Fr. Bernard C. White, a retired priest of the Archdiocese since 1996, and pastor emeritus of St. Henry Parish in Chicago, died Thursday, October 10, at his residence on the grounds of St. Celestine Parish in Elmwood Park. He was a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 61 years and was active in celebrating Mass, visiting the children in St. Celestine School and in numerous liturgical functions at the parish.
Fr. Larry Sullivan, the pastor at St. Celestine during Fr. White’s retirement years there, described him as a remarkable priest and generous with his time. He noted that Fr. White faithfully said Mass at Misericordia Home once a week. His ministry throughout his priesthood included regular visits and instruction in the schools attached to the parishes where he worked. Fr. White was born in Chicago on July 24, 1926. He graduated from St. Sabina Catholic School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. He was ordained by Cardinal Stritch in 1952.
For eight years, beginning in 1952, he served as the assistant pastor of St. Celestine Parish in Elmwood Park and for the next two years in the same capacity at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish on Chicago’s south side. From 1962 to 1967, Fr. White was the assistant pastor at Ascension in Oak Park, and from 1967 to 1973 he was the assistant pastor at St. Gertrude in Franklin Park.
He was named pastor of Ascension Parish in 1973 and served there until 1980. Following a temporary assignment in the Santa Rosa Diocese in California, he returned in 1981 to become the associate pastor of Queen of the Rosary Parish in Elk Grove, where he served for three years.
For four years, from 1984 to 1988, he was pastor of St. Joan of Arc in Evanston and from 1988 to1996 he was administrator and then pastor of St. Henry Parish in Chicago. Fr. White retired from active ministry in 1996.
Fr. White was involved in Pre-Cana ministry, serving as an assistant chaplain to the Pre-Cana Conference and as a counselor and Marriage instructor at several high schools and schools of nursing over the years.