On February 22nd, the passing of Fr. Bruno (Townsend) C.P., removed a venerable figure from St. Joseph’s Province.
Born at Market Drayton, Shropshire, the home town of that historic soldier, Clive of India, on February 11th, 1864, Charles Young Townsend entered the Passionist Congregation in 1886, taking in religion the name of Bruno of Our Lady of Good Counsel. After the usual course of studies he was ordained in the old Pro-Cathedral of Kensington.
Whilst still a young priest, Fr. Bruno founded and edited the first Passionist magazine, published at St. Joseph’s, Highgate, and called the “Highgate Catholic.” For many years this pioneer publication did splendid work in recording past and current events in the Anglo-Hibernian Province. Many items of interest were thus preserved from oblivion; nor was the magazine merely parochial in scope. In its pages appeared valuable articles on doctrinal subjects which formed a useful means of instruction at a time when present-day facilities were not so readily available. On account of his manifold duties Fr.. Bruno was obliged to relinquish the editorship, and ultimately after eight or nine years of good service the “Highgate Catholic” ceased publication.
Appointed Vicar of St. Joseph’s, Highgate, in 1908, Fr. Bruno was subsequently elected Rector of St. Mary’s, Harborne, an office which he held from 1911 to 1914. For the next three years he was Vicar of St. Saviour’s, Broadway, and from 1917 onwards he was at Harborne, mainly engaged in parochial duties.
(The Cross, Vol. XXXIV, 1943-44; p. 233)