New Theology teachers guide students to walk with christ

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Hurley Qi ’22

This fall, Strake Jesuit College Preparatory has welcomed three new faculty members to its theology department. 

Dr. Mary DeBroeck used to teach at an all-girls high school. She wanted to challenge herself and embrace major changes by transferring to an all-boys school. However, her connection with Jesuit education was rooted long before the transfer.

“Many of my family members and friends have gone to Strake Jesuit,” Dr. DeBroeck said, “including my dad and brother, so I have known about Jesuit since I was a kid. I admire the kind of education that Jesuit offers, and I am happy to help contribute to it!” 

Dr. DeBroeck chose to teach theology because of its limitless boundaries and endless connections to all the other aspects of life. She hopes for her students to share her love for theology. 

When asked about giving advice to her students, Dr DeBroeck said, “Pray!  All the time! I’m here for you and want to get to know you! Also, explain sports to me!”

Mr. Conor LoPiccolo attended De Smet Jesuit High school in St. Louis and studied theology and English at Saint Louis University. He then completed a year of service at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri. When touring Strake Jesuit, Mr LoPiccolo was amazed by the school’s dedication to its mission.

“If I can point to anything,” Mr. LoPiccolo said, “it is that sense of community in service to our students that really drew me here, and I am quite confident that the Holy Spirit had no small part in guiding me in making that choice.”

Mr. LoPiccolo chose to teach theology at Strake Jesuit because growing up he enjoyed theology class and learning about the Church’s history. Mr. LoPiccolo believes that teaching theology is the best way to utilize his gifts from God to benefit others. 

Mr. LoPiccolo recommended the SJ students to be honest and respectful to their teachers and each other. Mr. LoPiccolo also advised the Sj students to show their emotions.

“I think that it’s important that students know that I care about them and want what is best for them,” Mr. LoPiccolo said. “I appreciate feedback and want everyone I meet on campus to succeed; to that end, I hope they all realize that I’m on their team!”

Mrs. Gabriela Karaszewski believed a position at Strake Jesuit to be the right path for her educational career  after reading an apostolic exhortation titled  “Christus Vivit” by Pope Francis. The exhortation discussed young people as the “Now of God” instead of the future.

“These words inspired me to join Strake Jesuit because I strongly believe our school reflects what Pope Francis is asking us to do,” Mrs. Karaszewski  said, “to form the leaders not just of the future but the leaders of today.”  

Mrs. Karaszewski originally pursued both a consulting career in environment science and a teaching career in theology. She found more happiness in her teaching career and decided to teach young teengagers about the Catholic faith. 

When asked about giving advice to her students, Mrs. Karaszewski said, “Do not be afraid, always walk with Christ.” Mrs. Karaszewski’s favorite saints are St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.