RINGWOOD, N.J. — Brennan Connelly, OFM, 81, a professed Franciscan friar for 61 years and a priest for 56, died Nov. 30 at Holy Name Friary.
A wake service was held Dec. 1 at Holy Name Friary. A second wake is scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 5 at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated there on Dec. 6. Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, will be principal celebrant. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury, Mass.
Born April 20, 1931 in Boston to Patrick and Mary Connelly, Brennan was baptized Joseph Patrick in St. Catherine’s Church in Charlestown, Mass. He graduated from Boston Latin High School in 1948 and attended Boston College for one year before entering the Province’s St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Order on Aug. 12, 1950 at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., where he professed first vows on Aug. 13, 1951. After completing philosophy studies at St. Stephen’s in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony’s in Butler, N.J., he studied theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C.
Brennan professed solemn vows on Aug. 13, 1954 at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., and was ordained on Sept. 8, 1956 at Mount St. Sepulchre in Washington, D.C.
Upon completing theological studies in 1957, he spent a pastoral internship year at St. Anthony Shrine. In 1958, he joined the faculty of St. Joseph Seminary, where he served for 12 years as professor, prefect of discipline, and vicar of the friar community.
In 1970, Brennan was assigned to St. Leo Parish in Elmwood Park, N.J., where he was parochial vicar for three years and pastor from 1973 to 1979. He was then elected to the Provincial Council, serving until 1985.
In September 1979, he was appointed guardian and director of pre-novitiate formation at Holy Cross Friary in the Bronx, N.Y. From 1983 to 1984, he continued his formation ministry at the Kensington Street Friary in Philadelphia.
Brennan joined the HNP Ministry of the Word in 1984 and preached parish missions and retreats until 2002. During that time, he returned to parish ministry as pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish in East Rutherford, N.J., serving from 1987 to 1992.
In 2002, Brennan returned to Holy Cross Parish in the Bronx as senior associate. From September 2008 to May 2011, he served as senior associate at St. Anthony Shrine before transferring to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood.
Brennan is survived by two sisters. Condolences may be addressed to them at: Mrs. Ann Stanton, 56 Elliot Street, Melrose, MA 02176, and Mrs. Mary Springer at 33 Forest Drive, Apt. C, Springfield, NJ 07081.
Memorial donations may be sent to: Holy Name Province Office of Development, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY, 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Theresa Bartha
Editor’s note: Messages about Brennan, many highlighting what the friar meant to people, are being posted on theFacebook page of Franciscan Friars of Holy Name Province.