ISSUE # 31

May 1995


RETREAT WEEKEND (June 30 - July 2) by Larry Keogh

Marist College has agreed to be host for the retreat weekend that we described in the last issue of this newsletter. From talks I've had with the people at the college the prices are tentatively set: for one person for the weekend the price would be $125, and that would include your food and your room for two nights; for two people it would be $200.

Br. Donald Nugent has agreed to let us use the chapel in Esopus Saturday evening after we visit the cemetery and there give witness about the monks who have especially touched our lives. He has also offered St. Paul Bay area for our picnic, after Mass.

Responses to our invitation have been very encouraging. So far thirty people will be at Marist College in late June for what Jerry Cox has already dubbed "The Gathering." Every month I meet with Dennis and Hugh at Marist High, Chicago. We enjoy the hospitality of the monks, and then work to firm up the program. We have come to realize that there are more details to this than meets the eye!

We want to encourage you to join us for this prayerful reunion. It is not too late to contact us. Because of time restraints, however, we would like you to phone one of us and we'll add your name to the list. Hugh 312-381-5343, Dennis 312-751-8219, Larry 815-838-1570.

I will be in Poughkeepsie in early June to finalize arrangements. Shortly afterwards we will contact you by mail with the latest information.

FROM BR. KEN HOGAN ('64): Just a quick note to say how much I continue to relish each issue of Marists All. Truly, the wisdom and depth of feeling expressed by so many is touching! (26 Leeds Terrace, Lawrence, Massachusetts, 01843)

FROM BILL (Joseph William) MURPHY ('40): Peace and joy. I got married to Sandy Huber this past October. We're both doing nicely. Sandy joins me in wishing goodness for all. (40 East Field Stone Circle #7, Oak Creek, Wisconsin, 53154)

FROM BR. PATRICK McNAMARA ('75) Provincial: Enjoyed reading the last copy of Marists All. Well done as always. Thanks for all you do for us. (26 First Avenue, Pelham, New York, 10803)

FROM JEPTHA (Stephen Anthony) LANNING ('49): In June of 1993 I left my teaching and administrative positions at Marist College after 29 years. At the same time my wife Joan, a former Daughter of Wisdom, retired as Executive Director of the Mental Health Association in Duchess County after 20 years. We had given much thought to these decisions, and both of us agreed that it was time, as the saying goes, "to stop and smell the roses."

Establishing a home in Southeast Florida had always been a cherished goal for us. We had vacationed many times in the Deerfield Beach/Boca Raton area. And Joan's parents had come down from Queens in the early 60's, so we came to know and love this section of the state. In July 1994 we were fortunate to sell our house in Poughkeepsie. Shortly after that we found an apartment in Delray Beach in a friendly 25 unit condominium called Coastal House, overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway just across from the Atlantic Ocean.

Retirement living has certainly provided us with many new opportunities. Joan has returned to occasional practice of pharmacy, a career she had followed before working as a hospital administrator in the late 60's and early 70's. I have worked for Marist's Office of Admissions during the fall semesters of '93 and '94 visiting prep schools and private academies in the Northeast. In the future I will do some college recruiting in Florida and Georgia.

In both our condo and parish (St. Lucy's in nearby Highland Beach) we are definitely "the kids." We have come to know and respect many of our "seniors" who provide us with examples of successful aging, while leading active, engaged life styles. Often enough, usually on Sundays after Mass, Joan and I review the calendar and plan our schedule for the coming week. It's a practice we have had over the years, somewhat reminiscent of those Sunday morning community meetings.

Fast walking and exercise sessions have become part of our daily routine, as has swimming. We just might get into golf. For me softball pitching is no longer an option. And yet, it seems like only yesterday ...

Each morning we awake most grateful and thrilled for the gift of time. Now freed from the demands of our former professional lives, we treasure our time together: time to discuss an article in The Times, time to read a new book, to see a play or movie, time to organize a dinner party for newly found friends, time to plan future trips and travels. And, best of all, time to dawdle, to hit the beach, to hang out, time to check out that new mall, time to often reflect upon the past, present, and future, and yes, time to try to become more recollected, more prayerful.

In memory, I return to those formative years in Esopus, Tyngsboro, Poughkeepsie, and I think of those dear mentors who helped to shape my life. I rejoice over friendships begun so many years ago, many of which have remained constant and have deepened with time. What a full and rewarding life: teaching at the Mount, graduate study at Catholic University, service at Marist College. Little did I dream, when in the spring of 1945 I decided to enroll at St. Agnes, that my existence would be so entwined with Marist life. For me, as I grow older, prayers of thanksgiving rise up more frequently. Well, what started out to be a factual update has become quite personal. But, why not? After all, sharing has always been an integral part of the Marist Spirit.

To one and all, much joy and happiness. If you get to our part of the Sunshine State, don't hesitate to contact us. Joan and I would love to have you visit with us in Delray Beach. (Coastal House #404, 2200 South Ocean Boulevard, Delray Beach, Florida, 33483; 407-276-9321)

FROM JACK (Timothy Joseph) CRAVEN ('48): I am making good on my promise that I would forward a few words for use in your wonderful publication, Marists All. Since your last issue, I had a delightful letter from Brother Richard "Ziggie" Rancourt. It is amazing how a few pages of paper can successfully roll back the years. Ziggie and I have common childhood roots, growing up in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and attending Central Catholic where we came under the influence of so many wonderfully dedicated monks. As a result of Marists All, of Jimmy Kearney, Ziggie Rancourt, and you Gus, I have been able to bridge the years which have passed since 1969. Often in Marists All I have read former monks testifying that they retain a feeling of belonging to the Marist organization. I, too, am a member of that group which holds fast to a sense of belonging, even though it is over 25 years since I was a member. I do thank God, and His Blessed Mother, for all that the Marists gave me and I know that any of the accomplishments I have had are a direct result of what the monks did for me!

In 1969 I settled in Boise, Idaho, where I obtained a position as a teacher of language arts at Boise High School. My immediate goal was to certify as a school counselor, and I did so by returning to graduate school to satisfy Idaho requirements. Much to my dismay, after two years of teaching and an additional two as a counselor, I was asked to become academic assistant principal at the school. This turn of events was not a part of my plans, but I did agree to become assistant principal on a short term basis if I would be guaranteed a return to my counselor's role. Two years later the principal retired, and although I did not apply for the position, a delegation of faculty members, along with a number of people in the community, prevailed on me to apply. Thus, four years after entering the district, I became principal of Boise High School, a threeyear institution with a student population of 1650 and a staff of 92.

Often during the ten year period I served as principal, my thoughts turned to the monks, and I thanked God for the wonderful training that was given us by them. I do believe that the "love of work" that was instilled in us set us apart from all other educators. I found that the kind of commitment that was expected of us in the classroom, on summer projects, and in the activities to which we were assigned, enabled us to operate truly outstanding schools. The period of 1975-1985 saw a series of excellent assistants assigned to me. It is interesting to note that each of them went on to become principals of other district schools. One is now the principal of Idaho's only Catholic high school.

In 1985 I was asked to take the role of director of curriculum and instruction for the district. I became responsible for a curriculum staff of approximately 25 persons and for the instructional program of the district's 32 elementary schools and 12 secondary schools enrolling 27,000 students. I continued as the director until November of 1994, when a second major back surgery in eight months called a halt to 42 years of school work, 17 with the monks and 25 in public schools. However, at 66 years of age my retirement years do not find me far from education, as I currently serve as the chairperson for the Diocese of Boise's Educational Advisory Council, as well as the chairperson for the school committee of our parish elementary school. I have retained a close personal and professional relationship with the principal of Bishop Kelly High School, meet with him frequently, and occasionally conduct workshops for his staff.

In my personal life I have been blessed with a wonderful marriage. Three years after locating in Boise I became an instant father to five children (ages 7-17) when I married an elementary principal who had lost her husband to cancer some seven years previously. Joan and I both retired on November 1, 1994. All of our children live in Boise; four are married and have given us eight grandchildren. Our daughter and three of the boys are solid, practicing Catholics. We lost one son to another religion, but we pray! Our youngest child is Max. He is 29, retarded, and a true gift from God. Max accompanies Joan and me to Mass each week where he pays close attention to both of us, urging that we sing and be vocal in our prayers. He is our prayer leader at home where he, and he alone, recites the grace at meals.

Well, Gus, I have attempted to capture the last 25 years of my life on these pages. I can honestly tell you that the efforts you and your colleagues invest in publishing each issue of Marists A11 are deeply appreciated. I suspect that I speak for many when I say that the "Spirit of Champagnat " probably lives in the hearts and actions of most, if not all, of us who are not formally Marists, but who had the rare good fortune of coming under his influence as monks. I will continue to look forward to the arrival of each issue of Marists All, and I will read it with interest and pride. (3202 Wagon Wheel Road, Boise, Idaho, 83702)

FROM PETE SEDLEMEIR ('61): I want to thank you for the work you do to get Marists All out to all of us, and I also want to let you know that we have moved to the north country. Our new address is: 2 Pearson Road, Preston Hollow, New York, 12469.

I was laid off from Unisys in December, and I was rather glad that it happened. It was very difficult going to work each day to a half empty building and wondering who was going to be laid off next. So many lives have been greatly affected not only by defense cutbacks but also by what I consider to be a large dose of corporate greed.

My wife Margaret and I have been building a house in Albany County with a view toward retirement,Well, retirement didn't come, but the move did nevertheless. We just got a buyer for our house in Mineola, and my wife will be leaving her job as an alcoholism counselor shortly. I have been looking for a job since December. I figured that with experience as an engineer, teacher, and alcoholism counselor, I would be able to get a job quickly. Not so! I know that God's time is not our time, but I hope we get into sync quickly.

I hope to be able to resume ministry as deacon soon; the Albany diocese has a policy that "transplants" into the diocese must wait six months before becoming active. Sooo ... what I've done is volunteer to work in St. Peter's Hospice program in the Catskill and Hudson area. I will complete the training program tomorrow and hopefully be of service shortly. The program relies heavily on volunteers to maintain services to those who are terminally ill. I'm impressed with the caliber of the staff and the volunteers.

I'm also nervous about entering this work. It forces one to examine one's own feelings about dying, death, and surviving, but I know that with God's help things will work out fine. (2 Pearson Road, Preston Hollow, New York, 12469; 518-239-6282)

ZAIRE: BANDITS ATTACK BROTHERS' RESIDENCE:  In early January armed bandits invaded the Brothers' residence in Goma, stole cash and other valuables, and damaged the house with their gunfire. The Brothers in residence were unhurt physically but were shaken by the violence, coming so close behind the terrible slayings in neighboring Rwanda last year from April through November. (from FMS UPDATE, Rome, February 1995)

FROM HENRY (Robert Baptist) GOETZE ('44): It was spooky ... at least that's, the way I felt when in recent times I began to receive and read Marists All. Today's Marist Brother, the Mountletter, and the Marist College Alumni News. All the names were coming out of the past ... after thirty years. I tried to put faces with names, but the faces always came out the way I remembered them from yesteryear, though the publications showed what Father time does to all of us.

I went up to New York for a Mount class reunion, my 50th anniversary of graduation. It was a remarkable experience. I met some of the Brothers teaching now at the Mount, the most notable being Br. John Francis Colbert whose finesse at the piano I had always admired. I'm looking forward to more entries from his "Encyclopedia of Useless Knowledge."

My seven year stay in the Philippines is one of the unique experiences I've gone through. Working with those "basic" people, I realized how childlike and simple Catholicism can be, and that altered my own relationship with God. And the religious community in the Philippine schools was also very basic. I remember some of those fellow missionaries: Joe Teston, Herman Edwin, Reginald Theodore, Denis Luizzo, and Regis. Denis used to get packages of "stuff" on a regular basis. However, he would not open the package right away. He would "sit on it" for a few days and then open it. Now and then something perishable would be in one of the packages, which added to the opening ceremony drama. Br. Louis Omar, former provincial, spent some time in the Philippines; he had a great sense of humor and was an excellent card player. Br. Peter Leonard was a tough one to tie down in community. His contacts with U.S. military personnel in the Philippines got him many a ride on U.S. aircraft to different places in and OUT of the country.

When I got back to the States, I stayed at my brother's for several months until a place could be found for me. Finally I was called to Archbishop Molloy High, but without a teaching job. Then I was sent to Aquinas High School in Augusta, which was another unique experience since I had not taught American kids for eight or nine years.The five or six years spent at Aquinas helped me to get back into the swing of things. It was the 60's and a lot of "stuff" was going on ... change was in the air. And I elected for change. Gene Zirkel's reference to being called to another vocation seems to sum up my decision, together with some correspondence with Brother Paul Ambrose.

When the Marist Brothers and I separated in '65-'66, I moved about and my mailing address didn't remain permanent. I rarely made contact with any of the Brothers. There were occasional jaunts from the Atlanta area to Augusta to visit the Brothers at Aquinas. I was particularly friendly with Brother Richard (Gene Michel) who had been my tutor on the golf course across from the school. Some of the other monks were Brother Gilbert, Brother Alphonse, Br. Claude, and Brother Peter Louis. I sometimes went with my wife, Cynthia, who knew some of those Brothers. It was always a pleasure to drop in on them, Marist hospitality at its best. Cynthia died of cancer in 1980. During one of our trips to Augusta, we had a brief visit with Dr. Ed Cashin. John Nevin is another Georgian whom I would like to contact.

I eventually settled in Marietta, Georgia, where I became a media specialist in one of the Marietta City Schools, in fact in the same junior high where Warren Richardson (Anthony Bernard, '40) taught. (You know that Warren died about ten years ago?) Soon I became part time coordinator of media services for the school system. That job helped me to influence all the media specialists in my charge, as well as the teachers and students.

I feel that the Marist training and the Marist spirit stays with you wherever you go and whatever you do. This feeling has been confirmed by my reading the letters in Marists All. Some of the letters are challenging, some informal, some very personal. What a variety of personalities and different levels of success of the monks and ex monks. I enjoyed all the correspondence ... spooky though it was reading the letters!

After my first wife died, I became more involved in activities at Transfiguration Catholic Church. In fact, it was through that church community that I met and married my present wife, Loralee. Her husband had also died of cancer, and our spouses had known each other through ministering to one another. The community figured that we were made for each other, so they connived to get us together ... and we've been together for almost fifteen years. We are very active in church activities and service programs for the needy. We've also been involved in adult enrichment in the parish.

In July of 1993 I had an angioplasty, which made me think about life in general. Since I am also a borderline diabetic, I made the decision to retire after 47 years of teaching. Loralee took a leave of absence from teaching P.E. in an elementary school to keep an eye on me. She went back to work this year, half-time, but plans to retire at the end of this year. We are looking forward to her retirement so we can do the things we would like when we want. Hopefully our retirement pension, Social Security, and savings will keep us financially sound. In the meantime, I'm trying to regain some of the weight I lost during my hospital stay.

I read and re-read the last issues of Marists All, and believe me, there was plenty of nostalgia! One memory I have of Brother Henry Charles was on a winter day when all the roads were icy and we novices were going to the main house for Mass. We were slipping and sliding on the ice and we saw our Brother Master just zipping right by us (could he walk on water, too?) Brother Henry was recuperating from a leg operation and he used a cane for walking ... but this cane had a nail on the bottom! When I took the habit, my father, who was a Presbyterian, met Brother Henry who promptly showed my father to his wine cellar. The tasting impressed my Dad quite a bit! I could sit here for hours and go over the Marist experiences that I enjoyed and still treasure.

I really feel good about still being a member of the Marist family. I enjoyed reading all the Marist publications that have come my way, and I'm looking forward to future issues.

Loralee has read what I have written in the preceding paragraphs; the following are her remarks: "The saying that Our Lord works in mysterious ways is quite true. I've come to realize that He has a plan for each and every one of us. Looking back, Henry, I'm sure, would never have imagined himself as a "retired" Marist Brother, the husband of two women (at different times, of course), and step-father to seven children. I, a convert, did not realize that at the time of my conversion, I would later depend strongly on the Catholic faith in accepting my first husband's death and being open to the love and support of my Southern Catholic community. The Lord has seen to it that Henry and I make a life together and that we draw upon one another's faith. I wish to thank the Marist community for its gentle and loving influence in Henry's life and for the blessing of being a recipient of these qualities.Thank you, Lord, for working in mysterious ways! God bless YA'LL (that's our Southern accent you hear) withPEACE, LOVE, AND JOY. (1334 Shiloh Trail E, Kennesaw, Ga. 30144; 404-422-9585.

DECEASED: Br.William Gleason ('30) died March 16th in Florida. For many, many recent years he had taught at Roselle Catholic in New Jersey. This year, however, he was at the Marist retirement community in Miami.

Francis Driscoll (Peter Raphael '37) died recently in Aiken, S. C. Frank is a brother of Br. Luke Driscoll of the Augusta community and of Brother Edmund Jude Driscoll, who died at the Mount July 5, 1981.

FROM JOHN V. SHEEHAN ('65): Ah, the letter I've been promising myself I would write, for 30 issues now. I can't tell you, as so many others have done quite eloquently, how much it means to me. It makes me sixteen again, playing pool before night prayers in the Esopus Juniorate, raking leaves ad nauseam, putting together zillions of ball-point pens, transforming perfectly good lumber into sawdust, learning to sing, learning to pray, learning to become a man.In the six years of Marist life, plus two at St. Mary's, I did rub elbows and hearts with some of the finest people I've ever met. How much I miss them hits me hard every time Marists All arrives in the mailbox, and I mysteriously retreat to a far corner of the house to rejoin them between the lines. Less consequential matters just have to wait, So I just want you to know that. Junk mail it ain't!

My family is well, Dottie and I have been married twenty one years now. Our son Tim is a junior at Ridgefield High School where I teach, He's never been confortable with the idea of the two of us in the same building, but I was there first.I get to pick on his friends in my chemistry classes, and they repeat everything I say to him. We're just starting the anguishing search for the Perfect College. He wants to go into electrical computer engineering.

I still want to be a fireman. Emily is in fifth grade, finally learning her math facts, maintaining her place deep in my granite encrusted heart. Dottie teaches middle school English in White Plains, where she deals with the rich and the poor and struggles to teach them to write and read with intelligence and pride. We're all trying to bring dignity and meaning to our lives and to those we teach, try ing to do good quietly. Or as quietly as an Irishman is able.

Whom do I still see? Ed McElroy lives in the same town and we chat often. Fred Greifenstein and I speak often on the phone, and Pat Kielty is coming to visit next week. I can't wait to see him. The telephone just doesn't do it for me.

Our hearts go out to the Brothers and students and the displaced in Kobe, so we've sent next month's beer money for the relief effort to Sean Sammon (that young, earnest kid a year behind me in the Scholasticate). Please don't spill it.

If there are any computer nuts out there who would like to chat on-line, I'm starting a Marist Room on AOL each Thursday night from 8 to 10 Central time. Mark your calendar. Jerry Worell has the right idea though, a Marist BBS. P.S. My spell checker wants to change "Marist" to "Marxist" Is this computer domestic or imported? (13 Sprucewood Lane, Ridgefield, Ct, 06877; 203-431-9471)

FROM JACK TEVLIN ('66): All is well here in Arizona, Son Sean is now 15 and a student at Brophy Prep, a Jesuit school. Tom Reithman is on the faculty there, and he's been keeping a close eye on Sean. It's a small world! Looking forward to upcoming editions. Please note the new address: (2214 North 11th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona, 85007)

FROM LARRY (Lawrence Christopher) KEOGH ('54): When I decided to leave the Brothers, it was after a journey that had lasted the twenty years from 1951 to 1971. And thanks to the wisdom of my superiors, my journey, after the training houses, took me all around the province of Poughkeepsie, from the Mount to Dubois to St. Agnes to St, Joseph's in Trumbull and finally out to Chicago and the postulancy and then to Marist High. During those many years I experienced the same events that others have written about, the memories of which still elicit silent smiles of recognition. I have trouble always putting faces to names, but the events are real nevertheless, and I realize how much they have contributed to the quality of my life and still influence me. My Marist heritage, I find, is like a time-release capsule which continues to enrich, direct, and color so much of my life-style.

My life after the Brothers has been no less eventful. When I first left, I traveled to Africa to study African history at the University of Ghana. It was a marvelous experience. When I returned I married my wife Jan and in rapid succession we had three sons (Steve, 21 - Chris, 20 - Dave, 17). They are all living at home and most days their presence reminds us of God's blessing. In that regard, all through their growing up years I have been sustained by the message I received in my time in Marist training that a Brother was a person who could do just about anything. So I just adapted the message to fit my circumstances, knowing that Champagnat would still be there helping me as I struggled with unruly bicycles on Christmas Eve, and prayed that he would still be interceding as I tried to teach the boys how to ride a bicycle, a feat that had escaped me since I had grown up in the middle of Manhattan where a sure sign of parental abandonment was to provide a bicycle to play on the busy streets of midtown.

I have worked at a community college for the past twenty-five years with time out to get a PhD in Gerontology from the University of Michigan, and most recently I acquired a Masters in Counseling Psychology, just in case I get bored when I retire. Along the way I've been instrumental in starting a college for senior citizens and acting as the director of the program. Recently I've been working at the Adler School of Professional Psychology, teaching doctoral students some courses in Gerontology. Society is finally waking up to the needs of an ever expanding aging population.

My wife and I have taught CCD to eighth graders in our local parish, and we have worked to set up shelters for the homeless. We've managed to lose our share of socks to the little man who lives in everyone's dryer; so that you don't think we aren't just as normal as each of you, let me say that we have had our share of arguments; and the dog still runs away, TV controls are still a mystery, and I will organize my office one of these days! So if you're ever out in Illinois and want to drop in on a very typical family, just call in advance so that I can be sure someone hasn't finished the last of the milk! And thanks to Marcellin Champagnat for starting an order that's made a major contribution to my life and to my family as well. (17125 West 145th St., Lockport, Il. 60441)

EDITORS' NOTE: We expect to mail our next issue in mid August. We hope to have something to share with friends who receive this newsletter. May we count on you to send some news. Please write early, soon! Mail to Gus Nolan, Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601; or to David Kammer, (June, July, August only) Rural Route 2, Box 3300, Oakland, Maine, 04963.

LATE NEWS: Br. Leo Richard Morris ('52) died unexpectedly in his sleep May 13th. He was in his mid-sixties. A graduate of Central Catholic, Lawrence, Leo had been with the Molloy community, Jamaica, L. I., for at least 22 years.