Siblings create Catholic school scholarship in memory of parents

By Chicago Catholic staff
Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Mark Brennnan, center, and his siblings created a Catholic school scholarship in memory of their parents. (Photo by Natalie Battaglia)

Chicago attorney Mark Brennan and his seven siblings have created a scholarship to help more families like theirs access Catholic education.

The Dorothy C. and Edward A. Brennan Scholarship, named for Brennan’s parents, will be awarded to Catholic school students from families with three or more children.

Brennan said he and his siblings established the scholarship to honor their parents, reflecting their deep commitment to Catholic education and strong family values.

“My mother and father raised all eight of us in the Catholic Church, and while it was difficult for them to pay tuition, they did everything they could to send us to Catholic school,” Brennan said. “My siblings and I decided to create this scholarship to honor our parents and extend the support we received from Catholic schools.”

The family has committed $50,000 a year for five years to the Archdiocese of Chicago Caritas Scholarship Program. That money will support approximately 25 children, with an average scholarship of $2,000 per year.

“The Brennan Family Scholarship will have an impact on Catholic school families for years to come, and we are so grateful to Mark and his siblings for their generosity and allowing the Archdiocese of Chicago to be a part of their parents’ legacy,” said Greg Richmond, superintendent of Archdiocese of Chicago Catholic schools.

The Archdiocese of Chicago and its Office of Catholic Schools are launching an initiative to continue partnering with families or individuals who want to create scholarships named for family members or loved ones.

“In order to continue investing in the future of the Catholic Church, scholarships like the Dorothy C. and Edward A. Brennan Family Scholarship are essential to Catholic schools and those in need of financial assistance,” said Auxiliary Bishop Robert G. Casey, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “Mark and his siblings are the springboard to starting these important scholarships for Catholic students, and we pray that more families and individuals feel encouraged and inspired to create their own.”

In August, the eight Brennan siblings celebrated their parents’ wedding anniversary with a blessing and Mass at their family monument at Maryhill Catholic Cemetery in Niles. The monument includes distinct details that symbolize the Brennan family’s bond and how involved Dorothy and Edward Brennan were with the Catholic community.  

“Our parents’ legacy will forever live within me and my siblings,” said Brennan. “It truly was a gift from God to have the childhood we had. We are all eternally grateful for the gift of Catholic education, and are thankful we get to pay our experience forward to other families.”

To learn more about creating a named scholarship in honor of a family member or loved one, please contact Brendan Keating, chief development officer of the Archdiocese of Chicago, at [email protected].


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