At a special Convocation on Monday (Aug. 14), Jesuit High School celebrated the 70th anniversary of beloved school chaplain Fr. Francis Brou, S.J. entering the Society of Jesus.
The event was highlighted by warm, personal testimonials about Fr. Brou from Joe Ficarrotta ’65 and Connor Penn ’11 (who are pictured on the homepage with Fr. Brou), as well as from Jesuit school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. Also, there were two special presentations: a plaque dedicating the school’s Office of Campus Ministry in Fr. Brou’s name, and a beautiful portrait of Fr. Brou drawn by Jesuit’s fine arts director Kevin Ball ’03.
The Office of Campus Ministry dedication was made possible through the generosity of Ficarrotta, Mac Greco '65, and the Hon. Ron Ficarrotta '76 and reflects the enormous spiritual impact Fr. Brou has made on hundreds of young men at Jesuit. First from 1964-71, when Fr. Brou initially was assigned to Jesuit as a teacher – he had been ordained in 1961 – and then from 2006 until today as school chaplain (with a one-year respite in 2015-16). Numerous alumni from the both 1960s-70s and 2000s-10s were on hand Monday to join in the celebration.
Fr. Brou spoke last, exhibiting his trademark grace and humor. Exactly seven decades earlier in Louisiana, on Aug. 14, 1947, 18-year-old Francis Brou had entered the Jesuit Order. Monday, Fr. Brou shared a few funny anecdotes about his early days in the Jesuit novitiate, and then addressed the student body.
"It's always with a prayer of thanksgiving that I approach my days," Fr. Brou said. "Because being with you is my daily prayer."
Please see below a photo slideshow from the Convocation and the reception afterward. Below that is a video of the entire Convocation.
Click here for a feature story in the Tampa Bay Times by Phillip Morgan about Fr. Brou, which was published on Aug. 13.