The Rev. James Henry Brennan, 100

March 02, 2006

The Rev. James Henry Brennan, who taught Roman Catholic priests for nearly 60 years, died of pneumonia Feb. 23 at St. Martin's Home in Catonsville. He was 100.

Born in Zerbe, Pa., he moved to Baltimore in the late 1920s and received his religious and academic training at St. Mary's Seminary.

He was ordained a priest in 1931, the year he began teaching at the old St. Charles Seminary in Catonsville. The next year he joined the Society of St. Sulpice, a Roman Catholic religious congregation whose mission is educating fellow priests.

He earned an additional ecclesiastical degree from the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in canon law from Catholic University of America in Washington. After serving at St. Edward's Seminary in Kenmore, Wash., he joined the faculty of St. Mary's Seminary in Roland Park, where he taught canon law.

He also had been the Visitation nuns' chaplain at their Roland Avenue monastery in the 1960s.

Father Brennan retired from St. Mary's in 1977, then taught at Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg until 1991. He also sat on the Baltimore Archdiocese's Tribunal, which reviews the validity of marriages for the purpose of annulment.

Friends recalled that at a celebration of his years in the priesthood, Father Brennan said, "I've not been the best sailor, but it's been a wonderful voyage." They also recalled that he gave a two-word recommendation to his students, "Be kind."

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, 711 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville.

There are no immediate survivors.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.