Canon John Brannan died on 4 July 2012 at the age of 96, just over 60 years after his ordination in June 1952. His funeral Mass took place in Our Lady of Lourdes on 10 July. Archbishop Conti as principal celebrant was joined by Bishop Emeritus John Mone and priests from the Diocese. The music of the liturgy was led by the St. Mungo Singers.
In his homily, Mgr. John Gilmartin reflected on Canon Brannan’s life. He had been born inGlasgow, baptised in St. Alphonsus and ordained in 1952 at the age of 36. He had been somewhat older than his fellow ordinands (among whom were Bishop Mone and Fr. Des Broderick who were both present). This was due to the fact that he had begun his journey to the priesthood with the Salesians who had sent him toMalta to teach , just in time for World War II.
On his eventual return toScotland, he transferred to train as a diocesan priest. Among his early parishes were St. Luke’s, St. Mary’s Duntocher and St. Stephen’s Dalmuir. However at this point he began to experience health problems which were diagnosed as a form of typhoid probably from his time in Malta. He subsequently became chaplain to Our Lady & St. Francis Secondary, a post where his training with the Salesians was invaluable and his ministry was at its peak.
Further health problems and the effects of a car crash meant that, after a spell as the Administrator of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, he became in his own words a “born again curate”. On his retiral, he lived at Nazareth House for 23 years.