|March 14, 2016 • VOL. 54, NO. 5 • Oakland, CA|
Sister Imelda Marie Dibble, OP
Brother David Brennan, FSC
Brother David Brennan, a Brother of the Christian Schools whose assignments included service at De La Salle High School in Concord and Saint Mary's College High School in Berkeley, died Feb. 15 from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 72.
A native of San Francisco, Brother Brennan was raised in St. Gabriel's Parish. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School, also in San Francisco, in 1961. He later earned an associate of science (AS) degree from Trade Tech College in Los Angeles and a BA in business from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
Brother Brennan entered the novitiate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1961 and received his religious habit the following year. He pronounced his final vows in 1968 at Saint Mary's College in Moraga. Over the years he was a teacher, dean, principal, and finance officer among other roles and in addition to De La Salle High School and Saint Mary's College High School — where Brennan Hall was named after him — Brother Brennan also served at Saint Mary's Residence School in Napa, the Provincial residence in Lafayette as treasurer and finance director, and De La Salle House in St. Helena as president of Mont La Salle Vineyards.
In 1995 he was also appointed as Brother Visitor, also known as the provincial, who is the San Francisco District's chief pastoral and administrative officer. He served in that position for two four-year terms until 2003. After moving to Sacred Heart-Cathedral High School he served as director of the Brother's Community and as chairman of the LaSallian Education Fund Board of Trustees. Brother Brennan moved to Mont La Salle in Napa in 2006, remaining as chair of the LaSallian Education Board until he retired in 2008.
He is survived by his brother, John J. Brennan Jr. and his sister-in-law, Kathy Brennan of Walnut Creek, many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
The funeral Mass was held Feb. 20 at Mont La Salle Chapel in Napa. Burial followed at the Brothers Cemetery at Mont La Salle.
Rev. Eric Vargas, SVD
Rev. Eric Vargas, a missionary priest whose pastoral ministry stretched from the Diocese of Oakland to the shores of Puerto Rico and beyond, died Feb. 27 in Techny, Illinois, at the age of 67. He will be warmly remembered by friends, family and former parishioners as a pastor for the people.
"Pope Francis once said, 'The thing the Church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful.' Eric fulfilled that mission," said Rev. Michael Hutchins SVD, a classmate of Father Vargas and rector of Divine Word Theologate. "He lived his life with his heart open to people in need."
Born in New York City, Father Vargas joined the Society of the Divine Word at Bordertown, New Jersey, in 1963 and graduated with a bachelor's degree in sociology. He professed religious vows in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in 1972.Three years later, he was ordained to the priesthood.
While living on the East Coast, Father Vargas was rector of the Divine Ministry community in Washington, D.C.; dean of students at Divine Word Seminary in Bordentown, New Jersey; and chairman of the Divine Word Formation and Education Committee for minor seminaries in North America.
He was also assigned to pastoral ministry in California. While on the West Coast, he served as a hospital chaplain in St. Bernardine Medical Center and the Community Hospital of San Bernardino; pastor of St. Anthony in San Bernardino. In the Diocese of Oakland he served as associate pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Oakland; and twice as pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Oakland. He worked as a vocation director in Los Angeles.
In addition to his assignments from the Society of the Divine Word, he was a member of the Department of Worship Committee in the Diocese of Oakland and the Department of Religious Life in the Diocese of San Bernardino.
Father Vargas requested and was granted early retirement in 2004, for health reasons. In 2008 he moved to Techny.
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