In memory of P.J. Brennan

It was with deep regret that the Crescent community learned of the death of our grounds man of almost forty years, Mr. P.J. Brennan. P.J. transformed the grounds of Crescent from a building site in the 1970s to one of the most impressive school grounds in the country today.

In his homily, Fr Jim Maher S.J. spoke of P.J.’s commitment and work ethic; his commitment as a parent and husband; his work with Fr. Billy Troddyn S.J. to purloin every clipping and bulb in the Limerick region in order to grace the grounds of Crescent; his consideration for the students by doing his work early in the morning and late in the evening so as not to disturb their lessons and examinations.

P.J.’s monument is the grounds of Crescent and he is survived by his son, Patrick.

The motto of Crescent is ‘Crescentes in Illo per Omnia’ which translates ‘Growing in Him through all things’ and that word ‘growing’ has particular relevance to the man himself. The ‘man for all seasons’ was not a teacher, he did not have a degree, he was the grounds man. Crescent teaches that God is present in our lives and the teachers have the theory, the lesson plans, and the books to do this. One of the great phrases in Jesuit education is that ‘the world is charged by the grandeur of God’ and the teachers are sometimes challenged by having to teach this. In reality all that has to be done is to ask the students to look out the windows of the school and see. God has the grandeur but someone has to do the work and despite all the expertise in the school, P.J. was and is and will always be one of the most inspirational educators who have graced Crescent College Comprehensive S.J.

P.J.’s funeral mass concluded with the following reading:

‘Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.

‘I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

‘When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush of quiet birds in circling flight.

I am the soft starlight at night.

‘So, do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.’


Slan abaile, a chara, sleep in the good night, beir bua.