ISSUE # 85

August 2006
61 Golf View Drive, Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087; 609-294-2148;
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;

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


Greg Ballerino '57
Br. Joseph Belanger  '43

Marie Bonovitz
Joseph Horan  '50

Don Mulcare  '57
Gus Nolan  '48

Rich Shaw  '58
Barney Sheridan  '55

John O'Connell  '58
Gene Zirkel  '53

Pat Zirkel






 Abba — a parable

Art show
Esopus Summer camps

Leo Forrest
Greater Marist Family Workshop

Lives of the Saints
Bernardo Ortuoste

Picnic at MSM — 9 Sept

Symposium: Evolution, Faith and Creation

Links to Marist Websites

From the editors:

 GMC picnic at MSM Sept 9
Rob Schmid  '68

financial support
Andrew A Molloy

updating addresses & e-mail


          Please join us at the GMC picnic at Mount St. Michael on Saturday, September 9th.  Bring your own beverage and a potluck dish for a shared meal.  The festivities begin at noon.  As in other years, the picnic will be held rain or shine.

The editorial team of Marists All welcomes Rob Schmid (’68) who has offered his assistance in the preparation and maintenance of this publication.  In the hectic lifestyle that most of us have chosen or that has been chosen for us, Rob offered these words as he accepted some of the responsibilities for this publication:  “Each issue of Marists All impresses us with the youth and vitality of the brothers, regardless of age.  With time our spirituality changes.  We ask God for different things.  We are sorry for a lifetime of things.  We thank God for a lifetime of things.  And we wrap these things up with praise for the God that we have experienced….  I don’t know why I volunteered to do this. Maybe it is a calling.  As Tevye opined about the Chosen People in Fiddler on the Roof, “Why does He always have to choose us?”  In all seriousness, I think that it is a desire to begin to repay the brothers for all that they have given me.” Ed.

From GUS NOLAN (‘48):  As the summer draws to an end, I would like to take a moment to reflect on a great work that goes on each summer in what was/is the Marist Brothers training center in Esopus and on the man responsible for starting it.  The broad category “summer camps” is applied to a whole array of activities that supports a good number of challenged individuals in providing them with at least one wonderful week of pleasant experiences.  I have no data regarding the numbers of campers or volunteers who are involved in this wonderful enterprise.  Br. Don Nugent, Esopus administrator, and all who participate are worthy of praise and admiration. Many people have played an important role in the “summer camps” -- far too many to mention here. But one, like Leo Forest, who has gone to his eternal rest, was Br. Stephen Martin, an earlier financial administrator, who was able to seek all kinds of help through his perception and ingenuity, including surplus U.S. government food products.

Earlier this year, the idea of a memorial for Leo Forrest, the founder of the Esopus summer camps, came to life in a bench overlooking the pond by the icehouse.  A recent letter from Br. Bill Lavigne summarized an event held on May 13th dedicating the bench with the inscription, “Leo Forrest – Camp Founder.”  Bill wrote:  “The dedication was done in the context of a liturgy with Fr. Al Berner presiding and attended by over a hundred people with representatives from the staffs and campers of the various handicapped groups.  Leo’s widow, Cindy, was also present for the occasion.” 

An article in the Cape Cod Times entitled “Random Acts of Kindness” submitted by JoAnne L. Zacchini stated that Leo continued in later life to help people in any way he could.  She continued:  “He taught swimming to the disabled at the YMCA in Hyannis and as a certified swim instructor gave the majority of swimming tests so there could be greater use of the pool.  As a Cobblestone Trustee, he was always there to help, not just with words, but also by actually building and improving safety features.  With his passing away on Monday, August 8, 2005, a bright light went out in Cobblestone Landing.”

DON MULCARE (’57):  The Greater Marist Family Institute on Spirituality met at Marist College for the twelfth time on July 7-9, 2006.  In addition to the informal interactions among the participants, the evening Happy Gang gatherings, and the visit to the Esopus cemetery, the weekend provided excellent presentations.  Br. Brice Byczynski served as moderator and delivered the keynote meditation on Enriching Spirituality for This Stage of Our Lives, reminding the participants that as we go through life’s changes, our spirituality must address different needs.  He suggested that there are no roadmaps to the spirituality of aging, especially since many of our spiritual models never reached old age, as we know it.  Br. Brice stressed that a healthy spirituality will help us face the problems of aging and will give meaning to the conflict and suffering that often accompany our later years.

Br. Don Bisson continued the theme with a Jungian flavor, noting that we may find ourselves asking exactly the same questions at different stages of life, but we may uncover entirely different answers.  This can be difficult if one expects that these questions have fixed answers or any answers at all.  The act of questioning becomes more important than the answering.  The questions invite us to contemplate mysteries such as the Trinity, the humanity and divinity of Jesus, and even the mysteries within ourselves and within the people in our lives. 

Martin Lang ('47), Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at Fairfield University, followed the theme of the spirituality of aging in his presentation on St. Luke’s approach to the gospel.  He urged us all to read both the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles as a package.   He explained how Jesus endured psychological and physical pain and abandonment, a parallel to what some of us may experience throughout the aging process. 

A panel discussion on personal spirituality featured Brian Desilets ('45), Vince Poisella ('58), and John Scileppi ('68) who summarized their personal views on the spirituality of aging. The liturgies offered by Fr. Ed Keel, SM, featured a special Marist canon that was complemented by poetic meditations.

The fabric of Marist spirituality, darned and woven, patched and embroidered, has grown during this July weekend.  It offers us a garment of hope, joy, and courage as we look to our apostolate during the months before the next gathering.  (7 Staffon Road, Fairhaven, MA 02719-4214; 508-994-8605;

From GENE ZIRKEL  ('53):  Poughkeepsie, 2006, provided us with another wonderful weekend!  About two and a half dozen Brothers, as well as those brothers with their wives (Champagnat’s daughters-in-law), and friends of Champagnat gathered for our twelfth annual weekend conference/retreat/reunion at Marist College.

This year was outstanding.  The theme concerned aging (although I don’t know why).  The talks by Br. Don Bisson and Marty Lang were acclaimed by all present.  Marist liturgies led by Marist Father Ed Keel were another highlight.  Of course, the usual Happy Gang enjoyed their gatherings.  If you missed it, we missed you.  Why not plan on next year?

As a continuation of that spirit, participants of the July weekends at Marist College have been getting together each spring and fall for a day of prayer under the guidance of Br. Charles Marcellin.   The next gathering will be on Saturday 4 November at 10:30 am.  We will pray, have a presentation on the Magnificat by Pat Zirkel, share our thoughts and reactions, and end with a potluck lunch at 2 pm.  All are welcome.  For info contact me at 631-669-0273 or

From PAT ZIRKEL:  In the latest edition of Butler’s Lives of the Saints, a concise, modernized collection edited by Bernard Bangley (Paraclete Press, 2005), the lives of St. Marcellin Joseph Benoit Champagnat, St. Peter Chanel, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, and St. (Padre) Pio are listed.  

The biography of St. Marcellin does not mention the “Happy Gang.”  Barney Sheridan, an expert on this form of spirituality, commented on this grave omission:  “Marcellin may have been at his holiest during the Happy Gang gatherings.”   The editor reminds us that the word “saint” was used by St. Paul to include all members of the Church.  Although the Church honors the Saints with a capital “S",” we also recognize that many of our living and deceased Marist confreres and associates have lived and live heroic, virtuous lives.  These currently un-canonized saints inspire us with their victories over their personal demons, their gentle concern for those in need, and for their continual awareness of the presence of God in their lives.  Remember that “saint” is not a four-letter word.  Feel free to use it on each other.

The committee organizing next year’s weekend celebrating Marist spirituality includes members from the Hudson Valley as well as Long Island, New Jersey, and Quebec.  They have launched preparations for next year.  Should you wish to receive information and updates on the July 13-15, 2007 edition, please contact Pat Zirkel who will add your name to the mailing list.  (472 Village Oaks Land, Babylon, NY 11702; 631-669-0273;

From BR. JOSEPH BELANGER (’43):  I am now old enough to represent the “old Brothers” at the Chapter held June 23-25 at Mt. St. Alphonsus.  But Joe Teston was also there and beat me on that score.  When my French philosopher Edgar Morin turned 85 on 10 June 2005, I sent him a little note.  He answered with the motto of Paris:  “Fluctuat, nec mergitur.”  “It floats, and doesn’t go under.”   Most appropriate.  Meanwhile, I keep busy with seeing doctors, organizing symposia, looking after Mary Russell in Cabrini Center in lower Manhattan, and attending five-day seminars at Maryknoll. Jim Casey, former De La Salle and adjunct at Marist in philosophy, is co-organizer of the symposia.    Our next symposium is on Saturday, 21 October 2006:  Evolution, Faith and Co-Creation.  The five speakers will be theologian John Haught, distinguished research professor at Georgetown; astronomer Guy Consolmagno, SJ, curator of the Vatican meteorite collection; professor of molecular biology and genetics Gayle Woloschak of Northwestern: physicists Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve and Russell Stannard, Professor Emeritus at Open University, UK.  We had some fifty no-shows at the free symposium on Teilhard de Chardin on 14 June 2005, so this year we’ve added a token $10 fee for all day, including lunch.  Registration is limited to 250.  To request a brochure and reservation form, please email your name and address to or call Valerie Hall at 845-575-3359.  On 16 June 2007 the topic will be “The End of Life and After-Death, and in June 2008 “Religion and Technology.”  (

From JOSEPH HORAN (’50):  I have been promising myself to write a letter to Marists All, but as we well know, time gets ahead of us.  Seems when we retire we spend time with many hobbies, and in most cases, just golfing.  Our community offers much, so that we’re constantly busy traveling with groups to sightseeing adventures. We also have many volunteers who share their time with community services, hospitals, and churches.  You name it, and someone from our community is ready to assist.  I do work for our local church and am available when they need assistance.  On a sadder note, my sister died unexpectedly in early February.  My brother Richard and I flew to New York.  Being the oldest of the family, I had a rough time adjusting to all the needs required. They had been married fifty-three years.  As always, it is good to read Marists All.  I’m looking forward to our next class reunion since I missed the last one.  If anyone is in the vicinity, you are welcome always.  Home is about thirty-five miles north of Tampa. (10426 Collar Dr., San Antonio, FL 33576; 352-588-0179;

From GREG BALLERINO (’57):  Just a bit of news! At the San Diego County Fair I submitted nine art works to the juried contest.  Seven were accepted and exhibited; two won “Honorable Mention” and one of the seven won a special sponsor’s gift.  And my web site won second place!  In addition, an article about my work appeared in the national magazine SeniorNet (  I volunteer-teach two classes to senior citizens:  Digital Photography and Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Most of the time, I am the youngest in the class.  My students are so eager to learn and be part of current technology.  (3212 Sage Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028; 760-451-0839;

From FRANCIS X. (BARNEY) SHERIDAN (’55):  I used the parable below with hospital chaplains.  Before I began my presentation to the chaplains, I wrote a theological reflection for them to use in meditation.  I asked them how many of our patients perceive God as a nurturing father; how many of our patients have never experienced a nurturing father; and how our patients perceive God’s representatives.  (626 E. 20th St., #9A, NY, NY 10009-1515; 212-529-2257;

Abba:  A Parable 

I placed my tiny hands on the rough bark
            and peeked around it.
He was there – big and strong and clearly looking for me.
            I knew he saw me.
“Betcha can’t get me!” I shrieked
            and ran around the other side of the tree.
He made a roaring noise
            and lumbered around, trying to surprise me.
“No, no,” I squealed.  “No, you can’t ketch me.”
            I began to run away.
I really tried to escape; but every time I looked over my shoulder
            He was there gaining on me.
I was excited and made a fast, tricky turn
            and darted off in another direction.
But when I glanced back, he was right there.
            He seemed to anticipate my every move.
I heard him cry, “Oh, no you don’t.”  His big hands swooped me up.
            I kept running, but my feet just fluttered in the air.
“I gotcha,” he laughed.  I squealed and laughed too.
            I really wanted him to catch me all along.
It felt good.  He enclosed me in his strong arms
            and pressed me to his chest in a big, warm hug.
Abba kissed me. 

From JOHN O’CONNELL (’58):  “Hi” to all you “big B” and “small b” B/brothers.  Greetings from Maine as we remember our training together from 1954 to 1962, the “Oh, B/brother, Where Art Thou?” sub-grouping.  I would like to update you on the evolving story of our efforts to reconnect after over forty years.  The reconnection began when my wife Sandy and I met with Judy and David Kammer back in the summer of ’01 at their cottage in Maine, commiserating both about Vinnie Hall’s (’58) passing and our complete lack of knowledge regarding the circumstance of his life and death.  Since then, we have successfully identified and located about 160 former “group-mates” (not counting the eighteen who have gone on before us), with many meetings face-to-face as well as during the four annual April “gatherings” we’ve had in Esopus.

Most recently, b. Bernie Ortuoste (’58) took ill and passed away.   He was one of three Filipinos to join us in Tyngsboro back in ’57, and now all three of them have passed on.  Rene Lozada, who left from Tyngsboro, died about two years ago.  Felipe Renato Cruz FMS died a few years earlier. As a result of our network, our “virtual Marist community,” as it were, Bernie, and then his wife Edith and daughter Marie, were inundated with promises of prayers and acknowledgements of our life and times with him ”way back”, and then more recently over these past four years.  This was such a far cry from the circumstances surrounding the rather “anonymous” passing of our brother Vinnie Hall!

I just want to encourage any of you “small b” Marist brothers out there who might be inclined to join with us.  Understand that there is something very special about re-connecting with those with whom you lived during those very formative, impressionable years together, especially since we were “pre-screened” as having a special affinity for one another through altruism and a willingness to sacrifice that brought us together.  Also, the reconnecting and re-bonding is almost instantaneously joyful (Time IS relative!) once we get past the superficial gray hair, or lack thereof, a bit of paunchiness, and the wrinkles, all of which are a small price we pay for wisdom and maturity.  During the many hours eleven of us were able to spend with Bill Reffelt during the last ten months of his terminal illness, I’m convinced Bill and Elaine, were able to “forget” his cancer and celebrate his life and their lives together instead….

In Memoriam
Bernardo Ortuoste
d. July 17, 2006

from JOHN O’CONNELL (’58): Bernie had attended three of our four Esopus “Gatherings.” He, George Conboy, Richie Shaw, and I -- “group-mates” all -- had spent more than a week together back in March of ’05 riding up and down the Pacific coastline in George’s two-seater pick-up truck, visiting Ron Pasquariello above San Francisco, inviting Tom Hutchinson to join us there; and then Kevin Finn, just south of LA in Newport Beach.  Greg Ballerino, whom we hadn’t seen in 40+ years, joined us there.  So, we all had once again, very easily and readily, returned to that mutual respect for one another on which our much earlier relationships had been founded.   And so, with the recent illness, and then passing of our brother Bernie, 108 members of our e-mail could share the news and offer support to Bernie, and then to Marie, Bernie’s daughter, and wife Edith.  It’s never too late, when someone passes, to reach out to loved ones with prayerful thoughtfulness.  So I’d encourage you to not hesitate to send a sympathy card if so inclined to let his loved ones know of your support.  Send condolences to Edith at ` or by regular mail to me at: 15 High Street, Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538)

From RICH SHAW (’58):  I was a good friend and classmate of Bernie’s while at Tyngsboro in ’58.  I now live in San Diego and had the honor of attending Bernie’s funeral services yesterday at St. Elizabeth Seton Church and the burial at Queen of Heaven Cemetery adjacent to the church in Rowland Heights, California, near Pomona, a little over ten miles east of Los Angeles.

I hope to share with you the deeply moving services for our great friend.   My sweetheart of forty-four years, Carolyn, and I left for Pomona a bit before 7 am.  Bernie had visited us in San Diego in the ‘80’s, and his charm and friendliness left a deep impression on Carolyn.  I had met Edith, Bernie’s lovely wife, in March ’05 on the coastal trip with Oke and George Conboy. 

Although there was sadness in Edith’s eyes, she expressed a certain joy in knowing that there was support from family and friends.  Among the moving tributes shared were those of Bernie’s sister Geraldine who spoke so eloquently about him:  eighth born of twelve children who displayed gentleness, humility and inner goodness.  Bernie’s daughter Marie, whose eyes and smile are like her Dad’s, shared with us a “letter” she had written to and for him.  Her voice broke often and tears spoke more than the words of the love a daughter has for her special Dad.  Then a long-time friend of Bernie’s spoke:  Andres “Andy” Versoza, a former Marist Brother of fourteen years who had been a student of Bernie’s at the scholasticate.  Andy is currently Director of Catechesis at a Catholic church in the diocese of San Bernadino.    He gave a remarkable tribute to Bernie, ending with “once a Marist, always a Marist.”

The celebrating priest then blessed and sprinkled the draped casket with holy water and reminded us touchingly of the transition that we are all to make; and how death is really a beginning; and how we can rejoice in knowing that our faith in Christ will carry us all to a reunion of joy beyond what we can imagine.  I can’t help but think that now it is Bernie who is doing the praying for us all.  (3015 Conner Way, San Diego, CA 92117;

From MARIE BONOVITZ (daughter of Bernardo Ortuoste):  I want to thank everyone for all the prayers and support.  My mom and I truly appreciate all your caring thoughts and wishes.  We also want to thank you for the beautiful flowers sent by “Bernie’s Band of b/Brothers.”   And thank you again to Rich Shaw and his wife for attending the funeral service and for being a pallbearer.  We cannot thank you enough for being there and for representing the Marist Brothers.  Although many of you were not able to be there, we know that my Dad and our family were in your thoughts and prayers during that time. God Bless. 

From THE EDITORS:  As we go to press, we are saddened by the news that Andrew Molloy (’47) passed away at 5:00 am on the morning of August 19th, after four days in Vassar Hospital.  Andy had been enduring an increasingly debilitating health condition for years.  Finally, he was taken to the hospital with a broken hip.  Andy’s wife Rosemary was at his side throughout his latest hospital stay, with Gus Nolan relieving her during the last three days.  All of the Molloy sons live some distance from Poughkeepsie. 

Years ago, Andy was a key laborer in the construction of Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel at Marist College.  Fittingly, the wake will be held at the chapel on August 22nd (the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) with the funeral at noon on August 23rd.   Andy became a chemistry professor at Marist and then held the position of academic dean for a good number of years.   Further details of Andrew Molloy’s life and work will be placed on the Marists All website and/or appear in the November issue.  May he rest in peace.

A note from the editor:  First, we are continually grateful to those who write to us with the intention of sharing their lives, their thoughts, their feelings with the readers of
Marists All.  We are also indebted to those who send monetary contributions to ease the financial burden of publishing.  Most recently, these contributors include:  Joe, Hores, Br. Bill Lavigne, John Miller, John “Buddy” Nolan, and Gene Zirkel.

It is important for us to know email addresses of all our readers whether or not they wish to receive a hard copy of each issue.  We sometimes send bulletins through email and would like to reach as many of our readers as possible in those situations.  We also could use updates on addresses that we do have.  Kindly email this information directly to David Kammer at

One further item:  In John O’Connell’s quest in finding all those who shared the Marist formation experience back in the late fifties and early sixties, he has listed names of those who appear to be “lost.”  Hoping that our readers might have some information on these names, they are included below:

’57: Bill Collins, Tom Golembewski, Konrad Penzkoffer, Frank Pimentel, 

’58: Mark Buckley, Frank Cahill, Pat Fazzari, Jim Gara, Owen Gormley, Charlie Jacklin, Matt McComish, Bob Walsh, Bob White,

’59:  George Febles, Tom Mulhern, Buddy Walsh, Walter Ziegler

’60: Eddie Frail


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

Marist USA        

Marist Australia  

The Spring 2006 issue of the Today's Marist Brother, the US Province Newsletter highlights the current use of the Esopus property.  If you haven't received a copy, contact Brother Hugh Turley or Brother Timothy Brady at


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