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Brother Chanel Lambert

Brother Rafael G. Martin

Brother Julio Vitores

Brother Michael Brady

Lambert vignettes

Double Diamond Jubilarians: 70 years

Brother Chanel Lambert

chanel lambertBorn May 31, 1923, in Lawrence MA, Brother Lambert grew up in a very faith-filled Catholic family. His faith was nurtured in his early formative years at home, by the sisters in school and by the Marist Fathers in the parish. Brother Lambert became a vowed member of the Marist Brothers of the Schools in 1941 and achieved his degrees in education at Marist College and Fordham University.

Members of his family have served as models of service in the consecrated life. His brother was a Marist bishop in the missions of the Pacific for 49 years; four aunts were nuns; a nephew is also a Marist teaching brother; and a grandnephew was ordained for the Diocese of Tallahassee two years ago.

Over the years,Brother Lambert has served in many different ministries: high school teaching and coaching sports in schools in Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Oregon, and Miami; moderator of the Sodality of Our Lady; director of a Marist summer camp for boys; coordinator of a preventive maintenance program for schools. At present he is living in a retirement residence for Marist Brothers in Miami. He said he is very grateful to God for his vocation and to his parents, relatives and brothers who have supported him in his Marist life and ministry over the last 70 years.

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Transcriber's editorial comments. Over Chanel's long Marist life, he has experiences changes and weathered them well. But he also has a multitude of anecdotes of Marist life during that time. A few will suffice here.

In the decades of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, about half of the newly professed would be assigned to manual labor during the first year(s) after leaving the Novitiate. Chanel was one of the lucky ones to 'dodge the bullet' and be assigned to the scholasticate. One afternoon Brother Louis Omer, the newly appointed provincial, joined the scholastics for a baseball game. After the game, Brother Louis Omer motioned to Chanel and told him to come to his office. He told Chanel: "I am the new Provincial, and you will be my first appointment. You are to go to Esopus as the chef!" It seems that Brother James Thomas, originally assigned to the chef's job, wrenched his back to the extent that he was not able to lift the large pots and pans nor handle the bulk food items used for the juniorate. So Chanel was appointed to be JT's successor.

The job was demanding. The first few months Chanel cooked in the Superintendent's House (now called Holy Rosary) and faculty and Juniors ate in the additional room facing east towards the river. About the middle of November the kitchens were completed in the mansion, and the operation moved there. In both cases, there were coal stoves. Chanel's duties included starting the stoves at 4:30 am; presumably they had been banked late the pervious evening. I remember Chanel's officiating at football games and some baseball games.

After Chanel began teaching, Brother Linus William, now provincial, thanked him for his work the previous year, and instructed him to take some time off. Brother Linus would contact him when the appointments for the following school year were set. Chanel went home to his folks home in Lawrence MA. One day somebody called the Lambert home and informed Chanel that he had been transferred to Central Catholic in Lawrence! The informant had read it in the Lawrence newspaper.

I think a similar situation happened for Brian Desilets.

Sometime in the mid 1950s, Chanel and William Lee were given the summer assignment to repoint the exterior walls of Greystone Library (now the President's office) in Poughkeepsie. Chanel would ascend the rickety scaffold and Bill Lee would mix the mortar and sent it up by rope and pulley. One day Bill Lee did not appear. It seems that he had joined the circus. He spent several years traveling with the circus, tutoring the children who appeared in the acts. That ended the pointing job.

A later provincial, hearing about Chanel's work, gave a summer assignment to repoint the wall along Route 9W!

All this in addition to Chanel's usual teaching load ...

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Brother Rafael G. Martin

raphael martinBorn in Cruces, Cuba, but raised in Yaguajay, Las Villas, Brother Martin entered the Marist Brothers' seminary in Cienfuegos in 1938 and continued his religious formation in Espira-de-l'Agly, France, until the novitiate. He moved to Pontos, Spain, during World War Ii. in 1943, Brother Martin began teaching elementary school in Cienfuegos and from 1944 to 1957 he as assigned to teach at Champagnat School in Havana. in 1957 he became vocations director for the Marist Brothers in Cuba. When the brothers left Cuba in 1961a, he worked until late 1962 in Colombia, when he was transferred to Miami to work with unaccompanied Cuban boys, a work he continued in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Since 1965, Brother Martin has worked at Marist High School in Bayonne, NJH; christopher Columbus High School in miami FL; Universidad de Monterrey in Monterrey, mexico; and as director of religious education in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Back in Miami, he has been a librarian, audio visual coordinator and in the last years, in charge of the bookstore at Columbus High School.

Since his retirement in 1995, Brother Martin has become more involved with the Cuban marists Alumni, an activity he began in 1969. In 2009, he published a book, Colegio champagnat de la Vibora, 1915-1961 and is now preparing another ne, Presencia Marista en Cuba, 1903-1961 ["Marist presence in Cuba, 1903-1961"].

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Diamond Jubilarian: 60 years

Brother Julio Vitores

vitoresBorn in Palencia, Spain, in a very religious family, Brother Vitores spent his formation years, 1946 to 1952 in Turin, Italy, where he made the novitiate and was accepted to receive his first vows as a Marist Brother. From 1952 to 1954, he continued his studies in Gerona, Spain, and received a bachelor's degree. From 1954 to 1961, he served in Caibarien and Havana, Cuba, teaching elementary school. he also attended St. Tomas de Villanueva University in Havana, earning a master's degree in philosophy and letters. When the Castro regime took over, he was expelled from Cuba and sent to Spain. he was later sent to France and Guatemala, where he taught high school.

In 1967, Brother Vitores was sent to the US, where he taught at Marist High School in Bayonne NJ. he attended Villa nova University in Pennsylvania and obtained a master's degree in education. In 1979, he came to miami to teach at Christopher Columbus High School. After a year, he left for Kobe, Japan, where he taught at Marist International High School for two years. He then spent one year in Fribourg, Switzerland, and another at the Catholic University in Paris, and obtained a master's degree in theology.

From 1988 to the present, Brother Vitores has been teaching at Columbus High School. His activities as a Marist Brother have been directed toward the teaching of the Christian faith as well as secular subjects, working with youth groups and coaching soccer, tennis and track.

He said he gives thanks for the recognition and honor of the jubilee celebration and most of all for all the prayers, so that he will be able to continue on the path of St. Marcellin Champagnat.

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Golden Jubilarian: 50 years

Brother Michael Brady

Born in Covington KY i 1943 and raised in an Irish-Catholic family, Brother Brady joined the Marist Brothers in Esopus NY after high school in 1960. From there he went to Marist College in Poughkeepsie Ny graduating in 1965. He taught in high schools in New Jersey and in 1977 he arrived at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, where he has taught history and religion. He has b3een a member of the campus ministry, director of admissions and is currently in his third year as Principal. He said, "This has been a wonderful journey' and thanks God and Our Lady for multiple blessings.

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