ISSUE # 91

February 2008
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  


Ray Blanchard '47

Joe Bouchard '63

Pat Gallagher '53

David Kammer '42

Charlie Kennedy '58

John “OKE” O’Connell ‘58

Pat Zirkel


Esopus Gathering March 27

Greater Marist Family Weekend July 11-13

Camp Marist

Babe Ruth & Roselle Catholic HS

Editorial Comments

George Witt S.J.

Edward Cashin rip

Brother George Matthew rip




EDITORRich Foy, the Marists All team member who recently streamlined our website making access easier for all, has also supplemented the electronic version of the current issue with a special section that includes photos of Esopus from the fifties. (Click here to move directly to the photos).  Those who regularly peruse the website are rewarded with periodic surprises.  Feel free to supplement what is on the website with copies of your own memorabilia by forwarding items to Rich. Note that Rich also takes care of our list of contacts and produces labels for the mailing of our printed version of Marists All.   Rich is seeking someone to help with the mechanical details of placing the newsletter on the Marists All website.  The interested person should have background in either FrontPage or Dreamweaver.  Knowledge of Microsoft Word is a plus.  Microsoft Access would also be very helpful, but not necessary.  All work is done from home.  A younger web master to replace Rich (age 78) would relieve anxiety about the future of Marists All.

Those who have changed email addresses should inform us through our Chicago team member, Rob Schmid.  Rob also electronically sends news to our readers when information cannot wait until the next quarterly issue.

Gus Nolan, the long-standing third member of our team, is the custodian of our accounts.  Those who wish to support our efforts with a contribution should write out a check in his name.  He conscientiously reports the amount of our reserves to the rest of the team so as not to exceed the bottom-line figure in our account.  Thanks are in order to our most recent contributors, Jim Friel ’52 and Bill Deschene ‘53.

David Kammer, our editor/founder emeritus, remains our conscience and watchdog, alerting us to concerns that the rest of the team might overlook due to the differentiation of our tasks.  Gratefully, he oversees the Marists All project and offers support, encouragement and ready assistance as needed..

Vince Poisella, also referred to as “Editor,” pieces together the quarterly written contributions for each issue.  Although most letters arrive through electronic mail, written or typed notes are certainly more than welcome.   Over the years many of our readers have promised themselves (and us) that they will write something soon.   Let that be a resolve for 2008 that is finally fulfilled!

While we do not usually bring attention to ourselves, trying to “do good quietly,” as we serve the greater Marist community in this special way, we wanted you to know that there are real people behind each issue.  At the same time, we realize that Marists All could not exist without you.   Thank you for your continued support.

<<===return to index    

From PAT ZIRKEL:  You are invited to the Greater Marist Family Weekend, July 11-13, at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.  Our theme for 2008 is centered on the spirituality of St. Marcellin Champagnat.  Br. Phillip Robert, FMS (’48) and other guests familiar with Marcellin’s spirituality will assist participants in reflecting on his vision and work. This year we are inviting participants in the Brothers’ Sharing Our Call program.  If you would like to join us, please secure your reservation by sending a deposit of $25.00 per person to: Maurice Bibeau, 4 Van Wert Place, Hyde Park, NY 12538.  The complete cost of the weekend (including six meals and lodging) is: (before June 1st) single, $160; couple, $305; (after June 1st)  single, $170;  couple, $315.

Questions may be directed to Pat Zirkel <>, Don Mulcare <>, or John Scileppi or 845-575-3000 X2961.

<<===return to index    

From JOHN “OKE” O’CONNELL ‘58:  The passing of Vinnie Hall '58 (2/2001) and Bill Reffelt '58 (9/2003) inspired us to track down those B/brothers from our training days over forty years ago, a search we named "Oh, B/brother, Where Art Thou," an allusion to the title of a 2003 comic film very loosely based on the travels and travails of Homer's heroic figure, Ulysses: hence, our email abbreviation,  

This “sub-group” of Marists All (those in groups from ’58 to ’60) plans to meet once again for its Sixth Annual Esopus Gathering on Saturday, March 29th, (10:00-5:00) with refreshments and lunch provided.  Many of us will start filtering in as early as Wednesday, March 26th, catching up on the four decades since we've seen each other. Accommodations are available in the 22-bed Holy Rosary building.  Overnighters (reservations appreciated) will be assessed an extra $25 a night (bring towels); otherwise, we divvy up the various costs.   On Saturday we plan to gather in the round and give as many as possible fifteen minutes of fame to hit some highlights of their last 40+ years. All attendees are asked to send me a one-page bio, (if they haven't already) which I'll run off as a hardcopy packet for everyone.

Extensions of our OB/bWAT group had a few "mini-gatherings" in 2007, the biggest being last September at the Sherman CCHS Brothers' residence in Lawrence, MA. That meeting included George Bagnell (Long Island), Artie Bedard (Cape Cod), B. Ernie Beland (CCHS), Leo Byron (MA), George Conboy (AZ), Bill Cowie (CCHS), Alan Doerr (MA), George Febles (Bronx), David Kammer (FL), B.Bill Lambert (CCHS, now in Italy), Ray Landry (MA), Artie Lavigne (NH), John "Oke" O'Connell (ME), B.Rene Roy (CCHS), and Russ Therriault (FL).

Matt McComish (in a nursing home in Andover, MA; 978-475-4823) was unable to join us at the Brothers' residence in September.  But B. Ernie Beland, Ray Landry, Artie Lavigne and John O'Connell doubled back a few weeks later and took him out for a couple of meals. And just before Thanksgiving, six of us (Artie Bedard, Tom Fahey, Phil Hannigan, John O'Connell, Ed Smith, and Frank (aka Pete) Walsh, broke bread together in Fort Pierce, FL.

If you're contemplating joining us for any part of our Sixth Annual Esopus OB/bWAT Gathering  (March 26 - 30 time frame), please RSVP Oke at either 207-633-0644 or OB/

<<===return to index    

From PAT GALLAGHER ‘53: Every time I have read Marists All, I reflected on my many years as a Marist, the memories and the friendships. With each issue incidents come up that remind me of the closeness we had then and the ties that have endured over the years. Those twenty years (from the juniorate in Esopus to 1970) were a phase in my life that prepared me for the next phase and the transition to lay life: finding a satisfying profession, marriage, children, and then those subsequent years, when there was an appreciable slowing down, a change in life for our current phase. What would our lives have been like if we had not had the good fortune to be a part of this wonderful group?

With all the changes and all the years, somehow, I have held on to something of my Marist life and faith, as well as the friendships that were part of that life. Joe Horan, in a previous issue of Marists All brought this point out, how deeply imbedded things Marist had been for him.

I think it was John Manville in one of his novels, who had a character say the words: "I am not in the Church, as much as the Church is in me," exemplified by all those whose example and teachings were part of his (the character's) life.

Paraphrasing this, I can say: "I am not in the Marists, as much as the Marists are in me," for that same reason because of the lasting example of good men, many lying row on row in Esopus, and others still vibrantly alive.

They entered my life when I was about ten, in 1946 when Dave Kammer took over the fifth grade at St. Ann's. To this young boy, away from home since I was boarding at St. Ann's with Bros. Daniel Emilian and Dennis Coleman, still trying to figure out something about the complete disappearance of my father on Dec. 23, 1941, Dave and the other monks provided a group of much needed father figures with their intelligence, athletic ability, their caring, and all around good natures. They also provided direction and exemplars of what one could do with one's life, directing me toward helping boys and young men. Leaving for Esopus was traumatic, but I had found an extended family.

There were later years filled with all sorts of activities: three or four preparations, coaching/moderating, and running a major athletic program but the satisfaction came from something inherent in the work and from the good people I worked alongside of.

Half a lifetime ago I signed those papers that formally said I was no longer in the Marists, but they thankfully remained in me. As Mary and I "make memories together," we have treasured the times spent with Marists and those who are the brothers. Recently on a trip to Italy, we spent four days at the Generalate, meeting wonderful men from all over the Marist world, talking at length with Sean, and meeting our old friend, Juan Arconada. We went north to Mazziana and spent two days with the Americans, drove around with Jim Maher and Leo Shea, and after driving to Naples for a week, flew to Sicily and Taormina. Having been given the names of the four monks at the Marist school in Taormina, we stopped in, were invited to a three hour luncheon (dinner) and shared ideas in four languages (Italian, Spanish, French, and English with increasing capability towards the end of the list). We had them out to dinner for another long repast, and their goodness and commitment shone through. Those were highlights of the trip, feeling so close to things Marist.                                                        

 Mary and I go on now, enjoying our life here in Upper Bucks County in Pennsylvania, inviting any of the monks to stop by for a break, and doing our thing. Mary is heavily into all the artistic activities in the area, immersed in grandmotherly things; and I, for the intellectual stimulus, continue with some expert witness work, some research with various police departments, and recently doing some substitute English teaching in a local Catholic high school.  Life is good. I can say I look, as a cancer survivor (prostate), to good years ahead. I wish all the Brothers and the brothers the most satisfying times themselves in the years ahead that we will share together.  (Pat invites others to reflect on the time in our lives when we made those decisions connecting us with the Marist world that subsequently redirected our lives.  He suggests that this exploration would provide very interesting reading. Editor) (; 610/346/7463)

<<===return to index    

From DAVID KAMMER ’42:  In the Today's Marist Brother sent out from Br. Hugh Turley's office recently, I noticed the name of Father George Witt, S.J.  I remembered that we have on our Marists All list a “lost” George Witt (’87).  I inquired of Br. Pat Hogan at Molloy to see what he knew.  Well, the long and short of it all is that I found out that George, who was with the Brothers for about four years, is now an ordained Jesuit residing at St. Ignatius, Park Avenue.  I have attached a copy of his bio from the public domain of the Internet:

Rev. Mr. George M. Witt, SJ, a member of the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, will be ordained a priest on June 10, 2006, at the Fordham University Church in the Bronx, New York, by His Eminence Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop of New York. Rev. Mr. Witt was born in Queens, NY, on September 8, 1964. He graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School, led by the Marist Brothers of the Schools, in 1982. He then attended Fordham University, earning a bachelor’s degree in English and theology in 1986. Between 1986 and 1992, in association with the Marist Brothers, Rev. Mr. Witt worked in two different high schools. He taught English and religious education at Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, NJ and was a guidance counselor and religious education teacher at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, NJ.  He taught at St. Agnes Boys’ High School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan from 1994 to 1996. Rev. Mr. Witt entered the Society of Jesus in 1996 in Syracuse, NY His summers were spent teaching English to young Jesuits of Eastern Europe in Cracow, Poland and studying Spanish in Cochabamba, Bolivia. For his regency, from 2001 to 2003, Rev. Mr. Witt worked as a retreat minister at St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, NY.  Rev. Mr. Witt resumed his theology studies in 2003 and will complete a master’s degree in divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley, CA, in May 2006. Ordained to the diaconate in October 2005, he has served as deacon and spiritual director at St. Benedict Parish for the Deaf in San Francisco. Proficient in American Sign Language, Rev. Mr. Witt will continue to serve part time in this parish after priestly ordination. At the same time, he will complete work on a licentiate in sacred theology in the area of Christian spirituality at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.  His first Mass will be Sunday, June 11, 2006, at 3:00 p.m., at St. Andrew Avellino Church in Flushing, NY.  (48 East 84th Street, New York, NY 10028; 212-861-3820)

 <<===return to index    

From JOE BOUCHARD (’63):  (The following information is adapted from promotional material concerning Camp Marist.  Some of our readers may be interested in passing this information on to those family members and friends who have children and might benefit by this very special Marist-focused camp experience. Editor) Camp Marist was founded in 1949 for the purpose of creating a “special blend of sports, friendship, learning, and an appreciation of the great outdoors in a beautiful environment.” It was to be a place where children could learn about character and community, develop strong self-esteem and self-awareness, and grow in confidence while learning new skills.  This mission still continues today.  We are particularly proud of our outstanding staff consisting of dedicated Marist Brothers, teachers, parents, many former campers, and college age students.  Our staff, which numbers about 115, is unique in that over 70% return each summer.  Camp Marist offers a wide variety of activities including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and lacrosse, to more individual activities such as tennis, ropes challenge, go-karts, skate park action, horseback riding, or martial arts.  We also have an excellent waterfront program that includes water skiing, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and Red Cross swim instruction. Campers, along with their parents, individually select the activities they would most like by completing an activity selection form before arriving at camp.  Each child then receives a personalized activity schedule upon arrival at camp.  Camp Marist is located at 22 Abel Blvd., Effingham, New Hampshire.  Please call (603) 539-4552, email, or visit for dates and other information.

 <<===return to index    

From RAY BLANCHARD ‘47:  Since we sold our R.V., we haven't been driving too much.   The last time we worked for Habitat for Humanity in Las Cruces, we were the oldest working couple there by at least ten years, and I felt it.  We decided to hang up the hammer and paintbrush and take it easy.  Now we help at the local Care Center setting up for the weekly Mass. We get quite a few from the parish attending and it makes the residents feel they're part of the parish. They really appreciate the work. (1201 Jwerry Ave; Durand, WI  54736)

From CHARLIE KENNEDY ’58: A couple of thoughts.  I too am saddened by Greg Ballerino’s passing.   “The Sound of Music” might be his theme song!  My wife Regina has been at the Resort Nursing Home in Arverne, New York, since October of 2006.  We were married in 1972 and have a daughter Eileen who was married in 1998.  I have a granddaughter, Olivia Rose, a pixy little Shirley Temple.  I was in Europe in the ‘60’s.  I fought in the cold war and at times felt like a Carthusian monk in some of my communications duties.  I was honorably discharged in February of ’71 after a six-year enlistment.  I wrote to David Kammer recently, and I have been in correspondence with Gerry Brereton, a very feeling and affectionate person.  (8008 45th Avenue, Elmhurst, NY 11373)

 <<===return to index    

From the NEW JERSEY STAR-LEDGER (Candice Leigh Helfand): To the uninitiated, it’s just a napkin, a letter and a photograph, but to Gerry Patrick Gallagher, it’s baseball memorabilia worth enough to donate to (Roselle) Catholic High School….

For more than 70 years, Gallagher, a former Marist Brother at the school, kept the Babe Ruth artifacts hidden from most of the world.  Now he is finally ready to part ways with it, in the name of a greater cause….

Gallagher, who works in Police Liability Management in Springtown, Pa., decided to donate his memorabilia to Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, which will auction it off.  Gallagher, who worked at the school throughout the 1960s, was also the school’s first-ever athletic director. 

“My heart has always been close to Roselle Catholic, having been around at its birth,” he said.  “And also, I felt it would be in good hands with Marty (Pribush) as far as getting the most for the school – alumni were a resource not tapped for a long period of time, and many of them see the meaning of getting involved in a good cause such as this.”

Pribush, a Roselle Catholic graduate from the class of 1966, and president of the school’s Alumni Association, describes himself as a true sports fanatic and is the one pioneering the effort to sell the items to the highest possible bidder.

From speaking with experts, I’d say it’s worth at least $10,000,” he said.

Br. Dan O’Riordan, currently director of development at the school, added that the school hopes to use the money to keep tuition costs down and to fund scholarships and financial aid. 

The memorabilia has a story of its own, beginning with a chance meeting in a restaurant in 1933

“My father, Daniel Francis Gallagher, was at dinner in a restaurant in Riverhead, Long Island, when he noticed that Babe Ruth was also a diner there but was just leaving the place,” Gallagher explained.  “My father wanted to get an autograph for the hoped-for-son he and his wife were expecting…. He grabbed a linen napkin off of his table and he asked Babe Ruth to autograph it, which he did.”

Although his mother lost the child at birth, the napkin remained at the house and was given to him when he was born in 1936, Gallagher said.

When he got older, he decided to write to Ruth telling the story of the napkin.  He received a personalized response several months later, which included the signed letter and picture. 

The story connects all three artifacts.  Because the artifacts are worth more together than apart, they will be sold as a unit. 

“It comes at a major time in our history – next year is our 50th anniversary,” Br. O’Riordan said.   “The hope is that the money generated from the amazing gift is utilized to help continue the mission the school was founded for, to meet the needs of hard-working families in the area.” 

 <<===return to index    



In Memoriam

1920 –2007 

Brother George Matthews died at Saint Patrick’s Nursing Home in Riverdale, NY on 31 December 2007.  He took the Marist habit in 1953.  He had been a bus driver for some time before joining the Brothers.  He became a national expert in teaching Driver Education.  Funeral Mass was held 3 January 2008 at St. Francis of Assisi Church, Bronx NY.  Burial will be spring 2008 in the Marist Cemetery in Esopus, NY.  Click here for a more complete obituary.

In Memoriam

1927 - 2007

Ed Cashin died unexpectedly on 8 September 2007 while doing research in Atlanta Georgia.  He took the Marist habit in 1946, and taught at Mount Saint Michael in the Bronx, Christopher Columbus in Miami, and Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.  After leaving the Brothers, he returned to his hometown of Augusta and taught at Augusta College until his retirement in 1996.  He continued his research, centered mostly on elements of the history of the state of Georgia and the city of Augusta.  Click here for a more complete obituary.

Related Web Sites

 Click here to move to a separate section which lists websites related to MaristsAll.


return to  ===>>              top of page