Bernard T. Visocky, O.S.A.

1924 – 1994 (May 11)

Bernard Thomas Visocky, one of six sons and two daughters, was born on December 15, 1924 in Lilly, PA to Michael Joseph Visocky and Olean Pikus. Bernard was baptized and confirmed in the Greek Catholic Rite at the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Portage, Pennsylvania. He attended the local public school in Lilly, until the family moved to Altoona, Pa., where he completed his elementary education at Saint John’s Parochial School in Altoona. After graduation in 1948 from the public high school, Bernard enlisted in the navy, and upon completing basic training he attended the sub-marine school in New London, Connecticut. After four years of active duty with the Atlantic fleet and two years in the reserve he was discharged with the rank of petty officer. In 1954, Bernard resumed his educational career at Pennsylvania State University. He graduated in 1957 with a degree in clinical psychology. While living in Baltimore, MD, he came in contact with the Order as a result of his acquaintance with Father John Lipp, O.S.A., a teacher at Archbishop Carroll High School who was assisting at his parish on the weekends. In September 1960, Bernard was received as a novice at Our Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate in New Hamburg, New York. On September 10, 1961, he professed simple vows and three years later solemn vows. After courses in philosophy at Saint Mary’s Hall, Villanova, he began theological studies at Augustinian College in Washington, D.C., and during summers took graduate courses in clinical psychology at The Catholic University. On October 29, 1965 Bernard was ordained a priest at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC. 

Father Visocky’s first assignment in 1966, was as an instructor at Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C. After two years at Carroll, he re-enlisted in the Navy as chaplain. For the next 16 years he served at the Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippines, in Vietnam, where he suffered a back injury as a result of a jeep accident, and at the Philadelphia Naval Hospital. In 1984, with the rank of commander, he retired from the Navy. 

In the years following his naval service Father Visocky became chaplain at Holy Family Academy in Baltic, CT. Beginning in 1985, he served as associate pastor at many of our parishes: Saint Patrick’s, Cambridge, N.Y., Holy Rosary, Lawrence, Mass., Saint John the Baptist, Schaghticoke, and Saint Augustine, Troy, both in N.Y.., and finally at Saint Thomas of Villanova, Rosemont, Pa. In 1992, with the discovery of a cancer condition, he was transferred to Saint Thomas Monastery, Villanova. While undergoing treatment he served for a short time as chaplain at Saint Joseph Villa in Flourtown. Father Bernard’s patient acceptance of suffering was a source of inspiration to all.

He died peacefully on May 11, 1994, at the Mercy Haverford Hospital, Havertown, Pa., at the age of 64. On May 16 Prior Proivincial John Hagen was principal celebrant of the Mass at Saint Thomas of Villanova Church. Father James Warne, O.S.A. preached. At the request of his family, Father Visocy’s funeral was conducted at the cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, Pa. Internment followed the Mass on May 18 in the family plot of Calvary Cemetery, Altoona.