REV. MONSIGNOR GERARD BASIL BREEN On Wednesday, November 14, 2012 at St. Michael's Hospital at the age of 95. Son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Basil and Eleanor (nee Ford) Breen. Predeceased by his brother Rev. William Ford "Bill" Breen (1994) and (survived) by his brother, Rev. J. Basil Breen. Monsignor Breen was born April 26, 1917 and raised in St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Toronto. He attended St. Vincent's School, De la Salle Bond Street, De la Salle Moore Park and St. Michael's College School (Bay Street). After studies at St. Augustine's Seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood in St. Michael's Cathedral by Archbishop (later Cardinal) James C. MCGuigan on June 7, 1941. Appointments: Summer Chaplain at St. Vincent de Paul Society Camp Ozanam, Pickering; then curate at St. Joseph's Grimsby (at that time in the Archdiocese of Toronto), St. Anselm's (Leaside), St. Leo's (Mimico), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Toronto) and St. Helen's (Toronto). Pastor of Mount St. Louis, Founding Pastor of St. Benedict, Rexdale (1955-1980), Founding Pastor of Holy Family, Whitby (1980-1996). In retirement Monsignor Breen lived with his brother Fr. Basil Breen, the Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Markham until the latter's retirement in 2005. They then lived together in Scarborough. While in retirement at different times, Monsignor Breen was Administrator of St. John's (Kingston Road), Holy Family (Bolton), Christ the King (Long Branch). For a few years, Monsignor assisted Fr. Ralph at St. Lawrence Parish, Scarborough. Besides his parish duties, Monsignor Breen was a member of many agencies and boards - Toronto Separate School Board, Archdiocesan High School Board, Archdiocesan Council of Priests, a former Director of the Archdiocesan Catholic Women's League, et alii. He was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. He received the distinction of Prelate of Honour from His Holiness (now Blessed) John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor in 1992. As a young priest Monsignor was always interested in youth and coached hockey and baseball teams. With the assistance of parishioners, St. Benedict, Rexdale, had one of the largest hockey leagues in the city, with over 800 boys involved. Arrangements for Monsignor Gerard Breen are entrusted with NEWEDIUK FUNERAL HOME, KIPLING CHAPEL, 416-745-7555. Through the kindness of Fr. Richard Andrews, the Pastor, visitation will take place at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, 14 Highgate Drive, Markham (two blocks north of Steeles Avenue on Birchmount Road) on Sunday, November 18, 2012 from 2 to 9 p.m. The concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10 a.m. in St. Thomas the Apostle Church. Interment in Queen of the Clergy Cemetery, St. Augustine's Seminary, Kingston Road, Toronto. Monsignor Breen is mourned by many, but especially the Snell family and Miss Jackie Mackenzie. Online condolences at newediukfuneralhome.com
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Published in the Toronto Star on Nov. 17, 2012