- IE IJA J/746
- 18 September 1900-04 February 1973
Born: 18 September 1900, Bandon, County Cork
Entered: 02 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Campion House, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia
Died: 04 February 1973, Nazareth House, Salisbury, Rhodesia
by 1923 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at St Aidan’s, Grahamstown, South Africa (ANG) teaching
by 1936 at St Paul’s Mission, Salisbury, Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1940 in Monte Cassino Mission, Macheke, Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1954 at Campion Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1962 at St Francis Xavier, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1966 at St John’s, Salisbury, Rhodesia (ANG) working
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937
Father James F. Brennan of the Irish Province is doing work in S. Rhodesia at St. Paul’s Mission. “He had the nasty experience of being bitten by a. snake while half asleep in a Kraal school. He was for a time unconscious, but the bite yielded to treatment by the Dominican Sisters. On this occasion Father Brennan could not take his watch-dog. We must thank God that the snake, by chance, was not of the very poisonous variety”. “English Jesuit Missionary Magazine”
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948
Fr. J. F. Brennan returned to the Salisbury Mission in November after some months rest in Ireland. He accompanied the new Superior of the Mission, Fr. E. Enright, to Capetown on the “Durban Castle”.
Irish Province News 48th Year No 2 1973
Fr James Brennan (1900-1973)
Fr James Brennan was born at Bandon, Co. Cork, Sept. 18th, 1900. After elementary schooling in his home town as a boy of fifteen he went to Clongowes whence he entered the noviciate at Tullabeg in 1919. On taking his vows in 1921 he remained at Tullabeg until the following year when he accompanied the late Fr Joseph O'Connor to Stonyhurst for Philosophy. He possessed a wonderful facility for making friends and it was apparently during the years at Stonyhurst he made acquaintance first with Fr Philip Beisly, then a scholastic somewhat senior to himself but with whom he contracted so close a friendship that later, in 1934 after the tertianship he volunteered for the Zambesi Mission where Fr Beisly was recently appointed Superior.
During the intervening years Fr Jim followed the routine course of formation. On completing Philosophy in 1925 he returned as teacher and prefect to his Alma Mater, where he showed himself a popular member of the Community, paratus ad omnia - his musical talents being particularly availed of.
In 1929 he went to Milltown Park for theology, ordination 1932, St. Buneo's 1933, for tertianship and the following year Rhodesia where he laboured with success for practically 40 years. His first appointment in his new field was to St Peter’s Harare after which he went as Superior to St Paul’s Mission, Musami. In 1939 he became Superior of Monte Cassino Mission where he remained until 1950. The next three years he spent at Que Que, (Kwekwe) then six years in the Cathedral Parish in Salisbury. Again 1960-3 he was in charge at Braeside. By this time his health, never robust, was deteriorating but he still contrived to be useful fulfilling the duties as Chaplain at St John’s School, Avondale and for portion of the time he acted as Chaplain to St Anne’s Hospital in the same neighbourhood.
On the few occasions of which he availed himself to return to the “home countries” he presented himself in the same urbane somewhat diffident personality which endeared him to everyone, reminiscent of that man of whom Dr Johnson once remarked that if he, the Doctor, had had a quarrel he would be most embarrassed in finding matter with which he could abuse him. There was a warmth and cheerfulness of character about him that no one ever hesitated to ask a favour or impose on him an obligation knowing that he would not suffer a refusal. On his return to Rhodesia after his last visit home he was compelled to retire to Nazareth House, Salisbury permanently, again winning the spontaneous affection of all. The nuns saw to it that his birthday on two occasions was celebrated in festive way and finally when on Sunday February 4th he died as a result of a stroke that overtook him a few days previously his obsequies were concelebrated by seventeen priests among whom Archbishop Markall was the chief concelebrant and the spacious chapel of Nazareth House was thronged by those in various walks of life who claimed his friendship. RIP