By Joe Skoog ’13
The concept of faith at Brophy is one that is purposely left open to interpretation by each individual student.
Because of this non-linear style of teaching, the students of Brophy are encouraged to challenge what they think about faith.
This questioning of faith has led many students to shift from the traditional religions they grew up following.
John Donnell ’11, who was raised Catholic but is now agnostic, said his view of faith was, “believing in something that is hard to believe in, or in something that seems illogical.”
While his beliefs have changed, he still thinks that Brophy has encouraged him to think for himself. He said classes like Christian Ethics and C.S. Lewis Seminar at Xavier have really helped him.
“They make me believe in God a little more. My teachers, they put everything logically.”
Scott Koch ’13, on the other hand, has grown stronger in his Catholic faith because of Brophy.
To him, faith means “something greater than you, something you put your trust in.”
For the many students who have come from Catholic or Protestant schools, the more discursive style of teaching promoted by Brophy has enabled students to form opinions they had previously not considered.
This is welcomed in the Jesuit style of teaching.
Yes, it is a Catholic school with Catholic foundations.
However, instead of normatively indorsing the Catholic Church, Brophy simply describes the Church’s functions and how they view the development of the Church’s views through history.
That, coupled with the Junior and Senior religion classes, which focus primarily on the social justice aspects of the Church, shifts the focus from church structures to morality, ethics and personal responsibility.
This makes it so that no matter what a student’s view of God’s place in the universe is, the focus on social justice is something that all students can relate to on the level that helping other people is good.
This Ignatian principle of teaching “a faith that does justice” has helped shape the very spirit of Brophy.