Br. Clarence J. Breitenbach, C.S.C.

breitenbach300Notre Dame, Ind. — Br. Clarence J. Breitenbach, C.S.C., 89, died on Friday, April 15, 2016, at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka, Ind.

Watch Br. Clarence’s Funeral Mass here

He was born on Nov. 12, 1926, to Aloysius and Augusta (Daniel) Breitenbach in Wanatah, Ind. He attended Morgan Township Public Schools and upon graduating from high school in 1945, was inducted into the United States Army. Upon completion of his military duty, Br. Clarence worked in a manufacturing plant until he entered the candidate program for Holy Cross Brothers in North Dartmouth, Mass.

In January of 1951, Br. Clarence moved to the newly established Andre House on the campus of Notre Dame. On August 15, 1952, he entered Sacred Heart Novitiate on Miami Road, South Bend. He was with the pioneer group that moved to the new Sacred Heart Novitiate in Jordan, Minn. the next June.

He made his First Profession of Vows on Aug. 16, 1952. That same year one of his sisters made her vows as a religious sister in the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ and two brothers were married. Br. Breitenbach made his Final Vows on Aug. 16, 1955.

While the rest of the professed left Jordan, Br. Clarence remained for the next 14 years. He was in charge of all maintenance and the assigning of tasks to the many Novices who came through the program. He was known as a great man of prayer, an outstanding softball player and hard, but clean, player in hockey!

In 1966, after Jordan closed, he moved to Moreau Seminary as supervisor of maintenance and for the next eleven years took care of not just buildings but the formation of many Holy Cross Seminarians. Bro. Clarence, by his quiet and solid presence has had more influence on the religious life of young people in Holy Cross than can be quantitatively proven.

In 1977, Br. Clarence moved to Holy Cross House seeking a quieter place to live and also became Director of Province Maintenance overseeing all the Province facilities in the Notre Dame area. He gladly relinquished that title in 1999. His example of hard work and caring supervision had a lifelong impact on all those who worked alongside Brother Clarence.

Since that time, he continued to reside at Holy Cross House assisting in maintaining community facilities. Br. Breitenbach celebrated 60 years of religious profession in 2012.

Preceding him in death are his parents, Aloysius and Augusta Breitenbach; sisters, Sr. Judian Breitenbach, PHJC, and Margaret Majewski; and brothers Leo and Sylvester Breitenbach.

He is survived by his sister Lauretta (Kenneth) Hanson of LaPorte, Ind., and sisters-in-law Pauline (Sylvester) Breitenbach and Jackie (Leo) Breitenbach.

Visitation will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday (Apr. 18, 2016) at Moreau Seminary, where there will be a Wake Service at 7:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday (Apr. 19, 2016) at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at Notre Dame. Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at

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