ISSUE # 41

September 1997


Marists All, issue #40, arrived a week or so ago, and once more the urge came to reply, Twice before I wrote some neat stuff only to "chicken out" and let the letter sit on the hard drive.This time Richard LaPietra's editorial has made the difference. Was there an intentional play on words in the striking title? Nether we go forward or regress, whether we ask whither we go, or whether we wither? This I know: I don't want the newsletter to wither!

I address this letter to Marists All, but I would like to make a few statements directly to the guest editor of #40. Richard, I am always impressed by statistics, so by responding I hope to move the percentage of "non-canonicalst' writing closer to the 50% mark, and if my wife gets out a check book as she promises, we will help defray part of the cost of the next issue. You point out that the autobiographical stories appear to be the main reason for the newsletter's success and popularity. It is certainly nice to know what has been happening with old friends and once familiar faces. The guys we hear stories about are the same guys making stories today. And recalling those who have died keeps their stories alive. Through it all I sense common convictions and common feelings. "Hey, I'm not the only one!"

I put off my autobiographical notes for now, except to say that I was ordained to the diaconate in 1985. A few years later I took my Master's in Pastoral Administration from Loyola in New Orleans, The diaconate carries with it a whole package of responsibilities that are the salt and pepper of my life. I take care of Sacred Heart Church in downtown Brownsville. Since 1975 I have also been responsible for the care and maintenance of the church building. We live just about twelve blocks down the street. The parish was dissolved in 1967 and has had one Sunday Mass a week ever since. This year we celebrate thirty years of being a non-parish; we can certainly serve as a model of how you can survive in the modern Church if you have a limited nubber of priests and a dedicated community.

Talk about a segue ... I'm here to tell you, Richard, that you were pointing in the right direction when you asked: "Would Marists All be a place to talk about our current experience of Church, what we are doing to further the reforms of Vatican II, what our hopes and aspirations are?" When I tried to write before, I found myself moving from the autobiographical to talking about the Church in Brownsville, the community of Brownsville, the people of Brownsville, and the fact that we are a border city and ... and ... and ... How does our thinking about boundaries (NY/NJ or NY/CT) compare with our thoughts about an international boundary? How can my quality of life exist side by side with the poverty less than a mile away? The man who does my yard work earns just twenty-five dollars a week in Mexico. He has papers to work on our side. I pay him $45 a day to give me a hand with the chores. His house (shack) is next to a drainage ditch that floods his property every years He has no electricity, no running water. We give him ice from our freezer so that he and his wife can have a cool drink in the summer heat. You wonder why so many from south of the Border see as luxury the squalor of the East side of New York. Anyhow, earlier when I found myself on a soap box, I stopped writing, and didn't send the letter. But Richard, if this newsletter opens up as a means of exchange, I will definitely be willing to send a border perspective, and I want to know how others see border issues effecting and affecting their lives. And if they don't, what planet are they living on. In addition, I'm sure you would be able to get Br. Albert Phillipp ('51) to contribute his insights; there is a true Marist missionary, right here on the home front.

Now for some autobiography. Yes, I'm married. My wife, soul mate, and best friend for twenty-seven years is Sue. We have three boys, all with biblical names: David Michael, Stephen Patrick, and Mark Andrew. David is married and is finishing his M.A. Stephen, with a degree in history, is working as a computer guru! And Mark is pursuing his degree in theater; poor kid is going to starve.

Sue and I work together in an office at home; it hasn't ruined our marriage, yet. We represent about thirty different lighting manufacturers. If I want to stop a conversation at a party, I shift the subject to "'What do you do for a living?" and wait for someone to ask me the same question. Talk about sudden death.

Sue and I met back in 1970 at the local little theater. She worked lighting. I worked sets. We have kept our hands in theater off and on throughout the years. Although we never go on stage, the three boys are quite talented and are not afraid of an audience. I tell Mark to keep a hammer handy, because you can always get a job if you are ready to work. Acting is another matter. So much for our autobiographical notes. PS: Don't be afraid to ask for money; those who can, will give. PPS: Tell Tom Reithman that my mother and sister and brothers all live in Phoenix. (604 West Levee St., Brownsville, Tx. 78520;

FROM BOB O'HANDLEY ('61): Once again the arrival of Marists All captured my attention and reminded me to be more aware of where I have come from, where I'm going ... and what's important along the way. A new community has been created by Marists All; it has brought convergence where there was fragmentation. It will not go away.

The idea of broadening the scope of the contributions beyond the reminiscences and the biographical updates is appealing. Marists All reminds old timers of the "good old days" and of all the rich experiences they shared; it reaffirms their brotherhood. The newsletter is also a powerful means of mentoring younger "canonicals" in the deep traditions in which they follow. And it could become a catalyst for synthesizing a deeper spirituality in the lives of "non-canonical" Marists; I am thinking of how that could help me.

Many ex-monks have followed career paths in social or personal services. The connection of their work with the Christian mission of feeding ... comforting ... visiting ... is a relatively easy one to see. Many others, however, have followed callings to professions in which it may be more difficult to make such connections. The need I feel, one that had some resonance at the July retreat (we will go again), is to develop my own spirituality in the context of a secular career, and hopefully to do it in a way that subtly bears witness to others.

Would it be possible to integrate, with the regular contributions, some sort of sharing of experiences on topics such as spitituality in a secular profession or workplace, or other topics that may be raised by the readership?

I send warm regards and enthusiastic support for the continued vitality of Marists All.
(3 Glen Cove Road, Andover, Ma. 01810)

BR. PATRICK HOGAN ('57): ... David Kammer

Do you know Brother Patrick Hogan? I know Pat Hogan, somewhat. He had just taken on the Marist cassock in Tyngsboro and was into his canonical year as a novice when I unpacked my bags there to be Brother Pius Victor's assistant. Pat was a fine, personable, al around young man who kept up with the best in a group of greats. That personable young man is by now around 58 years of age and is still a nice guy. He has built up a string of close to twenty years teaching at Archbishop Molloy High School.

This past July 4th, Pat was invited to the gathering organized as a retreat by Larry Keogh and Hugh Turley. Pat told us about his efforts at sharing spirituality with friends of many age levels. Monthly by mail and e-mail he sends out what might be called stream of consciousness meditations. Central to Pat's project seems to be the promotibn of meditation leading to the practice of the presence of God, presence of the Risen Christ, especially in people ... leading on further to the practice of living an ordinary life in a spirited Christian way.

One story from the sample copies Pat distributed struck me forcefully: "A young woman was working at a soup kitchen one Thanksgiving Day. It was bitter cold and the line to the meal stretched around the block. She was handing out warm clothing when she noticed a lady, baby in arms, coming in her direction. The mother looked hungry and cold. A man in front of the line, who had been in line a good hour - he, too, cold and hungry - gave his spot to the lady. He then went down the block to stand on line where the mother and child would have been,"

That's the story told to Pat by one of his correspondents. Pat passes on the story and then elicits some thinking: Did the mother see the face of God in the kind man? Where is this God we worship? Were is this God I seek? How does He reveal Himself to-me? Why am I reading this? (150-72 87th Road, Jamaica, N. Y. 11432; C:\CHAMPAGNAT\CFMV2R6.WPD)

FROM BR. PATRICK LONG ('45): I'm quite busy and happy and will be celebrating my 70th birthday in September. Tempus fugit.

It's been a dramatic year working with the homeless of Santa Cruz. The New Horizon School for homeless children has expanded to include eight teenagers in addition to the 32 younger children we serve. They are picked up each day, fed a breakfast, and given showers if desired. They get regular classes, lunch, and more classes. We have two regular teachers and a score of volunteers. Private donations and a couple of grants help keep the school going.

Our Homeless Garden has hired 22 homeless. It is in the midst of turmoil and change. There never seems to be enough money, and the city of Santa Cruz is taking back the main farm. We are looking for another piece of land to continue this project. No luck so far.

Our Homeless Community Resource Center went $30,000 in debt four months ago. Thanks to publicity the public rallied to raise funds to keep it going. We serve breakfast to 250 people and offer bathrooms, lockers, showers, laundry, and dinner to 250 people, Also available are counseling, health care, visiting nurses, etc. The center is staffed by Karen Gillete of the Bronx, Mike Busto, an Apache Indian, and six ex-homeless persons. I'm a full time volunteer. (32&-B Union Street, Santa Cruz, California, 95060)

FROM BILL GILBERG ('61). The arrival of Marists All makes me stop all else and spend enjoyable time catching up on those I knew personnally and those with whom I was familiar. My links with Marists have remained unbroken over the past 26 years; the newsletter continues the bonding in spirit. Thanks a mil for the many editions. We are keenly aware of the efforts it takes to bring each edition to fruition.

Allow me to respond to Richard's Guest Editorial. If the intent for the future is to keep Marists All in its present format, an editorial board is not necessary. The charm and allure of the newsletter is its format and content. Organizers may continue the format and screen content as is done currently, but responsibility could be divided so as to include brief articles on spirituality, theology, witness, apostolic activity ...

If greater expansion is envisioned, an editorial board would be necessary to plan the future and to put on-going leadership in place. In such a case, age representation needs to be a factor. Yet we must also face the fact that the purpose of organizations and their activities changes and even dissipates, and such organizations may change or even cease to be. This has happened to religious life, to each of us, and probably will eventually happen to the newsletter, especially with the reduced number of Brothers and the age of those attracted to Marists All. Nevertheless, plans could be made that the younger generation of Brothers be brought into plans for continuance.

My second set of observations is around Barney's wonderful article. His reflections cut across generations of vowed and ex vowed religious. I do understand what he shares, but I do not believe the negativity represents the experience of all. Changes in the Church and in society wreaked havoc with the religious life. Add to that personal reasons, struggles, and maturation, and you have hundreds of reasons for the cross over from vowed to ex-vowed.

I have never had trouble telling anyone that I am an ex-religious; those years remain an intimate part of my being and life; I value them deeply. Yes, I do believe in a temporary vocation, maybe because it helps explain my own. My reasons for becoming nor-canonical were deeply personal, yet I freely discuss them. I never found them couched in the massive changes of the 60s and 70s. I do understand what Barney shares concerning the experiences and state of some of the guys who left, but that was not my own personal experience.

Having kept close ties with Marists via a few close Marist Brother friends and by my dealing with both provinces in administering two retreat centers over the past 20 years, I have not experienced the depth of reaction that Barney relates between the ins and the outs. Would it be useful to suggest something in addition to the GMC social day held each September at the Mount and tot the retreat held each July at the College, perhaps a miniretreat or a day of recollection organized in conjunction with the two provies.

The newer Brothers themselves, those of the mid 70s onward, though culturally free of the chaos of earlier years, have been deeply affected by changes in our society, as has the Church and the religious life itself; 'younger" as well as older religious face equally great challenges to a religious life style.So you see, individual personal stories are different. I tend not to dwell on what has happened 25 years ago or more. I feel that time has healed, and it is good for us to be together ... again.

Thanks for the opportunity .. next time around I will share about my family and where we are at. Looking forward to hearing from you. Peace. (9 Birch Brook Road, Bronxville,
N. Y. 10708)

FROM JOHN PERRING-MULLIGAN ('64): This is a quick, spontaneous response to Richard LaPietra's question about the future of Marists All and about the matter of a generation gap.

My personal sense is that there is a difference and a sameness between generations, I suspect that groups from about 1960 and thereafter lived through more of a tumultuous time in their formation and early ministry than other groups. The external structures were greatly reduced or eliminated, and the spirit of the culture gave precedence to self-autonomy and was suspicious of self-surrender to an organisation (like the Brotherhood). This was happening in our wider culture as well as in religious life and in the Church, e.g. Vietnam, Watergate.

My experience is that I have less remembrance of the "good ole days" and more of a bonding with some wonderful and special men who really tried to take the Gospel seriously.

As I read Marists All from cover to cover each time it arrives, I am deeply touched by the recollections of men who write about former generations of Marists, I often regret I never got to meet these men. They seem to have a stronger "good ole days" experience than I. Yet, they also speak about Berky, Peter Anthony, and others who have also profoundly touched my life.

Part of my not writing until now is that many of my recollections and my fondness are for men who are.still alive and are still active. I think of Dave and his desire to bring formation into the 21st century. I think of Moe, Lappy, Danny Kirk, Linus and others who tried to make sense out of "Vatican II scholastics" who were not interested in being tamed or being told what to do. I have, after the fact, intuited the agony of the college staff during those years. These experiences overshadow my memories of Tyngsboro and Camp Marist and leave me pondering what a bizarre time we are living in. As my best friend, Sean Sammon, says: We are all burdened with the Chinese curse - "May you live in a time of transition."

In spite of these differences, Marists All reminds me of the rich tradition I grew up in.The men who write, though I may never have met them, do strike a chord in me. I am always struck by the number of people who have remained in education or in human services. It is so wonderful to read about their involvements and their articulation of how the values taught in the Brotherhood have stayed with them throughout their lives.

Peg and I are moving to Downingtown.. Pa. I have been offered a position at St. John Vianney Hospital, a 50-bed psychiatric hospital serving Roman Catholic Priests, Brothers, Sisters, and ordained ministers of other denominations for the past fifty years. I will serve as a half-time staff psychologist and a half-time Director of Marketing, Consultation, Education, and Research.

Nothing seems to happen in a vacuum or by coincidence. Over the past two years, as I operated a private psychotherapy practice and taught at Bhmnanuel College's Graduate Program in Ministry, it became obvious to me that the interface of spirituality and of pastoral psychology is my first love. Often, on our back porch, Peg and I would wonder where we might find the right situation, when to our surprise the opportunity at St, John Vianney appeared.

Though enthused, we have our anxieties. We ain't kids any longer and starting over is a challenge. It is difficult because Peg has not found a new position. There are not many openings for laywomen to serve as retreat directors, spiritual directors, and pastoral counselors. Fortunately our faith beliefs and life experience leave us trusting that something will emerge. (323 St. James Road, West Chester, Pa. 19380; 610-344-0313)


Our Lord is there!
His whole life is there
- not just the Crucifixion
-not just the last Supper,
All his self-giving is there
-his self-giving on the Cross is there
- his self-giving in bread and wine is there
- his self-giving to Martha, Mary, Zacheus .., „ ,
- his radial empathy with all of us is there
celebrating with us, mourning with us, helping, always giving.

He is there
sharing his truth, his wisdom, his way of life, his Spirit.
There- is his openness to the loving, embracing Father
his forward, realistic coming
.to-grips with each step of his destiny.

His consuming us is there
taking us into his openness, his selflessness, his love and trust
that we - aided by his energy - may live in him, with and through him.

As we become deeply aware of at least some of this presence
we will certainly react in our own personal way with amazement.

... and our hearts and words will spill out in gratitude
as we say "Yes." Yes, Lord, I'm with you. We are with you.
We're willing to try to deal with our time and space
with its opportunities, its difficulties, complexities, dininishments
with its dying and rising.

We know you'll be with us; we rely on you; do help us,
We trust you'll see us through.
Others have done it, done it well, most not even canonized.
Some need special help, those among our families and friends
even the Pope .. and presidents; do help them.

At Communion, in communing, we consume you, divinity mysteriously within;
and yes, you take us into your life. You consume us!

Go now, live that life, have loving contact with your family
have contact with your neighbor, with those down the street ...
with those in need, especially.

Go with an intent
with intent to stay in touch, to be alert to leads, to respond readily
expecting, relying on help

Go with intent
to cultivate a growing, healthy mind-set
to cultivate a deeper attitude, a deeper spirit.

Go with an intent to know, love, and depend
on Jesus who is there ...and here, God with us.

Go ... Ite, Missa est! The Mass is!
The Mass exists; the Mass has meaning!

David Kammer

FROM BR. HANK HAMMER (Marist College '73) As always I devoured the latest from Marists All; I clearly heard the concern about its future. I want you to know how much I appreciate the newsletter. As a new vocation director I am encouraged by how very much the experience of the Marist Brothers is still part o€ so many of your contributors.These are uncertain times in the history of vocation work, but I know the Lord is still calling young men to follow in the footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat.

My second reason for writing is to send a copy of the summer edition of our Contact Newsletter. The Contact Program is designed for college students (most of whom come from our high schools) who have expressed some degree of interest in religious life and the Marist Brothers, The presence of candidates, first and second year novices, and newly professed has been a cause of much excitement in the two provinces.

I have spoken to Mike Sheerin, my partner in vocation work, and we will send you our newsletters regularly. We think that some of the items might be of interest to the readers of Marists All. If you can use anything in them, please feel free. Thanks for all you do to keep a broader concept of Marist Family in the forefront. (10114 South Leavitt, Chicago, I1. 60643; phone/fax 773-239-8954)


The Marist Brothers contact program offered members the opportunity to live and work with the Brothers in a variety of settings this past summer. In Brownsville Brothers Tom Long ('79), Peter Guadaloupe ('68), and John Venturella ('81) hosted two Contacts, one from Christopher Columbus High, Miami, and the other from Marist High, Chicago. These young men worked closely with Br. Albert Philipp ('51) providing educational and recreational programs for those in need in the Brownsville area.

Another Contact from Chicago and one from Miami went to Wheeling with Br. Mike Sheerin ('74) and Br. Hank Hammer ('75) to work with Br. Dave Cooney ('62) and Marist Sister Constance Dowd at the Catholic Charities Center where they provide meals to the poor and homeless. The young Contacts then left the mountains of West Virginia for the mountains of New Hampshire where they joined another Contact from Molloy High helping the Brothers and staff at Camp Marist.

Earlier in the summer two Contacts from Molloy joined Brothers Mike Sheerin, Don Nugent ('59), and Jim Norton ('64) to prepare the Esopus property for its many summer camp projects.

PROVINCE ARCHIVES: We are pleased that Brother Leonard Voegtle has accepted for the archives of the United States provinces two sets of all issues of Marists All published to date. We were also able to provide an index for the newsletter, set up alphebetically by authors of the articles that have appeared from the early part of 1987 to the present date, 1997. We have extra copies of all issues, if you should hear of any one who has been lost to our mailing list or of someone who has never heard of Marists All. We do pick up several new names each year. We have lost track of 21 people who were once on our list. At present we mail 510 copies.

Once again we express our sincere gratitude for the wonderful literary and financial help we have received.

We know we have missed thanking many people individually; for this we are genuinely sorry, and we hope that our general expression of sorrow and gratitude will bring us general absolution!

FROM BR. PAT MCNULTY ('52): May I sing the greatest praises for Marists All and. for all the contributors of the August issue! It is really a joy to read about old friends, classmates, and fellow Marists, wherever they may be on their journey.

Responding to Wazy, Fr Frank Gallogly, I felt that I should drop a line to Marists All. begging you to change my addrss and to send a copy of future issues. "What, change address again!" Yes, this time I'm off to South Africa,

Back in 1990 the Marist Brothers had to pull out of Liberia because of civil war. Since then, seven of the young men we taught are now in training to join us. They did their novitiate in Ghana. At present some are in the scholasticate in Nairobi, where Br. Steve Synan ('75) is on the staff. Two of the young men are starting their teaching careers in South Africa. The South African province is willing to assist them. We are hoping that they may be able to return to Liberia to continue the work we began back in 1985.

In the meantime, Br. John Klein has asked me to join them and in a small way to show that they are not forgotten by the Esopus province. I am delighted to be given this opportunity.

Wile waiting for my assignment, I spent some time on the Internet looking for the different schools that the Marists have in South Africa. I found one in Durban, St. Henry's College. It does not have a home page, but it does have an e-mail address. I started corresponding with the school's librarian. Little did I know that this would be the school at which I would be teaching; it has 600 boys from the 1st to the 12th grades. They are starting to go coed on the first grade level.The two Liberians and I will be the only Brothers on the staff. To say the least, it will be a challenge, for it is a very different country and culture for us all. I'm looking forward to the assignment. (210 South Ridge, Durban 4001, South Africa; maristdb@iafrica,com)

LARRY KEOGH has announced that in 1998 the Marist Institute of Family Spirituality is scheduled for the weekend after the Fourth of July, i.e, the 9th to the 12th, beginning Thursday late afternoon, ending at noon on Sunday. Make plans to be part of this reunion; you will be pleased that you joined the group. More from Larry and the planning committee in our next issue.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As you carne to the end of this special early edition of Marists All. you have observed that its theme has been the expansion of the content of the newsletter to include material on Christian practice and on spirituality as well as biography and memory articles that carry and nourish our Marist spirit. Let us know how you have reacted and what you would like. Send us something to give us a hand with what we are trying to do along these lines. We acknowledge with gratitude receiving several articles which we are holding for our next issue; we hope to publish again at the regular time in early November, so please get on your computer very soon and send something to Gus at:
or mail to Gus Nolan, % Marist College, Poughkeepsie.. N. Y. 12601
or to David Kammer, 476 LaPlaya, Edgewater, Florida, 32141.