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"She channeled God's grace."  
  Margaret Mary Brennan (1949-2022)  
Mary G. Fox and Lorie Simmons  
   

As the assembly sang “The Lord is my light and my salvation” at the funeral Mass of Margaret Mary Brennan, the words of the psalm surely resonated with the family and friends gathered. Margaret was a woman who took seriously her connection with God.

“She was always attempting to have an authentic relationship with God and an authentic relationship with each and every one of us,” said her daughter Meg Brzyski Nelson at the vigil service for Margaret prior to her funeral June 2, 2022, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Washington, DC.

Margaret Mary Brennan, a retired editor for Liturgy Training Publications (LTP), died on May 22, 2022, in Washington, DC. Her husband, Ted Brzyski, and their children, Meg, Elizabeth, and Paul, survive her as well as her six siblings.

As a colleague, Margaret was kind, patient, and gentle; she always had a ready smile. At editorial meetings, Margaret was a true advocate for the needs of children and their families, teachers, and catechists. She was a deep, wise, thoughtful, and calming presence. Generous in sharing her knowledge and contacts with all her editor colleagues, she was especially so when it was time to hand on her CGS role. Margaret took special care to explain the work and to draw the new CGS editor into the culture of the atrium, ensuring that she could continue to tend the relationship with the CGS national office that Margaret had begun and nurtured for many years.

Margaret had a deep empathy for those who suffer and was a natural consoler in the face of illness and death—whether in her editing or in work relationships. She seemed to bring wisdom both from her experience of chaplaincy and her years of reading and pondering.

In February 2000, Margaret began her work as an editor with Liturgy Training Publications. At the time, LTP wanted to publish more resources for children and their catechists and was developing a relationship with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS). Margaret brought the perfect gifts and experience for this work. She had been a catechist with CGS for many years, was closely connected to its leadership, and she had a deep love and understanding of the spiritual life of children.

Margaret brought other valuable knowledge and experience to LTP as well. Her chaplaincy work, her doctoral studies in ministry, and her wide reading in spirituality and theology equipped her to edit, advise, and collaborate on many resources.

Margaret’s relationship with LTP continued until her retirement in 2019—at first full time, sometimes part time, and sometimes under contract. During those years, she edited around fifteen titles under the CGS imprint, many by Sofia Cavalletti, one of which was an annual journal, and another, a multivolume set—the Little Gospel Books. In addition to CGS, Margaret edited two of LTP’s annuals during her time, one being Children’s Daily Prayer, and she edited at least eight other titles outside the CGS imprint, including Blessings and Prayers through the Year and A Child’s Book of the Mass. She often contributed her writing to LTP resources.

Margaret brought to LTP her unique combination of characteristics: as a theologian, spouse, parent, chaplain, and catechist. These elements of her experience greatly informed us at LTP as we broadened our focus from implementing the documents and rituals of the liturgy per se to creating resources that supported those whose ministries and practices led to and proceeded from the liturgy: catechesis in the home and parish, personal prayer and meditation on Scripture, and ministries to the sick, dying, and bereaved. She helped the partnership between LTP and CGS succeed because she understood how the mission of each related to the other. Margaret helped LTP serve its audience more richly and effectively; she channeled God’s grace to enrich the staff and all the readers of LTP resources. Our gratitude for her life and work overflows.

Mary G. Fox
is the Editor of Pastoral Liturgy®. Pastoral Liturgy® is published by Liturgy Training Publications.
 
         
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