ISSUE # 42

November 1997


"EACH OF US IS A STORY. We were created by God as a story waiting to be told, and each of us has to find a way to tell our story.In the telling of it we come to recognize and own ourselves." Richard Rohr, O.F.M.

FROM JOHN SCILEPPI ('68): Richard LaPietra's contribution to the August issue has finally flushed me out of the bushes! Even though I have enjoyed each issue of Marists All. I haven't written because it seemed to me that most of the news concerned the legendary leaders of the two provinces, as well as many of my former teachers, rather than those with whom I entered, I did not think that anyone outside the Poughkeepsie group whom I see regularly would know me. ,In late June, however, I went to the Marist Family Day and was pleased and surprised that so many brothers warmly welcomed me. This was an inspiring moment both spiritually and personally. I had expected that I would have to die before I would be able to renew friendships with so many fine men.

Another reason I am writing is to respond to Barney Sheridan's note, I believe he was right about the college being one place where the brothers and the formers could continue to work harmoniously. That is due largely to the sincere acceptance shown by men like Joe Belanger, Hugh Turley, and Richard Rancourt. I think I have the distinction of being one of the last to leave while teaching at the college, in 1978. And the local GMC really helped during the transition.Humorously, in my 50s it's nice still being thought of as the" "New Guy". I try to attend each GMC monthly prayer group; I always return home renewed and hopeful about the future of the Church. Perhaps more brothers and formers who entered during the chaos of the 1960's and later years might want to share their experiences.

I should conclude with a short bio. I graduated from Molloy and Marist College, and then joined the brothers in 1967 in Chicago while starting PhD studies at Loyola. I taught for two years at St. Xavier College (now University) and then returned to Marist to teach psychology in 1973. Aside from a year at the Pine Ridge Reservation where I worked at the tribally chartered community college, I've been at Marist; for the past seven years I have directed the MA psychology program there.

In 1962 I married, Lynn and I have a seven year old son, Luke. A few interesting activities: for each of the past 18 Januarys. I have traveled to Barbados to teach interpersonal communication skills (it's tough but someone has to do it!). This summer I had a unique opportunity - to have a private audience with Pope John Paul II.

The audience happened this way. Bill Van Ornum, a colleague of mine, wrote a book on scrupulosity and obsessive-compulsive disorder. He sent a copy to the Vatican and was invited to meet the Pope. Bill let me tag along. The audience was truly awe-inspiring, so much so that I was really speechless! My wife and other relatives hope that photos of the event will continue to produce this effect of speechlessness in me for some time to come.

Well, I guess I have finally contributed to Marists All. I hope to hear from some of the younger brothers and others in future issues of the newsletter, and I hope this fine tradition of sharing through the newsletter never stops. (One River Road, Hyde Park, New York, 12538)

FROM JOE HORES ('49): I agree that a change in focus is necessary to sustain the interest of the younger people; after all, it's their newsletter, too.

I thoroughly agree with Barney Sheridan's letter in #40. In the same issue Hugh Ephrem's letter bears witness to Barney's letter. There is great irony in this. I have tremendous feelings generated by Hugh's terrible and needless sense of hurt and isolation. Hugh was, and I'm sure still is, a good man. I remember him well at CCHS in '50/'51 and at Marist College in '65/ '69. I share the hurt; God's healing be with us all.

So God bless Lappy and Barney and Hugh, and a special grace to you and your mates for starting this project in the first place. (700 Beach Dr. (#S06), St. Petersburg, F1. 33901)

FROM TOM SESSMAN ('65): For the past few years I have been out of touch with the Marist Family.I was very happy to get the August issue of Marists All.

This summer for the first time in seven years I had the opportunity of working at Camp Marist. It was a great summer as it always has been. I enjoyed the opportunity of renewing old friendships. Many of the Brothers made their way to the Ossipee paradise for a visit. They invited me to share July 26th with them.

For the past two years I worked as a counselor, but I missed the school setting. I am now living in Cincinnati and serving as assistant principal of St. Ursula Villa, a Catholic elementary school. Also I am finishing up my second masters in Guidance and Counseling as well as state certification in Administration and Supervision at Xavier University. (1034 Regina Avenue (#2), Cincinnati, Ohio, 45205; 513-251-5430)

FROM BOB HOLM ('60): I look forward to the variety in the newsletter and the participation of so many of the monks whom I remember.

I remain in touch with Lennie Voegtle and Stephen Urban through mail and visits, and I am in touch with so many more because of Marists All. I regret that only once before have I submitted something; I plan to add a paragraph or two in the near future. Thanks again for the hard work in making this newsletter happen for all of us.

And Gus, how can I forget you, the only teacher with whom I ever earned a 100 on a final exam - religion - sophomore year - 1959 - Esopus. I must have been on my game that day. It was great to stand up in the refectory and take a bow. Another Marist memory!(22 Rhonda Lane, Farmi'ngdale.. N. Y. 11735)

FROM BILL McCLUSKEY ('75): It has been 14 years since I left our Marist conmmunity and I would love to be included on the mailing list for the newsletter that I have been hearing about.

After ten wonderful years with Merrill Lynch I recently joined Prudential as the Southern Regional Education and Development Manager, a post similar to the one I had with ML in New Jersey and in Florida.

This week, enroute to some budget meetings, I'll be visiting Ray Pasi in his new D.C. digs. He is now the Principal of Yorktown High in Alexandria, Virginia. Thanks for adding me to the list. (428 LaReserve Circle, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, 32082)

FROM LARRY KEOGH ('51): I want all to know that the dates for the 1998 retreat have been confirmed at Marist College: July 9th to 12th.

It would be safe to say that when we embarked on this retreat venture three years ago there were some doubts and misgivings, with a raised eyebrow thrown in here and there as well. And so I would be remiss if I did not thank all who did pray us through this time, as well as those who supported us by their presence each Fourth of July. For the past three years I have been flying into New York, firming up details of the retreat. I must thank the Brothers at St. Agnes and at Eden Terrace for their unfailing and gracious hospitality.

Br. James Devine deserves special kudos for his patience at my many requests. And I am indebted to Brothers in my group, Dennis Dunne, Hugh Turley, and Charles Marcellin, who by their encouragement, presence, and participation helped me get through the "I must be crazy for doing this" phase. Catherine Cherry from Montreal has been a source of spiritual knowledge and friendship for Jan and me. Her participation has resulted in major contributions from which we all have benefitted.

I would like to quote from Henri Nouwen, whose words so well describe for me what occurred over last July's weekend: "As we lift up the cup of life and look each other in the eye we say, let's not be anxious or afraid. let's hold our cup together and greet one another. Let us not hesitate to acknowledge the reality of our lives and encourage each other to be grateful for the gifts we have received."

By my own participation in the retreat experience I have been personally rewarded in that the participation put me in touch with my spiritual heritage and at the same time reawakened in me the value of community. In a world where anomie is so prevalent a sense of spirituality combined with an experience of community becomes a very welcomed antidote. In my everyday life there is no experience like the Marist retreat where I can come together with friends of a life time and do some deep sharing. I am grateful.

To the new members of the planning committee we welcome you and pray for your success. And we invite all readers to join us in Poughkeepsie next July 9th to the l2th. (17125 West 145th St,, Lockport, Il. 60441)

FROM JOHN (John Claver) HARTY ('52): I have just received Marists All and have decided, after reading and enjoying so many issues, that it is time for me to make a contribution to this marvelous letter. Each time Marists All arrives a deluge of wonderful memories come crowding in!

Is there a single letter that does not echo that same sentiment? I wonder if any other order or congregation strives to stay in contact with its former members, allowing them to remain in a true sense of the word part of the family as does Marists All.

At times as I eagerly read every issue I have received, my memories were laced with sorrow at the news of the passing of Marist greats like Br. John Berchmans, Br. Joseph Damian, and Br. Cyril Robert. I wish more Brothers would send in a paragraph or two; after all, the obituary column is not one in which happy memories are evoked. It would be wonderful hearing from the living! How about a word from old friends like Br. Stephen Urban, Vincent Damian, Roy Mooney, Leo Shea? And what about Richard LaRose? There are so many other names that do come to mind.

I cannot close this short note without saying how deeply I hold all of you. Being a Marist was an experience and a blessing filled now with lingering happy memories. (1377 North Vulcan Ave., Encinitas, Ca. 92024-1646)

FROM SEAN (Michael Ignatius) O'SHEA ('48): We have moved to Westchester from the city and will be celebrating our first year here next month. I never knew there was so much work in keeping up a house. All those skills so arduously imparted by the late, lamented Henry Charles came in handy. Can you believe we ever endured those days? The thought that our special July 26th is already fifty years ago is a shock, that's all I can say.No, it's more than a shock, it's a deep unsettling truth that it's our turn next'Thanks for the newsletter. I read it first thing, even before opening up my retirement checks? It is a deep and lasting pleasure to read the sentiments of the monks - - (there are really no "ex-monks" you know). (801 Pine Bridge Rd., Ossining, N. Y. 10562-1417)

FROM STEVE (Hugh Ephrem) SHERIDAN ('42): .. a continuation from #40

Edy and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary this past winter at our winter home at Spanish Lakes Village, Fort Pierce., Florida. We still have our condo at Harbour Village in Branford, Connecticut, where we settled after our marriage. Up until three years ago I taught and was involved in administration at Branford High School. After my being in education 48 years we decided to savor our golden years a bit more, and so retirement was the answer. Edy doesn't miss her medical secretarial work, since that was a major reason for her serious heart attack some ten years ago; I have not really missed my Western Philosophy and American History classes either. In our retirement we are as busy as ever. We've loved living in Branford, and the people we've made friends with in Florida make us look forward to returning there once the New England winter looms large again.God has been good to us. (20A Harbour Village, Branford, Connecticut, 06405)

FROM PAT GALLAGIER ('53): 1 must share the wonderfully warm time we had when Luke Driscoll stopped for the night on his way back to Augusta. He said it took him about 40 minutes to drive from the intersection of I-77 and 1-81. It had been almost 47 years since I last saw Luke in my sophomore year at Marist Prep, and the memories were good. Luke is an amazing person, so independent, so much involved with a variety of interests, and in a sense so very young in attitude and mind. His visit was followed by Hugh Crowe and Rich Jambor who had lunch with us on the porch overlooking our valley. Many good memories of the Marist days.

There are deeper thoughts to be shared about Barney Sheridan's thought-provoking letter. Sure, when I left there was a certain hesitancy to mention the Marist Brothers or my time in the religious life. I would say that I had been in teaching, and left it at that. I hesitated to say more, not knowing whether people would understand, or whether there was some stigma lurking in those times. I left when I couldn't picture myself growing old in the order; as I looked around at that time there were few that I wanted to be like when I got older.

The Laporte experience got us out in another envirormnent, and by chance I got involved as a probation officer and from there it was a quick passage to police agencies. As I moved from South Bend to California to D.C., I was pretty much out of Marist circles and I drifted a lot, drifted frankly from active participation in the Church; but the fire has re-enkindled. I remain interested and involved in the spirit world and in the spiritual, though not as much as Mary. In the last few years I couldn't have felt more Marist. I savor Marists All in the same sense as spiritual reading, for I feel renewed as I am linked to kindred spirits around the country. Mary and I are truly blessed. (The Wild Geese Inn, P.O. Box 60, Indian Valley, Va. 24105; 540-789-4056)

FROM JOHN WILCOX ('57): Yes, I believe that Marists All and the Greater Marist Community are evolving. Recollection of the past and gratitude to all those brothers who helped us in our development as children of God within the Roman Catholic Church have been the driving forces for so many who share this identity. It is not just the treasuring of the past, however, What is evident in Marists All is the spirituality that is so much a part of our lives. While this might not be the spirituality to which we were exposed during training, correspondents show a search for centeredness, meaning, and transcendence.. If the GMC is to endure, it must look to the future and not simply cherish the past or enjoy good times in the present.

Our relationship with the Marist Brothers ought to be much more organic. By "organic" I mean an established relationship with the provinces or with the congregation more generally. The only continuing presence has been Hugh Turley, a wonderful guy and a delight to be with, but whose role in the community as development director or fund raiser conveys the wrong message, I know that members of the community have given presentations at and participated in the July retreats, but it is still not clear to me what the connection is to the provinces or to the congregation.

Last February at a planning meeting for the retreat I raised the issue of coming full circle with the brothers. By that I mean the need to explore and heal the brokenness that may still separate some who have formally left the congregation and those who are members today. It is clear that this brokenness is not that big a deal for many people, but at least addressing the issue may provide a starting point for developing the organic relationship with the provinces.

I brought up this issue because it is a concern I have personally. There were clear rituals of entrance into the congregation but none that addressed the separation and sorrow at the time of dispensation. I signed out in the midst of the annual GMC picnic in September of 1973. Conviviality was in the air, but that was not enough. There are loose ends that I feel a need to take care of in order to come full circle. Is there still a covenant among us all?

After almost 25 years of picnics I am beginning to feel like Alan Alda in "Same Time Next Year." A next step is needed, not only for the relation with the congregation but also for the picnic. I have usually been one of the last to leave the annual picnic in the Mount garth, always hungering for the more of a common prayer or a Eucharist with singing to deepen the sharing that goes on all afternoon. At the present time the GMC is somewhat like virtual reality that is free-floating on the Internet; it is not in one place and no one owns it. I do envy the Poughkeepsie group, because that group is more concrete than virtual! (Hunts Lane, Cross River, New York, 10518)

FROM BR. ALPHONSE MATUGA ('41): My conversations at the Mount picnic were very enjoyable. From many quarters there is evidence that Marist education and Marist spirit are highly regarded throughout the world. The Brothers must realize that they have much to offer our students, and we should be proud to live up to that honor. However, this type of education is threatened as the Brothers wane in numbers and some turn to other apostolates. Alumni and ex-monks want something done to continue our Marist spirit. I have been encouraged that alumni at Manhasset St. Mary's are willing to pitch in and do what is necessary. I suggest that we develop an agenda and come up with a paper describ ing this Marist spirit. That paper should not overlook our preference for and solidarity with the most needy. It could be made available to faculties and our alumni for discussion and implementation. (51 Clapham Ave., Manhasset, NY, 11030)

FROM BRIAN DESILETS ('45): I have been reading all the issues of Marists All with great interest and a realization that it is about time for me to make another contribution. I recognize many of my former students who write. Though not too many were physics majors, I did have a large number in basic physics classes and many others in some of the mathematics classes I taught. It is really gratifying to see so many doing so much good. No doubt the spirit of Father Champagnat has penetrated a great many walks of life through the training we all received while with the Marists.

This year I have finally really retired. Some people say they don't believe it, because I have been trying to do so for a number of years. I taught at Marist College from 1954 to 1974, then went on to industrial research at IBM, from which I retired in 1991 after 17 years as a physicist and manager. I returned to Marist, intending to remain at the college for four years, until I reached 68 years of age, but I remained full time until 1996 when I officially retired only to stay on half-time until this past summer; now I have no strings attached. It's like being on a permanent vacation ... I'll find something to do.

This is my 27th year of marriage. My wife Kathleen, also a physicist, taught at Marist for seven years and then followed me to IBM from which she retired in 1993. She went on to get a Master's degree in religious education and is now the director of religious education in our parish. We have three children. Frances is in Okland, California, and will get married next May. She volunteered to work with the JVC and liked it, so she accepted a full time job working with the elderly in Oakland. She graduated from Catholic University in DC as a political science major.

Kathleen graduated from Loyola College in Baltimore and is an accountant with Arthur Andersen in Baltimore.

Brian graduated from Scranton in 1997 with a degree in bio-physics, but is entering the novitiate of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFR) in the Bronx. This is a relatively new order, a spin-off from the Capuchins. If you watch EWTN, you may have seen Father Groeschel or Father Apostoli, both from the same order. They are also involved with "Youth 2000" which some of you might have heard of.

Thanks to all of you who contribute to Marists All; it provides a spirit of continuity to the Marists all around the world. (6 Lake Oniad Dr., Wappingers Falls, N. Y. 12590)

FROM BOB FALISEY ('65): 1 would like to share a story with you. My story has nothing to do with great apostolic works and could be related to Marist spirit with only the most liberal of stretches. I admit not so humbly that my story has much more to do with self-fulfillment than with helping others. I have had a Walter Mitty dream for well over twenty years. This dream has me captaining my own yacht on an epic journey through high seas and even higher adventure.

Thus, my wife Sharon and I recently purchased the boat of our dreams, four bedrooms, three baths. We picked up our dream boat in the Panama Canal and sailed it some three thousand miles back to California.

Our journey took two months and ran the gamut of emotions from terror to ecstasy. If you are ever in the Marina Del Rey area, we will tell you more of our story of adventure and even take you for a sail. (520 Washington Blvd. #595, Marina Del Rey, Ca, 90292)

FROM RAPHAEL MARTIN ('52): I was just in touch with John Harty (JFHarty@aol.com) and with Dom Cavallero (Foetoe.Coop@aol.com) who have filled me in on what has been happening in the Marist world via the Marists All newsletter, which sad to say I haven't read in the past two or three years.

I was saddened to hear of the passing of three Marists whose lives have touched mine in significant ways, Henry Goetze, Br. Robert Baptist, first interested me in becoming a Marist Brother when I was a freshman at what was then Bishop Dubois High in NYC. I shall always remember him as a humble, simple man, filled with the love of God, a man who showed real care for those he taught. Then there was Tom Scanlon who became a priest after leaving the Brothers years ago. In our novitiate days in Tyngsboro he always managed to put me into fits of laughter with humorous antics, especially during the Saturday morning work periods. Those giddy times helped relieve the gnawing feelings brought on by the coffee and bread fast that was part of our novitiate schedule. And Luke Pearson: his interest in religious education and the spiritual life set a pattern for those following Champagnat's vision of what a Brother was to be about. I always enjoyed his company for he was always welcoming and accepting both of people and of ideas. I shall miss seeing all these special people again in this life, but I know by faith that reunions are part of what heaven is all about.

I shall try to write again, but not before reading more about the many people in the Marist world, people who have left their impact on my life whether directly or indirectly. Meanwhile, it is good to be in touch again and to be back with my spiritual family once more. E-mail me if you will at: raph@ccnet.com Love to all. (2251 Bryce Dr., Martinez, California, 94553)

FROM BR. VICTOR SERNA (Spain, Cuba, '40): I have been in the classroom over a period of 55 years, and I intend to continue teaching as long as the good Lord permits me. Teaching is the lifeblood of the Marist Brothers, and our apostolate in the schools is in question, no doubt about it. In reading the July edition of the magazine FMS MESSAGE recently I conclude that the "s" for "schools" in the FMS will soon be dropped. For obvious reasons it will be the laity who will take over our Marist schools. If we want the Champagnat tradition to continue, we must prepare our successors to carry and transmit the Marist spirit.

In Europe with the diminishing of our Marists in the classroom and in administrative positions there has been established a four year program in which lay administrators and lay teachers meet far two weeks each summer to discuss, absorb, live, and celebrate the Marist charism. Before entering the program, all delegates must have had an experience of helping the poor.

This summer while teaching English in Salamanca at Colegio Marista, I spoke with one of the delegates to these sessions. He told me that each of the seven Spanish provinces sent three or four delegates to the program held at Avallanas, a former training house for the Brothers. He said that Portugal, Italy, France, and Belgium were also represented. The total number came to 50. Next summer the sessions will be held in France at L'Hermitage, I was encouraged to share this program with the readers of Marists All as I returned to Manhasset with Brother Alphonse Matuga and Brother John Herrmann from the annual picnic at MSM. Incidentally, at the picnic I was pleased once again to meet David Kammer, my friend and confrere of a nine-month second novitiate back in 1956-57. (51 Clapham Avenue, Manhasset, New York, 11030-3105)

FROM GUS NOLAN ('48): In the August #40 issue of Marists All, Barney Sheridan asked for responses to his letter raising questions about what happened in the 60's and about possible negative feelings. For my part I think that generally the questions are not now issues for most of the monks living in the United States. More than twenty years ago Br. Basilio Rueda, S. G., spoke to a group of former monks at Marist College urging us to keep united with the Brothers and to develop a unity of spirit. I believe now that the monks have genuinely accepted those who left and so has the Marist administration.

If some of the Brothers had or have negative feelings for those who left, that is unfortunate. I trust that God's gift of free will and free choice is not lost in this discussion, It takes courage to make a personal choice both to enter and to leave the congregation. Such personal decisions are difficult to talk about in the public arena.

For me, and I believe for most of those who left, leaving the Brothers was not a denial statement about the Marist way of life. I am sure the Marist Brothers have always been held in the highest admiration. All of us are most grateful for what we have received. It seems to me that every issue of Marists All clearly emphasizes that sense of gratitude.

At this time the question might be what do we believe should be the role of a former brother in relation to the Marist Brothers and the Marist apostolate? Can there be mutual involvement in developing policy issues and in mutual attendance at social, religious, and spiritual events? The Marist Family Day last June was a clear demonstration that the Brothers are open and have an interest in pursuing these points.

I do admire Barney's energy and enthusiasm in raising the points of his letter. I can only imagine the time and effort he has invested in discussing and pondering and writing and revising the issues. We are grateful to him. (50 South Randolph Avenue, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601)

DECEASED:

Brother Peter Eustace Cassidy ('42) died in early August after a bout with emphysema. Brother Peter started his teaching career as a Stanner at old St. Ann's Academy and ended his dedication to young people as a Stanner at Archbishop Molloy High School. Between those times he spent extended periods in the missions, partly in Japan but mostly in the Philippines.

We have word that "Louis Doneteur" has died. He was with a group around 1938. Iouie was a 'lively, fascinating person, one of a number who come to mind now and then as we wonder where they are, how they are, what they are doing. Apparently there was some contact by someone, but regrettably we never got him on our mailing list.

MAY ALL OUR DECEASED FRIENDS REST IN PEACE.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We appreciate the new life that has been injected into the pages of this newsletter. May it stir others to respond. Thanks too for the financial support that will ensure two more issues. Mail your letters to Gus Nolan, % Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601, or to David Kammer, 476 LaPlaya, Edgewater, Florida, 32141, or e-mail to Gus: JZB2@MaristB.Marist.edu or Gusnolan@AOL.com