Father John J. Bradley, 91, pastor emeritus of the former St. Aloysius Parish, Philadelphia, died June 7.
Born in Philadelphia the son of the late Patrick Bradley and the late Catherine (Sweeney) Bradley, he attended St. Hugh School and Northeast Catholic High School.
With U.S. Army service and St. Joseph’s College behind him, before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary he had nine years’ life experience that most of his fellow seminarians did not have. But some of the men he met there remained friends for life.
He was ordained May 18, 1963 by Archbishop John J. Krol at the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, with his first assignment as parochial vicar at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Drexel Hill.
Father Bradley would also serve as parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Philadelphia; Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Philadelphia; St. Robert Parish, Chester; St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish, Philadelphia; Holy Child Parish, Philadelphia; and Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Philadelphia.
Msgr. Wilfred Pashley, a seminary classmate, was pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish at that time and at first, he was a little nervous that one of his classmates was assigned to him as a parochial vicar.
He recalls in their seminary years, probably because Father Bradley was older than most of his class, he was made a prefect, whose job it was to watch over and advise the younger men. But even then, he was well-liked.
At Our Lady of Mercy, “we had a dog named Bingo, and he would walk him,” Msgr. Pashley said. “We were four years together and I got along very well with him. He was a very friendly man and people liked him and it worked out fine.”
Msgr. James McCoy, also a member of St. Charles’ class of ’63, remembers Father Bradley from those seminary days especially.
“We were a fairly young class, but he was more settled and very kind to people,” Msgr. McCoy recalls. “He kept active as a priest all through to the end. He enjoyed people and was always there for them.”
After Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Father Bradley was assigned as parochial vicar to Epiphany of Our Lord Parish, Philadelphia and Immaculate Conception Parish, Jenkintown. He then served as pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Philadelphia followed by parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, Levittown.
In 1994 Father Bradley was appointed pastor of St. Aloysius Parish, Philadelphia and pastor emeritus in 2000.
He remained active as chaplain at St. Agnes Medical Center, Philadelphia until his 2003 retirement, although he continued to celebrate Mass at various parishes virtually until his death.
Father Bradley’s funeral will be private.
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