Rest in Peace, Fr. Brian Hawker

Source: District of the USA

On February 4, 2024, Fr. Brian Hawker (1953-2024) died at the age of 70 after many decades of service to Catholic Tradition.

Fr. Brian John Hawker was born on April 4, 1953, in Chicago, Illinois. Father entered the minor seminary for high school aged boys in 1966. During those first few years, the traditional Latin Mass (TLM) was still said in the seminary.

He was ordained on May 10, 1978, by Cardinal John Cody. It was during this time that Fr. Hawker witnessed first-hand the destruction of the liturgy and the undermining of the priesthood. During the 1990s, Hawker drew closer to the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), eventually assisting the Society’s priests in Los Gatos and Arcadia, California. He preached retreats and served as pastor at the SSPX’s mission chapels in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in the California cities of Sacramento, Colton, San Pedro, and Bakersfield.

For 25 years, Fr. Hawker resided and labored at Our Lady of the Angels Church and Priory in Arcadia. As an assistant pastor, he applied himself to spiritual direction, teaching catechism, marriage preparation, and celebrating the sacraments. He was also a chaplain for the Legion of Mary and the SSPX’s Third Order.

After working for two decades as a “friend of the Society,” Fr. Hawker formally joined the SSPX on December 8, 2019. Hawker was known as a model of stability, punctuality, prayerfulness, and studiousness. Although reserved by nature, Fr. Hawker was willing to deliver an opinion with irony and sarcasm to get his point across. Young priests gravitated toward Father for advice and guidance. He was in every respect a “no nonsense” priest, but he was also a patient listener.

In the final years of his life, Fr. Hawker routinely expressed gratitude to all of those who assisted him, especially when his health declined. “Thank you for everything you have done for me” and “I pray for you daily” were always on his lips. He entered the final stages of his earthly struggle in August 2023 when he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. This affliction coupled with other health complications led to him being taken to the hospital on January 27, 2024. With no positive prognosis in sight, Father was given Last Rites before going to his eternal reward on February 4, 2024.

Fr. Hawker passed peacefully to eternity after refusing a last dose of pain medicine. He gazed to the right hand of the room for 5 minutes, closed his eyes and took one last breath. His Requiem Mass was celebrated on February 15, 2024, at Our Lady of the Angels.

Fr Hawker interview

For further information on Fr. Hawker’s life, experiences, and attachment to the TLM, please read his interview from the collection, Priest, Where Is Thy Mass? Seventeen Independent Priests Tell Why They Celebrate the Latin Mass (Angelus Press 2004).

Read the Full Interview

Fr. Hawker's Requiem Mass - February 15th, 2024