Rev. James Brennan, C.Ss.R., of the Stella Maris community, Timonium, Maryland, died on January 20, 2023, age 84 and seven months.
Born on June 23, 1938, in Boston to James Patrick and Margaret (Gorman), he was baptized at Blessed Sacrament on July 31, 1938, in Jamaica Plain and confirmed at OLPH, Boston, where he attended the parish school.
He attended St. Mary’s Preparatory Seminary from 1952 to 1958 and professed temporary vows at St. Mary’s, Ilchester, MD, August 2, 1959, and perpetual vows at Mt. St. Alphonsus, Esopus, NY, September 2, 1962. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 21, 1964.
Father Brennan’s second novitiate, as with other members of that ordination class, was waived. At the Mount he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1961 and Master of Religious Education in 1965. After ordination, Father Brennan’s first assignment was to teach at St. Mary’s, North East from 1965 to 1966. He then went for further studies at St. Louis University from 1966 to 1968, where he earned a Master of Arts in English.
He returned to teach at St. Mary’s from 1968 to 1977. From April to September 1977, he was stationed at the Mission Church, Boston and then OLPH, Brooklyn from October 1977 to January 1982.
A new ministry opened for him successively in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and then Caguas and Guayama in Puerto Rico in 1982. On June 10, 1984, he formally transferred to the Province of San Juan, but with the option of returning later to the Baltimore Province. He did so in 1991 living at St. Peter the Apostle in Philadelphia while taking a Sabbatical Program.
He became rector of St. Cecelia in Spanish Harlem, New York City in 1993. In 1999, he was the rector of Holy Redeemer College in Washington, DC. In 2006 he joined Fr. Tim Keating in a new apostolate in Springfield, MA, revitalizing the St. Francis Center and developing the Latino ministry in the city center. His abilities in Spanish were utilized again in Philadelphia, where beginning in July 2011, he was associate pastor of Visitation BVM before a stroke led to the need for further care at the St. John Neumann Residence in 2016.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Thursday, January 26th at 10:00 AM at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Mission Church) at 1545 Tremont St. Boston. A viewing will take place in the Church from 9:00-9:45 AM before the start of the Funeral Mass. Interment to follow at Mt. Calvary Cemetery; 366 Cummins Highway; Roslindale.