ISSUE # 64

October 2001

BR. SEÁN SAMMON, SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE MARIST BROTHERS On October 3rd the full assembly of the 20th General Chapter of the Marist Brothers elected Brother Sean Sammon as the 12th Superior General of the Institute. Brother Luis Garcia Sobrado, age 56, was elected Vicar General; Br. Luis, a native of Spain, spent years in Africa before his election as a councilor general in 1993.

Brother Seán was born on November 26, 1947 in Manhattan. His Irish father and English mother had migrated to the United States. He studied at St. Agnes High School and later at the juniorate in Esopus. He made his novitiate in Tyngsboro and pronounced his first vows in 1967. He graduated from Marist College in Poughkeepsie in 1970. He taught at St. Agnes High School in New York City while pursuing studies at the New School for Social Research where he earned a Master's degree in 1973. He received a doctorate in clinical psychology from Fordham in 1982. In 1978 he was invited to be a member of the staff at the House of Affirmation in Massachusetts and in 1982 was named its International Clinical Director, a position he held until 1987. He has published ten books and a great number of articles along with audio tapes on topics of psychology and religious life. In 1987 he was named provincial of the Poughkeepsie Province. During his term he was elected president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men Religious of the United States. Since 1993 he has been Vicar General of the Marist Brothers.

From BR. JOHN McDONNELL ('59): Ciao Bello! A voice from the past, Tyngsboro '58 to be precise. Thanks for getting out the web site for our Chapter ( I am at the 20th General Chapter in Rome as a delegate representing the Esopus Province, along with Esopus Provincial Leo Shea and Provincial-Elect Robert Clark (takes office on November 11th at our Provincial Chapter). The Poughkeepsie Province is represented by Donnell Neary (Provincial), Donald Bisson (delegate), and Sean Sammon (Vicar General). There are four Yanks here serving as translators: Brothers Gerry Brereton, John Allen, Sumner Herrick, and John Venturella.

This is a fascinating experience; we have 117 brothers from 46 countries, representing brothers in 76 countries - the latest being Cuba. The smaller we get - 4,660 FMS now worldwide - the more we continue, by God's grace and the courage of some brothers,  spread! For several weeks twelve lay men and women took part in the General Chapter. The times, they are a-changing! Steve Murphy, principal of Stepinac High School in White Plains, was to represent the USA, but the New York tragedy prevented him from attending. The ghosts of men from the Chapter of '67-'68 walk these halls. I stand on the shoulders of giants!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!                            

The EIGHTH ANNUAL MARIST INSTITUTE OF SPIRITUALITY will be held at Marist College in Poughkeepsie from Thursday 11 July to Sunday 14 July 2002. The theme chosen is Responding to the Will of God. "If today you hear God's voice, harden not your hearts." More information will be in future issues. Gene and Pat Zirkel (

DECEASED: Brother Lawrence Joseph Poirier ('22) died September 6th at Coral Reef Nursing Center in Miami after having gone in and out of hospitals several times since July 25th. Brother Lawrence had celebrated his 94th birthday on September 2nd. He was well known as the pioneer in the development of guidance departments in Marist schools in this country and for his involvement over a sixty-year period in guidance for the Catholic secondary schools of the Archdiocese of New York.

Brother Lawrence wrote to Marists All on two occasions. In November of 1988 he said: "Congratulations and gratitude for what you and your associates have done in creating Marists All. A great idea! Although I do not know many of those who write to the newsletter, I enjoy learning how they continue the Marist tradition in their own way." And in November of '92 he wrote: "May Jesus and Mary bless ALL Marists, and may this note find all well and with peace of mind." May all deceased Marists rest in peace. (click here for eulogy by Brother Charles Marcellin)

From BROTHER CLINTON PERERA to Maurice Bibeau: 14th September, 2001

Dear Maurice: Just a little note to say how deeply grieved and distressed I am at the shocking tragedy that befell America last Tuesday. Our students observed three minutes of silence in their assembly on the following day and prayed for the victims of this atrocious and inhuman incident. We feel sad at the fact that so many innocent lives were destroyed, people who had absolutely nothing to do in policy making. We are aware of the fact that America goes out of her way to help the whole world, and we know that it is due to the untiring efforts of an American Brother - Brother Tom Kelly - that this school is what it is today. We have received and still receive so much help for the enlistment of our school. In our small way we will stand by you with our prayers. God bless you.(Sargodha Catholic School, ChakNo. 47, N.B. Sargodha, Pakistan;

From AL PERRONE ('61): Receiving Marists All for years has led to fellowships that have brought back many memories of persons, places and events. About three years ago I read a letter from Brother Rene Roy who at the time was working in Rwanda teaching Christianity and the English language. We started to correspond by snail mail and then by e-mail (much better!). Now Rene is back in the USA working in Wheeling, WV.

Through the e-mail list on the M.A. site I also learned of Bill Reger and Bob O'Handley - classmates in Poughkeepsie. Today I found Ed Towsley's new e-mail address (Ed, I'll write you later). This past Friday I had the privilege of meeting Brother Rene and Bill at the Wheeling airport for an extended lunch (Bill, thanks for picking up the tab - my turn next time).

Corresponding with Brother Rene, I met via e-mail two remarkable persons who learned more than the English language from Brother Rene in Rwanda. They have a terrific story to tell and I'm helping them share their story over the Internet. I invite you to learn more about these persons and their stories by going to httm:// Marists, thank you for your attention and contributions to Marists All. CU on the 'net.(11185 Howells Rd., Semmes AL 36575; 334-645-2476;; C 440-567-1281)

From DICK (Patrick Michael) McANENEY ('50): Last fall Janet and I bought our firstcomputer, and one of the first things I did was to hit the Marist College web site. That led me to get in touch with Richard LaPietra, then to travel to Poughkeepsie this past spring. Richard and Mo Bibeau gave Janet and me a tour of the college. I was absolutely amazed at what we saw - even overwhelmed, astonished, stunned, astounded! Mo treated us to lunch at Applebee's, and Richard cooked up an Italian dinner that was absolutely delicious. Great Northern hospitality!

Richard and I go back a long way. We both graduated from the Mount in 1949. He was Joe LaPietra then, the manager of our track team. As I recall he issued me my very first jock strap! As an aside, I was on the two mile relay team that set a record in the national AAU indoor meet at Madison Square Garden in 1949 and won the two mile relay at the Seton Hall relays later that year. Joe and I joined the Marist Brothers after graduating. In Tyngsboro I showed him how to wield an axe and how to use a two-man crosscut saw; I survived!

After the novitiate I spent a year in Poughkeepsie at Marian College, and then was assigned to teach history to freshmen and sophomores at St. Ann's Academy, 1952 to 1954. I was transferred to St. Helena's High School in 1954 and, lo and behold, Br. Richard Andrew was there starting an illustrious teaching career. That year I taught history again and coached the freshman basketball team to a respectable 18-7 record and third place in our division. I left the Brothers after that year and decided to join the Air Force. I heard that Brother Richard went on to earn higher degrees, but I pretty much lost contact with him, until many years later, 1975, I earned my BA from Marist College. Richard's was one of the signatures on my sheepskin!

After basic training in Geneva, New York, I did further training in electronics and radar in Biloxi, Mississippi. Then I was assigned to a radar site on Apple Orchard Mountain, about 20 miles from Bedford, Virginia. One of my buddies suggested that we go to the Bedford Little Theater for the sole purpose of meeting girls. Too tempting to refuse. I ended up helping to direct the next play. For the ensuing party I got a date, but I found out later from one of the members of the cast that Janet was sorry that I had not asked her to be my date. After several interruptions from military alerts, I finally got the date with the girl who had broken two dates in favor of me. I proposed after that one date; she put me off until St. Valentine's Day, 1957. Janet's family was not excited about their Methodist daughter marrying a Yankee Catholic from Brooklyn, but they told her that they trusted her judgment. We got married in Holy Name of Mary Church in Bedford on July 6, 1957. It was the first time Janet's family had ever been in a Catholic Church. A year and three weeks later Tim was born. I spent the rest of my enlistment on Apple Orchard, moving up to the position of crew chief on a radar repair crew. As an aside, during my last two years in Bedford, whenever I was not working day shift, I was a substitute teacher at Montvale High in Bedford County. The principal liked me as a sub, because I actually taught the students!

In August of 1959 I received my honorable discharge; they didn't catch me! I was offered a teaching position in Bedford at a salary of $1900 a year, upped to $3200. However, I accepted a position as junior electrical engineer with a government contract manufacturer in Falls Church, Virginia. With that company I had various assignments and administrative duties. Janet joined me in Falls Church, and after nine months Tom was born. About that time I was given a chance to try out as a pitcher for a semi-pro team in Winchester, Virginia, but the timing wasn't right.

In December 1963 Julie was born. I'll tell you more about her later. About that same time Janet got her very first driver's license, and I bought her a '57 Chevy hardtop; wish we had that one back. Soon after that Janet joined the Catholic Church.

After my tenure with several other companies, in April of 1968 I joined Union Carbide's welding equipment manufacturing plant in Florence, S.C. where I stayed for 27 years. In 1995 the company told me that my job was being eliminated. They made me an offer I could not refuse. I was ready for retirement anyhow. Janet retired from working with the State of South Carolina eight months later. We have thoroughly enjoyed retirement. We took a two week tour of the United Kingdom, visited Ireland (kissed the Blarney Stone, visited the Dublin Harley-Davidson dealer), went to Wales and Scotland (stayed in Room #666, an omen?). Thence to England.

Then a tragedy! Just before Christmas, 1999, our dear Julie suddenly got sick. We rushed her to the hospital where they did all they could for her, to no avail. She went straight to Heaven after lingering for a few days. We had her with us for over 36 years, taking care of her at home.

Julie backed into this world (breech birth) on December 9, 1963. She was very small; we had to leave her in the hospital until she got up to five pounds. We were referred to a doctor who specialized in baby's hearts and to another who was the country's foremost expert in Downs Syndrome. The heart specialist told us that Julie had a very large hole between all four chambers of her heart, and that we would not be able to get a surgeon willing to operate on her, because of her Downs (he hinted that it would be better if she just died - I resisted the urge to beat the shit out of him!) A fellow I worked with had a child with Downs; he helped me quite a bit to understand the problem - a life saver for both Janet and me. We got very active with the Association for Retarded Children.

Two years later we moved to Lancaster, S. C., and brought Julie to the doctor for a routine check-up. Miracle #1, her heart tested normal! Apparently it had healed itself! We tried to organize a group of parents who had retarded children, but many parents refuse to admit a problem. SAD! On moving to Florence, however, we got a lot of help from people with problems similar to ours. We enrolled Julie in a special school, and when she was about ten years, she slowly began to walk! Eventually she learned to feed herself from a bowl and to go to the bathroom. Our pastor suggested that he give Julie her First Communion. He celebrated Mass in our den, attended by many of our friends, and Julie received Communion in her own plastic cup, in the form of wine. Our two boys were extremely helpful over the years; we were able to have them baby sit every once in a while. A couple of times, we took Julie to a K of C party, and I danced with her. She followed better than some girls! Julie stayed with us at home the whole time and gave us a lot of love. Around September, 1999, we noticed that she started limping when she walked. We took her to an orthopedic specialist. Through X-rays he found that she had no hip socket in her right hip, thus impossible for her to walk! But … Miracle #2!

Back to that emergency room just before Christmas of 1999: the doctors found that Julie had a massive internal infection. We held out hope for several days, but at the doctor's suggestion and after she had received the Last Rites, we gave permission to turn off the ventilator. It was the hardest thing I've ever done! There is no doubt that she went straight to Heaven! Our older son wrote a song that he sang at Julie's funeral Mass. Friends told us that there was not a dry eye in the Church after the song. (1227 Manorway Dr., Florence SC 29501;

From PAT GALLAGHER ('53): Here is part of my contribution to the Marist CollegeHeritage Project. In what follows I limit myself to the general scene during my time living at the Marist property in Poughkeepsie. Perhaps at another time I will share my memories of working at construction on "the projects."

At the north end of the property was the Hermitage, an architectural monstrosity; at one time it had been the Brothers' provincial house. Brother Paul Ambrose Fontaine had it turned into sleeping quarters for the student Brothers on campus. Our numbers ran to about 145. There were rooms everywhere, and there was no way you could ever give someone directions for all the turnings and staircases. It did not take long for anyone to realize the fire hazards in the place, since it was entirely made of wood. Around that time, if I remember correctly, there was a disastrous fire in a Catholic grammar school. Brother Paul had difficulty getting a company to insure our place. Eventually I think it was Lloyd's of London that had us and Betty Grable's legs! One of the conditions was that we had to have a night watchman prowling the corridors at night. So it was, for a couple of years up to the time of my graduation in 1957. Of course, there is a story about how that building eventually did burn down after the Brothers moved out.

On the ground floor of the Hermitage was the dining room, a long rather narrow room with eight tables down each side. It was a hectic place during meal times, but no one starved. One feature of the job assignments was if you were to work in the kitchen helping the Brothers who were assigned full-time to cooking, you would tend to the "knights of the road" who would congregate awaiting a meal outside the back door on the north side of the building. I think we had a pile of tin plates and the knights received generous portions of whatever we had and what was left over, unless through some type of legerdemain the cooks were to transform some of the leftovers into something for another meal. The knights, hoboes as we still called them at that time, did some work for their meals at times. It was thought that they lived in the "hobo jungle" a collection of shacks down by the railroad tracks at the south end of the property. We really had little chance or reason to go any where near that area.

Northwest of the Hermitage were the barns and pig pens, and later a long, narrow chicken coop by the cliff overlooking the river. Eggs came in regularly in huge numbers; they were trucked down to the Brothers' schools in the city. In the monastic tradition we tried to support ourselves. I wonder if, given a cost-benefit analysis, we made money on that; yet we thought we were! Occasionally a pig would get loose from the pens. This entailed a squad of Brothers going after the creature, manhandling the reluctant sow or boar, and loading it onto a truck to be taken to market.

In the latter half of the 50's our life revolved around the Hermitage with its dorms and dining room, the Marian building with its classrooms and study halls, and the chapel. And, of course, there was construction work all over the place. The old wooden frame Marian building was situated about thirty feet west of Greystone. It contained two classrooms, two labs, showers, and a changing area. After dinner we congregated in the main room just outside two administration offices. The old library was on the top floor of Greystone. I used to love to spend time reading and even studying there. It was great to find a corner, smell the old books, and read for hours. Many pleasant memories of that and of having all my English major classes in the basement with Brother Kieran Thomas and Mr. Sommers.

The chapel has quite a history. At one time the seven windows were likened to huge 6' x 20' slides or transparencies depicting the Blessed Mother and the apostles. A number of Brothers were selected to pose for the pictures; garbed in robes and beards they traveled from the college to the studio for the pictures. Would you believe that they had a flat tire somewhere in Poughkeepsie, and the apostles had to fix the flat!

Aside from classes and project work, I undertook my own project of working with the trees on the property. I got several thousand seedlings from the government and planted them on the south end of the property. I placed names on a whole batch of the mature trees, mainly around Marian: green tags with white lettering. Close to thirty years later there were still some of those trees with some of those tags. I confess to taking one of the tags for a souvenir. I've retained the love of trees to this day, and I continue to work with them, plant them and care for them.

After meals and before study periods in the evenings we would walk down to the cemetery where the older brothers were buried, a number of whom were my grammar school teachers at old St. Ann's Academy. We would pause, maybe walk around the rows, and then walk back.

Another tradition was saying the Rosary walking the roads, a long line of 145 student Brothers. In really hot weather we would sit in the grove to the east of Greystone to say the Rosary. Occasionally we would say the office there, too.

Like every other student at the college, I was taught by Dr. Schroeder, the only layman on the campus for my first two years. He was a marvelous man and a good teacher. Once he invited all the Brothers to take a hike up to his house. In addition to giving us directions, he posted at key intersections signs with large letters "JMJ" and arrows to make sure we reached our destination.

Apple season: one day every fall the Brothers were allowed to pick up all the apples that had fallen to the ground after the orchards had been stripped. We could eat the apples but because of the insecticides said Paul Ambrose: "Wipe today so that you don't have to wipe tomorrow!" Apple day was a massive undertaking. The student Brothers were detailed to picking, trans-porting, coring, packaging, and then carrying the finished product packed in plastic bags and metal cans to a freezer. It was really a day off from studies, and in the fall it was a marvelous break. Of course, the main benefit was that we had all sorts of apple products all winter long.

During the 1954 Marian Year the old gym, just south of the classroom building, was filled with exhibits, each representing a Marian shrine of the various nationalities at the college. There were the Spanish, Canadians, Filipinos, Germans, and Chinese. Brother Cyril Robert, the librarian and head of the Marian library, had this exhibit. I believe there were busloads of people coming up to visit in that era of faith. One visitor was Cardinal Ting, exiled from China; of course, the Chinese brothers were particularly proud to have him there. Some of the exhibits had water features, like Lourdes or Fatima, with holy water that people were bottling and crossing themselves with … taken from the bathroom faucet just off the gym floor!

There are many, many more memories, and each one is for me a treasure. I feel that the Marist experience as a Brother and my days at Marian, now Marist, provided me with values and a direction that have lasted a lifetime. Now at 65 I look back with the fondest memories and ahead with hope and faith.(Box 60, Indian Valley VA 24105; 540-789-4056;

From BILL DESCHENE ('53): "In Defense of a Redneck Brother" When I was a freshman in high school, I went with my father to see a Central Catholic basketball game. Central had no gym as yet, so the game was played in the Lawrence Armory, a medieval looking building with turrets and parapets and small windows. This building was later replaced by an ugly box of bricks with no windows at all; it was used to hide the goings on of the telephone company.

Basketball in Massachusetts in those days was a slow deliberate game, almost cerebral in the execution of set plays, resulting in very low scoring games. Thus with one second left in the game, Central led Punchard, as Andover High School was called back then, by a score of 31 – 30. Punchard's six foot seven inch center missed a desperation shot and the hometown fans went wild. But wait! The referee had blown his whistle. The Punchard player had been fouled "in the act," and was going to the line for two free throws. Arrgh!! The booing from the crowd was deafening, and showed no signs of desisting as the Punchard player approached the line. Suddenly, a tall man in a Marist habit strode to mid court. His salt and pepper hair was worn crew cut style, and his facial features were chiseled and stern. The habit he wore did not conceal the fact that he had a body that would be the envy of a Marine Corps Drill Sergeant. He raised his hands, and the crowd quieted down. "We are going to give this young man the courtesy that the good sportsmanship of the people of Lawrence requires," he said. "I don't want to hear a pin drop while he takes his shots."

There were many adults, like my Dad, in the stands, and perhaps the entire student body, but there wasn't a sound when the big guy prepared to take his first shot. He missed. A few people forgot their instructions and started to cheer. But soon everyone fell into a nervous silence. Definitely psyched out now, the shooter missed the shot that would have sent the game into overtime. Central won! The noise of the erupting crowd thrilled by that dramatic ending is etched deeply in the part of my memory that remembers good things.

The man who quieted the crowd that night was Brother Leo Vincent, the no-nonsense coach of the team. That he was greatly admired was attested to by the fact that many of the student body, including moi, had crew cuts. Good old Joe the Barber, who had cut my hair since I was a screaming tot, was replaced by Jacques, who from his small shop on Boardway, gave the flattest of all flattops in town.

During my sophomore year, Brother Leo became the no-nonsense principal of the school. The discipline that only his students and players received was now extended to all of us. His coaching duties were ably replaced by Brother Timothy Gerard, who did not even come close to looking like a Marine. His style of basketball was also different – a fast-break, all court press style that was more intuitive than cerebral, resulting in higher scores. It was also very successful. Brother Tim, the non-marine elicited the same dedication from his players as did his predecessor.

Early in my Junior year, Brother Claude, another non-marine type, was attempting to conduct a pep rally in the new gym, but the natives were restless. He waited patiently as was his wont, but word must have gotten to the Principal's Office that there was trouble afoot. Clearing the wall that separated the hallway from the gym stands, Brother Leo, with moves that would have awed a swat team, dropped to the stands and was immediately on the stage facing the stunned natives.

Then came the 'pin drop' speech again, and all was quiet at the front. I felt bad for Brother Claude, my chain-smoking track coach and English teacher. He elicited as much effort from us cinder pounders as any other coach did from their charges. I am forever in his debt for introducing me to the Rubyat, my all time favorite poem.

Later that year I did something that earned me a stint in detention. I can't recall what it was, but here I was standing quietly in Room 22 with the other detainees. Detention wasn't long, only an hour, from two to three. However, despite my love of Central's sports, I considered the idea of school in general as something cruel and incomprehensible that society did to kids. Any extra time there was stressful. It was Brother Godfrey's turn to supervise detention, and although he was very tall and from Georgia, he was not the marine type either, and he let us out a quarter to three – fifteen whole minutes early. For this, his sins, if any, are forgiven I'm sure.

The next day I was called to the Principal's office. The conversation went like this:
Brother Leo: Weren't you supposed to be in detention yesterday?
Me: I was there.
Brother Leo: You weren't there when I checked at three.
Me: Br. Godfrey dismissed us early.
Brother Leo: Detention is from two to three.
Me: (Something like, but, he, but …)
Brother Leo: YOU! Get yourself to Room 22 before - - - (something like me ending up somewhere in the middle of next week)
Me:  Stunned.
Brother Leo: And stay there till I dismiss you.
I had the craziest urge to defy, resist, not to obey, run, but the instinct to 'choose life' took over and I went off to Room 22.

I let my hair grow long after that. When I did get it cut, it was back to Joe the Barber, even though that meant wearing a hat for three weeks while my head healed itself. I didn't dislike Brother Leo, and I knew he was trying to make "men" out of us, but I preferred the gentler approach of my parents. They seemed to appreciate any effort I made to grow up. By keeping their expectations low, they got more surprises than disappointments.

Years later I met Brother Leo when Declan, Ed Jennings and I went to Florida during Christmas vacation. It was the early seventies. We stayed at Pace High School in Opa Locka. The school is adjacent to the campus of Biscayne College. Brother Leo was playing tennis on the college courts. It was the 'crack o dawn' and I was on my way to find Miami Beach. Wally, as he was known by many, had to be in his late sixties or early seventies. He was in excellent shape – a model for GI-Joe even then. As I watched him play, the childish urge to defy him surfaced. "Dare tell me I can't go to the beach," I thought.

Observing his perfect form move from side to side, and back and forth, I remembered how proud I felt the night he quieted the crowd in the Armory. Though my feelings were ambivalent when he tamed the beasts at Brother Claude's rally, we did quiet down. And to my chagrin, I recalled the times I had treated people in a no-nonsense way myself. I'll bet I even used his phrasing on occasion. A picture of Wally the rebel formed in my mind. "He wasn't going to ease into old age via the medication route," I thought. "His fine condition must make the pill pushers sick."

After the set, Wally came over and we talked about the old days at Central, and his guidance courses and classes. Yes, he did hear from his old players from time to time, including Rene Roy's brother, St. Theresa's own Pete Roy. Then it was time for another set for Wally and time for me to be off to the beach – on foot – walking upright as is peculiar to humans (and marines), not in a car with knees sticking up and smelling of fossil fuel.(P.O. Box 156, Burlington (Biting Bug capital of) Maine, 04417)

From JAMES (Luke Michael) MADDEN ('52): I'm sure St Helena's holds many fond memories for those who had the privilege of teaching there. For me, it will always be a nostalgic place where I was nurtured by many special people. Often when alone, memories of St. Helena's, some vivid others fuzzy, interrupt my reveries.

The Bronx of the late 1930's was a much more livable borough, at least for the families on Virginia Avenue. Parkchester was just a thought in the minds of the Metropolitan Life executives. The vast property destined to become Parkchester was owned by the Catholic Protectory, which cared for boys. My Dad took me there to see the pigs when I was very young. I have a picture of me and the local kids at a picnic. The acreage was so large that we look like we are in a field upstate. Then sometime in 1939 or 40, I remember huge steel girders rising. Soon the skin of bricks crept up around the girders and the vast open space became a city of stores and homes for many new residents, some of whom would become my classmates. Parkchester brought on the need for a new parish and its boundary would include my home on Virginia Avenue. Our original church and my first grade had been St. Anthony's. It no longer exists, displaced by the Cross Bronx Expressway.

The initial St. Helena's building was a former beer garden. During the week I attended second grade there. On the weekend the rather small building was transformed into a church by the generous efforts of parishioners like my Dad. Later in the history of St. Helena's, it would take many more volunteers to keep the new church building functioning but my parents never wavered from volunteering. The crisp clean fall air would herald in the Bazaar. It was preceded by a grand parade through the streets of Parkchester. Once again my Dad played a prominent part. He and my Mom worked all week at the Bazaar. And Dad rode in a 1920's Reo, dressed in top hat and tails; luckily I have a picture of that taken along Unionport Road

Monsignor Scanlon will always live in my memory as that inspiring pastor who strode down the main isle of this majestic church during the end of mass while leading his congregation in song. The other early priests were Fathers O'Reilly, O'Shea, Hargrove and Mackinnie. I believe it was Father Hargrove who became a chaplain during the war. The dedicated nuns were Sparkill Dominicans headed by Sister Parissima. When I reached the seventh grade three Marist Brothers came to instruct the boys: Brothers Conan Vincent, Edmund Jude and Paul Stokes

Eighth grade was special. We were bussed to a new annex, St Joseph's School for The Deaf. We had the top floor of the huge building on the west side of the boulevard. Brother Conan instructed us to step lightly when ascending the stairs, as the deaf students were sensitive to vibrational noise. This was well taken; you can imagine how 13-year-old boys can sound like a herd of stampeding cattle. I was lucky to have instructors to teach me respect for others.

My father never stopped working for St Helena's, often working at the annex as well as at the church. A former classmate's father, Mr. Parker, often joined him. Mr. Parker volunteered his services because his other son, Robert Parker, was then a Marist Brother.

Everyone knows the rest of the story concerning St. Helena's, but few know or maybe can't appreciate the dedication of the early parishioners, priests, sisters and brothers who built this parish.24 Hickory Rd, Bayville NY 11709;; 516-628-1661)

From GENE ZIRKEL ('53): I was blessed with a wonderful Marist summer, attending the Spirituality Institute in Poughkeepsie and later working in the kitchen in Esopus during the camp run by the Brothers for retarded adults. I am very impressed at the camp. Many teenagers gave up a week of their summer vacation to help. I know from my experiences at the Handicapped Encounter Christ Cursillo weekends that the handicapped can be very difficult. The kids were beautiful, walking their charges hand in hand, calming them down when they were disturbed, taking them swimming, seeing that they ate. Another group of teens worked in the scullery washing dishes for 200 people three times a day. These teens from Molloy, St Francis, Mary Louis Academy, etc. were an inspiration. It is great that the Brothers provide this opportunity for them to serve. While in Esopus I visited the new graves of Lenny, Adolph, and Pat Tyrell, and of course the graves of all my other friends from the past. I ask all of these saints to pray for me.

For my Marist autumn Pat and I look forward to the Mount Picnic and to an October meeting in Framingham, Massachusetts, where the "religious and laity leadership from each of the Marist Family branches will explore collaboration on Marist laity development." (6 Bracatelli Court, West Islip NY 11795; 631-669-0273;

From PAT KEILTY ('65): When I wrote last, I wasn't sure where we would be settling in Florida. It turns out that the moving van took us to Manatee County in the sunshine state, where Anne and I are teaching at Lakewood Ranch in Bradenton. Anne is teaching seventh grade English at Braden River Middle School, and I'm teaching algebra and geometry at Lakewood Ranch High School. We are living with Jake the Corgi in a two-bedroom apartment near our schools, but we are having a house build in Sarasota, due to be ready next March … with a pool, of course.

Our daughters, Justine and Erin, are still mending slowly from their life-threatening car accident last June, but thank God, they will be okay. Please continue to keep them in your prayers.(8140 Nature's Way – Apt 14; Bradenton FL 34202; 941-907-0237;

From DAN (Daniel Augustine) HANLEY ('57): I received the paper copy of Marists All and immediately I went to the M.A. web site. I'm working at Elgin Air Force Base on a database for the E- 3 Airborne Warning and Control Aircraft (AWACS). We also work with NATO and the French. I'm trying to get to develop a web-based instruction in radar for the E-3 Electronic Combat Officers. So I've been studying Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Flash. It is a lot of fun. I came upon the attached picture of Father Staves taken around 1957. Apparently he needed a rest after hearing all of our confessions.(2731 Semoran Dr., Pensacola FL 32503; 850-432-5013;

Thanks to ourcorrespondents, we have accumulated over ten pages of material, so we have decided to publish earlier than expected. We regret that we cannot squeeze in several short articles. We trust that the authors of these articles will understand, as we hold their material over to our next issue. Of course, we will need more material! Write to:
Gus Nolan, 50 South Randolph Avenue, Poughkeepsie NY 12601;
David Kammer, 476 LaPlaya, Edgewater FL 32141;