Lenten Reflections

A Dedication to a Master Teacher

Fr. John Milton, CSV, spent 10 years serving as a consultant to the science department at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep. Mostly, he worked with Ms. Kumkum Bonnerjee, its physics teacher, in setting up challenging lab experiments, accessing equipment and ultimately creating AP physics and other science courses at the school.

Fr. John Milton with Ms. Kumkum Donergee, physics teacher

In recognition of his service, Preston Kendall, president of the school, dedicated the physics lab in honor of Fr. Milton.

“We did not have a specific donor for the physics lab and Ms. Bonnerjee asked if we would consider Fr. John,” Mr. Kendall explains. “I jumped on that and we prepared the dedication plaque.

“It was just installed in May 2021,” he adds, “and we were hoping for an opportunity to have Fr. John visit to spring it on him.”

Unfortunately, Fr. John’s declining health prevented him from seeing the dedication. He passed away Jan. 24, but his legacy of sharing his love for physics — and teaching the next generation of scientists how science and religion are merged — lives on.

The same week that Fr. Milton died, physics students at CRSM worked on a lab that involves velocity and different inclines. In measuring the velocity, they used some hinged boards that Fr. Milton built in the workshop at the VIatorian Province Center and brought over to the school.

Fr. Milton measuring centripetal force in an experiment he brought to the school, called “When Pigs Fly.”

“They are the centerpiece of this particular lab, Mr. Kendall adds. “He first brought them over to our old campus. They made the move with us (to the new, state of the art campus in 2018) and are used regularly.”

Fr. Milton also celebrated special liturgies at the school over the years and greeted CRSM students to the Province Center whenever they came for Taize prayer.

“Fr. John has blessed us through the years,” Mr. Jim Dippold, campus minister said, “with his smile, generous heart and care for each person.”