ISSUE # 79

February 2005
24 Brooklyn Mt Rd, Hopatcong NJ 07843; 973-398-5477;
717 Washington Ave, Chappaqua NY 10514; 914-238-8001;
65 Muirfield Court,  Poughkeepsie NY 12603; 845-454-6116;
476 La Playa, Edgewater FL 32141, 386-426-6349,

Announcing …
New website for the Marist Brothers of the United States Province  or

For information on the Marist Experience
in Sri Lanka during the tsunami click on

click on email address to send email
click on  correspondent or topic to go to that item 


Maurice Bibeau ('50)
Br. Kevin Blyth
 Br. Gerry Brereton ('59)
William Byrne ('52)

Alan Doerr ('56)
Jack Duggan ('52)
David Kammer ('42)
Pat Keilty ('65)

Br Francis Klug ('45)
Joseph Kung ('62)
John Kinch ('54)
Dennis J Murray

Vin Poisella
Rev Joseph A Roth
Suzanne Wilcox
Gene Zirkel ('53)

Charles Zoeller (62)


Br John Murray (rip)
Br Patrick Magee (rip)
Br. Simeon Gerald (rip)
Rev William Sears (rip)

Brother Leo Richard Morris
O Brother Where Art Thou Apr 8-9

Roselle Catholic HS Reunion Apr 23
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin May 14

Central Catholic HS Lawrence MA

octagonal chapel (again)

tsunami & Marist in Sri Lanka

Marist Family Institute of Spirituality July 2005


 (From THE EDITOR:  There are several reasons to refer to our Website (at the above address).  First, see this issue and past issues on the “big screen,” and get captivated for hours reading previous contributions from those dear voices from the past.  Secondly, you may wish to read the eulogy of Br. Patrick Magee and others who have died recently.  Thirdly, peruse some wonderful photos and other reminiscences of Esopus put together by Rich Foy, our Webmaster (click here).  Incidentally, this particular feature needs expansion from those who spent time at Esopus, remember some of the stories, and are willing to write them for placement at this site.   And finally, for those who knew Teddy Morris (Leo Richard), read of William Byrne’s tribute to a very colorful character – a work too long for our current printed issue, but never too long for cyberspace!)






Marist College   ***   July 8 - 10,  2005


We will focus our prayers and talks on themes emphasized by Father Champagnat:  bold confidence in God, awareness of the presence of God, concern for the poor, concern for youth, simplicity, Mary as our Ordinary Resource, and our response to the unmet needs of the contemporary Church.   In the evenings we will celebrate our friendship and camaraderie in memory of the good times Marcellin had while in the seminary. To date, presenters and panelists include Br. Brice Byczynski, Martin Lang, Br. Vito Arresto, Richard LaPietra, Anne Lang, Mary Gallagher, Barney and Anne Sheridan, Pat Zirkel and Valerie Towsley.  Let us know if you too would like to participate.  (The complete program will be posted on the Marists All Website.)

Costs:  For individuals, two nights accommodations (including linens) with meals, insurance and fees for the weekend will total $195 a person or $375 per couple.  Without accommodations, the cost is $120 per person.  Reservation for the weekend:  send a $25 deposit to Maurice Bibeau, 4 Van Wert Place, Hyde Park, NY 12538; 845-229-0879.  Make the check out to the Marist Brothers.   Registration:  Friday, July 8th, at 4 pm in the Rotunda of the Student Center at Marist College.  The program ends Sunday, July 10th, at noon.  Participants are invited to attend the celebration (from noon to 3:30 pm) for Br. Joseph Belanger’s 80th birthday.  Information:  John Scileppi, One River Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538-1323; 845-229-6277;

From CHARLES ZOELLER (’62):  I have been enjoying Marists All since day one, but this is my first time writing.  Here is a brief synopsis of my years since leaving the monks at Christmas, 1968.  I have been blessed with a wonderful marriage of thirty-three years and two great kids:  Jacob, 32, and Maria, 27.  We have lived in southern New Hampshire, forty miles from Boston, since 1986.  For the past nine years I have been in the eldercare field, progressively specializing in Alzheimer’s education and care.  I have been an Assisted Living Administrator and an Adult Day Center Manager.  I work with the Alzheimer’s Association doing community education presentations, workshops for family caregivers and facility staff, responses to helpline calls, coordinating of support groups and other related projects.  There is no end to the need for this very satisfying work.  Any readers wishing advice or information on Alzheimer’s, just let me know. No charge!  Also, check out our renowned national website:

Previously, I had served for almost a decade as the national field program coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Service Committee, an international human rights and development agency.  I joined the UU church in 1976, but I believe I had their spirit for many years prior.  For fifteen years I have been a social justice empowerment trainer for our denomination, facilitating two or three congregational weekend workshops every year around the country.  While I have never lost my deep appreciation for my Catholic and Marist years, I am comfortable and happy in my new religious home.

Other involvements that may be of some interest include my completion of a master's in education at FSU in Tallahassee, being a conscientious objector and doing two years alternative service with the Quakers, specifically the American Friends Service Committee, back in New York City, my home town!  Later, I led Pacem in Terris, an interfaith peace and justice organization, in Wilmington, Delaware, for fourteen years. 

I have maintained a Marist connection with Gene Connors, and to a lesser extent, with Jack Broderick and Bill Reger.  I’d like to connect via e-mail with any classmates, teachers, colleagues of my Marist years, including Marcos Longoria, Dave Cooney, John Allen, Woody Duke, Rich Keenan, Mike Dean, Bob Tripaldi, Bill Kawka, Brian Henry, Philip Robert, Gus Nolan, Rich Foy, Cyprian Rowe.  I’ve also been thinking lately, because of the tsunami, of college classmates from Sri Lanka: Remigius and Cletus and Tom Ng.  (33 Windham Road, Derry, NH 03038; 603-437-1824;

From ALAN DOERR  (’56): I’m still teaching math at Umass, Lowell.  This is my 38th year at this institution where the name transition has gone from Lowell Tech to the University of Lowell, to Umass Lowell.  I taught two years at Our Lady of Lourdes and four at Hayes.  This brings my total teaching career to 44 years.  My wife Donna and I are experiencing the joys of two grandchildren.  We all enjoy snowmobiling from our “camp” in Effingham, New Hampshire, just south of Ossipee and Camp Marist. (108 Cross Street, West Andover, MA 01810-3258; 978-685-1972;

From BR. GERRY BRERETON (’59):  I have had a five-month break from my work of translating documents for the Marist Generalate.  During that time I very much enjoyed a nine-week renewal program in Manziana, Italy.  I am now back from a very enjoyable three-week vacation over the Christmas holidays with friends at the Chicago community.  Today I finished and e-mailed my first translation back to the General House, three pages.  I have another one of eight pages waiting to be done.  In addition,  I‘m writing translations for the Secretariat of the International Union of (women) Superiors General in Rome.  All that and living at the Mount, too!  John Klein is breathing new life into Champagnat Hall here.  Gus Landry, Larry Lavallee, and Larry Gordon are here now.  (4300 Murdock Avenue, Bronx, NY 10466;

From JOSEPH KUNG (’63)  When I came to Hong Kong in early 1969, I taught physics and math but filled in teaching chemistry when Dr. Judith Pauley arrived from the U.S. two months late.  In conversation I found that Dr. Pauley had been a classmate of Richard La Pietra’s at Catholic University in Washington.  I am 61 years of age and plan to retire in the fall of 2005 when the summer replacement work is done and the school gets restarted smoothly.  In my retirement I plan to teach English to less fortunate immigrant children from China. 

Living in our one-thousand square foot flat with its four small rooms are six persons:  our son Louis and his wife Dorothy and their baby Nicholas, my wife Grace and myself, and Joy, our Philippine maid.  Joy is 26, married, and has two kids.  It is a common practice here in Hong Kong for middle class people to hire live-in domestic help.  There are about 24,000 maids in Hong Kong.  Most are from the Philippines and Indonesia, some from Sri Lanka and Nepal.  The wage is about USD 450 per month.  Our daughter Patricia and her husband Felix Tin live about fifteen minutes driving time from our flat.  In Hong Kong housing is expensive.  Pat’s 600 foot flat costs about USD 200,000.  Our flat costs about USD 700,000.  Patricia, 31, got her B.S. degree in computer science and business management from Livingston University in Alabama, graduating cum laude in 1994.   She had a good education and got to know the American life and spirit.  Grace and I attended Pat’s graduation, then traveled around the U.S. for four weeks.  … I have not had contact with Thomas Ng for many years.  He is in Singapore, quite a distance; it is not cheap to get there.  However, I do have yearly contact with William Cheng and a few former Marists who were trained in the Philippines and in Australia (Flat 4B, Tai Hang Road, Hong Kong; 852-257-70094;

From PAT KEILTY (’65):  From snowy Wicklesgreuth, Germany, I send warmest regards to the Marists All Family.  Anne and I continue to own a house in Sarasota which is currently rented out while we work for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools at Ansbach High School.  We do love our life here in Germany, coupled with our summer returns to Florida.  We will probably stay here until social security kicks in at 62, another three years ahead.   (CMR 454, Box 1906; APO, AE 09250; 011-49-980-295-3318;

From  WILLIAM BYRNE (’52):  A Smile or Two for Ted:  I only knew him as “Ted.” It would have been inconceivable for me to call him Brother Leo Richard, just as it would have been unthinkable for him to call me by any other name than “Willy.”  In the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, we shared a communal life, euphemistically referring to ourselves as “monks.” Being called a “Little Brother of Mary” didn’t have the same ring as “monk.”  That sounded more medieval, more substantive.  So, among ourselves, we were “monks.”

We both entered the “monkery” the same year.  Ted was several years older than most of us who were the product of the Brotherhood prep school, called appropriately enough, the Juniorate.  It was in the Novitiate, the first serious commitment step in the Brotherhood, in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts – later the Wang Center and now a Boston College Conference Center – when I first came to know Ted.  He grew up in the then struggling mill town of Lawrence, Massachusetts, the son of a sign painter.  I grew up on the streets of Manhattan, West Side, 164th Street and Broadway.

Ted was a hulk of a would-be monk then, 5’10”, solid, bear-like.  Picture him as an undersized professional football linebacker…. (For the rest of the story, with the author’s approval, log onto the Marists All Website. click here for those reading the electronic page.  Editor) 

From DENNIS J. MURRAY, President, Marist College: Members of the Marist Community were directly impacted by the tragedy of the Tsunami and are now reaching out to us for help.  Holy Cross College in Kalutara, Sri Lanka, operated by the Marist Brothers, was demolished on December 26th.  Approximately 1600 students, between the ages of six and nineteen, have now been displaced, and many of them have lost their family members and homes.  Br. Michael de Wass, a graduate of Marist College and the provincial in Sri Lanka, has asked for assistance to help rebuild the school.  The students, faculty and staff at Marist College have recently begun raising money toward these efforts.  Although many of you have already contributed to Tsunami relief efforts, I appeal to you for assistance to help the Marist Brothers in their critical time of need.  If you would like to make a donation, please make your check payable to the “Marist Brothers – Tsunami Relief” and mail directly to me at the College.  I will ensure that all contributions go to the Brothers.  Thank you for your continuing support of the Marist community. (Marist College, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601; 845-575-3600; article from Marist Bulletin 178 on Kalutara’s Marist School appears in full on our Website.  click here for those reading the electronic page.   Editor)

From BR. KEVIN BLYTH:  Here in sunny Sydney it looks as though we will be having beautiful warm weather, great for surfing, picnics and barbecues.  I’m off to our holiday house on the Gold Coast for a couple of weeks this afternoon.  Looking forward to the break just south of Brisbane at a town called Tugun.  It’s about 200 metres from the beach and, although old, is a very comfortable place.  Hope the snow and cold aren’t too depressing for you all.  I must say I really loved my Christmases in the northern hemisphere - England and USA – a few years ago.  The snow seems to make it, really!(P.O. Box 775, Randwick NSW Australia 2031;

From BR. FRANCIS KLUG (’45):  Our community moved from Brownsville to Los Fresnos, TX on February 25th of last year.  We had to make room for the new middle school department of St. Joseph Academy.  Although we had a pleasant, rather isolated, location on a resaca (pond) in Brownsville, here we are very much in the country.  As one who was reared on a farm, this location is even more to my liking than was Brownsville, even though it requires a fifteen mile drive to get to Brownsville nearly every day for most of the seven of us. 

It looks like my time here has come to an end, for the bookkeeping has been turned over to an accounting firm.  I have no doubt that they will be able to do a more professional job than I did, and I am happy that I was able to be there for three years to help get the school up and running.  Besides, I found myself correcting too many of my own mistakes and judged that it was time to acknowledge the fact that old age is taking its toll.  Well, it is now time to ask the Lord to let me know what He has in mind for the future. (32995 Henderson Road, Los Fresnos, TX 78566-4668;

Coming Events!

Saturday, April 9:  Third Annual “Gathering” of the Oh, Brother/brother Where Art Thou? (OBbWAT) at Holy Rosary in Esopus, with overnight accommodations available for the 8th and/or 9th.   This date is a change from the Good Friday date of the past two years to accommodate those with congregation and/or ceremonial commitments.  We hope that this date precedes the shad flies arrival.  This gathering was originally planned for the Esopus classes of 1956-1959 or theTyngsboro groups of 1957-1960.  Also welcome, regardless of age, are any of those who were in community with any of us. (John O’Connell, 15 High St., Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538;


Saturday, April 23:  A Roselle Catholic High School Class Reunion will be held for the graduating classes of the mid-1960s.  A dinner dance will be held at the school, beginning at 6:30 with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at 8:00  All former faculty members of those years and their guests are invited free of charge.   There will be a golf outing the day before (Friday, April 22nd).  The golf package with lunch, dinner and late night sandwiches is $160 a person.   Prorated cost for part of the day is listed in the program packet.  (


Saturday, May 14“Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, and Evolution” at Marist College will be held to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Teilhard de Chardin at a day-long symposium on his evolutionary thought.  The conference and luncheon are free and open to the public.  Pre-registration is required.  To receive a printed invitation to the event, e-mail your name and address to: or call (845)575-3359.  Inquiries may also be directed to

In Memoriam

BR. JOHN MURRAY (’68): Br. John died at the age of 55 on December 12.   He was in the first graduating class from Marist High School in Chicago, one of the first graduates to enter the Brothers.  He taught at Central Catholic in Lawrence, St. Agnes, and at Marist High in Chicago.  He had also served the congregation as provincial treasurer.    (click here for eulogy by Brother John Klein.)

BR. PATRICK EUGENE MAGEE (’43):   Br. Patrick died January 7th at 80 years of age after 62 years of religious life.  He was a leader in the American provinces, having been teacher, principal, and director in several communities and schools.  For many years he was a member of the Provincial Council.  At the funeral Mass at St. Benedict’s Church in the Bronx on January 10th, Br. Richard Carey (’82), president of Marist High School, Chicago, reflected on Brother Patrick’s life. (click here for obituary)

From REV. JOSEPH R. ROTH P.A. (PATRICK KIERAN ’56):  What a shock to hear of the death of Br. Patrick Eugene  Magee.  What a fine and holy man!  Please give my condolences to the Brothers and let them know that I will offer Holy Mass for him this coming week here in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, in Charleston, SC. (

BR. SIMEON GERALD (’33) died on February 9th.  Br. Simeon had been a Marist for more than 71 years.  He taught for many years in Tyngsboro from the days when it was a juniorate.  Since 1991 he had been in semi-retirement at Mount St. Michael.  There, while doing what he could for the school and community, he gathered funds for the missions by collecting and selling discarded aluminum cans.  Known to many for his piety, we recall that even at last September’s GMC picnic, he quietly distributed prayer cards. (click here for obituary)

REV. WILLIAM J. SEARS (’52):  Father Sears died January 8 at Englewood Hospital, Englewood, FL.  He was 71.  Born in Manhattan, he attended St. Ann’s Academy, went on to join the Marist Brothers, receiving the name of William Mary in 1952.  He was graduated from Marist College and taught as a Marist before entering St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. He was ordained June 2, 1962, at St. James Pro-Cathedral in Brooklyn.  He served in Brooklyn until 1964.  He served in Florida, the military, and taught at Cardinal Mooney High School.  Most recently, he had been living in retirement in the diocese of Venice, FL.  Burial was at St. Raymond’s Cemetery in the Bronx.  (click here for obituary)

(Full eulogies may be found in the obituary section of the Marists All Web site. Editor)

From JACK DUGGAN (’52):  I would like to share a few memories of my friendship with Father Bill Sears.  Bill and I attended St. Ann’s Academy for a year.  We had fond memories of our early teachers:  Br. Paul Octavius for Latin, Br. Thomas Aquinas for civics, Br. Michael Kieran for religion and general science.  Br. David Ottmar taught us English and algebra.  Br. Mike, our homeroom teacher, was our coach for intramurals, our guidance counselor, our grade advisor, and mentor.  These teachers were an inspiration to our class.  That year, Bill and I joined the Sodality under Br. Godfrey.  Bill and I entered the juniorate at Esopus after our freshman year and then continued on to Tyngsboro and to Marist in Poughkeepsie.   Bill, who demonstrated a terrific talent for construction, created an ongoing “dialogue”with Br. Nilus as they blessed our beloved chapel with many an expletive.  I believe they were only expressing their deepest respect for each other’s gifts.  In 1956 when we graduated from the College with degrees in English, I was assigned to teach at St. Ann’s and Bill was assigned to culinary endeavors at the college.  It was later, as we were about to head for Esopus to make our required 30-day retreat, Br. Bill made his decision to leave the Marists and follow his calling to the priesthood.  (Box 758, Westbury, NY 11590; 516-997-6547;


From JOHN KINCH (’59):  (Addendum to last issue’s “octagon controversy”)  My vote goes for the practical.  The choice of the octagon shape may have been serendipitous.  A round, silo-shaped chapel would have posed problems like curved pews and kneelers.  And so I think Nilus would have opted for the relative simplicity and economy of the octagon.  In retrospect, and I don’t mean to overwork the theoretical, Nilus’s buildings were geometric at a time when function was supposed to determine form in architecture. His dining hall was a polygon, his dormitory a cube.  The building where he put his apartment was a cantilevered rectangle, but he did build a massive circle of a building for classrooms! ( Other addenda follow:

I went to Mass this morning at our local parish. I sat where I usually sit, four rows behind the baptismal font. Guess what! The base has eight sides! I had never noticed it before. You've got me seeing things and counting sides to things: Stop signs! The Pentagon! etc. — Vin Poisella


The Camaldolese Monastery in Big Sur CA where I go for retreats has an octagonal church. See www.contemplation.comSuzanne Wilcox


From DAVID KAMMER (’42):  You never know the repercussions of your actions. Some will remember that I sent a Christmas greeting in the name of Marists All to those in our e-mail address book.  Here is how the greeting read: “At Christmas and at Eucharist we remember that God has come and is helping us at every moment to grow to the fullness of life and happiness.  We pray that you may share abundantly in His blessings.”   Apparently, the greeting was appreciated by a specific person who sent it on to a friend.  The friend in turn sent the greeting along to another friend, who replied with these words:   “Doris, thank you  - the Christmas sentiment is very nice.  It hits the right spot after a weekend of reading verses on supposed Christmas cards that in no way refer to Christmas or its real meaning – everything is now ‘holiday.’  Even the Rockefeller Center tree is a ‘holiday tree.’  Carmel”   This e-mail message returned to us “blindly” with no accompanying message. We do see that Carmel works as a secretary for a company on West 45th Street in New York City.   We know neither Doris nor Carmel. 

From GENE ZIRKEL(’53):  Upon reflection on Br. Sean Sammon’s Christmas remarks to the Marists throughout the world, I was struck by his comment, “And thus the story began to unfold.”  From the unfolding of the Christmas story, I reflected on the unfolding of my own life.  The “unfolding” took place in this way:  my youngest brother Vic went to a Marist School.  And as a result, I too developed a relationship with Marist Brothers. This led me to spend fifteen years as a Brother and a lifetime as a Marist layman.  My eldest brother Don became involved with the Cursillo retreat movement.  It was through one of their retreats that I met my wife Pat, the greatest gift I have received.   A high school choice, an invitation to make a cursillo, seemingly unimportant events, were in actuality God-incidents in the unfolding of God’s plan for my life.  How blessed I have been!


From MAURICE BIBEAU(’50):  (The following extract, part of an editorial that appeared in the Boston Globe on January 3rd, was sent by Mo Bibeau for our readers. Editor)  Commitment to service:  There is no reason to limit the search for success to public school systems.  Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, operated by the Marist Brothers, is located in one of the poorest neighborhoods of the second-poorest city in Massachusetts.  The highly regarded school still draws about half its students from middle-class suburbs, but the core mission remains “service to the least favored,” according to Central Catholic’s principal, David DeFillippo.


Some freshmen from poor communities arrive at the 1200–student school as many as three academic years behind their suburban counterparts, says De Fillippo.  But the gap dissolves over time in terms of grades, SAT scores, and self-reported confidence levels.  Similar to Tech Boston Academy, staffers often arrive well before starting time or stay late into the afternoon to tutor students.  Many teachers carry keys to the building.  It’s that level of staff commitment, says DeFillippo, “that unlocks the kids’ beliefs in themselves.”


Struggling freshmen at Central Catholic are bombarded with extra help, including double periods of language arts.  Classes generally consist of twenty-six students but can be reduced temporarily to just eighteen for those needing extra attention.  It is understood that upperclassmen will mentor and encourage younger students.  About one-third of the faculty, says DeFillippo, are themselves former students at Central Catholic. 


It’s not possible for judges to mandate the levels of commitment and flexibility seen in schools that close the achievement gap.  But the court should be thinking carefully about mandating more spending in schools where such commitment doesn’t already exist.  (4 Van Wert Place, Hyde Park, NY 12538-1770)


(Thanks to all for sending your “news and views” for publication in this latest issue of Marists All.  Thanks also to those sending monetary contributions, especially most recently Tom Moore, Jim Gargan, and Charles Zoeller.  Editor)

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