North Carolina Newspapers

    October, 1976 - CROSSROADS - Page x
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By FR. JAMES SOLARI, O.S.B.
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FATHER RAPHAEL BRIDGE, O.S.B.
Father Raphael Bridge
A History Professor
And A Numisatist
In this issue of
Crossroads we wish to
single out for deserved
recognition one of the
members of the
Benedictine community
whose contributions to
the college span the last
thirty years-Father
Raphael Bridge, O.S.B.
His story began in the
town of Latrobe, Pa.--the
same spot from which the
founders of Belmont
Abbey set out a century
ago. Son of Rabanus and
Catherine Bridge, Fr.
Raphael has two brothers
and five sisters, two of
whom are Benedictine
nuns. He attended prep
school and the first two
years of college at St..
Vincent’s Archabbey, the
motherhouse of the
Belmont monastery. He
arrived in Belmont in
1943 with the desire to
join the community in
what was considered
“missionary territory”
by comparison with
western Pennsylvania.
Abbot Vincent Taylor
sent him for novitiate
training to St. Benedict’s
Abbey in Atchison, Kan.,
where he remained after
pronouncing his simple
vows to complete his
senior college work in the
field of history. Retur
ning once more to
Belmont, he commenced
studies in the seminary.
Four years later on June
11, 1950, he was ordained
to the priesthood. During
the summer months after
ordination, he was
assigned to St. Patrick’s
rectory in Elizabeth, N.
J. in order to gain
pastoral experience in a
busy urban parish. Over
the years he has exer
cised his ministry on
weekend missions and
parochial assistance in
the Carolinas. In June of
1975 he celebrated his
silver jubilee with the
good wishes of his
confreres and embarked
upon another quarter
century of the Lord’s
service.
Fr. Raphael’s first
teaching assignment was
in the prep school at the
Abbey in 1946. He was
also given the duties of
prefect in the dormitory-
a job he kept until 1957.
Students who came under
his supervision during
those times respectfully
nicknamed him “Sarge”-
-there are still many
alumni who are con
vinced that he learned his
trade as a Marine D.I. at
Parris Island! The knack
for eliciting order and
discipline earned him a
new office in the college:
from 1957 to 1960 he
served as Dean of
Students. This was
followed by a year’s
teaching at Benedictine
High School in Rich
mond, Va. Once again he
was summoned to
Belmont, this time to be
Chaplain to the students
and instructor in the
department of history.
From 1963-1968 he
was an assistant in the
Treasurer’s office while
continuing to teach a
survey of Western
Civilization to the Fresh
men. Then thn A.hhpv
had need for a director of
plant maintenance, so he
moved into this post and
took on these respon
sibilities for the next
three years, doing a
creditable job with scant
previous preparation in
this area. All of this
points up the versatility
of his contributions.
Within the Benedictine
community he has
likewise been entrusted
with positions of
responsibility, for three
years he was the Sub
prior and currently is one
of the elected members of
the Senior Council.
Since his days in the
prep school, Fr. Raphael
has been closely
associated with the
athletic program of the
school and has been
named Faculty
Representative and
Athletic Moderator for
many years. An avid
sports fan, he cheers the
Crusaders with gusto,
and with equal zest ex
presses his displeasure at
what he considers to be
inept officiating.
He is a numismatist-
for those readers who
have forgotten their
Greek—a collector of
coins! He collects U. S.
mintage mostly but has
managed to acquire some
choice foreign coins also.
What got him started in
this hobby? He just
began to save Indian
Head pennies as a boy
and has never stopped.
He estimates that the
collection has risen in
value to $10,000 or more.
Whenever the op
portunity presents itself,
he likes to throw in a lure
for largemouth bass at
Lake Norman. Through
patience and per
severance he is now
beginning to have some
success at the angler’s
art. It should also be
added here that he has an
interest in printing. For
a number of years he was
actively engaged in the
work of the Belmont
Abbey Press. He
managed to teach
himself much of the
printing craft and worked
hard to keep the shop
ali ve--unhappily the
combined pressures of
modern technology and
inflation brought an end
to the operation.
Belmont Abbey
Welcomes Four
New Faculty
Four new faculty
members have joined the
staff at Belmont Abbey
College for the 1976-77
academic year.
Dr. Bennett M. Judkins
has taken over the reins
of Chairman of the
Department of Sociology,
al post left vacant with the
departure of Mr. Terry
Tomazic to pursue his
doctorate. After
receiving his B.S., M.A.
and Ph.D. in Sociology,
all from the University of
Tennessee, Knoxville,
Dr. Judkins then went on
to teach. He has been an
associate professor and
instructor of Sociology at
A and T State University,
Greensboro; Marshall
University, Huntington,
West Virginia;
University of North
Carolina at Greensboro
and Ohio University,
Portsmouth, Ohio. Dr.
Judkins served in the
National Guard from
1969-75 and was a VISTA
volunteer working on
migrant opportunity
programs in Arizona. He
has also done research on
the conditions of nursing
homes in West Virginia,
under an H.E.W.
program.
Dr. James Jackson,
has joined the Biology
Department as an
assistant professor. He
has a B.S. in biology from
Alabama College,
Montevallo, Ala., and
holds a Ph.D. from the
University of Florida,
Gainsville in zoology. Dr.
Jackson has done
research in evolutionary
ecology at Museau de
Zoologia Universidade de
Sao Paulo Brazil as a
post-doctorate fellow.
Also, he was resident
scientist at the Museu de
Biologia Mello-Leitao,
Santa Terreza, Brazil.
He got this position while
in the Peace Corps under
a program run in con
junction with the
Smithsonian Institute.
Dr. Jackson was also an
assistant professor of
biology at the University
of Florida.
Also, among the new
faculty are two members
of the Belmont Abbey
monastic community,
one who is beginning his
first year of teaching.
Brother Kevin Canty,
O.S.B., will hold the
position of instructor in
the department of
history. He earned both
his A.B. and M.Ed. from
the University of
Georgia, Athens
majoring in history. Bro.
Kevin previously has
taught at H. V. Jenkins
High School in Savannah,
Ga. and Benedictine High
School, Richmond,
Virginia.
Brother Robert Hagan,
O.S.B., is assuming his
first teaching position at
Belmont Abbey, in the
Foreign Language
Department, teaching
Latin. Graduated from
the University of Virginia
at Charlottesville in 1974
with a Bachelor of Arts
degree in Medieval
Studies, he also works in
the Admissions Office of
the College.
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Standing left to right: Bro. Kevin Canty, O.S. B.
and Dr. Bennett M. Judkins. Seated left to right:
Bro. Robert Hagan, O.S.B. and Dr. James Jackson.
    

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