Reverend Bernard J.
Reverend Bernard J. Boff, age 81, died Thursday, August 8, 2013, at the Ursuline Center where he had resided since 2007. He was born on March 29, 1932, in Defiance, Ohio to Carl and Hazel (Rosselet) Boff.
Father Boff graduated from St. Joseph College, Rennsselear, Indiana with a Bachelor of Arts and received a Masters of Arts in Finance from Northwestern University, Chicago. He completed his seminary studies at St. Mary College, Kentucky and Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Cincinnati.
Father was ordained a priest on August 21, 1961, at St. John Church, Defiance, Ohio. His parish assignments, all in Toledo, were Associate Pastor of St. Patrick of Heatherdowns (1962-1965); Associate Pastor of St. Ann (1965-1970); Pastor of St. Teresa (1970-1987) and Pastor of St. Jude (1999-2003). He served as the chaplain for the Ursuline Sisters (1987-1999). He was one of the founders of Central City Ministry of Toledo. He served as the Director of the Bible Center. He was active in the Toledo Metropolitan Missions, Toledo Council of Churches, Catholic Interracial Council of Toledo and NAACP. Father Boff was the co-founder of Claver House. He participated with Dr. Martin Luther King in the march at Selma, Alabama in 1965 as well as Resurrection City in Washington D.C. in 1968.
Father Boff served as the Director of the Office of Global Concerns for the Diocese of Toledo (1987-2001). He passionately promoted the Toledo Diocese Mission of Accompaniment in the Diocese of Hwange, Zimbabwe, Africa. He coauthored with Ruth Ann Leidorf the book, "Surprises of the Spirit", which described the great faith of the BaTonga people in Zimbabwe.
Father was inducted into St. Joseph College Athletic Wall of Honor 2008 as a member of the champion winning
basketball team of 1952-53. The Toledo Area Council of Churches honored him for his outstanding service and commitment to Christian Unity. In 1995, he received the Urban All-American Service Award from CCMT.
Father Boff had a great heart for the poor and the central city. Of his forty-two years of active ministry as a priest, thirty-nine were spent serving the poor or the people of the central city. He was a student of the scriptures and wrote the column, Praying the Word, for the Catholic Chronicle (2004-2008) which highlighted the Scriptures of the following Sunday's Mass. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed playing golf with his brother priests.
Father Boff was preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Hazel Boff; his sister, Agnes, and his brother, Robert. He is survived by nieces and nephews, Mary (Richard) Rose, Sue (Ron) Clinger, Teresa (Terry) Johnson, Anthony (Karen) Boff, Margaret (Paul) Chamberlain and Robert (Colleen) Boff; grandnieces and nephews; great-grand-nephews and a great-grand-niece; his maternal aunt, Frances Rosselet; his brother priests and many friends.
Reception of the Body and Vespers will be Monday,
August 12, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, 2535 Collingwood Avenue, Toledo. Visitation will follow at the cathedral until 8:00 p.m. and on Tuesday, August 13, from 9:30-10:45 a.m. The Funeral Mass will take place at 11:00 a.m., with Bishop Leonard Blair as celebrant. Interment will follow in St. Stephen Cemetery, The Bend at 3:30 p.m. on August 13, 2013.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the Ursuline Sisters, Priests
Retirement Fund, or Central City Ministry of Toledo.
Special thanks to the caring and kind staff of the Ursuline Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Coyle Funeral Home, 419-865-1295. Online condolences can be shared at
Coyle Funeral Home
1770 S Reynolds Rd
Toledo, OH 43614
Published in Toledo Blade from Aug. 10 to Aug. 11, 2013