Fr. Anthony B. Brzoska, S.J. (1928 - 2000)
Former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and the Graduate Divisionat Loyola Marymount University
Tony was born January 22, 1928, in Buffalo and entered the New York Province of the Society of Jesus on September 7, 1946. After philosophy studies at Woodstock and Plattsburg, NY, he returned to his alma mater, Canisius High School, for regency. He began his long association with the California Province when he studied Theology at Alma College in Los Gatos, CA, where he was ordained in 1959.
Tony pursued graduate studies in Dogmatic Theology at the Gregorian University in Rome, where he received his doctorate in 1963 with a dissertation on Christological texts in St. Gregory of Nyssa. He pronounced his final profession in the Society on February 2, 1964.
He returned to Buffalo, this time to Canisius College, where he taught Theology, chaired the Department, and served as Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. During the Vietnam War, he was active in counseling conscientious objectors on campus. In 1981 he came to Loyola Marymount University as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, a post he held until 1992. Concurrently, he also served as Dean of the Graduate Division, 1986-1992. During his tenure he was a strong advocate of faculty scholarship and actively encouraged and supported younger Jesuit and lay colleagues in their research. In the words of one faculty member, Tony “did more for the College in the last 20 years than any other person” in raising academic standards. He advised many young Jesuits of the Province in starting their professional degrees and was a supportive yet demanding critic of their efforts.
In the last years of his academic career (1992-1999), Tony served as Research Assistant to the President of the University. Officially retired a year ago, and despite many physical ailments, he kept active in Jesuit community affairs and put his good eye for detail and artistic sensibility to the task of overseeing the appointments of the new Jesuit residence.
Tony had a spirituality centered on the Incarnation. Christmas was his favorite time of year, judging from the 30 CDs of Christmas music in his collection. Once, in the face of a campus-wide ban on office Christmas decorations, Tony quietly put up a crèche and a few poinsettias, and the ban was not enforced. His spirituality was evidenced in a passionate commitment to justice and in treating everyone, from university trustees to groundskeepers, with care, respect and appreciation. This spirituality, honed in pain and suffering in the last few years, led him by prayer through darkness to a deeper peace and relationship to God.
Fr. Anthony Brzoska, SJ, died in Los Angeles, CA, on July 24, 2000, at the age of 72, a Jesuit for 54 years, and a priest for 41 years.