GMC picnic: All
are invited to the annual Greater Marist Community picnic to be held
on Saturday, September 13th, in the garth at Mount St. Michael Academy,
4300 Murdock Avenue, in the Bronx. As with other years, the picnic will
be held rain or shine. People generally arrive about noon and stay until
about 5 p.m. Bring your own beverage and a potluck dish for a shared
meal. Although the "regulars" will be there again(!), we are
always pleasantly surprised when a new face appears, accompanied by
such words as: "...I've been wanting to come for years and just
got around to it."
Marist Family Weekend July 10,11,12,13:
They first came together nine years ago. There was an invitation from
Larry Keogh, Br. Hugh Turley, and Br. Denis Dunne -- a desire to see
each other, renew acquaintance, talk about those strange times many
years before that brought them together in a training time under the
Marist banner. And so, what started so innocently became an annual time
of renewal and searching. Not only were old friendships renewed, but
a sense of purpose was added in the rediscovery of Marist Spirit. But
each year someone else was missing, his or her place taken by someone
new. A small cadre of Brothers and a larger one of former Brothers,
wives, and even a widow of a former Marist, came together. This community,
as it reconvened each year continuing its search, grew in age and grace.
This year' s presenters who inspired the group as a whole included
Br. Luke Driscoll, Gus Nolan, David Kammer, Rev. Owen Lafferty, Don
Mulcare, Br. Rene Roy, Br. John Malich. Added blessings included two
Marist Fathers -- Rev. Ed Keel and Rev. Pat Primeaux-- who celebrated
the Liturgy for the group. Rich Foy and Gus Nolan shared the research
developed through the Marist College Heritage Project, depicting the
early years of the Poughkeepsie and Esopus properties.
One of the most awesome benefits of the weekend was the recognition
of the wives of former Marists and their contributions to the weekend.
The assimilation was completed: not only have they come to understand
the special gifts inherited by their spouses through the Marist Spirit,
but they themselves were now offering in return what they had garnered
over these few years. In short, this weekend was a blessing for all
of us! (Editor)
from BR. JOSEPH BELANGER (43): I spoke at Nassau Community
College in April on the social work and doctrine of St. Marcellin Champagnat.
Nassau was hosting the annual meeting of the Society of Catholic Social
Scientists.... In May I spoke on the three stages of Albert Camus' plan
to make the world a better place. This talk, in French, took place in
Poitiers, France, to two dozen members of the Camus Society from around
the world. My brother Ernie accompanied me to Poitiers. Ernie is now
fully retired from teaching and does some selling of keyboards for AlphaSmart,
a British company, and for Cortron, a US company. Alicia is retiring
in July. Their daughter Amaya married Javier Duran in April 2002 and
is now practicing medicine in a social security hospital in Madrid.
Javier works computers for the distribution of electricity around Madrid.
Ernie's son Diego has finished his studies and will be taking the medical
boards in the fall. (email@example.com and Joseph.Belanger@Marist.edu)
from DICK (Stephen Aloysius) BRANIGAN (50): Call it a
retreat. Call it a six-day vacation at a cabin in the Wisconsin northwoods.
We'll remember it as a generous gift from Charlie Scott and his wife
Anne. (A sweet and accommodating wife is one of God's crowning glories.)
For the last week in July, they gave over their well-appointed cottage
on Four-Mile Lake near Eagle River to four balding seventy-somethings
who -- despite early common training, direction, grounding and theology
-- found themselves with disparate leanings, notions and complaints
about the landscape they find themselves in today. This was a mini summer
gathering of several of the class of 1950. Although he originally planned
to be there, it was much regretted that Dick Jambor was unable to be
with us. He was missed by classmates Bill Powers, Dick Branigan, Charlie
Scott and Br. Hugh Andrew (Bayonne), the only bona fide Marist Brother
in the lot. Dick had not seen Br. Hugh for fifty-two years.
Four guys around a kitchen table with ample food and beverage with
reminiscing on their minds can be more cathartic than almost any therapy
you can think of. Yes, we at times became self-appointed theologians
and secular mystics, but we dialogued with good hearts. There may have
been a smattering of bitterness about something in the Church, the government
-- even the medical field -- but there was joy, too, and a reasonable
acceptance of who we were down deep. We solved nothing -- as men are
apt to do in groups -- with good Scotch close at hand. And looking back
on our earlier days together, we hung no one out to dry. We had a listing
of our entire class, and we revisited them all in Esopus, Tyngsboro
and Poughkeepsie. The hours of recollection we spent talking about the
old days, making a breakdown of who's in and who's out, who of our initial
forty-seven men are still with us: all this seemed to telescope the
years. Each of us brought pictures, athletic programs and such to share.
Our heads and hearts were one about so much. There is surely a slice
of Marist in each of our pie charts.
We ate our fill of rib eyes and brats. Br. Hugh fried up some Potatoes
Gallagher in a fifty year-old ten-pound black cast iron skillet, and
he treated us all to dinner at the White Stag, a rustic area eatery.
We toasted Dick Jambor and then had another round to remember, with
wide hearts, our other classmates. Charlie Scott treated us to a five-hour
pontoon boat ride on the chain of lakes situated around his cottage.
Luckily, Br. Hugh knew how to switch gas tanks when one went dry half
way home. And Charlie and Bill piloted us safely to home base despite
Hugh and Dick's anxiety overhearing, "Hey, Charlie, what lake do
you think we're on now?" That's right. Real men still rarely ask
This opportunity to reconnect and relive that crucial part of our lives
was of benefit to all of us. Crucial because we came out of that training
with "stuff" that along the way might have kept us from serious
trouble. Finally, as we said our goodbyes to the lake and drove away
from this gem in the woods, I knew that one of the best gifts you can
give someone is to really take the time to listen to him fully. And
also, if they snore, to leave it alone. (1814 Fairview St., Oshkosh,
WI 54901; 920-233-2954; firstname.lastname@example.org)
from GUS NOLAN (52) and BR. RICHARD RANCOURT (53):
You are invited to this year's Marist College Homecoming and Reunion
Weekend -- a particularly special occasion for those of us in Marist
College's Heritage Classes (47-66). On Saturday, October
11, there will be a dedication of the Foy Townhouses in honor of President
Emeritus Richard Foy (50), a Heritage Reception at noon, and a
Heritage Classes Dinner at 8:00 p.m. You can count on enjoying the company
of old friends and warm Marist hospitality. For details, go to www.marist.edu/alumni.
from MICHAEL GOLDRICK (63): I presently live in Pismo
Beach with my wife, Pam and our two children. John is at Cal Poly in
San Luis Obispo, and Mary is at Alan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
For the past nine years I have worked as the Director of Campus Ministry
and Chair of the Religion Department at Mission College Prep Catholic
High School in San Luis Obispo in the Diocese of Monterey. I teach one
class (speech and debate) but spend most of my time organizing retreats,
liturgies, community service projects and summer immersion programs
for our students in Mexico. Pam is an RN and works in home health care.
We celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary this year.
I also spend a fair amount of time working on an economic development
program that I began about fifteen years ago among the Zapotec Indians
of Oaxaca, Mexico. A friend and I import weavings or tapetes'
that are handmade by the Zapotecs. We distribute them to retail outlets
throughout the U.S. It's been very rewarding and gives me an excuse
for frequent trips back to Mexico.
I think often of the Marists who taught and inspired me, especially
those of you with whom I shared community, and those who, knowingly
or not, helped me start to get real. I wish I could say I have no regrets,
but I do very much regret not having stayed in contact. I only recently
discovered the Marists All web site with its updated e-mail addresses.
My intention is to connect with many of the people I think about so
often. (181 Surf Street, Pismo Beach CA 93449-2809; 805-773-7196; email@example.com)
from JERRY BYRNE (60): I was at Esopus juniorate 1957-1959
and the Mansion novitiate in 1959-1960. I left in July 1960. Br. Peter
Hilary doubted I would last out the retreat at the end of my first year
of college: he was right! In his absence I caved in and asked to go
home. I was being disruptive to others, not following rules, and acting
"worldly." Pat McMahon was my "buddy" during that
first year. Nice guy, friendly, and always around to show me the ropes.
May he rest in peace.
The very month I left, I got a job in the mail room for Westinghouse
Elevator Company in Jersey City (NJ). I'm planning on retiring next
July from Schindler Elevator Corporation, the company that bought out
Westinghouse. So, I will have spent forty-four years with the same company,
but not all those years in the mail room. After two years in the Army
in Germany and Ethiopia, I came home to marry in September of 1966.
Ed Doran attended my wedding. I have recently been in touch with him
again: found him through Marists All. I graduated St. Peter's College
in 1971 with an accounting degree and have had a good career in finance
these past many years. We have two daughters, both college grads enjoying
I'm grateful for my life today, my wife Carol, my children, my job,
my Marist contacts, and most of all, for the gift of sobriety. I've
been touched by the stories of other B/brothers who have also found
help in AA. I've been sober since July 1989: July again! God sure is
consistent. I attended my first Matt Talbot retreat in, of all places,
Esopus! Since then I regularly attend Mass, help out as an usher frequently,
and serve on the parish finance committee. Lots of good things have
happened in my life these past fourteen years. and one of the best things
is finding the Marists again. You know, you can't make this stuff up!
(2217 Orchard Drive, S. Plainfield NJ 07080-2933; 908-561-1267; firstname.lastname@example.org)
from TOM MOYLAN (43): Had I remained a Marist, I would
be celebrating my 60th this year along with three classmates. Throughout
my eighty years I have always remained a Marist at heart and really
wish it had been in God's plan to leave me an active Marist.
I'm now in a nursing home in New York City. I am well taken care of
medically. Life has been good, but now I am terribly lonesome as there
are very few to whom I can have constructive conversation. Time seems
endless. Yes, at times, friends and family come, and that is a treat.
I spend most of my days with prayers, meditation, and extensive reading.
Any good books you have and no longer need or want, send them to me.
Biographies, autobiographies, and so forth; I'm not fussy. When I finish
them, I give them to the library here at the home.
I can come and go as I see fit, but since I suffer with rheumatoid
arthritis, spinal stenosis, and osteoporosis, my running around is far
too painful. Recently, I spoke with Martin Healy. He has invited me
to spend a few days with him in Roselle (NJ). At that time we will take
a trip to Esopus. For me that will be like "going home."
I've never lost my Marist feelings of love for God and Mary which were
instilled in us by Br. John Philibert at St. Ann's Hermitage juniorate.
I kept in close touch with Br. John even after he returned to France.
What a friend he was; what a deeply religious man. To this day I feel
he is a saint. His death was a great loss to me. How I mourned him.
I got into real estate in New York and found my niche. I loved the
work, the camaraderie, and the chance to help young men under my employ.
Some continue to visit me here at the home with their wives and children.
Besides being a real estate broker, I was also general manager of some
of New York's prestigious buildings. It has been a fulfilling life,
but I always felt something spiritually missing. I know now that in
my heart I always wanted to remain an active Marist. The Franciscans
say Mass here at the home once a week, and that's it. No other ministry
of any kind.
Since it costs $10,000 a month at this nursing home, it will not be
long before I'm on Medicare and Medicaid. My savings are signed over
to the home; regardless of what we have in our accounts, we are allowed
$50 a month in spending money. Talk about the vow of poverty! The allowance
goes quickly to my use of a phone, my love of a daily newspaper, and
my smoking. I'm looking forward to getting some pen pals! I'd like that!
(DeWitt Nursing Home (#606), 211 East 79th Street, NY, NY 10021)
from ED CASTINE (50): Since our last contact with Marists
All , we sold our home in Lantana, Florida, and became what RV enthusiasts
refer to as "full timers." Our fifth wheel RV trailer became
our home on wheels. During the "snow "season, October through
April, we were the camp chefs for Robin's Nest RV Resort in Moor Haven
(FL). All the experience gained while cooking for the novitiate with
Bill (Wiggie) McNamara and managing the cafeteria for St. Joe's in Brownsville
became invaluable. There were times we served as many as two hundred
After eight months as "full timers," we settled in a 55+
manufactured home retirement community called Tanglewood, located on
US 27 in Sebring, Florida. Anyone traveling through this area is most
welcome to stop by. (1128 Shadow Ridge Drive; Sebring, FL 33872; 863-385-8679;
from DAVID KAMMER (42): Br. Sixtus Victor Liuzzo died
in his sleep at Mt. St. Michael the night of July 15-16. He was 84.
In recent years Brother Victor continued to live the very active life
that he had lived throughout his sixty-one years of religious life.
At the Mount he oversaw the kitchen and dining room, prepared daily
happy hours and occasional cookouts, chauffeured Brothers to and from
airports, doctors, etc. He cared for the Mount's fleet of automobiles
and was pleased with the many flowers he planted and had blooming in
the garth at the Mount.
Victor Liuzzo came to the novitiate in Poughkeepsie in August of 1941
after graduating from Fordham University. He was accompanied by his
younger brother Vincent (Br. Denis Herman, deceased several years ago)
who came directly from his junior year at Mt. St. Michael. Brother Victor's
assignment after first profession was to cook for the scholastics and
retired Brothers at the old provincial house in Poughkeepsie. Vic's
other ministries that come to mind, besides years of teaching, are principal
at St. Anne's Academy in the mid fifties and supervisor of renovation
and construction at the newly acquired house of continued formation
in Manziana, Italy. He also served as econome in Manziana and at another
Marist house near Castle Gandolfo. Recently, at the Marist Family Day
celebration of the uniting of the American provinces, Vic spoke of plans
to return to Italy to revisit friends and relatives. Requiescat in pace.
from JIM FRIEL (52): On August 25, 1948, sixty boys landed
in Poughkeepsie to begin training as Marist Brothers. I got off the
bus, put my bags down, and looked around. Slowly we started introducing
ourselves. One of the first boys I met was Al Contarino from Lawrence
who had an incredible ability to put things in a humorous perspective.
And then George McGuire, shy, like me. He was from the upper west side
of Manhattan. (I met him recently, after all those years, at a poetry
reading at Farmingdale College.)
That memorable day followed my short stay at DuBois High School. It
really started when Br. Athanasius Norbert, my algebra teacher, came
up to me after class and asked if I would like to talk to Br. Aidan
Francis, a visiting Brother, about becoming a Brother. I said I would,
and the appointment was set up. Br. Aidan was like a revivalist minister,
very energetic and emphatic about serving God. He set up an appointment
to visit my parents, and the papers were signed. Clearly, one of the
reasons for the explosion of Marist vocations was the energy of Br.
Aidan., A number of us were recruited from DuBois: Rufus Collins, Luke
Reddington, Dominic Cavallaro, Matt Callahan, Raphael Martin, Zibendin,
for a few.
When I left the Brothers in 1963 and began my public school teaching
career in Syosset (NY), I met Larry Whartenby who had just left the
Marists and was teaching in Syosset as well. It's amazing. Wherever
I went , there was a Marist grad, a Marist connection. We all learned
that from reading the writing of Br. Leonard Voegtle. The Marist Brothers
spirit seemed to have spread all over the world. In the summer of 67,
for example, I was traveling Europe alone. While in the Louvre, I saw
Br. George Abel sitting on a bench, looking at some of the art. Another
connection was through one of my classmates in the Christian Brothers
Sacred Heart Grade School -- John McNiff, brother of Frank McNiff who
had been a Marist Brother for a number of years. We were all Highbridge
boys, living in what was to a great extent an Irish ghetto. (20 Vail
St., Northport, NY 11768; email@example.com)
from MARCELLA CASEY, wife of FRANK CASEY (50): As I speed
slowly through this strange universe that I've inhabited since Frank's
death March 24th, my thoughts and prayers are with you. With the help
of Frank's niece, Maureen, in a timely manner and with love and gratitude,
we responded to all those people who were part of the outpouring of
support when Frank died ... all those, that is, except his Marist Family.
I knew that I needed my "sea legs" to write to you very special
men and women. To say your notes and letters moved me to tears is putting
Our daughter Nancy, and her son Joseph, said when eulogizing Frank,
"It's so strange that Pop had a whole life before we ever met him."
Your writings brought a piece of that life to us. Easter Sunday, when
all our children and grandchildren were gathered around the table, we
prayed together and afterward read your letters. They are a great gift
Frank was sober in AA for thirty years on February 1st, which meant
we had more than sixty years of sobriety between us. I knew his loving
family had given him his capacity for unconditional love, and that his
thirty years as a Marist Brother had developed his strong virtue, character
and spiritual life. In reading the descriptions of Frank that you wrote
to me, I understood that in those years you had together, you came to
know him well.
Frank would sometimes jokingly tell the people he counseled that one
of the most important things to know about God is that He isn't you.
He lived this principle with modesty and gentleness. I began to see
through the warmth and caring of your notes, that those things that
I valued in Frank were characteristics developed in all of you as well,
just as your devotion to Mary united you.
It was interesting to me that during our time together, each time Frank
would talk to me about one of you or relate an event you shared, he
would end by becoming quiet, looking down, and saying seriously and
with admiration, "he was a good man" or "they were good
men." He loved you all so very much.
God blessed Frank and me beyond our wildest dreams. Frank embraced
my children with his love and kindness and helped them heal from the
devastation of growing up in an alcoholic home. We were partners in
our life together. He was the prototype of a Christian man, husband,
and stepfather. It's a rare woman who can say she felt loved every day
of her life with her man. We learned a lot from each other. He said
the bumps in his head fit the holes in mine. He taught me to play cribbage
which I understand you guys played with a vengeance. He was an extraordinary
counselor, and I garnered some of his skills professionally. But most
importantly, he was a great example to me of a JOYous life: Jesus, Others,
He graced all of us with his generous and prayerful heart; and he was
greatly loved by our children, family and friends. There's no question
about him "being at peace and happy in the playing fields of our
real home." Your notes contained the epitaph that has been engraved
on his tombstone: Francis X. Casey, "A splendid man."
Thank you from all of us for your prayers and Masses and wonderful
hearts. God bless you, and please write any time and tell me about yourselves
and Frank. (26 Carrie Avenue, Bethpage NY 11714-6407; 516-249-4890)
from BR. BERNARD X. NOLAN (49): When the Brothers of the
Poughkeepsie and Esopus provinces gathered at Marist College on Thursday,
June 26, 2003, they held separate meetings with ritual celebrations
that marked the endings of these two provinces, and they prayed with
gratitude for the many blessings that had been bestowed on each province
and its members. At 7:30 p.m. the Province of the United States of America
began with the opening of the first Provincial Chapter. Br. John Klein,
the elected provincial of the new province, gave his vision of the realities
faced by the province and his hopes of how these could be managed. He
outlined his style of governance and asked the Chapter to help him by
electing two assistant provincials.
On Friday the Chapter sessions were devoted to reactions to the provincial's
vision statement and decisions on the composition of the Provincial
Council. The election of the members of the Council took place on Saturday
in the Marist College chapel. Br. Ben Consigli and Br. Hank Hammer were
elected Assistant Provincials. Elected to the Provincial Council were:
Brothers Steve Milan, Steve Schlitte, John Venturella, Don Bisson and
John Malich. Sunday was Marist Family Day. The Brothers invited relatives
and many friends for the day. Br. Sean Sammon, Superior General of the
Marist Brothers, spoke before all in the Marist College Theatre. It
was a stirring address calling on both religious and lay people to adopt
the vision and courage of St. Marcellin Champagnat as they accept the
challenges of the next century.
Earlier in the day Midge Miles gave a memorable presentation in the
chapel of Our Lady of Wisdom; the dramatization was entitled, "Following
the Way of Mary." A Solemn Eucharistic Liturgy was later celebrated
in the McCann Center with a special focus on those elected to the leadership
roles in the new Province of the United States. The celebrant, Msgr.
Richard J Guastella, gave a beautiful homily blending together the feast
of the day, Sts. Peter and Paul, and the founding of the new American
Province. Following the celebration, all were invited to an old-fashioned
style barbecue on the campus green under a huge tent. Marist Family
Day was a joyous event for Brothers, families, and friends. On Monday
a series of workshops was organized for the various age groups of the
province. In late afternoon another Eucharistic Liturgy was celebrated
in the chapel with a special message to the Brothers "to spread
the seeds of faith." Following the liturgy, there was a closing
banquet with fitting remarks of appreciation to all who helped organize
the weekend. (2790 SW 89th Avenue, Miami FL 33165; 305-223-5570)
from DON MULCARE (57): Thanks to Marists All, Nancy and
I just returned from a trip to Oregon. There was no secret contest in
the previous issues of Marists All that funded our flight, but the networking
engendered by earlier issues yielded contacts, the exchange of phone
calls, and the renewal of dialogue after many years. Our hosts in Oregon
were Bill and Kathy Maloney. Their hospitality can be described as legendary!
In addition to visiting with the neighboring elk herd, tracking the
humming birds, and wading in the frigid Pacific Ocean, Bill and I had
a chance to talk about "old times." Our recollections often
filled in pieces of the puzzle for each other. We still have much more
to discuss and look forward to our next time together. The Marist Family
Weekend provides similar exchange of viewpoints and recollections that
lead to understanding. This year, as has been the case in the past,
we met some of the monks at Esopus. Br. John Klein, after observing
the cheerful and earnest exchanges between the Brothers in Esopus and
the several visitors, invited the weekend participants to the 2004 annual
meeting of the Marist Brothers in Poughkeepsie. This opportunity for
fellowship offers the means by which we might all work together in the
shared Marist Spirit. (7 Staffon Rd, Fairhaven MA 02719-4214; 508-994-8605;
from THE NEW YORK TIMES: Even as lines are drawn in new
clashes over religion in society, with flash points like the display
of the Ten Commandments in an Alabama courthouse, Madison Avenue still
turns to one set of the faithful to charm consumers on all sides of
the culture wars: monks.
The men in hoods and robes are marketers' darlings having starred lately
in campaigns for America Online, General Mills and PepsiCo's Pepsi Blue
brand. These followed appearances in commercials for companies like
I.B.M., Nintendo and Sony.
"They're lovable," said Len Short, executive vice president
for brand marketing at America Online in Dulles, Va, part of AOL Time
Warner. In the pantheon of widely appealing stock figures, "you
have dogs, babies and monks," he said. "Who hates monks?"
Monk characters recur in advertisements though real monks generally
live sequestered in monasteries and often make vows of silence and poverty
-- sharing little with the free-spending, hard-charging consumers that
marketers seek. But that disparity, according to advertisers and observers
of religion and culture, is what makes monks work for advertisers....
Despite Madison Avenue's interest in monks, hooded men are not likely
to surpass the marketers' longtime favorites, like supermodels. (article
by Nat Ives, Monday, August 25, 2003)
from VINCENT POISELLA, EDITOR (58): Along with David
Kammer, Rich Foy, Gus Nolan, and Jack Noone, I want to express appreciation
for all of you who have contributed heart and soul in writing those
words that give the rest of us inspiration in our latest Marists All.
Those words take on new meaning with the union of the Marist Brothers
Provinces, a bringing together that is repeated in those smaller get-togethers
described by Don Mulcare, Dick Branigan, John O'Connell, and others.
Marists All began as a publication that expressed individual and personal
annals of those who had shared a common experience and ideal. It has
developed more and more into an expression of individuals coming together.
The Marist Family Day on June 29, the Marist Family Weekend of Spirituality
in July, the Greater Marist Community Picnic, are all expressions of
this continued Brotherhood.
Please check the Marists All website and its links. Thanks to Jack
Noone, our technician, you are now able to click on the editors' addresses
and electronically mail them from that site. You may also want to creep
down to your computer early some quiet morning and read through the
previous copies of Marists All, to laugh, cry, and enjoy the shared
histories of your friends and brothers.
Gus Nolan has wondered aloud how we might use Marists All as a vehicle
for shared ideas. This added dimension might inspire an enriching and
rewarding dialogue beyond the recording of personal histories and off-the-cuff
words of wisdom. Please send us your thoughts.
Thanks also to those who continue to write out checks to help our publication
continue. If you feel so inclined, checks should be made out to David
Kammer and sent to him at 476 La Playa Edgewater, FL 32141 during the
winter months, and 499 East Pond Road, Smithfield Me 04978 during the
summer months). Continue to send written contributions to me at 24 Brooklyn
Mountain Road, Hopatcong NJ 07843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.