Fr. Paul W. Brant, SJ

July 21, 1940 - April 07, 2023


Obituary For Fr. Paul W. Brant, SJ

Fr. Paul W. Brant, SJ, was born on July 21, 1940, in Raleigh, N.C. Fr. Brant entered the Chicago Province’s Novitiate of the Sacred Heart, Milford, Ohio, on Aug. 20, 1966. He professed his first vows on Aug. 20, 1968. From 1969-75 he attended Fordham University for his philosophy studies. From 1975-78 he studied theology at the Jesuit School of Theology Chicago, Chicago, Ill. Fr. Brant was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1977, at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Raleigh, N.C.

From 1979-80 he served as the assistant to the director of the Walk to Work Program at Loyola University Chicago. Following that, he spent the next five years as pastor of St. Ignatius Church in Chicago. In 1985, he came to Fordham University again to continue studying philosophy for another year. While at Fordham, he worked as the director of campus ministry, a position he held from 1987-89. He finished his philosophy studies at Fordham in 1990. As a founder of the North West Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, he was indeed a Jesuit of great service to Fordham and the Bronx community.

From 1990-93 he worked at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City, N.J., as an assistant director of Campus Ministry, a philosophy teacher, and as the assistant house treasurer for his community. It was during this time that he became a member of the New York Jesuit Province.

In 1993, Fr. Brant left the northeast and worked in North Carolina for the rest of his life. He worked as pastor of St. Ann’s Church, Smithfield, N.C., for three years. From 1997-99 he worked at Holy Trinity/Our Lady of Atonement Parish, Kinston, N.C., as an associate pastor. In 1996 he began work at the New Bern Deanery, Kinston, N.C., as a Hispanic Minister. His work at the Deanery continued until 2009.

From 2009 until his death, Fr. Brant was the Bishop’s Delegate for the Cursillo Movement for the Diocese of Raleigh. In 2010, he spent 11 years as a Parochial Vicar at St. Therese Church, Wilson, N.C. In 2021 he began pastoral ministry at the Jesuit Community of Eastern North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.

Fr. Brant, SJ, passed away on April 7, 2023 in Mexico, at the age of 82.


3 May

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 AM

Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral 715 Nazareth Street Raleigh, NC 27606 Get Directions »
3 May

Rite of Committal

01:00 PM

Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church Cemetery 211 Irwin Drive Newton Grove, NC 28366 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • May 07, 2023

    I have just read Mary Evelyn's memories of Paul and they resonate with my experiences. My friendship with Paul began in 1969 when he came to Fordham University where I was studying. I used to play the guitar at some of the Masses and the organ on some special occasions. Paul shared his beautiful voice with us and his cheerful kind disposition. He became a good friend of my family, and my parents and I drove from New York to Raleigh to attend his ordination ceremony and reception. We oleft the next day to be back for my law school graduation two days later. But a week or so later Paul came to Fordham to celebrate his (almost!) first Mass with the community at Fordham. We were privileged to have him as a thoughtful friend who came to visit when there was illness and who celebrated both of my parents' funeral Masses as well as my wedding. My husband and I were honored to attend his Solemn Vows ceremony in St. Peter's in Jersey City. Eventually we moved to Florida and he to North Carolina. We were able to meet him on our drives back north, most recently a few years ago at a Cracker Barrel during a break in his always busy schedule. I don't think he knew the term "burn-out" as he was always doing for others. He always spoke with joy about his ministry with his Mexican parishioners and it was clear he had found a special home in his work. My son and I have just returned to Florida after driving up for Paul's funeral. It was an inspiring and beautiful ceremony both at the Cathedral and the gravesite. The obvious love and sadness of that huge congregation moved us deeply. Among that throng, there are countless others who like us have precious memories of the love and devotion of this wonderful priest who touched so many lives. We were truly blessed.

  • May 02, 2023

    Paul Brant and I grew up in the same neighborhood in Raleigh, N.C. I knew him all his life. What fun we all had through all those years. He built a clubhouse in a neighbor's backyard for all the boys. They allowed the girls to use it on a certain day. We attended Sacred Heart Cathedral church and school.Paul was an altar boy for as longs I can remember. He surprised no one when he decided to become a priest. Many years later, My husband and I moved to Belhaven, N.C. I became involved in Hispanic Ministry and taught English As A Second Language For Beaufort Community College. One Evening when I was teaching, there was a knock at the door and in walked Paul Brant. I could not believe my eyes. My students knew he was coming but kept it a secret. They wanted to surprise me. They had previously met him . I had no idea he was in the area. Most of my students worked in the local crab house or on farms . Paul work tirelessly for them. He came to Belhaven every Sunday evening and said Mass and also helped them with any problems they might be having. His circuit in eastern North Carolina was a massive undertaking , but he embraced the challenge. After the harvest season, the workers returned to Mexico. During the winter months Paul went to Mexico to visit his Belhaven parishioners and make plans for their return to N.C. in the spring. He always had their best interest on his mind. He died in Mexico and I am sure he was still making his annual visit. I hope so. Those original students would be much older now, but they would still remember everything he did for them. I am sure he will be missed by many, myself included. Paul said Mass for both my mother and father's funerals. His sermons were were very special because he had stayed in touch with my parents through the years and even reminisced about our childhood neighborhood. He will always be a part of my life. Rest in peace Paul. You did a fantastic job.

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