Rest in Peace, Father Bernard Ahern

Father Bernard Joseph Ahern, went home to the Lord on Friday morning, July 31, after suffering from a short illness. He was 93. He was a senior priest serving at St. Joseph Parish in Jacksonville.

The son of Daniel Joseph Ahern and Elizabeth Nee Klaue
Ahern, Bernard was born on Oct. 30, 1926, in East Durham,
N.Y. He had three sisters Eileen, Elizabeth and Johanna.
Father Ahern was a priest for 66 years, but he didn’t always
wear the Roman collar. For 25 of those years, he wore the
uniform of a U.S. Navy Chaplain with a captain’s insignia and
several rows of service ribbons. And he was awarded the Bronze
Star in 1970. His Navy duty stations included Philadelphia, Honolulu and Washinton, D.C. Before retiring from the Navy in 1985, he was
assigned to Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, where he served the men, women and families at St. Edward Chapel.

Father Ahern retired from the military in 1985, and he returned to the Diocese of Albany where he served at St. Joseph Parish in Ft. Edward, N.Y. for six years. He was then granted faculties in the Diocese of St. Augustine and has served at St. Joseph Parish in Mandarin since 1991. As with his assignment at St. Edward Chapel on base, Father Ahern lovingly served the many men, women, and families in several ministries at one of the diocese’s largest parishes. On Feb. 29, 2020, Father Ahern was incardinated a priest of the Diocese of St. Augustine.

“Father Bernie was always available to care for others, especially sinners in need of mercy, the sick in need of prayers and visits,” said Bishop Felipe Estévez. “He loved his country with passion. His contribution to strengthening marriages and family life is immense. I will treasure
his wisdom.”

Click here to read Father Bernard Ahern’s full obituary. His funeral Mass will be Thursday, August 6 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church’s Cody Enrichment Center, followed by his internment at St. Joseph’s Cemetery.