Passing of Brother Martin Yribarren, FSC

March 9, 2021

Join the funeral liturgy for Brother Martin on YouTube on Monday, March 15, at 11 a.m. here.

Dear Saint Mary’s Community Members,  

It is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that I inform you that Brother Martin John Yribarren, FSC, a member of the Saint Mary’s College Brothers Community, passed from this life to eternal life on March 8, 2021. 

Born to Martin and Mabel Yribarren in Fresno, California on December 12, 1947, Brother Martin attended St. John School and San Joaquin Memorial High School, graduating in June 1965. He entered the novitiate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Napa in July 1965 and served as a religious educator for fifty-six years. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s College of California in 1971, a Master of Arts degree from California State University of Los Angeles in 1984 and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Southern California in 1994. The title of Brother Martin’s doctoral dissertation is Melodic and Tonal Coherence in the Organ Works of Cesar Franck: An Approach Employing Basic Shape and Structural Levels

Brother Martin was on the faculty of Cathedral High School in Los Angeles for sixteen years, serving as principal from 1985 to 1987. He was a professor at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga and a tutor in the Integral Program of Liberal Arts for twenty-six years, from 1995 to his death in 2021. Brother Martin devoted himself tirelessly to his students, introducing them to the great books as he had been introduced in his years as an undergraduate. As a seminar professor and as the organist at Saint Mary’s College, he mentored numerous students in their academic and liturgical lives, introducing them to the wonders of music and its power to elevate their senses and their participation in the liturgical life of the Catholic Church. Brother Martin enjoyed reading, hiking, cooking and basketball. He spoke fondly of his time as a high school basketball coach and was an avid supporter of the Saint Mary’s College men’s basketball program. He played on the men’s Saint Mary’s College basketball team in 1967. The memory of his intellectual integrity, his musical gifts and wry humor will live in the hearts of his Brothers, his colleagues and his students. He is survived by his sister Ann Marie Hay who resides in Alexandria, Virginia and his brother George who resides in Gilbert, Arizona.

Learn more about Brother Martin in an article written by Professor Ginny Prior in 2014. Click here.

Due to the pandemic, a private funeral service at Saint Mary’s College and burial at Mont La Salle will take place on Monday, March 15. 

Please remember Brother Martin and his family in your prayers. 


James A. Donahue