On Thursday, January 12, hundreds of people from the Malvern Prep Community, both past and present, came together to honor and celebrate Fr. James Flynn, O.S.A., and his 50 years of ministry, 42 of which were spent at Malvern Prep. The celebration opened with welcoming remarks from Mr. Patrick Sillup, Head of School. “There is no other occasion like this…that unites so many of us in a common spirit of gratitude,” shared Sillup. Patrick welcome to the stage Mr. Joe Miele '77 P'09 PT, who served as the Master of Ceremonies for the event.
Miele introduced class representatives that spanned six decades Mr. Lou Colameco '77 T, Mr. Jim Murray '88, Mr. Mark Lindsay '95, Mr. Eric Moore '02, Mr. Kevin Frost '12, and Mr. Charlie Oschell '23; representatives from the hockey team and football program; Mr. Kevin Pellegrini '90 and Mr. Jim Jacobs '90 P'23'24; and Fr. Gary McCloskey, O.S.A. ’69, the Augustinian representative for the Prior Provincial of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova.
Many of the speakers reflected on their experience with Fr. Flynn in the classroom, on the fields, and through the MECO Program. “Fr., you so humbly made a mark on the Malvern Football Program and on the lives of thousands over the years,” said Pelligrini. Speaking about his ministry, Murray shared, “the prayer today is really a prayer of thanksgiving for [Fr. Flynn’s} vocation and love of Malvern.”
The MECO (Malvernians Encountering Christ in Others) program is a summative retreat experience for the senior class that has continued for over 40 years under the guidance of Fr. Flynn. In describing his MECO experience, Lindsay shared, ”Fr., you embody MECO, by encountering Christ in you, we were able to see and encounter Christ in others.” The final class representative speaker, Charlie Oschell from the Class of 2023 shared a photo of himself being baptized by Fr. Flynn as an infant. “The picture behind me is the day that Fr. Flynn and I first met at my Christening. As you can tell by my tears I was not aware of the incredible impact he would have on my life,” quipped Oschell.
Following the hour-long program in Duffy Theater, guests enjoyed a reception in the Donald F. O’Neill Sports Center where they could film a video tribute to Fr. Flynn and write notes with thanks or special memories that will be shared with him.
Thank you to all who were able to be with us for this extraordinary celebration.