Familiar face back to lead St. Joseph into the future


Grace Genova, Staff writer

Brother Thomas Harding is the new President at St. Joseph, and his role here is to convey our message into the greater community that supports our school. He also wants to carry this message to alumni. Having a Christian Brother in charge is huge for this school. Br. Tom’s mission for this year is to stabilize enrollment and finances, take care of the old property, and carry the message of St. Joe’s to the community.

In upcoming years, his goal is to take our strengths and build upon them. One of the biggest strengths is diversity. “St. Joe’s has always been known for being diverse—even when I attended school here,” Br. Tom commented.

Br. Tom’s is familiar with St. Joseph as he is also an alum, being part of the Class of 1972. As a young brother, he taught summer school here. Br. Tom has also done a lot of volunteering here over the years. He describes the atmosphere as nice and comforting and he thinks it’s very cool to be back.

“We go wherever we are sent,” he said. In referring to the Christian Brothers, he also said he “embodied the spirit of willingness.”

Being President requires a lot of responsibility, but this doesn’t bother him in the slightest. He knows what needs help and is willing to work on those things. Br. Tom possesses a level of interest and curiosity as well as a sense of energy that he is bringing into the school. This is a learning experience for him and he hopes that we can all move forward together with momentum.

Engaging with the students is big for Br. Tom. Having experience in teaching, Br. Tom enjoys being around classrooms. He deals with the business side of things, but still makes a point of being out in the halls and around the school. He is very much looking forward to being involved in all the fun events.

Br. Tom grew up in Westchester and attended Divine Infant Grade School before moving on to St. Joe’s. He received his first degree from DePaul while he working at Nabisco. In his mid-twenties, he joined the Christian Brothers. He started out working at Driscoll Catholic High School and then moved to De La Salle. Later, he received his second degree from DePaul in business management. His next job was at Montini Catholic in Lombard, where he stayed until this year.

Although Br. Tom spends a majority of his time in school, he still manages to remain active, enjoying cross-fit training, swimming, playing handball and racquetball. Being in shape is very important to him, especially since he has been a Fire Department Chaplain for 20 years, and he often gets pulled into drills with the guys. A well rounded man, Brother also enjoys the fine arts.

We look forward to Br. Tom’s time with us and we are excited for what he will bring us. Welcome home, Brother!