ISSUE # 44

May 1998

Provincial of the Poughkeepsie Province in his March, 1998, Newsnotes:

Dear Brothers and Marist Friends: ... For me this year lent seems to be a time for letting go and letting God. ... I think my first clue happened when I was visiting Japan in January. It was a time of mixed feelings for me as I represented the province in a meeting with (the bishop of Fukuoka). I had come formally to tell the bishop that we Marist Brothers could no longer sponsor Marist High School, Kumamoto, Japan. The bishop was very kind. He is well aware of the personnel difficulties facing religious orders these days. He told me to thank the Brothers for their wonderful leadership and hard work, and in his words "Japan is loosing a jewel, the Marist Brothers' presence." I expressed my sadness, yet appreciation for the opportunity that we had to serve and to provide excellence in Catholic education. How I know we all wish our circumstances were different! How we wish we had multitudes of Brothers to meet needs of dioceses throughout the world! Letting go and letting God.

There's a similar feeling about Kobe. Our efforts will have to be transformed in the years ahead.. It's clear that Brothers remaining in Kobe will move to new evangelizing efforts for the local Church. Letting go and letting God.

Soon after my return (from Japan), I visited Dominick Pujia down in Houma, Louisiana.Our initial efforts there have been transformed Anunziatta School is thriving with an enrollment of 60 students in the alternative school. Local folks there call us the founders and inspiration, and we were. Yet we had to "let go." It was wonderful to meet Dom's boss, Bishop Michael Jarrell, who now welcomes the Marist touch in the development of youth ministry by Dom for the diocese, and would love to welcome more Brothers to this young diocese.

I have been strengthened by sitting next to Dennis Dunne and Joseph Cerin, our Brothers who are ill at this time. Both of these men are inspiring. They are both letting go ... and letting Cod do whatever God chooses.

... As we move to Pastoral Plan, Phase Two, are we ready to really let go and let God? If we are, what will we look like as a province, as communities, as ministers, as Brothers in days ahead? (26 First Avenue, Pelham, New York, 10803-1452)


Br. John Klein ('66) has completed his second term as provincial of the Esopus province. He will continue during the coming year as President of the United States Conference of Major Superiors of Men. Last November, John addressed the Synod for America in Rome. That evening he joined other synod delegates for supper with the Holy Father in the Pope's quarters.

Br. Leo Shea ('52) has been elected to a three year term as provincial of the Esopus province.

Br. James Halliday ('68) has been named the new director of Camp Marist by the Esopus provincial council.


Br. Philip Degagne
Br. Robert McGovern
Br. Philip R. Ouellette
Br. Richard Rancourt
Br. Aquinas Richard
Br. Julian Roy
Br. Matthew Snowden
Br. Stephen B. Wang
Br. Christopher R. Weiss

Br. Gregory Avina
Br. Joseph Belanger
Br. Gerard Cormier
Br. Patrick Magee

Br. Stephen U. Minogue

Br. Luke Driscoll
Br. Simeon Gerald

Br. Lawrence J. Poirier

FROM TOM (Denis Patrick) O'CONNOR ('48): It is St. Patrick's Day, 1998, and I am listening to Frank Patterson, the great Irish tenor. It is a day filled with many happy memories. In addition, I have just finished reading Marists All #43 for the second time and while all of the contributions were of interest to me, I would like to focus on the note from Br. Julian Roy ('48). Jules, as we called him then, recalled for me the group of '48, about to celebrate their golden jubilee. This was my group; how well I remember each and every one. I would like to congratulate each of the jubilarians: Brothers Aquinas (Acky), Christopher, Julian, Matthew Snowden, Philip Robert, Philip Degagne, Richard (Zig), and Robert McGovern. May you all have many more healthy and productive years.

A little about me since 1958 when I left the Marists from Bishop Dubois High School. I married Joan Carey in 1961. We have been blessed with four beautiful children. Mary Kathryn, Susan Marie, Thomas Francis, and Kerin Elizabeth (Marist '91). God chose to call Mary Kathryn home at the age of 41/2.

I am very grateful for the time spent with the Marists. I received an excellent education that enabled me to continue my career as a teacher, a school counselor, and an administrator for twenty years with BOCES in Suffolk County, New York.

Although life in Esopus and Poughkeepsie had its ups and downs, it did lay the foundation to understand and grow in maturity to meet life's problems. During that period of time some lasting friendships were formed. I will never forget them, nor will I ever regret the years spent with the Marists.

Since 1970 my wife and I have attended many home comings at Marist College, continuing the friendships made previously. Gus, Richard, Jep, Larry, Moe, Zig, Linus, Gerry, Kevin, and Hugh to name a few. These friends have always given us a warm welcome. We have met the wives of our friends so that now we are happy to include them as our close friends. For me this was the beginning of the GMC. We look forward to our visits at Marist College; I never thought I would return to Poughkeepsie so often.

Since my retirement in 1991, Joan and I are enjoying days of leisure. We are fortunate to be with our children and two grandchildren as they all live on Long Island. We are now snowbirds; we spend three months in St. Augustine, Florida. The rest of the year we live in Shoreham, a small community near Riverhead. If you ever find yourself on the east end of Long Island, don't hesitate to give us a call.

One last word: many thanks to Dave and Gus for all their efforts in compiling, editing, and mailing Marists All. (19 Lower Cross Road, Box 353, Shoreham, New York, 11786; 516-744-0452)


The planning team for the Marist Family Institute of Spirituality is ready to announce particulars for the program to be held at Marist College July 9th to July 12th.

The emphasis for the Institute will shift from reunion and retreat to a complete program focused on what we all share: a Marist sense of spirituality. We moved the dates forward one week beyond the Independence Day weekend to provide greater opportunity for more people to be involved. We have invited a number of familiar and respected Marists, former Marists, and Marist associates to share their gifts with us. Thus the theme of the Institute will center on the variety of gifts with which we have been blessed and on the opportunity to share them with others. (I Corintheans 12:4-7, 11)

Those who have participated in previous years have come away feeling refreshed with a renewed sense of belief and belonging. We hope that you will be able to participate this year and to encourage your Marist contacts to join us and benefit by our shared gifts.

Now for the logistics. We are beginning on Thursday evening, July 9th, with registration from 4:30 p.m. and dinner at 6. The fee payable upon arrival will be $200 a person, which, when the program is over, will prove to be below our expenses (the lilies of the field, remember?) We ask that you bring your own bed linen and towels. All meals through Sunday luncheon will be provided. For those who have local accommodations, the fee will be adjusted in relation to our charge for meals. Even though some may not be able to arrive Thursday evening, we will welcome anyone who might arrive at a later time.

In the last issue of Marists All I asked for serious commitments in the form of a $25 deposit. Whether or not the deposit is sent, we need a commitment in some form of written communication. I have agreed to be the recipient of commitments. You may send your communication to me at the address below, or you may e-mail me; see below. If you have questions concerning the Institute, you should feel free to call me at home at 973-398-5477. Please make a commitment by June 15, 1998. Although we would never refuse anyone after that date, kindly realize that we too need to make a commitment to the College and to those who are graciously giving us their time to share their gifts. (24 Brooklyn Mt. Rd., Hopatcong, N. J. 07843;

FROM PHIL HANNIGAN ('60): Glad to see some of my "invisible" friends of the
class of '60 writing at last.I've written and torn up about three letters.I seem to use them to work out my own feelings about the Brotherhood, what it meant, what it means. I'll get a letter out this year. Promise! Please note my new address. E- mail: (11633 Timberline Circle, Ft. Myers, Florida, 33912-5702)


Brother Victor Ralph ('28) died in early February in Zimbabwe; he had served the African mission for 53 years.

Brother Bonaventure Cocco ('52) died this past January after an extended stay in a nursing home in Queens.

Late news: Brother Joseph Cerin ('26) died in mid-April.


President Emeritus Br. Paul Ambrose was honored by Pope John Paul II in November during a private Mass and audience with the pontiff at the Vatican.

Brother Paul had been awarded the "Cross pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" for his service to the Church and the Pope last spring at the 50th commencement of Marist College. During the visit to Rome Brother Paul was granted the honor of serving as lector at the Mass in the private chapel in the papal apartment. Trustee Jack Gartland and Marist President Denis Murray had the honor of joining Brother Paul for both the Mass and the audience, at which time President Murray presented His Holiness with a book on the Hudson Valley on behalf of the Marist College community. His Holiness was kind enough to give Murray his zucchetto, the white skull cap worn by the Pope. Murray said it will be a wonderful keepsake and reminder of this great man who worked tirelessly on behalf of the Church and humanity.


I think I am on time sending you our best Christmas wishes, but I blush as I confess how tardy I am in acknowledging the gift of your book, Life after Youth. Judy and I enjoyed
reading it and we are grateful to be able to enter into your Journey.

We are very pleased to be on the mailing list of publications from the generalate, the most recent being FMS MESSAGE dealing with last fall's General Conference. I am quite privileged to be able to be in touch with the attitudes and aspirations of the center of the congregation. I note with special interest the inclusion at the conference of lay associates of the Marist ministries,

I am sure you are aware of the attachment of the Greater Marist Community to the congregation. In reading the summary of the General Conference I can't help feeling that GMC people also would have had much to add to the conference. Without prejudice to the well being of the congregation or to individuals, and in ways more profound than through financial development, that wider source must somehow be tapped. Who knows how and through whom the Spirit may wish to speak!

RESPONSE FROM SEAN: A note enroute from Manila to Rome. Thanks for your card at Christmas and the note that came with it. I agree that the GMC would have offered a special and important perspective to the recent General Conference. It is a growing edge trying to educate the different cultures in the Institute to that reality. They lack any experience of the possibilities that exist here. The challenge we have is how to include all who share Marcellin's charism and vision. I am willing to work on that. Blessings and affection. Sean.

FROM REV. WILLIAM SEARS ( '52): Just finished reading the latest edition of the newsletter, and as usual it brought so many very wonderful memories, Though I'm retired as a full-time parish priest, I offer Mass at a small private chapel on an island near Boca Grande, Florida, I was recently inducted into the Order of Alhambra, the Catholic equivalent of the Shriners, and I was asked to be a chaplain for them. Other than that, ain't much happening. I don't play golf, but I fish; I've learned to lie about how big my catches are! I hear from Paul Ambrose, Pat Gallagher, Frank Gallogly, and Ed Castine. I hope the newsletter continues and I pray for all Marists remembering all in my Masses daily. (1745 Padre Lane, Englewood, Florida, 34223)

FROM GUS (Augustine Joseph) NOLAN ('48)
re: "The Construction Gang" at Marist College

In the early days at Marist College behind Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel was a building that housed the scholastics' study hall on the upper floor and the refectory on the lower floor. It was named Fontaine Hall. In recent years that building has been the college library. Now Fontaine Hall will be torn down and replaced by a new three story library. It will be separate from the chapel but near enough that the facing of the chapel will be made to harmonize with the new library. Construction of this new 16 million dollar building will begin the week after graduation and be completed by August of 1999.

The drive for funds for the new library has as its theme "The Construction Gang," taken from the old photo that appeared in TIME magazine, July 26th, 1968. At a college luncheon in mid-February Brother Paul Ambrose said that donors "will become the new construction crew." Marists All is hereby announcing a contest. To anyone who can identify all eleven laborers, we will send an 81/2 X 11 copy of the original picture. One dollar for postage and handling!

Incidental bits of information regarding new building projects: During construction of the new building, library facilities will be located across Route 9 in a building that was formerly occupied by Poughkeepsie Steel. Offices of faculty currently in the Fontaine building will be moved to a new office/classroom building to be constructed this summer at the northern end of the campus. Another project already under way is the construction of new town houses for approximately 230 students on newly acquired land across Route 9; that project is to be completed by the fall of 1998.

Since the Marist property has been home for many of us, we have an interest in what goes on there, so we pray for the success of these projects. Remember Father Champagnat's favorate psalm regarding building pro jects, "Nisi Dominus." (50 North Randolph Street, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601)

FROM RAPH MARTIN ('52): I wanted to write this weeks ago to thank you for sending me some of the latest Marists All. Like so many others, I just sit down and devour each line when the newsletter arrives. It is good being in touch with people whose lives intertwined with my own, especially in a very formative stage of my growth. I still keep up contacts with John Harty, Dom Cavallero, and Gerry McCann. I must say that living out on the west coast has one major drawback, namely the inability to attend Marist functions on the east coast! Maybe there will be a picnic out here some day. (2251 Bryce Drive, Martinez, California, 94553)

FROM BR. LEONARD VOEGTLE ('50): Material keeps coming in all the time for our Marist Archives Center. We have recent mailings from the files of the provincial offices in Pelham and in Bayonne, as well as personal photos and documents from the files of Brothers living and deceased. Yearbooks have come in from a number of schools to fill the gaps in our collection.

Missing are several issues of the old provincial Bulletin of Studies 1917 to 1937 and 1958 to 1959; any of these buried in your library? One irreplaceable series I now know is complete is the provincial council minutes from the beginning of the US province in 1911 down to the present. That will prove invaluable for reconstructing the province history.

In the process of clearing and cleaning what to my wandering eyes should appear amid what I thought was only a pile of old picture frames but the painting of Our Lady that had hung over the dining room mantel in the mansion! Since it was still in perfect condition apart from a good coat of dust, I was able to reframe and hang it at once. The painting had been presented to Marist Prep by the Sodality of St. Agnes High School.

Another "artifact" now gathering dust in the carpenter shop is the old machine used for making cords and tassels. If I can find a place to store it, I'll "archive" it!

I spent part of the Christmas break framing and hanging some of our oldest photos. Among them is the perpetual profession group of 1898; they certainly established a solid perseverence record. Of the eleven professed, seven died as Marist Brothers: one in France, one in Canada, and in the US were Aloysius Mary, Joseph Bonaventura, Marcellen Louis, and Namase. Two joined the Trappists in Canada, and only two left religious life.

Then there's the first profession group of 1904. I've asked the archivist in Iberville, Canada, if he can help identify at least those who came to the US province. Among them were Joseph Robert, Louis Viateur, Mary Petrus, and (I hope) Leon Clement Strugnell, who with his two brothers were the very first New York born Marist Brothers. There are many pictures of the first three since they lived long, but Leon died in 1904.

Another photo which I'll need some help with is one of the Poughkeepsie juniors of 1926 with those who had come from Tyngsboro to begin their postulancy. I can recognize John Berchmans, Pius Victor, William John, Victor Baptist, and Henry Firmin, but there are lots of others whose faces don't "leap out of the photo" at me.

Finally I've included with this mailing a list, as complete as I can make it, of all of our deceased Brothers. We've heard their names read time and time again in the religious calendar; some brought back a flood of memories, others are ... just names. My hope is to fill in some of the gaps with at least thumbnail sketches of a certain number of these men in future newsletters. I think what struck me most as I compiled the list was how the annual number of deaths has increased in recent years.

Recently we have had to deal with some health problems in both of my local communities. Clem Gerard ('35) is now in a nursing home in Miami, slowly fading out from heart disease and kidney failure at 82; he had only one kidney to begin with. Steve Martin ('47) is also in Miami slipping steadily deeper into Alzheimer's; he's only 68. And Emile Michael at 86 isn't far behind Steve, although he's still able to function in a normal community setting. Speaking of functioning, Simeon Gerald's mom just died at 101! (The above was adapted from Leonard's letter to the communities of the provinces.) Box 197, Esopus, N. Y. 12429; phone/fax: 914-384-6414; e-mail:

A REFLECTION ... by David Kammer

God loves us unconditionally!
He is helping us to see, to be what we can, to do what we can,
to deal with the life that comes across our horizon.

God touches our souls; indeed, he abides.
He stirs insights and dynamism.

God loves us unconditionally.
He is helping us to get out of ourselves
helping us to improve the human condition.

How sharp are we at picking up on his leads?
Truly our awareness, our level of cooperation is limited,
at times resistant.

Lord, help us; Lord, have mercy.

Asking for help, however, does not make God love us.
God does love us unconditionally.
Asking simply makes us more receptive, more open,
more sharply aware of his love.

Not only does petition make us open;
expressing regret makes us open;
gratitude and wonderment makes us open.

Going out to others, obviously, makes and keeps us open.
Pursuing the word of God makes and keeps us open.
Personal rituals and official liturgy can make us open.
Touching the outward signs instituted by Christ -
baptism, reconciliation, eucharist - can make us open.
Joining with others in pursuit of the Kingdom makes us open.

God loves us unconditionally.
Oh, to be consistently receptive, to be open, cooperative, obedient,
to be open to life, to others, to providence,
to accept the divine companionship.

Different people are more or less open.
Many are unconscious of God's involvement in their lives.
Yet some, perhaps many more than we'll ever know,
relate intimately with the divine in their lives.

They abide in the divine presence, encourage it, deepen it; they pray ...
pray in awesome wonder, in gratitude
pray with the regret of "How could I have ..."
pray humbly with deep reliance: ' lord, help; Lord, have mercy."'

Some take no special means to be open.
Yet God loves them ... and manages somehow to get through to them,
to find an opening.

An angel declares ... Behold ... And divinity dwells with us!

FROM JACK (Martin Luke) DUGGAN ('52): A sincere thanks to the staff of Marists All and their very supportive wives. We owe you much thanks, Gus and Dave, for giving us an ongoing glimpse of the "Magic of Marist." Anne and I look forward to each issue, wondering when we will see my contribution. So here I am at last!

Each issue of the newsletter reflects the common bond we hold and share as Marists even as we journey on, each in our own unique way. If we look carefully into all those beautiful and inspiring stories and if we reflect deeply on them, we can easily see a Marist mission statement.

Anne and I continue to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. This coming November will mark our 26th. We have been blessed and we do thank God for each other. Luke and Sheila graduated from college a weekend apart last May. We are very proud of their accomplishments. Both continue to surprise us as they fulfill their dreams.

Luke is capitalizing on his Hotel.and Restaurant Management degree, working with one of the fastest growing theme restaurants in the country. He thrives on long hours and hopes some day to own his own establishment. Sheila is presently serving with Americorps in their Colorado center. To date she has visited twelve states and aims to see them all by the time she is twenty-five. At this moment we suspect Sheila will eventually apply to the Peace Corps. We're grateful that both our children feel that they will contribute to their communities.

Anne continues in her vocation as a home care nurse, part-time in Pennsylvania. When an opportunity presents itself, she works as a CPR instructor on Long Island. We hope someday to retire to our summer home at Woodloch Springs in Hawley, Pa.

Yours truly has been serving at the Nassau County Corrections Center as a teacher of the Action for Personal Choice program and as a transition counselor. I started there last July and I must say that it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. So many times I've asked myself where the hell Leo Richard and Ron Marcellin are when I need them, but then it comes to me that they are quite nearby guiding me every inch of the way, my own special duo of guardian angels!

One of our most gratifying experiences has been our participation each July in the Marist Family weekend. We eagerly await our fourth such experience and do hope that many readers will join us for a beautiful and thoroughly Marist eadeavor. Feel free to call with any questions. A word of thanks to Larry and Jan Keogh for rekindling so many hearts at these Marist Family weekends,(P.O. Box 758, 20 Mead Lane, Westbury, N, Y. 11590; 516-997-6547)

EDITOR'S NOTE: We have had wonderful financial support ($480) since the publication of our last issue. After expenses of the present issue we anticipate a balance of $670, enough to cover two more issues. You may note that we have but two extended personal letters in this issue. We would love to hear from some of you who are hiding! We need you. Send your mail ...
to Gus Nolan, % Marist College, Poughkeepsie, N. Y. 12601; or David Kammer, R.R. 1 - Box 3300, Smithfield, Maine, 04978-9517.

Saturday, September 19t

more details in next issue.