We are saddened to hear the news that Jeff Brennan has died. What a good and faithful disciple. Our condolences go out to his family, especially his children Michael Brennan, Tim Brennan, Mary Catherine Hill, Heather Miller, and his nine grandchildren.
In my early years (1989 – 1998) helping with the four weekend masses at Resurrection, I got to know Jeff and Judy Brennan well. They may have seemed a bit disproportionate, Jeff towering over Judy, but they were every bit a wonderful couple, each with their own uniqueness that certainly complemented the other.
Jeff and I had a wonderful conversation a few months ago. Isn’t it amazing how much goodness happens when we take the time and really listen to each other’s stories? As you know, Jeff has dealt with a number of health issues these past years. But he remained the same sweet, humble and “gentle” man I had always known. No complaints from Jeff. For him, life is blessing and he was grateful.
We talked a good bit about Judy, how much we missed her. I shared with Jeff how wonderful it was doing ministry with her. Judy directed liturgy back then, and she knew what she was doing. She had a quality that very organized people have—you could be sure that as mass was about to begin, everything was in it’s right place, and every minister was prepared and ready to go.
Judy was “present” but not in any showy way. She was on top of every detail, but always stayed in the shadows, not the limelight. She could seem “tough,” but that was the look of surety (confidence) minus any ego. Always, as mass began, she would look me in the eye, broker that Judy “half smile,” and tell me, “Let’s do our very best!”
Jeff loved hearing me boast about Judy. I was surprised when he told me it has been 14 years since she died. We all know how quickly time passes by. So why haven’t we mastered the art of treasuring each day? We know the what’s yet to come is limited. Why don’t we truly “live resurrection” all the time?
Jeff loved coming to Resurrection. He resided at Maris Grove, Pennsylvania. That is not only quite a distance, it also means contending with some hectic traffic. Jeff smiled when he told me that he passes 5 catholic parishes in order to come to Resurrection. “But,” he added, “I wouldn’t have it any other way. Resurrection is everything to me.”
Jeff is right. “Resurrection” is everything. Thanks be to God. That’s our ultimate belief. And what we believe should show itself in the way we live our lives.
Jeff and Judy Brennan not only belonged to Resurrection. They showed us “Resurrection.” In this Easter season, we share the stories of the early disciples who joyfully announced to others, “We have seen the Lord!”
Let us give thanks to God for our parish community, especially those founding disciples who started something so good. People like Jeff and Judy Brennan whose selfless work, unending goodness, and vital faith, became a loving statement that still proclaims, “We have seen the Lord!”