Photo courtesy of Brophy | Mr. Gonzales gives a speech to students in the Great Hall.
By Victor Beck ’20
Mr. Marcos Gonzales is a new member of Brophy’s faculty and seeks to promote a culture of healing and transformation for everyone on campus through his work in the Office of Faith and Justice.
Before coming to Brophy, Gonzales worked in Los Angeles at Homeboy Industries as a case manager and community organizer.
“I was previously at Homeboy industries as a part of my Jesuit formation, and I was working as a case manager and community organizer. I loved that work, I was really passionate about being able to work with folks on the margins, and particularly being in a place like Homeboy where we worked to erase the margins that separated us,” said Gonzales.
Gonzales traces his connection to Brophy back to Brophy’s Los Angeles Urban Plunge trip in which he got to meet Mr. Bob Ryan and Mr. Quentin Orem.
“I first met Mr. Ryan at Homeboy, when he and Mr. Orem where on the L.A. Urban Plunge trip, and so the opportunity to come and help in the Office of Faith and Justice was presented to me and I was very grateful that my Jesuit superior said I was available to come and work at Brophy,” said Gonzales.
He describes his faith journey and pathway to becoming a Jesuit as a series of small events that led him to follow Jesus and pursue a life of faith.
“I am in my eighth year as a Jesuit. There is a Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who had this beautiful prayer that said ‘trust in the slow work of God’, and I would say it wasn’t a lighting bolt, but a lot of moments over time that continued to draw me towards this life,” said Gonzales.
He continues to describe his work with those on the margins as the place where he can encounter God the most.
“When and where I was encountering God, was when I was with the poor and those who were being excluded and I just continue to feel drawn to stand with God in those places, and the Jesuits offered me that place to do that,” said Gonzales.
Mr. Simon Zachary had known Gonzales for many years and credits him for telling him what life as a Jesuit was like.
“I have known Marcos for four years now, and we met when I was first applying to be a Jesuit,” said Mr. Zachary. “He was already in, and was just raving about this life, in a very positive way.”
Mr. Zachary also praises Gonzales as being multitalented and impressive in many areas of life.
“He’s a very warm and outgoing sort of person. He really enjoys interactions, relationships, and is definitely the sort of person who is talented in a host of areas. He is a musician and plays the bongo drums and guitar, he is an excellent public speaker, and has a background in social work. Plus he is an excellent singer, as well,” Mr. Zachary said.
Through his work in the Office of Faith and Justice, Mr. Gonzales has gotten the chance to cultivate and form many great relationships.
He shares an office with Mr. William Rutt ’08 and has already begun to make his mark here at Brophy.
Mr. Rutt describes Mr. Gonzales as not being afraid to change things up and takes on many challenging things in order to better the community.
“He is challenging our community to really examine what it means to responsibly use the resources we have, seeing it as unique opportunity to educate our students, showing them what institutions committed to doing justice can do,” said Mr. Rutt.
Mr. Rutt highlights Gonzales’s work with the asylum seekers as an example of how he brings together many aspects of the community.
“He has pulled the Catholic Church in a number of different ways to the injustice, through his organizing, bringing it to the forefront of the community, offering up a unique opportunity to live faith and partake in the work of the Church through servicing those with the most need,” said Mr. Rutt.
Rutt applauds Gonzales’s ability to unite people as a needed gift of healing that he is bringing to Brophy.
“He is just really good at getting people at the same table. Our community since the election of the president, has been divided. Serious tension on campus between certain groups of students, and sometimes students and faculty, and faculty and faculty, I think he has a unique ability to invite people in and get people talking with each other,” said Mr. Rutt.
Gonzales hopes to bring some of the lessons he learned at Homeboy to Brophy and works to incorporate them through many facets as possible during his time here.
“In whatever way I can, I want to be apart of helping students heal and transform, allowing them to be able to be fully themselves and fully able to see the beauty that God created them to be. My favorite things Father Greg Boyle says is that you are exactly what God intended when God made you,” he said.