Robert Brennan (priest)

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Robert Brennan (born 1941): is a priest of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in South Korea. He is a social activist.

Early life[edit]

He spent his childhood in Auckland and was educated at St Peter's College, Auckland. He trained as a priest in Australia and was ordained a priest on 3 July 1965.[1]

South Korea[edit]

Brennan was sent to South Korea in 1966 and spent 12 years in the poor coal mining mountainous area of Kang Won Province; In 1980 he moved to Seoul where he has been involved in housing rights, fighting for the people being dispossessed of their homes in the name of re-development; On 4 September 2012 he was awarded the City of Seoul's Grand Prize for Social Welfare in recognition of his 32-year fight for and on behalf of evictees in the city of Seoul; The Mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon made the award at a public ceremony; In his address of congratulation the Mayor said: "The blue-eyed foreigner is a model of selfless dedication and sacrifice on behalf of the poorest members of our city"; Since 2004 Brennan has also run the Samyang Resident Solidarity which works for those looking for jobs and also provides small loans.[2] In 2012 Brennan was granted honorary citizenship of the city of Seoul in recognition of his community services including financial services, job counseling, and housing for the homeless and evictees. He was quoted as saying: "I, myself, have been evicted from my house three times and I will go anywhere if someone without a home needs my help." In identifying with his Korean mission, Brennan adopted the Korean name Ahn Gwang-hoon.[3]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Old Boy Priests", St Peter's College Magazine 1965, p. 9.
  2. ^ Wel-com: wellington archdiocesan Communications, November 2012, p. 17 (information originally appeared in The Far East).
  3. ^ "11 honorary citizens of Seoul recognized", Korea.net news, 7 November 2012 (Retrieved 23 January 2014)