Brennan, Thomas Francis

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Brennan, Thomas Francis

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Thomas Francis Brennan (1855-1916), Catholic bishop, the son of James and Margaret (Dunne) Brennan, was born at Bally Cullen, Tipperary, Ireland, 10 October 1855. He died on 21 March 1916 at Frascatti, Italy.

Brennan's family immigrated to Pennsylvania when he was eight. Brennan studied for the priesthood at St. Bonaventure's in Allegheny (N.Y.), the University of Rouen (France), and the University of Innsbruck (Austria) where he was awarded the degree of doctor of Divinity in 1876. He was ordained a priest on 4 July 1880, in Brixen, Austria, by Bishop John de Leiss. Soon after, Brennan began studies in canon law. His early career included a number of pastoral assignments in the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania. On 11 January 1888 he was made a Papal Chamberlain.In July 1890 the Vatican established Dallas as the third diocese in Texas. Brennan was named the first bishop of the new see, and on 5 April 1891, Tobias Mullen, Bishop of Erie, consecrated him to the episcopacy. At age of 35, Brennan was the youngest Catholic bishop in the United States at the time.

During his early months as bishop, Brennan traveled widely and his addresses were often reprinted in major newspapers. During his brief tenure he built churches in the new diocese and began publication of the Texas Catholic. He had inherited, however, the taxing responsibility of an extensive diocese, short on personnel and in considerable debt. While on a visit to Rome on 17 November 1892, Brennan was relieved of his Dallas post and transferred to the Titual See of Utila and made coadjutor to the Diocese of St. John's, Newfoundland.

On 7 October 1905 he was named titual Bishop of Caesarea in Mauretania. He later retired to a monastery in Grottoferrata, Italy. Brennan died on 2 March 1916 in Frascatti, Italy.


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Basilica-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist (St. John's, N.L.) (1793-1998)

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Born, William (1844-1910)

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Created - April 19, 2013


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