Photo by Manuel-Mata Flores ’19| Fr. Juan Pablo Marrufo del Toro, S.J. teaches his physics class as they proceed to finish their projects on Friday Oct. 6, 2017 in Piper 210. Fr. del Toro is in his second year at Brophy teaching physics.
By Alex Kirshner ’18
Father Juan Pablo Marrufo del Toro, S.J. is in his second year as a teacher at Brophy.
He was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, but he lived in Mexico City as a child. He came to The United States on August 23, 2003, when he joined the Jesuits.
“I was really attracted by their spirituality, their freedom, and their variety of ways to serve the Church and to serve God,” Fr. said. “Especially their lifestyle, so free and detached from material possessions and their freedom to love is what made me want to give it a try.”
Del Toro said that he was not extremely religious growing up, but he did practice his faith consistently.
“I was more-or-less average for the Mexican culture,” he said. “But when I met the Jesuits, I wanted to be a Jesuit, not necessarily a priest.”
Del Toro came to Brophy last year, and he said that he felt very welcome and comfortable on the campus.
“Once I finished my theology studies, I got ordained … and my superior recommended that I come to visit Brophy,” he said. “I came in November of 2015 … I interviewed here and felt very welcome.”
He was asked to teach science, which was his undergraduate degree, and he said that the decision to come to Brophy just felt right.
“Brophy needed a priest, and I was happy to come to Phoenix,” he said.
Del Toro moved to Phoenix in July of 2016, and jokingly recalled walking out of the airport and being confronted by the Arizona heat.
“When I came to visit in November, the weather was so nice and beautiful, and then I come here in July and walk out of the airport and go ‘What have I done?’,” he laughed.
Drew Burns ’18, who had Del Toro for precalculus last year, said that he really became close with Del Toro on the El Salvador immersion trip.
“We spent almost two weeks together praying together, visiting rural communities, and growing spiritually,” he said. “It was really nice to have him as an ally on this pilgrimage experience.”
Last year, Del Toro taught both physics and precalculus, and he was extremely grateful for the teachers in both the math and science department for helping him with his transition.
“I felt very supported by my colleagues,” he said. “They shared with me a lot of their lesson plans and wouldn’t mind if I went and observed them and picked up on some of their lesson plans. I never felt that I was on my own.”