ISSUE # 86

November 2006
61 Golf View Drive, Little Egg Harbor, NJ 08087; 609-294-2148;
24 Prestwick Court, Poughkeepsie NY 12603; 845 454 1393;
65 Muirfield Court, Poughkeepsie NY 12603; 845 454 6116;
476 La Playa, Edgewater, FL 32141; 386-426-6349;

1013 Hollywood Avenue, Des Plaines IL 60016; 847-824-1073; 

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


Bob Buckley  '66
William Byrne '52

Elaine Edwards
 Patrick Gallagher  '53

James Gargan  '59
Br. John Herrmann  '59

Anne Marie Lavigne
Richard LaPietra '50

Br John McDonnell  '58
Joe McMorrow  '63

John Miller  '57
Jim O'Brien  '54

John O'Connell '58
Cliff Perera O.P.

Rob Schmid '68


 Visit to the Esopus Cemetery

Sri Lankan missions

Pray for George Conboy

Visiting Esopus and Poughkeepsie

Links to Marist Websites

In Memoriam

  Don Edwards  '57

Br Francis "Scotty" Hughes

 John Loughren  '59

Andrew Molloy  '47



From ROB SCHMID (‘68):  As the newest member of the Marists All staff, I feel obliged to let our readers know who I am.  So, here goes!  I was born in the Chicago suburb of Harvey, IL, and was a member of the charter class of Marist High School in Chicago.  I entered the Marist Brothers as a postulant in September 1967.  The Brothers opened a formation house in Chicago that year, where Brothers Martin Harte, Lawrence Keogh, and Australian Ronald Fogarty introduced five young men to religious life.

I spent novice year in Cold Spring, New York, and returned to Chicago to continue college studies at DePaul University.  I left the Brothers in January 1971 and began a career as a librarian upon graduating from Rosary College in 1973.   Later, in 1991, I went back to school and managed to learn enough accounting to pass the CPA exam.  I then began a new career as a revenue agent with the Internal Revenue Service. 

Judith and I have been married for twenty-five years.  We met in an archives class at Rosary College.  Judi is librarian at Elgin High School.  We have lived in the Chicago area since we married.  We are blessed with two sons.   The elder, David, graduated from Knox College in Galesburg, IL, in June, and Bryan is a sophomore at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.

From ANNE MARIE, wife of ARTIE LAVIGNE (’55):  Artie and I just returned home today from an all day visit to Esopus followed by a daylong visit to Marist College yesterday.  Each of those days was spent walking the grounds as Artie shared some wonderful memories.  At Esopus, too, we were fortunate enough to spend a bit of time with Br. Don Nugent who kindly allowed us to visit inside as well.  Sharing this meaningful path with Artie that he once walked years ago was incredibly moving to me and gave powerful meaning to stories I had heard told by him and others throughout time.  A favorite part of Wednesday for me, too, was when we visited the cemetery at Esopus and Artie reminisced about 60-70% of the Brothers buried there.  The rich Marist history and the very heart of Esopus itself came alive for me as never before.  I really don’t know how to articulate our experience of these past two days, but I can definitely say that it was ALL GIFT for me and I am extremely grateful for the sharing.  In fact, I would encourage other wives of former Marist Brothers to make this trip with their husbands, too.  It really is a blessing for both husband and wife.  (

From JOHN MILLER (DAVID JOSEPH ’57):  I am finally happy to say that on October 1st (after some struggle with the highest-ranking official of a diocese), my local pastor met with the judicial vicar and paved the way for the sacraments of reconciliation and Eucharist for the first time since 1989.  I continue to attend daily Mass, and all I can say is that it is such a wonderful feeling to begin each day with a practice I had begun as a junior in high school.  I have quickly become a Eucharistic minister and lector.  Fr. Tom, a friend since fifth grade, has trained me to be his “altar old man” for funerals and requests my assistance with hospital calls.

My years (1990-2006) as a United Methodist pastor were very rewarding.  God allowed me to shepherd wonderful Christians of His flock.  I will always cherish their love, care, concern, and prayers, especially during my battles with cancer.            I believe that God always has a purpose for what happens in our lives when we love Him so much. When my wife died in 1987, I found myself in the valley trying to raise two daughters and failing gloriously.  As I was attempting to climb, I found a church and a people who really cared.  God’s plan allowed me to serve those people for sixteen years.  Now I have reached the top of the mountain, and it is so good to be back home!

All of you are remembered each day more than just in my prayers and rosary.  You are now with me as I proudly walk to the table of Our Savior.  Laudetur Jesus Christus.  Et Maria Mater ejus.  Amen. (

From JIM O’BRIEN (’54):  I was at Esopus from September 1951 to September 1952.  I returned to St. Agnes in NYC and graduated in 1954.  Brs. Cyril Robert, Louis Donateur, Vincent,  and Hilary all played a major part in shaping my life.  Br. Louis taught me how to pray to our Blessed Virgin Mary and to call her “Mom.”  A mother always tries to give her children what they ask for, pray for.  It is fifty-six years now since I was first introduced to ”The Marist.”  Br. Cyril Robert was my reason for going to Esopus.  He thought I had a calling to be a Brother.  I thought so also, in the beginning.  But I realized after I went home for our three week “vacation” in August ’51 that it was not for me. Although I had no idea at that time what I was meant to be in life, I can truly say that the Brothers were all kind, understanding, and loving leaders of us teenage boys.

In 1956 I married Rose Ann Realmuto from Woodside, Queens.  She is the girl Br. Louis had told me to pray to “Mom” for every day.  He was right.  Rose Ann and I have six children, ten grandchildren and a great-grandchild due in December.  We will celebrate our 50th anniversary next month. 

In 2000 Ro and I moved to Shallotte, NC by the ocean, next to Calabash.  I should have retired, but like so many others, got caught in the stock slide of ’98 and ’99.  So I have become a licensed real estate broker for the past six years.  I’ve just turned seventy and am not as full of the vim and vigor I used to have.  Ro is seventy-one, had open-heart surgery in ’99, knee replacement in 2003, and currently looks about sixty. 

I guess I’ve been doing what God intended for me.  You cannot put a price tag on the worth of the Marist’s efforts. I still have vivid memories of the prep:  swimming in the Hudson, playing ball, walking and saying the rosary, work details, school, chapel, and above all, the Brothers. (5199 Golden Eagle Dr. SW, Shallotte, NC 28470; 910-575-8000;

From JOE MC MORROW (’63):  I have three adult children and two grandchildren with a third on the way.  I first lived in Vancouver (1970-82) and did religious education work there.  Then in ’82 we moved to Fort McMurray in Alberta where I did religious education and administrative work for a Catholic school board.  I retired from that in ’98 and moved to central Alberta doing pastoral work.  Most recently, my wife Sharon and I have been co-directing for the Diocese of St. Paul two formation programs, one for lay adults and one for deacons.

Since Tyngsboro, I have retained a love for religious studies and sensitivity to social justice.  I owe that and so much more to the monks whom I remember with great fondness. I will be sixty-five this March.  My wife and I will partially retire but stay involved with diaconal formation, social justice, a bit of writing, and trying to assist our bishop as best we can.  I will be a member of our first group of deacons to be ordained this June.  

My wife had been a minister in the United Church of Canada.  When I met her, she was newly ordained.  I defensively explain that her becoming Catholic had nothing to do with me.  Sharon was attracted by the sacramental life of the Catholic Church and had been for some time before we met.  Also, the writings of Thomas Merton had a role in her conversion.  We named our first child Thomas.  Sharon made the spiritual exercises in the at-home, yearlong mode twice and also trained as a spiritual director.  I sometimes jokingly say that I left the Marists and married a Jesuit.  I have never lacked for good spiritual direction!  Sharon and I have presented and worked as a team for a long time.  It is just in the last ten years that we do it in a salaried context. 

By the way, Chuck Luttrell (’63) is doing very well.  I see him at least once a year.  He and Marie were most recently at my son Tom’s wedding.  Chuck is former assistant superintendent of Catholic schools in Vancouver and presently heads the archdiocese’s religious education department.  He has five children and four grand children.  (4913 54th Street, Camrose, Alberta, Canada T4V-2A6;

From CLIFF PERERA O.P.:  Greetings from Sri Lanka!  Here’s a little description about the diocese I work in and the nature of the ministry I am involved in.  128 miles (205 km) from Colombo is Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s first capital founded about the 4th century B.C., one of the great centres of Buddhism in South Asia visited each year by thousands of pilgrims and tourists.  According to tradition, this sacred city was established around a cutting from the “tree of enlightenment,” Buddha’s fig tree (ficus religiosa), brought there in the third century B.C. by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. This sacred “Bo” Tree, started from a sapling of the tree under which Siddhartha Gauthama attained enlightenment, was continually cared for.

The Diocese of Anuradhapura covers an area of 10,000 sq km embracing a population of 1.4 million people, with a minority Catholic population of about 12,500 faithful.  The area was confided to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1963.  It became the Prefecture Apostolic of Anuradhapura in 1975 and a diocese in 1982 with an OMI priest appointed as its first bishop.  The present bishop, Mgr Norbert Andradi, is also an OMI.

Geographically, it is the biggest diocese on the Island but, as for the number of Catholics, it is very small.  The faithful are scattered among the majority Buddhists, and some marriages are mixed.  Some have not married in the Church and some hardly attend the Church.  Therefore, it is a matter for us to constantly visit them, rekindle their faith, and encourage them to take an active part in church activities.  We celebrate cottage Masses and hold prayer services, also.  It reminds a person of the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep.

Our parish, too, is geographically vast.  We have four small churches attached to the cathedral.  I am the assistant pastor here.  We are being kept quite busy in the pastoral ministry.  In the whole parish there are 350 Catholic families.  We hold catechism classes in villages, too.  Apart from that, many weekend courses on religion, as well as on secular subjects for our Catholic children, are also held at the Catechetical Centre located in the cathedral precinct.  We have only twenty-two priests in the diocese consisting of fourteen parishes.  There are a number of religious congregations of priests and sisters working in the diocese.   (St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka; +94 25 2222159;

From JOHN O’CONNELL (’58):  George Conboy, one of our “co-founders” of the “Oh, B/brothers Where Art Thou” group, is in need of some of your easy-to-give, essentially cost-free, but cumulatively powerful prayerful thoughtfulness.  George went into the hospital a few weeks ago with a severe cellulitis infection in his leg.  This is serious business.  Please pray for him.  If you would like to send encouragement to George, e-mail to Janet ( and she will gladly download your message and deliver it to George. 


"Has there any old fellow got mixed with the boys?
If there has, take him out, without making a noise.
Hang the almanac’s chest and the Catalogue’s spite!
Old Time is a liar"! We’re twenty tonight!
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)

When I turned my rental car into the Marist College grounds on September 30, a guard stopped me asking where I was headed.  I said, “to the alumni reunion for the ’56 grads.”  He startled me by reminding me that the college was then known as “Marian” College.  Appropriately, that was the mindset that I and the other ’56 attendees brought to the weekend:  the Marian we knew, the young monks we were, and the transformation that had taken place in fifty years both there and in our lives.

  We quickly picked up where most of us left off in the ensuing years. I’ve thought a lot about that and concluded that we were so locked into each other’s lives then that it shouldn’t surprise anyone that we could feel so comfortable with each other.  I wonder if there is a term for that, psychological or otherwise.  How about “comfortable old shoe” syndrome?  Or, better yet, “Marists All.”

Jack Duggan did a great job in gathering all these disparate lives together for a shared experience that we will never forget.  Raph Martin and I relived our initial train ride to Esopus in 1951 and our visits to St. Agnes to be charmed by Br. Aidan Francis.  Raph and I roomed together at the college gatehouse in our red-shirt year of “seasoning” as workers for the college.  Leo Shea reminded me how Br. Simeon Gerald sought to get my wandering attention in religion class with a strident “Bill Byrne.”  Harry Henky, Joe Woods and I were pals in the novitiate and we have the pictures to prove it.  Pat Gallagher reminded me that we were involved in a one-for-one trade in 1964: he to Molloy and I to Roselle Catholic.  Neither of us were happy about the switch, but I think he got the proverbial “short end” when I think about how important those years in Roselle were for me.  Pat’s wife Mary is delightful and engaging, proving that he recovered from the scars of that swap.  And in his relatively short Marist life, Jim O’Brien managed to serve in every function from college chef to community boss at Christ the King.  Mike Kramer and I caught up on our similar non-academic paths.  He “cooked the books” for the Marianists in Rockville Center while I toiled in the marketing department for Volkswagen of America.  I offered condolences to the recently widowed Ken Murrin, still “height challenged” but with a personality that belies his stature.  Our group’s outlaw, Jim Friel, worked the group, connecting with everyone.  I learned about Joe McKenna’s pharmaceutical son, Ed McElroy’s family and Br. Dominick’s parish ministry.  We missed Teddy Morris, Bonnie, and Miles Anderberg, gone to their reward, I’m sure.  Among the living, we talked of Pat Cestaro, Larry Hughes, Tom”Tyng” Lee, George Maguire and John Hardy.

We finished the weekend with a touching Mass at Our Lady of Wisdom Chapel.  The chapel was just as fresh and beautiful as I remembered it fifty years ago, a tribute to the work of the monks who helped in the construction.  I noted and applauded the new faux-stained glass windows, much less distracting than those photographic Mary-like pictures of the past.  Greystone, our former library, is still evident, but gone was the print shop where I apprenticed for a year and a summer under the watchful eye of the gnome we called “Tarsy.” 

            “Marian” may have morphed into “Marist” but I’m sure that each of us has retained vivid memories of a time half a century ago when we were mere “boys.”  All of us, dubbed “the mighty 62,” with a certain amount of swagger then and irony now, will stay in touch.  We had invested so much in each other’s lives that to do otherwise would be criminal. (154 West Church St., Clarkston, MI 48346; 248-625-6555;

From PATRICK GALLAGHER (’53):  Over the last few months we have seen the passing of Andy Molloy and Br. Francis Hughes, and there will be more to come.  I was struck by a word contained in the novel Amagansett where one of the characters speaks about “aintsinekoak,” the Basque word for “those who have gone before us.”  We have such treasure in the people we have known, who have preceded us, and who have passed on.  That reminds me…. 

I guess the morning of August 19th was one of those wake-up calls, occasionally forget about, but listen to with intensity.  And therein lies a story.  On that morning, working outside with a friend, I felt dizzy and weak in my legs.  He brought me inside, called Mary, and sat me down.  Immediately, there was another wave of dizziness, and I passed out.  Mary, on the phone with 911, was unable to get a pulse.  911 said to get me on the floor and start CPR.  I came to as the medics worked on me. After a battery of tests, it was determined that there was no stroke, no attack, no damage, but that it was rather a slow heartbeat exacerbated by beta-blocker medications.  When you go from some semi-strenuous work spreading mulch, to hearing your wife plead, “Patrick, look at me; stay with me,” you fuzzily think of all that might have been.

Human frailty is one thing, accompanied by the thought that at seventy you’ve been around for quite some time.  What are the actions, if events had gone another way, you would have regretted not doing?  It was somewhat ironic that prior to the 19th, I had just started reading Cicero’s On a Life Well Spent, the first classical work translated in the western world and printed by Ben Franklin in 1744. One passage reads as follows:  “The best armor of old age is a well spent life preceding it; a life employed in the pursuit of useful knowledge, in honorable actions and the practice of virtue; in which he who labors to improve himself from his youth, will in age reap the happiest fruits of them; not only because these never leave a man, not even in old age; but because of a conscience bearing witness that our life was well spent, together with the remembrance of past good actions, yields an unspeakable comfort to the soul.”

You know, leading a pretty vigorous and active life, I never could picture myself thinking of what was to come, but I feel very good now about facing reality, purchasing a coffin through, affording the monks some income, and having me, at some future date, lie in a space built by monks from walnut trees grown on their monastery grounds.  I do feel remarkably at peace; there’s an order in my life and a desire to continue to fill it with good things. 

We moved from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia about two years ago to northeastern Bucks County in PA, south of Bethlehem amid stone barns and houses. Perched high above a beautiful creek, we are alone in the midst of enough oaks to keep the druids happy, with my recently constructed stonewalls lacing the property and outlining it from along the road.  We are traveling a lot:  getting up to the college more frequently (wouldn’t miss the July Marist Weekend of Spirituality), seeing Camp Marist for the first time in close to fifty-three years, stopping in and doing some work with Leo Shea and the Guadalupe School, and crossing over to visit France and England.

I am officially a consultant to the Bethlehem Police Department and work with the local Catholic high school on accreditation.  For now, I think I have achieved a balance, a variety of mentally stimulating involvements without overdoing it.  Mary has taken up art classes now that her work with the federal monitoring team on the consent decree of the New Jersey State Police is coming to an end after almost seven years. It would be our pleasure to welcome you here and offer you some of the region’s traditional German (and Irish) hospitality.  (P.O. Box 310, Springtown, PA 18081; 610-346-7463;

From WILLIAM BYRNE (’52):  When Leo Shea and I exchanged e-mails over attending our impending 50th anniversary of graduating from Marist (Marian) College, I expressed my intention to visit the monks’ graveyard in Esopus while in the area.  Leo referred to them as “plants” and each one’s burial as a “planting.”

I did visit that hothouse on Saturday, September 30th.  I thought about Leo’s analogy as I walked the rows of headstones, stopping by to reflect on the lives of the many who had touched my life.  They were the seeds and shoots that nourished my early Marist life, some more than others.

There were those that blossomed for a short time and have pretty much faded from my consciousness.  If I think about them at all, it is in a specific setting like a classroom, a novitiate, or a community.  That is not to minimize their impact on the Congregation or other lives, only to say that a Paul Ambrose or a Norbie were influential for a short time in my life.  I’m grateful as I’m sure very monk or ex is for their shaping. 

But for me there are the perennials, the ones I think about often and will continue to remember as long as my Marist memory exits or dementia robs me of my personhood. 

Francis Xavier put the moniker of “agent provocateur” on me, placing me in the middle of most community mischief.  He did it with good grace and, I like to think, with a begrudging good humor.   Terry Jones, whose legendary exploits I never tired of, was a constant source of kindness for me.  He understood what young monks were experiencing, and without judgment, supported and counseled me.  I keep a six-pack cooling on my windowsill at home in Michigan in case he might drop by.  Teddy Morris picked me to accompany him on some of his hare-brained excursions.  I left a marker rock on his headstone in the Hebrew tradition to remind him that he still owes me a favor.  Joe Abe whose chuffing, a sort of constant clearing of his sinuses I would imitate sometimes in conversing with him.  I played a few elaborate, but ultimately harmless, practical jokes on him.  Joe, I really didn’t model in the JAWA motorcycle ad! Simeon Gerald whose saintliness I constantly admired, even as I couldn’t emulate it.  Louie Richard, kindly, generous, Christ-like. 

Leaves were beginning to fall, and the trees were faintly turning color.  I thought of Gerard Manley Hopkins poem “To a Young Girl.”  She is crying over the end of summer, and he reminds us that we are all born “unleaving.”  He offers her cold comfort by writing that she really is not grieving the loss of summer, but the loss we all will experience for ourselves.  I grieved not for the monks buried in Esopus, but for my own losses. 

In Memoriam


From RICHARD LA PIETRA (’50): (re: ANDREW MOLLOY (’47) who died August 19th, 2006)

            Andrew simply loved teaching.  In the classroom he was dynamic and absolutely uninhibited.  In the days before whiz-bang technology his classroom was whiz-bang.  There was no way you would fall asleep.  He made chemistry come alive. At the same time he was a caring mentor spending countless hours working with students solving chemistry problems and problems of other sorts as well.  He was also a “roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in” kind of a guy and generous almost to a fault. 

Early on he was assigned to teach Calc I.  A few days before classes were to begin one of the older Brothers asked him to switch assignments and take his Calc III instead.  For a chemist teaching Calc I would have been challenge enough, but taking on Calc III was like climbing a vertical wall.  His kindly acquiescence cost him many, many hours of midnight oil!

Neither was Andy a stranger to hard physical work.  I can picture him even now:  a young, wiry, strong frame, a sweat-stained, grease-smudged T-shirt stuck to his back, lugging around a bag of tools or a load of lumber.  He was a talented carpenter and jack-of-all-trades, as adept at sweating a pipe joint as pouring concrete forms.  He worked to build the college chapel, as well as Donnelly Hall, and what is now Marian Hall. 

To describe Andy’s smile is to describe the man.  It was not a bright, plastic grin, not effervescent and bubbly.  It was more of a boyish smile with the slightest touch of shyness, not the shyness of withdrawal, but the kind of shyness that backs off just a little to make some space for you to come in -- an inviting, warm, friendly smile.  And it was genuine.  He was no respecter of persons; by that I mean that whatever your station in life, Andy treated you with the same respect, courtesy, and invitation to engage.  And he loved simple joys.  So many times he would tell me how much he enjoyed a knock on the door and friends dropping in, making a pot of coffee and sitting around the kitchen table schmoozing.  Simple joys like standing around a piano at a party singing.  His strong deep voice could fire your adrenaline as he belted out “Stout Hearted Men” or his sweet tenor voice melt Irish hearts in a rendition of “Danny Boy.”  He was equally at home in concert chorus, church choir, or playing the role of the rabbi in Fiddler on the Roof.

Andrew’s life mirrored Marcellin Champagnat’s advice to do good quietly.  He was a man of deep religious conviction whose faith and hope in God was the foundation of his life.  Andrew Molloy was a great man who never aspired to greatness. (36 Yates Blvd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601;


From JOHN McDONNELL(’59): (re: JOHN LOUGHREN(’59),
who died September 3rd, 2006) 

After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset, John had explained about his life:  “Things just sort of fell into place, and I decided to join the Marist Brothers.  I wanted to do what they did:  have fun, be with kids.  It wasn’t because of a great closeness to God, really.”  While a Marist, John taught history, psychology, religion, and Spanish at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, NJ.  He was also a school counselor.  In 1969 he earned a master’s degree from Seton Hall University and soon after decided to leave the Marist Brothers.  In explanation he said that his life revolved around work and school, and although he was always with many people, he couldn’t get close to any one person, to form a commitment.  He felt it too limiting. 

 He then moved to Minneapolis and began a doctoral program in counseling at the University of Minnesota.  There he met his future wife, Georgia, and found someone with whom to share his feelings.  They were married in May 1971 and had two children, George and Elizabeth. Over the last two years he struggled hard to defeat kidney cancer.  He taught us how to live and how to die, with deepest love, hope, and strength. (

From JAMES GARGAN (’59):  I was in the novitiate and Marist College with John.  He was well liked and multi-talented.  About a year or two ago he gave me an e-mail telling me for the first time that he and a few others played a prank on me in Tyngsboro.  When it was near time to leave for Marist College, he and the others concocted a letter to me supposedly from the Superior General assigning me to Rome instead of Marist College.  They then enjoyed watching me in the chapel that night, looking down at the letter, then looking up, looking down and then up.  Always playful…  God bless you, John. (


From BR. JOHN G. HERRMANN (’59) (Re: BR. FRANCIS “SCOTTY” HUGHES, who died August 26th)

 At his passing Scotty was shy a month of his 88th birthday. This summer he marked seventy years as a Marist Brother.  He earned his first degree in 1940 from the University of Glasgow in Latin and English Literature and earned several other degrees over the years.  He taught at two schools in France: Varemores Sur-Allier and St. Pourcain-Sur-Sioule. It was during this time (1940-43) that he and the Brothers there were under the German occupation of France in World War II and he often regaled us with stories and accounts of that time. Later teaching assignments were at St. Joseph’s College, Dumfries, Scotland; Mount St. Michael Academy; Marist College; St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie; and Marist High School, Eugene, Oregon. He was director of the community at our Cold Spring property and at the same time kept the acres of grounds and buildings functional. From 1978-83 he treasured his time at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota employing his electronic wizardry to all rural needs. In all circumstances, no matter what apostolate, he influenced and touched people’s lives.  His love of the Mother of God, Mary, was deep and his refurbishing of the Lourdes statue in the Garth will be his monument. A few days before he died, with the nurse and his oxygen attached, he walked into the Garth and approved of the progress made on the restoration.  (51 Clapham Ave., Manhasset, NY 11030-3105; 516-627-1789)

The following quotes are taken from Scotty’s
 “Thoughts of a Retired Brother.”

Someone once remarked: Take away the experience of everybody in the world over 60, and there wouldn't be enough talent left to run it. Some will look on retirement as an invitation to an easy, lazy existence with the conviction that this is only what they deserve. Some others will retire into a lonely existence, indifferent to children, to young people in general, and even to those they live with, only to find that they are simply superannuated men, withdrawn from all that is sweetest and most rewarding in life. And then there are those who will look upon retirement as a blessed time, a time in which they can discard their earthly garments one by one in order to dress for eternity. As winter strips the tree leaves around us so that we may see the distant scenes they formerly concealed, so old age robs us of youthful enjoyments in order to clarify our view of an approaching eternity.

Work and retirement are not mutually exclusive. They are companions, bosom pals. Moralists tell us that the sovereign cure for unhappiness is work. The logical conclusion from that statement is that idleness is the sovereign cause of unhappiness. There is no truer and more abiding happiness than the knowledge that one is capable of doing some little job, and doing it as best he can. Someone telling Napoleon that a famous general had died from having nothing to do, got this reply, "Heavens above, a situation like that is enough to kill anybody."


From BOB BUCKLEY (’66): (re: DON EDWARDS (’57),
 Br. Christopher Matthew, died September 22nd)

Each of us remembers the Brother who made us begin to think, “I’d like to be like him.  Maybe I could be a Marist Brother.”  Don was that Brother for me.  Don’s arrival at St. Helena’s coincided with my arrival as a freshman.  Don was beginning his teaching ministry, and I, my high school odyssey.  Our lives crossed in one of the stuffy classrooms above the gym.  Don was my homeroom, my religion, and my English teacher.  We were both awkward in our new roles.  I guess “likes” attract, and he and I became friends over my years at St. Helena.  As time passed, I imagined myself in Don’s place as a Marist, and by senior year, I was speaking with Larry Sullivan about entering Esopus in September 1965.  Don was very approachable as teacher and religious.  The many ways he made himself available to students enabled me to hear God’s whisper about joining the Brothers.  I lost contact with Don after entering the novitiate, but about twelve years ago, I discovered he was living not far from me.  We met a few times, and we attended one of the picnics at the Mount. Don is one of the special pieces of my life’s mosaic.  By his gift I discovered the beauties of the Marist family.  I will be ever grateful to God for Don’s touching my life.  Don is now at peace, enjoying music and opera beyond our comprehension.  (54 Fernscrest Dr., E. Hartford, CT 06118-2722; 860-569-2832;

From ELAINE EDWARDS: (To JOHN O’CONNELL): I want to thank all the Marists who sent thoughtful and funny notes while Don was ill, and after his death.  Our son Chris and I have appreciated every one.  We are also glad to have met you and George (Bagnell) and to see John (Wilcox) and Larry (Whartenby).  Jim (Gargan) just had the chance to speak with Chris at the funeral.  You honored Don by your presence and showed us what a bond there is among the Marists.  It meant a lot to Don to be able to get together with his brothers these past two years in Esopus.  He said it was as if he had just seen all of you.  He died well.  He always said he wasn’t afraid of dying; he just wanted to be comfortable.  That’s what we tried to do, with the help of the wonderful hospice team.  They say as we age we become more of who we are.  Don maintained his sense of humor right through those last days.  One friend thanked him for being a friend, to which he replied that he was waiting for someone to thank him for being a “pain in the ass.”  This was the same funny person I met in 1968.  He graced my life and the lives of many others. 

Again, I thank you all for all your prayer support. Chris and I ask that you continue to pray for us so that we will be the people God calls us to be, open to the work and the power of the Holy Spirit that is in us.  That is my prayer for all of you in gratitude. (;

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


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