Bishop Joseph V. Brennan, D.D.

Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno

On May 2, 2019, The Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan was installed as Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno.

Bishop Brennan was the Episcopal Vicar of the San Fernando Pastoral Region, one of the five Pastoral Regions in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Trofimiana and Auxiliary Bishop in 2015.

Bishop Joseph Brennan received a B.A. in Philosophy from St. John’s Seminary College, in 1976 and a Masters in Divinity from St. John’s Seminary Theologate in 1980.

After his ordination to the priesthood, he served as associate pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Los Angeles, St. Linus in Norwalk and at the Cathedral of St. Vibiana in Los Angeles. Later on, he was a pastor at St. Linus in Norwalk and Holy Trinity in San Pedro. After becoming Moderator of the Curia, he was in residence at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and at Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church.

He has been a Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus in California, a member of the Council of Priests and the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and also sits on the Board of the Catholic Education Foundation, the Williams Charitable Trust, and Together in Mission, and Served as Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.


Un mensaje de Obispo Joseph V. Brennan “Obispo Joe”

February 26, 2020

Mis queridos míos,
La mayoría de nosotros, supongo, nos preguntamos qué rápido está pasando este año. Realmente parece que sólo fue ayer cuando celebramos el nacimiento del Señor. En la edición anterior de “Vida católica” (Catholic Life) recuerdo haber compartido con ustedes algunos de mis recuerdos navideños y aquellos con quienes vivo y trabajo saben que me gusta aferrarme a la temporada navideña. ¡Me gusta todo lo relacionado con esta temporada! Me gusta la música, la comida, las decoraciones. Espero ansioso a que esta temporada comience, y me entristece cuando termina. En pocas alabras, la Navidad es sólo una parte de la historia, es decir, es sólo el principio. En pocas palabras, la Navidad celebra el HECHO de que Él vino. La Pascua de Resurrección celebra PORQUÉ vino. Como dicen, Jesús es la razón de la temporada. Yo añadiría que la Pascua de Resurrección es la razón de todo.

Nuestros cuarenta días de Cuaresma es un tiempo esencial de oración y penitencia. Es ese momento en nuestra vida como individuos ante Dios y como comunidad de fe para examinar bien nuestras conciencias, para hacer literalmente un giro de 180 grados en nuestras vidas y no los giros de 360 grados que nos encuentran terminando donde empezamos. ¿No es ese el mensaje que cada uno de nosotros escuchamos cuando recibimos la señal de la cruz en nuestras frentes el Miércoles de Ceniza? Ciertamente lo es: “Apártate del pecado y sé fiel al Evangelio.” Con ese espíritu de arrepentimiento, muchos de nosotros nos confesaremos o ya lo hemos hecho, y los niños de todo el mundo harán su primera confesión mientras se preparan para la Primera Comunión. Recuerdo
de una primera confesión de hace algunos años; sucedió después de que un alumno de segundo grado terminó su primera confesión conmigo. Él regresó al confesionario para preguntarme si los alumnos del primer grado necesitaban confesarse. Basado en mi conocimiento de ‘teología’ le dije, “no, tienen que tener por lo menos 7 años como tú antes de poder confesarse.” Aparentemente muy decepcionado por mi respuesta, él me dijo, “es una lástima porque mi hermano pequeño realmente necesita confesarse.”

Hermanos y hermanas, todos necesitamos ir a confesarnos. Todos necesitamos cambiar nuestras vidas. Hemos pecado y hemos lastimado a la gente, tanto como individuos y como una Iglesia. Debemos pedir perdón siempre y hacer ese firme propósito de enmienda; es decir, hacer las cosas de manera diferente. Les ofrezco una sencilla oración para ayudarnos a hacer penitencia y a celebrar la fiesta de la Pascua de Resurrección:

Dios Todopoderoso y eterno, has dado a la raza humana a Jesucristo
nuestro Salvador como un modelo de humanidad. Él cumplió Tu voluntad
haciéndose hombre y dando Su vida en la cruz.
Ayúdanos a dar testimonio de ti siguiendo Su ejemplo de sufrimiento.
Haznos dignos de compartir Su Resurrección. Te lo pedimos por Nuestro
Señor Jesucristo, Tu Hijo. ¡AMÉN!

¡Tenga una temporada de Pascua simplemente alegre!

En Cristo,
Obispo Joe

A message from Bishop Joseph V. Brennan “Bishop Joe”

My Dear Ones in Christ,

Most of us, I am guessing, are wondering about how fast this year is going. It really does seem like ‘yesterday’ when we celebrated the Lord’s birth. In the previous edition of ‘Catholic Life’ I remember sharing with you a few of my own Christmas memories and those I live and work with already know that to say that I like to hold on to the Christmas season would be putting it mildly. I love everything about that season. I love the music, the food the decorations. I can’t wait for it to begin and get more than a little sad when it ends. Having said that, I am also keenly aware of the act that Christmas is just part of the story, that is, it is only the beginning. To put it simply, Christmas celebrates that fact THAT he came. Easter celebrates WHY he came. As they say, Jesus is the reason for the season. I would add that Easter is the reason for it all!

Our forty days of Lent are that essential time of prayer and penance. It is that time in our life as individuals before God and as a community of faith to examine our consciences well, to literally do a 180 degree turn in our life and not the 360 degree turns that find us ending up where we started. Wasn’t that the message each of us heard when we received the sign of the cross on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday? It most certainly was: “Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel!” In that spirit of repentance many of us will be going to Confession or have already done so and children all over the world will be making their First Confession as they prepare for First Communion. I am reminded of a first confession from years ago. It took place right after a 2nd grader had finished his very first confession with me. He came back into the confessional to ask me if 1st graders needed to go to confession too. I know enough ‘theology’ to tell him that, “No, you have to be at least 7 years old like yourself before you can go to confession.” He seemed really disappointed at my answer as he told me, “Well, that’s too bad because my little brother really needs to go!”

Brothers and sisters, we all need to go. We all need to turn our lives around. We have sinned and we have hurt people, both as individuals and as a Church. We must ask for forgiveness always and make that firm purpose of amendment, that is, to do things differently. Here is a simple prayer to help us to engage in the penance and to celebrate the Feast of Easter:

Almighty and everlasting God,
You have given the human race Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility.
He fulfilled Your will by becoming man and giving His life on the Cross.
Help us to bear witness to You by following His example of suffering.
Make us worthy to share in His Resurrection.
We ask this through Our
Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son. AMEN!

Have a simply joyous Easter season!

In Christ,
Bishop Joe

From Bishop Joe Brennan

February 19, 2020

It was just a very short time ago that I had the honor of gathering with some incredible and courageous people. On February 8th, 2020, our wonderful Knights of Columbus in Visalia held a Public Safety Night during which a number of our great first responders, police officers, sheriffs, highway patrol officers and firefighters were on the receiving end of recognition and awards. Without exception, the recipients and presenters mentioned the ever-present danger involved in such work and the immense sacrifice involved. This morning we were painfully reminded of that by the news of the Library fire in Porterville in which two firemen gave their lives. They are truly representative of what firemen and others do. They run toward danger and never away from it. They take up the challenge and never let it go. Please pray for those who lost their lives and their loved ones who mourn their loss. Remember them at the Eucharist and in our intercessions. Please join me in offering a very special prayer:

Firefighter’s Prayer To Saint Florian

Dear God, through the intercession of our patron, Saint Florian, have mercy on the souls of our comrades who have made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duty, and on all who have gone before us after years of faithful discharge of their responsibilities which now rest on ourselves. Give us grace to prepare each day for our own summons to your tribunal of justice. Into your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit. Whenever you call me, I am ready to go. Merciful Father of all, save me from all bodily harm, if it be your will, but above all, help me to be loyal and true, respectful and honorable, obedient and valiant. Thus fortified by virtue, I shall have no fear, for I shall then belong to you and shall never be separated from you. AMEN

They were all of the above. May they rest in peace.

In Christ, Bishop Joe

Un mensaje de Navidad

December 13, 2019

Mis queridos en Cristo,

Todos han escuchado la historia acerca de Ebenezer Scrooge, el fomoso anciano destrozado y amargado de ‘A Christmas Carol’ de Charles Dickens quien tuvo que aprender a ‘mantener’ la Navidad en su vejez después de muchas pruebas y aventuras ‘fantasmales’. Muchos de nosotros aprendimos cómo mantener la Navidad con alegría desde una edad temprana. Ciertamente lo hice con mi  amá y papá, quienes nos proporcionaron a mí y mis hermanos y hermanas la temporada navideña más maravillosa que ustedes puedan imaginar, y todo con un presupuesto muy reducido. Uno de mis primeros recuerdos de “Navidad” giraba en torno a la emoción y la alegría de la apertura de las dos grandes puertas corredizas que dan acceso a nuestra sala. Ahí es donde “Papa Noel” había preparado una verdadera “maravilla de invierno” con los regalos, el árbol y todos  los adornos. No me di cuenta hasta muchos años después por qué mamá y papá siempre estaban tan cansados en la mañana de Navidad.

Otro recuerdo muy afectuoso de “Navidad”, relacionado con el primero, proviene de una visita que hice a Filipinas hace más de 25 años. Fue a comienzos del mes de octubre que algunos amigos míos de una pequeña pero ferviente orden religiosa llamada Discípulos de María me habían recogido del aeropuerto de Manila. Fue fantástico verlos, y la atmósfera de alegría sólo se vio realzada por la música navideña más hermosa que se pueda imaginar que estaban tocando en el radio del coche. Me dije a mí mismo: “¡Esta gente realmente sabe cómo celebrar!” Si conocen la cultura filipina, ustedes saben que no sólo la Navidad empieza temprano y con mucha alegría, sino que también celebran esta fiesta hasta el mes de febrero. No es el único pueblo o cultura que lo hace.

En los últimos quince años, más o menos, he desarrollado algunos de mis propios “hábitos” para celebrar la temporada navideña. Yo también comienzo la temporada de Navidad temprano, a menudo incluso antes de que comience la temporada de Adviento. Lo he hecho nuevamente este año y no tengo intención de quitar ni un solo adorno hasta el 13 de enero de 2020, el día después de la temporada navideña de este año. ¿Por qué? Yo creo que ustedes saben la respuesta a esta pregunta. Es porque necesitamos celebrar alegremente y prolongar este gozo en nuestras vidas siempre que podamos. No necesito decirles lo desafiantes que son estos tiempos para nosotros como Iglesia y como Pueblo de Dios. Es precisamente en esos momentos difíciles de nuestras vidas que es necesario recordar que: “Porque un niño nos ha nacido, un hijo se nos ha dado.” Este regalo muy preciado del Padre Celestial, el Espíritu Santo y la Madre de Dios, María Santísima,
es la verdadera razón por la que no quitaré ninguna decoración navideña en un futuro cercano. Espero que se unan a mí para prolongar la alegría. La Navidad llegó anticipadamente para mí cuando fui asignado a la Diócesis de Fresno. Que la Navidad también llegue anticipadamente a ustedes y a sus seres queridos. ¡Feliz Navidad! En Cristo,
Obispo Joe

A Christmas message

My Dear Ones in Christ,

You have all heard the story about Ebenezer Scrooge, the famously broken and bitter old man from Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ who had to learn how to ‘keep’ Christmas in his old age and then only after many trials and ‘ghostly’ adventures. Many of us actually learned how to keep Christmas well and joyfully from a very early age. I certainly did with my Mom and Dad who provided me and my brothers and sisters with the most marvelous Christmas day and season you can imagine, and all on a shoestring budget too! One of my earliest ‘Christmas’ memories revolved around the excitement and joy at the opening of the two, big sliding doors that led into our living room. That is where ‘Santa’ had prepared a veritable ‘Winter Wonderland’ with the presents, the tree and all the trimmings. It didn’t dawn on me until many years later as to why Mom and Dad were always so tired on Christmas morning.

Another very fond ‘Christmas’ memory – connected to the first one – comes from a visit I had to the Philippines well over 25 years ago. It was early in the month of October and I had been graciously picked up at the airport in Manila by some dear friends of mine from a small but fervent religious order of priests and brothers called the Disciples of Mary. It was great to see them and the joyous atmosphere was only enhanced by the most lovely and lively Christmas music you could imagine playing on the car radio. I said to myself, “These people really know how to celebrate!” Do they ever, and if you know anything about the Filipino culture then you know that they not only start Christmas early and joyfully, but they will also celebrate this Feast well into February! They are not the only people or culture to do that.

Over the past fifteen years or so I have developed some of my own ‘habits’ for celebrating the Christmas season. Please do not turn me in to the liturgists among us but I too start Christmas early, often even before the Advent season begins. I have done so again this year and I have no intention of taking even one ornament down until January the 13th, 2020, the day after this year’s Christmas season. Why? I think you know the answer to that question. It is because we need to celebrate joyfully and prolong the joy in our lives whenever we can. I don’t need to tell you how challenging these times are for us as a Church and as the People of God. It is precisely in those difficult moments of our lives that we need to remember that, “For unto us a child is born; a Son is given.” This most precious gift from the heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit and the Mother of God, Mary most holy, is the real reason why I won’t be taking down any Christmas decorations any time soon. I hope you join me in prolonging the joy.

Christmas came early for me when I was assigned to the Diocese of Fresno. May it always come early to you and those you love. Merry Christmas!
In Christ,
Bishop Joe

Diocesan Congress 2019

October 12, 2019

Bishop Joe Brennan gives the keynote address at his first Diocese of Fresno Congress.

Diocese Of Fresno Fully Engaged In Addressing Sexual Abuse By Priests

June 5, 2019

The Diocese of Fresno takes very seriously the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment for its children. Currently, Dr. Kathleen McChesney, former FBI official and her associates are reviewing all clergy files dating back nearly 100 years. The review will assist the Diocese with creating a list of clergy who have been credibly accused of […]

La Diócesis De Fresno Plenamente Comprometida En Abordar El Abuso Sexual Por Los Sacerdotes

La Diócesis de Fresno toma seriamente la responsabilidad de mantener el ambiente seguro para sus niños. En este momento, la Dra. Kathleen McChesney, ex funcionaria del FBI y sus asociadas están revisando todos los archivos del clero que datan de hace 100 años. La revisión ayudará a la Diócesis a crear una lista de clérigos […]

Mensaje del Obispo Brennan en SB 24 y SB 360

May 28, 2019

A los fieles de la Diócesis de Fresno y a todos los fieles de buena voluntad: En su enseñanza sobre la participación católica en la vida política, el Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica dice: “Es necesario que todos participen, cada uno de acuerdo a su posición y función, en la promoción del bien común. La […]

Message from Bishop Brennan on SB 24 and SB 360

To the faithful of the Diocese of Fresno and all people of good will: In its teaching on Catholic participation in political life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. The obligation is inherent in the dignity […]

Regarding Care And Concern For Victim/Survivors

May 10, 2019

  A Statement From the Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan, D.D. I almost don’t know where to begin in terms of trying to express how I truly feel about victim/survivors of abuse who have suffered terribly at the hands of clergy or at the hands of anyone for that matter. I am overwhelmed with an […]

Declaración Del Reverendísimo José V. Brennan, D.DCon Respecto Al Cuidado Y Preocupacion Por Las Victimas /Sobrevivientes

Casi no sé por dónde empezar en términos de tratar de expresar cómo me siento realmente acerca de las víctimas /sobrevivientes de abuso que han sufrido terriblemente a manos del clero o de cualquier otra persona. Me siento abrumado con una inmensa sensación de dolor, casi física, cada vez que escucho que alguien ha sido […]

Declaración del Reverendísimo José V. Brennan, D.D. Obispo de la Diócesis de Fresno

May 7, 2019

La revisión del archivo del clero en la Diócesis de Fresno por la Dra. Kathleen McChesney de Kinsale Management Consulting previamente anunciada comenzó el 30 de abril de 2019. La Dra. McChesney, ex Directora Ejecutiva Asistente del FBI, y su equipo continuarán su revisión durante las próximas semanas en relación con la Fase Uno del […]

Statement From The Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan, D.D.Bishop, Diocese Of Fresno

The review of clergy files at the Diocese of Fresno by Dr. Kathleen McChesney of Kinsale Management Consulting previously announced commenced on April 30, 2019. Dr. McChesney, a former FBI Executive Assistant Director, and her team will continue their review over the coming weeks as relates to Phase One of the process. Phase Two will […]

A Gallery of Images from the Installation Mass

May 3, 2019

Welcoming Bishop Joe

April 12, 2019

Bishop Brennan was welcomed by a capacity crowd at this years Chrism Mass, held on April 11, 2019 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Bishop Brennan’s Farewell Homily

March 29, 2019

Bishop Joseph V. Brennan gave his farewell homily on the feast of the Annunciation at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Brennan will be installed as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno on May 2.

Bishop Joseph Brennan – A gallery from the press conference 3/5/2019

March 7, 2019


Most Rev. Joseph V. Brennan Appointed As Sixth Bishop Of The Diocese Of Fresno

March 5, 2019

With Praise and Thanksgiving to All Mighty God, I am thrilled to inform you that today in Rome Our Holy Father Pope Francis announced the appointment of The Most Reverend Joseph V. Brennan as my successor as Bishop of the Diocese of Fresno. Over the years,