The funeral Mass for Brother James Droste, SM, was celebrated April 21 at the Cure of Ars Chapel at St. John Vianney High School. Brother Droste died April 14 at Marianist Residence in San Antonio. He was 83 and had been a Marianist for 62 years, dedicating more than 20 years as a high school teacher and administrator, with later service in parish ministry, maintenance and groundskeeping.
“I want to express my thanks and appreciation to all my brothers who have so warmly accepted this farm boy from Illinois and truly made me feel I am one of your brothers,” he wrote two years ago on his 60th jubilee.
Born Sept 25, 1934, in northern Illinois, Brother Droste attended Catholic elementary school and high school in Sterling, Ill. He entered the Marianists as a postulate in 1954 in Galesville, Wis.
After professing first vows and earning a bachelor’s in physics at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Brother Droste taught high school religion, math, physical science and physics from 1958-82, with stints in Texas, Illinois, Missouri and Switzerland. In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, he taught at McBride High School, Chaminade College Preparatory School and Vianney. In 1965, he earned a master’s degree in physics from Purdue University.
In 1982, Brother Droste was assigned to the community at Our Lady of the Pillar Parish, where he worked with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) and other adult programs. In 1988, he was assigned to Holy Rosary Parish in San Antonio with similar duties.
From 2000 to 2017, he served at the Marianist Retreat and Conference Center in Eureka. Duties there included administration, maintenance, groundskeeping and cooking.
“Brother Jim was so quietly effective: whether preparing a meal for the community, looking after guests at Marycliff or taking care of the property,” Brother Joe Markel stated. “He was a model of kindness and gentleness. A man at peace with himself.”
In 2017, Brother Droste moved to the Marianist Residence in San Antonio.