- Deceased's name: Rev. Anton J. Renna S.J.
- Age: 79
Date: Aug. 9, 2013
Renna had lived at the center on College Avenue since 2009, last year celebrating his 60th anniversary as a Jesuit, the Jesuits of California Province announced on their website last week.
Known to many as "Sam," Renna was born in San Jose on March 11, 1934.
He attended Sacred Heart Elementary School and Bellarmine College Preparatory, graduating in 1952 when he entered Sacred Heart Novitiate in Los Gatos.
He earned a master's degree in English from Gonzaga University before beginning his teaching career in English as a seminarian at Brophy Preparatory College in Phoenix, AZ from 1959-62.
Theology studies followed at Alma College in Los Gatos and ordination to the priesthood in 1965.
In the fall of 1967 Renna began his long teaching career specializing in the humanities and advanced placement English at Brophy.
"His devotion to the students and their families over the next 45 years gave him legendary status with everyone he encountered," his obituary said. "He led numerous trips to Europe to study the humanities, working from a base in Salzburg, introducing hundreds of young men to the riches of other cultures and their contributions to the western world."
At the Los Gatos Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Renna is being remembered for his jovial attitude and compassion and kindness toward others.
To Brophy students, he was "a mentor, inspiration, spiritual guide and friend," according to his obituary.
"To say he was beloved by students, faculty and parents alike, is a understatement. He left an impression on all who knew him. He loved to laugh, he loved to be social but mostly he loved his students. It was they to whom he gave of himself so patiently. He married and baptized countless alumni and their children and concelebrated many student masses," Brophy College Preparatory posted on its website after his death.
Renna was buried Aug. 16 at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, 490 Lincoln St., in Santa Clara.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at Brophy Chapel in Phoenix at 5 p.m. tonight Monday, Aug. 19.
Donations in Renna's memory may be made to the California Province of the Society of Jesus, P.O. Box 68, Los Gatos, CA 95031, or to a charity of your choice.