Dan Donovan (MSM)
Pat Gallagher ('57)
Bob Grady ('53)
John Hart ('62)
Maurice 'Mo' LaChance ('59)
Don Mulcare ('57)
John O'Connell ('58)
Editor Vince Poisella ('58)
Rob Schmid ('68)
Francis Barney Sheridan ('55)
From the EDITOR: It is time for our readers to consider that the joys of being on the receiving end of Marists All are minor compared to the value of sharing thoughts and feelings with others in the Marist world. Please compose a little update on your life and its connection with Marist life past and present, and we will demonstrate the power of the written word.
Please take a moment to check your address information on our website. All changes, including email addresses, should be sent to Richard Foy to enter into the master database and the list of contacts on the Marists All website. Rich is still looking for a successor to his tasks. Get in touch with him, and talk it over. Email addresses ought also to be sent to Rob Schmid as he handles email distributions for Marists All.
Thanks once again to all of our sponsors, especially those who send Gus Nolan checks to cover costs of printing and mailing. Jeanne Schultz, sister of Br. Stephen Martin (George Holstein, ’47), thank you! William Cahill, an Esopus novice of years ago now living in Tennessee, thank you! Ray Blanchard ‘47 and Rosemarie, thank you!
From JOHN O’CONNELL (’58): Thanks to John Wilcox for keeping the brethren updated on my status. Thanks also to the multitude who sent notes and promises of prayerful kindness during my respite. I am now getting physical therapy three times a week at home after spending sixty-eight days in the hospital. Things are looking good. I will be up and about for our April Gathering in Esopus after Easter. Thank you all for thinking of me.
Mark your calendars: April 16-18. We will be celebrating the seventh annual Esopus Gathering. We will bunk down in the main building as Holy Rosary is now housing volunteers. The dining room will serve as our meeting place. Beds will be on that floor plus upstairs where classrooms used to be. I’ll need help with the logistics this year more than in the past. Let me know if you can help in some way. If you plan on joining us, please contact me. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From BOB GRADY (’53): The Greater Marist Family Weekend will be held at Marist College from Friday, July 10 through Sunday, July 12, 2009. Our theme for this year’s weekend: Witnessing -- Witness the Spirit Within. Christ gave witness to and of the Father by being the Living Word. Father Champagnat continued that witness by his life, work and words. Bro Ben Consigli, our main presenter, will help us to better know and appreciate Father Champagnat’s efforts by sharing insights gained from a recent study of many of Father Champagnat’s writings and letters. Father Ed Keel, a Marist Father, will be again sharing the weekend with us, witnessing “Christ among us” by his presence and the liturgy.
We extend an invitation to the readers of Marists All and the laity involved in the Marist Sharing and Embracing Our Call programs. If interested, secure a reservation by sending a deposit of $25 per person to Bob Grady, 70 Bayberry Lane, Levittown, NY 11756 (make checks payable to the Marist Brothers). The cost of the weekend, including six meals and lodging is $170 per person or $315 per couple. Any questions may be directed to Bob Grady at 516-796-4502 or at email: email@example.com.
From FRANCIS X. (BARNEY) SHERIDAN (’55): We heard so much about the Embracing Our Call workshop during the summer Marist Family Weekend that Don Mulcare, Ginny/Bob Grady, and Anne/Barney Sheridan signed up for the weekend of October 12-14, 2008.
What a terrific event! It was a discussion of solid spirituality, applicable to everyone. It derived from Marcellin’s spirituality, especially as it had been researched and delineated by an international group in the book Water from the Rock, and promoted by Br. Sean Sammon. It is a bit embarrassing to realize that usually the Brothers do not verbalize about spirituality pure and simple. Such universal, solid material structured in a modern format!
A particular quality of the weekend was the mixture of diverse Marists. The Brothers who organized the weekend were Br. Hank Hammer, Br. Ben Consigli, and Br. Don Bisson. A Marist laywoman, Alice Miesnik, from Bayonne, gave a wonderful exercise. Marist lay teachers came from Texas, Florida, Illinois, West Virginia, and the New York area. They spoke up -- not about their schools, not whining, not bragging, not about school programs -- but about meeting Christ in the experience of being Marist. The diversity broke down with the commonality of the spiritual struggle people were living. The retired elders -- Mulcare, Gradys, and Sheridans -- augmented the group. We clearly received more than we gave by participating.
There was another particularly Marist feature: Br. Don Nugent quietly cooking in the kitchen and Br. Steve Milan and the Marist Young Adult Community serving. They were inspiring in their quiet gift of labor.
This weekend was very spiritual and fruitful. I would recommend it for all. Look for the dates of the next weekend. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Those interested in reading the very inspiring summary of Marist Spirituality, Water from the Rock, alluded to in Barney’s comments above should access the USA Marist Brothers website: www.maristbr.com. Click on “Our Spirituality.” If your computer is up to it, you will be able to download the entire booklet in pdf format. It is a beautiful book. EDITOR.)
From DON MULCARE (’57): Greetings to Marists All readers, including those Marists who have enjoyed the Sharing Our Call (SOC) and/or Embracing Our Call (EOC) experiences.
I am thinking back many years when I received my first copy of Marists All. What a gift it was and is! Helping us to reconnect, write, visit, and in some cases, to say “good-bye.” One of the major Marists All benefits for me is the July gathering at Marist College: The Greater Marist Family Weekend draws upon Brothers, brothers, and the extended Marist Family in applying Marcellin’s spirituality to our current state of life. Initiated with the assistance of Marists All and conducted for many years by the founding spirits of Marist All, the weekend has continued to promote the charism of Marcellin Champagnat for over fifteen years.
The latest gift mediated through this alliance was an invitation to participate in the October 2008, “Embracing Our Call” weekend at Esopus. This Columbus Day weekend retreat underscored the meaning of the Marist charism. Br. Hank Hammer and the FMS leadership look on the SOC/EOC participants and many others as Marists because they share the charism of Marcellin. As the numbers of FMS decrease in the Marist schools, the new Marist laity might be the most significant force in the Marist world. Marists All could let the EOC/SOC alumni graft on to the Brothers/brothers tree that has been kept alive through Marists All over the decades. Such a graft would keep the roots alive as the newer branches flourish.
Speaking of trees, this link will take you to a series of photos that begin near the Hudson River, the old coal bin, and Esopus Island and meanders up the hill toward the Marist Prep buildings and the cemetery. http://www.flickr.com/photos/34029988@N06/show/. When you get to the cemetery, you will recognize many names.
Be sure to pray for our B/brothers with medical conditions, John O’Connell and John Miller in particular. Since the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman is looking for a few miracles in his cause of canonization, perhaps we could ask for his intercession. Remember “The Definition of a Gentleman”? God Bless! (email@example.com
From DAN DONOVAN: I am a graduate of Mount St. Michael in the Bronx, NY, class of 1967. I have just found Marists All. What a find! Can I get on the mailing list? I have been going through the back issues and looking for names of the many fine teachers I had in high school. It was the best four years of education in my life. They were the best teachers I ever encountered. I am certain that none of them will remember the rather quiet teenager in their classes, but they can be assured that I remember them with fondness. So far, the names that jump out at me are Raymond Landry, my freshman year English teacher who taught me a love of literature that grew with each passing year; James Heaney, my junior year American literature teacher who was actually teaching American Studies before it had become a popular college course; and Arthur Lavigne, my biology teacher who always had a stack of books with him - history, science, novels - I think of him when I am reading more than one book at a time. I am sure I will come across more as I catch up on my reading.
As an aside, it was Br. Leo George Matthews, the driver education instructor, who indirectly got me my first job. He was always reading the Mount Vernon newspaper and bringing clips to class. So, when I graduated from Fordham with a journalism degree, I applied there. Almost thirty-eight years later, I am still with Gannett, the publisher of that paper; so, I guess you can say it was a Marist Brother who helped launch my career.
Can I mention Marists All in the Mount alumni newsletter? I am sure other grads would love to catch up like I did. (firstname.lastname@example.org.)
From PAT GALLAGHER (’53): This year we had a mini-living-abroad experience when we rented a house in Provence for three weeks.
One day, since I remembered that the Marist Brothers had an establishment in St. Paul Trois Chateaux, we drove over and introduced ourselves in halting French explaining my background in the congregation. The third Brother that we talked to, Br. Santiago Joachim, finally got someone who spoke English, and I started to explain that I had graduated from Marist College. Well, he too had graduated from Marist one year ahead of me. To our mutual surprise, despite not having seen him since 1956, there was instant recognition of our shared experiences. That afternoon and a later day when we returned for lunch over two bottles of wine and some cognac, we reminisced about college days and the early building we had accomplished at Marist College. (email@example.com
From ROB SCHMID (’68): A reunion for the profession group of 1969 was held in Poughkeepsie on September 13, 2008. Brother Eugene Birmingham and Brother John Malich, our Master of Novices, did the planning. Fifteen young men took the three vows on August 23, 1969, and twelve of the members of that class were able to attend the reunion. Brother John Murray passed away in December of 2004, Brother Peter Guadalupe was unable to attend, and we were unable to locate Lawrence Letendre.
The class of 1969 was the last of the big formation groups to take vows in the Poughkeepsie Province. The group was an amalgamation of postulants from Tyngsboro and Chicago. The novitiate was relocated to Cold Spring, New York, and this motley crew proceeded to make a novitiate. The Chicago postulants were a product of the first graduating class of Marist High School in Chicago and recent Marist College graduate John Scileppi. The postulate was situated is the middle of the city of Chicago, and the postulants attended classes in local universities. The postulants in Tyngsboro experienced the traditional formation program. There were the instant differences between the two groups, but within a few months we were all Cold Spring novices. Tyngsboro and Chicago were left behind.
The Profession group picture (click here or on ←photo to see enlargement) taken in Tyngsboro in 1969 includes: John Scileppi, James Halliday, Daniel Cronin, Eugene Birmingham, Donnell Neary, R. Gerard Connell, William Cornforth, Robert Schmid, Brice Byczynski, and Donald Bisson. Peter Guadalupe, Lawrence Letendre, Gerard Geoffroy, Novice Master John Malich, Dominick Cervino, John Murray and Kevin McArdle.
The group photograph taken in Poughkeepsie on September 13, 2008, (click here or on photo ® ) includes: Bro. Brice Byczynski, Dr. John Scileppi, Kevin McArdle, Bro. Donnell Neary, Dominick Cervino, Robert Schmid, Bro. Eugene Birmingham, Daniel Cronin, Br. James Halliday, Bro. John Malich, Bro. Donald Bisson, Gerard Geoffroy and William Cornforth.
Of the fifteen Brothers who took vows in 1969, five are still in religious life, and one Brother, John Murray, has entered eternal life. Five of the members of the group married (Scileppi, Schmid, Cronin, Geoffroy and Cornforth). John Scileppi has enjoyed a career teaching psychology at Marist College as well as serving as head of the psychology department for many years. Bro. Donnell Neary served as provincial of the Poughkeepsie province and is presently working at the motherhouse in Rome. Bro. Donald Bisson is recognized as the expert on Jungian Psychology and Spiritual Direction. Kevin McArdle and Robert Schmid work for the federal government. (Bob Schmid is also a member of our Marists All editorial team!) Dominick Cervino is engaged in social work activities. Gerard Geoffroy and William Cornforth work in education. Seven members of the group live in New York, two in Massachusetts, the others being scattered throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois, and Italy.
Forty years ago Dr. Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, we were mired in a quagmire in Viet Nam, and there were riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. We are in a new quagmire now, but a black man has just been elected president, and he held his election party in the same park where protesters were clubbed forty years ago. The funny thing about reunions is that those young kids of 1969 are still there, hidden under gray hair and a few extra pounds. The Master of Novices still has the eyes that can provoke an instant mea culpa. Everyone should have a Novice Master to accompany them through life to help avoid those near occasions of sin. Only he should know the trouble that he has seen and hopefully averted.
We all enjoyed a wonderful afternoon. We extend our thanks to Br. Eugene Birmingham and Br.John Malich for organizing the event and for allowing us to rekindle the Marist Spirit that we experienced all those years ago. (RJDB@comcast.net)
From JOHN HART (’62): Upon reading the last issue of Marists All, I was very appreciative of the articles and comments about Tom Mullen. We were classmates at the Esopus Novitiate and Marist College but out of touch for decades. One of my Esopus memories of Tom is of the time when he broke his leg playing ball and kept in shape with strength exercises: he really bulked up which helped him to get around on his crutches. When we were both out teaching, I remember his community-based work with other Marists from an apartment in the city. I noticed when I read the Marists All article that we had similar influences on our lives: the Catholic Worker and Daniel Berrigan. I used to volunteer at the soup line of the CW in NYC while a grad student at Marist College and had conversations with Dorothy Day on a couple of occasions. One of those was a lunch meeting, when I took one of my Union profs, Dorothee Soelle of Germany to meet Dorothy Day at Mary House. Dan Berrigan and I have been friends for almost forty years; I first met him when he accepted my invitation to speak at a Marist Brothers’ retreat at Esopus in 1969 (I recorded Dan’s presentation and later lent it to Tom Mullen). Later, I went to Dan’s trial in Maryland and became the first person to visit him in prison, just before I moved from teaching at St. Mary’s High School in Manhasset to be involved in community work with Albert Phillip, Bill Vessels, and John Allen in Texas. Jack Broderick and I were present for the celebration when Dan was later released from prison in Danbury, CT. My son, too, is named after him; he baptized both of my children and presided for Jane’s and my wedding. He was one of the six people to whom I dedicated my last book, Sacramental Commons (Dorothy Day and Dorothee Soelle were among the others). I visit Dan about once a year. I just had lunch with Dan in NYC two weeks ago. At 87, he’s doing well and still writing biblical commentaries (published by Eerdmans) with a social justice focus.
I’m still commuting between Massachusetts and Montana: I’m Professor of Christian Ethics at Boston University during the academic year and a theology professor at Carroll College in Helena for the summer session. I’ve just been appointed by the U.S. bishops to be part of a four-year “Catholic-Methodist Dialogue” which begins this December focused on a theme of Eucharist and ecology. My latest article is “The Poor of the Planet and the Planet of the Poor,” published in the Winter 2008 issue of the University of St. Thomas Law Journal (Minneapolis, MN). I was asked to speak at a symposium on the “preferential option for the poor” and ecological issues, which was held at the Law School a year ago; this is the published version of that lecture. It strikes me that its theme of compassion is another point of contact with Tom Mullen’s work.
My other extracurricular activities at the moment are involvement with implementing the Earth Charter (www.earthcharter.org) and serving as President of the Board of the Montana Environmental Information Center, headquartered in Helena. MEIC is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Montanans’ constitutional “right to a clean and healthful environment” through education and litigation. Some of our litigation against pollution has had national impacts. The latest New York Times article about our efforts was in October 2007.
I appreciate my years at Esopus and Marist College when the seeds for my efforts to promote social justice, community collaboration, and creation care were first planted and began to bear early fruit. (firstname.lastname@example.org
(We have very little information on the passing of our B/brothers. In some cases Rich Foy has placed their obituaries and memorials on our Marists All website: Des Kelly, Philip McEnaney, and Cyprian Rowe. For the others, may they rest in peace. We encourage our readers to send us memorials of these men, our B/brothers. Editor.)
Arthur Chagnon ('60): From MAURICE (MO) LACHANCE (’59): Arthur hailed from Central Catholic in Lawrence and completed his last three years of high school at Marist Prep. I believe he was in the high school class of 1959. The Lawrence Eagle Tribune www.eagletribune.com printed a short obituary of Art. The family requests that memorial donations be made to New Hampshire Catholic Charities, P.O. Box 686, Manchester, NH 03105.
Michael Dean (’63): Michael died suddenly of a heart attack in December in Florida. Michael taught at Christopher Columbus High School for over twenty-five years. He was serving the archdiocesan school system at the time of his death. His wife Cindy resides at 10221 SW 96th Terrace, Miami, FL 33176.
Bill Dougherty (’59)
Br. Thomas (Des) Kelly (’53)
Br. Philip (Harry) McEnaney (’34) turned 90 on January 10, and died peacefully January 16th at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL. Two Brothers from his community were with him when he went home to the Lord. Br. Philip taught mathematics at schools in Augusta, GA; Tyngsboro, MA; Bronx, NY; Poughkeepsie, NY; and Eugene, OR. He was assigned in retirement to the Marist House in Chicago in 1983. His kind, considerate, and positive approach won him many admirers in Chicago.
Cyprian Lamar Rowe (‘53): Cyprian, age 74, died peacefully in hospice care in Towson, MD on November 25th. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for several years. The Brooklyn Tablet described him as a social justice activist, poet, author, and leading figure in the African-American Catholic community in the United States.
Moments of Reflection
From the EDITOR: As I ponder those who have died in our Marist world, I think of those in my own group. I was in the class of ’58. John O’Connell, also in our group, is fond of saying that Br. Ernest Beland, the only member of ‘58 still a bona fide Marist Brother of the Schools, was the sole survivor to “conquer concupiscence.”
Recently, it occurred to me that there were two others who “made it”: Br. Philip LaCroix and Br. Felipe Renato Cruz. May they rest in peace. Phil had a laugh that echoed down the hallways at Tyngsboro, occasionally even in Great Silence. Renato, on the other hand, was serene and pious but with smiling eyes. I remember them both with joy. There are indeed “many rooms in My Father’s house.”
Then I recalled others in our group who have died: Ken Connell, early on, and Vinnie Hall and Jim Gara, unbeknown to us at the times of their deaths; and Rene Lozada on another continent; and Bernie Ortuoste, the Filipino leprecaun with sparkling eyes and teeth; and Bill Reffelt, a model for all of us in his last days.
I recall them all with fondness. The bond is still there.
(Memorials for our deceased B/brothers may be made to the Marist Brothers Provincial Development Office, 4200 West 115th Street, Chicago, IL 60655-4397. 708-636-5500. EDITOR.)