Bernard served 3 1/2 years in WWII with 1 1/2 of those years spent overseas. Upon his return from duty he established Neuzil Electric Service where he did electrical, plumbing and heating work. He retired in 1990. Marie worked in Huber’s Store in Ft. Atkinson before she was married.

Bernard and Marie are members of St. John’s Catholic Church in Ft. Atkinson. Bernard is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and the Catholic Workman. They are both members of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association and can be seen on their motorcycle throughout the summer and even some winter months.

Neuzil, (Charles) The Rt. Rev. Procopius

(Cyril and Rebecca Neuzil)

Bio Photo

Rt. Rev. Procupius Neuzil

The Rt. Rev. Procopius Neuzil began dreaming of the priesthood as a young man growing up in Spillville in the late 1800’s. Later, as a priest, he was to gain a reputation for hard work among Catholic, Czech-speaking immigrants who spread from the Midwest to Rome to Czechoslovakia. But the Rev. Neuzil's initial attempts to enter a seminary were rebuffed; still he persisted and went on to become a prodigious worker and prolific publisher and writer, establishing such publications as Pritel Ditek (Children’s Friend) and Katolik (The Catholic).

Father Neuzil was born Charles Neuzil in Bechyne, Bohemia 3 Nov 1861. He moved to the United States with his family when he was 13. His parents were Jan and Katerina (Jarosh) Neuzil. They had 4 other children: Frank, John, Katherine (Sister Mary Ludmilla, O.S.B.) and Mary. The family settled on a farm near Spillville, IA. Charles attended St. Wenceslaus parochial school and studied Latin under the guidance of the Rev. Francis Mikota, the pastor. Mr. John J. Kovarik taught him other subjects.

Charles worked as a farmhand near Madison, Wl to earn enough money for one year's tuition at the State Normal School in Decorah where he received a teacher’s certificate. He then taught in a public country school close to Spillville. Determined to become a missionary priest to work among Czech immigrants, he left home, walking from Spillville to Ossian where he took a train to Prairie du Chien and then proceeded to Milwaukee, Wl. At a rectory in Milwaukee the housekeeper directed Charles to St. Francis Seminary where the rector did not take seriously his wish to become a priest. Undeterred, he continued to the cathedral chancery office of Milwaukee where he waited for more than an hour. Finally Archbishop John Martin Henni met him but thought Charles a transient, gave him a half dollar, and sternly told him it was not customary for beggars to call on the bishop. Disappointed but not discouraged the young man headed for Chicago by train. There he called on the Benedictine Fathers from St. Vincent’s Abbey, Latrobe, PA who were in charge of St. Joseph’s Parish on Chicago’s north side. While on his way several boys who noticed the “old country" satchel Neuzil carried, called him names and pelted him with snowballs. The housekeeper of St. Joseph’s rectory did not let him in, told him that the pastor was not in, and closed the door.

Charles returned to Spillville and told his tale to the pastor who became convinced that Neuzil had a vocation. Charles was encouraged to read an invitation by the Rev. John Jaeher in a Czech-language publication, Hlas (The Voice) calling on young men to become Benedictine monks to work among Czech immigrants in America. Encouraged by the pastor and with the blessing of his parents Charles set out on the long and tedious journey for the Benedictine St. Vincent’s Abbey. He enrolled in St. Vincent’s college at the age of 20 on 6 Sep 1881. As a student Charles spent his spare time reading, studying, preparing for debates and writing editorials and articles for Hlas, by translating the Latin class assignments into English. Then without consulting grammar and vocabulary texts he translated them back into Latin thus acquiring such knowledge of Latin that his professor questioned whether he cheated during prescribed quizzes.

Charles made his profession of vows as a monk of St. Vincent's Abbey 11 Jul 1885. It was at this point that he received the name Procopius. As a cleric Father Procopius’ strict study habits and observance of religious exercises impaired his health. He was sent to Chicago for medical treatment and lived in the newly-created St. Procopius Priory on Allport Street. There he regained his health and then plunged into a long career of apostolic activities.

While recovering at St. Procopius Father Neuzil suggested the founding of a high school. The school opened 2 Mar 1887 in an old rectory with Father Neuzil as director and teacher. Working at St. Procopius Priory was one of Father Neuzil's dreams. He was the first to make priestly vows for the new community and was ordained a priest 22 Dec 1888. Scarcely 3 months after his ordination he became active in missionary work. During the next 30 years, according to one source, Father Neuzil conducted


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