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Rev. Alex's Story

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98, of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, died November 16, 2017, at St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto, after an extended illness. He was born January 21, 1919, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the son of the late John and Mary (Somberg) Bombera. He graduated from Stevens Point High School, Stevens Point, WI, and attended St. Marys College, Orchard Lake, Michigan for two years. He entered the T.O.R. postulancy at Raymond Hall, St. Francis College, Loretto on September 14, 1940. He entered the novitiate at Raymond Hall on July 9, 1941, and received the name Alexander Mary. He pronounced his first vows on July 10, 1942 in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Old Main, the Motherhouse of the Province; he pronounced solemn vows on July 10, 1945, at Mt. Assisi Monastery, Loretto. Fr. Alexander Mary was ordained to the priesthood on August 15, 1946, by the late Bishop John King Mussio, D.D, Bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio, (the first priestly ordination performed by Bishop Mussio) at the Holy Name Cathedral, Steubenville, OH. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, from St. Francis College (University), Loretto in May 1942. He completed Theological Studies, at St. Francis Seminary, Loretto in 1946. During his long and very faithful Franciscan life, Fr. Alexander Mary shared his desire to follow the Poverello with service to the foreign missions of the Province. He was assigned to his first mission in India in 1946, and served there until 1968. Fr. Alex is the last of the pioneer friars who served in India; and thanks be to God for their hard work; there are now three thriving provinces of the Order in India. In 1968, he was then assigned to the missions in Brazil, and served faithfully until 1978. Upon his return to the States, he was assigned to the home missions in South Dakota. From September 1978 until 1986, he was pastor of St. Joseph Church, Wessington Springs, SD; from February 1986 to May 2007, he was pastor of St. John Church, Plankinton, SD. For his exemplary service, the State of South Dakota honored him by placing his name in the state Hall of Fame. From June 2007, until the present, he resided at St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, where he served in the ministry of prayer. Fr. Alex held the honor of being the senior member of the Province, and the last friar to have lived at Old Main on the campus of St. Francis University, which was destroyed by fire in 1942. He was predeceased by seven brothers and sisters. He is survived by nieces and nephews, and his Franciscan brothers. Friends will be received at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto, PA, at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Vigil Service will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated on Monday at 11:00 a.m. at St. Francis Chapel-Mt. Assisi, Loretto with Very Rev. Richard L. Davis, T.O.R., Minister Provincial, as principal celebrant. Following the Mass, Committal will take place at the Franciscan Friars Cemetery, on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto, PA. Memorial contribution may be made to support retired T.O.R. Friars, c/o T.O.R. Retirement Fund, St. Francis Friary, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940. Arrangements by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church Street, Gallitzin, PA 16641. gibbonsfunerals.com
Published on November 18, 2017
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