Margaret Mary Brennan, 73, died the morning of May 22 at George Washington University Hospital in Washington D.C. following a tragic fall the day prior. She was surrounded by her husband and family. Born on March 13, 1949, the oldest child of John and Dorothy Brennan, she was raised in Washington D.C. with her six siblings: Ann Marie, Mary Grace, John, Philip, Eileen Marita, and Joseph. Their home served as a hub of neighborhood life. The daily visits of aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, and countless friends filled Margaret’s early years with love, and sowed within her a deep recognition of the importance of family.
She attended Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School and then Trinity College in D.C. During college she studied English literature and spent a formative year at Oxford University, where she forged lifelong friendships. Following her college graduation in 1971, she pursued a master’s degree in English at Illinois State. In 1976, Trinity asked her to supervise a group of young college women at Oxford. During this year, she made two trips to Lourdes, France to assist ill pilgrims in the baths, an experience that profoundly impacted her.
She settled in the Chicago area with a teaching position at Triton College, and in the late 1970s, she found the home that would sustain her for the rest of her life: The St. Giles Family Mass Community in Oak Park. There, she lived her deep Catholic faith, advocated for social justice, and cherished the community on which the church was built.
In 1984, she met Ted Brzyski, and the two married in 1986. Guided by their shared faith and common interests, they raised three children — Meg, Elizabeth, and Paul — in whom they instilled the love of life, learning, and a commitment to the common good.
Professionally, she took on roles that reflected her great passions: caring for the sick, children, and the English language. She worked as a chaplain at Loyola University Hospital and as director of pastoral care at Children’s Memorial Hospital. She edited manuscripts for Liturgy Training Publications, especially religious education materials for children. And along the way, she earned a doctorate in ministry from the University of Chicago.
In her sixties, Margaret found her final vocation. She returned to school and earned a master’s degree in counseling from Loyola Chicago and an LCPC licensure. Until her death, she worked as a therapist at the Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being.
On June 2, the family will hold a visitation beginning at 9 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 36th Street between N and O Streets, NW Washington D.C. The funeral will also be livestreamed at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZHjCLmyHts.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Augustine Catholic School in Washington, D.C. Checks can be sent to the parish office at St. Augustine Catholic School, 1419 V Street NW, Washington D.C. 20009.