John F. Bresnahan, O.S.A.

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1918 – 1976 (December 7)

John Francis Breshnahan, son of Michael Bresnahan and Margaret Campbell, was born in Medford, Massachusetts on September 29, 1918. He was educated in Medford Public Schools and at Boston College High School, where he was involved in debating and dramatics. He entered the Novitiate at New Hamburg, New York, and was professed on September 10, 1938. He graduated from Villanova in 1942 and began theological studies in Washington, D.C. He also pursued graduate courses in English at The Catholic University. Due to illness, he discontinued his theological studies, and re-entered the novitiate as a brother candidate. John was awarded an M.S. in Library Science from Villanova College in 1953 and an M.A. in Religious Education in 1961. 

As Brother John, he taught at Villanova Preparatory School, Ojai, California, for 13 years, where he was librarian and prefect of studies, as well. He also taught at Saint Augustine’s High School, San Diego, Calif., for a year, and at Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pa., for a year. He was able to resume theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood at Merrimack College in Massachusetts by Richard Cardinal Cushing, on June 3, 1961.

When Biscayne College was opened in Miami, Florida, in 1962, Father Bresnahan was assigned there to organize the library. He was also Assistant Professor of Theology, taught Spanish, and was very active in professional organizations, and served as president of the Florida unit of the Catholic Library Association. He was also prominent in Ecumenical endeavors in the Miami area.

Father Bresnahan died of heart attack on December 7, 1976. He was 58 years old. A Funeral Mass was celebrated at Biscayne on Friday, December 10th, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Hall, Villanova, on Saturday, December 11th. Father Bresnahan was buried in the Augustinian Plot near St. Mary’s, Villanova. His body was later transferred with those of other friars to Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pa.