from DAVID KAMMER (42):
annual GMC picnic ran into inclement weather on September 18th,
the first time since in the 1980s when we had a near hurricane/blizzard
at the Roosevelt Park site near Mt. Kisco. This year rain, fog, and
dampness chased us from the Mount St. Michael garth to the Brothers
dining room on the bottom floor of Champagnat Hall. Yet, there was a
very good showing of about forty-to-fifty people. The closeness of quarters
made for friendly interchange. Besides the regulars, who can always
be counted on to attend, there were people who hadnt attended
before. Among them were Br. Alfred George, Mark Moran, Bob Joyce, and
Jim Guldner. Among those whom we were pleased to see after a few years
were Ray Landry, Rich Foy, Sue and John Wilcox, Jim Friel, and John
Brady. As usual, the Brothers were very hospitable. Seeing that all
went especially well were Br. Jim Devine and Br. John Herrmann. Most
of the Brothers of the Mount community were on hand. Getting special
respect and recognition were Br. Luke, Br. Valerian, and Br. Simeon;
together, they have completed 212 years of Marist life and service!
Update on the Marists All Web Site:
We would like to remind all that we have postal and e-mail addresses
listed on our Marists All web site at the drop-down button Contacts
and List of Contacts. Some of our correspondents, especially
some of the Brothers, are not posted. Since we do not wish to neglect
anyone, we encourage you to share your addresses with us. Please write
to David Kammer at email@example.com or mail him at 476 La Playa, Edgewater,
FL 32141. If you are receiving a printed copy of this issue of Marists
All, we do not have an e-mail address for you. This does not apply to
those who have explicitly requested receiving a hard copy. If you have
changed your e-mail address or have recently acquired an e-address,
and you would be satisfied to be notified of and to read each new issue
on our web site, please send that e-mail address to David Kammer at
the above address. We would then save on expenses of printing and postage
costs. Thank you.
(The Marists All editorial board has recently
agreed that, rather than include complete obituaries and eulogies in
our printed Marists All, the printed articles referring to deaths of
our confreres will remain confined to shorter notices and testimonials.
Complete obituaries may still be read on our web site. Editor)
Br. Stephen Urban Minogues eulogy, delivered by Br. Philip
Robert Ouellette, celebrates the joy and holiness of Br. Stephens
life. Br. Philips refrain, He truly gave us all a glimpse
of God, is a fitting summary of Br. Stephens legacy. The
entire eulogy may be read by accessing the Marists All web site at the
Obituary (2000 Present) web page and/or at the Obituary (alphabetical)
Br. Stephen Martin Holstein (47)
died on the morning of October 8th. He had been hospitalized in Miami
for several years with symptoms of Alzheimers disease. We send
our condolences to Steves family, especially to his sister Jeanne
Schultz who has kept in touch with Marist news through several channels,
including Marists All. Jeannes address is 131 Orchid Road, Levittown,
In a recent provincial newsletter former Marist
Joe Hagers (63) name was mentioned in a request for
prayers on behalf of the deceased. According to the report, he died
on September 5th of an apparent heart attack resulting from complications
from congestive heart failure and diabetes. Another reference was made
-- in a Marist College memorial for graduates who have died -- about
Jerry Worell (61). Hopefully, someone within our network
of readers might be able to provide further information so that we might
more fully acknowledge their deaths.
Bill Reffelt (58) was laid to rest
on September 17th after losing his struggle against cancer. His easy-going
style endeared him to all. His positive attitude was enhanced by John
OConnells continuous efforts over the last year to bring
together what he called the big B and the small b
friends of Bill to encourage him and bring him cheer. Bills wife
Elaine resides at 7 John St., Shoreham, NY 11786.
M. John (Okee) O'Connell remembers Bill Reffelt:
Most Marists, present or past, never had the
opportunity to know and "be with" our brother Bill Reffelt
(once Br. William Anthony '58...we were the last group to "take"
names), but he was a special guy you all would have been glad you knew.
Prompted by conversations with David Kammer (once
our "Master of Novices") during the Summer of '01, soon after
both of us had heard of the passing of Vinnie Hall and were saddened
that his passing had gone so unacknowledged, I caught up with my old
friend Bill in January '02, reconnecting with him after too many years
apart, years necessarily caught up in building our lives, providing
for and raising our families (he on Long Island and me in MD)...only
to discover that he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer a little
more than a year earlier, and was "given" only until the Fall
Bill died with family around him in the early
morning hours of September 13, 2003, more than a year beyond what was
"given." Not wanting this passing to go unacknowledged, I
would like to connect his presence among us earlier, during those incredibly
indelible formative ("character-building") years in Esopus-Tyngsboro-Poughkeepsie
(from August 1955 through June 1960), with this past year or so, a "fast-forwarding"
of a Marist bond of togetherness and unconditional mutual regard which
was established more than 40 years earlier.
So many of us are so much more grateful this
Thanksgiving that we had this special guy to pull us together and had
an extra year of his life added to re-establish our connection with
him in the here and now. The fact that eleven of his classmates, nine
of them not in touch for more than four decades (Tom Fahey, not since
January of '57), would travel great distances (from Arizona, California,
Florida, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, way up-State NY, etc.,
some many times) just to "be with" with him is testimony enough
that Bill Reffelt and the bond among us established back then was, and
now is again, something special.
Bill's easy-going nature is what endeared him
to us back then...and what made it so easy (and fun, actually) to be
with him during his final months here. Such a talented individual, a
gifted natural athlete and musician (the piano, by ear...and the only
guy we knew who could yodel and sound good doing it!), Bill didn't have
a pretentious bone in his body...made you feel better about yourself
just being around him. For him, being a great husband, father, grandfather,
teacher, friend...a well-loved man...was more than enough.
What was to become a "series" of visits
from classmates began just before Thanksgiving a year ago (11/4/02),
each time including a "mystery guest" (or "guests"),
most introduced in "this is your life" fashion...from being
"the-voice-from-the-past" in the garage next to his family
room in Shoreham to posing as "doctors" while he was in his
chemo chair at the hospital.
The first was with George Conboy (who flew in
from Tucson, five times in those last ten months), then with Pat Murphy
in December, and then with Tom Fahey, Eddie McCarthy, Bernie Ortueste,
Vin Poisella, Bill Shannon, Richie Shaw, Bob St.Amand, and Russ Therriault,
also joined by "under-classmen" Br. John Hermann and Joe Picciano.
Bill just delighted in these visits, and we "visitors"
were/are convinced that these gatherings ("Whenever two or more
are gathered....") had a lot to do with his tumor actually shrinking
for a time and, thus, for the ten months of extra time we had with him
here. Many others were in touch with him, directly or indirectly: classmates
Mike "Dom" Apostoli, Br. Ernie Beland, Pete Kuveke, and Mike
Sugrue, and "upperclassman" Bill Maloney. Underclassmen Paul
Stengel (a regular weekly visitor to do Bill's chores around the house),
Jim Gargan, Tom Hourican, Jack Meehan (great bagpiper at Bill's funeral),
and Frank Sutton were others drawn to connect with Bill Reffelt.
Bill was a great and loving husband and best
friend to Elaine ("Bill made me feel special all the time"...a
great "mutual admiration society," they would have celebrated
their 41st Anniversary in October)...a super caring, supportive and
proud father to Krissy, Jimmy and Jenny...and an especially appreciative
and grateful grandfather to Andrew, Katie, Allison and Kayla (Boy, he
loved those kids...he was just so pleased "to still be around"
for Kayla's birth last Spring)...and a friend to so many of us, then
Rest in peace, Bill Reffelt...you have enriched
our lives, and we miss you, and certainly we feel your presence among
us even now...especially this Thanksgiving '03, thanks is given to you
for causing us to recognize and appreciate once again that Marist bond
of togetherness close to the core in all of us, for bringing so many
of us together once again, in actuality and in spirit.
*NB: Our "Oh B/brother,
Thou Art Where?" listing of Marist classmates of ours includes
over 225 B/brothers from our group (the '58's), the two groups behind
us and one group ahead of us...with about 130 located: 15 are now deceased,
about 80 have been identified w/ e-mail addresses, and about another
three dozen (36) with postal addresses. We hope to "gather"
together those inclined and able to do so at Holy Rosary in Esopus once
again on Good Friday, this April 9th, 2004.
from ED CASTINE (50):
How fitting that Br. Stephen Urban died on the feast of the Blessed
Mothers Nativity! Many of us recall him as a dorm prefect at Marist
Prep, and even more so as an outstanding teacher and confidant. Through
his dedication, encouragement, and assistance, we completed Latin II
and Latin III in one year and were able to finish two years of French
because of that. Anyone else remember how he prepared the juniors to
sing The Holy City for the send-off to the Philippines of
the first Marist missionaries? He was indeed a great presence and influence
on all of our lives. Recalling Br. Stephen, I also remember the other
outstanding Brothers on the faculty during those years: Br. George Robert,
Br. Regis James, Br. James Damian and Br. Leo, among others. We were
so fortunate and blessed. May they and all our Marist friends and brothers
preceding us rest in peace. On a more personal note, I remember vividly
just before leaving the congregation how I enjoyed a very special visit
and discussion with Br. Stephen, a discussion I will never forget. He
will always have a unique place in my prayers, in my gratitude, and
in my memories. (1128 Shadow Ridge Drive; Sebring, FL 33872; 863-385-8679;
from JOE HORAN (50):
Mrs. Caseys thoughts about Frank in the last issue were inspiring.
Love has no bounds. We just grow with those we love. I know each of
us in the class of 50 remembers Frank well. I can still recall
the many adventures we had together in the Juniorate, especially Franks
ability to ace the Regents. He was always upbeat and just an all around
wonderful person. We may be growing older, but the memories of our young
lives are still very vivid. We certainly were blessed with a wonderful
group of guys. (10426 Collar Dr., San Antonio, FL 33576; 352-588-0179;
from GUS NOLAN (48): The Esopus Cemetery:
photo by Victor VanCarpels (Sept
courtesy of the Marist Brothers in Esopus web site
Esopus is a place that continues to bring up
very fond memories for many of us. In recent years it has also been
a place to which we return with a mixture of emotions: the joyous celebration
of lives well lived and the sadness at the loss of friends. Over the
past several months, the deaths and burials of Brs. Sixtus Victor, Stephen
Urban, and Stephen Martin brought these emotions to the surface. Each
occasion was marked by a very familiar pattern: the arrival of the hearse
at the Esopus property, the lineup of Brothers and friends, and a slow
walk to the cemetery while reciting the rosary aloud. A short prayer
ceremony and a talk at the gravesite concluded with the singing of the
A reception usually followed in the dining room
where members of the family greeted those attending. At these occasions
there is no sense of gloom; family and friends speak of happy events
of the past, often sparked by some remark or story of a member of the
family. Steve Urbans niece seemed to have the same spirit as Steve;
Vics brother, a retired priest who celebrated the Mass, exhibited
the same family spark; and Steve Martins sister, Jeanne Schultz,
and her daughters recalled stories of their George, our Steve Martin.
Some may recall a time when there was no cemetery
in Esopus. The ground there has since become sacred with the burial
of more than 170 Marist Brothers since 1954 when Br. Joseph Orens became
the first to be buried in that corner of the property. Br. John Klein,
U.S. Provincial, has noted that in the not too distant future, an extension
of this plot or the acquiring of a new place will need to be decided
for the burial of the brethren. (50 S. Randolph Ave, Poughkeepsie, NY
from MICHAEL ONEIL
(65): Mary Ann and I have recently been divorced. We stay
in touch on a bi-weekly basis to continue to involve ourselves in raising
and coaching the kids and our six grandchildren. We both have significant
others in our lives now, and that is a good thing. As difficult as the
separation has been, it has from the beginning been amicable, and we
continue to love and care for one another.
In other developments, I decided three years
ago to get back to coaching. I approached our local high school coach
and athletic director and asked if I could help out in the program.
They welcomed me with open arms, a lot of confidence, and a free rein
to contribute as much as I could. Weve had lots of success, and
it was a pleasure to reconnect with that wonderful part of my past.
Business-wise, I have begun the rejuvenation
of The ONeil Group Inc. We have a new web-based tracking tool
to help organizations resolve and implement mission-critical issues.
(15 Neal Drive, Simsbury, CT 06070; 860-217-0252; firstname.lastname@example.org)
from WILLIAM BYRNE (52):
In reading over past issues of Marists All, I relive in my mind
stories Ive been told or events Ive witnessed in my Marist
years. Before they get lost forever, here are a few for the retelling.
The first one purportedly took place at Mt. St.
Michaels in the communal bathroom stalls familiar to all of us.
The story goes that former Br. William Bernard was saddled with the
responsibility of changing the water and cleaning the fish tanks in
his classroom lab. He would wait until he was sure that Br. William
Otto occupied one of the stalls, and in the next stall, slowly and deliberately
empty a tank into the bowl, creating the illusion of an elephant relieving
itself! The mystery was resolved only when Br. William Otto burst out
of his stall one morning in a state of near undress and caught the phantom
elephant in the act.
Another memorable incident involves the recently
deceased Bill Murphy. Br. Terry Jones was enrolled with Bill Murphy
in a Saturday morning math class at Fordham University, both pursuing
advanced degrees. According to Terry, they were both taking the final
exam that the teacher had written on the blackboard. Bill Murphy finished
the exam in record time and patiently waited for Terry outside the classroom.
Then Terry emerged. They shared notes on the exam and Terry asked his
colleague what he thought of the third question. Bill Murphys
incredulous reply was, What third question? It seems that
in his haste, Bill Murphy neglected to look on the classroom sideboard
for the final question!
This final anecdote also involves Bill Murphy.
In the Tyngsboro large dorm room, the shower stalls were located along
the back wall, adjacent to a room occupied by Br. Giles. The fire escape
was situated between that room and the end of the shower stall area.
Bill Murphy was assigned to teach a speech class that summer. (Who among
us will ever forget our attempt to master the sense and delivery of
John Miltons sonnet on his blindness, something Im sure
many of us can still deliver by heart!) One of the novices had emerged
from the shower, and prior to retiring, had the habit in fair weather
to go out onto the fire escape and liberally douse himself with an after
shower powder. Imagine these tiny particles, which had not attached
themselves to a waiting body, slowly descending to the next level of
the fire escape. Who should happen to be at that moment having a cigarette
one floor below, but Bill Murphy, still wearing his soutane. I had emerged
from a classroom on that floor at the moment the fire escape door flung
open and an irate Murph came storming by me, covered with this powder
residue and muttering under his breath!
Hopefully, I have struck a chord of remembrance
for others. Any heritage project should certainly include
the gentle humorous things that we all have experienced as part of the
Marist family saga. One of the things that makes us distinctly human
is the ability to be self-reflective and to be able to laugh at ourselves!
(154 W Church Street, Clarkston, MI 48346; 248-625-6555; email@example.com)
College Homecoming Weekend
from GUS NOLAN (48): Each fall Marist
College experiences its Homecoming, the annual occasion to invite back
to the campus its graduates for class reunions. October 10th through
12th marked the occasion this year. Special attention was given to graduates
celebrating their fiftieth, twenty-fifth, tenth, and fifth year anniversaries.
This year the college decided to add a unique theme -- celebrating
our heritage -- by having two other significant events during
this same weekend: a celebration honoring Marists newly designated
Heritage Professors, and the dedication of the Foy Townhouses.
Thirty-eight faculty who served the college for
at least twenty-five years starting before 1971, were honored on Friday
with a luncheon and granted a Board of Trustees certificate in
recognition of unique contributions in the early development of
Marist College. Of this number, fifteen were/are officially associated
with the Marist Brothers, and one, Dan Kirk, is deceased. Anthony Campilii,
62, CFO and Vice President for Business Affairs, was also honored
for his forty-one years of service to the college.
On Saturday, the Townhouses, which served as
housing for students, were dedicated to honor Linus Richard Foy, President
of Marist from 1958-1979. Dennis Murray, President of Marist, offered
remarks, and Anthony Campilii spoke about his work with Dr. Foy. Richard
Foy gave an appreciative response, expressing his wish that the Townhouses
not be named after himself personally, but after the whole Foy family
to whom he owed so much.
On Saturday evening, a reception was held in
the Marist Student Center for the classes being honored over the weekend.
The occasion was marked by the presentation of Marist gold watches to
each member in attendance celebrating the fiftieth year of graduation.
Included in this group were very familiar names: Brothers James Kearney,
Bernard X. Nolan, Richard Rancourt, James Ryan, Rev. Richard Tinker,
along with Jeptha Lanning and Tom OConnor. A dinner followed the
reception, which in turn was followed by a traditional Marist singing
session led by Richard LaPietra with Richard Rancourt at the piano.
The evening ended with a rousing rendition of Jerusalem, the Holy
On Sunday a memorial Mass for alumni was celebrated
by Rev. Richard LaMorte in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel. Special focus
was given to the members of the Marist Community who had passed away
during the year, including Trustees Jack Garland, Jack McEnroe, Frances
Reese, and Henrietta Smith. Well-known faculty included Dorothy Ann
Davis, Bob Norman and Bill Olsson. And included among the thirty-nine
alumni were: Francis X. Casey, 54, Rev. Larry Keogh 58,
Br. Stephen Martin 47, Isidore Sabeta 70, and Jerome Worell
from JIM FRIEL (52):
Three of us drove to Marist College for the Homecoming in October: Jim
Gargan, Tom Murphy (Binsky), and I. We shared a room. Tom drew the air
mattress. He assured us the next morning that we both snore. Over the
weekend we were impressed by the students of Marist College: smart,
savvy, and quite polite. A major event was the dedication of the Foy
Townhouses. Dr. Richard Foy gave a beautiful talk emphasizing the role
of the Brothers in the history of the College. We then drove to Esopus
to honor Br. Steven Martin who had just passed away. A beautiful ceremony
followed, appreciated by both his birth family and his Marist family.
(20 Vail St.; Northport, NY 11768; firstname.lastname@example.org)
from BR. JOHN MCDONNELL
(59): Im writing to let you know that, after two years
home from Rome, Im being called to the Marist Asian Pacific Center
(MAPAC) in Manila, the Philippines. Ill be doing formative and
spiritual accompaniment with some of the thirty-eight temporary professed
Brothers from all over Asia and the south Pacific, as well as the twenty
temporary professed sisters who are working on their bachelors
degrees. Added to this, I will be doing some teaching and administration
work to fill in the time. Little did I think when Br. Paul Ambrose asked
us as novices in Tyngsboro whod like to be a foreign missionary
that it would take me forty-four years as a Marist to finally become
one! I made the twenty-six hour journey to Manila from Newark on October
1st. May God continue to spoil me outrageously. Lets unite in
prayer with and to Br. Steve Urban and Bill Reffelt. May they rest in
peace. (Marist Asia Pacific Center; P.O. Box 309 Q Plaza Post Office;
1900 Cainta Rizal; Philippines; (011) 63 2 948 4018; email@example.com
(Several voices over the past couple of years
most recently that of Gus Nolan -- have recommended that Marists
All be used as a vehicle for discussion and dialogue. Rich Foy calls
this an evolution into a mechanism of swapping ideas of the future
rather than remaining as a story of the past. -- Editor)
The following excerpts stem from an interview
made by Br. Lluis Serra of Br. Andre Lanfrey, a Marist and an historian.
The interview, entitled The Catholic School Can Only Be Relevant
if It Promotes Human Development Through the Search for Truth,
appeared in the Marist Bulletin, #91, published by the Institute of
the Marist Brothers in Rome, September 11, 2003. The entire article
appears at www.champagnat.org.
Br. Andre Lanfrey, 60 years of age, was born
at Chambery, Savoie, France. He entered the Marist Brothers at the age
of 17. He has a doctorate in History from the University of Lyons where
he defended his thesis: Secularization, Separation and the School War.
The French Catholics and the School (1901-1914). This thesis has been
published by the well-known publishing company, Cerf (Paris 2003). A
teacher and a researcher, he has studied, in particular, the history
of the Institute. He was a delegate to the 20th General Chapter. At
the present time he is a professor of History in two teacher education
universities at Lyons and at Grenoble.
What effect did the start of the 20th
Century have on the Marist Brothers as an order?
The political climate from 1880 onwards forced
the congregation to raise the intellectual level of the Brothers. The
training of the Brothers increased in time through the advent of juniorates
and scholasticates. In the larger boarding schools the teachers reached
a higher standard of education, often on their own merits through their
own personal study. Religious formation also improved. The exercises
of St. Ignatius were introduced, as was the second novitiate. The Brothers
were better trained and often more motivated in their work and so the
Institute was able then to establish solid foundations in many places
in the world and to remain firmly founded in France.
The real failure of the Congregation was its
inability to face the challenge presented by secularization. Since 1880,
teaching no longer only involved the study of the Catechism: it now
covered all subject areas. A lay teacher could often do this job just
as well as, if not better than, a religious. Those who had been secularized
could live out successfully this difference between the professional
and religious aspects of teaching. They were no longer teachers because
they were religious but were teachers and religious, faithful to their
own individual consciences rather than to the body of the congregation.
Thus they invented a new form of religious life founded on individual
freedom rather than on obedience and community. But the Institute would
not integrate the richness of their experience.
Those Brothers who had left France continued
to live their religious life modeled on a form of monastic life characterized
by the wearing of the habit, the rule, and by living in community. This
model of religious life continued until the Second Vatican Council,
but its collapse at this point showed that it had long since lost its
relevance and that it could only continue to succeed through an openness
and willingness to change. Thats why we saw so many religious
leave their congregations after 1965 because the congregations
had never taken notice of 1903 as a sign of the times but rather saw
it only as a simple setback to an immutable tradition. Now they had
to rethink things.
Thats why 1903 cannot be seen as a providential
exile that allowed the Institute to expand throughout the world. Firstly,
this expansion had already started before this. Secondly, the large
number of departures in a brief number of years destabilized the Institute
rather than helped it. And the dramatic circumstances of this time prevented
the Institute from looking to a new interpretation and evolution of
religious life. We had to wait until the last decades of the 20th century
for the Institute to undertake a serious look at its relationship with
the world and its traditions. But it is true that it could hardly anticipate
the general attitude of the Church.
What is the specific contribution of the
Catholic school in the field of education?
Today the Catholic school remains pertinent
on condition that it sees the secular world and the religious world
in balance. Thus, the educational disciplines are not seen as props
for the faith: mathematics, physics, literature have their own place
in searching for truth. But for all that, secular knowledge is not the
only aim: the school must promote an ethos that allows its students
to see themselves in relationship with God, their origins and other
people. At other times, the Catholic school has inculcated this sense
of belonging in an authoritative manner, which had the benefit of giving
support to the students but also the disadvantage of developing an attitude
of either submission or revolt.
It seems to me then that the Catholic school
can only be relevant if it promotes human development through the search
for truth, whether this be immanent or transcendent. Thus, knowledge
and faith are seen for what they are, not subject to authorities but
inscribed in a tradition of discovery and as an invitation to pursue
the task of confronting the mysteries of nature and of beings in order
to bring about the fulfillment of the earthly city and the city of God.
In fact, the most pertinent image of the learner and of the saint, but
also of the educator, is Jacobs nightly battle with the angel,
which led to the new day and to the blessing.
response from RICHARD
the struggle to refashion Catholic
education goes on in the USA. Marist College in particular attempts
to reconcile the sacred with the profane, with the sacred being voluntary
rather than mandated. A good many Catholics of conservative bent are
annoyed at the College because of its most recent commencement speakers:
John Kerry and Eliot Spitzer. But the college cannot become a one-issue
institution: abortion being the issue in the case of both Kerry and
Spitzer. Ironically, Marists juridical structure is the same as
Fordham, Manhattan and Iona. But the latter colleges maintain the appearance
of being Catholic by having a priest or religious as President.
(We made our changes based on the recommendations of two professors
at Columbia School of Law for Fordham and which Fordham followed before
us.) But somehow Marist is pagan; Fordham is religious.
In the long run, I see a major conflict between
those who accept authoritarian rule and those who insist on individual
. The same conflict exists within the Church. Clearly,
our present Pope comes from an authoritarian background and has been
diligently surrounding himself with like-thinking bishops both in Rome
and in important positions around the world. But the end result is the
disassociation of many Catholics from the established Church. And recent
stories in the USA destroyed any idea that the hierarchy always knew
best. Brother Andres essay speaks about 1903, but realistically
it points to a much larger task of having each of us and each of our
institutions adapt to a changing world. I wish I knew the answers, but
being a Christian means seeking the truth every day of our lives. (717
Washington Ave., Chappaqua, NY 10514-3309; 914-238-8001; Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org)