Jesuit Father William J. Brennan died on Aug. 11, 2014, at St. Camillus in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 94 years old, a Jesuit for 75 years and a priest for 63 years.
Born in Wauwatosa on May 14, 1920, Fr. Brennan attended grade school in Wauwatosa and Whitefish Bay and graduated from Marquette University High School in 1938. He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, on Sept. 1, 1938. After the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, Saint Louis University and St. Mary’s College, Fr. Brennan was ordained on June 14, 1951, made tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, and pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1954.
Fr. Brennan lived not only a long Jesuit life, but a very full Jesuit life. Regency in Belize was the beginning of years of service in Central America, in both Belize and in Yoro, Honduras, and of a lifelong ministry in various Latino parishes in New Mexico, Texas, California and Wisconsin. From 1966 to 1979, Fr. Brennan taught at Saint Louis University High School and at Marquette University High School. Involvement in the struggle for justice and peace was also lifelong for Fr. Brennan. From 1981 to 1985 he lived and worked at the Casa Maria House in Milwaukee, and almost to the day he died he continued to demonstrate for justice issues, for the poor and oppressed to whom he gave his heart.