Photo Courtesy of: Mr. Myles Kelley S.J
Mr. Myles Kelley S.J, Brophy’s newest Jesuit teacher, is in the middle of an 11-year journey to become a priest. He said that he hopes to show the community unconditional love.
“The kind of love that God has for you, for me, for each of us,” Mr. Kelley said, “that’s way more important to me than any lesson plan. And I’m trying to do that every day, whether I’m in class, prefecting during lunch, or going to a football game. I want to support, care for, and learn from each of you here at Brophy.”
Mr. Kelley’s journey with the Jesuits started before his freshman year of high school. After hearing a friend was hoping to attend Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Mr. Kelley applied late in the application process. He said he assumed he missed the deadline for his application to be seriously considered, but he prayed every night for months that he would be accepted.
He got into Jesuit Dallas, and this started his life with the Jesuits.
“I’ll never forget the moment I found out I was accepted,” Mr. Kelley said. “It’s one of the happiest moments of my life. I felt like God and I were somehow in sync.”
After Jesuit Dallas, Mr. Kelley continued his Jesuit education at Boston College. Mr. Kelley got a bachelor’s degree in management, and he planned on starting his life in the business world. However, after getting rejected from a few “dream jobs,” he found his way back to Jesuit Dallas as a part of their Alumni Service Corp (ASC). Similar to Brophy’s program, Jesuit Dallas’ ASC allows alumni to return to campus after their college graduation with the abilities to teach students, serve the community, and appreciate Jesuit education.
It was in the ASC where Mr. Kelley first had got the idea that he could pursue life as a Jesuit.
“I was living in community, living simply, and giving myself away to others in a spirit of service and spirituality,” said Mr. Kelley. “I loved it, and I didn’t realize there was a way I could spend my whole life doing that until a few years later.”
After his second stint at Jesuit Dallas, Mr. Kelley worked in Campus Ministry at Loyola Marymount University, his third Jesuit school. It was at LMU that Mr. Kelley started “making the connection” that he should be a Jesuit.
“I had been around the Jesuits since highschool and was now working for one in Campus Ministry,” said Mr. Kelley. “The Jesuits had always been people I admired and looked to for guidance. They were easy to talk to and helped me through the inevitable challenges of highschool and college.”
It must be noted that some would consider Mr. Kelley an anomaly. According to data from Georgetown University, the number of priests in the United States declined by almost 60% from 1970 to 2020.
Mr. Kelley said he too is sometimes uncertain on whether or not the priesthood is the correct path for him.
“It was a leap of faith really, because I didn’t know if it would be right for me or if the priesthood was my true vocation,” Mr. Kelley said. “And some days, I still don’t know for certain, but I trust in the mysterious spirit that has been working overtime, it seems, these past 5 years – making me more joyful, loving, and free – more of myself – all as a Jesuit.”
After a few years at Brophy, Mr. Kelley will “be sent off to study theology again – more in depth – in preparation for being ordained as a priest.” It’ll be another 5-6 years from now before people will call him “Father Kelley.”When asked if he had any advice for high school students, Mr. Kelley said, “Be open – to what is here & now, no matter how challenging or strange it may seem. And, listen to your life – to those holy longings and inklings you feel deep in your heart. Sometimes those are the ways God wants to speak to you and give to you – more than you can even imagine.”