ISSUE # 83

February 2006


www.ecommerce.marist.edu/foy/maristsall/
61 Golf View Drive, Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087; 609-294-2148; vtpoisella@yahoo.com
717 Washington Ave, Chappaqua, NY 10514; 914-238-8001; richard.foy@verizon.net
I-4524 #103 Royal Woods, Soth Naples FL 34112; 239-775-4104; gusnolan@aol.com
476 La Playa, Edgewater, FL 32141; 386-426-6349; jdkammer@earthlink.net
 

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

 
Correspondents

Bill Byrne '52
Jerry Byrne '60


John Dillon '60

Reggie Diss '60
Tom Fahey '58

Br Charles Filiatrault '55
Patrick Gallagher '53

Bob Hopkins '52
David Kammer '42


Bill Kawina
Rev John Miller '57

Don Mulcare '57
John O'Connell '58

Vince Poisella '58
Bill Reger-Nash '61

Kevin Ryan '66
Francis X (Barney) Sheridan '55

 


  Topics

Br Joseph DiBenedetto '59

"Gathering "  April 21-23

Bob Hopkins '52

Links to Marist Websites

Marist Family
Spirituality Weekend

 

Mary Sammon  r.i.p

Br Peter Chanel Arel r.i.p

Br. Louis Richard '51 r.i.p.

Don Schmidt '53 r.i.p

Rick Oertle '59 r.i.p


 


Twelfth Annual Marist Family Spirituality Weekend
July 7, 8, 9, 2006
Growing in Our Marist Spirituality Through the Lifespan 

Contact: John Scileppi:  John.Scileppi@marist.edu or (845) 575-3000 x2961

Accommodations: Marist College’s new Fulton Street Townhouses

Speakers:  Br. Donald Bisson, Ph.D., an internationally known Jungian-oriented spiritual director; a panel of men leading a discussion concerning one’s personal spirituality in daily life. Other speakers will be announced through the Marists All website.

Costs:    Meals for Friday dinner through Sunday lunch, including snacks:  $105
            Housing, including linens and blankets for two nights:
                      Singles, $65 (with meals, $170 per person)
                     Couples, $100 (with meals, $310 per couple)

Pre-registration:  by June 15:  $25 discount per person (Send to Maurice Bibeau, 4 Van Wert Place, Hyde Park, NY 12538.)

 


From JOHN O’CONNELL ’58:  This year’s “Gathering” in Esopus will be the afternoon/evening of Friday, April 21st, and all day Saturday, April 22nd, with most overnighters leaving on Sunday morning, April 23rd.  Br. Don Nugent and Br. Joe DiBenedetto (who could use our prayers in his fight against cancer), both Tyngsboro novices in ’59, run the old “Prep” as a Marist retreat house. They will be holding open the old twenty-two-bed Holy Rosary building for our use that weekend. 

Friday afternoon and evening will be taken up mostly with the rituals of early arrival partying and dinner.  On Saturday we’ll gather together about 10:00 am to swap stories and run right through to about 8:00 pm with breaks for lunch, cemetery visit, and dinner out.  Please contact me as soon as possible with your intentions of joining up with those who shared common experiences almost fifty years go at Marist Prep in Esopus and Marist Novitiate in Tyngsboro.  (OBbWAT@aol.com)

Please let me know if you have not yet received the newly updated Directory of almost 250 B/brothers with whom we once lived, brought together as adolescents by a common “calling”/attraction to a life of altruism, self-sacrifice, generosity of spirit, and sense of community (with ninety-six of us actually being in touch, and forty-three of us having broken bread together, thirty of us at one or more of our annual April “Gatherings” in Esopus), connecting as “brothers” once again. 

From TOM FAHEY ’58:  I enjoyed reading Leo Byron’s memory of the Prep in Marists All of me being carried off the field after an injury in 1955 and stepping into a hole, breaking my left ankle.  I forget the name of the Brother nearby who did in fact tell me to walk it off, figuring it wasn’t serious.  That happened to me just after arriving at the Prep in 1954, and I was almost sent home to recover.  Instead, I stayed on and, of course, missed most of the football season.  But I do remember kicking a few field goals before the season ended. It’s so true about Br. Joseph Damian’s glare stare.  The man was extraordinary in so many ways.  But I do remember Br. Master’s “burn” when he was angry!  Ah, the memories….  (5766 NW 99th Lane, Coral Spring, FL 33076; Faheytj@aol.com)

From KEVIN W. RYAN ’66:  I was a 1964 graduate of Archbishop Molloy and was in the novitiate in Esopus from 1965 to 1967.  I was under temporary vows for about three years during which time I was assigned to Resurrection-Ascension parish in Rego Park with Jack Redmond as local superior.  Br. Leonard Voegtle was provincial and moved his office into the Rego Park residence at that time.  I left the Brothers in 1970.  Remarkably, my contact back has been casual over the past decade or so since I have worked with religious congregations on a variety of planning issues and have had the chance to see Br. John Klein from time to time over the years.  Actually, I had the enjoyable good fortune of visiting with Br. Ronald David Barabino in Tampa recently.  It was like being back in his homeroom again.  I have been an educator at grammar and high school, as well as college.  I have a long career as a hospital administrator and a CEO of several hospitals in the New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts areas.  The irony is that I have been working for the Society of Mary (Boston and Atlanta Provinces) for the past several years and have thus reconnected with Marist life and spirituality.  I am married to Kathleen with two grown boys, one of whom, Christopher, is married and father of our grandchild Cailin, while my younger son Stephen is doing graduate work at NYU.   I have my own consulting practice now and have spent the greater part of the last decade working closely with religious in terms of planning for aging members and functional uses for real estate.  (jethroassociates@aol.com)

From BILL REGER-NASH ‘61:  It has been a good year for my wife Jan and me in West “by golly” Virginia.  We will celebrate ten years of marriage this coming August.  We have completed our first full year in our new home.  We have met wonderful neighbors with whom we picnic in our community park weekly throughout the summer. A forest preserve of over a hundred acres surrounds our home.  The setting continues with Cheat Lake, an eight-mile long canyon lake.  I am now a full professor at West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown, WV.  I enjoy my teaching, research and service, focusing around community health and wellness.  Thanks to my Aussie friends, I now have a National Cancer Institute grant which will augment my public health intervention research focused on physical activity. (304-293-0763; wreger@hsc.wvu.edu)

From REV. JOHN  (DAVID JOSEPH) MILLER ’57:  It is with much excitement that I write to Marists All.  Since leaving Marist College, there has been a void in my life.  I loved the congregation and the Brothers so much – and still do.  It has been 40+ years since I have had any real contact with the Marist Brothers.  My only resource for a time was with those Brothers assigned to Central Catholic in Wheeling, WV.  About ten years ago, I purchased my first computer.  In my search for the Brothers, I limited myself to their main website and was resigned to what it might offer.  I had no idea that a “fraternity” of Brothers – those who chose other areas of ministry and personal endeavor – was in existence.  I want to thank Br. Steve Milan, Vocations Director, for pointing me in the “right” direction.  I was able to find names I recognized from the Marists All website, and after some difficulty, I was able to send e-mails to Br. Joe Belanger and David Kammer.  I now feel I am back home!  An empty spot in my heart has been filled!  Both David and Gus Nolan have encouraged me to send an overview of what has been going on in my life since departing Marist College in 1959.

When I returned to Wheeling, I had no undergraduate degree.  I went to work for a family business and eventually got my bachelor’s degree in education. I began teaching and working on my master’s degree in education and administration.  In the public school system I served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Morgantown, WV area.  Immediately after my tenure as a principal, I returned to Wheeling and accepted teaching positions for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in the areas of general and Christian education.  I went back to school and earned my master’s in religious education and eventually became principal of Bishop Donahue High School where Br. Rene Roy served for many years.  As vocations declined and positions needed filling, I assisted the diocese in the areas of parish administration.

I married Patricia in 1967, and we eventually became parents of Melanie and Tiffany (ten years apart!).  In 1987, at the age of forty-two, Pat suffered a major heart attack, and a few days later on December 20th, God took her home.  As a new family structure, God and Mary stayed very close to us.  Believe me, I made a poor “Mr. Mom.”  But we managed. 

During my years of being a widower and single parent, I received tremendous support from the United Methodist Community in my town.  They and their pastors never forced themselves on us, but they always seemed to be there.  I found myself examining my vocation.  I felt myself being pulled to ministry in the United Methodist Church where I could serve God as a pastor.  After much prayer and many rosaries, I began attending the local UMC in 1989 and asked that I be considered as a candidate for ministry.  I returned to school and acquired my master’s degree in theology and divinity, which led to my ordination as a full time pastor.  

My first year in the United Methodist Church involved a period of probation.  It was during this time that I met Carol Parsons, who served as a lay leader and adult Sunday school leader.  Carol had never been married.  After much prayer and consultation with my children and our families, we married in 1991.  Today we continue in our various ministries together.  I thank God every day for her presence in my life. 

In 2000 I began to have health issues and was forced to retire from full time ministry.  In 2002 I was diagnosed with cancer, and a whole new venture in my life began.  Due to God’s grace and Mary’s protection, I made it through one major fifteen-hour surgery in 2003 and another surgery in 2004.  On December 2nd, after an extensive MRI, Carol and I were told that my cancer had returned.  As I write to you, I am waiting to hear from my surgeon who is in consultation with other doctors regarding the procedures that will be followed.  As in the past, the situation will be placed in God’s hands with the knowledge that Mary is holding my hand.  I guess it can be said that the Marist Spirit keeps me moving.  (415 Alta Vista Avenue, Glen Dale, WV 26038-1427; 304-843-1181; revjohn2538@comcast.net)

 

Links:  Those who are so inclined and would like to explore the Marist world beyond Marists All may wish to delve into the following websites:

Marist International       www.champagnat.org

Marist USA                  www.marist.br.com

Esopus Retreat House  www.maristretreathouse.com

Marist Australia            www.maristoz.edu.au

 

 

(From VINCE POISELLA ’58, EDITOR:  As the readers of Marists All age each succeeding year, more emphasis in each issue is being placed on sickness and death.  This emphasis is not meant to bring sadness, but rather, especially in the report of the death of one of our own, an opportunity to celebrate a life.   When we report sickness, on the other hand, we seek support and prayer.    Several deaths have been reported to us in these past few months.  Some reports are immediate; others delayed.  As for sickness, some would rather bear their pain or discomfort quietly.  In at least one case recently, responses came back when sickness was reported.  You will read below excerpts from some of the letters of support.

In reporting the responses to the death of one of our own, I need to apologize to our readers for being remiss in reporting the death of Br. Peter Chanel who died on July 29th.  I received information in the mail the day after the August issue went to press.  Putting it aside for the November issue, it was buried in one of a hundred cardboard boxes in the move to our new home, and in the confusion of transition was only rediscovered as material for this issue was being organized.  Of course, in my heart I realize that words of memory and praise for our deceased Brothers and brothers do not have a statute of limitations.  But I still offer my regrets.  You will find these words below along with responses to the lives of others who have died recently.)

 

To BR. JOSEPH DIBENEDETTO ’59(When John O’Connell sent out an all-call for notes of support for Joe, over eighteen responses arrived through e-mail.  Below are a few excerpts.) From Bill Dougherty: “Joe, since we had desks beside each other at Marist for two years, I felt that I had to wish you the best.  My story with cancer had such a positive result that I wanted to share it with you in the hopes that yours will be as well….  My prayers are with you for a successful and quick recovery.” …from Russ Therriault:  “Hi, Joe.  Glad to hear the doc was optimistic for you.  It’s Sunday morn and I’m fixin’ to go to Mass.  Will be thinking about ya’ll.”  From Reggie Diss:  “Hang in there and keep on doing the good and wonderful “Joe D. things” I remember you always doing during our days together at CCHS in Lawrence.  I remember cleaning our rooms on snow days, congregating in our rooms after evening prayers and keeping an ear out for the sounds of Pop’s shuffling slippers, sneaking out on Friday nights to attend activities at St. Pat’s, working on Sodality projects and being treated by Dom to dinner later in the evening, going to movies, and building sets for proms.” 

From PATRICK GALLAGHER ‘53:  I received word from the wife of Bob Hopkins, (formerly Br. Francis Matthew ’52 ), that on January 10th, Bob, driving home near Londonderry, NH, was cut off by a large truck, which forced him into a ditch where he hit a tree and was critically injured.  Quick response by a witness calling 911, and the rapid response of Londonderry’s rescue units, according to Mar, saved his life.  He was airlifted to Mass General in Boston and was comatose for two weeks, suffering a shattered femur, serious stomach injuries, and three fractures in his spine, one at the base of the brain.  The airbags deployed, and he had his seat belt fastened.  According to Mar, when he arrived at Mass General, he was “bleeding to death,” and in those first four hours there, it was touch-and-go.  He is now in Spaulding Rehab and moving toward an apparently “slow but complete recovery.”  There seems to be no damage to any of his faculties, and he can, and is looking forward to, calls from his friends.  He can be reached at 617-573-7439.  (Box 310, Springtown, PA 18081; 610-346-7463)

From BOB HOPKINS ’52:  This is my first sharing through Marists All.  As with so many others, I’ve always intended to sit down and share my history since I left the Brothers in 1967.  I did not leave because I was unhappy with the monks.  I had been a part of the congregation since I was fourteen.  There were spiritual, theological, and institutional issues that did not leave me any choice.  I feel I have contributed a great deal to the young men and women who have been entrusted to me over the years in a way I could not have done as a monk.

I want to thank the monks who helped me become the person I am today.  In the juniorate: Brs. Regis James, Stephen Urban, Joseph Albert, and Luke Driscoll.  In the novitiate: Brs. Louis Omer, John Berchmans, and Simeon Gerard.  For me, by the time of the scholasticate, the magic had disappeared.  The monks who influenced me most during those years were those in my group, especially the history majors.

During my teaching years those influencing me were my superiors at the Mount, Central Catholic, and Molloy.  I admired and respected Brs. Wally, Pop, and Norbert.  Teddy Morris (Br. Leo Richard) and Pat Gallagher also influenced me.  My relationship with Teddy was special going back to the novitiate when Teddy arrived on the scene.  Many times we worked moving rocks, trying to construct a drainage ditch near the barn.  Periodically, Teddy’s brother would show up with his ice cream truck, and we would enjoy a rest period while consuming the ice cream.  On other occasions, we would sneak up to the barn and take apples from a storage area.  We enjoyed one another’s company.  I don’t think we admitted to these infractions of novitiate etiquette at the Chapter of Faults, but I am sure we felt guilty.  We both coached shot putters:  Teddy at Molloy and I at the Mount.  When I was at Molloy, we spent many hours, with innumerable others, walking students through the Esopus weekends.  He was a true friend. 

My life since leaving the monks has been a journey of many ups and downs.  I actually met my wife Mary before I formally left the Brothers.  Br. Kieran, who was my provincial at the time, was extremely supportive and helped make the transition an easy one.  Mar and I met while working on a CCD program in Bellrose at St. Gregory’s Parish while I was teaching at Molloy.  After I left, we continued our friendship and were married in 1968 in Jessup, Iowa.  Mar was a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement in Chicago and had worked with Dr. King, Jesse Jackson, and Father Clements.   Having encountered intense racism from the nuns with whom she taught in Chicago, she moved to New York to be with close friends.  That is when I met her.  We have been blessed with three children:  Patrick, Craig, and Colleen.  After I left Molloy, I obtained a position at Lynbrook High School in New York.  I taught there until 1979.  A good friend convinced me to apply for a teaching position in the social studies department at a new high school in Londonderry, NH.  I remained at Londonderry until 2002 until I retired. 

Spiritually, I have gone in a different direction from the one I lived for so many years.  I feel very comfortable with where I am in my relationship with Christ.  But I read the message differently now than I did in the past.  I feel freer to live the message without institutional constraints. 

I would like to express one last note of gratitude to a group of monks who were extremely kind to me when I was going through a personal crisis in 1995.  I am a recovering alcoholic and have been for the last ten years.  When I decided to stop drinking on January 27, 1995, I was overwhelmed by the task.  I realized the need for help.  My wife and my children were there during the entire process.  Recovery from forty years of drinking was daunting.  Consequently, in May, I decided to take a sick leave from Londonderry and go on a personal retreat.  I was given permission by Br. John Klein, Provincial, to spend some time at Bellport with Jogues and Ed.  They were incredibly supportive, along with Danny, Charlie, and Bob.  They were an indispensable part of my recovery.  I owe them so much, especially my life, both spiritual and physical.  Thank you!  Again, thanks to all the monks who helped me along the way.   (199 Fieldstone Drive, Londonderry, New Hampshire 03053; 603-434-1914)

From BR. CHARLES FILIATRAULT ’55: Reflections on the life of Br. Peter Chanel Arel (b. September 5, 1918 - d. July 29, 2005):  Very much like the scene of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, five of us were discussing at supper last night how Br. Peter touched our lives.   Two of the feelings that surfaced most often were Peter’s love to be of service to others and his genuine simplicity.  Although he was a teacher for eight years, most often he was called upon to make use of his gifts in areas that most of us would tend to avoid.  He often shared with me how much he enjoyed serving the Brothers as a cook, especially with Br. Danny Demers.  However, it is as a caregiver that Br. Peter is perhaps best known.  He served the Brothers as a licensed practical nurse for twenty-six years and attended to the details of the burial of sixteen Brothers.  Certainly, cooking, attending to the needs of children in a boarding school as a prefect, and caring for the Brothers as a nurse are not areas that most of the Brothers would rush into; yet, Br. Peter did all of these things with simplicity and enthusiasm.  (8230 SW 136th St., Palmetto Bay, FL 33156-6640; 305-251-6484

From DAVID KAMMER (as found in Marist Bulletin #224):  Death of the mother of the Superior General:  On the 20th November 2005, Mrs. Mary Sammon died at the age of ninety-five.  She was the mother of two Marist Brothers, Sean Sammon, Superior General of the Institute, and Henry Sammon of the Province of the United States of America, as well as of a daughter, Mrs. Moira Sammon Magro.  We wish to inform all our readers of this poignant loss, and we wish to share our condolences with our Brothers Sean and Henry, to whom we unite ourselves in prayer for the eternal repose of their dear mother. 

From BILL BYRNE ‘52:  I read with surprise, but not sadness, of the passing of Br.  Louis Richard, “Louie,” as I knew him.  It’s hard for me to be sad.  Time, distance, and life choice may have separated us for so long, but I always knew that Louie had his “eyes on the prize,” and now it is in hand for him.

We spent a year together as the working contingent for Marist College in 1956-57.  While the rest of the graduating class went to teaching assignments, four of us were “red-shirted” to work a year at the college.  Louie had graduated in 1955 and was completing his second year in the tailor shop.  We five, Jim O’Brien and Harry Henke (chefs), Louie (tailor), Raphael Martin (laundry person), and I (printer’s apprentice), formed a community of our own, living in the Brothers’ house on North Road in a set-off section of three rooms.  I’m not sure about the others, but in my case, I remember Br. Paul Ambrose intimating that my assignment was an effort to get me “more seasoning.”  It took some time for Br. Tarcisius, from his perspective and need, to agree that I was worth the seasoning experiment.  It was “Tarsy” who reconnected me with Louie.  I had written a piece for Marists All on my relation with “Tarsy” during that eventful year in my life.  Reading what I wrote prompted Louie to send me a note last year on how much he enjoyed the remembrance and how much he agreed with its content.  Now, in one of life’s ironies, I am about to do the same for him.  One incident that year fifty years ago has remained with me and shows how humble and thoughtful Louie was.    Br. Paul Ambrose, deciding to reward the five of us for our work on behalf of the college, orchestrated a weekend trip to Old Lyme Shores, CT.  As we piled into the college’s station wagon, he directed me to take the jump seat in the back, the one facing the oncoming traffic.  I objected, feeling that I was being relegated to the steerage compartment along with the baggage.  Louie sensed my discomfort and volunteered to take my place.  Ungraciously, I accepted his offer.  Thanks for that, Louie. After we reached our destination that evening, Br. Paul asked us what we would like to do.  Louie insisted that a movie would cap the night.  I forget the name of the movie.  I think it was some kind of Jacques Cousteau undersea exploration saga.  What I do remember was that barely into the opening underwater scene, Louie was sound asleep, much to Br. Paul’s chagrin.

Like many things in my life, one of my unfinished tasks was to respond to Louie’s kind note of a year ago.  I hope this will make amends.  At least, I’m sure now that he will understand how much I valued it.  What I would have written to him was how I remember his unfailing kindness, his even-tempered demeanor, his humble acceptance of what I’m sure was an unglamorous, self-effacing work assignment.  I remember how he would sincerely laugh at what I thought was the feeble humor that both Br. Tarcisius, his refectory table opposite, and Br. Aloysius, his tailor mentor, were guilty of ad infinitum.  I remember gloating over the Yankees’ successes at the hands of his beloved Red Sox.  As much as it hurts for a die-hard Yankee fan to admit, I’m glad he got to see them “reverse the curse.”

Thanks for a series of life lessons you taught me in our time together, Louie.  You were childlike, Christ-like.  I know you will continue to keep your memory of us, as we continue to value our memory of you.  (154 West Church St., Clarkston, MI 48346; 248-625-6555; hatchbom@aol.com

From FRANCIS X. (BARNEY) SHERIDAN ‘55: Don Schmidt ’53 (Br. Damian Eugene) passed away on December 24, 2005.  Don came to the Marist Spirituality weekends for several years and shared his spirituality honestly and openly with the community.  He proudly invited his brother, a retired military chaplain, to celebrate a liturgy for the group.  During all this time, Don suffered a lot of pain from joint disease and lung problems.  He never whined.  Don has been handicapped since at least 1999, yet was determined to attend the canonization of Champagnat.  Using a cane, he made sure he attended every ceremony possible.  He was an inspiration to all.  At the mass of the resurrection, some features unique to Don’s life story were highlighted:  his love for Mary and love for the Marists; his love of nature; his Master’s Degree earned in Spain; his mission in Monterey, Mexico; his interest in the organization of Retired Americans. 

Classmates from St. Agnes High School were present:  Br. Ed Maher, Br. Dan Grogan, Ray Hussey, Bob Grady with his wife Ginny.  My wife Anne and I joined them.  His colleagues from JFK High School in Wantagh, NY, came to honor him for his successful career there.    Messages of support may be sent to Don’s wife Mary at 712 Koelbel Court, Baldwin, NY 11510-3914; 516-623-4052; mfs712@earthlink.net).  Don’s death on the eve of the Christmas season reminds us to reflect on a Divinity who took on our human frailty.  Don can be seen as a witness to that Incarnation. (626 E. 20th Street, 9A; NY, NY 10009-1515; 212-529-2257; fxsheridan@hotmail.com.

From DON MULCARE ’57:  Don Schmidt and I grew up about five blocks away from each other.  We belonged to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Ozone Park.  I even went out with his sister Kathy a couple of times.  I can still remember him when I visited the scholasticate as a high school senior.  In those days he was curly-haired and athletic.  I appreciated the opportunity to meet Don again many years later at several of the Marist Spirituality weekends.  These occasions allowed Don and me to travel to Esopus and commune with the living and the dead. (7 Staffon Road, Fairhaven, MA 02719-4214; 508-994-8605; dmulcare@comcast.com)

From JOHN DILLON ‘60: Rick Oertle passed away on January 18th.  He lived out here in Los Angeles not far from my place.  He and I had kept in touch since our departures from the Esopus juniorate.  I moved to LA twenty years ago, and he moved out here about ten years later.  I used to give him copies of Marists All after I had read them, but I guess he never placed himself into the radar for his own mailings.  He suffered a massive heart attack in the parking lot of the CBS television city offices where he had worked for several years.  He was also a current card carrying SAG member and had appeared in several films and at least one TV sitcom episode that I am aware of.  He was in a coma and passed away peacefully two days ago.  His two sisters flew in with their children, and there will be a memorial for him on Sunday.  I also found that he was very friendly with Br. Leonard Voegtle.  Rick and I both had Lenny at the Prep.  Lenny had visited Rick when Rick lived in New York.  I believe that Rick graduated from the Prep in 1959.  He was nicknamed “Ertz” while there.  His classmates included Ronnie Mulholland, Kevin Finn, and Reggie Diss.  Reggie met him for lunch out here a few years ago and they caught up with old times. (346 1/2 Westminster Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90020-4618; 323-938-7224; junnyd@aol.com)

From REGGIE DISS ‘60:  Rick Oertle’s passing is a great loss to all who knew him;  through his humorous antics and kind manner, he endeared himself to many.  Rick always had a flair for acting; he was born for the spotlight!  His sister Barbara, who phoned me the other day to tell me of Rick’s death, told me that his ashes were scattered at the “Hollywood” sign in LA.  How fitting!

One of my fondest memories of Rick is rooted in our days at the juniorate when he, Ron Mulholland, Raoul Molnar, and I played “end men” in Steve Urban’s Mother’s Day production of Here Comes the Showboat!  The four of us had so much fun learning to dance the Varsity Drag under the supervision of Dennis Damian.  As I recall, Raoul Molnar never did catch on, and Rick made spastic kicks intermittently throughout the dance.  We were a great hit nonetheless!

I had not seen Rick for well over thirty years until five years ago when we had lunch together in LA while I was there attending a conference.  He spoke openly about his life in LA, especially living as a recovered alcoholic and his work sponsoring others in AA.  Rick was a wonderful guy; he will be spoken of often, and always with a smile.  (511 N. Main Street, Rural Retreat, VA 24368; 540-686-5539; rediss@ehc.edu)

From JERRY BYRNE ‘60:  So another – Rick Oertle – from our class of ’59 at the juniorate has passed on.  I have the list of forty-six names in front of me:  those who graduated June 1959.  Deceased are Tim Dooley, Bob Englert, Pat McMahon, and now Rick Oertle. Today, only a few remain in religious life, I think:  Bart Boscia, George Kopper, and Rev. Ed Doran.  Who can forget Bart as Carmen Miranda or Mike Connelly doing Splish Splash or even me doing a forgettable singing attempt of Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White in English and French?  I’ve been back to Holy Rosary these past two Gatherings and even slept in my old room trying to remember who my roommates were:  Ron Mulholland, Kevin Finn, Jim “Goose” Duffy, and Jim Maher, at least.  Where are the “lost”?  Where’s Frank Bernasek (one of the last guys I saw the morning I left the Mansion to go home for good in July of 1960), Jim Duffy, or Charlie Gawlik (who had a wine still in the Mansion basement)?  The Gathering coming up in April is a great chance to reconnect, even to visit just for the day.  Maybe we shouldn’t live in the past, but it surely is nice to meet people who once shared our lives and remember how we thought that God had singled us out for life as a religious, later realizing He had another plan for us.  Wherever we are is probably where He wants us to be.  Like Rick and several others of us, I am a recovering alcoholic these past sixteen years.  So much for anonymity!  Drop a line, and let’s reminisce a little and not forget those formative years when we all lived and prayed together.  (2217 Orchard Drive, S. Plainfield, NJ 07080-2933; 908-561-1267; gerardbyrne2217@comcast.net)

From  DAVID KAMMER ‘42:  The following notice was sent by Bill Kawina (bkawina@yahoo.com) , a former monk from Africa who studied at Marist College and who now teaches in Canada.  Br. F. Dostie (provsec@africaonline.co.zw), Province Secretary in Zimbabwe, sent us the report of the death of Br. Abdon Nkhuwa.  Both also studied in Poughkeepsie.  “Br. Abdon Nkhuwa passed away in the early hours of the morning on January 1st.   He made his first profession in 1958 and his final vows in 1964.  In 1965 he went to Canada and then Marist College in Poughkeepsie where he graduated in 1969. He returned to his native Zambia to teach.  During his last years, Br. Abdon suffered from a debilitating case of diabetes and found great difficulties balancing medication, exercise, and diet.”

 

       return to  ===>>              top of page               home page