Bryan Arthur Knorr passed into eternal life unexpectedly on Monday, August 24, 2020 at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. He is survived by his beloved sister, Sharon Knorr, of Pittsburgh, his adopted friends and families and his companion cat, Aria. Born to parents Arthur and Elizabeth Knorr in Pittsburgh, PA on March 6, 1942, following graduation from Baldwin High School there, Bryan took a job at the iconic Joseph Horne’s Department Store in downtown Pittsburgh as a display artist where he especially enjoyed working on the Christmas decorations and window displays.
After several years at Horne’s Bryan felt a calling to religious life and in 1965 he joined the Passionist community that was founded by St. Paul of the Cross. Bryan spent 25 years within the monastery communities located in Pittsburgh, PA, Jamaica, NY, Shelter Island, NY, and at Holy Family Monastery in West Hartford, CT. As a Passionist, Brother Bryan (former religious name Kevin) took on numerous roles including becoming the community tailor making Mass vestments for priests and bishops, habits for the Passionists, altar cloths, antependia, banners and other liturgical decorations. In addition to painting, maintenance and grounds keeping, Bryan spent time as the community and retreat house chef, often preparing elaborate meals for hundreds of people at retreats, vestitions, professions, ordinations, and jubilee celebrations. He especially enjoyed making delicious fancy cakes and deserts.
In religious life, Bryan was always involved with liturgical music as a cantor, organist, choir director, and liturgical planner. He trained and managed the altar servers, prepared for solemnities and feasts and arranged the flowers, decorations, and assembled the items required for the celebrations.
In 1980, while at Holy Family Monastery, Bryan obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from the University of Connecticut Storrs campus, so that he could pursue a career in teaching. At St. Rose School in East Hartford, in addition to his monastery duties, and his hobbies of building harpsicords and restoring and selling pianos, he took a position as a K-8 music, art and spelling teacher and later, a position at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol, CT. In these positions, he taught choir, band, and international folkdance, regularly scheduling performances with the students, making their costumes, designing, fabricating and painting elaborate stage set designs and coordinating high school graduations at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford for which, he made the school and academic banners used in procession.
In 1990 Bryan departed the Passionist community and after obtaining a certificate in floral design, spent some time as a florist and framer. He then became music director and pastoral associate at Our Lady Mercy Church in Plainville, CT where he prepared for all liturgies, sang as cantor, directed the choir, and was fundamental in the procurement and installation of the Matteo – Patterson Memorial Pipe Organ WICKS opus 6358. He also established the Annual Christmas Boutique and Craft Fair, which he championed for 25 years. Bryan retired from Our Lady of Mercy Church in 2018.
Bryan was an avid fan of trains, trolleys, model railroading, antique music boxes and instruments, cats, dogs, and flowers. He was especially interested in British culture and the British monarchy.
Calling hours will be held from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Thursday, September 17, 2020 at Bailey Funeral Home, 48 Broad St., Plainville, CT. Funeral services will begin at 9:00 AM on Friday, September 18, 2020 from Bailey Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 94 Broad St., Plainville, CT at 10:00 AM on Friday, with interment following at St. Joseph Cemetery, 169 Farmington Ave., Plainville, CT. Family and friends attending the services are required to wear facial coverings and are expected to follow all guidelines from the CDC. Gifts in memory of Bryan may be made to Our Lady of Mercy Church Pipe Organ Fund, Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center https://www.holyfamilyretreat.org/ or to the Meriden Humane Society www.meridenhumanesocietyrescue.com.
A Memorial Mass for Bryan will be celebrated at St. Paul of the Cross Monastery and Church in the Retreat House Chapel (use the monastery entrance),148 Monastery Ave., Pittsburgh, PA at 10:00 AM on Monday October 12.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bryan Arthur Knorr, please visit our floral store.
Our Lady of Mercy Church Pipe Organ Fund
19 S. Canal Street, Plainville CT 06062
Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center
303 Tunxis Road, West Hartford CT 06107
Meriden Humane Society
311 Murdock Avenue, Meriden CT 06450