Tampa Jesuits score big in this account of three graduates who got saving message there

The three young men went on to start a scholarship fund for others to attend faith-filled colleges.

The Bellarmine Fund’s founders recall their wonderful experience of Catholic education at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Fla.

“The bell rang and down the aisle came about 10 altar boys all neatly arranged with cassock and surplice, incense, golden torches—all the smells and bells of Catholic liturgy. At that time, I had just graduated eighth grade and wasn’t versed or interested in the faith, but this procession on my very first day at my new high school caught my attention,” remembers [one
of the tree, Matthew] Uzdavinis.

“The beauty and reverence of the liturgy was unlike anything I had ever seen before, and it transferred into the way theology was taught in the classroom by our teachers,” Uzdavinis continued. “From that point on, the relationships I cultivated with priests, seminarians, teachers, and other students grew because they were all grounded in an awe and love for the authentic Catholic faith.”

Uzdavinis became “great friends in the Lord” with [the other
two, Justin] Bailey and [and [Andres] Donovan, who were impacted by similar experiences.

“I remember having teachers at Jesuit High School who would sit with me after school for long periods of time, explaining the faith. I was shocked to discover the Church always had answers to questions I thought problematic. It strengthened my faith immensely,” shared Bailey.

Donovan agreed: having teachers who were “firm in their faith” was instrumental in his life and in his decision to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio, a faithful Catholic college recognized by The Newman Guide.