Bonaventure Broderick

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Bishop Bonaventure Broderick, circa 1903.jpg
Styles of
Bonaventure Broderick
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Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Monsignor
Posthumous style not applicable

Bonaventure Finnbarr Francis Broderick (December 25, 1868 – November 18, 1943) was the Coadjutor Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Cristóbal de la Habana[1] and ran a gas station for 40 years until Cardinal Francis Spellman restored him as an Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of New York.[2][3] While restored to the Curia, Broderick died before he became a diocesan ordinary.

Early life and education[edit]

Bonaventure Broderick was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He was the son of John Harris Broderick and Margaret Healy. Broderick completed his undergraduate seminary studies at St. Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland. The bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford sent him to the Pontifical Athenaeum S. Apollinare of Propaganda Fide while a seminarian at the North American College. In 1897, Broderick earned his PhD. He also earned a Doctor of Theology at the same college.


On July 25, 1896, Broderick was ordained a priest for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford by then Bishop Francesco di Paola Cassetta, who was the Patriarch of Jerusalem and Viceregent of Rome. Broderick returned to the diocese and was assigned as a pastor in West Hartford, Connecticut. From 1898 to 1900, he was a faculty member at St. Thomas Seminary at Hartford, Connecticut.

When his former Italian instructor, Bishop Donato Sbarretti was appointed as the ordinary of the Archdiocese of San Cristóbal de la Habana, he appointed Broderick as his secretary. On June 25, 1900, Broderick became the administrator of St. Francis de Sales Church in Cuba. He would later become the administrator of San Carlos and San Ambrosio Seminary. On May 20, 1902, Broderick represented the Catholic Church recognizing the establishment of the Republic of Cuba.[4]

While in Cuba, Broderick had to settle claims against the United States government because of damage done to church property during the Spanish–American War. There were rumors his brother was involved with a government contract to install a sewer system in Havana.[5] Bonaventure Broderick sued his brother, David A. Broderick, in a Hartford, Connecticut superior court over some Cuba contracts and won a judgment.[5] It was unclear why his superiors were angry with Broderick.


On September 7, 1903, Broderick was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of San Cristóbal de la Habana and Titular Bishop of Iuliopolis.[6] On October 28, 1903 he was consecrated as the Coadjutor Bishop of San Cristóbal de la Habana. His Principal Consecrator was Archbishop Placide Louis Chapelle with Archbishop Francisco de Paula Barnada y Aguilar as the Principal Co-Consecrator.


On March 1, 1905, Broderick resigned as the Coadjutor Bishop due to a misunderstanding with Pope Pius X and the Vatican over the collection of some funds.[7]

Restoration to episcopal life[edit]

While doing some archdiocesan business in Millbrook, New York, New York Archbishop Francis Spellman found Broderick running a gas station in Millbrook where he also wrote a weekly column for a local newspaper.[2] In November 1939, the Vatican asked Spellman to rehabilate Broderick and Spellman complied. Broderick resumed his public role as a bishop and was made a chaplain of a hospital in Riverdale, New York.[8]

Final years and death[edit]

On November 18, 1943, Broderick died with the title of Coadjutor Bishop Emeritus of the San Cristóbal de la Habana Archdiocese.[6]


  1. ^ Bishop Bonaventure Finbarr Francis Broderick †
  2. ^ a b Tu Es Sacerdos in Aeternum Father Enrique Tomas Rueda, RIP Retrieved:
  3. ^ Jim Bishop (June 4, 1962). "Career of a Brilliant Churchman". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Google News. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ Episcopologio de la Iglesia Católica en Cuba (Spanish) Retrieved: 2010-05-08.
  5. ^ a b "Bishop Broderick Winner of Suit". The Day. Google News. August 26, 1913. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church Retrieved: 2010-05-09.
  7. ^ FIU see below footnote Spanish language version about Bishop Broderick
  8. ^ The American Pope The Life and Times of Francis Cardinal Spellman, John Cooney, Time Books, 1984, pg. 91