Keynote speaker Jerry Barca poses for a photo with his two sons during CBA's father-son Communion breakfast. Courtesy photo
Keynote speaker Jerry Barca poses for a photo with his two sons during CBA's father-son Communion breakfast. Courtesy photo

For 60 years, Christian Brothers Academy has upheld an annual tradition in which students and their fathers come together for Mass and breakfast.

Known as the Father-Son Communion breakfast, the tradition marked its 60th anniversary March 24 when more than 700 fathers and sons gathered in the Lincroft school for a Mass celebrated by Father Garry Koch, pastor of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel, and former teacher at CBA, and a breakfast that followed.

“It is pretty unique that the very first class at CBA, the Class of 1963, and their fathers chose the Communion Breakfast as an important event that truly captured the spirit of CBA,” said Christian Brother Frank Byrne, CBA president, as he reflected on the first Communion breakfast held April 10, 1960 and drew 142 fathers and sons to St. Mary Church, Middletown. “There was no ‘CBA Tradition’ in 1960. The brothers, students and parents were laying the foundation of what was to come. The fathers and sons that attended this year’s breakfast follow in the footsteps of 11,000 alumni families.”

Highlights of the 2019 Communion breakfast, which was sponsored by the CBA Fathers’ Club, included a special welcome to the incoming Class of 2023 and a keynote address by renowned sports author and movie producer, Jerry Barca, who attended with his sons. Barca has authored popular books about New York sports, including “Big Blue Wrecking Crew: Smashmouth Football, A Little Bit of Crazy and the ’86 Super Bowl Champs.” Barca has also produced films for ESPN including “30 for 30,” “Catholics vs. Convicts” and “The Last Days of Knight.”

His next project focuses on Father Theodore Hesburgh, who was responsible for developing the University of Notre Dame into one of the most respected universities in America.