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Meet the 2020 St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Award Recipient: Tim Brennan
Tim Brennan

The Academy of the Sacred Heart and the Rosary Sacred Heart Alumnae Association are pleased to announce Tim Brennan as the recipient of the 2020 St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Award. This award is given to an individual who, though not an alumna of the Rosary, has and continues to render outstanding service to the school.

Tim has been an active member of the Sacred Heart community since 2012, having served most recently as President of the Fathers’ Club and previously as its Treasurer. He and his wife Beth Gonsoulin Brennan ’85 have a daughter Ellie (Class of 2027) who will be a sixth-generation graduate of the Rosary. 

He has also actively served his community as a member of the Preservation Resource Center board, Chairman of the PRC’s Christmas in October Program (now Rebuilding Together) and as a member of the Immaculate Conception Jesuit Church Pastoral Council.

What does Sacred Heart mean to you?

If you asked me 10 years ago, my answer would have been “tradition and history” based on my experience with Beth’s family history at ASH, conversations during family gatherings, and school events we attended over the years. But when Ellie started at The Rosary, my perspective changed. I watched her grow academically and in faith while being nurtured and challenged by a passionate staff who embraced the mission and goals. I got involved and experienced community, camaraderie, and service through my volunteer efforts. I experienced growth in my own faith. It is a blessing that what Sacred Heart means to me is now based on my own personal experience.

What is your favorite Rosary tradition?

It is very hard to pick just one! I’d have to put work in the Fathers' Club Mardi Gras trailer and goûter high on the list, but if I had to pick just one, it would be Basket Mass.  Before attending Basket Mass for the first time, Beth explained this tradition to me. We prepared a basket and dropped it off in the carpool line where it was quickly whisked away by a happy Dads-on-Duty volunteer. I was amazed by the number of baskets being carted into the school.  When we entered the Nims, I was stunned and awed by the number of baskets – behind the altar, lining the aisle, lining the walls, everywhere. Seeing this gave me a great sense of respect and gratitude for the generosity displayed in the form of the baskets. What a great tradition to celebrate the meaning of the Christmas season.  I look forward to this Mass each year.

What goal speaks to you the most?

I’d have to say Goal 3: Service. I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award.  As I think back on my involvement at Sacred Heart, I also want to recognize all of the dads who have devoted their talent and countless hours of their time in service to The Rosary.  For me, service and community work hand-in-hand with each other. 

My introduction to service started with my introduction to the Fathers’ Club.  About a year before Ellie was to start at Sacred Heart, I received a phone call from a friend inviting me to attend a Fathers’ Club meeting. I was pleased to attend even though I felt a little uncomfortable since Ellie was not yet a student. When I got to the meeting, I was graciously welcomed and introduced as a “soon to be dad”. I haven’t forgotten that moment because it exemplified for me so much of what we want to foster at the school – inclusion, service, community, camaraderie, and personal growth.

Any fun memories you’d like to share?

I have many great memories about Sacred Heart including being welcomed as a new parent with yard signage, “driving” the Ice Breaker boat during Destination Antarctica, reading books to Ellie’s class and Ellie’s portrayal of St. Madeleine Sophie Barat during her fourth primary year. More recently, I loved implementing the first annual “Helicopter Golf Ball Drop” during our 2020 Fathers’ Club golf tournament – quite an experience.   

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