Brother Thomas Jones, FSC: Blessed to be ‘always available’ to the young adults in his charge
Editor's note: On May 22, 2023, Brother Thomas Jones was announced as Interim President of Saint Mary's, effective July 1, 2023. Learn more here.
The Brothers are with the students from morning to night.
The words of Saint John Baptist De La Salle certainly ring true for Brother Thomas Jones. As a staff psychologist in Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and a resident director in North Claeys, Brother Thomas feels blessed to be “always available” to the young adults in his charge.
“Our students are really our means to salvation. This is how we get to heaven,” he says. In that sense, he adds, the students are more important to the Brothers than vice versa.
With two master’s degrees and a doctorate in psychology from the University of San Francisco, Brother Thomas helps troubled Saint Mary’s students articulate the tensions they feel and the support systems they have for coping.
“Maybe they’re not sleeping or their appetite is gone or they’re sleeping too much or they’re eating too much. There is something going on that they may not understand until they unwrap it,” he says.
Brother Thomas knew, from age 15, that he wanted to join the Brothers. By the end of his senior year at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, he’d made the decision to enter the Novitiate in Napa. He attended college at Saint Mary’s and has returned three times to work, currently juggling four jobs including Director of the SMC Brothers' Community and Saint Mary's College Trustee. He’s also served as the Auxiliary Visitor in the San Francisco District overseeing the Brothers’ communities and Lasallian schools in the district. He came back to Saint Mary’s three years ago to teach Collegiate Seminar before transitioning into CAPS.
But he says being a resident director to mostly sophomores is his favorite experience.
“I love the relationships, the hope that they represent at the beginning of their lives as they explore so many things and I love that they include me in that exploration. I really feel humbled by that because I’m actually old enough to be their grandparent.”