Legendary IHM Sr. Margaret Brennan laid to rest

Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Sister Mary McDevitt offers a final farewell to her longtime friend. (NCR/Tom Fox)

Monroe, Mich. — Dignified, graceful, courageous, perceptive, humorous, intelligent, loving and special were some of the words used to describe Immaculate Heart of Mary legend Sr. Margaret Brennan as her life and new life were celebrated here during two days of remembrances and liturgies May 1-2.

Brennan entered the fullness of life April 28 at the age of 92.

Family, friends, and religious leaders from around the nation and Canada seemed to universally agree the gathering was a joyful event that celebrated an extraordinary life of generosity and leadership.

Longtime friend, Oblate Fr. Bob Schramm, was the chief celebrant at a Mass of Christian Burial in a chapel of at the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Monroe, Mich., motherhouse.

Dr. Patricia Cooney Hathaway, Brennan's niece, in a eulogy remembered her aunt as very special person. "Of all the words I've heard her to describe Margaret, I think the one that stands out most is 'special'. She had a way of making each one of us feel special, and she was special to each one of us."

Hathaway described Brennan as a love catalyst within the family. "Margaret kept us connected to our roots and to one another. She listened to us without judgment or criticism.”

IHM Sr. Mary Sister Mary McDevitt remembered Brennnan as a person “who brought to us and to many a springtime of love, justice and service to the church." ​

Boston College theologian, Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Mary Ann Hinsdale, recalled the last days of Brennan's life. When asked for what she was most grateful, the dying and beloved Brennan answered, "for being an IHM sister."

Below is a video clip highlighting sites and sounds of the burial Mass.

The May 1 Remembrance liturgy was live streamed and can be watched at this link.

The May 2 Rite of Christian Burial was live streamed and can be watched at this link.

[Thomas C. Fox was NCR editor and/or publisher most years between 1980 and 2015. His reports from Vietnam appeared in the earliest issues of National Catholic Reporter. He has also reported for The Washington Star, the Detroit Free Press, TIME magazine and The New York Times. His e-mail address is tfox@ncronline.org.]

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