ISSUE # 43

February 1998


THE MARIST FAMILY INSTITUTE OF SPIRITUALITY

From Vincent Poisella ('58)

The planning committee for the Marist Family Institute of Spirituality enthusiastically invites canonical Marists, ex-Marists and their wives, and all who wish to share in an expression of Marist Spirituality, to Marist College on July 9, 10, 11, and 12, 1998.

Theme: "There is a variety of gifts, but always the same Spirit; there are all sorts of services to be done, but always to the same lord ..." (1 Cor. 12: 4-7, 11) Invited presenters include Paul Ambrose, Luke Driscoll, Leonard Voegtle, David Kammer, Larry Keogh, Gene Zirkel, Barney Sheridan, Bob Grady, Owen Lafferty. The program extends from Thursday, July 9 at 5 pm to Sunday, July 12 at 1 pm. Participants may join in throughout the weekend.

The cost of full participation, including meals and lodging, is $200 a person. Partial participation costs will be prorated on an individual basis.This cost barely covers expenses.

Anyone interested in joining us in July should send a $25 deposit to Vincent Poisella, 24 Brooklyn Mountain Road, Hopatcong, New Jersey, 07843, by May 1st. Those interested, but feel they cannot make commitment at this time but would like a schedule and particulars to be mailed to them, should call Vince at 973-398-5477. All previous participants of the last three years will receive a mailing by the end of March.
LET US COME TOGETHER, PRAY TOGETHER,BE TOGETHER!

FROM PETE SEDLEMEIR ('61): After the last Marists All arrived, I told my wife Margaret that it's about time I write again, but what to write about? In an earlier issue I wrote that I work with "at risk" public middle/high school youngsters. A student who had been fighting battles on many fronts spoke to me recently about wanting to drop out of school because "school doesn't teach you anything." I started talking about what's behind the Molloy motto "Non scholae sod vitae." We explored life lessons that his school was attempting to teach. I don't know if anyone ever spoke to him like that before, but apparently this was the first time he was ready to hear and act on it.

I tell this story because it underscores the message that is frequently brought up in these pages, namely, that the spirit of Champagnat lives on, not only in the lives of those who remain with the congregation but also in the lives of those who found God calling them to different ways of service.

Working to make God's love known to those who are the least favored by society is being rediscovered by the Church. To Champagnat, social justice was not just a term but a natural extension of love of God. In their involvements all Marists have God, the presence of God. And Marists have a "can do" attitude and competency resulting from the various tasks assigned and completed during training, tasks that ranged through physical, intellectual, and spiritual endeavors. Even weeding with Brother Felician taught me something. In Marists, others see something "unique." The testimony of those who contribute to Marists All confirms this. (2 Pearson Road, Preston Hollow, New York, 12469; 518-239-6282)

FROM BR. LEONARD VOEGTLE ('50): As some of you already know, I lead a "double life," spending three weeks living at Marist in Bayonne while working in the tribunal of the archdiocese of Newark and then spending three following weeks "archiving" in Esopus. The location of the archives for the two United States provinces is the former sacristy area next to the main chapel in Esopus.

With the guidance of Br. Dennis Sennett, an Atonement friar from Graymoor and a master archivist who has helped some 200 religious institutes around the world. I've created a filing system specifically geared to our Marist archival needs and compatible with a standard archival computer program which we already have.

I've gone through the hundred or so boxes sent from the provincial offices in Pelham and Bayonne, and I've separated the books from the documents. The books are in newly-created bookcases, sorted according to general category: official institute publications (Bulletin de l'Institut, Circulars, FMS Message), official province publications (Bulletin of Studies mainly), Marist books (Constitutions, Common Rules, office books, music books: Liber, American Catholic Hymnal), books relating to the Founder and to individual Brothers, books by Marist Brothers, school yearbooks.

Documents, I've roughly sorted into categories of province administration and of schools/communities. We also have all the records from the formation centers, beginning with the entering juniors in 1906 ... Brother Henry Charles and his gang!

I've begun a sorting of literally thousands of photographs, some of them from the early years of the United States province. There are also thousands of slides I've not even touched yet, plus a number of audio cassettes and video tapes of interviews with our "elder statesmen."

I've begun establishing the personnel file, with a folder for every brother who has been a member of the U.S. provinces since 1911. There are three sections: the living, the deceased, and those who have withdrawn. These folders are locked in file cabinets upstairs with the stacks. This reminds me: contrary to long-standing rumor, there is no "black book" containing all the negative things superiors supposedly wrote about us through the years. For that matter, there's none in Rome either, believe me:

What remains to be done? Number each document, photo, book according to our filing system. Each document is placed in a numbered folder and the folders are placed in numbered boxes on the shelves in the stacks. Once enough material has been catalogued and stored, I must begin to enter everything into the computer program.

While doing all of that, I answer occasional requests for information: the Philippine province getting ready to celebrate their golden jubilee next year ... children of former brothers wanting to learn more about their fathers' life as a Marist ... people doing their family tree and discover a Marist Brother on one of the branches, etc.

I can't finish this without thanking the brothers and former brothers who have already given me documents, letters, photos, and artifacts. Sometimes people ask whether this or that is archival material. I would much rather sort through it all myself than to hear those very dreaded words, "Oh, I came across some old stuff, but I figured it wasn't worth much, so I threw it out." Agghhh! as Charlie Brown would say! (1241 Kennedy Boulevard, Bayonne, New Jersey, 07002; 201-437-4115) (P.O. Box 197, Esopus, New York, 12429; 914-384-6625)

FROM RICHARD JAMBOR: ('50): Gus, your beautiful and most sensible note in the latest Marists All deserves a prize. For what it's worth, when I left the congregation over here in Japan, I was treated so kindly, in true Marist spirit.

Ed Lyons used to say that one should not name people when thanking, lest you leave someone out. Well, let me try anyway! First, there was John LaRoche who listened to me so patiently and without judgment. Then there was Ramon, the director at the time; he was and still is a REAL friend. In fact, the whole community in Kumamoto helped me. Pat Tyrell was in the second novitiate at the time, but afterwards he never referred to my leaving in the many occasions when we met.

Up to Kobe I went, where Gus Landry went with me on long walks, dispelling my anxiety. Walter kept me laughing. Matty Callahan hired me and put up with me. I often wonder where I would have been except for the Brothers. Would I have even gone to college? Would I have ended up as cannon fodder in Korea? Can I ever forget the forebearance of Kieran Brennan and Pat Magee who gambled and let me have a year off to study?

One more thing: I have had opportunities to visit the monks, especially Molloy when my old friend Danny Sullivan was still alive. I stopped over in New York and Hugh Andrew and Bill Lavigne, two classmates, were so kind in meeting me at JFK and putting me up for the night. The next day they took me to Molloy where the Brothers went out of their way to make me feel at home ... just as Vinnie Doughty always did while he was here in Japan and as the other monks still do at Sunday Mass in their chapel in Kobe. Yes, I have been truly blessed by having been permitted to spend some part of my life with men whose example still challenges me every day.

And Gus, you and Dave deserve so much credit for the work you are doing in bringing all the Marist family together. Yes, Michael O'Shea is right, "There really are no ex-monks" (14-2, 4-chome, Utakikiyan, Tarumi-ku, KOBE, JAPAN 655; rick@shoin.ac.jp)

FROM JACK RYAN ('60): Not even a gathering of the John Berchmans Memorial Notre Dame Fan Club was enough to help the Irish in their 20-17 loss to USC on October 18th. Nevertheless, a little planning resulted in a great weekend. George Howard, our Notre Dame psychology professor, provided the hospitality. Joe Maura got the award for coming the longest distance. Jack Meehan was in from Long Island, and Jack Ryan from Grosse Point, Michigan. John Reynolds drove down from Flint, where he has been on the Powers Catholic faculty since '70. John's son Johnny, a Michigan State junior, accompanied his dad.

John said it has been a tough year for him football-wise. He starts his weekend Friday night rooting for Powers, a perennial powerhouse, off to a 1-6 start this season. John says that between the troubles of Powers on Friday and Notre Dame on Saturday, he is starting to feel like Job on his heap of troubles.

Joe Maura took a brief respite from his work with the homeless in Miami to scout the New York city area for a field goal kicker in hopes of getting the Irish some help in their kicking game. Joe said Declan had good length but was consistently wide left, while Kevin O'Neill was invariably off to the right!

Jack Meehan's son Sean and Jack Ryan's daughter Maureen, both in the Notre Dame class of 1999, discovered the common Marist heritage that their dads shared back in their freshman year at Notre Dame. On Friday night George Howard invited Maureen and Jack Ryan Jr., Notre Dame class of 2001, to bring their friends to his Granger, Indiana, home for dinner. George whipped up a great spaghetti dinner for large numbers, and the Ryan kids surprised their mom Elane with a birthday cake for her fiftieth birthday. The spaghetti got Joe Maura reminiscing about his cooking days in Esopus. It's worth a call to Joe in Miami to get him to tell the story of cooking spaghetti for 180 at the Prep.

Sean Meehan entertained the Saturday tail gate group with his bagpipes and his dad Jack related stories of how the Meehan family had at least four family members in the first bagpipe band up Fifth Avenue in the New York St. Patrick's Day parade. If we had known of Jack's talents, we would have had some real, real pazzazzzz for the Army-Navy games back in our Esopus days.

Jack Ryan offered the group a tour of any Michigan foundry and they promised to buy their next vibratory conveyor or wire resin belt from him.

It was a great time under the sunny South Bend skies, lots of great stories from the past, and we all agreed that none of us had aged at all since our days on the Hudson. (P.S. You're doing a great job; we all appreciate it! P.P.S. I am looking for a copy of Ed Cashin's book The King's Ranger - to buy or even to borrow; it seems to have sold out everywhere. 1238 Berkshire Road, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, 48230; 313-882-3085)

FROM BR. RENE ROY ('60): As I enter my Junior Year in Rwanda, it seems more than ever that the sands of time are flowing more and more like an avalanche. So were my eleven cyclonic weeks in the States, and thus have passed the ensuing weeks since my return. The home visit made me feel loved and welcomed and immensely aware of the coast to coast support system that is behind us.

The image of a spider and its web comes to mind. The web was extended to Seattle where five Rotary Clubs pledged to finance a new well and water system for our school. In San Francisco individuals asked how they could help. In the windy city of Chicago friends are working on scholarships and host families for Rwandan students. In Marbelhead churches of several denominations are raising money to help our poor or orphaned pay their tuition. We have not turned away one student who gave proof of inability to pay tuition; we will be able to help even more as the:orphan fund expands. Near Charleston an extension of the kind people of Wheeling has adopted us. Long time members of the web continue their support through the Marist Development Office, through school mission funds, and through direct personal donations. I feel like a good, non-poisonous, spider who is an instrument unleashing enormous generosity and tying it to the web whose center is Rwanda.

While at home I went on a mad, mad shopping spree; to my web I tied sales personnel and check-out personnel. Dermot was involved in the job of shopping from Day One, as were my own brothers. Contact members were on hand to help pack some 50 boxes and a ton of goods. A trucking company trans ported the whole kit and kaboodle to JFK for free. SwissAir/Sabena offered a reduced cargo rate. Other contacts were made for free shipment of medicine, books, and humanitarian aid. Here in Rwanda several new friends greased us through the red tape and obtained a duty exemption for us, saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars,

We now have the necessary things to run a school. I am privileged to be commissioned SPIDER WEB, bridge between the generosity of so many at home and the needs of so many here in Rwanda. I feel humbled at the ready response of this army of supporters. Knowing that the bridge will continue long after I have left this area makes me the happiest. (Freres Maristes, B.P. 80, Gitarama, Rwanda, Africa)

FROM GREGORY BALLERIINO ('57):Your persistance in locating my new address merits the Sherlock Holmes Pipe Award. Thank you for the investigation. The Marist experience is indelible, never to be forgotten; in the jargon of yesterday, a peak experience. Congratulations for the inspiration, the dedication, and the love given to nourish the "other" Marist community.

I wish to respond to issues publicly expressed by LaPietra and Sheridan in issue #40. Regarding financial predictability: Marists All is member supported. I support what I value. I value Marists All. Here's my check. It's so simple! I suggest sending the newsletter by e-mail. Those without e-mail would continue to get the news letter by snail-mail. If we develop a Marists All web site, those surfing could read the document on screen or download it. What a wealth of talent and experience we have, careers from a to z, Could those talented people not share some of their experience? We could use the internet and the web site to establish a chat line by which anyone could log on, ask questions, and invite responses. I volunteer to help. Thank you, Richard.

In response to Barney Sheridan, I see two issues, one pertaining to perceived values and the other to image. Almost all of those who write seem to perceive value in their time with the Marist Brothers.

Over and over we read: "This is how much I value the Marist Brothers." I don't recall, however, anyone saying how the Marists valued those who were and are members. If my value was perceived but never acknowledged, there may remain a sense of years lost, and with it a feeling of sadness and in some cases hurt and pain.

There was an early vocation brochure (late 50's) entitled, "The Image of a Brother." The image, indeed, is what we all attempted to live. To become an "image" meant letting go of many personality traits and conveniences. We gave up our birth name to become "Brother ZYX" We gave up our street clothes to wear a black cassock. We sublimated our personality development to take on the image. The collective image indeed did have enormous presence and power, especially to the outside world. The image was sacred and protected, no matter what kind of a personality was under the cassock. For some, personality co-existed very well with the image. For others, the struggle for emergence and development of personality ignited the divorce from the image. Each one of us played out this very scene. There is no judgment. No right. No wrong.

You say: "Could we have lived so close and not known each other's pain?" How could we possibly get close enough to reveal emotional pain? Remember the novitiate saying: "Rarely one, never two, always three," or something like that. At this time it is understandable that we speak of a common hunger to stay in touch, We have a second chance now to "be there for each other." Much love and respect to my distant fellow travelers, And thank you, Barney.

An update of my career since my last contribution to this newsletter nine years ago: VP Air Cleaning Systems, analyzing and solving indoor air polution problems; project manager setting up laser cartridge manufacturing plants (recently returned from nine months on-site in Prague, additional months in Germany, Bulgaria, and Switzerland); M.A. in psychology: developed twenty-four 10-week seminars using altered states group therapy; produced and directed music section for international conference at the University of California at Irvine. Daughter Celeste, now 24, has dynamic career at Nike. (1058 Camden Dr., Placentia, Ca. 92870; 714-998--7473; gregu@pacbell,net)

FROM RICH STANULWICH ('66): Though I've never met Francis X. "Barney" Sheridan, I feel deeply indebted to him for his letter in the August issue of Marists All. It was late summer of 1965 when my parents took me to Grand Central Station. My mother was crying so much that a gentleman at the station's famous balcony thought she was going to jump to commit suicide. She was just feeling it so difficult to say good-bye and let her son go. For my part, I quickly felt part of the family atmosphere after arriving at Tyngsboro with two new friends, Joe and Tony. I was never much of a scholar, but our teachers were very kind and concerned about us. There were Brothers David, John Malich, John Francis (a great English teacher and fellow accordianist), Giles, and Leo Camille.

The older, retired Brothers were a joy. We had a pretty large class and most of us enjoyed our lives together. We had opportunities for privacy, prayer, and meditation. The chapel was a special place to be with our God many times a day. (I do remember, however, upsetting Father Leo Staves with some serious boo-boo's during high Mass.)

Our work on the farm was a blessing from God. Feeding, milking, and cleaning up after the cows was some experience. One can't forget, too, cleaning the chicken coop, picking potatoes, and gathering hay.

We had a small band, Ed, Joe, Vinny; at times Brother John Francis joined us. We weren't good, but we were loud! And we played a lot of football, basketball, and handball. One of the best athletes was Kenny Davis. Kenny was a big guy physically, but he could play any sport with the best of them. Recently Kenny died of cancer; I said a few prayers at his casket for all of us, his Marist family. And I was able to share some of the old stories with his wife and his son.

Though I was at Tyngsboro for only one year, I've always carried a sadness for never having said thank-you to all the wonderful Brothers who taught and helped me to grow as a person. Also I felt a little cheated that I couldn't say good-bye to my many fine classmates. In those days you weren't supposed to tell anyone you were leaving. You were up early and then gone. When I got some of my clothes through the mail a week or so later, there were notes among my clothing from some of the fellows. Thanks, guys!

My experience at the novitiate, I'm sure, helped me in more ways than even I know. Thanks to Blessed Marcellin Champagnat. Thanks be to God! (150 Wilson Street, Beacon, New York, 12508)

FROM RON PASQUARIELLO ('57): I have wanted to contribute to Marists All for the past few years; the proposed new form prods me. I am enclosing a chapter from my latest book, Jesus and the Message of Love. I've published six others. The latest book presents the gospel message in a fictional framework. The controlling ideas of the book: (1) When God decides to become human, it is Jesus that he or she become. If we want to find out what God is like, we have to look to the historical Jesus, to what he did, how he lived, as well as what he said. (2) The most important part of Jesus' message is not what we have to do to be loving, but that God loves us. (3) To say God is love is to say that God only exists in relationship, because love is relational. We have to see this relationship, however, in terms of the universe(s), not just in terms of human beings.

Meanwhile, I'm healthy, happy, living in the-San Francisco Bay area, with f ond memories of my Marist days. The very best to all, (13849 Green Valley Road, Forestville, Ca. 95436-9708; ron@crystalway.com)

FROM BILL COWIE ('60): I just finished reading a couple of recent issues of Marists All. I enjoy each issue thoroughly. Thank you for your reflections on the Mass; it meant a lot to me. I promise to make a written contribution in the not-too-distant future. In Christ. (27 Stinson Road, Andover, Ma. 01810)

FROM BR. JULIAN ROY ('48): This is the golden jubilee year of the group of 1948. Fifty years, not a very big number by today's standards, yet in 1948 it seemed like an astronomical number, 1,892,160,000 heartbeats away! Gus Nolan was part of the group, as was Sean O'Shea who mentioned Br. Henry Charles in the last issue of Marists All. All of this stirs me to share a few memories of yesteryear.

My first experience of a golden jubilee celebration was on December 8, 1947, our postulant year. It was that of Br. Adolph Armand of the novitiate faculty and of Br. Legontianus of the Esopus juniorate faculty. The celebration was held in the new Marian College gym, Br. Francis Xavier's first major building project. Late the night before the festivities BFX had just completed the rough wooden flooring of the gym.

Earlier the groups of '47 and '48 had shoveled many truck loads of gravel for the base of the cement floor. It had been a contest: could we load more trucks than the previous day in our one hour "recreation" period? Sweaty and tired the 70 novices and postulants would then gather for rosary in the tiny chapel/oratory with the "odor of sanctity" permeating the atmosphere.

It was an impressive jubilee ceremony. Liturgy, singing, and music were provided by the Marian College choir and orchestra under the able direction of Br. Adrian August. A scholastic narrated a short biography of each of the jubilarians; their accomplishments were outstanding and inspiring.

Our golden jubilee that had seemed eons away in 1948 has so quickly arrived. We were 36 young men taking the habit on that hot, humid July 26th in 1948. There were 31 who made first vows the following year. Five years later 21 professed final vows. Today we are eight living, while four others have gained their eternal reward: Brothers Denis Damian, Paul Jones, John Malachy, and Joe Marchesseault.

We were the largest and last group to complete the entire year of novitiate in the old building at the southern end of the Poughkeepsie property. That small structure housed the 70 of us in cramped quarters with limited lavatory facilities. We have the distinct honor, also, of being Br. Henry Charles' last group. He didn't make it through our novice year, resigning in January because of health. He was replaced by Louis Omer (founder of the Philippine mission) who had just completed his two terms as provincial.

Personally, it has been a rewarding life. We experienced the great changes brought about by Vatican II and the political socioeconomic waves that swept the decades. My assignments included Wheeling, the Mount, Lourdes, Pine Ridge Reservation, Brownsville, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, and two months in Katmandu, Nepal, working as a science education consultant to the Nepali government under contract with USAID. I am still an active amateur radio operator contacting other operators all over the world. I've spent the last 17 years in Chicago, 15 as an administrative assistant. I retired two years ago and find myself more busy than before. God bless the editors, contributors, and the readers of Marists All. (4300 West 115th St., Chicago,Il. 60655-4306; lroyc4kiwi.dep.anl.gov)

FROM BR. DENIS HEM ('64): One message in a recent Marists All suggested that we speak not only of the "ole days" but also of the present. So here is a word or two regarding three Brothers in Wheeling, John McDonagh ('59), Dave Cooney ('62), and Denis Hever ('64). Two of us, John and Denis, are working as chaplains in two different health care facilities. Dave is working at Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center in conjunction with Marist Sister Constance Dodd. This year we accepted two young people from the Marist Volunteer Program, Melissa and Dan. So now our community consists of lay and vowed members with co-ed living. Life certainly has changed, hasn't it? This situation is not unique to Wheeling; it is happening in other houses of the provinces.

In 1996 the three of us were asked to "refound" a Wheeling Marist community. The Brothers had staffed Central Catholic High School from 1933 to 1972, and they had continued in Wheeling until 1988. For so many of the alumni and alumnae the Brothers will not really be here until they are teaching as a group in some Catholic school, so deep were the people's experiences with the Brothers, experiences they would like to see resumed.

As I write this letter, I am struggling with the idea of inclusion which was voiced in the latest copy of Marists All. How to have various elements of the Marist family work together? Even as Priests, Sisters, Brothers, and Volunteers are trying to create a better Marist presence in Wheeling, I hear "how can the present members of the Marist community and the past members be more "organic." (Thank you, John Wilcox!)

I don't fully know. My belief is that a question which is raised often, if it reflects searching that is going on in others, will begin to take shape through efforts made by each person and through efforts made working together. We must continue to ask the questions and continue to respond. Thank you so much. (Marist Community, 49 36th Street, Wheeling, Wv. 26003; 304-232-3618)

DECEASED:

Bishop Francis Lambert, brother of Br. Chanel Lambert ('41) and an uncle of Br. William Chanel ('57), died October 29th of a massive stroke at the age of 76. After 49 years in the missions of Vanuatu (New Hebrides) Bishop Lambert had returned to establish himself in retirement near his family in Florida just a month earlier. The bishop was ordained a Marist Father in 1946, went to the missions in 1948, and was made bishop of a series of islands in the South Pacific in 1977.

We have word that Tim Murphy ('32) died in Milford, Pa., on October 4th at the age of 81. He is another person we did not have on our mailing list.

We have discovered that Conrad Piotrowski ('65) is deceased. The last copy of our newsletter was returned with that statement.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The last issue of Marists All arrived in most locations around November 6th. Since Thanksgiving correspondence to us has almost dried up. We really need you to contribute to our pages. Articles for the May issue must be in as soon as possible, May 1st at the latest. We expect the present issue to cost us around $300. Since November we have received $140. Of course, we are most grateful for all your help, past and most recent.

GUS NOLAN and Liz are spending February and March in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. You may write to them at P.O. Box 1558, New Smyrna Beach, Fl. 32170.

Write to DAVID KAMMER at 476 La Playa, Edgewater, Florida, 32141. Thanks to Br. Richard Rancourt for dealing with the printing and mailing of this issue from Marist College.