Archbishop Valéry Vienneau, centre, presides over the ordination of Rev. Angus Johnston, left, and Tignish native Charles Broderick, recently in Riverview, N.B. Fr. Broderick, who is currently assigned to two pastoral units in the Moncton area, is coming home to Tignish for a Mass of Thanksgiving this Sunday at 4 p.m.
TIGNISH – After a teaching career that spanned 35 years and a 46-year marriage that yielded four sons and six grandchildren, Tignish native Charles Broderick embarked on a new path of service in 2010.
“I went to the bishop and offered my services and he sent me down to the States for a couple of years to study,” said Fr. Charles Broderick who was ordained to the priesthood Dec. 1 by Most Rev. Valéry Vienneau, Archbishop of Moncton, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Riverview, N.B.
He has been assigned to two pastoral units, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity and St. Bernard’s Pastoral units in the Moncton area. Each unit has four churches and one full-time pastor. Fr. Charles provides half-time ministry in each unit.
This Sunday Fr. Broderick returns to his native community to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at St. Simon and St. Jude Church, Tignish, at 4 p.m. A reception will follow the service.
Fr. Charles was born in Tignish and moved with his family to a farm in the neighbouring community of Christopher Cross when he was seven. He attended Tignish High School and then St. Dunstan’s University.
Upon graduation in 1961 he embarked on a teaching career. He taught in Morell from 1961 to 1965. It was there that he met Helen (Power) of Tracadie Cross. They married in 1963.
He enrolled at the University of New Brunswick in 1965 and subsequently spent the rest of his teaching career in New Brunswick - Oromocto from 1968 to 1970, Moncton High from 1970 to 1993, and Riverview High from 1993 to 1996. At Moncton he served 13 years as vice principal and eight as principal.
He served on the Riverview Town Council from 1998 to 2008.
During those years he was primary caregiver for his wife who battled Multiple Sclerosis for 30 years until her death in August, 2009.
Joining the priesthood “wasn’t a flash in the pan decision,” Fr. Charles said. “I thought about it for a number of months actually, even when it became apparent that Helen’s life was coming to an end. Even then I would start to think, what are you going to do afterwards?
“Both of us had always lived a life of service in some form or another – volunteer work in the church or the community or in the school system, wherever we were – so it was just a natural to be looking to continue to serve, and this seemed to be the one that surfaced the most,” he said.
Fr. Charles is a cousin to Fr. Tim Broderick, who is from Alberton and was ordained to the priesthood a year and a half ago. The cousins studied together at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.
“Tim was a great support when I was down there,” he acknowledged. “Just having him across the hall and being able to bend his ear.”
At 72, Fr. Charles was the oldest member of his class by four years. In his final year of studies, he said the class of 100 was pretty evenly split between seminarians in their 20s and 30s and seminarians in their 50s and 60s.
“Absolutely wonderful,” Fr. Charles said of his experience in the seminary and since then. “It was just fantastic. It really has been, and getting better every day by the look of it.”