ISSUE # 72

May 2003

 from VINCENT POISELLA, editor: Behind the scenes at the Marists All power plant, David Kammer, Rich Foy, Gus Nolan are at the controls. In addition, our web site technician, Jack Noone, who represents in superb manner the Founder's wish that we "do good quietly," has been at work at the Marists All web site. He has enhanced Rich Foy's creation and given it a new look. It is more convenient and interesting if you would like to navigate around the site.

On the home page, the ticker tape is frequently updated to bring you the latest news concerning the Marist family. Greater detail concerning the ticker tape news item can be found on the News Bulletin web page. The History of Marists All web page has been redesigned by having moving applet text superimposed over the image of St. Marcellin Champagnat. The Obituaries web section has been revamped so as to combine two new features: a revolving personal introduction to each of the deceased compiled with an alphabetical listing to make it easier to reach each linked eulogy. Why not take a moment to visit each of these new features.

Jack is also in the process of copying all the past issues of Marists All newsletters on to the Archives section. A new navigational bar is planned in the near future to make it even easier to move about the Marists All web site. Enjoy!

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

  • Special Guests/Presenters: Br. Luke Driscoll, Br. John Malich, Rev. Owen Lafferty, Gus Nolan, Don Mulcare, Rev. Pat Primeau, Rev. Ed Keel, Br. Rene Roy, David Kammer

  • The Marist College Heritage Project: Brian Desilets, Richard Foy, Jack Noone  

You are welcome to participate in the 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 whole weekend -- including nine meals, lodging for three nights, snacks, linens, and insurance -- totals $255 for an individual, $375 per couple. Cost will be pro-rated for those who are < able to join us for only part of the weekend. Please come, even if only for a day or a few hours. Those who have other < accommodations may request “meals only.” Let us know your plans so that we have enough food for you! Contact Br. Charles Marcellin (718-441-2100; or Vince Poisella (973-398-5477;  

  GMC PICNIC Once again we look forward to seeing many of you at the annual Greater Marist Community picnic to be held at Mt. St. Michael in the Bronx. The gathering will take place on Saturday, September 13th, noon to five pm. Come with spouse and children or come alone. Bring your own beverage and a potluck dish for a shared meal. All Brothers are most welcome to join in. Thanks to the director and to the community of the Mount for welcoming us.

from TOM FAHEY ('58): Thanks for your continuing message of reaching out to all of us who had the privilege of being part of the Marist Community whether large or (as in my case) very small; but I carry in memory forever the courage, character and charisma of those wonderful Marists I lived with for two and a half years at the prep in Esopus from September, 1954, to January, 1957. (One the Boulevard, New Rochelle, NY 10801; 914-576-3335;

from JOSEPH (Eugene Michael) HORAN ('50): When I read the Marists All issues, I recall with fond memories those moments in our young life where we shared so much with our classmates. Then, reading about the recent deaths of those who were close to us, I think of the impact they had on us. These are moments to be remembered always. My wife Dolores and I often talk about the many former and present Brothers we met over the years. She still recalls the class reunions we attended. She has always felt a part of this small group. As for us, we have daughters that have given us many wonderful experiences, as well as grandchildren. My daughter Joelle moved from Boston to Ft. Lauderdale. This gives us a four hour drive to visit her and our granddaughter, since we live north of Tampa. I just completed my elected turn as the homeowners association chairman. It was a long two years, but we were able to establish our goals. Now I can just relax and enjoy retirement. Perhaps we could have a class reunion in 2005. I heard from Br. Stephen Urban since my last letter. It brought back so many excellent memories. Until our next class meeting, I think of each of my Brothers. (10426 Collar Dr.; San Antonio, FL 33576; 352-588-0179;

from BILL MAHER ('54): Great job on the web site! A little anecdote for Richard Foy. I don't know if you were with the four of us who were selected to carry bricks to the top of the scaffold above the stage while the gym was being built in Esopus in 1951. Four of us who were slight and small were given buckets with four bricks to walk across the scaffolding to give to the mason who was working. Br. Francis, in his most serious of faces and voice (none of us knew who this man was at the time ), said: " would be better for you to jump down onto the slate below than to tell me you chipped one of the bricks that have already been set!" It was bad enough being up at that height, but then to have to be told that really set us on edge. It wasn't until years later having the opportunity to live with him in Poughkeepsie that I was personally able to know the caring and soft side of Br. Francis Xavier. (63 Eddy St., Norton, MA 02766; 508-285-4905;

from CHARLES W. KENNEDY ('58): A tribute to Dan Kirk: He was known at St. Ann's Academy. He was known at Marist College. And it was there that he helped me. A cry in the wilderness, and he answered me. General psychology...adolescent psychology...David Ausubel...satellizing, non-satellizing, and exploratory children... and growth.... In memoriam, December 5, 1998. (43-34 42nd Street; Sunnyside, NY 11104 -2811; 718-786-6191)

 from BILL DESCHENE ('53): (This story is dedicated to the eight Brothers of my class who are celebrating their 50th anniversary of vowed Marist life. It is a reliving of the hospitality given to groups of students and myself on the occasions of our annual Easter bike hike from St. Helena's to Esopus and back via stops at Cold Spring and Haverstraw during the late sixties and early seventies.) The last stop on this week-long trek was at the Marist community in Haverstraw. The Brothers who lived there taught in the local grade school. They were, to my way of thinking back then, 'the over-the -hill crowd.' All had completed illustrious careers as teachers: Marc and Rock; skilled tailor Lucian; gourmet cook, under difficult circumstances, Herbie Hoover; and Camp Marist's first director, Big Ben. Now, in advanced years, they showed up at school at 7: 30 and left at 2:30 after putting in a full day in the classroom. Then came Office and evening prayer at 3:00 pm, followed by supper at four. After dishes, most were off to their evening activities, except for Herbie, who stayed and got things set up for the next day. I was used to a grade school staff being like the one I had joined with fellow rookies, Francis Regis, Joe Strang, and John Dunne at Rego Park in the late fifties. Our guides then were Alphonse Louis (low thirties), Kevin Justin, and Bernie Nolan, both under thirty -- although Br. Bernard tried to pass himself off as very experienced. (By comparison, the Haverstraw group was like a car whose odometer had been reset.) Upon arriving at the Brother's residence, Big Ben would take us to the Church and let us into the basement where we stowed our bikes and set down our sleeping bags. Then it was up to the house for supper. The bikers, ranging in number from seven to thirteen, were treated to steak, real French fries (peeled, cut, and patted dry), and a kid-friendly vegetable, like frozen corn or green beans. Dessert was Herbie's fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. The Brothers were very animated, as grandfathers often are, regaling us with their stories and asking interested questions about their guests' biking experiences. On one occasion, a buzzer sounded. Big Ben hurriedly put on his firefighter suit and rushed out to a fire, bidding adieu to the wide-eyed kids with not a little pride. Lucian soon donned his Scout uniform and excused himself as he headed out to a meeting. Marc and Rock left soon after, one to a nursing home, the other to who knows where. After cleanup, Herbie, the kids and I watched TV for a while before retiring to the church basement. The next day, it was French toast and sausages for breakfast, and bags of apples, as we set off toward the GW Bridge and home, rested and nourished both by food, and later on, by fond recollections. So there you have it. Resetting those odometers worked for them. Then again, there's something beautiful about watching vehicles that housed odometers slowly changing back to their natural state. (P.O. Box 156, Burlington, ME 04417)

 from JIM O'BRIEN ('54): Rose Ann and I have had a poor six months since October. Our son-in-law was killed in an accident. Our daughter has a girl fifteen, and a son twenty-one graduating from Purdue in May. It was a shock and very hard on all our family. Rose Ann fell while helping our daughter and had to have knee surgery. I need a neck operation for a degenerative disc. If it weren't for doctors and hospital visits, we'd have no 'social life.' We can always use more prayers. That's what keeps us going. I am a real estate broker with Prudential Carolina Real Estate. Property down here is going like Long Island was in the 60's and 70's. We are about 700 miles from New York City and have many clients from the NY,NJ,CT,PA areas. (311 Laughing Gull Court, Charlotte, NC 38470-5161; 910-575-4880;  

  from JOHN O'CONNELL ('58): Hey, B/ brothers! Had a good day at our April 18th 'gathering' in Esopus, even though only two of our four (57/58/59/60) groups were represented. From the '58 group: Tom Fahey, Bernie Ortuoste, Vince Poisella, Bill Shannon, Bob St. Amand, and I. From the '59 group: George Farrell, John Hermann, John McGalagly, Raoul Molnar, Mike Mullin, John Nash, Don Nugent, and Frank Sutton. Each of us took a bit of time to catch the rest of us up on the last forty years (!), not only as a way of reestablishing relationships and bringing us into the present, but also to begin building our community of caring, electronic or otherwise, for the future. Along the way, we acknowledged and shared info regarding the circumstances around our thirteen deceased members: rest in peace, Charlie Collins, Kenny Connell, Renato Cruz, Cap Dooley, Tim Dooley, Bob Englert, Vinnie Hall, Phil La Croix, John Lee, Pat McMahon, Bill Mielke, Ron Pochintesta, John Reul. Know that many of you who missed our little gathering were talked about, unable as you were to defend yourselves! Those of you who had specifically sent regrets might have been more favorably remembered (?): Greg Ballerino, Jerry Brereton, Jerry Byrne, Nick Caffrey, John Dillon, Reggie Diss, Ed Doran, Don Edwards, Phil Hannigan, Pat Hogan, Bob Holm, Kevin Finn, Tom Hourican, Vince Kenny, John Kinch, Pete Kuveke, Mo LaChance, Bill Lambert, Robert Lopez, John McDonnell, Don Mulcare, Ron Mulholland, Russ Therriault, John Trainor, and John Wilcox. Because of the interest, we decided to have another group gathering for those of us who lived together once upon a time, between 1954 and 1960. We are thinking about piggy-backing either on the Marist College Homecoming (October 10-12), or around the ceremony for those buried in Esopus, usually scheduled around All Souls Day in November. Please weigh in if you have any thoughts on the matter. Other opportunities to connect might include the Marist Family Gathering July 10-13, and/or the Greater Marist Community Picnic on September 13th. (15 High Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538; 207-633-0644;

 from PHIL HANNIGAN ('60): (from a note to JOHN O'CONNELL): I spent twenty years in the US Air Force and retired from the Pentagon as a Lieutenant Colonel. Still working. We manage several Industry Associations. Interesting work, and no heavy lifting. I finally dropped the nickname you gave me ("Crash"). At one time I was a nuclear missile launch officer in SAC and definitely did not need that nickname. I cannot thank you enough for the time and effort you have put into getting the names of the people we went to school with, much less the other contact information. I would be delighted to see the old gang again: Reggie Diss, John Reynolds, Cookie Maher, Dick Couto, and Rene Roy. Please keep me in the loop. (239 -939-3980; )

 from BR. DENIS HEVER ('64): Recently, it became clear that I have a brain tumor. It took a year to figure that out!  It is very deep and inoperable. Radiation and chemotherapy will start soon. I write this so that you will know that your prayers are requested. I am feeling wonderful, and if you saw me, you would say: "This guy looks terrific"  (Excuse the vanity!) So, do not picture anyone wan. (denishever@yahoo.com_

 from DAVID KAMMER ('42): Isidore Sabeta suffered a stroke on Easter Sunday morning at his home in Arare, Zimbabwe, and passed away later that day. Isidore graduated from Marist College around 1969 and then gained a Master's Degree in chemistry from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He taught at Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie before returning to Zimbabwe in 1974. Sabeta is fondly remembered as "Izzy" by many of the Marist community of the early 70's. (499 East Pond Rd; Smithfield, ME 04978; 207-362-5495;

 from BR. HUGH TURLEY ('54) on BR. CLEMENT LEGARE ('34): Our dear Br. Clem has passed away. We've lost a very genuine Marist Brother. Br. Clem received life from God and his parents in 1916 and his vocation with the Marist Brothers in 1931 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He taught and worked with his fellow Marists in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, West Virginia, Rome (Italy), and Illinois. His specialties were computers, physics, and chemistry.

 But his students were his first love. He used and mastered the classroom, the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin, the rifle club, the flying club, ham radio, science and math classes, fund raising and tutoring -- all to nurture the growth and development of his students. He was a rough and tumble "teddy bear", and his students loved him!

 Br. Clem never retired. At 73, he took up inputting data for our Remembrance in Prayer Program. He gradually assumed directorship of the program until he was hospitalized at the age of 86 for an aneurysm on his dorsal aorta. He never recovered from a post-operative dependence on a respirator. For almost nine months his condition slowly deteriorated, until his death on January 29, 2003. (10114 South Leavitt, Chicago, IL 60643;

 from JOHN SAINSBURY ('61): I have always considered William Murphy as a role model for excellence in intellect and challenging teaching. Class experience with him was intense. His "opening act" would warn that "knowledge maketh a bloody entry," and that we could expect no quarter from his expectation for excellence from us.

 As I recall, he had five graduate degrees, including a licentiate from Oxford. He would prepare meticulously for his lecture. He would stroll around the room, stopping for piercing questions to track learning's progress. Only occasionally would he refer to his notes.

 Our Tyngsboro novitiate class was blessed with William Murphy one semester for three courses! (English composition, English literature; and metaphysics) At various times during the semester, he would apologize for the heavy reading and writing assignments. He urged us on with a black humor on how he, as the philosophy professor, had talked with ( in the third person) our literature professor to convince him to cut back on the pace of reading assignments in Anna Karenina, to no avail. Then in literature class he would advise how he had been unsuccessful in convincing his English composition "associate" to reduce his writing assignment load!

Sometimes sparks would fly as he would not accept mediocrity from his students. He was particularly unsuccessful one class in getting questions answered or dialogue discussion of the chapters of Anna Karenina. He stopped his lecture and put the chilling question to us as to how many were up to each of the chapters assigned. At that point, best of my recall, virtually no one was. He slammed his book closed and gathered up his notes. With flushed face and fire in his eyes, he advised us that he was not going to further waste his time that day. We should use the rest of the class time to catch up on our reading and best be prepared for our next class. He then assigned four more chapters and walked out of the class leaving us feverishly reading Tolstoy. We did not fall behind again.

 I think of the Dominican scholar A.G. Sertillange's comment: "The light of God shines under your study lamp."  What a blessing to have experienced William Murphy's teaching. (1609 Havemeyer Lane, Bedondo Beach, CA 90278-4717; 310-379-8204; johnsainsbury

from RICHARD COUTO ('60): We called him "Wild Bill" Murphy. We were his first class at the Tyngsboro novitiate, and he brought us his high expectations for study and thoughtful expression of ideas. His courses ranged over different disciplines in a manner that is anathema today, but in each of them he brought a determination to engage the ideas and authors of that field and to engage us in engaging them as well. In his one-room college, we knew that we had moved from high school to some place of serious encounter with ideas. I can still picture him whipping off his glasses and swinging them by one of their side pieces in half-circles in front of his face while he searched for the right word or a connection of two ideas. We called him "wild" because of the energy he brought to the classroom and the (unreasonable) amount of work he gave us. A tradition that we carry on. We called him "wild" also because of his humor and irreverence. He challenged icons of the mind and of groups. He could magnify a mistake into humor. For instance, one of the retired Brothers boasted of having all of his teeth - seventy-two of them - and Bill responded, "What, do you have a set in your mouth and a set in your pocket?" Sometimes that humor could hit its target as ridicule, but there was a warmth and caring connection that softened the barb with time and prodded rather than wounded us.

 He was a marvelous teacher and a wonderful example of a thinking person. He remains among my best recollections and points of pride of my association with the Marist Brothers (Antioch University, 2424 Trefoil Way, Richmond, VA 23235; 804-320-2448;

from BR. RENE ROY ('60): We were 18 and 19 years old, just out of high school, most out of the Prep, and a giant walked into our life. We've never been the same. Postulant year, St. Joseph's Novitiate, Tyngsboro, Massachusetts, 1959. Yes, 35 unsure young men were confronted by this intellectual who had just returned from Louvain, Belgium, laden with the latest in Scripture, mariology, and theology, who was also our philosophy and English teacher. We were both fascinated and perplexed by his command of all that he taught, and by his demands on us, who were limited to just a few hours of study per day. He loaded up the library with Great Books: Hardy, Dostoevsky, Conrad, Buck, Proust, Wilde, and demanded that we read and report on them. He ripped our first reports to shreds, realizing that he'd have to teach us how to write one that showed insight and made sense. He challenged us with epistemology, ontology, and metaphysics. June 4, 1960: our philosophy final. We had learned all he taught, but more: we had experienced the euphoria of doing something we considered impossible; we learned how to stick with it and not let it destroy us; we learned the sweet feeling of working hard to conquer and come out stretched beyond what we had ever imagined ourselves capable of. It was the greatest lesson of my postulant year, one that has sustained me though my first years of teaching, three years of formation work in the Cold Spring Novitiate, fourteen years on the Pine Ridge Reservation, four years as vocation director, four years in Rwanda, and to this date, three years as principal of a poor, in debt, but great, high school. If it had not been for the challenges presented by "JWilliam the Magnificent," as some of us called him, and his leading us to discover our potential, I never should have "made it through the rain."

 His death brings back many a memory. His death is cause to express appreciation and gratitude for the legacy he left us when we parted from Tyngsboro on August 16, 1961, headed for Marist College. Each of us in that group has had a tremendous influence on those who have come into our lives. Their lives are richer because ours were enriched by William J. Murphy, Brother Joseph William. (4509 Eoff St., Wheeling, WV 26003; 304-233-8334;

 from BR. STEVE MINOGUE: I would like to comment on the death of Mrs. Helen Tobin, wife of John Tobin (Br. Patrick Alban): On April 22, 2003, Mass was celebrated in the Church of St. Pius IX, Towaco, New Jersey, for a funeral well attended by the parishioners she loved and served so well. After a rather painful struggle with a diabetic d\condition and serious circulatory complications which intensified when dialysis no longer proved effective, Helen breathed her last on Holy Saturday morning. Despite the slow and painful revelations which death imposes on its victims, Helen nevertheless continued to fix her gaze on God with faith and hope, accepting uncomplainingly whatever he would send her. Remarkable, really, for, toward the end, the Lord asked a lot.

 Her family gave touching testimony of her: "Aunt Helen simply loved God, and that was her whole life," said one. And to the Marist Brothers she was outstandingly generous. She contributed to the Province Retirement Fund and the Missions and to a fund for underprivileged students at Archbishop Molloy High School.

 Those who knew Helen Tobin over the years could testify that she stood tall and steady in the truth of her faith in God. What she believed, she lived. This stood out in all she had to say and share, in her decisions and relationships. It explains her generous heart. It was her strength in death. She was a very devout and prayerful person. Helen Tobin, Woman of God. R.I.P. (Archbishop Molloy High School, 83-53 Manton Street, Briarwood, NY 11435; 718-441-2100)

 from BOB TOOLE ('54): As you may know, FRANK CASEY, aged 71, passed away on March 24th. I had met Frank only once at one of the Marist College weekend retreats, and he shared with me at length his love and caring for the monks. At his wake there was a photo collage prominently displayed of his Marist Brotherhood and current family, plus a "plug" for donations for the retired monks. My sympathies were extended to his wife Marcella, his brother Tom, and his sister Sheila. (As a Brother, Frank had taught at Mount St. Michael and Cardinal Hayes. A niece, Maureen Casey, wrote: "I know I'm biased, but to me he was the most amazing man I knew." His wife, Marcella Casey, resides at 26 Carrie Avenue; Bethpage, New York 11714-6407; 516-249-4890 - Editor)

 As for me, I retired in 2001. Marcia and I have four granddaughters and a grandson. Our oldest son has four children and our second son has one, with identical twins expected in October. They and their wives tell us these seven will complete their families. Our daughter (26) is unmarried at this time. Marcia has been a hospital volunteer for many years, and I am a volunteer in the cancer care unit of Mercy Hospital in nearby Rockville Centre. I get to say many private prayers over these patients as I care for them or take them for their various treatments. They are so appreciative of any kindness extended to them. (2778 Wilson Avenue; Bellmore, NY 11710; 516-826-4022)

 from BR. DOMINICK O'SULLIVAN (via BR. DON NEARY): I am writing to inform you of the death on March 18th of BR. FERGUS MC CANN. Some of the American Brothers would have known him when he was Master of Second Novices in Switzerland from 1969 to 1979. Fergus was well known for his scholarship in the fields of Scripture and theology and for his time kept very much up to date through reading of journal articles published in English, French or German. Fergus had not enjoyed good health for many years but only started to decline seriously since moving to the Campbelltown Seniors Community in August, 1999. Fergus was 92 with his next birthday due in May, and in his 72nd year as a Marist

 2004 National Conference of Lay Marists
 "Making the Whole World Marist"

 When: April 15-18, 2004
Where: Boston/Quincy Marriott Hotel, Boston, MA
What: A weekend celebration of Marist spirituality. Join other Marist laity, priests, sisters, and brothers from all over the country for joyful liturgy, inspirational talks, special tourist events, entertainment, fun, fellowship, and more!
Why: To "think, judge, feel, and act like Mary in all things"

 Renew yourself in the Marist Spirit and rediscover the role of Marist laity. Mark your calendar now! More information to follow throughout the year. (Ann Brown, Chair; Marist Family Laity Service Committee; 10610 East Hercules; Sun Lakes AZ 85248; 480-802-3742)

from BR. KEVIN BLYTH (received by GUS NOLAN): Greetings from "down under"! I have just returned from two Marist "episodes" here in our Sydney Province. The first was our round of visits to our schools in the northern State of Queensland. What do we do? Well, we encourage personal and corporate (?) Marist Spirituality in all of these schools. Really, I suppose it is an effort, usually enthusiastically received, to maintain a connection with the Brothers and with Marist educational and spiritual philosophy. About fifty-five schools around the continent belong to what we call the Association of Marist Schools of Australia.

The second "episode" is a movement we call "Sharing Our Call."  This consists of six sessions each year where about thirty teachers (support staff included) come to our old novitiate at Mittagong (150 kms southwest of Sydney) from Sunday afternoon to Wednesday lunchtime for a pretty intensive three days on things Marist. So far, just under 1500 educators have done this course. So, even though age has caught up with many of us, there is still enormous vitality and interest in things Marist.

 Thanks very much for continuing to send me the Marists All. I always read it with great interest. I know a lot of names - especially those whom I have met, e.g., Luke Driscoll, Sean Sammon, Lenny, and so on. But others as well, by reputation or stories passed on!

 Some of our former men are having what they are calling "A Marist Muster" later in April. This is taking place in Canberra, and I think they are expecting a goodly number. Unfortunately, I am unable to be there as I will be thousands of kilometres away in Ayr on that weekend. I have taken the liberty of sending the March issue of Marists All to the chap who is organising this  "Muster".   It might give him and his committee some good ideas. You might be interested in looking up the Australian Marist Website. The address is: Each school in the two provinces has links, so you might pass a few hours (?) checking up on us. (

 from JIM FRIEL ('52): The new issue of the national magazine Humanities, which I edit, has an editorial endorsing the Pope's position on world peace. In these trying times, I think it's important to share such ideas. All the best (20 Vail St., Northport, NY 11768-3038; 516-757-7506;

(Thanks to all who sent written contributions to Marists All. And an extra thanks to those who sent a monetary contribution to defray costs of mailing. Ed., 24 Brooklyn Mountain Road, Hopatcong, NJ 07843; 973-398-5477;