behl-richard

Msgr. Behl was born June 5, 1941 in New Brunswick. He attended St. Joseph School, Bound Brook, and St. Peter the Apostle High School in New Brunswick.

He entered minor seminary immediately after high school, studying at St. Charles College in Catonsville, Md., for two years. He spent the next two years at St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, where he earned a bachelor’s degree.

He then attended the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, to complete his studies for the priesthood at the Gregorian University. He graduated from the Gregorian University with a doctorate in sacred theology and was ordained Dec. 17, 1966 at St. Peter’s Basilica. Msgr. Behl also earned a doctorate in ministry at Princeton University in 1975.
Msgr. Behl served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Parish, South Amboy; St. James Parish, Red Bank; and the Church of the Nativity, Fair Haven.

In 1977, he received his first pastorate, at Our Lady of the Mount Parish, Warren. In 1985, he was installed as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Bernardsville.

In 1995 he was appointed rector of the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi. In 2007, he was named pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle in Old Bridge.

He also served on the national board of Pontifical Mission Societies.

In 2008, Msgr. Behl was knighted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.
He was predeceased by his parents, Mae Lillian and Harold Behl. He is survived by his cousins, Jerilynn Wilson and Eilen Kohler.
Interment was at St. Joseph Cemetery, Bound Brook.

Arrangements were handled by Costello-Runyon Funeral Home, Metuchen.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Thomas Extraordinary Fund, 1 St. Thomas Plaza, Old Bridge, NJ 08857