Words of Remembrance for Brother Brendan Garwood, FSC

Given by Brother Leonard Rhoades, FSC
Mass of Christian Burial
La Salle Hall, Beltsville, MD
February 17, 2018

This day is both sad and joyful for our Brother Brendan. My relationship with our Ned goes back to our time together in the West Catholic Community when I arrived there after the novitiate and Brendan was the Director of Religious Education at Saint Francis De Sales Parish in Southwest Philadelphia. Brendan was a quiet presence in our community and he was a source of support in my chaotic life as a teacher at West Catholic.

Brendan was born in 1932, the only child of Edward and Helen Garwood. Brendan entered the Juniorate after his sophomore year at West Catholic. In my time with Brendan he had fond memories of his first assignment at La Salle High School in Cumberland, MD. Until very recently Brendan would attend reunions at La Salle and visit friends he had in that community. Brendan truly loved his time in the Queen City of Appalachia. I feel part of his heart was left there when he was assigned to South Hills Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. One fine attribute of Brendan was that he was truly a loyal and supportive friend. He maintained relationships with colleagues and former students throughout his life. For example, Brendan’s next stop was West Catholic where he taught religion, his field wherever he taught. A former student nicknamed Hop (Charlie Hopkins) was a lifelong friend of Brendan’s. Brendan would often talk about Hop and in the summer would go see the Reading Phillies when Hop would organize a group outing to the young Phillies. Brendan was a lifelong Phillies fan and fan of baseball in general. His collection of Franklin Mint baseball stadiums adorned the communities of La Salle High School, Wyndmoor, De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, and I believe here at La Salle Hall in Ammendale.

Brendan taught religion at Archbishop Carroll High School, Radnor, PA, after his stint at West Catholic. He was a director there in the early 70s and a strong presence in the religion department. Brendan enjoyed his years at Carroll where he again formed friendships with a number of faculty members and the religious sisters’ communities that taught at Archbishop Carroll Girls’ High School. But as time went on Brendan transitioned into parish work beginning back in his beloved Southwest Philadelphia at Saint Francis De Sales Parish where he was the Director of Religious Education for nine years. Then later at Saint Anastasia Parish, with a sabbatical year in between. It was during these years that I began my friendship with Brendan. Brendan would often travel to Jim Thorpe or Maul Chaunk, PA, to visit his mother who moved up to the Pocono Region of Pennsylvania. There she lived in a nursing home that took great care of her. Brendan would often invite members of the community to make visits up to Jim Thorpe to see his mom and later, after she passed, the women that took care of his mother. You see Brendan, made lifelong friends with his mother’s caregivers. Brendan was truly a man who valued relationships. After Brendan’s mother and other family members passed away, I invited Brendan to my family’s home for the holidays. Brendan became a part of my family. He often wanted to know how my mom and dad and siblings all were doing. Brendan enjoyed these times and also the vacations we would take to Maine and Canada. These were truly wonderful times.

As he aged Brendan was truly one to live the vow of obedience. After retiring and becoming the Director of the La Salle High School Community the Visitor asked Brendan to voyage out to Napa, CA, and be the Sub-Director of Novices. He said yes and touched the hearts of the novices. His simple calm presence was indeed just what the doctor ordered. He thought he was retired when he returned to the La Salle High School Community but after a brief respite the visitor asked Brendan to join the pastoral care staff at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, in 2009. He loved that job. I would often visit and he would talk of the great work done at De La Salle Hall. He was impressed by the staff and caregivers there. I would visit and we go out to eat or see a movie and the topic would always come around to the wonderful community at De La Salle Hall. Brendan returned to the La Salle High School Community and he finally got to enjoy retirement. Oops … not so fast … he was asked to be Director of the community from 2013 to 2015. I would kid Brendan about being a bundle of energy. I did not see events phase Brendan; things just did not ruffle his feathers. If a Brother was ill or needed some special care, Brendan would be there to just be present or lift one’s spirit. He was a quiet force in my life and in the life of those he touched. When his heart got weak we kidded him about being the bionic man with his pacemaker. What finally got Brendan down was the Parkinson’s disease. I sensed that when he did want to travel too far or go out for a visit. I knew the care he received at La Salle Hall, Ammendale, and De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, in the last couple of years was outstanding. He really enjoyed being in community with Brothers who prayed together and supported each other.

Brendan may you be at peace and be reunited with your family and fellow Brothers in Heaven.

Brendan enjoy the final voyage.

Please Pray for the Repose of the Soul of Brother Brendan Garwood, FSC

Born Edward Allan Garwood, Jr., in Philadelphia, PA, on May 21, 1932

Entered the Ammendale, MD, Juniorate on January 30, 1948, and Novitiate on June 29, 1950

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Edward Brendan, on September 7, 1950

Pronounced Perpetual Vows at Ocean Rest in Ocean City, NJ, on June 16, 1957

Died at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, NJ, on February 14, 2018


Saturday, February 17, 2018

La Salle Hall
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville, MD 20705-1202

Viewing from 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am

Burial in the Brothers’ cemetery

Lunch to follow

The District of Eastern North America remembers Brother Brendan with memorial liturgies according to the tradition of the Institute. Through their prayers, communities and individuals entrust Brother Brendan to God’s loving care.

Brother Brendan died peacefully during the early morning at De La Salle Hall after a brief time in hospice care. May he rest in peace.


Elkins Park, PA scholasticate

Cumberland, MD
La Salle High School: teacher

Pittsburgh, PA
South Hills Catholic High School: teacher

Philadelphia, PA
West Catholic Boys’ High School: teacher
(Dtr. 1969-1971)

Radnor, PA
Archbishop Carroll Boys’ High School: teacher
(Dtr. 1972-1973)

Wyndmoor, PA
La Salle College High School: teacher

Philadelphia, PA
St. Francis De Sales Parish: parish ministry

Concord, CA
De La Salle High School: study

Newtown Square, PA
St. Anastasia Parish: parish ministry

Wyndmoor, PA
La Salle College High School: resident
(Dtr. 1999-2005)

Napa, CA
Mont La Salle Novitiate: sub-director

Wyndmoor, PA
La Salle College High School: resident

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall: pastoral care staff

Wyndmoor, PA
La Salle College High School: resident
(Dtr. 2013-2015)

Beltsville, MD
La Salle Hall: retired

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall: convalescence (March 30 – May 19)

Beltsville, MD
La Salle Hall: retired

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall: resident (as of January 30)