ISSUE # 46

November 1998


FROM BR. WILLIAM LAVIGNE ('50):
re: New Marist Ministry in Diocese of Wheeling.

Three Marist Brothers are going to serve as a pastoral team for parishes in three towns in the Diocese of Wheeling West Virginia: Moorfield, Petersburg, and Franklin. Because of a shortage of priests Bishop Schmidt, an alumnus of the Marist Brothers who taught at Central Catholic in Wheeling, invited us to join Father Mario Claro in pastoring three parishes located in the Potomac Highlands valley in the eastern part of the state. Our Brother Luke Reddington was the advance man, arriving on the scene on July 1st. I joined Luke, September 5th, and Brother Philip Robert will join the two of us in the near future. We will live in community at St. Mary's parish in Petersburg located between the other two towns. We are talking here about small towns of 2000 or less where Catholics are a distinct minority. Besides our parish ministry, we expect to get involved in the larger civic community. Already Friday night high school football is part of our weekly schedule, and we'll be manning the "Apple Dumpling Booth" at the annual Heritage Festival. Overall it's going to be quite an adjustment for us Yankees.

Luke has just capped several years of ministry at Queen of Angels elementary school in inner-city Newark by guiding to completion the establishment of an early childhood center. Phil has returned to the States after directing a two-year program in France for Brothers from around the Institute who will be involved in formation; he celebrated his Golden Jubilee at the bi-province celebration in June and is presently visiting with his family before joining us. As for myself, in 1994-95 I had a very enriching sabbatical at "Ministry to Ministers" in San Antonio, directed by Father Jim Sullivan; that year I also spent time at the University of Notre Dame, which was a life long ambition. For the past three years I have been engaged in adult ministries at the Church of the Little Flower in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. No doubt my twenty-three years in parish ministry was a major factor in my being tapped for this new venture.

There will now be nine Marist Brothers in the diocese of Wheeling. In the city of Wheeling, Denis Hever and John McDonagh are in hospital ministry, Dave Cooney is in parish ministry, and Marty Ruane is involved in social services for the poor. Des Kelly is the new Principal of Bishop Donohue High School in McMechan, a "suburb" of Wheeling, and Dan O'Riordan, newly perpetually professed, will be campus minister there. Since we in Petersburg are four hours away from Wheeling and traveling in this mountain state is a challenge, we plan to meet at some halfway spot on occasion for Marist fellowship and support. Please keep us and our new ministries in your prayers. "Come on down to Almost Heaven" if you're in the neighborhood. We'll leave the light on and will offer some traditional Marist hospitality and good home cookin' to all of our visitors.

Like many others, we appreciate the work of Gus and Dave, and we look forward to future issues of Marists All with its updates on our friends and our Brothers. (5 Pierpont Street, Petersburg, W. Va. 26847-1633; 304-257-1057)

FROM DONALD MULCARE ('57): Dear Gus, Dave, and Marists all. Your labor of love in gathering materials, editing submissions, raising funds, and organizing seasonal mailings of hundreds of copies of the Marists All newsletter can only be described as apostolic. Each edition affirms the Spirit instilled through the Marist community, a Spirit that manifests itself in the diverse gifts of the community members. Each letter reassures and strengthens the links between us. Each notation of anniversaries and passings reminds us of the enduring contributions of our brothers. The impact of your apostolate is beyond reckoning. Please accept my gratitude and appreciation for sharing your talents, time, and treasure ... and your unique position within the Greater Marist Community to serve and to spark the rest of us. God bless! (7 Staffon Road, Fairhaven, Massachusetts, 02719-4214)

FROM BR. PATRICK LONG ('45): The past winter/spring was a lallapaloza! Rain, floods, and mud slides all over the county. Thank God it's over and we are dried out. Now we have fog in the morning and sun the rest of the day; how nice'.

I got quite sick this winter with a bad back and a lung infection that lasted more than two months. Now I have become the unofficial care giver of Elizabeth who has helped me a lot over the years; she is failing with emphysema and is on oxygen and nebulizers. I try to make her life as comfortable and painless as possible.

On the homeless front, the good news is the opening of a forty bed transitional house for clean and sober people. I was on the Citizen's Committee for the Homeless when we decided to start the project some ten years ago. It's been a long, hard struggle to get the land, the money, and the staff. Presently the house has a staff of four with twenty five residents. Counseling helps the residents get their lives together. I have supplied tools and furniture; I hope to teach basic cooking and survival skills.

In this small town of 60,000 people there is a pretty comprehensive program for the homeless. I'm happy the Marist Brothers have been part of it since the very start when St. Francis Catholic Soup Kitchen opened in 1982. What a great adventure and service it has been. Thank you and the Marist Brothers for the moral and financial support. Walk in beauty! (328-B Union Street, Santa Cruz, California, 95060; 408-423-9687)

FROM RICK MUNDY ('63): I can't believe I am calling you Gus. What a great equalizer age is! Pedestals, once conceived as concrete over time ... make sand. And sand settles and wears away (not down) and levels all ... and statues talk and express and allow the younger viewers to make another Jump in personal development and growth ... Thank God for Aging ... (I think) ...

Quiet receivers of Marists All tend to be quiet receivers ... . but once in a while ... they awaken! Thumb nail sketch to follow ...(From enclosures: "Rick Mundy is a professional watercolorist specializing in landscapes and points of interest on Long Island; he has also done award-winning watercolor portrayals of nature in Adirondack landscapes, Fire Island beach scenes, and Alaskan panoramas, as well as Manhattan views from Chelsea rooftops") (8 Andre Drive, East Setaulet, New York, 11733)

FROM BILL REGER ('61): Even my slipping memory is suggesting that some ten years have passed since my last submission to Marists All. Let me attempt to address what is and has been going on.

I am living in wonderful West Virginia with Jan, my lovely bride of two years. Yes, I rushed into matrimony at age 54. Why did I wait so long? For two good reasons: one is that I had not met Jan; equally important is that I just could not have married earlier. I am convinced that I could not have made such a commitment earlier. I simply did not have the emotional and spiritual maturity to commit to anything or anyone any sooner. This issue is undoubtedly the same one that led me to separate from the monks in 1969.

Life has been great, but I have not always been easy on life.I early on learned irresponsible decision making. My values and coping skills revolved around external phenomena, be it athletics (I've run my feet into disrepair with too many marathons), academics (degrees in four different disciplines), alcohol (I've been in recovery for 14 years), or just frenetic activity-aholism. I've worked in several different occupations including elementary and secondary education, sailing instruction, West Virginia state politics, wellness, and now I am an assistant professor in the school of medicine at West Virginia University.

Reflecting a similar experience to what I've read in Marists All, I too went through periods of not wanting folks to know of my life as a Marist and periods of even feeling unwelcome by the Marists. And I went through approximately 15 years as an atheist and agnostic. My recovery from alcoholism helped me again to recognize the presence of God in my life. As the fog cleared, I had the realization that I was estranged from myself. I was the one rejecting and feeling alone and rejected. With a good dose of humility I have begun to appreciate my inner strength and my deep relationships.

I attempt to stay in balance by practices aimed at increasing moment to moment awareness. Meditation seems to be the main thread to link peace and meaning to all I do and am. My wife and my personal and professional work in holistic wellness reinforce my emotional and spiritual recovery. I am on sabbatical during this fall semester as I attempt to compose an "original" volume on holistic wellness that has evolved out of a personal lifestyle management course that I've taught for the past five years.

I love beingin touch with the present and past Marists, I am fortunate to have Leonard V as a regular correspondent and occasional visitor. Reggie Diss reappeared in my life the week before my wedding. The GMC picnics at the Mount helped me to reconnect with former classmates and colleagues. In West Virginia we are delighted to experience the remaissance of the Marists. What a boon to the Wheeling community!

Give us a call or stop in if you are ever in or around West Virginia. And thanks to all of you who have so enriched my life when I was a Marist and now through your intrinsic goodness and gentle words in Marists All. Aloha! (37 Era Street, Wheeling, West Virginia, 26003)

FROM SISTER VIRGINIA CONNORS, SSS: ... From late March through June 30th I was on the road. One of those trips took me to Mt. St. Alphonsus at Esopus. Needless to say, I prayerfully drove down Route 9W to MARIST and drove around the grounds imagining my novice brother Tom being at the novitiate there in the mid 60s. I read each edition of Marists All with much interest. (101 Silver Street, Waterville, Maine, 04901)

Great day; warm, but enough shade in the Mount Garth to be comfortable. The happy blend of new and old faces attending seems to merit the continuation of the fall picnic. There was no official check-in, but here is a list from memory of those who attended:

ANNUAL GMC PICNIC: Great day; warm but enough shade in the Mount Garth to be comfortable. The happy blend of new and old faces attending seems to merit the continuation of the Fall picnic. There was no official checkin, but here is a list from memory of those who attended:

Br. James Adams
Br. John Bantz
Br. Emil Michael Bernard
Br. Joe Belanger
John Brady
Nick Caffrey
Br. John Francis Colbert
Br. Victor Luizzo
Br. John Malich
Ken Mannix
Br. Charles Marcellin
Br. George Matthew
Br. Alphonse Matuga
Joe McMahon
Bernard Connolly
Bill Doherty
Pat & Mary Ann Donaghy
Jack & Ann Duggan
James Gaffney
Br. Simeon Gerald
Br. John Herrmann
Frank & Maureen Moran
Tom "Binsky" Murphy
Gus & Liz Nolan
Ludwig & Ursula Odierna
Adrian & Betty Perreault
Vince & Jane Poisella
Frank & Joanna Reilly
Br. Francis "Scotty" Hughes
David & Judy Kammer
William "Otto" Krueger
Br. Pat Lally
Marty & Ann Lang
Richard & Barbara LaPietra
Robert Leclair
Br. Godfrey Robertson
Br. Francis Ryan
Don Schmidt
Br. Victor Serna
Barney & Ann Sheridan
Br. Matthew Snowden
Helen Tobin
Gene & Pat Zirkel

Over the years at least 150 others have attended these annual picnics ... not counting the many Brothers who have been in and out of the New York area and have attended. This tradition of annual gatherings began in the early 70s in Esopus; It has had its day in Cold Springs, at several state parks, and now for some time at the Mount. We are most grateful to the Brothers of the Mount for welcoming this event and for participating themselves.

FROM GENE ZIRKEL ('53): I made contact with a former monk, Peter Lee (or Ly) whom I knew from Molloy. Please add his name to your mailing list and send him a spare copy of the last issue of Marists All. His address is 10101 Homar Pond Drive, Fairfax Station, Virginia, 22039.

Peter left about 22 years ago and has had no contact with the monks since then. His 14 year old daughter Christina is an ice skater and recently competed in Manhattan at Chelsea Pier. Peter sends his regards to Pat Lally. (Six Brancatelli, West Islip, N. Y. 11795-2502; genezirk@mindspring.cam)

re: JOHN GONYA ('61) from Mr. LeRoy Thibeau:

I was John Gonya's best friend and I have come across a mailing that you sent to John. As of September 20th, 1997, John passed away from colon cancer. He was kept at home and comfortable till the end, If you should need any other information, feel free to call or write at the following address: LeRoy R. Thibeau, Jr., 74 Terrace Drive, Torrington, Ct. 06790; 860-482-5704.

News of MARIST COLLEGE * 9-4-98 from
"Memorandum to the College Community" by Dennis Murray, President

This year we will undertake the most extensive construction program in the history of our College. On our scenic 150-acre Riverfront campus we will build a world-class library, a new faculty office and classroom building, student residences, a waterfront park, and develop a 13-acre arboretum. When these projects join our historic 19th century buildings, the structures built by the Marist Brothers in the 1950s and 60s, and our modern facilities, we will have our own academic village that reflects the unique character of Marist.

The $20 million Library will be three times the size of the old Library. It will be constructed of natural fieldstone and limestone in an architectural style that will complement the Historic District buildings of Greystone, St. Peter's, and Kieran Gate House. These three buildings (formerly a carriage house, gardener's cottage, and gate house) were built circa 1865.

We are also planning a major renovation for the Chapel. The exterior will be re-faced with natural fieldstone to match the library and nearby Historic District buildings, There will be a new roof, new heating/air conditioning, new carpeting, refinished pews, specially designed stained glass windows. The Chapel is one of the most important structures on campus. It was literally and figuratively built by the Marist Brothers. Its renovation will preserve an important part of our heritage.

Plans to develop a waterfront park along our historic stretch of the Hudson River have generated a great deal of excitement. The park will include a walkway along the river, picnic areas, a scenic overlook with a pavilion and interpretive displays, improved facilities for rowing and other nonmotorized boating, a fishing pier, and hiking and biking trails along the waterfront and north through the campus. This expanse of river was once known as the "Rowing Capital of the World" when Poughkeepsie hosted the Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regattas from 1885-1949. These renowned races drew the nation's top collegiate crews. Today the Cornell Boathouse, owned by Marist, is the only remaining structure from the famous "Boathouse Row."

The acquisition of the former Way property, just north of Gartland Commons, has added an attractive new dimension to our campus. The site consists of 13 wooded acres with 800 feet of Hudson River frontage and has a fieldstone and brick carriage house, We have decided to preserve the wooded acreage, which sits high above the Hudson, as an arboretum. The carriage house, built in 1881, is now known as St. Ann's Hermitage, for short the Hermitage.Thus we recall the name given to the first parcel of our campus purchased by the Marist Brothers in 1905. It is home to the English and modern languages departments.

In June more than 15,000 people visited our campus for the Great Hudson River Revival, sponsored by the Hudson River Sloop: Clearwater. This environmental organization brought its 32nd annual environmental arts and music festival to Marist after more than two decades in Westchester County. All were impressed with our scenic location and the beauty of our campus. Featured artist Judy Collins told the crowd at the Campus Green, "Look at this setting! This is the most beautiful campus in America?" Musicians, dance groups, puppeteers, and educational exhibits entertained families. Coverage by the New York Times, WCBS Newsradio, and other media highlighted Marist and our location along the banks of the Hudson, allowing people unfamiliar with our campus to learn more about Marist College and its programs.

Excerpts from BROTHERS ARE PEOPLE ... by Brother John F. Colbert, FMS

Nowadays most religious communities have refreshments readily available, but in the old days you had to have an imagination to get your hands on liquor. In Tyngsboro Br. Leo Camille and Br. Bassus made their own fine wine and liqueurs and you had to be pretty quick to capitalize on rare fortuitous moments when the door to the wine cellar was left unlocked. Berky, who always had a sharp eye for such occasions, would dash into the wine cellar, grab a couple of bottles of cabernet sauvignon (?), bolt out into the cellar hallway, and bury the precious wine at the bottom of a box of clothing the novices had left hanging around. Then he would tip me off (often in the sacred quiet of the chapel during the noon visit) about the buried treasure, which I was quick to claim when the coast was clear.

I would place my hands in beyond my deep cassock pockets so that I could grab the bottles in my bare hands. Then I would hurry to the "Vatican" (affectionate name for the little cottage on Tyng Road where some of the Brothers had their rooms) to hide the contraband. However, nature threw me a curve once when some unexpected visiting parents spotted me and approached to greet me with a hand shake! They couldn't figure out why I could only bow clumsily.

That story reminds me of the time John Bosco and I had a drink when I had a room off the small dorm. I had used the deep pocket in my cassock to smuggle an ice cube tray from the infirmary downstairs. After our highball we went down for the Sunday visit to the Blessed Sacrament, I pulled out my handkerchief to blow my nose and an ice cube fell out into the middle aisle.

Brother Henry Charles was known to possess the uncanny gift of bi-location. I often remarked that if I would see him looking out of two windows at opposite ends of St. Joseph's Novitiate at the same time, I wouldn't bat an eyelash. In fact, on one occasion Henry was leaving with his niece and her newly married husband for New York. I waited, concealed behind the pine trees around the circular driveway, to make sure that I saw him actually leave the property. Then I dashed up to my little room in the Vatican, grabbed a quart of Rupert Knickerbocker, and bolted down to the barn to place the beer in the old milk cooler. As I passed Bassus' little greenhouse, lo and behold, who comes out with a watering can but the little white-haired one! Henry had gone but a short distance down Tyng Road when he asked the newly weds to turn back; he had forgotten to water some flowers.

Once in the dark on one of my frequent beer runs to the milk cooler, out of nowhere came the gleaming rays from Hank's flashlight. I swung my cape over my head and plunged into the tall grass. Another time, having made the trip safely to the barn and placed a couple of bottles of the precious liquid gold in the cooler, I suddenly froze when I heard the sound of tinkling cowbells. The cows had been startled by Hank who was down there to sneak a smoke in the dark concealment of the barn!

I remember asking Henry for permission to visit my mother on Mothers' Day. The "iceberg" as Henry referred to himself in one of his self-revelatory weaker moments, countered my request with: "I'm afraid not, Brother; otherwise I would have to give permission to Br. Aloysius, and Br. Bassus and Br. Anthony." All of whom were over 75 in age! One Brother, wishing to put a better slant on the way the Brothers felt about Hank, once remarked: "You know, on the surface Hank may seem cold, but deep down ... he has a heart of stone!" (Editor: "Ti-Gris" is hovering over my shoulder, bilocating here and in heaven; I think he's smiling!)

FROM JOE HORES ('49): Keep the newsletter going! Sorry to read of recent deaths, Had Gerry Dever in class at St. Agnes. Clem Gerard is an old beach friend from Mount St. Michael days.(700 Beach Drive, N.E. (#806), St. Petersburg, Fl. 33701)

FROM BR. JOSEPH BELANGER ('43): I believe a book of biographies of our Marist "saints" would be of significant inspirational value. I propose to initiate this project. By "Marist" I mean people connected with the Marist Fathers and Brothers (S.M.), with the Marist Brothers of the Schools (F.M.S.), with the Marist Sisters (S.M.), and with the Marist Missionary Sisters (S.M.S.M.).

By "connected with" I mean people having died members of one of these four Marist congregations, or people having been members for some time, or people having been alums or associates of Marist apostolates, or people having been extraordinary benefactors of tsarist apostolates.

It would seem advisable to have a variety of worldwide exemplars: people in high places and low, intellectual and less so, Eastern as well as Western, South as well as North, young as well as old, etc. To be included the "saint" must be deceased. Each biography should have an average of 800 words.

I volunteer to be the general editor until better is found; I hope to begin the collating as soon as possible. I would appreciate your help with this project and with making the project known to all branches of the Marist family. (Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601-1387; jlr.bellanger@marist.edu)

FROM JAMES CARGER ('64): I have read Marists All with relish for years and have enjoyed hearing from and about so many friends and legends. Thanks for all your work. (1010 Jorie Blvd. (Suite 356), Oak Brook, II.. 60522; 630-990-5981)

EDITOR'S NOTE: We are grateful to an anonymous donor who has covered the full cost of this issue of Marists All. Several years ago another donor did the same. We are most grateful to these people, as we are grateful to all who have helped us in any and every way with the newsletter. We have a balance of $909, almost enough for the next three issues.

We need your help with material for the next issue by mid January, preferably sooner? Would you, perhaps, have some anecdotes that you could share with us? Could you suggest some fresh ideas? How do we get to those who are clearly happy to receive the newsletter but are reluctant to write?
Gus Nolan, 50 South Randolph Ave., Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601; gusnolan@}aol.com
David Kammer, 476 LaPlaya, Edgewater, F1. 32141; 904426-6349.

ANNOUNCEMENT

The 1999 Marist Institute of Spirituality has been set for the following:

  • DATES: Thursday, July 8 - Sunday, July 11, 1999
  • PLACE: MARIST COLLEGE
  • THEME: " ON OUR CHRISTIAN                    JOURNEY"

Thus far, meaningful presentations, Sacred Liturgies, prayers, and time for personal and social rejuvenation are planned.

The entire Marist Family is invited. Let us come together, pray together and be together.

Details regarding reservations, etc will follow in future newsletters