ISSUE # 21

November 1992


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 in Miami.

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, Illinois, 60068.

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 down.

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 up.

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) Principal

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 final move.

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 good

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 Marists
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; 203429-7194)

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
for people.

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
now one.

In monastic garb once, piety expected;
in starch and crease now
he listens
and offers counsel.

Touched,
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,

Monk's energy
converted to counselor energy.

Do I see my reflection
so indistinctly?

As I die each day into a new life,
I ache
to leave the suffering ones
a little
of the treasure
of gift-receiving.

Seek the reflection, counselor-monk,
and gaze
(someday face to face)
into the believing, hoping, loving.

And may the healing begin!

I shuddre
at the false gods
they bring to me
a pill
a plastic card
an image on a reel

That dceception
distracts from this reflection

On our journey
I ask

Who am I?

In search of an answer
I ask

Might I help another to Love?

Amen.

Vincent Poisella, President Elect, NJACD (24 Brooklyn Mountain Road, Hopatcong,
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 archdiocesan tribunal.

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)

JUBILARIANS: 1993

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. Y. 11713
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


JUBILIARIANS: 1993

25th:
Br. Eugene Birmingham
Br. Donald Bisson
Br. Brice Byczynski
Br. Daniel Cronin
Br. Peter Guadalupe
Br. James Halliday
Br. John Murray
Br. Donnell Neary

30th:
Br. Herbert Baker
Br. Kenneth Curtin
Br. John Dunning
Br. Roy George
Br. Thomas Simmons
Br. Joseph Yoshida
Br. Francis Zaglauer

35th
Br. Ernest Beland

 

 

40th:
Br. Francis Farrell
Br. Daniel Grogan
Br. Thomas Kelly
Br. James Maher
Br. George Mathews
Br. John McNamara
Br. Kevin Moran
Br. Declan Murray
Br. Francis Newbeck
Br. Kevin O'Neill
Br. Cyprian Rowe

45th:
Br. Phillip Degagne
Br. Robert McGovern
Br. Richard Rancourt
Br. Aquinas Richard
Br. Philip Ouelette
Br. Julian Roy
Br. Mathew Snowden
Br. Stephen Wang
Br. Christopher Weiss


EDITOR'S NOTE: We have done everything imaginable to get some of our friends to write for the newsletter, including hand written personal notes to forty people in the last issue. Not much luck. If you enjoy reading about your old confreres, as so very many do, you no doubt realize that others would like to hear from you. So try not to put it off any longer. Box off a time on your calendar to send us something. Write to David Kammer, 107 Woodland Drive,. Harwinton, Ct. 06791; or to Gus Nolan, % Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601.