Bernard L. Polinak
Br. Bernard L. Polinak, SJ
Bernie was always zealous and steadfast in his care for the power plants where he worked, but he remained completely devoted to Christ.
Bernard L. Polinak

Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Br. Bernard (Bernie) L. Polinak, SJ, who died on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich. He was 94 years old and a Jesuit for 57 years. May he rest in peace.

Bernie was born on April 19, 1922, in Cleveland. He studied tool and die design at West Tech High School in Cleveland from 1938 until he entered the US Navy in 1941. As a Motor Machinist Mate First Class, he operated and maintained internal combustion engines and engine auxiliaries. He also operated machine tools. While in the navy, he fought in the Battle of Omaha Beach. After his honorable discharge, Bernie attended night school to finish his high school degree in 1947. He then took architectural drafting courses at the Cleveland Engineering Institute (1948-1949), adult education courses at St. John's College in Cleveland (1952-1956), and, while he was a junior brother at Milford Novitiate, courses at Ohio Mechanics Institute in Cincinnati (1961-1963). Before entering the Society, he worked as a layout draftsman at General Motors from 1948 to 1958. While working at General Motors, Bernie received a patent for a track shoe assembly (1959 US Patent 2,883,242).  Beginning in 1950, he made a yearly retreat at St. Stanislaus (now Jesuit Retreat House) in Parma, Ohio.

After six months of postulancy, Bernie formally entered the Jesuits at Milford Novitiate in Ohio on April 1, 1959. He professed final vows on February 2, 1970, at Colombiere Center.

Throughout his Jesuit life, Bernie was known for his desire to properly use resources. He often closed blinds to conserve heat, turned off lights to save energy, recycled aluminum cans, or made sure that good food was not thrown out. His motto was "Waste not, want not." The other motto he lived by was Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam — which was evident in his dedication to serving Jesus and others. No matter where he was — in the boiler room, community, or chapel — Bernie was always zealous and steadfast in his care for the power plants where he worked, but he remained completely devoted to Christ. An example of this:  When entering the chapel, he would genuflect before the altar — whether he was carrying a ladder or not!   

After the novitiate, Bernie moved to Colombiere Center, where he worked for almost 50 years. He was the chief engineer of the power plant (1963–73), the superintendent of building and grounds (1973–89), and the assistant to the superintendent of building and grounds (1996–2015). He spent seven years at Walsh Jesuit High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, as the assistant to the superintendent of building and grounds (1989–96).

VISITATION 
Sunday, October 23, 2016 
4–7 p.m.

WAKE SERVICE 
7 p.m. 
Colombiere Center 
9075 Big Lake Rd. 
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015

FUNERAL 
Monday, October 24, 2016 
10:45 a.m. 
Colombiere Center 
9075 Big Lake Rd. 
Clarkston, MI 48346-1015

In Memoriam
Publications

Jesuits Spring 2017

Jesuits Fall-Winter 2016

Jesuits Summer 2016





Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House
The Demontreville Jesuit Retreat House is located on the shores of Lake De Montreville in Lake Elmo, Minn.