By Reece M. Krantz ’16 & Brendan Hinkle ’16
Brophy is a Catholic, Jesuit private school, which could leave many people believing its student body is all Catholic.
While a majority of students being Catholic, there are still large amounts of non-Catholics from a large variety of backgrounds.
Every student is required to take mandatory religious classes, and about once a month go to Mass or a prayer service.
Eric Hovagim ’16 is an open atheist. He said his beliefs and ideals of Brophy are more academic than religious.
“I believe that this is a Catholic school and I made the conscious decision to attend here and that they shouldn’t conform to my beliefs,” Hovagim said. “I came here for the academic prowess posed by Brophy.”
Hovagim said he has experienced some prejudice.
“Frequently people would judge you based on your beliefs or lack there of, and it’s not very religious of them to do so,” he said.
Some say the world would be better without religion, others say it is a vital social experience that can not be replaced.
“I think the world would be better without religion, because religion has caused a lot of conflict in the world including the crusades, holocaust and countless other events that have a caused a lot of bloodshed,” Hovagim said. “It has caused a plethora of violent acts.”
Other non-Catholic students are Jewish, Protestant, Sikh and other beliefs.
One Jewish student, Jared Kleiner ’16, said he does not mind mandatory “Mass dress,” Mass and religious classes.
“Personally, I have nothing against celebrating Jesuit Mass and wearing Mass dress,” Kleiner said. “As a matter of fact, I find Mass and learning about the Jesuits rather interesting. Just as if someone was learning about Judaism, I respect what other people believe and I would hope others do the same for me. I find it interesting to hear others beliefs and how the religions are similar and different.”
“With Brophy being a very accepting and exciting place to be, I wasn’t worried about coming to a primarily Catholic school,” Kleiner said. “I have now adjusted well and feel like Brophy is my second home. I respect what others believe in and take it as a learning experience to go to a primarily Catholic school. I couldn’t be happier to be at Brophy.”
Sophomore Brendan Jaap ’16 is another atheist student.
“I really don’t care about the Mass dress, after all, any reason to look classy is fine by me,” Jaap said “However, having the Mass be absolutely mandatory could be offensive to certain people that actually cared. I also think that the Catholic teachings could be optional, if you wanted to take something that pertains more to you.”
Religious schools is something Jaap is familiar with.
“I have gone to Jesuit/Catholic/Lutheran schools all of my life, so it doesn’t feel much different,” Jaap said. “I am comfortable with other people being different in beliefs from my own.”