I would like to express my prayers, sympathy and support to the Archdiocese of New York regarding the passing of Msgr. Dermot R. Brennan, pastor emeritus of St. Patrick’s, Yorktown Heights (CNY, April 22). He was always there for my family through good times and bad. It is a tough loss for the Archdiocese and for me personally.
Msgr. Brennan was a dear friend, mentor and role model. He was known as a “priest’s priest.” If you didn’t know him personally or only saw him at Mass, you may not have known how compassionate and caring he was. Msgr. Brennan brought St. Patrick’s parish out of debt and did a lot of good for many people. He also was an advocate for women in the Church, and never felt threatened to give lay people a place at the table. Through ALANON and other support groups, he helped families dealing with the pain of drug and alcohol addiction.
the late 1980s he worked with parishioners to establish a sister parish in Nicaragua. He fought to keep religious symbols on public display during the holidays. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and was outspoken on pro-lifeissues. He ministered faithfully to area nursing homes and worked tirelessly at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women, as well as Camp Marist in New Hampshire, where he spent many summer vacations.
This past year, I had been working with him on a revision and update to his popular book, “Homilies Kids Can See,” a book for priests, deacons and catechists about teaching Bible messages to children using visual aids. I’m honored to complete it as a memorial to his tireless work.
When he would hear people say, “I’m doing fine, and that’s better than the alternative,” he would never hesitate to say that the “alternative” is his goal and should be ours, too.