Bud Brey died on May 13; my wife and I went to the funeral yesterday. Bud was a modern-day Paul, that is, an evangelist using the tools of our time to spread the Good News. At 73, Bud died way too soon.
Bud and his wife Theresa started the Minnesota Catholic Film Society in 1981, lending and showing inspirational films for the next 25 years. The very first film he and Theresa ever showed was a film about Our Lady of Fatima. Ironic that he should die on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
For the last several years, Bud ran Channel 19, a local television station that rebroadcasts EWTN programming, in addition to a few locally-produced shows. It is an entirely volunteer operation, dependent upon donations from viewers. The station’s signal emanates from the top of the IDS Tower in downtown Minneapolis, so people as far away as New Prague are able to watch. Bud put a lot of his own time and money into keeping the station operating.
For a while in the mid-1990s, Bud asked me to host a locally-produced program on the station called “All Things Catholic.” We did a monthly show where we would invite three or four guests to have a discussion about current issues from a Catholic perspective. It was a short-lived effort, but I sure enjoyed it.
Bud and Theresa, coincidently, live just a block from me. I didn’t see him around so much in the last year or so, as health problems kept him home bound. I saw him at church about three weeks ago, however, and he looked pretty good. I was shocked to get the news that he died, two days after having a stroke. He was buried in Lucan, Minnesota, a small farming community, near where he grew up.
Bud did not call any attention to himself but he did big things. Many people watched inspirational television because of Bud. Many people learned more about their faith because of his work through the film society and the TV station. I’m going to miss his cantankerous personality, but his legacy lives on in all the people who are deeper Christians as a result of his work.
tMichaelB is the web site for Tom Bengtson, who writes about business, religion, family and politics.
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