Mark Breen, OFM
1921 – 1989
Fr. Mark Breen, OFM, was born on July 29, 1921 in Philadelphia. He entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., at age 13, and was received into the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1941. He professed temporary vows one year later, made his solemn profession in 1945, and was ordained in 1948.
He taught at Bishop Timon High School for three years, and then went to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City. In 1952, he attended the Preacher’s Institute at The Catholic University of America, and became a member of the Western Mission Band in Denver. In 1956, Fr. Mark became a chaplain in the United States Air Force, and served in Texas, Florida, Canada, and Morocco. He returned to the Province’s Mission Band in 1962, ministering out of St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., until 1966.
Fr. Mark then received permission to return to his ministry as military chaplain, and for the next 14 years, served in Vietnam, Korea, Germany, and Italy. He received the Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, as well as two commendations, which described Fr. Mark as a “selfless, concerned and motivated priest who serves parishioners and his entire brigade superbly.” After returning to the United States, Fr. Mark served as associate pastor in Rochelle Park, N.J., and ministered at St. Francis Chapel, Albany, N.Y.
He died on Dec. 16, 1989 at Kimberly Hospital, Lakewood, N.J. Fr. Mark was 68 years old, a professed friar for 47 years and a priest for 41 years.