On November 30, 2021, Bishop Brennan was installed as the Eighth Bishop of Brooklyn, serving the people of Brooklyn and Queens.
Bishop Robert J. Brennan was born June 7, 1962, to Robert and Patricia Brennan in the Bronx, New York. The oldest of five children, Bishop Brennan has two brothers and two sisters, 14 nieces and nephews, and three great-nephews and niece.
He was raised in Lindenhurst, New York, where his parents still reside. Bishop Brennan attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Lindenhurst, and St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, West Islip, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from St. John’s University, Queens, New York.
Bishop Brennan studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, New York. Bishop John McGann ordained him a priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, on May 27, 1989. His first priestly assignment was to the Church of St. Patrick in Smithtown, NY. In 1994, he was appointed Secretary to the Bishop, working in this capacity for three bishops: Bishops John McGann, James McHugh, and William Murphy. He resided at St. Agnes Cathedral and served at the parish during those years. In 2002, he was named Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In 2010 he was appointed pastor of the Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Long Beach, NY.
On July 25, 2012, he was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Leaving his position as pastor in Long Beach at that time, he resided in the parish of Our Lady of Peace in Lynbrook. On January 31, 2019, Bishop Brennan was appointed 12th Bishop of Columbus, and he was installed as Bishop of Columbus on March 29, 2019.
During his time in Columbus, he has been actively involved in the work of the Catholic community in central and south-central Ohio, including serving on the boards of the Catholic Foundation, Mother Angeline McCrory Manor, and Cristo Rey Columbus Catholic High School. He also has been a board member and the Vice-Chancellor of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus.
At the national level, Bishop Brennan has served with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a member of the Committee for Catholic Education, the Administrative Committee, and the Priorities and Plans Committee.
Bishop Brennan’s greatest strength lies in parish pastoral activity. As the Bishop of Columbus, he traveled regularly in order to meet and engage people from every part of the 23 counties of the Diocese of Columbus, learning about their lives, both their everyday activities and their faith commitment. He has also enjoyed learning about the many parishes and schools here; the many facets of the ethnic and geographic cultures of the Diocese; and the vibrancy of the many missionary movements in Columbus, particularly the participation of young people.
The hallmark of Bishop Brennan’s time in Columbus was the initiation of the Diocesan-wide Real Presence, Real Future evangelization and planning initiative. Real Presence, Real Future is a two-year diocesan-wide consultative process that invites participation from clergy, lay ecclesial ministers, parish volunteers, and all the faithful. Through listening to the needs and ideas of the people, this process that Bishop Brennan started will help determine the best path forward to increase the presence of the Church throughout the Diocese of Columbus in the 21st century.