Brother Gerard O'Brien, O.S.F.
After 56 years as a Franciscan, Brother Gerard O'Brien O.S.F. died on January 2, 2003. Son of James J. and Brigid (nee McNiff) who were from Ireland, James was born in Brooklyn on January 13th, 1928. He attended St. Anthony's Juniorate prior to receiving the Franciscan Habit on February 1st, 1946 with the name Brother Gerard. He was professed on March 28th, 1947, and finally professed on March 28th, 1950. Brother Gerard received the Bachelor of Science degree from Fordham University in 1959 and the Master of Arts from St. John's University in 1965. He began teaching in the "Grades" at St. Francis Xavier, and continued for over 20 years serving in various schools and parishes including St. Antony's, Greenpoint, St. Brigid, Ridgewood , and St. Bartholomew, Elmhurst. He was the superior and principal of St. Aidan's, Williston Park and St. Joseph's, Babylon. Brother Gerard also taught at St. Francis College as an Instructor and at St. Anthony's High School. Brother Gerard also served the Franciscan Brothers as an Assistant Master of Postulants, Vocation Director and Assistant Novice Master. Tn addition to his service as Superior General from 1970 to 1976, Brother Gerard was the Director of Ongoing Formation and the Director of the Novitiate. The early 1980's found him engaged in parish ministry in St. Rosalie's in Hampton Bays. In 1983, Brother Gerard moved to North Carolina where he served as Pastoral Associate in Sacred Heart Cathedral Parish in Raleigh and as Pastoral Administrator of St. Elizabeth's Parish in Farmville. In 1994, Brother Gerard entered into a new ministry as sacristan and Pastoral Care-Giver for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood. Brother Gerard's last months of life were in residence at St. Joseph's, Brentwood, where he received splendid care from those he so loved and respected.