Bob Tully is a staple of Roncalli's campus ministry
Southsider Voice correspondent
Bob Tully has played a role in Catholic education for more than a half century. As such, many administrators, teachers, students and families are fortunate that they crossed his path.
He sees more than just students, teachers, administrators and other workers in the hallways at Roncalli.
“I think it is God who you see when you walk the halls at Roncalli High School,” Tully explained to The Southsider Voice. “If you take God out of everything, then you take him out of our lives. You cannot take him out of math class, religion class or any other class for that matter. He lives here.”
Tully first entered the halls as a teacher for Bishop Chartrand High School in 1962, doing a bit of everything. He taught religion and coached basketball, football and track while finding time to clean toilets and wash floors. He continued to make a difference through the years, including when Chartrand and John F. Kennedy merged into Roncalli in 1969.
He explains how his first influences into his Catholic faith came early in life when attending Providence High in Clarksville, Indiana. “I have lived the Catholic faith all of my life. My parents were very influential in my faith and raised us to be of good Catholic faith.”
He explained how teaching was never in his plans for the future because he wanted to be a policeman, but he ran into one problem that would change his career path and life forever. “They had a height requirement, and I was too small to meet it, so I had to change plans,” Tully said. “But, lo and behold, I received a call shortly afterward from Father Robert Kitchens that they were building a new high school, and he wanted me to be part of it.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Tully has been married to his best friend, Mary Pat, for 49 1/2 years; they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in June. The Tullys have two children, Leigh Tully Wilham and Michael Tully, and have been blessed with five beautiful granddaughters.
“In all honesty I fell in love with the Southside of Indianapolis when I came to town,” Tully said. “I strongly believe that I was guided by the Holy Spirit through all of it and believe that the Holy Spirit lives in the halls at Roncalli. I see it from President Joe Hollowell all the way down to our students.”
Tully lives the motto of “The Lord Is My Light and Salvation,” which has served him well over the years, just as it has helped him use his Catholic faith to do the same.