Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Bernard M. Brunette, O. Praem.

Birth: March 5, 1926

Death: November 26, 2004

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Bernard Brunette was born in Green Bay on March 5, 1926.  After attending St. Willebrord Parish School, he began at St. Norbert High in 1940, but transferred to Central Catholic, from which he was graduated in 1944. Bernard was vested in the Order that same year and professed solemn vows in 1949.

As a simple professed, Bernie taught at the college in 1948, and in 1949 was added to the faculty of St. Norbert High where he taught English and mathematics.  After ordination in 1951, he joined the faculty at Archmere, where he taught physics and math until 1963.  During those years he held a Dupont Fellowship and in 1957 received a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Delaware . In his final year at Archmere, Bernard was the chairman of the Delaware Teachers of Science.

In 1956, Bernard became a valued member of the Norbertine Education and Planning Committee, becoming chairman in 1969 and serving in that capacity until 1980. During summer sessions, Bernie attended the University of Connecticut , where he studied under a National Science Foundation Grant.

Returning to the Midwest, Bernard taught physics at Pennings High from 1963 until 1980, spending his summers at the University of San Diego , Florida State University and the University of California, Berkeley.  During this time he was also Chairman of the Green Bay Diocesan Teachers of Science.

1980 marked the beginning of Bernie’s pastorate of St. Joseph Parish on the Beltline in Madison , where he served for 21 years.  In 1984 he was added to the Madison Priests’ Senate.  Instilling within his parish the theological underpinnings of the Second Vatican Council and renovating the liturgical space to meet its demands marked his pastorate.

Bernie’s love of travel took him to many foreign lands for sightseeing and study.  His open and inquiring mind, especially in the sciences, kept him on his toes with the modern scientific advances.  He loved games, especially bridge, cribbage, chess, and Scrabble. In his later years, he earned the title of “King of Scrabble” by regularly trouncing anyone who would compete with him.  Known for his hospitality, Bernard possessed an affable and amicable personality and was a great conversationalist.  Slowed in his later years by the devastating effects of diabetes, Bernard died on Friday, November 26, 2004 at the age of 78. 

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