A Closer Look: Getting to Know the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Bishop-Designate Robert Brennan

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By Jessica Easthope

Columbus’ loss is Brooklyn’s gain. But the city streets won’t take the new bishop-designate much getting used to – Robert Brennan is a New Yorker.

“One thing I know about coming back here is I’m in a place where people speak properly,” Bishop-Designate Brennan joked about his New York accent.

Born in the Bronx and raised in Lindenhurst on Long Island, the Diocese of Rockville Centre used to be home.

“I feel at home here, I grew up on Long Island. If you live on Long Island, you’re part of the city of New York, right? Your life is also partly split here in the city whether it be Brooklyn and Queens or the boroughs of the Archdiocese of New York,” said Bishop Brennan.

When the bishop was a boy, he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Lindenhurst and St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School in West Islip, New York. After high school, he had his first brush with the Diocese of Brooklyn as a college student at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens where he earned a degree in mathematics and computer science.

“There’s a way of thinking in mathematics, there’s a way of logic, there’s a way of working your way through a proof for example, it’s based on truths. The more you delve into the truths of these human subjects, the more you encounter the reality of God,” he said.

After college, he solved a big equation in his life – his love of education plus his devotion to God equaled joining the seminary at Immaculate Conception in Huntington. He was eventually ordained a priest and then became an auxiliary bishop there years later. Then in 2019, he became Bishop of Columbus, Ohio – a home away from home he’ll miss dearly.

“I wasn’t thrilled at first, I’ve only been in Columbus two and a half years. We started a planning process. People were excited about working together, so my first reaction was I’m not ready to leave this and I became very attached,” Bishop Brennan said.

But he says in a short time, he already loves Brooklyn.