The Congregation of Holy Cross is celebrating jubilee years for a number of priests around the world, including three who served or still serve at the University of Portland. Fr. George Bernard, C.S.C. (pictured at left), is celebrating 65 years since his ordination; Fr. James Thornton, C.S.C., is celebrating 50 years; and Fr. Pat Hannon, C.S.C., is celebrating 25 years.
Fr. Bernard came to the University in 1969 and has been a fixture here ever since. Before coming to UP, he served as a theology professor and as vice president for student affairs at the University of Notre Dame; he then served as president of Holy Cross College for seven years. Upon arrival on The Bluff, Fr. Bernard was named as chairman of the theology department (1970-1977) and then as academic vice president (1977-1987). Many faculty and countless students remember him for his tough-minded sense of fairness and integrity, his booming laugh, and his determination to be the best servant to God that he can be. He lives to this day at Holy Cross Court and, when not absorbed in praying his Divine Office or offering Mass, can be found walking nimbly for a full 18 holes at local golf courses, shooting at or below his age.
Fr. James Thornton came to Portland in 1972, serving first as head resident in Kenna Hall from 1972 to 1975; associate director of campus ministry from 1972 to 1973; then as associate dean of students from 1973 to 1977. He was assistant to the academic vice president from 1981 to 1982, then moved to Portland’s DePaul Center in 1982, eventually serving there as president from 1986 to 1989. Today his is engaged in the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement.
Fr. William “Pat” Hannon earned his B.A. at the University of Portland in 1982. It’s hard to imagine a more Catholic upbringing than his: seventh child and fifth son of 10 siblings; taught by Spanish Carmelite nuns and Holy Cross brothers at Moreau Catholic in Hayward, Calif.; said his first Mass at age six in an upstairs hallway at home; retreats, prayers, and more prayers; final vows taken in 1988, ordination on February 11, 1989. Anyone who meets Fr. Pat or is lucky enough to be the recipient of his ministrations is struck by his easy charm and innate sense of holiness and wonder. How often do we encounter someone who has found his one true calling in life?
Please congratulate our jubilarians on their many years of service to the UP community and beyond.