Sep 15

Message from Brebeuf Jesuit President Fr. Jack Dennis S.J.

The message below was sent to the Brebeuf Jesuit community on the morning of Friday, September 15. 

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you and your families well and you had enjoyable summers.

My own summer was complicated with back surgeries, but I am healing and I am moving in the right direction physically.  I am very appreciative of so many of you who personally reached out to me, and to the entire Brebeuf Jesuit community for all of your support.  I am, also, most grateful to God for empowering me to weather this unexpected storm with dignity, grace and patience.

As I begin my sixth year as President of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, I remain enamored with our mission, our student’s protection of our mission, our school culture and the amazing ways that Brebeuf Jesuit defies definition. We are so much more than just a good Catholic Prep School.  We are an extraordinary community who embraces and highlights our differences … our faith differences, gender differences, racial, cultural and socio-economic differences, to name a few.  We embrace our differences because, together, they make us whole.  They are pieces of the amazing and transformative puzzle we call Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

It is in light of the on-going health and beauty of Brebeuf Jesuit, that I feel compelled to share with you that this will be my final year as President of this wonderful institution. It has not been an easy decision to make, but it comes from a summer of prayerful discernment and God’s call for me to return to the Maryland Province and my family.  My mother will be 92 years old in a few months and it is my desire – and, I believe, God’s desire also – to be closer to her for the foreseeable future.  I am at peace with my decision, but saying goodbye to our Brebeuf Jesuit community, in June, will not be easy.

I look forward to another outstanding school year ahead and hope that my news will not interfere with the exciting, engaging and positive trajectory that we have been on for the last five years.  Not only have we renovated our academic facilities and significantly added to our endowment, benefitting Financial Aid, we have become an ever-growing community of faith, inclusion and compassion.  One of the greatest compliments I have ever received at Brebeuf Jesuit was from Clare Corr ’15, who told me at a retreat meeting: “F.J., you have made our school more religious, without forcing it.” I could not have been more proud, because Brebeuf Jesuit truly is ‘a traditional Catholic, Jesuit high school, with a non-traditional student body.’ That is what makes our school and community so exceptional.  We do not try to be … we just are.  Our Brebeuf Jesuit Braves represent the most mature, kind, caring, empathetic, well-integrated and intellectual students that I have ever encountered. 

I will truly miss the family that we are at Brebeuf Jesuit, but I know that I will leave our beloved school in the most capable hands. Brebeuf Jesuit’s Leadership Team is unmatched, and will continue to guide our school with justice, innovation, care for the whole person and love. I am sure of that.

Thank you for your support and friendship. They mean the world to me.

God’s blessings.

Fr. Jack Dennis, S.J. 

Father Jack, you will be incredibly missed. You have been instrumental in changing that school, my three children, profoundly affected me personally, and we will all forever be grateful! I pray that God continues to bless you and guides your recovery. You created a safe haven in Brebeuf. I feel so lucky to have known you. Enjoy your last year and life after Brebeuf Jesuit!!

  • Angela Hill

    Father Jack,
    I truly hope your medical issues are on the mend. I am so sorry you went thru such a difficult time. Thankfully, you ere surrounded by those who obviously care so much for you.
    I sense your pride and affection for your beautiful school and feel the pull of your heart to be closer to your Mother.These are always difficult decisions, but i think of how fortunate your school community has been to have you for so long.
    I was just talking about you with a group that has formed at Loyola to raise funds to honor Mike Early, who we all miss everyday.
    You are still remembered and loved in New Orleans. Perhaps there will be time for you to come visit us in the future. So many of us would love to see you.
    I hope your back issues continue to improve and that you will be able to spend special time with your Mother.
    My best,
    Angela Hill

  • Jeanette Leblanc

    Jack, Jimmy Sue sent this to me and I’m glad she did. It was just great getting news about you. I think of you often. Like you I have fond memories of WWL and folks I worked with. I can see you having lunch with the traffic dept. and watching TV. I hope the future is wonderful to you and your family. Hugs, Jeanette

  • Bill Casanova

    Hope you recover soon and we’ll, I’ve had 4 back surgeries, the last in 2006, a fusion of L4, L5 & S1. All is well! Hang in there and God Bless! Good to hear about you.

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