ISSUE # 71

March 2003


from VINCE POISELLA, EDITOR: Reviewing our last issue, one might think I was disseminating this special vehicle for news and views singlehandedly. Nothing can be farther from the truth! Not only is the final form contingent on the inspiring contributions of our readers, but also on the unfailing efforts of David Kammer offering support, guidance, experience, and information; the expert manipulation of data for the web site sculpted by Richard Foy with the technical assistance of Jack Noone; and the quiet and timely distribution of the hard copies to the recipients of the mailing list engineered by Gus Nolan. This working together as cogs in a Marist Machine makes the whole task seemingly effortless. Thanks to all!

Considering effort, take a glance at John O'Connell's plan to bring together those who shared the formative years at Esopus, Tyngsboro, and Poughkeepsie from '57 through '62. Here you have a fine picture of something that began as a labor of love to bring joy and healing to one of the members of the class of '58, to a magnificent obsession, as names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail contact points were gathered together for a reunion at Esopus scheduled during Holy Week.

Along these lines, please take seriously the invitation below to join us at Marist College as we celebrate the ninth consecutive year of coming together for spiritual renewal. This invitation extends to all!

Ninth Marist Family Weekend
Reunion -- Prayer -- Discussion
July 10,11,12,13, 2003 Marist College

A Loving Heart: 'Do whatever He tells you!'

The ninth Marist Family Weekend continues to explore the meaning of Marist spirituality as expressed in the lives of the Marist Brothers, former Marist Brothers and their spouses, and indeed, the whole Marist family. Presenters will focus on the personal and communal responses to Mary's words.

Reunion of Marist Brothers, former Marist Brothers, wives, friends
Liturgy
Sharing
Visit to Esopus cemetery
Presentations: Gus Nolan, David and Judy Kammer, Rev. Owen Lafferty, Br. Luke Driscoll, Rev. Pat Primeau, and special guests
Marist College Heritage Project: Brian Desilets, Richard Foy, Jack Noone

If interested in participating in this Marist Family Weekend, send registration request to Br. Charles Marcellin, Archbishop Molloy High School, 83-53 Manton Street, Briarwood, New York 11435-1697. Cost of the weekend -- including nine meals, lodging for three nights, snacks, linens, and insurance -- totals $255 for an individual, $375 per couple. A $50 check made out to Marist Brothers is requested to confirm commitment. Total payment by June 1st will reduce total cost by $25 ($230/$350).

from BETTY PERREAULT (wife of ADRIAN ('37): I would like to address my thoughts to the female members of the Greater Marist Community.: Adrian and I were married in 1993. I knew that he was a good, practicing Catholic, but I had much to learn about the rich spiritual heritage that he possessed. We began attending the monthly get-togethers of the Poughkeepsie-area GMC and I found that the Brothers and former Brothers were not looking at me as the wife of one of their friends. No, they were treating me more like their sister.

I read the issues of Marists All and was overwhelmed to discover that all these men who had "left" the Marist Brothers were out bringing the Marist mystique to schools, colleges, hospitals, police departments, and all phases of life where spirituality is sorely lacking.

In July of 1995 Adrian persuaded me to attend, with him, the first Marist family reunion/retreat at the college. I read, with trepidation, the list of names of those who would be attending and realized that I knew almost none of them. But, for Adrian's sake, I was willing to "tough it out" with a bunch of strangers. One of the first conferences was given by Br. Leonard Voegtle -- on Marcellin Champagnat. I went into the room with a very dim familiarity with the name Champagnat. But I came out calling him Marcellin. Since then I have had a very warm feeling for the Founder.

At the reunion I soon discovered that I was not with strangers, but with people who were truly welcoming me. The Marist men were treating me like their sister and the Marist women were becoming my sisters. We were one big family.

We have attended every July reunion since 1995 and each year is like going home. I have watched other women come as newcomers, armed with books, crossword puzzles, and all sorts of things to amuse themselves while they thought their husbands - the monks - would resume the bonding which is so strong among them. Each one soon learned that she was an important part of the group and happily took her place in the family.

I finally realized that we who are married to the former Marist Brothers are a unique sorority. For if our husbands are the spiritual sons of Marcellin Champagnat, we, then, are his daughters. I am convinced that this is the reason we so quickly fit into the Marist family, wherever they are gathered. I hope you will consider attending the ninth get-together in July 2003 and experience this sense of belonging. (12 High Ridge Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603; 845-454-7571; eperrea@earthlink.net)

from CATHERINE CHERRY'S eulogy of LARRY KEOGH: Larry was husband, father, professor, Marist, friend, tease, and lover of God. He was filled with enthusiasm. Enthusiasm comes from the words en Theos, which means "in God," and he lived his life with enthusiasm for learning, teaching, friends and family, shopping and decorating. He lived his life with an awareness of and a desire for a relationship with God, and with a desire to share that God in community. He did so, first as a Marist Brother, then in his family as husband and father, and more recently as a deacon.... Larry began his twenty years as a Marist Brother at Poughkeepsie. He valued those years, the sense of belonging, and ever after he hungered for a community of prayer. He finally found that sense of belonging, that community who thought and questioned, and who prayed together, a group who desired God -- in the community of his brother deacons. (cfpie@total.net)

Congratulations to BR. JOHN KLEIN ('66), who has been elected provincial of the new Province of the United States of America, a unification of the Esopus and the Poughkeepsie provinces. He will take over that position on June 26, 2003, at the opening of the Provincial Chapter to be held in Poughkeepsie. John was provincial of the Esopus province from 1992 to 1998 and had a term as president of the national conference of religious men. Most recently he has been president of Marist High School, Bayonne, New Jersey. Our prayers go with him.

NEWS ITEM: On January 15th, Brother Sean Sammon, Superior General of the Marist Brothers, experienced a mugging in Manila, the Philippines. Sean was not hurt physically, but he lost all but the clothes he was wearing. Br. Sean was met at the Manila airport by Br. Carl Tapp, the rector of the Marist Asia Pacific Center. As the two Brothers drove toward the Center around 10:45 pm, a van brushed the side of their car, forcing them to stop. Three young men with automatic weapons surrounded the car. They took not only what Sean had on his person, but also all of his luggage including his computer, backup disks, personal papers, and passport. We understand that although the computer files were encrypted, many important files were lost, including the text of a circular letter that Sean had completed the day before. Sean is asking that any recent mail to him be re-sent to his second address in Rome, namely: supgen@fms.it. We hope and pray that Br. Sean will not experience any untoward after-effects of this event and that he will be able quickly and successfully to reorganize his important schedule of commitments. And we are prayerfully grateful that no physical harm was done to Br. Carl or Br. Sean.

from BR. SEAN SAMMON ('66): I've returned to Rome following ten days in NewYork on pilgrimage to government office and embassy alike in search of forms to reapply for identity papers and passports. Some success, with the Irish Embassy being the most helpful. The details of the incident in Manila have grown with each telling and retelling of the story. Yes, I was lucky. Tales were told about those shot in similar incidents in recent weeks on Sapphire Street. Violence through, is well known to Marist General Councils, and in some countries just another element with which you must live. Chris Mansion was shot dead during the last administration; Jeff Crowe and Henri Vignau held at gun point during a robbery of one of our community houses in Rwanda; Rennet Cruz dragged from a cab and robbed and beaten about a dozen years ago.

from BR. JOSEPH BELANGER ('43): The third annual St. Marcellin Champagnat Lecture in Catholic Studies will be given by Cardinal Avery Dulles on Monday, April 14, 2003. You may remember that the inaugural lecture was to be given by Br. Leonard Voegtle on April 16, 2000, but at the preceding dinner we learned that he had been rushed to the hospital. The 2001 lecture was given by Peter Steinfels of the New York Times. He spoke on "The Crisis Ahead: American Catholicism in 2025." Our speaker last year was Prof. Ronald Modras of St. Louis University, a specialist in Catholic, Jewish and Muslim relations. His thoughts were most timely after 9/11. This distinguished series has been made possible by the generosity of many of the readers of Marists All, and we take this opportunity to thank you all. The Marcellin Endowment will top $100,000 cash value this year. The $5000 generated covers the dinner and lecture costs. The dinner is at 6 pm. If you plan to attend, notify Valerie Hall in College Advancement by April 4. The lecture follows at 8 pm.

The next goal, an endowed chair in Catholic Studies, is now being enthusiastically pursued, but this will evidently take much more time and generosity. (Marist College, 845-575-3040; Joseph.Belanger@Marist.edu)

from JOHN O'CONNELL('58): For the first time in over forty years -- for the most part -- George Conboy (AZ), Ed McCarthy (NY), Vin Poisella (NJ), Bill Reffelt (NY), Bill Shannon (NJ), Richie Shaw (CA), Russ Therriault (FL) and I (ME) of Esopus '57 and Tyngsboro '58, along with Br. John Hermann ('59) (NY), gathered together during the week of January 20th, meeting in places like Manchester (NH), Islip (NY), as well as Esopus. The most picturesque meeting occurred at LaGuardia Airport with six over-60 year old men from three cars and one airplane, hollering and hugging in a "No Standing/No Parking" zone! This meeting culminated with a close-the-restaurant dinner at Mario's in Setauket (NY) on Friday. Earlier that week, four of us "small b" brothers had connected with "big B" Brothers Joe DiBenedetto, John Nash, and Don Nugent (all '59) near and at Esopus.

We decided to expand our OH bROTHER, THOU ART WHERE? (ObTAW?) Project (originally an attempt to reconnect with members or wanna-be members of the '57, '58, '59 groups) by reaching out also to include our "younger" brothers from the '60 group!

At this point our first '57/''58/''59/''60 Reunion/Gathering ("Whenever two or more are gathered together...") will occur Thursday pm, April 17th, through Saturday am, April 19th in Esopus.

We are holding twenty overnight slots at the "Prep," available at $50 per person on a first come, first served basis by e-mailing us at ObTAW@aol.com. All day Friday visitors and drop-ins are more than welcome, but e-mail your intentions. Br. Don Nugent will provide information regarding local church services. We will be doing a cemetery visit after lunch on Friday as a more informal time for reflection. (By the way, we have thus far been unsuccessful in our attempts to locate Art Bedard, Jim Gara and Pete Walsh from the '58 group.) (15 High Street; Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538; 207-633-0644)

from REV. FRANCIS X. (STEPHEN JOACHIM) GALLOGLY ('52): I have not sent you an update in years because nothing too exciting has been happening to me. The life of a parish priest can be fulfilling, but not necessarily exciting, except for those three years I spent at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. I almost got a statue of Marcellin considered for the outside of the cathedral, but then the rector - a St. Agnes boy - and I moved on and the Cardinal died.

I went to Cape Coral in Florida on the west coast. I was near Bill Sears and some others, I am told. I got phone calls. My health kicked up among the palm trees and I came back to Villanova University where my life as an Augustinian began. I presently take care of the spiritual needs of about three hundred Sisters of St. Joseph in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. I never had a sister of my own, and so this is something new for me. (St. Augustine Friary, 214 Ashwood Rd, Villanova, PA 19085; 610-527-0325, ext. 283; galloglyfx@aol.com)

from JOHN LOUGHREN ('59): I've been in the Minneapolis area since I left the congregation in '69. I've been married to Georgia for thirty-one years. We met in graduate school at the University of Minnesota. Daughter Liz is twenty-six and in graduate school at UCLA, and son Johnny is twenty-one and soon to graduate from college. I've maintained contact with John McDonnell and Johnny Bantz over the years. (1823 Spring Valley Cir., Golden Valley MN 55422; 763-522-0828; jloughren@excite.com)

from PATRICK GALLAGHER ('53): I would like to share a most remarkable experience that Mary and I had this past October. We had planned a vacation in Italy and had visited Venice and Tuscany, and with a warm invitation from Sean Sammon, had taken the train to Rome to stay there for a few days before flying back to the States.

On our second day there we were at lunch with Gerry Brereton, Juan Arcondada (administrator of the Generalate) and Sean when I found myself drenched in perspiration and almost passing out. Sean literally ran back to the Generalate to get a car and Mary got me back there by taxi. Not wanting to go to the hospital behind the house with its questionable reputation, Sean drove quickly to the Rome American Hospital where I was almost immediately examined. Within twenty-four hours I was operated on for a serious bowel obstruction and recovered quickly.

Rich Dunleavy, the Secretary General, picked us up from the hospital and brought us back to our rooms in the generalate. For a week we became part of the community, and during that time we, in different ways, experienced a wonderful immersion in things Marist. We visited Jean Pierre in the archives and saw some of Brother Francois' notebooks, spent time with Luis in publications, watched TV news with Gerry and Rich. But most importantly we felt such hospitality, openness, and Marist charity. Both of us participated in the Mass and morning and evening prayers with the community and were so remarkably moved by these men of prayer. For me, the week there was a retreat of sorts, for I came away reinspired by this wonderful Marist spirit and that of St. Marcellin. It may seem odd to say that the stay at the Generalate for those unexpected ten days was the highlight of the trip. What could have been a horrible time was made one of the happiest and most uplifting through the generosity of Sean, Juan, and the whole community.

On our last day in Rome, Mary and I took the train up to Manziana, the Marist house for the "third phase" and had a wonderful day there. George Fontana was the perfect host. I met two Brothers who somehow had remembered me from our meetings in the mid-60's and then George drove us around the beautiful lake before getting the train back to Rome. I can certainly say from seeing it up close that Vic Liuzzo's overseeing the renovation of the house was a masterful success in an incomparably beautiful setting. (Box 60, Indian Valley, VA 24105; 540-789-4056; gpatrick@swva.net)

from BR. RICHARD ALOYSIUS MICHEL ('30), known to many of us as Br. Gene Michel, died Sunday, November 24th, shortly into his 90th year. He died in his quarters at a Marist retirement community in Miami. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Tuesday, the 26th, at St. John Vianney College Seminary Chapel within walking distance of the community residence and of Christopher Columbus High School in Miami. Brother Joe Teston gave the eulogy; it was said to be masterful.

Gene was a native of Savannah, a true Southern gentleman, and a lifelong golfer as well as a steady religious. He is survived by a nephew, Rev. Michael Kavanaugh, of the diocese of Savannah at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Port Wentworth, Georgia, 31407. Burial was at the Marist Brothers Cemetery in Esopus.

from BR. CLEMENT L. LEGARE died on Wednesday, January 29th. Messages of condolence may be sent to Monastery Community, 4200 West 115th Street, Chicago, IL

from DAN ST. JACQUES ('52): I have just been informed as a result of a cat scan, that a four centimeter cyst was discovered on the head of my pancreas. Additional test and biopsy will be done soon and I would appreciate being remembered in the prayers of the Brothers and our associates. Many thanks. (106 Sackville Road, Garden City, NY 11530; 516-747-4610; drstjacques@aol.com)

re BILL (JOSEPH WILLIAM) MURPHY ('40): Bill's wife Sandy writes, "Bill wants me to let you know that he is now in a nursing home due to Parkinson's disease. Although he is in a wheelchair and must be fed, he still has his sense of humor." (1301 College Avenue #8A, South Milwaukee WI 53172)

from BOB ST. AMAND ('58): Since my departure from the "brotherhood," I have moved around quite a bit. However, married life has changed all that; I now live in New Jersey and have for about twenty-five years. My wife and I have no children of our own, but we both have been involved with lots of children through our association with softball in town. I have furthered my education by obtaining two master's degrees and a Ph.D. in chemistry. I taught at the secondary school level, worked in industry, and am presently teaching at a community college. I liked all of my past work experiences, but the present situation is most satisfying. (20 Sutton Place, Cranford, NJ 07016-2026; 908-272-0399; rp.sta@comcast.net)

from RICHARD FOY ('45): I've been locating information about deceased Brothers we may have known or who were instrumental in the development of the Marist Brothers in the USA. Most of the work has been done by others, especially Brother Joseph Belanger, who extensively researched the information about Brothers Zephriny (purchaser of the Poughkeepsie properties), Florentius (the founder of Mount St. Michael and Central Catholic in Lawrence), Ptolemeus (a mathematical genius) and Legotianus (who taught me physics in the Juniorate). Also, I've transcribed some bios printed in a booklet in the 1980s, which include obits for Brothers Roch Anthony, Augustine Pinard, Joseph Damian, Xavier Leonard, Felix Mathias, Raphael Ziegler, and Brendan Regis Ginnity. These are also in the obits. With the help of Brother Richard Rancourt, who seems to squirrel away tons of interesting information about just about everything, I've added obits for Brothers Terence Jones, Kieran Thomas, and Nilus Donnelly. They make interesting reading. In the course of our research on the impact of Marist Brothers on the development of Marist College, Jack Noone renewed contact with Rita Hunt, the woman who posed for those Blessed Virgin photos in the clerestories of the Marist College Chapel and the Ascension photo in the student brothers' study hall. I've written to her and received a fascinating letter in response, but I think I may need her permission before publishing it anywhere.

A word about the Esopus web site. I circulated CDs to many of those who assisted me in gathering the materials together, and have received many bits and pieces of information. I'm still hoping for more little stories about life there as a teacher, Junior, Novice, Scholastic, camp counselor. They don't have to be major essays. Even one sentence comments about what you remember are welcome. I had intended to add the collection of Brother Stephen Kappas' photos, and Steve and I made tentative arrangements to meet during the Christmas break to scan the many elegant photos on the walls of the English Village compound. My wife experienced an accident which required a skin graft on her right ankle, and I understand Steve broke his ankle on the day we were to meet! Are these omens? (717 Washington Avenue; Chappaqua, NY 10514; 914-238-8001)

from DAVID KAMMER ('42): Thanks to the assiduous work of Richard Foy at the Marists All web site, you may now find updated lists of postal and e-mail addresses of our contacts, as well as an updated list of the correspondence of our writers. Rich is also in the midst of doing some nice work in the obit section of the site. It is good to read about and remember some of the fine men we have known and lived with in the past.

The site is: www.ecommerce.marist.edu/foy/maristsall

Past issues of Marists All dating back to #50, September 1999, may be found on the site. Anyone receiving printed copies of the newsletter by mail who are satisfied to view each new issue on-line, let us know so that we may save a bit of printing and postage money.

Two full sets of past issues are saved in the province archive office in Esopus. Vince Poisella and David Kammer are preserving full sets for reference. Gus Nolan plans to give a set to Marist College as part of the Marist Heritage Project. Copies of most of the earlier typewritten issues are available through me. Contact us at vtpoisella@yahoo.com, gusnolan@aol.com, foy@TelUtopia.com, kammer@mpinet.net.

Marists All Archives:

(The following excerpts are taken from the earliest issues of Marists All in 1987 and 1988. Some are inspired, others prophetic. All are interesting! ed.)

from DAVID KAMMER's original proposal: "We would like to mail a newsletter to every Marist community in the U.S. and to every U.S. address where there is a Marist at heart. We propose to share news about all of us, that we may rejoice with one another and be concerned about the distressed. Besides brief news items, the newsletter might feature biographical accounts about Marist Brothers and about brothers who are not canonically attached. "

Issue #1:

From BR. DENNIS DUNNE: "I appreciate your interest and caring concern for all FMS. I wish you every blessing and great success on the Greater Marist Newsletter."

From DAVID KAMMER: "Many liked the title "Marist at Heart" best, but in final analysis, it does not seem inclusive enough. So with your indulgence we'll use 'Marists All.' ... Br. Leonard Voegtle has alerted us to the coincidence of a Philippine newsletter similar to ours. It, too, started in January of 1987. It states: 'Each one of us has a story to tell filled with joy, pain, happiness, love, adventure, Mary, God, and true brotherhood." (quoting from Nemesio Blanco's letter to Leonard) 'The gang of ex-Marists had several meetings and group activities, mostly social, one meeting with Br. Jim McKnight. There is an existing mutual understanding: that neither we nor the Marists wish to sever our ties.' "

Issue #2

from G. PATRICK GALLAGHER ('55): "There are a lot of people out there that I would be interested in keeping in touch with, and hearing how the years have been treating them. I find this more as I reach a certain age; I've just turned 50. It might be a question of looking back on some of our roots; it might be putting things in order; it might be restoring and reliving some of the good memories."

Issue #3

from BR. PAUL AMBROSE: Thanks for the copy of the publication on Marists and former Marists. I believe it is not only a very worthwhile idea, but one that will be productive for good to present and previous Marists. I do not care for any title that will pretend to say who is Marist now or previously. It is a matter of the heart more than of any physical or legal bond. ... Hope that the copies will eventually reach Liberia, even if the nearest post office is 350 miles away."

Issue #4

from DONALD (Chris Matthew) EDWARDS ('57): I was surprised at my reactions to the first newsletters. Talk about mixed emotions; sort of like dealing with a lifetime of unfinished business! Really enlightening to realize that I spent twelve years of my life with so many wonderful people, and yet I hardly knew them. Then their voices popped up off the print in the newsletter. "

Issue #5

from BR. THOMAS KELLY ('53): "The Marists All newsletter arrived in Sargodha, Pakistan, just before Christmas, and I could not think of a more welcomed Christmas gift. Reading through the list of names of those who receive the newsletter brought back many fond memories of our days sweating under the lash of Tee Mike on the project, as well as the many years so many of us worked together at our various schools."

Issue #6

from BR. JOHN MCDONNELL ('59): "Buon Giorno! ... l'll be mentioning all of you and those you love to Our Lord in Rome. C'mon over and visit! Spaghetti carbonara and Frascati wine on me! Am delighted with the newsletter. Could you put me on your 'foreign' mailing list? Grazie!"

from VINCE POISELLA, EDITOR: Thanks to all those who wrote for our current issue of Marists All. We anxiously await contributions for our next issue. Send them on to me at 24 Brooklyn Mountain Road, Hopatcong, NJ 07843 or vtpoisella@yahoo.com; or to David Kammer or Gus Nolan. Thanks also to those who have sent monetary contributions to assist in the expenses, especially most recently, Ron Kearney and Jim Guldner. Keep September 13th on your calendar for our next GMC Picnic at Mount St. Michael.

Omnia Ad Jesum Per Mariam!