The Passing of Monsignor Bergin

June 6, 1935  -  May 2, 2024


The Monsignor Farrell Family mourns the passing of our beloved former Principal and former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Monsignor Thomas J. Bergin, which occurred on  Thursday, May 2, 2024.

"On behalf of the entire Farrell Family, I grieve the loss of a towering figure who was not only a guiding star, but a beloved friend," said Lou Tobacco '90, President of Monsignor Farrell High School. "Monsignor Bergin's legacy transcends the physical spaces of Monsignor Farrell or the traditions we hold dear; it is deeply rooted in the sense of our Catholic community he fostered within us," he added. "His absence leaves a profound void in our hearts."

"With the exception of my own father, no one has taught me more about what it means to be a Catholic man, a true Vir Fidelis." 

- Monsignor Farrell Principal Larry Musanti


About Monsignor Bergin

Thomas J. Bergin was born and raised in the Bronx, NY.  He graduated from Regis High School and attended Manhattan College and Cathedral College before entering St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, NY.   He held Master's Degrees in Latin (Hunter College) and guidance (CUNY Richmond), as well as permanent New York State Certifications in Latin, School Administration and Supervision, and School District Administration.

He was a founding member of the Policy Board of the Staten Island Cooperative Continuum of Education, where he served from 1973 until 1992.  

Arrival at Monsignor Farrell, 1965

Ordained a priest in 1961, Fr. Bergin was first assigned as Assistant Pastor of St. Charles Parish in the Oakwood section of Staten Island by Cardinal Francis Spellman.  While at St. Charles, he began teaching Latin part-time at the newly opened Monsignor Farrell High School, located just a few blocks away.  Within two years when his pastoral assignment at St. Charles was completed, Father Bergin requested and was granted a full-time teaching assignment at Monsignor Farrell where he would remain a part of the faculty until 1973.

Father Bergin’s roles at Farrell were numerous and varied. He taught Latin, religion, and psychology, served as a guidance counselor, and was Chairman of the Department of Athletics. It was during his early days at Farrell that Father Bergin said he developed a passion for education and truly enjoyed helping shape the lives of young men.

"Father Bergin was the first person to welcome me as a new faculty member at Farrell in September 1970," recalled Larry Musanti, Principal of Monsignor Farrell High School. "He laughed when I told him I had graduated from St. Peter's, and he wished me luck as I dared to embark on a career in the Lions' Den. Little did I suspect that 54 years later Monsignor Bergin would have continued to be a friend, confidant, and most trusted advisor," Musanti said.

Promotion to Principal and Beyond

In 1973 the Archdiocese called Fr. Bergin from Monsignor Farrell to become Principal at Moore Catholic High School, also on Staten Island. At 38 years old, he was the youngest Archdiocesan priest to serve as a high school principal.

In 1982 Father Bergin left Moore and was named Pastor of St. Mary's in Poughkeepsie, NY.

A year later he returned to his roots in Oakwood when he was named Principal of Monsignor Farrell High School in 1983.

During his tenure as Farrell's Principal, Father Bergin was elevated to Monsignor in 1990 by Pope John Paul II.  "Being a student at Farrell while Monsignor Bergin was Principal was truly a privilege," said Tobacco.  "In those quiet moments when we pause to reflect, we recognize the profound influence of those who have shaped our lives. Monsignor Bergin was such an individual in my life and the lives of countless Faithful Men at Monsignor Farrell High School," he added.

Monsignor Bergin was again called away from Monsignor Farrell High School.  In 1992 Cardinal John O’Connor appointed him Vicar for Education for the Archdiocese of New York, putting him in charge of more than 400 Catholic schools.

A year later the Cardinal tapped Monsignor Bergin for a second role; Chancellor of the Archdiocese.  Monsignor served as both Chancellor and Vicar for Education concurrently for one year.  While Chancellor, the number two leadership position behind the Cardinal, Monsignor Bergin functioned as the Chief Financial Officer for the Archdiocese of New York.   

In 1995 Monsignor was named President of Cathedral Girls High School in Manhattan and continued for one more year as Vicar for Education.

His next assignment came in May 2002 when he was assigned as Administrator of St. Raymond's Parish in the Bronx.

In 2004 Monsignor Bergin again returned to Staten Island and to the parish where he began his career as a priest.  He was appointed as the fifth Pastor of St. Charles by Cardinal Egan.

"Monsignor Bergin's influence will eternally shape the foundations of our future. His teachings and affection remain with us forever."

- Monsignor Farrell President Lou Tobacco

Click here or on the image above for a video tribute to Monsignor Bergin (turn your volume up)

Return to Monsignor Farrell and Retirement

While Pastor of St. Charles, Monsignor Bergin returned to a leadership position at Monsignor Farrell High School in 2009 as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.  During his tenure, Monsignor Farrell High School named its first alumnus principal, Bishop Edmund Whalen ’76, the first lay principal, Larry Musanti, and the school's first President, Lou Tobacco. "As both a former Principal and Chairman of the Board, Monsignor Bergin's wisdom and leadership were the guiding forces that propelled us towards a standard of a Vir Fidelis, a Faithful Man," Tobacco noted.  "His mentorship and guidance as I embarked on my journey as the first President of Monsignor Farrell was an honor beyond words."

Monsignor also served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Moore Catholic and Chairman of the Staten Island Regional Catholic (elementary) School Board.

On July 1, 2015, at the age of 80 and after serving over five decades as a Catholic Priest, Monsignor Bergin retired as Pastor of St. Charles. However, retirement didn't last long.  Later that year Monsignor was asked by Cardinal Timothy Dolan to become the Administrator of St. Peter - Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in lower Manhattan.  After serving in that role for one year, Monsignor was named Administrator of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Port Chester (Westchester County) in July 2016.

Monsignor Bergin's final assignment came in July 2017 when he became an assistant at St. Ann's Parish on Staten Island.  He continued to serve as the Chairman of the Monsignor Farrell Board of Trustees until September 2020 and retired fully in 2021 from St. Ann's.

"For six decades, Monsignor Bergin has been our teacher, spiritual moderator, coach, principal, and Board Chair," said Stephen Macri '78, who was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees after Monsignor Bergin retired.   "During those same sixty years, Monsignor Bergin served the people of Staten Island as priest, pastor, and vicar. His compassion, intelligence, and love enriched my life and touched the lives of all who served, supported, or studied at Monsignor Farrell," Steve added.  "Bedford Falls had the mythical George Bailey and God gave Staten Island Monsignor Tom Bergin."

A celebration was held at St. Charles in May 2021 in recognition of Monsignor Bergin's 60th anniversary as a priest.

Monsignor Bergin (center) is presented with the 2021 Vir Fidelis Award by Farrell President Lou Tobacco '90 (left) and Steve Macri '78, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.


"There is no man who served Monsignor Farrell High School better or longer than Monsignor Thomas J. Bergin. He was Farrell’s dedicated and insightful leader and our most loyal friend. We are so grateful to God for his life and we will miss him dearly."

- Chairman of the Board Stephen Macri '78

The Vir Fidelis Award

In October 2021 Monsignor Bergin received the Vir Fidelis Award, along with Larry Musanti, at the Vir Fidelis Ball.  The Ball was established in February 2020 to honor and thank leaders who have helped build Monsignor Farrell High School into the revered institution it is today.