Thoughts from Fr. Postell, S.J.
One of the most significant feasts in the liturgical calendar of the church is the Feast of the Epiphany. Ironically, the importance of this feast looms very powerfully in the Eastern Church; perhaps not as weighty in the Roman Church.
We can get distracted about what to call the Wise Men, how many there were (St. Augustine thought twelve) and their names. Even the mention of the word “Star” has caused not a little speculation in the minds of sincere mathematicians and astronomers. Suffice it to say, the mention of the Star in the East reflects the emphasis of St. Matthew to portray the birth of Christ as a light in the darkness.
We are told by St. Paul that the gentiles are all coheirs, members of the same body. No longer are there Jew and gentile, but brothers and sisters.
Matthew is intent on preaching the message of unity, perhaps not sameness, but at least equality. What Matthew wanted to avoid is a practice of exclusion which disrupts the unity of the Christian message.
Interestingly enough, there seems to be the general assumption that most of the Jews at the time of Jesus knew about the promise of the birth of the Messiah. Scripture reports Herod as being very troubled, “And all Jerusalem with Him.” I am reminded of that famous scene in Bolt’s play about St. Thomas More when Henry VIII laughs as he jumps out of the boat. All of his followers laugh with him after waiting for his reaction.
Certainly Herod was troubled and feared the significance of this messianic threat. He certainly was not interested in unity, fairness, or justice.
We have to ask ourselves, are we sensitive to the birth of the Messiah in the year 2016, or are we more interested in exclusion?
The Brophy branch of the Alumni Service Corps (ASC) sponsored a collaborative retreat with members of the ASC programs of St. Ignatius in San Francisco and Bellarmine Prep in San Jose. The event took place at Manresa for the weekend of Jan. 7th – Jan. 10th. We had a full slate with faculty sponsors from each school. The only worry was element of snow and ice—oh yes, and some rock falls which threatened the passage of 89-A between Flagstaff and Sedona.
The annual Brophy Faculty/Staff Retreat was held at Franciscan Renewal Center, The Casa, on Monday, January 4th. A former Brophy teacher, Chris Alling, presented some entertaining and supportive ideas. Mr. Alling is the current president of Xavier High School in Palm Desert. He is responsible for the vision of Xavier High School, which some people sincerely call “Brophy West.”
A Bit of History
We might review a few memories about the closing of the old Brophy in 1935. Incidentally, the old Brophy is referred to by many veteran alumni as “Pinto Brophy.” Everyone knows by now that small enrollment and financial problems forced the school to close. One report claims an additional challenge – the difficulty of assigning Jesuits to staff the school. Possibly the contrast between L.A. and San Francisco on one hand, with the Phoenix frontier discouraged several Jesuits from moving to Pinto Brophy.
Whatever the case, the year 1934-35 must have been a traumatic one for the school community. The Jesuits suggested to the then Bishop Gercke that he purchase the school for the parish. We have to remember that the present Brophy chapel served as the parish church for quite a few years. Bishop Gercke considered asking the Christian Brothers in Santa Fe to run the school. The Brothers subsequently weighed the offer and declined. The Bishop subsequently bought the school for $50,000, which mirrored the debt the school had incurred up to that time. The Jesuits agreed that they would continue to administer the parish.
Not content to stand back, Bishop Gercke announced in late 1935 that he would start a campaign to build two Catholic high schools for boys. But he found little excitement for this project. During this conversation, the Bishop learned that the Franciscans would be interested in running Old Brophy. Apparently there were several factions in the school community who favored either Jesuits or Franciscans. During this time, the parish contracted with the BVM’s of Dubuque to staff the parish elementary school. And to put a close to the story, the Jesuits returned to Phoenix in 1952 to reopen Brophy College Preparatory.
Adam Mosharrafa ’14 and Stanford University Soccer team won the NCAA Division I National Championship the weekend of December 12th. Mosharrafa is the second alumnus in as many years to play with and win an NCAA title. Last year, Riggs Lennon ’13 played for Virginia winning the 2014 title.
Brad Newman ’70 celebrated 40 years at Yavapai Exceptional Industries, an organization that supports adults with disabilities through job training, employment, volunteer placements, and support services. Read the article recently published in The Prescott News.
Pete Burr ’07, current Brophy teacher, was interviewed for the student newspaper The Brophy Roundup.
Weddings and Anniversaries
Edward Dunnigan ’59 and his wife Judy will be celebrating their 50th Anniversary on January 29th.
Ted Dettmer, Jr. ’62 and his wife Anita recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Steve Kolesar ’62 and his wife Linda recently celebrated their anniversary. They were married in Rome, Italy, on October 30, 1971, by Fr. Daniel Kendall, SJ, ‘57. Two of his Jesuit fellows who were also studying in Rome at the time with Fr. Kendall, Fr. Ralph DaCosta, SJ, (India) and Fr. Antonio Lambimno, SJ, (Phillipines), assisted in the Marriage in The Chapel of San Andrea al Quirinale, a 15th century Jesuit Church in Rome. It is known as the “Pearl of the Baroque”, a Church commissioned to and designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.