Rev. Martin J. Breen, CSV, superior of the Viatorian Seminary in Washington DC, died Saturday, June 13, 1931. Fr. Breen’s death came suddenly from a heart attack as he was preparing to say his morning Mass. He was 53 years old.
Fr. Breen was born Aug. 21, 1877 in Chicago, and he attended school in Chicago as well. His college years were spent at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1904 and a master’s degree in 1906.
He made his first profession of vows with the Clerics of St. Viator on July 4, 1901 and was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1907.
After spending several years teaching at St. Viator College, he was transferred in 1914 to Columbus College in Chamberlain, SD to become president of the seminary. From there, Fr. Breen was called to Enterprise, OR to supervise missionary work in the region.
In the summer of 1930, Fr. Breen was assigned to Washington DC as superior of the seminary, where he served until his death.
His body was brought to Chicago for the funeral Mass, which was celebrated June 16 at St. Viator Church. The Rt. Rev. Msgr. William J. Kinsella of St. Philip Neri Church was the celebrant and the Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago the Rt. Rev. Bernard J. Sheil, DD, an alumnus of St. Viator College, also presided.
After the Mass, his body was brought to Bourbonnais and laid to rest in the Viatorian Community cemetery. The Very Rev. J. P. O’Mahoney, CSV, provincial of the Viatorians in the United States, presided over the blessing at the grave.
Taken from The Viatorian, newspaper published by St. Viator College, June 20, 1931, page 1