Fr Brendan Kilroy was born on the 12th of May 1936 to Thomas Kilroy and his wife Mary (nee Divine) at Callan, Co Kilkenny. One of ten children, he attended the local Mercy Primary School from 1941 to 1943 and the local CBS for the remainder of his primary education and the first year of his secondary education.
He then went to St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny where he sat the Leaving Certificate in 1954. In September of that year he joined the priests of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society, who are also known as the Kiltegan Fathers. He then went to St Patrick’s Douglas, Cork where he studied philosophy. He returned to Kiltegan for a four year course in theology which was interrupted for one year because of ill health. He was ordained on the 22nd of April 1962 (Easter Sunday) at Killamoat Church by Bishop Patrick Cleary SSC.
After ordination Brendan was appointed as Assistant Director of the Spiritual Year programme at Kiltegan. It was a demanding position as, at that time, up to forty young men were entering the seminary there each year.
In 1967, Brendan was sent to the USA with a view to setting up a recruitment programme there. He began by doing a degree in counselling and by the time that was finished plans for recruitment in the USA had been set aside. Instead, he became involved in the promotion programme of the Kiltegan Fathers in New Jesery. He also took a great interest in the Society house at Cliffside Park, New Jesery that was to be his home for forty five years. With the late Fr Tom Grealy he supervised the refurbishment of the house and the development of the grounds.
In 1977 he took up an appointment at Don Bosco Prep High School, Ramsey, New Jersey and worked there until he fell ill shortly before Christmas, 2011. He helped thousands of students in his roles as Religious Education Teacher, Chaplain and above all as Career Counsellor. His great joy was to help students develop their potential and choose a fulfilling career.
In late 2011 Brendan became seriously ill and was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease. He was flown home to Ireland on the 8th of March and spent nearly two weeks in Beaumont Hospital, before coming to the Care Unit in Kiltegan on the 21st of March. He died at 6am on the 27th of March 2012.
Brendan is survived by his sisters Sr. Mercy, Sr. Perpetua, Phil and Ursula and by his brothers John and Tom. He is predeceased by his sister, Sr. Maureen and by his brothers, Michael and P.C (Paddy). A kind and generous spirit, he is greatly missed by his brothers and sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Brendan was buried in the Society cemetery in Kiltegan on 30th March 2012 after Requiem Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel. May he rest in peace.
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