View Full Version : Father Tony

04-11-2007, 11:19 AM
I just finished rereading the chapter in one of the books about Gonzaga regarding Father Tony. It seems as though they was discussion earlier this year about someone taking his place (I know, that's not possible) on the bench. I don't think that happened. Anybody know if this topic is under discussion again? Or who the possibilities might be? Or how Coach Few feels about it? I was struck by the passage about the role Father Tony in these young men's lives and how he would sidle up to them individually if they had had a bad game or been chewed on for mistakes. And I loved his constant sign off with them: "To be continued . . ."

Angelo Roncalli
04-11-2007, 11:21 AM
There has been serious discussion about Fr. Rick Ganz taking a seat on the bench next season.

04-11-2007, 11:22 AM
Who decides? Coach Few? Someone "higher up"?

Angelo Roncalli
04-11-2007, 11:31 AM
This from an Article that was in The Bulletin a little over a month ago:

Efforts are under way to place a chaplain on the men's varsity basketball team as well. Fr. Rick Ganz, S.J., has met with Head Coach Mark Few and the players in preparation for becoming the team's first chaplain since 2002 when Rev. Tony Lehmann, S.J., died from leukemia.

It has been out of respect for Rev. Lehmann, whose 20 years as team chaplain are memorialized by an empty bronze chair in the McCarthey Athletic Center, that no Jesuit has served in the same capacity since his death, said Roth.

Beyond the basketball programs, Ganz also met with the Gonzaga Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, made up of representatives from all varsity sports, early last fall to spread awareness of University Ministry. At that meeting he worked with the students to discover ways to include athletes in religious activities they are sometimes unable to participate in because of demanding competition and practice schedules.

"God is already present and working in the athletes' lives. That is what a Jesuit looks to understand, so that he, a chaplain in this case, can learn how to help the athletes see and honor God more in their lives (the "magis" of the Jesuit way of proceeding)," wrote Ganz in an e-mail. "This is what University Ministry is about with all of our students."

04-11-2007, 11:35 AM
there to be a replacement. I don't think it should be up to the coach entirely. This is after all a Jesuit College. And the coach and the team represent that tradition. Jesuits can be counselors, moral compasses, charismatic leaders, friends, and just plain fans, all at once.

It is hopeful. I think the spiritual dimension will help the team.

Sili (the "antiCatholic")

04-11-2007, 11:38 AM
my guess is he is still sitting on that bench. Certainly in spirit.

I first heard of Fr. Tony when he was chaplain of the school's rugby team.

He not only offered spiritial advice, but taught this ragtag group a number of rituals, which live on last I heard.

Just one was a proper toast with a properly aged whisky (sic).

But, that said, I think it would be a great addition to put another Jeb there as the team's basketball chaplain.

I'm sure Fr. Tony would approve, too.

04-11-2007, 11:44 AM
I know Few was close to Father Tony, and when I've heard him speak about him in the past, he clearly comes from the camp that feels that a certain amount of time needed to go by before they thought about having another priest on the bench.

That time has perhaps come......

04-11-2007, 03:52 PM
Fr. Ganz taught at my high school and often led our football team in prayer before games and resided on the sideline. I was lucky enough that he moved from my high school to Gonzaga my sophomore year. He is easily the most inspiring, grounded, unique, and blessed person I have ever encountered in my life. He's from the Spokane area, his father's funeral was at St Al's 3 1/2 years ago, and he really has a genuine love for this university. I go to talk to him about any important decision in my life. I really hope he gets the nomination.

04-11-2007, 08:59 PM
I knew Fr Tony only slightly so I claim no special knowledge of what he would think. My first guess is that he would think he could be replaced. Don't get me wrong, no one else will ever be Father Tony. I am not trying to say that. It has been a very good thing to honor Father T and recognize his contributions by leaving his chair empty. It is also time to recognize how good it was to have Father Tony in that chair by making sure someone is in that chair, and overall available for the guys. If the chair stays open too long it becomes like maybe the job wasn't that important after all. I certainly don't think anyone actually thinks that way, but let's not get too close to that point.

04-11-2007, 09:27 PM
I've met both men. I was Blessed to meet Father Tony only once, at the opening of the new House of Charity. We had a wonderful 15 minute talk about the new service to homeless men, and about other matters. I was very impressed with him.

I've met Father Ganz a few times - don't know him well, but I do know that University Ministry (including Theology on Tap and the student-led Thirst -praise and worship session every Wednesday night from 9 to 10 PM at Cataldo Hall) provides great spiritual support to the students, so I think it would be great to have him closely involved with the student athletes. Life really is more than putting a round ball in a round basket - important as that is, of course.