Circular letter regarding the HURRICANE: by BR. JOHN MALICH ('55), Asst.
Provincial...September 2, 1992
There has been a bit of delay in getting this information to you, since
we have been waiting for communications to become more reliable, and
waiting to give Br. John Murray an opportunity to visit our Brothers
The present situation is that all of the Brothers living at our retirement
residence on South West 136th Street have been relocated. Brothers Timothy
McManus and Lawrence Joseph are now at the monastery of Marist High
in Chicago. Alcide Ouelette is at Leeds Terrace in Lawrence, Simeon
Ouellet is living with the Brothers of Christopher Columbus High School
community on 87th Street, and Denis Buckley will be at the Esopus Province's
89th Street retirement community. Very gratefully all are well and none
of them suffered any injury, although they remained in the house during
the entire storm!
The house has suffered extensive damage; it is being secured. The roof
was damaged and a hole is presently being covered. The windows were
blown out, the screened patio was torn down by wind and rain, and most
of the trees have been uprooted. The carpets, all bedrooms but two,
and most of the furniture are water damaged/destroyed. We have no electricity,
and the wires are all over the yard. We are grateful for our present
relative safety and protection.
The situation of many of our neighbors and thousands of others is apparently
much more serious. Many of you may recall the parish church, a relatively
new structure; it has suffered very serious damage. We have cause for
prayer for those many who are displaced and destitute, for prayer of
gratitude for the protection of our own men.
Hopefully between now and early December we may be able to inhabit
our building once more. We will keep you posted on what is occurring.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Brothers of the Esopus
communities there in Miami who have so graciously aided our Brothers.
Gratefully the Esopus Brothers are well and safe; they did not suffer
the extensive damage we did. My gratitude to John Murray who flew to
Miami as soon as it was possible to travel into the area. He attended
to all the details and finalization of plans. One final word of thanks
to Denis Buckley who is to be our "man on the scene" during
the rebuilding period.
Please keep the family of Brother Peter Guadalupe in your prayers also.
His mother and father and sister have lost everything they own, house
included, in this disaster. We have been in touch with Peter, and he
will be keeping us posted on their needs in the months ahead. We hope
to be able to assist them in some real way. We ask your prayers for
all our Brothers and for the many persons in dire straights at this
time.(252 School Street, Watertown, Ma. 02172; 617-923-2498)
FROM FRANK "BARNEY" SHERIDAN ('55): Dear Brothers all ...
long time since writing - some good news and some bad news. Good news:
for the past six months I have been Chairperson of the Committee on
Special Education of the New York City Board of Education in District
7 (South Bronx). It's a delicious task. Also, my kids are growing up
- daughter Rosemary is at the University of Arizona, and son Robert
is in his junior year in England. My wife and I are orphans.
Some bad news: I have cancer. My brand is called extensive, malignant,
diffuse, large-cell lymphoma. At present I'm in my second cycle of six
monthly treatments of chemotherapy. And it's working! I've changed my
nickname to "Frank, the Conqueror, the Conquistador." Be assured
that this is not the end; I'm going to beat it.
There's a silver lining to every cloud. I've heard more expressions
of concern and support in the past month than folks have dared to say
out loud over the past decades. Anyone who has been sick knows the strength
provided by friends reaching out. In sickness and in health my wife
and I have never been closer. Brothers, relatives, friends and even
business associates have rallied around me. (Ernie Belanger called from
Spain!) It's somewhat embarrassing, and very humbling. Surprisingly
too, many others have shared that they have had this before me, and
their example is inspiring. Thank you all.
One of the positive effects of sickness is that you're forced to ask
yourself some "escatalogical questions." It's the kind of
periodic swift kick in the pants for which God has become famous. As
part of my self processing I visited the monks' cemetery in Esopus.
I must be old, for I know most of the guys there - from the three Scholasticate
classmates to Br. Kieran Brennan of particularly saintly memory, and
Br. Eddie Mike (I was called "bottleneck"). I remembered,
meditated, cried, and prayed. Such a special, sacred place. Imagine
the greatness just represented by the men buried there.
Anyway, lest I lose the opportunity, let me publicly state how grateful
I am and how much I love the Marists. (If I didn't get sick, I might
never have written that?) So, l' chaim. (1506 Plymouth Avenue, Bronx,
New York, 10461)
FROM GENE ZIRKEL ('53): I am writing to tell you and others about my
kid brother Vic (formerly Brother Jogues Michael). He taught at the
Mount in the 50's and worked under 'Ti" Mike on the Marist College
projects. Vic recently suffered a heart attack and went through by-pass
surgery. He is recuperating now at home. Thanks to the prayers of many
good friends and family, he is coming along nicely, and he hopes that
very soon he will be back in the store that he and his wife Kathy operate.
Some will remember Vic as the "kind" young Brother who befriended
the foreign monks when we teased them. For example, when we confused
them over the plural of "peas nut butter" versus "peanut
butters," he would tell them that we were kidding them. He would
then proceed to assure them that the correct answer was "peanuts
butter," and they would thank him! I recall when he had them saying
mouse-mice, house-hice; and the time he taught them one frankfooter,
two frankfeet, and three frank yard.
I am sure that he would appreciate hearing from any of his friends
of years gone by. His address is: 718 West Kathleen Drive, Park Ridge,
FROM REV. RICHARD TINKER ('49): I apologize for the long delay in writing.
I have half a dozen starts lying near my typewriter. Of course, I remember
Gus Nolan, who was a year ahead of me. I was in his brother Frank's
group, along with Tom Lee, Ed Canavan, and Jim Gaffney.
My group descended from the marble and bronze of the Esopus mansion
to the elemental hospitality of the old Poughkeepsie novitiate. We were
the last postulants to occupy that building. At the end of the year
with our new novice master, the retiring provincial Br. Louis Omer..
with our new cassocks flapping in the wind, we mounted a bus and left
the sagging floors of that old novitiate, left the "horse troughs"
of galvanized tin with their multiple brass faucets, left the iron fire
escape pole by which Br. Henry Charles in his little blue denim suit
had so aptly demonstrated escape. We were unprepared for the sybaritic
splendors of Tyngsboro, the hugh chapel, the multiple showers, and the
gleaming porcelain sinks.
I wonder, does anyone remember those patched and tattered everyday
novice cassocks? Rich Smollen's habit topped the list for shambles.
And the occasional dry cleaning, not without something very near a papal
dispensation required? And the "spot remover" made of strong
cold coffee, which legend said would out-gravy and out-peanut butter
all stains? Does anyone remember the everlasting yearly leaf collecting
done with the aid of potato bags sewn together and lugged to compost
heaps behind our little "lake." And to this day I cannot eat
creamed corn or baloney without remembering that that was our standard
Sunday evening meal, and there was the Saturday evening baked beans,
sometimes with brown bread. I also remember feasting on French bread
with the mixture of honey and peanut butter that we piled on and wolfed
One morning some ten years ago I drove to Esopus on impulse. I was
able to wander through the mansion building which at that time was being
used for summer retreats. It was a curious feeling to be walking again
on those marble floors which I had washed and polished so many times
on my hands and knees. And the scullery, where I used to bend over piles
of plates with a hand brush. And those wet towels which never seemed
to dry. And the brown cork floor ...
I discovered the cemetery on the Esopus property quite by accident,
but nothing could have prepared me for all those graves. Past teachers,
old friends, old classmates were alive to me until that very moment,
and then suddenly I seemed to lose them all at once. I went back to
my car to get my service book to say a Panikhida, a prayer service for
the dead, but it was hard to get through because my eyes kept misting
After I left the Brothers, I did personnel work for a few years, and
then decided to go back to teaching. I married and continued a deep
interest in theology and church history. I formulated a lot of questions,
and then found answers in a direction I could never have imagined. I
started studies at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers
and eventually was ordained priest and assigned to our cathedral in
Brooklyn, where I remained for fifteen years.I have served in parishes
in New York and Long Island. I was fortunate enough to have been given
the opportunity to start two mission parishes, and have watched them
grow into full parishes. Several years ago I retired from parish work,
but I still keep my hand in when I am needed.
After a rather full schedule of teaching and parish work which ran
seven days a week, I find retirement quite fulfilling. I can read all
the books I want, and I lug bags of them each week from the libraries
I frequent. I keep up with the theological journals and religious book
publications, and I am now appalled at some of the nonsense I am reading.
I am doing a lot of painting. I have twenty students who come to my
studio for lessons.
Apparently there has been some discussion about what sort of things
to publish in Marists All. Personally I take the view that if we do
not remember and cherish where we have been and savored the friends
we have walked with, we will never attain the future. I think the editors
have been doing splendidly and are appreciated more than they know.
I often think of James Gormley, a gentle person. I have tried to find
him because I think of his good example and want to wish him well. Does
anyone have news of him? Talked to Charlie Scott recently and was grateful
that I could locate him after all these years. I welcome correspondence
from anyone so inclined. I have a host of fond memories, I would love
to talk about. I promise a quick answer, Please publish my address:
(124 Stevens Avenue, West Hempstead, N. Y. 11552).
FROM CHARLIE KENNEDY ('58): Thank you for your letter of the 17th.
I am a clerk for the Comptroller of the Currency. My wife Regina is
the homemaker. This summer our daughter Eileen was home from studying
at Bryn Mawr College; she worked at the Mercantile Library in Manhattan.
Eileen will complete her degree in three years. (43-34 42nd Street,
Sunnyside, N. Y. 11104)
FROM BR. LAWRENCE JOSEPH POIRIER ( '23): Some years ago while in residence
here in Miami, Brother Peter Louis, "Trot", compiled a list
of names of many Brothers from our provinces ... with their accepted
nicknames. He had assists from Brothers who were living at the time
at the retirement houses at SW 89th Avenue and SW 136th Street. I have
a copy of that list, which I enclose, that you may share some of the
names in the newsletter.
I thank all of you for your work on Marists All. May Jesus and Mary
bless All Marists, and may this note find all well and with peace of
mind. (8230 S.W. 136th Street, Miami, Fl. 33156; 305-251-6484)
Br. Adolph Armand: Papa Bones
Br. Joseph Nathaniel: Natz
Br. Alexander Josaphat: LaPatte
Br. Kieran Martin: Papoose
Br. Ambrose Marcou: Moche
Br. Kieran Matthew: Big Chief
Br. Anicetus: Jus
Br. Leo Stratonic: Minnie
Br. Anthony Urban: Mex
Br. Leo Vincent: Wally
Br. Augustine Thomas: Gus Palooka
Br. linus Carroll: Spud
Br. Daniel Andrew: Kopecki.
Br. Linus Joseph: Tiny Tim
Br. Edward Francis: Pipe Down
Br. Louis Donateur: Doughnuts
Br. Gilbert Osmund: Big Gill
Br. Louis Euthyme: Elmo
Br. Godfrey Robertson: Big Jack
Br. Louis Viateur: Galipot
Br. Henry Joseph: Mario
Br. Martin Thomas: Mendes
Br. Herbert Daniel: Bubbles
Br. Matthew Snowden: Doc
Br. Ignatius Fischer: Fritz
Br. Norbert Rodrigue: Pancho
Br. Ignatius Dooley: Captain
Br. Paul Celestin: Peck
Br. James Brady: Diamond Jim
Br. Robert James: Boopsie
Br. James Dixon: J.J.
Br. Simeon Ernest: Chubby
Br. Joseph McAlister: Max
Br. Victor Baptist: Bugs
ST. AGNES HIGH SCHOOL - NEWLY RELOCATED from Br. Thomas Potenza ('73)
Now that the dust has finally begun to settle, I think it is a good
time to drop a line to Marists All to let everyone, especially the alumni
and former faculty of St. Agnes, know about our latest and hopefully
As I wrote two years ago, plans had been made to build a new St. Agnes
parish complex on East 44th Street, which would include a new high school
facilty. The school was moved to very small temporary quarters on East
33rd Street. Then the recession took its toll, and the plans for the
brand new St. Agnes High School went with it. For the past three years
we have been awaiting our fate. Finally the news arrived, and it is
On December 13th we received word from the Archdiocese of New York
that St. Agnes High School would be relocating permanently from our
temporary site to a grand old building on West 87th Street and West
End Avenue. This location had been the home of the prep seminary; it
has eight floors and is built in the finest late Victorian style. There
is a magnificent lobby, a two-story library, two full science labs,
a gym and locker room, excellent faculty areas, and more than ample
classroom space ... all that our temporary site was sorely lacking!
This past July and August we moved every textbook, desk, file, computer,
and basketball to the Upper West Side. Champagnat may have had to climb
the hills of LaValla, but he never risked losing his hard drive as moving
van jostled from one side of the city to the other.
Now we are optimistically beginning a new year; enrollment is at a
ten-year high, and we hope the new location will add to that total.
In November, Bishop Ahern, St. Agnes class of 1935, will celebrate a
liturgy to dedicate the new site and to kick off our SECOND CENTURY
of service to the youth of the New York Archdiocese.
We are anxious to contact our alumni and former faculty. We are in
desperate need of St. Agnes artifacts": old photos, school sweaters
or jackets, report cards, souvenirs, etc. We want to make some connection
for our students between the present school and its rich history.
St. Agnes grads will be pleased to learn that our service club is named
for BR. JIM ELLIOTT, and our honor society for BR. BRENDAN REGIS. The
glee club is named for BR. DENIS DAMIAN who wrote the school song, and
we are planning to name other clubs after men like BR. JOE ABEL and
BR. PETER HILARY. The monks of the 38th Street residence have begun
a scholarship fund for needy freshmen in honor of BR. CYRIL ROBERT.
You can see that the St. Agnes spirit and traditions are alive and
well. We would welcome alumni and former faculty to become part of this
new and growing St. Agnes Family. We are organizing a renewed Alumni
Association. This year our Marist faculty has been increased from four
to seven by the addition of BR. BRICE BYCZYNSKI,
BR. EUGENE BIRMINGHAM, and Marist Lay Volunteer John Ravenna.
If you have any old St. Agnes memorabilia to contribute to our archives,
or if you would like to receive alumni mailings, please contact me at
the new address: 555 West End Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10024; 212-873-9100.
FROM JOHN A. RYAN ('67):Thank you for sending me the back issues of
All. I had been out of touch with both my classmates and the rest of
the Marist community for many years (except for tidbits from the Stanner
alumni newsletter), and I really missed the contact. Fortunately Pat
Murphy (Esopus '67) was able to track me down for our 25th reunion at
Molloy in April. Gus Nolan was there and told everyone about the newsletter.
After eleven years teaching and doing research in cell biology, and
an additional eight years in business, I decided to go back to school
for my doctorate in cell and molecular biology. So three years ago I
dropped everything and enrolled at UCONN in Storrs, Connecticut. Being
a full time student again was a shock, but it has turned out to be most
interesting. I hope to finish in the next 18 months. I hope to contribute
an article for Marists All soon. Thanks for your efforts in bringing
us all together. (149 Ashford Center Road, Apt. B-12, Ashford, Ct. 06278;
FROM BRIAN LONERGAN ('47): The deaths of Aidan Francis and Bill Lee
in May as reported in the newsletter brought back several flashbacks
from my days with the monks.
Aidan wowed the kids at Visitation Parish in the Bronx, and soon Chris
White, Tom White Pete Stafford and myself were on our way to Esopus,
that best of places. Aidan continued to nurture our vocations with his
pep talks, jokes, and sincere devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Bill Lee
turned me about somewhat as a postulant in Poughkeepsie. His good natured
attitude helped me to weather the constant change in novitiate regulations.
May they rest in peace.
The note by Gerard Brunnelle reminded me of his encounters with Brother
Adolph, one of our favorites at the Novitiate. The words of beloved
Adolph echo down the years: "Too far East is West." How many
times I have quoted that wise saw at the airport!
In November we will plan our fourth annual memorial Mass far deceased
Customs Inspectors and Special Agents from the JFK area. It was the
good example of Joe Cadroes, John Patrick, and Paul Ambrose whose devotion
to the holy souls, moved me to initiate this yearly remembrance.
Nice to hear from Ed Cashin, Luke Driscoll, and Richie Foy through
the last newsletter. Hope to see old friends at the Mount picnic September
19th. (New address: 130 Hewlett Avenue South, Merrick.. N. Y. 11566)
FROM BR. HUGH TURLEY ('54): Our first Annual Fund was a wonderful success.
I was very happy over that, as you can imagine. We exceeded our goal
of $100,000 by $15,000. Quite a number of former monks participated;
thanks for reminding folks in Marists All. Development and Fund Raising
is new to us and we need everyone's help.
Brendan Haggerty and Rich Foy assumed leadership roles in directing
the Province in our first Annual Fund. A sincere THANKS to Brendan,
Rich, and so many others for their help. We all look forward to another
successful drive in 1992-93. We begin in October. (4200 West 1115th
Street, Chicago, Il. 60655; 312-881-5343)
BY VINNIE POISELLA ('58) Published in The New Jersey Journal
of Professional Counseling ... Spring/summer issue, 1991
"IN A GLASS DARKLY" (I Cor 13:12)
As a monk,
he prayed to his God
Now he counsels,
as he reaches for the God
within his people.
"Let there be God-life!"
he prays as he reaches within.
"Let there be God-life :"
he reaches within, as he prays.
Two lives woven
In monastic garb once, piety expected;
in starch and crease now
and offers counsel.
he implores faith, hope,
and the greatest of these
into the spirit of the helped
And in helping, is helped.
A Journey is taken together
in the vehicle of grace,
converted to counselor energy.
Do I see my reflection
As I die each day into a new life,
to leave the suffering ones
of the treasure
Seek the reflection, counselor-monk,
(someday face to face)
into the believing, hoping, loving.
And may the healing begin!
at the false gods
they bring to me
a plastic card
an image on a reel
distracts from this reflection
On our journey
Who am I?
In search of an answer
Might I help another to Love?
Vincent Poisella, President Elect, NJACD (24 Brooklyn Mountain Road,
N. J. 07843)
FROM BR. LEONARD VOEGTLE ('50): It was good to see everyone at the
GMC picnic at the Mount on the 19th; a few I had not seen in many moons!
Since you transfixed me, Dave, with that long-practiced masterof-novices
tone of voice and accusing glare, I decided I'd better put some words
on paper for the next newsletter, to fill everyone in on my recent and
not so recent doings.
Volume one of Fr. Champagnat's letters appeared in print in mid March,
just before I left for France with the second novitiate group, to act
as their tour guide and conference-giver on their Champagnat pilgrimage.
When we returned to Rome in early April, I set to work putting the final
touches to volume two, which was published toward the end of June.
Volume one, by the by, contains the 339 extant letters written by Marcellin,
with explanatory notes; volume two offers brief biographies of each
of the persons to whom the letters were sent, and brief histories of
each of the places where they lived, which are basically the towns and
villages where our first schools were founded.
I returned to the States in mid-June, stopping first in Boston to give
three days of conferences on Marcellin to the Marist Fathers' three
novices. Since then, I've re-settled here at Marist High in Bayonne,
spent a few weeks relaxing in Bellport and begun work in the Newark
I'm doing the same sort of work I did in Wheeling - mostly marriage
annulments - but Newark is a much bigger operation. We handle about
600 marriage cases a year, with seven full-time personnel and at least
a dozen part-time, plus four secretaries. Right now I'm acting primarily
as an advocate, preparing cases for the judges. There's a tremendous
backlog, because some of the part-time advocates have been transferred,
and others come in only once a week. Dealing with the pain and guilt
and anger and shame of wrecked marriages isn't the most pleasant of
occupations, but it's good to be part of a healing and reconciling process
that can help people put the darkness behind them and make a fresh start
with the church's blessing.
My contract with the archdiocese also allows me flexibility to continue
my Marist work as need arises. On the side, I'm continuing my research
and translation of some of our basic sources, and I'm available for
conferences and workshops here at home and elsewhere. For instance,
I'll be going to the international house of studies in Nairobi, Kenya,
right after New Year's, to do a week's workshop on Marcellin's personality
and methods of formation. Speaking of Nairobi, there are approximately
eighty young African Marists there this year for our various provinces
and districts (it's a three year B.A. program) plus at least a dozen
brothers and sisters from other congregations, and a small number of
laymen. The parallel Marist Asian Center in Manila is just getting off
the ground now, with a much smaller number of brothers from that part
of the world.
Most of us went to Esopus on September 13th for the investiture of
two first year Esopus novices. Guess we had about 60 Brothers there
all told for a very simple but impressive prayer service, followed by
a social hour and a buffet dinner ... plus reminiscences about July
26ths and August 15ths past ... The renovated tailor shop in Esopus
is really a magnificent setting for the novitiate, and the renovations
done on Holy Rosary have made that also an excellent facility for retreat
groups or summer use. All for this time. Hope that autumn will be full
of color! Lots of prayers for everything good. (1241 Kennedy Boulevard,
Bayonne, N. J. 07002)
50th: Br. Gregory Avina, Roselle High School, 1 Raritan Rd., Roselle,
N. J. 07203
50th: Br. Joseph Belanger, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601
50th: Br. Gerard (Jogues) Cormier, Marists, P.O. Box 95, Bellport, N.
50th: Br. Patrick E. Magee, 4300 Murdock Avenue, Bronx, N. Y. 10466
55th: Br. Stephen U. Minogue, Marists, 101-40 92nd St., Ozone Park,
N. Y. 11416
60th: Br. Luke Driscoll, 1920 Highland Avenue, Augusta, Ga. 30904
60th: Br. Bernard G. Flood, Molloy High, 83-53 Manton St., Jamaica,
N. Y. 11435 60th: Br. Simeon Gerard, Mt. St. Michael, 4300 Murdock Ave.,
Bronx, N. Y. 10466
65th: Br. Stephen Forgues, 26 Leeds Terrace, Lawrence, Ma. 01843
65th: Br. Victor Ralph, Marist Brothers, Box 13, Dete, Zimbabwe
70th: Br. Lawrence J. Poirier, 8230 S.W. 136th Street, Miami, FL. 33156