Monsignor Eagen 67 Priest and Educator

Press Enterprise [Riverside CA]
October 17, 1997

San Diego — Monsignor I. Brent Eagen, who was chancellor of the Roman Catholic diocese that once served the Inland counties, died Tuesday at Mercy Hospital in San Diego of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 67.

He first was assigned to Our Lady of the Rosary Cathedral in his San Bernardino hometown, then went on in his 41 years in the priesthood to Diocese of San Diego assignments. As chancellor he represented the bishop in diocese administration.

The San Diego diocese included Riverside and San Bernardino counties until the Diocese of San Bernardino counties was created to serve the Inland counties in late 1978.

Monsignor Eagen also had been pastor of Mission San Diego de Alcala. In 1993, he became the University of San Diego's first vice president for Mission and Ministry. He had been the San Diego Chargers chaplain since 1978.

He was a graduate of St. Bernadine High School in San Bernardino.

His classmates came to the university last year for a special Mass and reunion.

Because of his church work and family, he kept close contacts in the Inland area, said Monsignor Donald Webber of the Diocese of San Bernardino. Monsignor Eagen "was the kind of person who would immediately put you at ease, no matter what the circumstances or place," said Webber.

He was a member of Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre. As a historian and author, he wrote about early California priests, including Father Anthony Ubach who served at the San Diego mission in the late 1800s.

Monsignor Eagen graduated from Loyola University. He studied at St. Francis Seminary in El Cajon and was ordained in 1956. That same year, he began teaching religion at Cathedral Girls High School.

After the San Bernardino parish assignment, he began teaching in San Diego in 1958. He later said, "I had no idea how much I'd enjoy teaching. Before long, I realized I wanted to concentrate on education. " A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 4 p.m. Sunday at The Immaculata Church at the university. The Rite of Committal will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Mountain View Cemetery in San Bernardino where his parents are buried.

Monsignor Eagen is survived by an extended family. The family suggests memorial contributions to the James and Stella Eagen Endowed Scholarship Fund at University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego 92110.


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