On Nov. 30, a local man with a global footprint died: Fr. Patrick J. Brennan, prolific author, lecturer, sought-after homilist and innovative priest who brought the light of faith to the hearts of the people.
Patrick Brennan was no ordinary priest; he was a giant of a man in a small frame, priest for the people and a priest for our times in challenging the status quo. His gifts were numerous and powerful and he used them well to deliver a message of love and compassion to all without the constraints of hierarchical rule. He was a healer to the hurting, visionary to the potential of the individual, communities, and the faith, prophet with an almost artistic sense of presenting a lived faith to all. He was a counselor to so many struggling with the adversities of life.
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These eclectic gifts made Fr. Pat appear bigger than life to so many, yet these same gifts caused him to be silenced by those in power. Why are we surprised that the gift to the people would be a threat to an institution that has lost its way? His God-given voice spoke to the hearts of a newly empowered people to think for themselves, to use their consciences in making decisions and solving problems and to recognize that these are Spirit-filled gifts that must be actualized.
You are physically gone, Fr. Page, creating a giant hole in our hearts. Your message, your life, however, is profoundly alive in our hearts. You have transformed us. We now have the responsibility to pass it on no longer mute and obedient but passionate and resolute as you were in living the gospel and, if necessary, use words! God speed, good and faithful servant.
Janet W. Hauter