Condolence & Memory Journal


Msgr. Ralph was like a father to me. I met him in 1984 when I moved to Austin and started going to St Thomas More. I was a young girl in my 20s and did not have any family near. I was really down one day and he noticed and asked me if he could pray for me. Three years later he performed my marriage ceremony and he baptized all three of my boys. I was wondering about him a lot lately and decided to try to find him to get in touch with him again. I just found out that he passed. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family! He was a wonderful man and he played a huge part in my faith. I am saddened that I did not find him after all of these years before he passed but I know I will cherish the memories I have of him forever! Rest in Peace Father Ralph! Lisa

Posted by Lisa Lawson Waldinger Mathews - Irving, TX   October 23, 2013

I will always remember the amount of time and support that Fr Brennan gave to our CYO Diocesan Activities back when I was active in the 1970s & 1980s. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. May God bless his family and loved ones in your time of grief. I am a better man, father, Christian because of his positive influence during this period of my life.

Posted by Mike Kelm - Livingston, TX - CYO Member - Austin Diocese   February 16, 2012

Farther Ralph, Thank you for sharing your faith and stories of faith with our parish community. Our prayers go out for all that will miss you. Peace my friend, Earl

Posted by Deacon Earl Colley, St. Monica - Cameron,, TX - Fellow servant/catechist   February 16, 2012


Msgr. Brennan,
Thank you for your many years of loyal service as a priest serving Our Lord and His church. May you have eternal rest and God keep you in his loving care.
Alvin and Virginia Malinowski

Posted by Alvin and Virginia Malinowski - Houston, TX - Friend   February 16, 2012

Fr. Brennan went on a trip to Poland on a trip that I organized. we thoroughly enjoyed having him on the trip. Fr Brennan served in Brenham where I once lived as a young child. He was also the Pastor of St. Thomas Moore parish, my brother's parish.

Posted by Virginia Felchak Hill - Houston, TX   February 16, 2012


rest in peace, Fr. Ralph. and thank you for the time you spent with us at St. Mary's. you were a good friend, a great man and will be sorely missed.

Posted by James and Gina Draehn and family -and- John Januszewski - Brenham, TX   February 15, 2012


Going to miss you.....sorry we wasted the time!!!! With all our love!!! Mike & Paula

Posted by Mike and Paula Turner - Edna, TX - long time friend   February 15, 2012

We were very blessed to have known Fr. Ralph since 1985 when he came to St. Mary's in Brenham. He was a wonderful pastor and boss. He will be forever in our hearts.

Posted by Theodore & Gale Kwiatkowski - Brenham, TX - Friends   February 15, 2012

The thing i remember about Father Ralph was he enjoyed being around people. He always seemed very happy, and i think he liked too keep busy. He always had a smile on his face. He will be missed by the people who called him a friend.

Posted by Eleanor Howard - Houston, TX - Friend   February 15, 2012

Msgr. Brennan was such a special man and I was fortunate to know him all 54 years of his priesthood. I was a teenager when he came to St. Joseph's in Bellmead , and like so many others, immediately developed an admiration for this kind, gentle, caring spiritual leader. He performed my marriage ceremony, baptized one of my children and became a wonderful friend to our family. He visited us when we moved to Missouri and again when we moved to Corpus Christi For many years, he would come on the Monday after Easter to visit and enjoy the beach. We looked forward to him being a part of our family during those years and our lives were truly enriched by his presence .

Posted by Mary Ann Losak Shaw - Corpus Christi, TX - friend   February 15, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,
I met Fr. Brennan in the late 90's when he came to serve as Pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Brenham, and instantly like him. Like myself he was always very interested in ecumenical relationships. In those days the relationship between St. Mary's and St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, which was only a block away, was not that good. Imagine Polish Catholics and German Lutherans! But together we were able to build a strong relationship between the two congregations and on several occasions over the years celebrated our commonality in the Gospel.
I was so surprized to read of his death in the Waco Tribune-Herald, and I pray the Lord's presence with you all, and at the same time rejoice in Ralph's victory in the Lord Jesus Christ. I will certainly have you in my prayers in the days and weeks to come.


Posted by Rev. Dr. Kenneth Moerbe - Waco, TX - Friend and Colleague   February 14, 2012

Father Ralph was truly Gods servant. He was a great leader during our rapid growth at St. Thomas More. He was a kind and gentle man. The entire Grube family will miss his friendship and his ever smiling face.

We will hold the memories of Father Ralph close to our hearts.

Posted by Judy Grube - Austin, TX - Parishoner   February 14, 2012

Thank you for your years of holiness and service to the Catholic Church. You married my husband and I almost 31 years ago and we've had a beautiful blessed marriage. May you rest in peace with the lord.

Posted by Anne Vise - Leander, TX   February 14, 2012

From 2003-2006, Msgr. Ralph and I drove to classes in Belton for training in spiritual direction. He told me he wanted to attend the three years of training as a spiritual renewal. His humility really impressed me -- such a magnificent priest with a life of service to the church and he wanted to refresh his commitment. What an amazing example!

During our drives, he listened to me with compassion, shared wisdom and reflections, and often spoke with tenderness of his nieces and nephews and of the people in parishes where he had served. I thank God for his dear and faithful servant. May his reward be very great in heaven.

Posted by Sarah Ramos - Austin, TX - friend   February 14, 2012


Msgr. Ralph Brennan, Thank you again for St. Thomas More Parish, our RE Staff, RE Students, especially Deacon Dan's Elementary Special Needs Class thanking you for your leadership and letting God's Word flow through you into our hearts and minds! I am truly grateful for sharing our thanks to Msgr. Brennan personally after Mass one day and let him know how thankful we are for him and how much the staff and children love listening to Karen Lawson Fruit of the Spirit songs and learning in the Brennan Auditorium about Fr. James' Missionary work in Nigeria bring living waters, hearing Fr. Elmer Holtmann instruct us to be sure the children know We, STM, are connected in our community with MLF, and seeing their eyes smiling faces lit up feel the love of Christ. We love you and will cherish all of these memories and hope in the promises of Jesus and walk gently in your example of sweet countenance you have shown. Pray for us!
Love, Caroline xo

Posted by Caroline Chapman - Austin, TX - Deacon Dan's Special Needs Class   February 14, 2012

Thank you, Father for the long years you spent with us. We moved back to Austin in 1982 and for a time, I drove to St. Louis Church for Mass but one day someone mentioned STM and I have been here since. I love this place, Father and I know that your influence had much to do with who these people are and their attitude toward our God and toward each other. Welcoming visitors as Christ might have welcomed them today. Father Ralph, remember us still here and ask God for his continued grace and love for us.

Posted by Emil Balusek - Austin, TX - Parishoner at Saint Thomas More   February 14, 2012

Father Ralph you have always been one of my favorite people. You shared some of the most important days in my life - from my marriage to baptizing both my children. You're the reason I've remained a Catholic. You are a true blessing and now you really are one of God's Angels.

Posted by Angela Hahn - Brenham, TX - friend   February 14, 2012


Fr. Ralph came to St Thomas More with his wonderful smile and friendliness
that automatically drew you to him. There were many a Christmas Eve that
Fr. spent at our house enjoying our Polish "Wigilia" (Christmas Eve dinner)
with all our traditions and loved talking to our daughters Alicia and Terry
who were in elementary and middle school at the time. We all loved hime and will miss him very much. May God grant him peace.
The Blaszak's

Posted by Don and Gloria Blaszak - Austin, TX - Friends of Fr. Ralph from STM   February 14, 2012


Our thought and prayers are with the family during this time. What a wonderful priest and a true blessing to the community!

Posted by Anders' Family - TX   February 14, 2012

Msgr. Ralph was a sweet and beautiful man! We enjoyed the masses when he was the presider. We did not know or meet him until the mid to late '90s so we did not know him while he was the Pastor at STM, but we are so glad that we had the opportunity to meet him and experience his great knowledge and love.

He will be missed!

Posted by Steve Mannion - Austin, TX - Parishoner of STM   February 14, 2012


I have only been a Catholic since 2008. I became Caholic at St. Thomas More. I did not know Msgr. Ralph well, the memories I have are from listening to the way the members of the RCIA team spoke of of Msgr. Ralph. There was truly great respect for this wonderful man.

God Bless......

Posted by Geneva Sue Pair - Round Rock, TX - Parishiner of St. Thomas More   February 14, 2012


Fr. Ralph was a kind and gentle man and a wonderful priest. His eyes glowed with the love he had for our Lord. He will be missed and I am grateful for him sharing that love with our parish.
My sincerest condolences to his family.

Posted by Carol Cantelmo - Austin, TX - Parishoner at St. Thomas More   February 14, 2012

We were blessed to have known Father Ralph and have him in our lives. We were one of the first couples he married when he moved to St. Mary's in Brenham, 25 years ago. We also had to honor of having him baptize both of our daughters even though we had moved away. He was a gentle person, a kind spirit, and instantly we became friends. We eventually reconnected when we moved to Austin and he returned to St. Thomas More. What a blessing he was to so many. Father Ralph you will truly be missed but we know you're home now and at peace. God Bless.

Posted by Louella and Kevin Niemeyer - Leander, TX - friend   February 14, 2012

Fr. Brennan was a gentle and caring person. I knew him from St. Joseph's in Bellmead. I went through CCD classes with him in the 60s and when I married in 1969 he maried us. I have many wonderful memories of him. Thank you Fr. Brennan for the influence you had on my life. Rest in Peace.

Posted by Cindy Pearce - Wichita Falls, TX - former parishioner at St. Joseph   February 14, 2012


Monsignor Ralph Brennan, heartfelt thanks for the blessing and gift of our founding priest at St. Thomas More Parish, we will cherish the memories and words spoken during Mass. We are forever grateful and know his star shines bright in heaven! Msgr. Ralph, pray for us! xo

Posted by Chapman Family - Austin, TX - Parishioner   February 14, 2012


Fr. Ralph was like a grandfather to me. I met him at St. Forest North and had him in my life for many of my milestones. When I was going through confirmation classes, I asked him to be my sponsor..he said "for what?" He said he had never been asked to sponsor someone for confirmation. After checking with the Bishop, he did. He congratulated me after HS graduation, took me to lunch when I would come from from college, kept up with me throughout adulthood, and married me in 2000 at St. Ann's Parish in Coppell. He said he was surprised when I wanted him to officiate. Why wouldn't I? He was loving, caring, always listened, gave me wisdom, gave the greatest hugs (although he said I did), and always had time for me. He was a true model of Christ in everyway that I can think of and I was so blessed to have him in my life. I love you Fr. Ralph and I know you are happy to be home.

Posted by Cyndi Brinkman Doyle - Krum, TX - friend   February 13, 2012


I was blessed to be under Msgr. Brennan's spiritual direction for only the last six months. He was a gentle, warm, kind, holy man who was a great listener and advisor.I always looked forward to the time I was able to spend with him and I will miss him greatly. He helped me to strengthen my faith and helped me to understand where God was leading me in my vocation. With great hope and faith in the resurrection, I pray that he will still guide us and pray for us from his new home in heaven.

Posted by Ed Ford - Lakeway, TX - Spiritual Director   February 13, 2012


The 3 most important men in my life are together now, you married us in 1968, we all moved to Austin at the same time, you baptized our children and guided us through our spiritual life. Please continue to pray for us.

Posted by Anna Urbanovsky - West, TX - Friend & Priest for many years   February 13, 2012


Just wanted to say how you will be dearly missed. Thanks for all the memories from St. Joseph's Bellmead, your wise counseling and a personal friend to my own family. The girls will miss calling you Uncle Ralph. Remember us sinners here on earth. "You've Got a Friend"

Posted by Barbara Wiedman - Waco, TX - friend   February 13, 2012

For the last 4 years, Msgr Brennan was my spiritual advisor. He was such a great listener and so very humble. I list him as Monsignor Brennan however he would not want us to call him that, he would say please call me fr Brennan. But out of respect I call him Msgr Brennan. He deserves that title. I will miss him so much. Rest peacefully; you deserve it.

Posted by Lorie Gioia - Austin, TX - friend   February 13, 2012

For the last 3 years Fr. Ralph has been my spiritual advisor. We met monthly and I always looked forward to our meetings. He was patient, reflective, and gently led me along my spiritual path. I learned a great deal from him and will deeply miss my dear friend.
Chet Dombrowski

Posted by Chester J. Dombrowski - Bastrop, TX - Spiritual Advisor   February 13, 2012


Father Ralph, you honored us by being a good shepard for your flock at St. Mary's. You will be missed, but we are grateful to good that he chose you for our parish. How blessed we were. Watch over us and know you remain in our hearts always.

Posted by Margie and Ken Moore - Brenham, TX - parishioner and friend   February 13, 2012

Father Ralph: a loving and compassionate pastor, a kind and gentle presence, a friend for the journey. You are loved, missed and will never be forgotten.

Posted by Bill and Elizabeth Nutt - Brenham, TX - long time friends   February 13, 2012

we are priveleged to have been longtime friends in faith; good by old friend; pray for us from your heavenly home; until we meet again ...

Posted by anthony & nancy manfre - brenham, TX - old friends in faith journey   February 12, 2012