Before friends, co-workers, and numerous Jesuit High School alumni who are among the legions he has positively influenced in his seven decades as a Jesuit, Fr. Francis Brou, S.J. was honored Wednesday (Dec. 6) at the Hillsborough County Commission, for "humanitarian contributions on the occasion of his 70th anniversary as a member of the Society of Jesus."
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), Fr. Brou's impact has spanned generations. Among those attending Wednesday were Michael Azzarelli '71, Joe Ficarrotta '65, Hon. Ron Ficarrotta '76, Ernest "Cookie" Garcia '50, Mac Greco '65, Charlie Robbins '69, Will Wellman '01, Dexter Whipple '13, and Spencer Whipple '16, as well as Jesuit teacher/counselor Fr. Paul Deutsch, S.J. and many more.
Commissioner Al Higginbotham had been scheduled to bestow the commendation, but he was unable to attend Wednesday, so Commissioner Sandra Murman performed the honors. Calling up Fr. Brou and Jesuit's development director, Nick Suszynski '98, to the podium, she read the commendation (see below) and presented the plaque to Fr. Brou.
It's been a big semester for Fr. Brou. On Aug. 14, which was 70 years to the day since he entered the Society of Jesus, he was honored by the school. Click here for a story and photo slideshow from that Convocation.
Below is the commendation from the County Commission, and below that is a photo slideshow from Wednesday's event, which includes an image of the plaque Commissioner Murman presented to Fr. Brou.
Father Francis Brou, S.J.
The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners is pleased to recognize Father Francis Brou for his humanitarian contributions on the occasion of his 70th anniversary as a member of the Society of Jesus.
A self-described "country boy" from Edgard, Louisiana, Father Brou found his calling as a Jesuit priest while attending Loyola University, embracing the Society's ability to adapt its ministry to the needs of the times. During his early Jesuit formation, prior to his ordination in 1961, Father Brou was missioned to Sri Lanka and India, where he studied the Sinhalese language and theology. During the 1960s, Father Brou taught algebra, trigonometry, religion, and French at Jesuit High School (Tampa) in Hillsborough County, where he guided his students on their studies and in life. From the early 1970s to the 2000s, he served various ministries around the world as a retreat and spiritual director, including in Africa, France, Japan, and South Africa. Father Brou returned to Jesuit High School as its chaplain in 2016, counseling students about their academic and spiritual needs, which he continues to this day.
Awarded this 6th day of December, 2017
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