In Memory of Fr. Bertoli
Well done good and faithful servant
Dear Sisters and Brothers, Beloved Friends of St. Monica’s Parish:
It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that at 2.00 AM on Friday, August 14th, the Vigil of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our dear friend Fr. Adelchi Bertoli left this world, and entered into the loving embrace of the Heavenly Father. He was 93 years old.
Father Bertoli suffered a serious stroke late Thursday evening. He was non-responsive but we sensed that he could hear us. Just after midnight, I went to the Jewish General accompanied by three parishioners who have been especially devoted to Fr Bertoli's care these past few months. In spite of the Covid-19 limitations, we were able to administer the last sacraments, and to telephone his family in Italy, so that they could say their final farewells. Not long after, he passed away gently and peacefully.
It has been a long journey, especially this past year, and Fr. Bertoli was ready to go home. When I visited him earlier this week, he hinted that he did not expect to live much longer, but that he was deeply grateful for his life and ready for Our Lady to welcome him into the Kingdom. As always, he asked for your prayers and he pledged to continue to pray for all of us. We have been incredibly blessed by Fr. Bert’s witty, gentle and compassionate presence at St. Monica’s since his arrival in Canada in October 1966. He was supposed to stay for two or three years; he stayed with us for over 53 years!
Don Adelchi was predeceased by his parents Mattia and Teresa Bertoli, and his brother Olivo. He will be deeply missed by his sister-in-law Bruna, his nephew Giampaolo (Stefania), their children Martina and Mattia, and by his many friends, colleagues, fellow teachers, brother priests, and parishioners. He had a deep attachment to his hometown of Villanova, near San Daniele, in the Italian region of Friuli. He was educated at the Seminary of Castellerio and ordained a priest in the diocese of Udine in 1951. After teaching for many years in the minor seminary, he spent time in France and England studying languages and doing pastoral work, coming to Canada in 1966 to pursue graduate studies in theology at the Université de Montréal. He also had a long and fruitful ministry teaching religion and Latin at Loyola High School, where he is fondly remembered by his students and fellow teachers.
As is customary for a priest, Fr. Bertoli will be waked in the parish church here at St. Monica’s. We invite you to come and pay your respects on Friday, August 21st between 11 AM and 2 PM, or between 3 and 6 PM. At 8:00 PM Friday, there will be an Evening Prayer service with prayers and testimonials. We will celebrate the Requiem Mass for Fr. Bertoli on Saturday, August 22nd at 11 AM.
I would like to express my personal gratitude to Fr. Bertoli for the fifteen years we shared rectory life and parish ministry together here at St. Monica’s. He was a faithful priest, a wise mentor, a pleasant companion, and a true gentleman. I will miss him deeply. I would also like to thank those who assisted Fr. Bertoli in a particular way during his illness: the members of our pastoral team; the CLSC workers and staff at the Jewish General Hospital and the Vista; Fr. Robert Assaly and Deacon Bernie Glover; and his dear friends Teri, Leslie, Patricia, and Elvio. I know how grateful Fr. Bert was for all the loving care he received.
In spite of our sadness in saying goodbye, we are grateful for Fr. Bertoli’s life and witness. As he is welcomed into the company of the Virgin Mary, to whom he was especially devoted, and of all the saints, we can imagine the Lord Jesus saying to him:
“Well done, good and faithful servant: enter into the joy of your Lord!”
God bless you all,
Fr. Adelchi Bertoli died peacefully, surrounded by close friends, at the Jewish General Hospital on August 14, 2020. Born in Villanova (Friuli) in 1927, he was educated at the Seminary of Castellerio and ordained a priest in the diocese of Udine in 1951. After teaching for many years in the minor seminary, he came to Canada in 1966 to pursue graduate studies in theology. He moved into St. Monica’s Parish, a community he served faithfully, with great gentleness and compassion, for nearly 54 years. He also had a long and fruitful ministry teaching religion and Latin at Loyola High School, fondly remembered by students and colleagues alike.
Don Adelchi was predeceased by his parents Mattia and Teresa Bertoli, and his brother Olivo. He will be deeply missed by his sister-in-law Bruna, his nephew Giampaolo (Stefania), their children Martina and Mattia, and by his many friends, fellow teachers, brother priests, and St. Monica’s parishioners. He had a deep attachment to his homeland and was a longtime member of the Friulano Association.
Visitation for Fr. Bertoli will take place at St. Monica’s, 6405 Terrebonne, on Friday, August 21st from 11 AM to 2 PM, and from 3 to 6 PM. (No reservation required.) At 8:00 PM Friday, there will be an Evening Prayer service. His Requiem Mass will be at St, Monica’s on Saturday, August 22nd at 11 AM. Burial will take place in Friuli. Because of the Covid-19 health requirements, pre-registration is necessary for both the Evening Prayer and the Requiem Mass, which will be live-streamed for those who cannot be accommodated in person. The Funeral Mass can be found on the Parish YouTube page.
Fr. Adelchi was a faithful priest, an inspired teacher, a wise mentor, and a true gentleman. Before his death, he expressed how grateful he was to his friends, colleagues, parishioners, and caregivers, and promised to pray for all of us. As he is welcomed into the company of the saints and the Virgin Mary of Castelmonte, to whom he was especially devoted, we are comforted by these words of Jesus, now spoken to him: “Well done, good and faithful servant: enter into the joy of your Lord!”
My Spiritual Testament
My Spiritual Testament
Lord, every time I examine my spiritual accounts, I find myself over head and ears in debt with you. Too often, I wanted back the crumbs I had promised you. But, does it really matter? It is better to know and feel that I am a sinner in need of your mercy.
What I want to proclaim, however, is that neither God, nor Christ, nor the Church has disappointed me. Everything has been incredibly more beautiful than I expected…, and the joy will continue because God lives forever, God forgives, loves and never disappoint those who put their trust in Him.
Lord, my God, save me because of your love; save also those you had entrusted to my priestly care. I know I did not love and serve them as I should.
Dear Lord, help them to forgive me and to pray for me. Bless my family, Lord; bless the people of Villanova, the village where I grew up and felt the first signs of my vocation, bless the Seminary of Castellerio (Udine) where I was educated.
Bless in a special way the people of St. Monica’s Parish and the students and faculty of Loyola High School in Montreal: they provided me with the deepest joys a priest can experience. May the Lord reward them in the way He only knows.
Lord God, I believe in You, I love you. Grant me to love you eternally with all those for whom you wanted me to be a priest: all those I met on the paths of life.
Mary, dear Mother of God, Mother of all priests, pray for me, pray for us, and after this our exile, show unto us Jesus, your Son, our Lord and Savior. Amen
With great affection and gratitude.
Fr. Adelchi Bertoli