Christian 07


Fr. Brian T. Joyce

January 8, 1938 ~ February 5, 2019 (age 81)

Fr. Brian T. Joyce passed away peacefully on February 5, 2019.  The son of 2 immigrants from Ireland; Thomas Joyce from Inisheer, Ireland who owned and ran a working man’s tavern called Joyce's in East Oakland until his retirement; and Margaret Sweeney Joyce, from Donegal, Ireland. He is survived by his sister, Mary M. Joyce, from Alameda and many cousins, relatives and friends. He attended St. Anthony’s School in East Oakland and St. Joseph’s College in Mountain View, and St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park until his ordination to the Priesthood in 1963.

After his first assignment at St. Lawrence O’Toole in Oakland, and his second assignment at St. Augustine in North Oakland, he was appointed as the first Director of Adult Education for the Diocese of Oakland. After that he spent 2 years in New York earning a Master’s Degree in Theology and Education under Brother Gabriel Moran. Upon his return to Oakland he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese where he served 9 years under Bishop Floyd Begin and Bishop John Cummins. In 1979 he was named Pastor of St. Monica’s in Moraga where he served for 9 years and then he was appointed Pastor of Christ the King Parish where he served for 26 ½ years, until his retirement in 2014.  Since then, he has been delighted to live at Christ the King Parish surrounded by so many close friends.

He formed his parishes into warm and loving communities; and touched many hearts with his concern for the mentally ill, the poor, the LGBTQ, women who sought greater status in the Church, and for people of all faiths. Under his pastorship, his parishes were known for warm, welcoming, and loving parish life.

Fr. Brian also made it a regular practice to invite the bishop and priest friends to dinner at Christ the King to continue their conversation, support and mutual collaboration in ministry.   

Although Fr.  Brian’s Parkinson’s limited his ability to speak, someone has said he “was still the smartest one in the room.” Ample evidence of that will have to include the book he wrote and published during the time of his illness.  

As always, a staunch advocate for peace and justice; Brian was arrested several times at the Lawrence Livermore Lab. He also belonged to the School of Americas Watch and took part in annual demonstrations at Ft. Benning, GA.  He went to the Mexican Border at Nogales to oppose the wall.  He was a regular with the Cease Fire Program in East Oakland to stop gun violence. 

Visitation will be on Tuesday, February 12 from 4-7:30 pm.  Vigil will begin at 7:30 pm.  Funeral service will be Wednesday, February 13 at 10:30 am.  All services will be at Christ the King Church, 199 Brandon Road, Pleasant Hill.  Burial to follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.   


Fr. Brian’s charities include:

Margo Schorno Fund

c/o Christ the King Church

199 Brandon Road

Pleasant Hill, CA  94523


Oakland Catholic Worker

P.O. Box 19277

Oakland, CA  94619


Parkinson Network of Contra Costa County

2100 Tice Valley Blvd

Walnut Creek, CA  94595

Donations may be made to:

Margo Schorno Fund
199 Brandon Road, Pleasant Hill CA 94523

Oakland Catholic Worker
P.O. Box 19277, Oakland CA 94619
Tel: 1-510-533-7375

Parkinson Network of Contra Costa County
2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek CA 94595

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