Deacon Vince's Article - December 1, 2019

Nov 26, 2019

Dear “New” Friends,

Since I am a relative unknown to most of you at St. John, Father Chris has asked me to share a few things about myself by way of introduction. So, here’s the short version…

I consider myself an “Evansville boy”, even though I was born in St. Louis.  Being born there is the extent of my Missourian pedigree. Aside from a few days in the hospital, almost the rest of my life has been spent in Evansville. I grew up on Rotherwood Avenue right across from what was then “Evansville College”. Those early years were spent in St. Benedict’s Parish. I have lots of wonderful memories of St. Ben’s that extend from Kindergarten right up through eighth grade. I spent the first two years of high school at the Latin School, and I finished my high school career as a boarder at Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit school just outside Washington, D.C., now famous as the alma mater of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. (No, I didn’t know them; they’re way younger than I am!) These were great years. In fact, my entire childhood is filled with wonderful memories. Mom and Dad were devoted Catholics who really lived their faith.

Following high school, I found my way to the University of Notre Dame, but only after a couple of “false starts” at Fordham and Georgetown. I managed to get my degree in four years; then onto the University of Illinois for a Master Degree in Urban Planning.

I met Mary Coerver, my wife of forty-four years in the Fall of 1973. We were married in June 1975 and our Lord has blessed us with five tremendous children - one boy followed by four girls. We now have eight grandchildren, plus a foster grandchild and a step grandchild, all of whom are here in Evansville! Of course, that means there is never a dull moment.

In 1980, I co-founded a planning and civil engineering consulting firm here in Evansville. The first several years were very tough, but we managed to survive and eventually thrive. I was ordained a permanent deacon in July 2005 and retired from Bernardin, Lochmueller & Associates eleven years ago. Since ordination, I have served at St. John the Baptist Church in Newburgh, Annunciation, and Holy Redeemer. Five of those years, I worked full-time in parish ministry. My greatest passion in ministry is the “New Evangelization”, helping people make that step of commitment to give their lives to Christ in the Catholic Church. The past two years, I have been on a requested (and granted) leave of absence from any diaconal assignment to devote myself to the St. Paul Evangelization Society (SPES), an apostolate I co-founded in late 2013. While these two years have been good ones, I have missed diaconal service and am trusting that SPES can survive now without my full-time attention.

Mary and I moved into St. John Parish in June, and we’re thrilled that Bishop Siegel has seen fit to assign me here along with Father Christ and Deacon Richard. I can’t wait to get to know you all better in the coming months. I can be reached at [email protected] Thank you so much for your warm welcome!

With prayers and affection,

Deacon Vince Bernardin

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