The St. Augustine D.H.S Alumni Association celebrated its 11th annual reunion dinner and Lancer Hall of Fame induction Sept. 29 at Bishop Loughlin M.H.S., Fort Greene.
Members of the Class of 1967, 1957, 1952, 1947, 1942, the 1940s and the 1930s were recognized, and there was a special ceremony to honor the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1962.
Four new inductees, all former sportsmen at the high school, will forever live on in St. Augustine lore as the Lancer Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
Once a Lancer, Always a Lancer
The first inductee was Father Daniel Murphy of the 50th anniversary Class of 1962. Before giving his acceptance speech, Father Murphy celebrated the reunion Mass to kick off the festivities.
Father Murphy grew up attending Our Lady of Angels parish, Bay Ridge. At St. Augustine, he played four years on the Lancers basketball team.
“We didn’t win a lot of games, but we made a lot of friendships,” he said. “Basketball also made me use my time well. That is a lesson for life.”
During his senior year, he began discerning his call to the priesthood, inspired by the school’s chaplain, Father Ed McGuiness. After graduation, he entered Cathedral College, Brooklyn, and then the Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I. He was ordained a priest in May, 1970.
Father Murphy has had several stops in the Diocese of Brooklyn during his 42 years as a priest: St. Mary Star of the Sea, Far Rockaway; St. Barbara, Bushwick; Resurrection-Ascension, Rego Park; Our Lady Help of Christians, Midwood; St. Andrew the Apostle, Bay Ridge; and Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill.
In addition to his love for playing basketball, Father Murphy also developed a love for the New York Mets. Coincidentally, he shares a name with current Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy.
However, Father Murphy was with the Mets long before the current infielder. He served as the Mets team chaplain from 1984 to 1990, including during the Mets 1986 World Series season.
“What a gig that was!” he said.
Father Murphy is currently the pastor of St. Saviour parish, Park Slope.
Jim Flaherty from the Class of 1965 was also one of the four inductees. He entered St. Augustine from St. Thomas Aquinas parish, Park Slope.
Like Father Murphy, Flaherty played four years on the school’s basketball team.
“We were good enough my senior year to reach the Catholic High School Championships, which were played at Fordham,” he said. “It was my introduction to Fordham, and I was overwhelmed by the place.”
Flaherty enrolled at Fordham, the Bronx, where he earned an English literature degree. He went on to receive his M.B.A. in finance from Pace University, Pleasantville, N.Y. His career in the financial world has taken him all over the globe, including stints as the chief executive at American Express Bank in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“I have always wanted to do things that I couldn’t imagine doing,” Flaherty said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect I would get to do as much as I got to do, for as long as I got to do it and in as many places as I got to.”
He’s held a variety of leadership positions and is currently partner at Canon Capital Properties, L.L.P., a health care business in the U.K.
Flaherty is also a member of the Bishop Loughlin board of governors, where he was influential in the building of the new Performing Arts Center and Lancer Music Studio, completed in 2011.
In addition to serving as the director of the St. Vincent’s Hospital Foundation in Bridgeport, Conn., he was recently chosen as a Fordham Founder, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the university.
Flaherty, now a golf enthusiast, and his wife of 42 years, Jane, have four children and seven grandchildren, and they are living in Black Rock, Conn.
Class of 1967 alumnus Walter Glowacz was next to receive the Hall of Fame honor. He grew up as a parishioner at St. Teresa of Avila, Prospect Heights, before enrolling at St. Augustine.
Continuing with the hoops theme, Glowacz played on the Lancers basketball team all four years of his high school career. He was the starting point guard his senior year, 1966-67, on a team that reached the playoffs. Lancer Coach Charlie O’Donnell described Glowacz as the “most improved player I ever coached.”
“Like everything in life, you always want to improve on what you do,” Glowacz said. “You always want to get better at doing what you do.”
Glowacz joined the U.S. Navy after high school and served a tour in Vietnam from 1969 to 1973. He is proud of his accomplishments in serving his country.
“During my military career, it really prepared me for the next step in my career,” he said.
In 1975, Glowacz began his 37-year career as a New York state court officer. He is currently the assistant chief and commanding officer of all courts in N.Y.C. He has received numerous awards for his work, including five state court medals of commendation, three state court medals of excellent service and a N.Y.C. criminal court medal of merit.
Glowacz and his wife of 37 years, Patricia, have two children and reside in Howell, N.J. When not on the golf course, he’s an avid supporter of the New York Yankees and New York Giants.
Finally, Dr. H. Vincent Kelly was enshrined in the school’s Hall of Fame. He starred on the school’s track team after coming to St. Augustine from St. Vincent Ferrer parish, Flatbush.
“I was thrilled,” he said. “Even after 61 years, there’s a certain amount of pleasure in some recognition.”
Dr. Kelly became the first Lancer to post a time of under 50 seconds in the 440-yd. (quarter-mile) dash. He was the team captain his senior year and was the CHSAA 440-yd. dash and broad jump champion. That same year, he was the student council president, the class president and a vocalist in St. Augustine’s Student Dance Band.
“St. Augustine was a great school,” he said. “It was an education to me spiritually, academically, socially and athletically.”
After graduating as most outstanding senior and class valedictorian, Dr. Kelly earned a track and field scholarship to Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He majored in biology and remained at Georgetown Medical School, where he received the gold medal in psychiatry.
He spent 46 years in the private and public sector of psychiatry and was a charter member of the American Family Therapy Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing systemic thinking and practices for families in their social context.
Dr. Kelly was married to his wife Catherine for 51 years before her passing in 2008. They have five children and 14 grandchildren.
These days, Dr. Kelly resides in Chevy Chase, Md., where he sings as the solo National Anthem singer at Washington Redskins football games and Georgetown Hoyas basketball games.