Saint Ignatius High School

Front of the Class: Jim Brennan '85

Mr. Jim Brennan has been teaching Theology at Saint Ignatius since 1989. As a soccer coach, Director of Irish Studies Program and hockey team chaplain, he influences our students in the classroom and beyond. In this Q&A, we learn more about Brennan and see his Chapel Talks in action.
Q: What classes do you teach this year?
A: I currently teach the course on the Church--Eccelsiology-- to sophomores. Second semester I will teach Sacraments to juniors. I also teach the Irish Studies course "Other Worlds--Social Justice in Ireland" which deals with conflict transformation, policing, immigration, politics, and poverty using Ireland and Northern Ireland as "case studies."
Brennan's roots in Ireland are deep and wide with grandparents hailing from Achill Island, County Mayo (like most Cleveland Irish); County Galway; and Monkstown, County Antrim (outside Belfast). He is also a member of the Mayo Society of Cleveland and is a piper for the 87th Cleveland Pipe & Drum Band.
Q: What clubs or sports do you moderate/coach?
A: I coach soccer and am the hockey team chaplain. I moderate the St. John Berchmans altar servers as well.

Q: What high school and college did you attend?
A: I went here for high school ('85) and The University of Notre Dame for college where I earned a BA in Theology and History and minored in Philosophy. I also have an MA in Religious Studies from John Carroll University.
 
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: I read a lot--but my favorites are Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Mr. Blue by Myles Connolly--two very different books!
 
Q: Any plans for Christmas vacation?
A: This Christmas I'll be taking a cruise to what's left of the Bahamas (a family gift to each other for the next couple of years!!!!)
 
Q: Why is it fun to teach at Saint Ignatius?
A: I get to laugh every day with my students and clown around with my colleagues. At Saint Ignatius, we've never believed that fun and learning couldn't go together.  

As Theology teacher and Head JV soccer coach, Mr. Jim Brennan '85 impacts students in the classroom and on the field. Here, he addresses the varsity hockey team in a weekly session of "Chapel Talks" as the Team Chaplain.