Sister Dominica Brennan admired for ‘pastoral heart’

| March 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
Sister Brennan Dominica

Sister Brennan Dominica

Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn had a simple comment about the death of Dominican Sister Dominica Brennan, who formerly served in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as the chancellor for canonical affairs.

“The Church has lost a great woman,” the archbishop said, of Sister Dominica, who died March 18 at the age of 77. “She worked very, very well with her colleagues and she will be remembered by all of our priests and religious with whom she came in contact as an extraordinary woman.”

Sister Dominica grew up in Springfield, Ill., and joined the Dominican Sisters of Springfield in 1957. She was a teacher and later studied canon law.

She came to the archdiocese in 1992 and, four years later, became the chancellor for canonical affairs, a position she held until 2008, when she left to become director of mission integration for her community in Springfield. Sister Dominica also served as the director of the Office of Conciliation until 2008. In addition, she served in parish adult faith formation, and was an accomplished pianist and choir director.

“She had a splendid knowledge of canon law, but she had a pastoral heart,” Archbishop Flynn said. “She combined the two to make a very effective chancellor for canonical affairs.”

Archbishop Flynn said he had a “deep friendship” with Sister Dominica, and he was able to visit her a few weeks before she died. He also had one final phone conversation with her.

“It meant a great deal,” he said. “I was able to tell her once again of my promise of prayer. I have been praying to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton that some kind of miracle would occur, but the Lord had other plans. When I was with her the last time, I asked if she was at peace with the prognosis, and she was not at peace yet, but she promised me that she would get there. I believe she had that peace before she died.”

Visitation and funeral will be held March 25 in Springfield. Archbishop Flynn will preside.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 1237 W. Monroe, Springfield IL 62074.

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Category: Obituaries