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Fr. Phil Fink, 1950-2015


Date of birth:  April 3, 1950
Place of Birth:  Pittsburgh, PA
Investiture:  August 22, 1970
Temporary Profession: August 25, 1971
Perpetual Profession: June 18, 1974
Ordination:  August 27, 1977
Date of death:  April 11, 2015
Burial: St. Augustine Cemetery,
Millvale, PA

“Philip is a tremendous team man.
Philip is capable in so many areas that it was hard to choose
how best to use his talents and not wear him out.”

Fr. Patrick Toomey, Washington Theological Union, August 24, 1974

    Our brother, Philip Fink, OFM Cap., went to the Lord on April 11, 2015, at St. Augustine Friary in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh), PA, at the age of 65. To say he was gone “too soon” would sound like a cliché. His enormous contributions to our Province’s history were to excede those of many other friars granted more years of life.

More about our brother Phil . . .

Fr. Charles Knoll, 1927-2015


Date of birth:  February 14, 1927
Place of Birth:  Chicora, PA
Investiture:  July 13, 1948
Temporary Profession:  July 14, 1949
Perpetual Profession: July 14, 1952
Ordination:  June 5, 1954
Date of death:  March 8, 2015
Burial: St. Mary Cemetery, Herman, PA

"It is my personal feeling
that we should recognize

the special gifts that God gives our men
and not frustrate their cultural leanings
when these can be employed
in the service of the Church.”

Fr. Giles Staab, OFM Cap.
May 5, 1962

    Talented. Creative. Gifted. Inquisitive. Quiet. Impulsive. Confusing. Caring. Sensitive.

    All these words were applied to our brother Charles Knoll at one time or another. “Misunderstood” comes to mind as well – but aren’t all creative and talented people misunderstood at some time or another? They don’t quite fit into the box of most people’s expectations, and Charles certainly felt himself “misunderstood.” A brilliant musician, he tried to convince a Provincial and his Council in 1959 that a pipe organ would be the best investment for the novitiate chapel in Annapolis, MD. The Council, of course, thought it would be impractical and expensive. “Charlie” was unable to conceive that others could possibly value practicalities like money  or budgets over what far transcended them: art, beauty and goodness.

Continued . . .

Fr. Bernard Finerty, 1935-2015


Date of birth:  July 31, 1935
Place of Birth:  Pittsburgh, PA
Investiture:  July 13, 1955
Temporary Profession:  July 14, 1956
Perpetual Profession: July 14, 1959
Ordination:  June 3, 1961
Date of death:  January 23, 2015
Burial: St. Augustine Cemetery, Millvale, PA
“From the very beginning of my vocation,
even as early as high-school,
I envisioned preaching
as the core of my ministry.”

Letter to Provincial Minister
November 29, 1989

    At the funeral of Bernard Finerty, Fr. Tom Betz, OFM Cap., a friend and former student, made the observation that what struck him about the life of our confrere was that from everywhere he was stationed in his life as a Capuchin, the “Province pulled out.” It was an exaggeration, of course. The places did not come crashing down like dominoes.

    “Bernie” spent a good 24 years of his life in Herman, PA, before our high school and college were closed. He stayed there for 11 years as Director of the Retreat Center, trying to build a retreat ministry in a rural area; it ended only when the property was sold, of course.

More about Fr. Bernard

Fr. Bertin Roll, 1916-2015

Bert3Date of birth:  October 5, 1916
Place of Birth:  Pittsburgh, PA
Investiture:  July 13, 1936
Temporary Profession:  July 14, 1937
Perpetual Profession: July 14, 1940
Ordination:  May 28, 1942
Date of death:  January 5, 2015
Burial: St. Augustine Cemetery, Millvale, PA

I’ve worn out some automobiles
and many more Guardian Angels.

God has been so good to me.
Who has it better than I do? Nobody!

We called him Bert,
the local crew of confreres,
to bring him back to life for real
after weeks of adulation
and pampering from Christian Mothers
who whispered with reverence
his name in full:
Father Bertin Roll,
the national director
of the Archconfraternity of Christian Mothers.

    Thus began the tribute to our confrere by Fr. Bonaventure Stefun, OFM Cap., written on his hearing of the death of our brother “Bert.” “National Director” was Bertin Roll’s job title and his life’s work. Except for the 26 years necessary to grow up, go to school, join the Capuchin Order and become a priest, Bertin pretty much lived to work for the Christian Mothers, the longest term of any friar in any one ministry – 61 years – finishing off with another 10 years as Director Emeritus. Could any friar ever have been assigned to one friary for so many years? After 71 years in a ministry, how did he remain so committed and enthusiastic?




Capuchin Friars  ♦  Province of St. Augustine  ♦  220—37th Street  ♦  Pittsburgh, PA 15201  ♦  (412) 682-6011