Reverend Edmund J. Brennan, 66, Girardville, passed away peacefully at Saint Luke’s Hospital, Bethlehem on Wednesday, February 12.
Born in Ashland, Father Brennan is the son of the late John A. and Margaret V. (Purcell) Brennan.
Father Brennan attended Saint Joseph Grade School, Girardville, and was a 1972 graduate of the former Cardinal Brennan High School, Fountain Springs. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy; and Mary Immaculate Seminary, Northampton, where he received a Masters of Divinity degree in Theology.
He was ordained to the Priesthood on March 20, 1982, by the Most Reverend Joseph M. McShea, Bishop of Allentown, at the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena, Allentown.
Father Brennan’s first Priestly Assignment was Parochial Vicar Pro Tempore at Annunciation Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Shenandoah, followed by Parochial Vicar, Saint Paul Church, Reading; Parochial Vicar, Saint Ursula Church, Fountain Hill; Parochial Vicar, Sacred Heart Church, Bethlehem; Parochial Vicar, Our Lady Help of Christians Church, Allentown; Parochial Vicar, Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena, Allentown; and Parochial Vicar Parochial Vicar, Saint Ann Church, Emmaus.
His first Pastoral Assignment was Pastor, Star of the Sea Church, Branchdale; followed by Pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Newtown.
During the course of his Priestly Ministry, Father Brennan served as Associate Professor, Reading Central Catholic High School, Reading; and Professor, Cardinal Brennan High School, Fountain Springs.
Father Brennan played up the role as the middle child of the Brennan Family growing up. He was a survivor of rheumatic fever which made him an easy going, precocious and spirted child. He made fast, furious, fierce and faithful friends. He enjoyed Broadway and the Arts, travel and vacationing to Ocean City, NJ.
Although the end of his vocation was marred with ill health, he remained a devoted parish priest assisting local pastors and parishioners in this community celebrating many masses, weddings, baptisms and funerals.
Father Brennan is survived by his two brothers, John Brennan, Allentown and Michael Brennan, Girardville; his four sisters: Mary Eleanor Brennan, Bethlehem, Margaret Anne Buchanan and husband Robert, Easton, Patricia Brennan, Girardville and Rose Marie Smallwood, Girardville; his loving nieces and nephews: Emily Anne and her husband Mark Kasmark, Jarrett and his wife Alexa Buchanan, Thomas Smallwood and Caroline Buchanan; numerous cousins.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Brennan will be celebrated at Saint Joseph the Worker Parish (St. Ann’s Church) 49 North Line Street, Frackville, on Wednesday, February 19 at 11 a.m. by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Alfred A. Schlert, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Allentown. The Homilist will be Reverend Martin T. Cioppi, Pastor, Mother of Divine Providence Church, King of Prussia.
Friends and family are invited to Father Brennan’s viewing on Tuesday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Thomas M. Sullivan Funeral Home, 403 W. Main Street, Girardville with a Vigil Service at 7:30 p.m. with Monsignor William F. Glosser and on Wednesday morning at St. Ann’s Church, Frackville from 9:30 a.m. until the time of mass. Interment will be held in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Fountain Springs.
Main Concelebrants will be Reverend Monsignor David L. James, Vicar General; Reverend Adam C. Sedar, Secretary for Clergy; Reverend Monsignor William F. Glosser, Vicar Forane, Schuylkill Deanery; Reverend Monsignor Thomas D. Baddick, Pastor, Notre Dame of Bethlehem Church, Bethlehem; Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Coyle, Pastor, Saint Ann Church, Emmaus; and Rev. Robert T. Finlan, Pastor, Holy Guardian Angels Parish, Reading.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made, in Father Brennan’s name, to NAMI at 3803 N Fairfax Dr, Suite 100 Arlington, VA 22203.