Sunday, January 02, 2011

RIP Brother John Davies

Almost certainly he knew, that behind his back, the boys called him "Pinhead" - not out of mean-spiritedness, but just because they were young pimply gawky teenagers, mocking an authority figure, goofing around. The prayers he whispered at various times during the day were probably said on behalf of those kids.

I'm sure the students attending Vincentian Institute, grown up today, pause to wonder why they giggled when they spoke that cruel nickname. We all ask ourselves why we did certain things. We all wish we could fly back in time, knowing what we know now. We all wish we hadn't said things we said and hadn't done things we'd done. The gigglers know their lives wouldn't be as rich as they are today had they not crossed paths with Brother John Davies.

Brother John always formally addressed his high school Social Studies students as "men." He chuckled when telling of how, when he heard the term "guerilla warfare" for the first time over his transistor radio, he thought that somehow the army had trained monkeys to engage in hand-to-hand combat. He showed students it's okay to laugh at yourself. He loved Classical Music. As a teacher, he excelled. He held the keys to helping students grasp difficult topics and concepts. If you'd never been able to memorize anything in your life, you could when Brother John finished with you!

All in all, Brother John was a good guy. Honest, sincere, close to God, and able to spot a cheat-sheet concealed in a clear bic pen casing as easily as a hawk in flight would spot a rodent on the ground below. We'll miss you.
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