Brunton, Ambrose, 1894-1974, Capuchin priest

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Brunton, Ambrose, 1894-1974, Capuchin priest

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19 March 1894-8 March 1974


Joseph Francis Brunton was born in Kilkenny on 19 March 1894. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans in September 1911 and took Ambrose as his religious name. He was ordained to the priesthood on 15 March 1919 in Cork. Following his ordination, he volunteered for missionary work in the United States in 1920. His initial ministry was in Roseburg in Oregon. In 1923 he became the first Irish Capuchin pastor of St. Anthony’s parish in Willits, Mendocino County, in California. In 1929 he spent a short period of time with Fr. Joseph Fenlon OFM Cap. at St. Francis parish in Los Angeles. From there he went to the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Elk, Mendocino County, in California, where he served as pastor. Illness forced him to temporarily retire from ministry and to recuperate with the community at Mission Santa Inés near Solvang in California. In 1954, he was assigned to St. Mary’s parish in Ukiah, California. A year later he was transferred to St. Lawrence of Brindisi parish in Watts, Los Angeles. He remained in Los Angeles until his death on 8 March 1974. The renowned Irish tenor Brenda O’Dowda (1925-2002), a nephew of Fr. Ambrose, sang at his Funeral Mass which took place in St. Lawrence of Brindisi Church. He was buried in Los Angeles.

Baptismal name: Joseph Francis Brunton
Religious name: Fr. Ambrose Brunton OFM Cap.
Date of birth: 19 Mar. 1894
Place of birth: James Street, Kilkenny (Diocese of Ossory)
Name of father: Patrick Brunton
Name of mother: Christina Brunton (née Byrne)
Date of reception into the Capuchin Order: 17 Sept. 1911
Date of first profession: 17 Sept. 1912
Date of final profession: 8 July 1916
Date of ordination (as priest): 15 Mar. 1919
Missionary activities: Travelled to the United States mission in May 1920
Date of death: 8 Mar. 1974
Place of death: Los Angeles, California


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