Bruce Denny sent in an article chronicling his relationship with Father David Brecht, O.S.A. Father Brecht served three terms as Prior Provincial of the Midwest Augustinians, after serving as the Headmaster of Cascia Hall. Father Brecht died in 2014 after battling a leukemia-like condition called myelodysplasis since 2012. Please enjoy excerpts from Bruce's article here:
I remember meeting Fr. Brecht when he came to Cascia Hall (a college preparatory school in Tulsa served by the Augustinians for nearly 90 years) around 1986, almost 30 years ago. He became the Headmaster and made it clear that he was in charge. As a young man of about 30 years with ten years already under my belt as Chief Operating Engineer and Director of Maintenance, I had no problem following his request, but he felt confident that I had a pretty good idea of what to do and how to do it for Cascia, at least as far as the physical plant was concerned. I remember now laughing with Fr. Brecht when we both realized we were on the same team, and that all would be well and together we would do what was best for Cascia; I had a very good friend!
My brother Grand had been helping with the wrestling team and working part-time in the summer on the lawn crew. At one of the staff/family picnics we had at the beginning of the year, my father attended and enjoyed visiting with Fr. Brecht and commented that he was proud of his boys. He hoped we were doing a good job for him; Fr. Brecht assured him that we were doing fine and asked dad if he any more sons he'd like to have them! (A very proud moment for dad!) An interesting side note is that my sister Helen worked in the Cascia business office many years ago. My dad, her son Paul, Grant, and I are all Eagle Scouts.
One very cold winter, we had some water pipes freeze and break in the monastery. We had done the initial clean-up. Fr. Brecht was in the room with the insurance adjusters surveying the damage and I was in the attic above repairing the frozen pipes when a good-sized chunk of plaster dropped loose and hit Fr. Brecht in the head! (It really WAS an accident, Padre!) I heard him yelp from below and I rushed downstairs to find him with blood all over and in serious need of stitches! We rushed over the minor emergency center and proceeded to do all the paperwork, nothing that it was an "on the job injury." After he had filled in his name, address, etc., the form required him to list his supervisor's name ... so who does the Headmaster of the school put in that blank?! I assured him it was ME, of course, it being a "work injury" and all. He laughed and did that very thing! Fr. Brecht was a City of Tulsa Operating Engineer as well, and he kept that license.
H was an amazing, giving, and tireless man with a special love for Cascia Hall. I remember hearing him sing in St. Rita's Chapel (and pretty well, I might add) and reading his comments in one of the newsletters that the joy of singing was not having "sung" but the actual "singing" - that was the joy!
He was my loyal friend, a good friend, and a good example of a life well-lived!