Brother Berchmans Corley, O.S.F.

A native of New York City, Brother Berchmans (Joseph A. Corley) was born of Anthony and Mary Dever Corley on April 2, 1902. He entered St. Francis Monastery on September 23, 1923; was received as Brother Berchmans on March 26, 1924; professed first vows on March 27, 1925 and final vows on April 10, 1928. From the Monastery on Butler Street Brother Berchmans taught in the parish schools of Sacred Heart, St. Francis Xavier, St. Mary Star of the Sea, Our Lady of Good Counsel, St. Peter, and St. Anthony. From 1936 to 1947 he served as porter at St. Francis Monastery. As a young man, Brother Berchmans enjoyed athletics, and during those years he put his interests to service at Camp Alvernia. However, his active life was cut short when Brother Berchmans was prematurely stricken with poor physical and mental health. He bore the cross of these infirmities for most of his life, requiring occasional hospitalization and continuous sick leave at St. Francis Monastery and St. Francis Novitiate for more than twenty years. During that time he suffered further from blindness, a burden which many Brothers and novices tried to ease by reading to him from the spiritual writers to whom he looked for solace. From 1973 until his death Brother Berchmans required the constant care of a nursing facility. The devoted attention of several of his confreres helped sustain his faith during those years. On January 6, 1982 his suffering ended quietly as God fulfilled his wish and called him to new life.