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Msgr. Bernard E. Christman passed away suddenly Sunday, November 11, 2012, in his home in Indian Harbour Beach, shortly after saying mass at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.
He is survived by his 98 year old aunt, Hazel Christman Shambaugh of Melbourne, FL; his cousin, Jack and (wife) Mary Shambaugh of Marietta, GA; and his cousin, Paul and (wife) Jerry Shambaugh of Satellite Beach, FL.
Born in Akron, Ohio, on November 5, 1931, Msgr. Christman was an only child who grew up in a musical family. He attended St. Vincent H.S. in Akron, received a B.A. Degree in music from Ohio State University; studied for the priesthood at St, Joseph Seminary, Covington, LA and St. Meinard Seminary, IN, where he received a B.A. Degree in philosophy. He earned a Masters' Degree in organ, composition and liturgical music from the Theological College at Catholic University, Washington, D.C.
He was ordained to the priesthood at St. Mary's Cathedral in Ogdensburg, NY, on May 16, 1959, by the Most Rev. James J. Navagh.
Msgr. Christman shared his love of the priesthood at various parishes in the Ogdensburg Diocese before retiring to Indian Harbour Beach, FL in 2005, where he continued to serve and help out at the local parishes including Holy Name of Jesus.
During his career he enjoyed the position of editor of the North Country Catholic Diocesan Newspaper in Ogdensburg; served as the organist and choir director at St. Mary's Cathedral and also served as the chaplain at the NY State Correctional Facility in Lyon Mountain.
In 1992, Fr. Christman was honored to receive the title of "Reverend Monsignor" by His Holiness, Pope John Paul, II.
He will be missed by all who knew him. He lived his life with love in his heart and a concern for all around him. He touched the lives of everyone he met and left them richer for having known him. He will be remembered for his homilies, which were clear and simple sometimes causing you to laugh out loud but always leaving you smiling and feeling God's love surround you.
Friends are invited to the visitation to be held at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church at 9:30-10:30 am, with Funeral Mass at 10:30 am on Saturday, November 17th. He will be buried beside his parents in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Palm Bay.
Published in FLORIDA TODAY from Nov. 15 to Nov. 17, 2012