizing senior citizen groups, counting the Sunday collection, assisting the Provincial Secretary and at the Servite Development Office, caring for the small chapel at Our Lady of Sorrows '…, making soda bread“Irish” trifle, and eating plenty of fish, baked potatoes and boiled onions.”
Bro. Bonnie had lived through several heart attacks, two knee replacements, and his final year marked by an aching pain in his stomach and heart valves that did not function well. But through it all he never lost faith nor the mischievous glint in his eye.
His funeral mass was celebrated December 17, 2014, at St. Domitilla Parish, Hillside, IL, where he spent many years of service and where he made many friends. Interment was in the Servite plot at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, IL
Reprinted with permission of the Order of Friar of Mary, USA Province