Franciscan and missionary, Fr Stan Brennan, OFM, died on Friday 6 July in Sunward Hospital, Boksburg, South Africa. The native of Roscommon was 82 years of age, and had been sick for sometime.
In 1965 Fr Brennan was sent to Boksburg, Reiger Park as a parish priest of St Francis Church. During his time in Reiger Park, Fr Stan saw that there was a need for people in the community to receive education and training. Thus in 1966 he started his first community based project and opened up an Adult Basic Education programme.
Since that time Fr Stan has contributed much more to the wider community in South Africa. He started and run the following projects:
* A Day Care Centre for the Aged in 1967.
* A Matric project, in 1986, which assists over 700 students each year.
* A drug and alcohol focused rehabilitation centre in 1988.
* St Francis Care Centre, in 1992, which started as a hospice dedicated to people dying from Aids related illnesses. It has since then opened two free clinics and a child care centre fostering 30 children, ranging from infancy to age seven, who are infected and affected by Aids, and a nursery school.
* In 1994 he started a skills development centre, St Anthony’s, which provides disadvantaged and marginalised people with skills to assist them in earning a living.
* In 2006 he moved to open Mercy Haven, a shelter for abused women and children.
All these programmes are still running and provide the mentioned services to the disadvantaged people. Fr Stan had retired some years ago to St Francis Care Centre and handed down the projects to his trusted colleagues.
Fr Stan received more than 50 awards for his dedication to the disadvantaged, most recently one from the Emperor of Japan on 19 June.
May he rest in the peace of Christ whom he served so faithfully.