FROM BR. JAMES NORTON ('64): After reading the latest issue of Marists
All, I decided that it was time for me to make my contribution. Since
the first issue I've enjoyed reading each one. It is very encouraging
to read how so much of our Marist tradition and of the charism of our
founder, Marcellin Champagnat, are still such a strong part of so many
peoples' lives. Somehow the thoughts of all who have written, help to
make all that we are trying to do worthwhile. In the kind of world we
live in today it can often be discouraging to talk about and live out
our Christian values. Knowing that some others are experiencing the
same challenges and making a difference is a tremendous boost.
This past August 15th I completed thirty-one years as a Marist. The
last five months of my scholasticate I spent in Mexico City finishing
off my B.A. in Spanish, after which I was assigned to Archbishop Molloy
in 1968. Come this September it will be twenty-seven years since my
arriva! A long time to be in one place. Yet for me it has brought many
challenges and many opportunities to live out the Christian message.
I enjoyed teaching Spanish at Molloy for twentytwo years. When I was
asked to do some part-tune counseling in 1972 I really sensed that I
had found what I wanted to do. I finished my Masters four years later
and gradually increased the counseling until it became my full time
work. The paper work is minimal and that gives us the time to talk with
the kids and listen to the struggles they are going through. I don't
need to tell you that their problems are many and in our present society
more and more complex.
As I write about counseling at Molloy, I can't help but think of Leo
Richard "Teddy" Morris and the tremendous influence he had
on me personally and on so many lives. His funeral was a beautiful tribute
to an exceptional individual. We will miss him very much. The young
man who was hired to help us continue Teddy's work is a Molloy graduate
who during and after high school worked very closely with Leo and is
deeply committed to what he was about. Along with myself, he'll also
have the support of Brothers Francis Regis Newbeck ('53), Stephen Urban
Minogue ('39), Pat Charles Hogan ('57), and Dan O'Riordan ('92).
In the summer of '81 I took an intensive course in conversational Italian,
which I had always wanted to learn. And that, along with Spanish, and
the French I remember from high school, was a very big help to me during
my stay in Rome for the Second Novitiate and again as a translator at
our General Chapter in the fall of '93. Both experiences helped to expand
my understanding of the humble curate of La Valla and the tremendous
influence his Marist Brothers have had throughout the world. So much
good coming from such poor, seemingly impossible beginnings.
About ten years ago I participated in a summer leadership program sponsored
by the now defunct House of Affirmation. In addition to being a very
worthwhile experience in itself, it was also where I began to swim regularly
for exercise. I'm happy to say that I've stuck with it and I average
about five miles a week now. (I guess that would qualify me as the "swimmingest"
Marist Brother in the U.S., maybe even in the world! John Klein ('66)
could be a close second). My work with Molloy's swimming team also helps
to keep me motivated. It's a great way to clear away stress, keep things
in perspective, and stay in shape. So if you've been thinking about
it, I'd encourage you to take the plunge!
With the exception of the one summer referred to above, I've spent
the past thirteen years working as support staff for the camps for mentally
and physically challenged children and adults that the Brothers - along
with hundreds of students, alumni, and adult volunteers - run on the
Esopus property each year in the summer. It's really inspiring to see
how hard all those people work to give the campers a good time. Two
Sunday evenings ago I looked out the window of the house in Esopus and
did a double take when I saw Tom Cumnings ('63) with his wife Cathy
and their cute little daughter Megan sitting outside talking to Br.
John Dunning ('63). Tom and Cathy had driven Tom Junior up to work as
a counselor. I've run into Tom before at basketball games and more recently
at Leo Richark's wake, but never had a chance to talk much. We had some
good laughs and did a lot of reminiscing about the juniorate.
I have also chanced upon Pat Blazer, who was a year behind me in the
juniorate, and Pat Forsyth of my group, opportunities to catch up on
what has happened since we last saw each other.
I guess this is enough for this first time. Once again, I would like
to thank those who have contributed to Marists All and to those who
make it possible. Keep up the good work. I hope to read more about guys
from the group of '64 in future editions. (Marist Brothers, 150--72
87th Road, Jamaica, N. Y. 11432; 718-523-6038)
FROM JOE (Joel Gilmary) STRANG ('53): Thanks for keeping me informed
on things Marist. I am in the Adriatic Sea on the nuclear cruiser U.S.S.
South Carolina. I am with PACE (Program Afloat College Education) which
puts teachers aboard navy ships at sea for periods of six to eight weeks.
It pays a salary plus expenses. Shipboard accommodations are spartan
and shared, but the chow is excellent. Most ships have gyms, small libraries,
and a little store. It is a lot like living in the novitiate. The participants
can accept assignments when they are available and can work out of Norfolk,
Virginia, or San Diego, California.
I am on my fourth ship. The program usually gives its instructors opportunities
to visit ports. So far I have been in Greece, Sicily, Bahrain, Israel,
Spain, Korea, and Hong Kong. I expect to visit Corfu. Greece, soon and
probably Italy. I am hoping that one of these days a navy assignment
will take me into a place where there are some Marist Brothers.
Before the current deployment I met a 73-year-old Holy Cross Brother
from Notre Dame who was assigned to another ship to teach English. Some
of the Brothers or ex-Brothers may want to get involved in teaching
the navy at sea.
If anyone wants to get addresses from me, write to me at P.O. Box 857,
Pacific Grove, California, 93950; or call me at 408--375-8672.
FROM REV. BILL SEARS ('52): While I'm still retired with a severe heart
problem and spinal troubles, I continue to help out in the local parish.
Living near the beach and the bay, I swim and fish often; the fishin'
stinks, and I don't mean because of red tide.
I wasn't able to go north for the Marist picnic in September because
of a death in the family. I did attend the picnic in '93 and had a great
time reminiscing, particularly with "Binsky" Murphy. I would
like to reminisce more with Marist family members, perhaps with those
living in my area, between Tampa and Ft. Myers. My phone is 941-474-5217.
I wait for the answering machine to give me a clue before picking up;
I get so many Sears Roebuck calls: I remember all Marists living and
deceased in my daily prayers and Mass. (1745 Padre Lane, Englewood,
John (Patrick Alban) Tobin ('34) died September 25th after an extended
illness. His wife Helen lives at 3 Brookwood Road, Towaca, New Jersey,
Br. William Mielke ('59) died from complications during an operation
at New York Hospital. He had just returned to Molloy after a year of
parish ministry in Kentucky.
Br. Robert (Francis Solano) Desrochers ('50) died of a heart attack
Saturday, September 30th. He had been serving as director of the Manhasset
FROM BILL (Bernard Gilmary) CONNELLY ('55): My pen has been still for
too many years since I last wrote to Marists All; yet all the while
I have enjoyed reading each new issue of the newsletter. Since my last
epistle much has happened; thankfully, all good. I retired from the
FBI in 1989 after 23 years, and I immediately went to work as a Corporate
Security Representative for Pan Am, until it went belly-up in 1992.
At least it gave me three years of interesting travel to Europe and
Latin American, visiting places I would never have seen otherwise ...
and usually in the front of the airplane. That was a perk that I really
miss, as most of my travel now is in the "cattle car."
After Pan Am, my partner and I started a small airline security business
that affords us one or two trips a year, generally to Colombia and the
Caribbean. I also obtained a Florida P.I. license and do security background
in vestigations for several agencies, including the FBI. Since I recently
qualified as a Police Instructor in the State of Florida, I am teaching
Police Officers a few classes in Naples. In addition, during the past
year I have worked as a substitute teacher at Naples High School. I
generally covered science, math, and English classes, but once I was
tapped for a Home Ec class. My wife Ellen commented that if the topic
did not include carving a turkey or boiling an egg, the class was in
trouble. Sorry, Ed Castine, I never acquired your culinary skills, but
now that I know you and Maureen are in Florida, I may stop by for a
After spending nearly seventeen years in the Miami area, Ellen and
I opted for the more laid-back life-style of Florida's west coast; last
year we migrated to Bonita Beach, just north of Naples. We sold our
home in Miami and are renting a large condo overlooking the Gulf of
Mexico in front of us and part of Bonita Bay behind us. We have three
large bedrooms to accommodate SHORT-TERM visitors. Ellen is a licensed
condominium and property manager; she currently oversees 16 associations
in the Naples area. For the first time in my life I have a fishing pole
and a license, and I am actually using them. I turned down a full-time
job teaching physics last year, to prove to myself (and Ellen) that
I am really retired. Besides, I had earlier reviewed a current physics
textbook and realized just how many formulas and procedures I had forgotten
since I taught physics in Brownsville and at Christ the King some thirty
plus years ago.
I was shocked into reality by the editor's note in the August edition
of Marists All which pointed out that, although the end was not in view,
the newsletter would not go on forever. I hope that my few scattered
thoughts will add to its longevity or at least not contribute to its
demise. My best wishes to all the readers, and congratulations on the
success of Marists All through the past 32 issues. (25815 Hickery Blvd,
#4, Bonita Beach, Fl. 32923; 941-495-9934)
FROM DON (Brian Denis) MULCARE ('57): We have had several opportunities
to visit the Wang Institute of Boston University's Corporate Education
Center in Tyngsboro (a.k.a. St. Joseph's Novitiate). Nancy, our children,
and I visited the property in the mid-1970s, and in May and July of
this year while Nancy attended conferences at CEC, I engaged one of
the grounds keepers, and we discussed the then and now of the property,
each of us learning from the other.
The periphery of CEC has reforested itself, but the groves and walks
retain the tranquility of a novitiate retreat. The Tyng mansion, barn,
and sheds no longer stand, and you cannot see the Merrimack from the
boulder upon which Chief Wanalancet, guest of Jonathan Tyng, used to
sit as he gazed across the fields at the meandering river; the Hussey
Plastics factory now stands tall in what was once the field that grew
cow beets, potatoes, and other crops.The farmer's residence has vanished,
burned down by an accidental fire.The tailor shop has changed little
but now seems to be a private residence. The Quonset-hut gym is a storage
building, basketball hoops and scoreboard still on the walls, the block
M still in center court, but the massive grotto built. by our group
under the direction of Br. Pius Victor is nowhere to be found.
The asphalt basketball court is now part of a parking lot, as is the
handball court area. Volleyball has replaced baseball and football on
the athletic field.
The warming hut that occupied the extreme end of the ice skating pond
is survived by scraps of burned wood, fragments of cinder block, and
rusted green-white enameled lampshades. One snow scoop waits among the
trees. The summer cow pasture that became a winter sports area is now
a year-round pond.The quarry looks exactly as I remember it in 1958.
There are signs of recent activity: cans, bottles, campfires. An iron
rod from quarry days remains fixed in a granite socket.
The external appearance of the "novitiate" is much as it
was, except that the black iron fire-escapes have been removed. An L
shaped complex has been connected to the north wing so that the lavatory
end of the rec hall on the first floor and the hallway on the second
floor run straight into one branch of the L, which continues in a northerly
direction with a number of classrooms. The other branch of the L extends
eastward toward Tyng Road with an auditorium.
The inside of the building has been converted into a tasteful, compact,
contemporary office building. Several of the large rooms have been compartmentalized
into offices and classrooms. Mementos of the Tyng family and of the
Marist novitiate have been kept. There are three framed photographs
on an entrance wall: the serpentine Merrimack and surrounding area south
of the bridge; the Tyng mansion, barn, and sheds; an aerial view of
St. Joseph's Novitiate.
The chapel has been transformed into a library. The arched transom
window contains the seal of Boston University. On the desk of the librarian
is a postcard photo showing the chapel as it was; a legend explains
the history of the building. The sanctuary has couches and book shelves.
Tables and chairs in the library parallel the arrangement of the pews
of old. It is possible to sit after lunch in a position that a postulant
or a novice may have taken; it is also possible to pray five decades.
The family atmosphere of the Tyngsboro property remains, and there
are subtle and obvious traces of the Marist influence even though there
is a very professional and secular facade that covers everything. Some
of us are like the Tyngsboro property, a mixture of family, Marist,
and secular influences. (7 Staffon Road, Fairhaven, Massachusetts, 02719)
FROM FRANCIS X. "Barney" SHERIDAN ('55): Well, it's July
26th!. Happy Anniversary to one and all, my 40th! Recently Hugh Turley,
Dennis Dunne, Larry and Jan Keogh, and maybe some unknown others, organized
the First Marist Retreat. Br. Leonard, Fr. Pete Ostrowsky, Br. Pat McNamara
contributed greatly to it. It was an extraordinary experience, and I
feel very grateful to have been part of it. In no other event has the
GMC celebrated our spiritual commonality as clearly as in this one.
It was refreshing, challenging, and healing, We visited the cemetery
and reflected on the influence of very powerful men in our lives. We
meditated with some of Lenny's clarity on Champagnat's values and spirit.
It's a Marist spirituality that I cherish in the present, not just as
an "ex". My wife even claims to understand me better!!! We
need more. One anecdote: We stayed in the student townhouses in Poughkeepsie.
One morning, coming out of my room, I discovered Frank Casey in the
hall and greeted him with "Laudetur Jesus Christus!" His response,
"Same to you, Mac!" and added, "I always wanted to say
that," Makes one look forward to the Mount picnics. (626 East 20th
Street, #9A, New York, New York, 10025)
BR. Paul AMBROSE
Letter to friends of MARIST FOREIGN MISSIONS (adapted by editor)
On June 1st I took off for India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. I
went to visit friends and to take photos to show donors what has been
achieved in the missions with their help.
In INDIA my pleasure was to be with Oliver Palaia for a good part of
my time. He had trained in the United States for three years be fore
returning to promote various projects for students and for the poor.
I took photos to report to foundations. Oliver traveled with me to visit
our Marists in Trichy. There I saw our first Indian school and our first
all-Marist Brothers community of five Brothers; they had been provided
with needed water for their school by mission funds. Oliver's brother
is a candidate in Trichy. While in India I visited the parents of at
least six Indian students we have at the college in Poughkeepsie to
give a first hand report of their children. The parents were surprised
While I was in SRI LANKA the trouble from the North had somewhat abated.
I was pleased to visit various projects which had been helped at Kaluthara,
at the PA Niwasa Novitiate, and at the Tudella Farm, I also visited
the provincial house and Marist Stella College in Negombo. Photos of
these places were taken, along with a photo of the car obtained for
catechist trips and for Provincial visits. It was a special time to
visit the parents of each one of the Marist Brothers who are away from
Sri Lanka studying in Manila or elsewhere. I was delighted to visit
with my old time friends among the Brothers and to interview a new candidate
from our Pakistan mission. I left heavy hearted at such a brief visit
to my favorite country.
In the PHILIPPINES I first visited the Marist Asian Center (MAC). It
is for Asia what MIC (Marist International Center) is for Africa, a
scholasticate for all the provinces in the area. Then I went to visit
our Philippine missions in Mindanao where so much work is being done
for the Church. It is incredible, the number of students reached in
our several colleges and schools, and all the non-school and very apostolic
work being done. I personally visited most of the work done by Br. Bob
McGovern and by Br. Crispin Betitta, I also saw a new vocational school
geared to help students learn to repair motors, radios, TVs, and other
appliances. In Kidapawan I visited our school and there I saw the new
chapel and the plans for the extension of the school. At Notre Dame
of Cotabato I visited among others Jim Adams for whom I get help each
year for scholarships for some of the poor boys in that the first of
our Marist schools in the Philippines, At the novitiate of Tamontaca
I was delighted to find a candidate who is from mainland China; he is
determined to get the training as a Marist Brother and to get back to
China to help resume our work there. Later I was glad to hear that some
of our Malaysian Chinese are also thinking along the same line. On returning
to Manila I was able to finalize the transfer of Br. Henry Joseph Ruiz.
He is coming back to the States to join one of our retirement homes.
He has aged and is in need of companionship in his retired years. He
has been assured of a welcome back.
When I returned from my tour, there was waiting for me an invitation
to visit our Marist work in Sibu, Sarawak. It was the surprise of the
year.Sibu had been started 35 years ago when I sent a telegram from
Rome to OK the closing of a school in Quantan and to open Sibu. It was
for the many Chinese who had been kicked out of China. Now it is the
largest Chinese school in the area, and the alumni, who are so faithful
to the Marist Brothers, wanted to celebrate their 35th anniversary.
They invited me as well as the three Yanks who had gone there at my
request to help them get started., Br. Timothy McManus, Adolph Leo,
and Br. Alphonse Louis. On August 12th there was a special Mass and
a party for the entire city. It was great to see the statue of Champagnat
in a place of honor outside the newest gymnasium in the city. The Chinese
Brothers continue the work in Sibu. Their provincial, Br. John Lek,
a gratuate of Marist College, was present, and he took wonderful care
of us. I have so much to thank the Lord for His many blessings on our
work the world over.
Our mission collections have been good once again this year. I have
asked our Brother Provincial to name someone to continue this work so
that I can be of help to him while I am still around. I am keeping in
fair health and am able to move around almost like one who is closer
to 28. The reverse digits tell a tale of the Lord's blessings, for which
there will never be enough expressions of sincere thanks. (Marist College,
Kieran Gate House, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601; 914--575-3233)
JOHN LEE ('57) (from his wife Diana) When I
saw the article from Bill Sears in the newsletter, I finally decided
to sit down to write the letter I know Jack would want me to write.
After leaving the Brothers, Jack served in Vietnam and then worked for
Bankers Trust and finally for Barclay Bank as a branch manager. We married
in 1971., At the time my parents lived in Florida and on several visits
there we spent time with Bill Sears and kept in touch over the years.
Our Matthew was born in 1976 and in 1984 a two-year-old Korean child
became part of our family. In 1986 Jack was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's
Disease. He fought valiantly and was on a respirator for six years.One
great pleasure for him was having me read each issue of Marists All
to him. His eyes would light up when I read the name of someone he had
lived with or someone he knew. Marists had a very special place in his
heart. Jack died on February 7, 1992.
(This letter was mailed to us in March of 1993. We are very embarrassed
for having misplaced it, and we have apologized by phone to Diana. Her
address is 14 Cressida Drive, Old Bridge, New Jersey, 08857)
MARIST CEMETERY - ESOPUS
In our last issue we had a letter from Esopus written by Br. Emile
Michael Bernard; he mentioned that he was "in this beautiful place
abounding with so many fond memories and traditions. My favorite nook,"
he said, "is the lovely spot where over 170 Brothers rest in peace
most of whom I have known and admired." With his letter Micky sent
us a chart of the cemetery. We are pleased to include it in this issue;
this is, after all, the month of November when we traditionally remember
our departed friends and relatives in a very special way.