ISSUE # 65

December 2001

From BR. SEÁN SAMMON, S.G. Thanks for your recent e-mail of congratulations on my election. The results of the voting were actually a surprise to me, so I am only now getting used to the idea of the reality of it all. It is a privilege to be able to serve this way. The first challenge is to learn Spanish, since the Council has decided to work in English and Spanish … and this comes after eight years of work on "mon français." Enclosed are two copies of the final text of the talk I gave the last day of the Chapter. Gerry (Brereton) said you wanted to use some of the text in Marists All. Please go ahead. Thanks again. (Fratelli Maristi, Piazzale Champagnat, 2; C.P. 10250; 00144, Rome;

Editor's note: Seán's closing talk at the recent 20th General Chapter of the Marist Brothers will soon appear in its entirety on the "Documents" page of the web site: Meanwhile, we are pleased to share with our readership an excerpt that has especially caught our attention.

Seán speaking to the assembled chapter: "During our discussions of the past six weeks we have often used the word spirituality. However, more than once I have had to ask myself whether or not we all share the same understanding about this important area of our life.

"For example, if you called upon me to explain the meaning of the word spirituality, I'd begin by telling you that it has more to do with an unquenchable fire that burns within me than with any pious practices I might follow. Furthermore, I would let you know without hesitation that my spirituality is the source of much of the love, creativity, and hope that I bring to life.

"Less willing might I'd be, however, to acknowledge that often enough I experience this very same spirituality as a hunger, an inner longing that leaves me restless, frustrated, and dissatisfied.

"And so, if you pressed me and asked me again, 'In the midst of all your hopes, unrest, or whatever, Seán, just what is spirituality?' I could only respond by saying that for me ultimately, it is what I do with my passion (see Rolheiser, The Holy Longing). This approach to spirituality is not what most of us were taught during our early years of life, and surely not during formation. No, we got off to a false start because we were led to believe that to be fit for God, we had to painstakingly ascend a ladder of virtues.

"Any relationship with Jesus, however, comes at his initiative, and not ours. Teresa of Avila, for example, often said that when she lacked the words for prayer, she went into her convent chapel and sat before the Blessed Sacrament, so that the Lord could look on her with love. Are we willing to accept the fact that God loves each of us in such an unconditional way?"

Editors' comment: In the text above, we quote Brother Seán Sammon speaking of God loving us in an unconditional way. Anyone who does a bit of spiritual reading these days will run into multiple references to God's love as being unconditional. Unconditional love would seem to mean love no matter what, no "ifs." For over a year now your editors have pursued the idea of God's unconditional love, reading about it, discussing it with one another, working it into our spiritual lives. At the recent Marists Family Institute of Spirituality we shared our thoughts on this subject in one of the sessions. To our readership we would like to recommend two short books, one dealing with the subject of God's unconditional love directly and another dealing with it indirectly. They are God First Loved Us, by Rev. Antony F. Campbell, S.J. (Paulist Press) and The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rev. Henri Nouwen (Image-Doubleday).


From JOE (Eugene Michael) HORAN ('50): The last time I wrote for Marists All I spoke of the trip Dolores and I took to Peru and to the Amazon River. We are still busy traveling. In November we will be taking a trip through the Panama Canal. It is interesting to see first hand places that we read about in our youth. We also plan to re-visit the places our ancestors came from. We started taking our children overseas with us several years ago. As a result some of them have been corresponding with their cousins. Our youngest daughter Joelle has never visited her cousins in Ireland, so we are planning to take her soon.

Right now, our children are urging me to begin writing down the Horan history. I'm the oldest of nine children, and so I have the most information. Yet I have been able to accumulate a great deal more information in visiting the countries of our ancestors and in listening to my brothers and sisters and other relatives. Our children and even my brothers and sisters have begun to appreciate more what our parents and grandparents have done. It's been time consuming for me but I have pledged time for this task.

Reading the recent issues of Marists All has brought back many memories and friendships. I have included these memories in my history because that is a way of explaining how much impact the Marist life has had upon me and those with whom I spent so many years. The recent deaths of classmates have given me a greater and deeper appreciation of how lucky I am to have been part of the Marist family. I still remember Lenny Voegtle behind the plate catching my softball pitches. He had such a keen sense of humor. He knew when and where I was to place the ball. No wonder we won so many games. These memories are truly part of my history, an attachment that lives with me always. The class reunions have been wonderful not only in meeting the guys but in sharing with one another and with our love ones what a wonderful life we had in our youth. Hopefully we can have another reunion soon, before we get too old to make the trip. If anyone happens to be in our area feel free to stop in. San Antonio is just north of Tampa, Florida, on route I-75, exit 59. God be with each and all of us. (10426 Collar Drive, San Antonio FL 33576; 352-588-0179;

From MS. TONI OLIVER: I am a Marist Affiliate from Wheeling. Ron Mulholland gave me the web info regarding the Marists All site. I have just finished reading the latest edition. Loved it! Please put me on the e-mail list. Thank you for all your work. (213 Concord Court, Wheeling WV 26002; 304-748-8407;

NEW MARIST ADMINISTRATION: The new administration chosen by the General Chapter this past fall is probably the youngest in the history of the Marist Brothers, at least beyond the days of Brother François! Their ages range from 46 to 56. They are from Australia, Brazil, Chili, Congo, France, Spain, and the United States. Brother Seán Sammon, S.G., is 54 and Brother Luis Garcia, V.G., is 56; these two Brothers are the only persons remaining from the last administration.

From GUS NOLAN ('48): The Second Annual Memorial Service for the deceased Marist Brothers of the United States provinces was held in Esopus on Sunday, November 4, 2001. In contrast to last year, the weather was just perfect. A clear blue sky, bright sun, and hardly a chill in the air made it an ideal day, even though it was the first week in November.

A Mass was offered in the Esopus chapel, again by Rev. Jeff Johnston, a former Marist. During the homily, Jeff took us on a short mathematical tour, stating that the total number of years in community of all those buried in Esopus exceeded 10,000 years. He also mentioned the number of days that have passed since St. Marcellin Champagnat founded the Marist Brothers. I forgot the number but it was impressive. There were about sixty people from the Marist Community in attendance, including former Brothers, their wives, and friends of the Brothers. As is always the case, any time Marists get together for liturgy the singing is absolutely magnificent. Brother Hank Hammer provided the musical accompaniment.

The celebration followed the usual routine of Mass, a walk to the cemetery with everyone reciting the rosary on the way, and a short service at the cemetery. Again, a beautiful flower had been placed at each gravestone, and on entering the cemetery grounds, each person was offered a flower to place at a grave that was particularly meaningful to each. It would surprise no one that Brother John Berchmanns had a number of flowers on his grave. Since "Berky" had enough I decided to leave my flower on the grave of Brother Linus William, my Master of Juniors, the Director at my first community, and my former Provincial.

Immediately after the services a wonderful lunch was provided for everyone. As usual, it was a real joy to have the chance to talk with so many old friends: Brothers Paul Ambrose, Leo Shea, Joe Belanger, Tom Delaney, Marty Healy, and Alfred George, as well as with Marty & Ann Lang, John & Sue Wilcox, and Richard & Barbara LaPietra, to mention just a few. This celebration, which I hope will be continued, is well worth the time and energy invested in participating.

From BR. JAMES NORTON ('64): It's great to read in Marists All what is going on with people we have known over the years. I have a new name for you. It is Sr. Maureen McMahon, RDC. Her father was a Marist Brother many years ago. She believes his name as a brother was Francis. She does not know his group year, but he was around Leo Wall's time. Her e-mail is She writes: "My dad's baptismal name was Francis Raymond McMahon. I was born in 1940. He left the Brothers maybe two or three years earlier. He always spoke of Paul Ambrose. He was called "Mickey" as a nickname. I'd love to write about him and the Marist impression that lasted my father's whole life." (150-72 87th Road, Jamaica NY 11432;

From JOHN SUGRUE ('60): On April 6, 2001, Kathleen and I celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary. It was a happy occasion, but there was a twinge of sadness. We had attended Brother Leonard's wake and funeral, and I thought of the cards and letters from Len that would no longer be. Fortunately we had enjoyed his 50th anniversary celebration and had visited him at Benedictine Hospital in Kingston a few weeks before his death. He knew the end was coming but there was that deep faith and quiet strength showing through. I also thought back to 30 years earlier when I spoke to Len about taking a leave of absence. He was a great help in making such a major decision. He always said things would work out.

After changing vocations I was lucky enough to find a position as Finance Director of the Rockville Centre Diocesan High Schools on Long Island, thanks to a good word from Mike Kramer who was principal of St. Agnes High School in that diocese at the time. Four or five years later the opportunity arose to become Controller of Marymount College in Tarrytown. The thirteen years at Marymount were good ones. Hoping for more time with the family and a less demanding schedule, I moved on to St. John's Prep as Assistant Principal/Controller. The time with the family worked out great, but the concerns of handling the finances didn't change. Those three positions - at the Diocese, the College, and the Prep - were made easier by a lot of good people I worked with. The years as Provincial Treasurer were a great training ground.

There are times when I wonder why God has been so good to me (I'm not going to ask; He might start wondering, too). Kathleen (my gift from God) teaches fifth grade at Villa Maria Academy. We have been blessed with two wonderful daughters; to say that we are proud of them is a real understatement. Beth (24) graduated in May 2000 from Marymount College, Tarrytown, as a history major. She started the Irish Cultural Society there and spent her junior year studying in Galway, Ireland. Currently she is working for Fidelity Investment in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (from history to finances ??). Kerry (22) graduated cum laude in May from Marist College with a fine arts degree. As part of her senior year she enjoyed an internship as a teacher assistant in the art program at a local public school in Poughkeepsie. In September she began her Masters in Art education at the College of New Rochelle. Thank God for a full assistantship.

Living in New York has made it much easier to keep in touch with the monks. I always feel at home whether I'm at 5th Street, Bayonne, in Tom Delaney's apartment at Marist College, having lunch at Molloy with Declan, Jimmy Maher, and Charley Marcellin (we go way back to 1949 when we started at St. Ann's together), or having supper at the Flushing house. There has always been a great spirit of charity among the Marist Brothers. I have experienced it as a student at old St Ann's, while living in community, and even today during the good times and the sad times. Father Champagnat's teachings have been well carried out. May Saint Marcellin bless us all. (1220 Puritan Avenue, Bronx NY 10461-6153;

From ALEX SENES ('64): I've been enjoying reading the Marists All newsletter for years. Once again the last issue was very moving for me. Reading about the lives of many of "the monks" is inspirational. They are filled with spirituality and commitment and generosity and boldness. To me, seeing the presence of God in them is as clear as seeing the sun in the sky! (44 Orangeburg Road, Old Tappan NJ 07675; 201-768-7883)

From BR. PHILIP ROBERT OUELLETTE ('48): Buon Giorno from Manziana (Rome) where I am presently directing the Third Age Renewal Program for English speaking monks from around the world. The fifteen men following the program are from ten English speaking countries. All together we average out to be 69.5 years of age which makes it possible for me to keep up with them all. George Fontana is the other member of the Team and together we have developed a great working relationship.

Before I get ahead of myself, I would like to thank all those who wrote in after Leonard's death to thank me for the eulogy delivered at his funeral. Your thoughtfulness was appreciated, but believe me, the Holy Spirit along with Bill Lavigne and Luke Reddington had more to do with the outcome than I did. In many ways I felt inadequate to the occasion, but when the eulogy had been put together, I realized that some invisible force had been guiding the pen. I was happy and grateful that together we had been able to capture Len's person and spirit.

For the past three years I have been living and working in West Virginia along with Bill and Luke. Each of the three of us has been administering a small rural parish in a region where only two percent of the population is Catholic and where there was only one priest to serve the sacramental needs of the parishioners. Even though the parishes are small we need to provide all the activities of any parish, and so we are kept rather busy. What has amazed all three of us is how well we were prepared to do parish work with our educational background … many of the skills needed are the same. Since my temporary leave from the parish in September a second priest has been added to the Team, a young Indonesian SVD missionary. With the two priests covering this mountainous area, it is hoped that we will be able to offer more services in each parish.

We are somewhat isolated from the other parts of the Marist province (even Wheeling is four hours away by car) but we manage to get back to NY/NJ a few times a year. We were happy to be part of the Jubilee celebration and the Marist Assembly at Marist College last June.

Prior to my taking up the ministry in West Virginia, I spent two years in Lyon, France, directing a course designed to prepare formation personnel for our formation houses around the world. Twenty-six fairly young Brothers from twenty-one countries followed this two-year course which was offered in French … a real challenge for many. Most had to follow intensive French courses before the program started. One of the pluses was the fact that we were in Champagnat country and had many opportunities to imbibe his spirit. A number of courses were given by the Team (three other Brothers) but we managed to invite many speakers from the nearby Catholic university. Despite real challenges we were able to form a truly Marist community. Most of the men who followed the course are either now in formation work or in leadership positions, including several who were delegates at the recent General Chapter.

When I arrived in Rome on September 4th, the General Chapter was just beginning. For me, being in Rome at this time was a real blessing since it gave me the opportunity of meeting many of the Brothers I had gotten to know during my years on the General Council and in my travels around the Marist world. In fact, of the twelve monks on Brother Charles Howard's Council, ten of us were in Rome at this time; that made it possible to gather for a celebration.

Now that the Chapter is over and the delegates have all returned home I have less distractions, but this course here in Manziana is keeping George and me busy. Some weeks back we made a two-week pilgrimage to the Hermitage, which turned out to be a leisurely but moving experience. Our eighty-one year old Brother from Nigeria was particularly touched by the whole trip which was his first ever out of Nigeria. With us there are two Canadian monks whom many of you would know: Brother Powell Prieur (known as Charles Bernard at Marist College) and Brother Cajetan Fecteau (affectionately known as "Cagey"). Powell had serious heart problems a few years ago but seems to be holding his own at present. He plans on returning to Zimbabwe after the holidays. Two other Brothers in the program here also graduated from Marist College: Br. Pius Eugene from the Philippines and Br. Abdon Nkhuwa from Malawi.

As for me, I plan to return to West Virginia on December 4th and there to resume my work in the parish. The area is so similar to northern Maine that I have felt right at home there from the beginning. In my spare time I enjoy working in our two gardens … one for flowers and the other for vegetables. It is wonderful for the soul.

A few days ago we received the latest issue of Marists All here in Manziana. As always I enjoyed reading the entire content. Even though I do not write very often, I continue to be grateful for every issue that comes out. Should anybody be in the area of Petersburg, please do not hesitate to call and stop in. We have a few guest rooms. Ciao.(Marist Brothers, St. Mary's Parish, 5 Pierpont Street, Petersburg WV 26847; 304-257-1057)

From PAT GALLAGHER ('53): This past summer while on our way to visit Bob Hopkins (Francis Matthew '53) in New England, Mary and I stopped to visit Tyngsboro. We got a great tour of the building once our novitiate home from top to bottom from a Debbie Powers, administrative assistant to the director. I corrected the common rumor that the front room on the second or main floor was for embalming the dead brothers. Debbie gave us a brochure on the history of the property; that brochure, too, had a number of major mistakes concerning the brothers. I also corrected that for her. To my thinking Tyngsboro should be part of the Marist Heritage project, since many graduates did their first Marian or Marist course work up there. I know our group was hustled through a half-year of college work at the end of our postulancy, and later groups did all freshman courses there. I hope that will be given some thought. (Box 60, Indian Valley VA 24105; 540-789-4056;

From BILL BYRNE ('52): Early morning jogging was a ritual at the Esopus Juniorate long before it became fashionable in the wider world. The morning bell in the dorm was followed by "Laudetur Jesus Christus" and a groggy "Et Maria Mater Ejus." After dressing (casual, that is) we Juniors would don our sneakers (Keds mostly in those days) and jog the half-mile from the dormitory at one end of the property to the mansion at the other end. Much as I tried every morning, I could never beat Bob Hopkins to the mansion. I would cringe as I heard Bob approach and pass me with his distinctive "clip-clop." At the end of the jog we entered the basement area of the mansion where we stored our shoes and then moved on up to the chapel for morning prayer and Mass. By the way, in the early fifties that basement was crammed full of hardtack and various survival materials in case of a nuclear attack. I wonder if that stuff is still there! (154 West Church Street, Clarkston MI 48346;

Re: BILL KAWINA and CLIFFORD PERERA -- In late August Bill Kawina, a native Malawi, who was a student Brother at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, and is now teaching in Quebec, Canada, e-mailed Marists All asking for the address of Brother Clifford Perera, his fellow student in Poughkeepsie from Sri Lanka. (Clifford is not to be confused with Brother Clinton Perera, also from Sri Lanka and also a student at Marist.) We e-mailed our very helpful contact at the Generalate in Rome, Brother Gerry Brereton, who spoke with Brother Michael Wass, the new provincial of Sri Lanka who was in Rome attending the General Chapter. Brother Michael e-mailed the answer to our quest, and we forwarded Cliff's address to Bill. All this activity within a few hours.

Cliff has been at the Dominican House of Studies, Meekanuwa Junction, Ampitiya 20160, Sri Lanka, 94-8-239158; We have learned lately through Maurice Bibeau that on December 14th Clifford will be ordained a Dominican priest. Ad multos annos!

From GENE ZIRKEL ('53): In October Pat and I were invited to attend a conference of lay Marists in Framingham. (The foliage was fantastic!) Seven vowed Marists from the four congregations met with nineteen lay people. I was awed by the talent and commitment of the lay people, as well as by the report of a vast number of Marist laity in the USA. These include members of Third Orders, associate members, prayer groups such as those sponsored by the Marist Fathers in Atlanta, college age volunteers in the program of the four congregations headed by Brother Sumner Herrick, the Marist Institute of Spirituality and small groups spun off from that Institute, volunteers at the Esopus camps, as well as students, alumni, faculties, parishioners, and of course many of the readers of Marists All. There are evangelization groups including the faculty oriented Sharing Our Call, the Encounter retreats, and the Come to the Hermitage program of Ignatian Exercises.

Yet it seems that there is very little contact between all of these people who are living a Marist spirituality. One result of our discussions was the formation of a small service committee whose job includes exploring ways of communicating between and among these lay people. We hope to become a conduit so that personnel, printed materials, and good ideas may easily be passed from one lay group to another. Should there be a newsletter? A web site? Something else? Pat and I were asked to be part of this service committee, and we are very excited about the possibilities. We foresee the probable formation of several subcommittees whose members will include many Marist lay volunteers. One task given us was to form a committee to look into another national conference of lay Marists such as the one held in New Orleans last November.(6 Brancatelli Court, West Islip NY 11795; 631-669-0273;

From DONALD EDWARDS ('57): Donald and Elaine Edwards became happy grandparents of a new generation; the name Edwards will go on in the person of Jack Christopher Edwards, newborn July 30, 2001, of our son Chris and his wife Donna. Of course he's adorable, handsome and highly intelligent. Isn't everyone's grandchild? On sending messages to former Marist friends, I received notes and congratulatory messages from Br. Luke Reddington, Greg Ballerino, Jerome Daly and Lawrence Whartenby. It was good to hear from them. Hopefully when this note hits the Marists All press we may hear from others. (84 Bayberry Road, Cheshire CT 06410-3615; 203-272-7397;

From GIL (Gilbert Louis) LEVESQUE ('51): I thank God and His Blessed Mother for all the wonderful events that have helped shape me through my association with the Marist Brothers. I will never be able to thank adequately all those I have come in contact with through my years in "the order" and to tell them how much good I derived from them. Never would I have met and lived with such a genuinely happy, friendly and sincere group of people, whose main purpose is to "do good quietly!" I thank God and the Marists for the training and skills I obtained, allowing me later to pursue a successful career in education in the Port Washington Public Schools, first as math teacher and then as computer director.

Last year at the reunion of the groups of '50 and '51 several of us did a lot of reminiscing as in Esopus we walked from the Mansion to the English Village side of the property and then on to the Cemetery, where so many of the Brothers we knew and lived with in community rest in peace. Thoughts still come flooding into my mind. How quickly the happy years have flown. Here are a few memories of Esopus …

Brother Regis, the Director, floating on his back in the Hudson
Brother Stephen Urban singing the evening "Salve Regina" before our retiring
Brother Edmund with his pince-nez glasses, Gregorian lessons, and "punctilius"
Brother Placid playing the piano so beautifully with his very large hands
Brother Patrick, in charge of maintenance, always so friendly and happy
Gazing at that fabulous panoramic view of the Hudson from the front of the Mansion
Walking the field praying the rosary … robins chirping, smell of new mown grass, homesick
Diving off the dock into the waves and oil slicks of the Hudson, nearly drowning, never again!
Cleaning the rock lined gutters with fingers and hoes in the spring, gathering leaves in the fall
Scrubbing the Mansion marble stairway with steel wool, getting souvenir shards in fingers
Looking for the "secret passage" supposedly in the wood paneled library

And, of course, Tyngsboro comes to mind …

Brother Louis Omer on the handball court flipping us about with his bulk
Brother John Berchmans, one of the best Brothers I ever met, putting up the Quonset hut
Brother Anthony in his wood shop cutting oak logs into boards with tractor hooked to buzz saw
Wilfrid, the farmer, pointing down with his big thumb, predicting hell for us
Brother Henry Charles scaring everyone he encountered
Brother Simeon, a truly holy man, with index card stories to illustrate his religion lessons
Dom Cavallaro looking for lost handball with "Tony, Tony something's lost and gotta be found"
Stomping silage in the silo with molasses all around
Running from study hall to chase escaped cows from the cornfield
Prostrating during chapter of faults and confronting small "silverfish" bugs on the floor
Trying to memorize the gospels and reciting them piecemeal with the aid of many hints
Picking evergreens from the woods to make miles and miles of Christmas garlands
Decorating that beautiful chapel fashioned by Brother Aloysius
Ice skating after Christmas Midnight Mass with swishing noises of ice skates midst the silence
Walking in deep snow to the quarry and back
Laudetur Jesus Christus. Et Maria Mater Ejus. Amen.(50 Brookdale Road, Glen Cove NY 11542-1648; 516-671-1428)

From DON HAUGHEY ('62): I would like to let the readers of the newsletter, especially those who were at the college in the mid sixties, know that Dolores Gallo died on August 22, 2001. She was the switchboard operator at Marist College during the 60s. Dolores thought warmly of the many scholastics who visited her desk in the Donnelly Building. She trained many of us to operate the switchboard, to her dismay at times. Dolores was a mother to many of us, welcoming us young scholastics to her home and family. She and her husband John, now also deceased, were very good to us. I have been calling this wonderful woman twice a year to see how she was doing; she was always positive.(8200 Beaver Brook Lane, Austin TX 78748-5420;

Senior Jubilarians

65th Brother Peter Chanel Arel
60th Brother Victor Luizzo
55th Brother Alfred George
50th Brother Vincent Damian
Brother Martin Healy
Brother Patrick McNulty
Brother Kenneth Marino
Brother Roy Mooney
Brother Steven Martin
Brother Dominic O'Brien
Brother Cornelius Russell
Br. Leo Shea
Br. Eugene Trzecieski

Junior Jubilarians

45th Bro Nicholas Caffrey
Bro David Cooney
Bro George Fontana
Bro Gerald Doherty
Bro Kevin Hanibode
Bro Eladio Gonzales
Bro Patrick Hogan
Bro Sumner Herrick
Bro William Lambert
Br.Anthony Iazzetti
Br. Fabian Mayer
Br. Michael Laratonda
Br. Bernard Ruth
Br. Marcos Longoria
Br. Joseph Madsen
40th Bro John Allen
Bro Gerard Brown
35th Bro John Byrd
Bro John Raeihle
Bro John Cummings
Bro Robert McCauley
25th Bro Stephen Schlitte
Bro Richard Van Houten
Bro James Vagan

From FRANK SUTTON ('59): Teaching is still keeping me busy and the Guest House is a nice supplement (and at this time - busy). I did manage to take a quick trip to Ireland and France as soon as classes finished this past spring. Two weeks ago my mom was heading up north from Ft.Lauderdale; as she was boarding the plane, she took a nasty fall and fractured both legs. Instead of looking forward to visiting all the "northern" relatives, she is now facing a couple of months of rehab. At the age of 90 this is not a pleasant task. It's great to receive all the news of Marists but sobering to peer at the obit articles, touching those I've known well … so many young ones. If heading through Vermont - take a pause here. (P.O. Box 142; Manchester Center VT 05255; 802-362-1165;

From VINNY ANDIORIO ('67): I want to thank you for getting M.A. off the ground and for keeping it so much alive all these years. It's been a wonderful link. Thanks, too, for the reminder about sharing some news again with Marists All. I'll get my thoughts together and write. Here's a preview for you: I've been back at Marist High, Chicago, for the last eight years (result of an incredible turn of events - read: "providence"). I have been Campus Minister for the last several years, doing my best to be true to Champagnat's heritage … yet again ... still! My wife is still a teacher. My older son is "finding himself" career-wise, and my younger son is a senior at Marist. Life is very, very good. (15104 Crescent Gr., Oak Forest IL 60452; 708-687-3596;

TO THE WHOLE MARIST WORLD: several excerpts taken from - -

A letter of "the Capitulants of the 20th Marist General Chapter to the whole Marist world."

Greetings to everyone! A heartfelt letter to the whole Marist world, filled with our warmest tidings of life and hope. You are countless in number, from places and cultures all over the world, forming with us one enormous family. Teachers and co-workers, catechists and animators, students and graduates of our schools, parents and relatives, members of Fraternities, and people belonging to many other Marist organizations. What abundant life! Our General Chapter has been a rich and powerful experience, and we are eager to share it with you …

The ever-revivifying Spirit is continuing to fill us with life and hope-filled dreams. But turning our vision into reality will not be easy. How does one go about developing processes for promoting our Marist apostolic spirituality? Deepening levels of fraternity? Making our present-day mission and solidarity more tangible and effective? Taking new steps on the road we share as brothers and lay persons? Dearest friends, you know us and esteem us, and so we feel encouraged to ask you for your full support and blessing. (Italics added)

In sharing with you these calls that we have discerned, we hope you will look upon them as your own. … As you understand so well, the road we share as brothers and lay persons is one of our common concerns and challenges. You have a crucial role to play. To be successful we will need to work side by side in meeting many of these challenges … God willing, with our gaze fixed on Mary, we will learn once again how to listen and be welcoming and innovative in our ways of living in the midst of young people. … May Mary inspire us as educators and heralds of the Gospel, so that we can give top priority to those who are most in need, those who "have no wine," no education, no guidance, no love … Today with Champagnat, "the man of great love and the heart that knows no bounds," we are again looking upon the world through the eyes of faith and tender love. And again he is telling every single one of us: How much good you can do, my friend! (Full text: - News notes, Bulletin 48)

Editors' note: As Christmas approaches, awed by faith in the Incarnation, we pray that the blessings of God-with-us will always be fully yours.

Write to:  Gus Nolan, 50 South Randolph Ave., Poughkeepsie NY 12601; David Kammer, 476 La Playa, Edgewater FL 32141;