2007-07-13 / Obits

Rev. Brendan W. Downing

Pastor, Church of St. Gertrude

Reverend Brendan W. Downing, the pastor of St. Gertrude's Church in Far Rockaway, died July 9 at New York University Medical Center in Manhatan. He was 54.

Downing was born in Brooklyn on July 10, 1952, and ordained to the priesthood on April 28, 1979. He served the parishes of Saint Mary Star of the Sea in Far Rockaway, and Nativity Saint Peter Claver, Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Visitation in Brooklyn.

After serving more than five years in the Mission Diocese of Comayagua, Honduras, Downing returned to the Diocese of Brooklyn and was appointed pastor of the Church of St. Gertrude. He was also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Margert Community Corporation, a local housing counseling agency.

"Fr. Brendan presided over an unprecedented period of growth in both the agency's capacity and effectiveness in delivering affordable housing programs and services to the communities we serve," said Joseph G. Barden, the executive director of the Margert Community Corporation and Reverend James K. Cunningham, the pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea and vice chairman of the Margert board, in a joint statement. "While Margert Community Corporation remains ever faithful in pursuit of its mission, Brendan's unique vision, enlightened leadership and his missionary zeal in service to others will be deeply missed."

Cunningham added, "Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the consolation of his family and friends. May he rest in the peace of Christ, the Risen Lord."

Downing was preceded in death by his father and mother, Patrick and Jennie Downing of Kenmare, Ireland.

He is survived by his sisters, Geraldine Downing Anglum (Bob) and Jean Downing Lynch (Jim); and nieces, Megan and Leah Anglum.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Denis S. O'Connor Funeral Home. The wake was held at the Church of St. Gertrude. A Vigil Mass was celebrated at the Church of St. Mary Star of the Sea. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. at Saint Mary Star of the Sea. Burial will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

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