1958 – 2019

Dear Brothers, Associates and Colleagues,

Some of you many already be aware of the sad news we received on Sunday, May 5: Dr. Perry Sangalli, President of Saint Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky, passed away peacefully. Perry was recently diagnosed with advanced stages of colon cancer. His passing comes as a shock to all. 

In the name of the Xaverian Brothers, I want to express our deepest sadness at Perry’s death. We offer his father Gene, his brothers Jamie and Bob and family our prayers and support in your great loss. Your loss is likewise our loss. I also want to express how grateful the Xaverian Brothers are to God for the many gifts that Perry shared with us during his forty-three year relationship with our Congregation. 

From the time that Perry was a student at Saint Xavier, the Brothers witnessed his faith in God. His devotion to the Church was always evident in the many ministries Perry undertook. Whether the subject was theology or math, Perry was the type of teacher who created an environment for learning. His enthusiasm for his students’ learning was complemented by his care for their growth as persons. His faith in God and devotion to Christ’s call to serve others was always evident in his ministry as a retreat leader, helping young people realize God’s love in their lives; in music ministry, helping faith communities celebrate important moments in their lives; in his ministry of thirty-three years as an administrator responsible for making sure the ideals of the Christian faith permeated the academic, spiritual, personal and communal development of each individual, be they students or staff. Perry shared his commitment to Xaverian education through his ministry as a board member in a number of our Sponsored Schools. 

What distinguished Perry’s faith, I believe, was his courage to witness and stand up for what he believed without putting others down. His decisions reflected his personal integrity, concern for the individual as well as a commitment to the common good. Popularity never motivated his decisions. 

I first met Perry during his Senior Retreat in 1976. He was a reserved, quiet and modest young man. Over the years, Perry would, like his Lord, “grow in wisdom, and in age, and in grace” (Luke 2:52). Ten years later I asked Perry to be the Assistant Principal for Studies due to his sense of mission, his grasp of the essence of Xaverian education, his commitment to the faith, his organization and his ability to get the job done. He excelled. 

In 1992, Perry decided to take an administrative position at Mount Saint Joseph High School in Baltimore. At the end of the year appreciation dinner for faculty, Brother George Willenbrink, who had taught Perry, paid him tribute by noting that, “Perry had the gift of remaining calm, especially when the situation was emotionally charged.” George called him, “Perry Perfect” because everything Perry did was done with extreme care and was perfect! Lastly, George noted Perry’s humility which allowed him to bring out the best in others.

The Xaverian Brothers are indeed grateful for Perry. His life adds integrity to what we are doing to make our Sponsored Schools centers of learning and growth in a faith community that embraces the charism of our Founder Theodore James Ryken.  Brother Ryken’s experience of God’s unconditional love inspired him to form “a band of Brothers” who would be impelled to teach as Jesus did, showing students the love God has for them while providing them an excellent education so that they could make their contribution to our world.

Perry Sangalli, in all he did, embodied the spirit of the Xaverian Brothers. For that we thank Perry.

May the Lord greet Perry with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Mt 25:23).

In the name of the Xaverian Brothers,

Brother Edward Driscoll, C.F.X. | General Superior

10 comments on “Dr. Perry Sangalli

  1. Louis Gerard White ‘85 on

    Dear Brother Ed,

    Thank you so much for these words! The death of Dr. Sangalli has left me troubled as that age old question about the need for good men to die has entered into my heart. The words you have given us here have eased my turmoil a bit and allow me to see Dr. Sangalli’s Heavenly reward as something he truly deserved. May his and all the souls of the faithfully departed find peace in the arms of our Savior!

  2. Betty Blandford scn on

    A beautiful reflection on.the life of Perry. Thank you Brother Eddie! St Xavier high school was very blessed by the ministry and love of Perry. They have a special angel ? in heaven to give them guidance.

    • Mary Conner on

      Thanks, Brother Ed for such a beautiful tribute to Perry. He was one of a kind. His legacy lives on in the lives of the many young men whose lives he touched.

  3. Mary Smith on

    Very nice Brother Ed. He was kind and always respectful and grateful to us ladies in the office. He would always listen to our opinions and input, but had to make the decision that he felt was right for the whole St. X community, sometimes to our dismay. I think he knew we always had his back even though we may not have always agreed.
    He once called us his “faithful remnants” which I somewhat took offense to until I learned the Biblical meaning of it. I am glad he knew he could always depend on us to be there for him and St. X. I already miss his smile when he would see me at school, even after I retired.
    May he have a sweet rest now in the arms of his mother and our Blessed Mother.
    Keep smiling down on us Perry Sangalli!
    Mary Smith

  4. Bill Habich, St. X Class of 1956 on

    Brother Edward,
    You so eloquently described Dr Sangalli’s life and commitment to
    St. Xavier High School. He was very devoted to being the leader needed today for the education of our young
    men. He will definitely be missed by the X community. Sure he is at peace with Our Heavenly Father, and watching over all the students he has guided through his years of service.

  5. Bob Haralson ‘ 72 on

    Brother Ed this is great. I never knew Perry but being at Saint X when you were there and having you as a teacher I know your high standards and love of Saint Xavier.

  6. Paul Zielberg on

    I worked under Perry’s leadership in my early 20’s as my first career. He has come to mind often over the years as he was truly a servant leader and really cared about all those who he was responsible for. I’m saddened by this news and my thoughts are with his family, friends and the entire community. I have been my reflective this week of those early days.

  7. Barry J Fitzpatrick on

    Perry Sangalli is the very best that Xaverian education has to offer. We were principals contemporaneously at two Xaverian schools, and we both served with Brother James Kelly, CFX, To say I learned so much from Perry is such an understatement. Gifted with a compassion for others that was surrounded by good and careful judgement, I can never remember him putting his own needs before those of others. When I served on the Board at Saint X, I always found a school with its focus right where it belonged, very largely because of his leadership. His legacy will guide the community still, his memory will echo in future leaders, and his intercession will see a Saint X that remains an example for us all. RIP, my friend.


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