Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Father Edmund Brand, 55 Years A Monk, Dies

Published August 17, 2006

Father Edmund Brand, OCSO, a monk at the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, died on Thursday, Aug. 10, in the monastery’s infirmary, after a long illness. He was 92.

His body was received at the monastery church on Sunday, Aug. 13, at 5 p.m. The funeral Mass was celebrated on Monday, Aug. 14, at 7 a.m.

Father Edmund was born on Nov. 6, 1913, in Detroit and given the name Joseph Herman. He attended St. Joseph Commercial High School in Detroit and worked eight years in an automobile factory. Inducted into the U.S. Army on June 24, 1941, he was discharged with the rank of technical sergeant on Nov. 16, 1945.

He entered the monastery on Sept. 15, 1946, on the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, and professed solemn monastic vows on Nov. 1, 1951, on All Saints Day. He was ordained into the priesthood on Nov. 28, 1954, by Bishop Gerald P. O’Hara.

Father Edmund enjoyed writing letters and contributed articles to The Georgia Bulletin and Catholic magazines. In a letter written to his family about his military service during World War II, Father Edmund recounted how his regiment passed alongside the bombed Monte Cassino, the rocky hill about 80 miles south of Rome, Italy, where St. Benedict wrote his rule for monks.

“From Naples we could hear the noise and see the lights of Monte Cassino. I remember reading in the servicemen’s pony-sized Time magazine (no advertisements), a story about that Benedictine Monastery, the cradle of the order, being destroyed, while in the U.S, at Conyers, Ga., a new, the first, daughter-house in this country was beginning construction! My friend, Philip Klee, had already applied for entrance. We buddied from the Florida days to now and eventually he entered Holy Spirit, Conyers. We corresponded after the war. He was a ‘conscientious objector,’ rare for a Catholic at that time, who accepted the possibility of ‘a just war’ (before atomic warfare). So, he was out of the Army before me. He entered the Conyers monastery, invited me here for a visit—I came and liked it and stayed.”

In the same letter to his family, Father Edmund told of his entrance into the monastery.

“Here I was given (before one could choose a name or keep his baptismal name) the name ‘Edmund,’ after a 16th-century English bishop who is buried in one of our monasteries in France. I looked up the date of his feast and found it was Nov. 16, the same day I was discharged from the army… only eight centuries later.”

In 1958, Father Edmund was appointed “good neighbor.” He delivered food to the poor in the area three times a week. At the monastery, Father Edmund also served as guestmaster, prior, novice master and archivist.

Father Edmund is survived by his sister, Annamary Brand-Roach.


Those wishing to honor Father Edmund’s memory may send a donation to the monastery to help with the care of the infirm monks. The Monastery of the Holy Spirit is located at 2625 Highway 212, SW, Conyers, GA 30094.