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Obituary: Father Gerard M. Brennan, retired Air Force chaplain


Father Gerard M. Brennan Pilot file photo

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Father Gerard "Gerry" M. Brennan died peacefully in his sleep at Regina Cleri Boston on March 9. He would have been 90 on May 21.

Born in the Hub's Dorchester section on May 21, 1926, he was the last surviving of the six children of the late Francis and Susan (Greenan) Brennan. Two of his deceased sisters were Sisters of Notre Dame, Sister Clare Francis, SNDdeN and Sister Gerard, SNDdeN. The family lived in St. Paul Parish and young Gerry went to Boston College High School before entering St. John's Seminary. A member of the class of 1950 he was ordained by fellow BC High Alumnus and Boston's Archbishop Richard Cushing at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 3, 1950 -- about three weeks shy of his 24th birthday.

Following ordination he had two assignments as an assistant; St. Pius Fifth, Lynn and St. Peter, Cambridge. In October 1953 Archbishop Cushing, who was flush with priests and was even more generous in sharing his surplus with other dioceses and the military services, released Father Brennan for service in South Dakota; but as a reserve Air Force chaplain he needed to be closer to Boston and so ended up in the Burlington diocese. At the small town of Bennington he found himself the founding builder and principal of the new Bennington Catholic High School. In 1961 he was incardinated into the diocese of Burlington and the following year was released to serve full time in the US Air Force chaplain corps.

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