SOUTHINGTON – Father William John Brenza, 66, Pastor of Mary Our Queen Church in Plantsville, died on Dec. 22.
He was born on Oct. 28, 1944, in Hartford, a son of the late Michael and Anna (Smolka) Brenza. He was a graduate of Glastonbury Junior High Academy, St. Thomas Seminary High School in Bloomfield and St. John Seminary in Boston.
He was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1970, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford by Archbishop John F. Whealon.
He assisted at St. Brendan Parish in New Haven until 1974, when he became co-pastor of St. Mary Parish in Milford. Between 1976 and 1987, he was assistant pastor at the Church of the Resurrection in Wallingford, St. Brigid Parish in West Hartford and St. Therese Parish in North Haven. He also served at St. Mary Parish in Derby for a short period of time in 1987 before going to Holy Family Parish in Enfield until 1991.
Father Brenza was named Pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Cornwall Bridge in 1991 and then Pastor of St. Francis Parish in New Haven in 1994 before becoming Pastor of Mary Our Queen in Plantsville in 2006.
Father Brenza is survived by his two nieces, Susan LaClair and and Kimberly Brenza, and three nephews, Paul Vitkus, Frank Brenza and Steven Brenza. Besides his parents, Father Brenza was predeceased by his sister, Irene Thibodeau; two brothers, Frank and Michael Brenza; and niece Sandra Vitkus.
A parish Mass was celebrated on Dec. 27 at Mary Our Queen Church, where Archbishop Henry J. Mansell was the principal celebrant of a Mass of Christian Burial the next morning. Burial followed at St. John's Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Glastonbury.
Contributions in Father Brenza’s memory may be made to the Mary Our Queen Church Building Fund, 248 Savage St., Plantsville, CT 06479.