Msgr. Dermot R. Brennan

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Msgr. Dermot R. Brennan, pastor emeritus of St. Patrick’s parish in Yorktown Heights, died April 18. He was 90.

Msgr. Brennan was pastor of St. Patrick’s from 1985 until his retirement in 2005, when he moved into the John Cardinal O’Connor Pavilion of the St. John Vianney Priests’ Residence in the Bronx.

He also served as pastor of Our Lady of Victory parish, Mount Vernon, 1980-1985, and was a former vicar of Northern Westchester and Putnam counties.

A Parish Vigil Mass was offered April 27 at St. Patrick’s Church in Yorktown Heights. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Byrne was the principal celebrant, and Father Louis Jerome, pastor of St. Charles on Staten Island, delivered the homily. A Funeral Mass was offered April 28 in St. Patrick’s Church. Cardinal Dolan was the principal celebrant, and Father Joseph McLafferty, pastor of St. Christopher and St. Margaret Mary on Staten Island, delivered the homily.

Last year, a surprise birthday car parade was held May 22 for Msgr. Brennan, who turned 90 that day. Approximately 150 cars joined the afternoon caravan in Yorktown Heights. Parade participants, observing Covid-19 protocols, came from St. Patrick’s and other area parishes where Msgr. Brennan had served.

“He was a great priest, full of enthusiasm and energy,” Father Jerome, who knew Msgr. Brennan for almost 40 years and served under him as parochial vicar of St. Patrick’s, Yorktown Heights, 1994-2001, told CNY.

Father Jerome added Msgr. Brennan was a creative musician, magician and author. He has used a Communion homily from Msgr. Brennan’s book of children’s homilies, “Homilies Kids Can See,” and said he plans on using this homily again. 

“He was very good with children,” Father Jerome said.

Msgr. Brennan was a parochial vicar of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish, 1970-1980, and St. Peter’s, Liberty, 1956-1958. He was a weekend associate of St. Margaret of Cortona and St. Gabriel, the Bronx. He served on the faculties of Cardinal Hayes High School, the Bronx, and Bishop Dubois High School, Manhattan. He also served at the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan.

Born in New York City, he earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, and a master’s from Teachers College of Columbia University, Manhattan. He was ordained by Cardinal Francis Spellman at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on June 2, 1956. He was named a monsignor in 1990.

Burial will follow the Funeral Mass in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne.