|Fr. Vincent Bromley, a Diocese of Superior priest since 1965, died Jan. 10 at age 73.|
Over the years he served 18 parishes including: St. Francis Xavier, Merrill; St. Mary, Hurley; Immaculate Conception Parish, Rhinelander; St. Louis, Washburn; St. Ann, Saxon; St. Mary Magdalene, Iron Belt; St. Anthony, Pence; St. Joseph, Amery; Our Lady of the Rosary, Georgetown; St. John, Birchwood; St. Mary, Exeland; St. Ann, Murray; St. Pius X, Solon Springs; St. Anthony, Gordon; St. Mary, Minong; St. Anthony, Lake Nebagamon; St. Peter, Winter; and Sacred Heart, Radisson.
He was a Knights of Columbus chaplain, moderator for the diocesan councils of Catholic Women and Catholic Men and a coordinator for marriage preparation programs.
Here are memories Fr. Bromley’s fellow priests wrote for the Herald to help readers better remember his contribution to their lives and those of many others.
My main memory of Fr. Bromley was the fact that he was such a good conversationalist. He loved to talk, and he loved to share local history. He would go out of his way to study the history of the locale he lived in and then spend hours sharing that with whomever. He always was a gentleman. When he became ill these past couple of years, he took it in stride and never complained or felt sorry for himself. May he rest in peace!
Fr. Kevin Gordon ___________________________________________________________________________________
Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, Diocese of Superior
The best way to describe Fr. Vince would be to say he was an old-time friendly and kind priest. He always had time for others. He loved to talk. When I was driving him back to the rectory after a lunch together in Winter after the Sunday Mass he delighted in explaining which gangsters who were fleeing the “heat” of Chicago lived in this or that house. I never really understood whether this was in the past or the present.
Father’s homilies were long, but the parishioners didn’t seem to mind because they were interspersed with jokes and stories. It looked like he was coming to an end, and then he would pick up a new idea.
He loved life and took every possible treatment to continue living. Often when I visited him in the Ladysmith nursing home or in the apartment that he had in Flambeau Village I tried to convince him that he could refuse all the poisonous chemo treatment, but he wanted to keep on hoping for a new way to be cured. I am told that he finally acknowledge that his time to leave was coming.
Fr. Gerald Wilmsen ___________________________________________________________________________________
Fr. Bromley and I lived together at Winter for a year. Bishop Peter Christensen appointed me parochial administrator when Fr. Bromley retired from Winter and Radisson. He remained with me at the rectory. The funny part is that he never agreed he was retired.
Now, when I think about Fr. Bromley I ... describe his life in three words: fishing, visiting and eating. In both sense he was good fisherman ... – fishing men and women for God and fishing fish. He used to go with his dad for fishing in Canada, later with friends. I think he started practicing fishing as (a) very young boy. Once he was practicing fishing and broke the window. I think most of the parish he was in he had fishing buddies. I know there was a crew in Winter and Radisson. When I went to Winter I was told Fr. Bromley is not able to do anything. Later, after I got there, he told me that he was going for fishing with rest of the crew. It will say how much he enjoyed fishing.
Fr. Bromley loved food. He was (a) good cook, and he can eat. One of his hobbies was eat, and tell the stories. While I was in Winter, couple of times a week we used to eat together. If you sit with him to eat, be prepared to listen, story after story. I am sorry (to) say this: Couple of times after a while I took a snooze. Fr. Bromley touched lives of so many people in different ways in his ministry. He loved visiting with people and talking. People in Winter and Radisson loved him. (One family said) “Our family will always remember him as the kind and gentle shepherd of our parish family.”
Fr. Joseph Shaji
Our Lady of Sorrows, Ladysmith