POISELLA, Editor: I am grateful for the opportunity to assist the
staff of Marists All by serving as editor beginning with this issue.
Borrowing a metaphor from the sports world, I would like to set up some
1. The value
of this vehicle for news and views is the very fluid list of writers
and readers, steeped as you are in the Marist Spirit. It not only lives,
but also endures, because of the written contributions of each of you
over the long run. There is no such thing as too many letters. There
is no such thing as an unworthy sharing of your thoughts and feelings..
The sincere desire to communicate with the rest of the Marist Family
gives each contribution great worth. Please continue to write!
2. Every bit
of material to be printed in Marists All will be edited. Rarely,
the editing may have to do with sensitivity or appropriateness. But
more often, it may be due to unnecessary length, extraneous tangents,
or irrelevant material. Please be patient with this editor's attempt
to be faithful to the writer's intent and feelings, while being loyal
to our Marist Family readership.
will be made. One of my fondest memories during the year I cooked at
Marist Prep in Esopus was Br. Gabriel Vincent advising this young monk
that when someone criticizes, sincerely respond by saying, "Correction
noted, thank you!" So, please forgive.
4. For those
who wish to make a monetary contribution to cover expenses of the publication
of Marists All, kindly make checks out to David Kammer, Gus Nolan, or
myself. Please do not make checks payable to Marists All. The bank does
not recognize the very unusual spiritual network that brings us together.Thank
you! (24 Brooklyn Mountain Road; Hopatcong, NJ 07843; 973-398-5477;
A view of the
beginnings of Marists All, from GERRY COX:
myself thinking about how the newsletter got started. I was the first
secretary for the group in the process of becoming the GMC. I would
send out minutes from our general monthly meeting and from any sub-committees
that had something to report or recommend. As others (especially former
FMSs from outside the mid-Hudson area) heard about our emerging group,
I'd add them with their permission to our mailing list and would include
in the next set of minutes news items supplied by confreres with whom
such contact was made. As Peggy and I got caught up in the parish life
of our children, we loosened our involvement in the GMC. I passed the
secretarial duties on to Larry Sullivan. Somewhere in time Larry turned
that role over to Gus. Of course, by then, the frog had turned prince.
There were no more minutes or committees. But there was a regular newsletter."
KAMMER ('42), Editor Emeritus:
In every past
issue of Marists All, I have been encouraging, even cajoling,
our readers to write for this newsletter. Now, our new editor has asked
me to write something for his first issue.
What of substance
do I have to write about now? Being involved in publishing Marists
All has been not the smallest of many abundant blessings that have
come my way. From the very inception of the idea of the newsletter in
1986, Gus Nolan and I were wonderfully encouraged by the Marist superiors,
by many of the Brothers, and by the wider Marist group of people who
gathered for the September '86 picnic at the FDR park in the mid-Hudson
region. It soon became clear that the newsletter was an activity worth
pursuing and maintaining. So many letters spoke of how Marists All
helped to keep the Marist spirit alive for them, and how it helped them
maintain contacts with their friends of earlier years. Many told of
being edified and encouraged by the stories of lives that continued
to be devoted in service to people in need. Many have demonstrated their
belief in the value of sharing personal news among friends, not only
by writing, but also by helping with costs. And the congregation itself
has fed us its publications. Blessings galore! We are most grateful
for the backing we have had.
past sixteen years Gus and I have consistently relied on one another
and have been able to work together harmoniously with mutual respect.
That has been a blessing for which I am particularly grateful. With
the help of a variety of local volunteers, Gus and Liz have been unflagging
in promptly handling the tedious work of mailing printed copies of the
newsletter, often more than four times a year. In more recent times
Rich Foy has been most amenable to our every wish by creating and expanding
the Marists All web site.
One of the many
books that Gus has shared with Judy and me is Jesus the Teacher Within
by Laurence Freeman, OSB. Running through the book is Jesus's question,
"Who do you say I am?" with an emphasis on the "you."
Freeman thus makes the point that we must ask ourselves, "Who do
you say you are?" Now Editor Vince comes along and asks me to write
about "What did you get out of working the newsletter?"
Easy answer: those abundant blessings, and more mileage on a road I
have been traveling. One of the simpler lines I have copied, in three
times reading Freeman's challenging book, refers to "the bubbling
soup of DNA that we all splash around in and from which our treasured
individuality arises." It seems that in my blood there is a newspaper
When I was a
child, my mother rolled up parts of old newspapers so that I could make
believe I was a paperboy; the poor neighbors got delivery of those random
sheets! By the time I was in the eighth grade and throughout high school,
I delivered newspapers to 35 morning customers and to 125 evening customers.
At CCHS in Wheeling I was sports editor of the Centralite. In the off-year
between Wheeling Central and St. Ann's Hermitage, Poughkeepsie, I wrote
sports for an Ohio Valley freebie. At the Scholasticate one of my term
papers was on the production of a newspaper from linotype to rolling
press. At St. Ann's Academy, the Sodality and I produced a one-page
newsletter. In Tyngsboro, however, a different element of my DNA grew
apace. Then in retirement there was the prospect of "nothing to
As I sat down
to write this, I had no idea what I would come up with. When I retired
from teaching, I had no idea what I was going to do. However, things
do tend to come about. I have a deep conviction about the source of
idea and ability and DNA; to that Source be all praise and gratitude!
(476 La Playa; Edgewater, FL 32141; 904-426-6349; email@example.com)
MANNY LOPEZ ('63):
Life finds me happy and content.
This, in spite of a bout with mental illness. I
was out of work for five years, collecting disability.
But now I am working part time, thanks to a wonderful agency
called Fountain House. The
mission of Fountain House is the recovery of men and women stricken
with mental illness. Opportunities
are provided to live, work, and learn, while contributing talents through
a community of mutual support.
have also joined Courage, a diocesan-sponsored support group for gay
men and lesbian women who wish to remain celibate.
The emphasis is on social friendships.
am also an unofficial member of the Third Order of Preachers (Dominican).
this time I am beginning to look for full time employment.
My background is in financial services and construction.
I am currently a supervisor in the messenger center of a major
advertising firm. I have
a bachelorís degree from Hunter College in classical studies and archaeology.
Iím considering the possibility of going back to school to get
a degree in Spanish, with a minor in education.
There are lots of possibilities, and I am looking forward to
the way, I am a Eucharistic minister in my local parish.
I am particularly grateful for the grace and privilege of distributing
the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to the congregation present at each
Armstrong, Ted Gray, Dennis Hartnett, and Tom Crimmins:
give a call! Many thanks! (1493
Shore Parkway, 3B, Brooklyn, NY 11214-6329; 718-373-3482)
FRANCIS GUDYANGA: A
note to indicate that I am alive and kicking.
Am in touch with
Isidore Sabeta now and then. He
sends greetings. It is
now easy to access Marists All from the web site.
Your pioneering work has borne tremendous fruits.
Savouring the fond memories of my visit to Marist College in
1998. My visit was very
JIM MULVEY ('62): I
am writing to express my sympathy and sadness over the death of Br.
James Damian Brady. I attended
St. Helena High School. Br.
James Damian took over the command of theíshipí in my last two years
there. He was a kind and
very friendly person. Years
later, as a Marist Brother assigned to Molloy, it was wonderful to have
Br. James Damian as principal and director. I shall always remember his great sense of humor.
He always knew when we needed aíbreakí from the daily routine.
ĎCripes, we need a party!í May
he rest in peace. (3 Birch
Lane; Milford, NH 03055)
BR. VINCENT JEROME ('51):
Greetings to everyone.
I am now retired in Miami, having joined the 89th Avenue Community of Brothers Bernard Nolan,
Richard Michael, Joseph Teston and Michael Brady.
After having spent several weeks in the hospital in New York
because of a heart condition and blood situation that put me at high
risk for a stroke or heart attack, it was thought best that I follow
a less stressful life in the Sunshine State.
All is going along well and the doctors here have given favorable
reports. Hopefully, those
reports will continue! (2790
SW 89 Avenue; Miami, FL 33165)
BR. JOE MAURA ('54): In
preparation for the union of the two U.S. provinces, a question has
arisen in surveys concerning the name for the new province.
Several responses mentioned Br. John Berchmans.
This led me to speculate what an entire province would be like
if its spirit were inspired by "Berky."
was a man who was never elected to the General Chapter, any provincial
chapter, or even the provincial council....
You get the idea: he
was not big on meetings. Those
he did enjoy took place before the evening meal.
new province would be deeply spiritual, but not noticeably pious.
I recall that back in Tyngsboro (c. 1953), Berky would
freely join in celebrations. Having
earlier imbibed in the organized festivities, John would later delight
the novices and postulants by balancing on his chin for an extended
period one of those large green wooden lawn chairs! Later on, John would be observed walking up and down the basketball
court area receiving a lecture on religious decorum from a pious Brother.
John would show sincere interest, but would not buy into any
of it. Our new province,
hopefully, would be heavy on spontaneity, and light on self-conscious
hope the new province will value humility, simplicity, and modesty -
but the way John lived them.
The root word for humility is the Latin "humus,"
which refers to earth, soil. It
is also the root for the word humor. Being
down-to-earth and having a love of laughter would be an excellent modus
operandi for our new province.
The word "simple" also derives from the Latin -"simplex"
meaning "without bends."
It does not mean being a "simpleton."
Rather, when applied to a Marist, it would mean a man who acts
well and does good things, but does not "bend" it all back
on himself. He does not
consciously strive to edify others by giving "good example."
Rather, he does good without realizing it.
for John, was having self-knowledge.
Knowing ourselves well, we know we have much to be modest about.
Recall how the Founder loved to quote: "Unless the Lord
build the house...."
province united under Johnís spirit would espouse a way of listening
to others the way John did: being
sincerely interested, really listening, with eyes that said, "right
now you are the only young man on the planet."
in Esopus, we used to kid John about why he spent time in a nearby hardware
store, which happened to be the domain of a rather attractive woman.
I think women saw in John a man who was pure of heart.
But this never put John into the "despise the body"
school of thought. I hope
our new province will be one that welcomes friendship with women and
does not equate chastity with fear of women.
a novice you never had to obey John in the canonical sense of the word.
You were so concerned with not wanting to disappoint him that
you did whatever he asked. His
authority stemmed from his person and not his position.
Leadership in the new province should be like that.
it came to poverty, John had few material needs. He was always concerned that those in training had what they
needed for both work and play.
John created the first development office in the Marist world.
It was run from his room
and was amusingly called "the raffle."
Johnís raffle had very low overhead, as there were no tickets,
no drawings, no prizes. People
simply sent John some money. End
patron chosen for the new province of the United States is the Holy
Family. This is a choice
rich in meaning for many of us, both those who are Brothers in the canonical
sense, and those who are still Marist Brothers in their heart. John was always sought out while in Esopus by former Marists,
and was delighted to meet them.
I hope the new province will continue "to share our call"
with former monks and their families.
if John had lived in India, I think he would have been thought of as
"Mahatma" Berchmans, since that title means "great soul."
There was nothing small or petty about Berky.
He was, and is, great-souled - magnanimous.
Let us pray that
the new province of the U.S. will be the same.
(3000 SW 87th Avenue; Miami, FL 33165; 305-221-0834)
BR. RENE ROY ('60): (The
following reflection of Reneís was inspired while he was attending the
on-site Mass celebrating the 50th Jubilee of Marist Presence in Rwanda,
and the 50th anniversary of the Byimana Science School where he taught
from 1995-1999. ed.)
sit here in a land so far away from my own, yet in one which has become
my own. The four years I spent here have grafted my heart to those
of these Rwandans who welcomed me so gently and gradually upon my first
arrival. But now, on this
second visit, they have overwhelmed me with long, strong, warm, loving,
enthusiastic embraces. And
so I am moved with a profound sense of gratitude and a sense of awe
at the mysterious plan of God that has unfolded since my first contacts
with the Marist Brothers as a young boy.
I was the "kid brother" of two older siblings who came
home from Central Catholic in Lawrence and beguiled us with stories
of the Brothers who were their teachers.
was Br. Joseph Robert, whom I later came to know asíJoe Bob,í the caped
Latin teacher at Marist College in the sixties: ĎIíll see you at two,
Brother Peter Leonard, revered by his students and utterly worshipped
by the seven year old boy who met him "on project,"
building the Central gym in '48, and who left it all behind to
become a missionary in the Philippines.
He came into my life again at Tyngsboro one summer, where his
respect for the distance between the professed brothers and the novices
kept him silent; but where his actions, especially his pace in the hayfield
tossing bales on the truck, spoke volumes and added to his legendary
stature. Living with him
in Oglala removed the pedestal.
But, being embraced by him before leaving for Rwanda, and receiving
his blessing in the names of the slain Rwandan brothers - Edward, Gaspard,
Fabien, Canisius, and Joseph- brought me to tears, restored Peter to
the pantheon of the greats.
He even wrote to
me and collected money to help the Rwandans.
the plan of God put these Marists in my path, calling me to be one of
them. The wonder of it,
the mystery. The "yes"
that brought me to West Virginia, Cold Spring,. South Dakota, Chicago,
and finally Rwanda.... If
I had not said that initial "yes", I would not be sitting
among all these friends, family. I was a link in the education of hundreds of these alumni gathered
to celebrate the golden jubilee.
My life would have been so much less.
It struck me that there were so many Marists, who, in their own
"yesses", helped form and shape me:
Michael Vincent Kelly, Martin A. Lang,
Kenneth Robert, Linus Joseph, Timothy Joseph, Paul Celestine,
Augustine Joseph, Michael Kieran, Gregory Delanoy, Tim Gerard, Clem,
David Kammer, Joseph William, Jude Driscoll, Luke Driscoll, Kieran Thomas,
John Malachy, Eric Anderberg.
Where would I be without them?
As my Rwandan students surround me with joy and gratitude, so
do I extend my own gratitude to God for the Marist men who molded and
shaped me and helped me to continue the vision of Champagnat into another
century, into another continent.
week after the Jubilee, five Marist Novices professed their first vows.
How satisfied are the generative urges in me to see that these
Marists will carry the vision even further!
How humbled I am. How full of gratitude.
Thanks, Lord. Thanks,
Marists, All! (4509 Eoff
Street; Wheeling, WV 26003)
GERRY COX ('51): Minutes ago our summer solstice occurred.
Itís the eve of their Assembly
2002. By late afternoon
Brothers will gather in clusters at the sign-in tables.
The cool air-conditioned rotunda will be a haven from the June
sun on this first day of summer.
amazed that a whole year has passed since I had the privilege of welcoming
Brothers to the campus.
I was days away from retiring from the position of Marist Collegeís
chief student affairs officer.
There I stood on the podium.
It would be my last official public act
vice president. I
was happy to have been asked to
offer the welcoming remarks because my class, my group, was celebrating
its golden jubilee in the brotherhood. I was extremely proud of those who had grown and prospered
as brothers though all fifty years.
I finished my comments and made my way to the exit, someone called out,
"What are you going to do now that youíre retiring?
No one ever leaves the college, do they?"
Truth in jest? I
had already agreed to return to teaching and to tending to our studentsí
theater world. (Although
I had just completed 22 years as the chief student affairs person during
34 years at the college, never had a semester gone by that I didnít
offer at least one course.)
that was then. This is
now. Assembly 2002 is about
reunification. Making two
into one sounds like a marriage.
But reunification of provinces calls for a different kind of
union. It asks for a return
to something close to the fraternal cohesion of a past remembered only
vaguely by too few. Itís
not easy. Communal challenges
may be easier to discuss and dissect. The real risks may be more personal than communal.
the time and effort given to this reunification will put in motion measures
inching our way to another reunion, another coming together, of the
membership of the greater Marist community.
Maybe it will foreshadow an embracing of all Marists whose life-prints
trace the spirit of Marcellin and the call of the "Little Brothers".
For now we patiently share
the Brothersí aspirations and support them with our prayers.
anyone recall what it was like to be identified as one of Brother Edmundís
who do, those who form with me a special band of brothers, know what
it is to sit and wait. Sit
quietly; donít try to sing. That
was to be our contribution to the spectacle, the outward sign of ritual.
What a wonderful role with which the Spirit could play.
multos annos to all the 2002 jubilarians!
(83 Remsen Avenue, So; Wappingers Falls, NY 12590;
Eighth Marist Family Institute of Spirituality
July 11,12,13,14 2002
GENE ZIRKEL ('53): I
have just completed a wonderful retreat/reunion at the eighth annual
Marist Family Institute of Spirituality in Poughkeepsie.
More than two dozen brothers, former brothers and their spouses
gathered at Marist College for the extended weekend.
Participants were asked to comment on their experience.
Here are a few of their responses:
sharing was exceptional... Interacting
with all of you is my annual retreat...
Edification - seeing the love flowing from married couples...
Brotherhood - a distinct sense of belonging to a very loving
group... The liturgy!...
As always, the wonderful individual and personal examples of
Marist spirit exhibited by each participant...
Ed and Valerieís talk: they showed God at work in real life...
I enjoyed the talks and discussions and felt they were íright
on,í mainly because they came out of personal experience... Our prayer time together, beautiful touching music, well-chosen
Scripture readings, good foundation and closure for each day...
The easy reestablishment of
a sense of community and loving friendship:
it happens so quickly and easily.
not treat yourself next July to a wonderful weekend?
Mark your calendar now for Thursday evening through Sunday noon,
July 10-13, 2003, and if
you havenít yet got next yearís calendar, put it on the last page of
this yearís. (6 Brancatelli Court; West Islip, NY 11795-2502; 631-669-0273;
ED TOWSLEY ('62): It's
been over two weeks since the conference ended, and I
am still awe struck
at the impact that Br. Stephen Minoque's talk had on me.
His comforting words regarding 9/11 brought solace to me in ways
I had not imagined were even needed.
Some of those present had been wounded more than others.
They received a new degree of consolation and comfort from Br.
Stephen's words. A great
was also blessed in a special way by Br. Luke Driscoll's thoughts regarding
the weekend as a whole. In
his simple and humble manner, he pulled together each moment to offer
each of us deeper insight from what we had heard.
Liturgies celebrated by Father Ed Keel and Father Owen Lafferty blessed
us all with a strong manifestation of God's word and a rich outpouring
of His love for us. (28 Revere Road; Fishkill, NY 12524;
from VAL TOWSLEY:
The weekend was a great blessing to me.
There was much love and sacrifice and an open exchange of faith
and ideas throughout the weekend.
I especially benefited from Br. Stephen Minogue's presentation
on the impact 9/11 has had on each of us.
the course of the weekend, I came to an increased understanding of what
is meant by "Marist Spirituality," and to feel very comfortable
with what that represents.
The only regret I have in attending the eighth Marist Family
Institute of Spirituality is the fact that more of the Marist Family
were not present over this beautiful weekend at the well-maintained
Marist College campus which harbors so many memories for many of us.
experience of the weekend is not fully expressed by the word "Institute."
The first July weekend eight years ago was touted as a retreat/reunion.
The most recent gathering of professed Brothers, former Brothers,
spouses, widows, and other members of the Marist Family certainly had
characteristics of all of this.
was a reunion: all of this
yearís attendees had come at least one other time to the Institute.
It was a retreat: we stepped out of our routine for a long weekend to think,
pray, and share about the way we needed to respond to Godís will in
light of the Marist Spirit. And
yet, it was also an "Institute":
the presenters were well-prepared, focused, and on-target.
what makes this weekend special is the experience of sharing with others
who have a common background and common goal founded in Champagnatís
view of Christís life and teachings.
The liturgical and prayerful gatherings throughout the weekend
became extensions of personal
caring and sharing. A
sense of community arose from the group even as plans were being made
to return next year.
team working together to make next yearís program both relevant and
inspiring for all participants, includes:
Larry and Jan Keogh; Pat and Gene Zirkel; Manny Lopez; Vince
and Jane Poisella; Barney and Anne Sheridan; Don Mulcare; Ed and Valerie
Towsley; Br. Charles Marcellin.
The next meeting of the team will be held at the picnic at Mt
St. Michael on Saturday, September 14th.
Plan to be with us next year!
Marists All information and other Marist-related websites on
the Committee for Heritage Classes at Marist College - GUS NOLAN,
BR. RICHARD RANCOURT, RICHARD LA PIETRA.
the annual Homecoming/Reunion Weekend which takes place October 11-13,
the group which received the Marist habit in 1948 and graduated in 1952
will be honored as the class that graduated from Marist College 50 years
ago. It does not matter
when the diploma was actually received, nor from what college; all that
took the habit in 1948 are invited to this class reunion.
Marist College graduates of 1952 from other profession groups
are, of course, included in the 50th reunion celebration.
The whole group and their spouses are invited as guests of the
college to a special luncheon in the Presidentís Dining Room on Saturday,
October 12, at 12:30 p.m.
College has designated graduating classes from 1947 - 1966 as "Heritage"
classes. Each year all
the Heritage classes are invited to Homecoming, with major recognition
of the 50th anniversary class and special recognition to classes at
prior five-year intervals (i.e. 45th, 40th, etc.).
The Heritage Committee for Homecoming Weekend is making a major
effort to achieve a great turnout of these classes.
or comments may be referred to Gus Nolan, Br. Richard Rancourt, or Richard
La Pietra through the Marist College Office of Alumni Affairs, 845-575-3283,
from GUS NOLAN ('48):
In this first issue of Marists All under the new leadership
of Vince Poisella, I thought it fitting to write a note of appreciation
to David, the founder and editor of Marists All, and to his wife
Judy who worked so closely with him both in giving quiet advice and
in proofreading, folding, stamping and sealing so many issues.
An awe-inspiring fifteen full years and sixty-eight issues of
Marists All have passed since David's initial proposal in December
of 1986, to create a newsletter and the publication of the first issue
in May, 1987
would have been monumental work if he had just stayed at his desk and
turned out the material. But
as a first-hand observer, I know that David spent endless hours on the
phone getting copy, or in his car driving to Poughkeepsie from Harwinton,
Connecticut, to pick up printed copies and take them home to mail.
Only later, when he moved to Florida, did I get involved with
the mailings. His phone
bill for regular Saturday morning conferences must have been awesome;
but the time - and expense - to get each issue out were gladly
given with the same generosity that he gave to publishing the letters
and notes sent to him. For
the first ten years, and more, David painstakingly produced each issue
on a manual typewriter before investing in a computer and mastering
its mysteries, eventually moving beyond paper to go "on line"
by seeking the help of Linus Richard Foy and his team of Brian Desilets
and Jack Noone.
all this effort worthwhile? I think it would be impossible to calculate the good done through
this publication. The reconnections
of friends, the updatings of what so many of the brethren - and their
wives and families - have done....
But most of all, the genuine community that seems now to exist
between the Brothers and those who served as Brothers
is really a credit to David Kammer, the originator and first
editor of Marists All.
a wonderful spirit reigns now in the Marist World.
you, David! (50 South Randolph
Avenue; Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; GusNolan@aol.com)