Memorial Mass Jan. 16 for Father Marne Breckensiek, OFM
A MEMORIAL Mass will be celebrated at Sacred Heart Church in Peoria at 5:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, for Father Marne Breckensiek, OFM, who served as pastor of the downtown Peoria parish for 24 years.
Father Marne died on Dec. 29, 2009, at St. Margaret Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was 71.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Jan. 2 at St. Clement Church in St. Bernard, Ohio. Burial was in St. Bernard Cemetery.
Born April 26, 1938, in Batesville, Ind., he was a Franciscan friar of St. John the Baptist Province for 52 years and a priest for 44 years.
THE SON of Lester and Barbara (Schropp) Breckensiek, he attended St. Louis Grade School there before enrolling at St. Francis Seminary in Cincinnati. He was graduated from Duns Scotus College in Southfield, Mich., and completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Leonard College in Centerville, Ohio, where he was ordained as a Franciscan priest in 1965.
Father Marne’s first assignment was to the faculty of Roger Bacon High School in St. Bernard. After a year there as an instructor, he moved to St. Stephen Parish in Hamilton, Ohio, for 12 years, teaching at Badin High School and serving as assistant pastor from 1966 to1972 and pastor from 1972 to 1978.
His service in Peoria was his longest pastoral assignment: He ministered at Sacred Heart as pastor from 1978 to1991 and returned from 1993 to 2004 after a year as assistant pastor at St. Boniface Parish in Louisville, Ky.
In 2004, ill health in the form of a metabolic blood disorder forced his retirement to St. Leonard Center in Centerville, Ohio. He moved to St. Margaret Hall earlier this year to receive additional care when his condition worsened.
WHILE IN Peoria, Father Marne served as a member of the Diocese of Peoria’s Commission on Women in the Church and in Society. At Sacred Heart, he was involved in the downtown parish’s outreach to the needy, including the distribution of sandwiches to those who came to their door daily.
He is also remembered for his love for his German heritage. His mother was a native of Germany, and through the years he made many trips “home” to the old country. Visitors to his room at the nursing home were greeted with a recorded rendition of “Deutschland uber alles,” the German national anthem.
Father Marne was preceded in death by his sister, Gertrude Urquhart, and is survived by nieces and nephews and a number of German cousins.
Father Lawrence Zurek, OFM, pastor, and the Franciscan friars of Sacred Heart Parish will concelebrate next Saturday’s Memorial Mass. Sacred Heart Church is located at 504 Fulton St.