By Sean Harris ’11
Through regular Masses, religion courses, service work and retreats, Brophy’s Catholic identity is apparent.
But what does this mean for students who are not Catholic? While Brophy is comprised of a mainly Catholic student body, there are still those students who come from a diversity of backgrounds.
One has to wonder about their experiences; whether they feel as welcome in the community as those students who are Catholic or Christian?
“I just had this preconceived belief that Brophy would have a bias against people that aren’t really believers,” said Ryan Michels ’11. “I found out that Brophy actually encouraged me to share my belief…They encourage people of all different faiths or not having any faith, to be here, to be a part of Brophy.”
Michels, an atheist, is part of a group of students who consider themselves to be of no faith.
“The reason why I choose to be atheist is that I feel that just because there are certain questions to life that we aren’t able to understand or rationalize does not mean that we can limit ourselves to feel that our knowledge is limited,” Michels said. “I feel that there isn’t an endpoint to knowledge, but our rationality can provide answers or an understanding of the world and it’s sufficient enough.”
Logan Hall ’14 is of the Jewish faith tradition.
“There was a little hesitation (to come to Brophy) but it was overcome by the education I would get here, and the experience of being at Brophy,” Hall said. “Nobody’s been offensive at all; most people are actually interested by it and I think that they’ve been welcoming to it.”
While Brophy seems to encourage diversity of religion, there is always the question of improvement and how Brophy can make students of different faiths feel more comfortable.
“I don’t think there’s much they can do; it is a Catholic school,” Hall said. “I’ve met a lot of people who are not Catholic that go here and I think that it’s not much of a problem for them because of the environment that they’re in.”
According to Mrs. Kim Baldwin of the Office of Faith and Justice, this is the response that Brophy wants from its students.
“I think that a very intentional and consistent effort is made to encourage and express openness to the diverse experiences and beliefs and backgrounds of our students, not only in religious terms but in other facets as well,” Mrs. Baldwin said. “Hopefully, a student will leave Brophy stronger in their own faith, their own belief, their own practices.”
Kairos, Magis retreats offer more than what students expect – http://wp.me/pIfpv-EP
Teachers interpret faith through different lenses – http://wp.me/pIfpv-F1
Staff Editorial: All are welcome in this place – http://wp.me/pIfpv-ED
Service, immersion trips bring students closer to faith, others – http://wp.me/pIfpv-Eq
Religion classes encourage students to think for themselves, not follow blindly – http://wp.me/pIfpv-Ez
In a world of religious extremism Jesuits get it right – http://wp.me/pIfpv-EB