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O’Dowd Mourns Passing of President Phelps

“I am so sorry to communicate that our friend, colleague, mentor, and leader, Steve Phelps, died this evening.

Steve went into the hospital on Friday for a heart procedure and suffered two major heart attacks in the course of the procedure and the immediate recovery. They compromised his health too much for him to recover.

Please join me in uniting our prayers for the peaceful repose of Steve’s soul in heaven with our merciful God, and for the abundant presence of God’s grace for his wife Sue and his children, Amy and Chris, and his grandchild, Boston.

Please offer your prayers, too, for this school community, and all the vision and creativity that Steve brought to this place. He was so animated about imagining the future of O’Dowd and has been hard at work making that dream a reality since 2005.

I know that this news is abrupt and shocking, especially so because of the vitality that Steve always embodied. His care for people and palpable optimism were characteristics that draw folks to O’Dowd and that have positively impacted so many faculty, staff, students, families, volunteers, friends and advocates for O’Dowd over the years of his rich tenure. Moreover, I am aware of the infectious nature of Steve’s inquisitive mind and how learning was always a part of his everyday. He was teacher, coach, advocate, and friend to numerous folks throughout his extensive career.

For Steve, God’s grace was discoverable every day at school. In the students, in the learning, in the teachers, in the families. Steve embodied the joy that resulted from the ministry of education in our Catholic school. He was so proud of that work here at O’Dowd and we are all so grateful to him for it… and I am profoundly without words at the immensity of this loss.

In the next day or so, when we have information about the funeral arrangements, and other important items, we will communicate further.

I am so sorry to communicate this news. Please know that you have my best.”

Principal James Childs


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