Brother Tim Brady
I lived with Louis longer than with any other
Brother in our Province. We spent eight years together at Mt. St.
Michael and then lived together in Chicago for another 15 years at our
Leavitt Street community. During five of those years at the Mount,
Louis and I worked in the junior high school on the same floor and
probably saw as much of each other as any two brothers ever have in such
a short period of time. I was the Principal and Louis was the Assistant
Principal, although he hated that title and all others. Like many young
people, I thought I knew everything about the school; I shortly found
out that it wasn’t me that knew everything about it; it was Louis. I
remember one incident very clearly. It was toward January of my first
year, and Louis was concerned about something. Never one to cause
discomfort to another, he quietly approached me one day and asked, “Have
you given any though to an entrance test for next year?” That was all.
Because of Louis, we had a class the following September.
This was something he did all the time --- helping
quietly, never intruding, always careful not to hurt. Long before we
used the words “least favored” as part of our daily vocabulary, Louis
knew who they were. It was his beloved “7-A.” We had two classes at
the time, and the “A” classes were the “least favored.” While other
teachers sought to avoid them, Louis asked for them, not only for his
regular class, but for his religion class and his homeroom. I saw what
he did for them; it was remarkable. He never yelled at them or did
anything threatening. Looking back, I can see that he achieved this
using the most simple plan possible; he loved them, and they loved him
back. Even if they didn’t think they could learn, he knew that
they could and never let them think that they couldn’t. He also got the
best out of them in other ways. We had a mission drive each year and
gave the money to our camp in Esopus. We gave them about $1,000 each
year, and $800 of that came from 7-A.
But perhaps the biggest tribute came years later
from some of the graduates of 7-A. When they came back and spoke to me,
they rarely spoke of the teachers who “drove” them, who went through the
motions believing that they could learn nothing. On the contrary, they
always spoke about “Bro. Louis,” asking how he was, and asking to be
remembered to him.
Louis was much the same at home. No matter how he
felt, no matter what kind of day he was having, he was there for us.
And it was a lot of little things. For the 15 years we lived together,
he set the table every evening for dinner. We all had jobs around the
house; most of us did them pretty faithfully; he did them religiously.
He was totally faithful to his work, not because of the dust and dirt,
but because he did it for us. There was nothing that anyone ever asked
him to do that was too much for him. Louis brought the same quality of
faithfulness to everything he did. His prayer life, his work at school,
his work around the house, in all these he was like Mary, his model, who
went about doing good quietly.
One of my great happinesses was watching Lou’s
beloved Boston Red Sox win the World Series last year. I was a casual
Yankee fan until I met Louis; he made me a fanatic. We used to watch
the standings all summer with the Yankees winning out most of the time.
But he had the same faith in the Red Sox that he had in 7-A, and I think
I was as happy as he was when they finally did it that year.
The Spiritual Testament of our Founder, St.
Marcellin Champagnat, is in many ways an amazing document. In one part
of it he makes it quite clear what he wanted the Brothers to be known
for. Surprisingly it’s not for the great education they gave or they
excellent schools they ran, although I am certain he was proud of all
that. No, what he wanted was quite simple. “Have the world say
of the Little Brothers of Mary, what they said of the first Christians:
See how they love one another.” The thing that stands out most
in my mind, the one thing I will always remember about Louis, is that he
exemplified this wish of Fr. Champagnat like few other Brothers I have
Louis, I wish we all had one more chance to say
thank you for what you were to us. Know that the impression you made on
us is indelible, and that we will try to pass on your spirit to those we
meet during the remainder of our Marist lives.
BROTHER LOUIS RICHARD
Reflection by Bro.
On Monday morning, Vinny Gschlecht, the Assistant
Director at Camp Marist sought me out privately to inform me of the
shocking news that one of God's most faithful servants, Bro. Louis
Richard, had returned to Him for his just reward. Louie's departure was
just as quiet and graceful as every day of his life.
Until 1973, the year Taconic Lodge camp in Cold
Spring, NY closed, I had known Louie as a gentle and unassuming person
who performed his work wonderfully and efficiently. In Cold Spring, he
had served as Prefect as well as Riflery Instructor.
As Director of Camp Marist at that time, I invited
all the Brothers who had worked at Taconic to join us at Camp Marist.
Louie accepted the invitation and became the Prefect of La Petite Villa,
the youngest cabin where the boys ages ranged from five to seven. He was
always absolutely and completely dedicated to the welfare and needs of
his sixteen to twenty young charges. For fifty-five days each summer,
Louie lovingly served in the role of mother and father teaching the
little guys how to comb then- hair better, tie their shoes, make their
beds, say their prayers, and even prepare them for First Holy Communion.
Former campers who had been under Louie's guidance relate the story of
the imaginary "shingles" for the "house of character" that he was
helping them build. "Shingles” were the reward for certain
Many also recount how they still fold their
clothing, make their beds and say their morning and evening prayers as
he had taught them. This is exactly how St Marcellin Champagnat taught
his young Brothers to be of help to young people. Louie was indeed his
modern disciple. Occasionally Louis became serious, but he rarely, if
ever, became angry. After a stem word of correction or a frown, he
always concluded the incident with a smile
After his resignation as prefect in 1995, Louie
accepted the position of Canteen Director. Having worked so hard every
summer as a prefect, he thoroughly enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere
in the canteen. However, he continued the same remarkable dedication
with his work. To make sure he did not run out of supplies, Louie always
knew just how many Nutty Buddies, Chips, or Cokes were sold each meal.
He was always ready to help a camper who had lost or forgotten his card.
The canteen was always as neat as his room - going so far as to not only
sweep the porch but to wash it before a rain storm. Taking care of the
canteen was not a job, but a service which he did graciously as he did
Before heading out to the ball fields after evening
canteen, he always insisted on a visit to Our Lady of Fatima Chapel to
thank God and Our Lady for all the wonderful happenings at camp that day
and to pray for the safety of the campers. Then came the soccer,
football, softball, etc. games where he enjoyed chatting with the
campers and staff members always with a word of commendation or
encouragement After the games came the mound activities where Louie felt
the camp really came alive with the many contests, shows, karate
expositions, dances, story telling and even movies.
Even if he was exhausted, he always ended his day
with an extended visit to the CIT Lodge where he very much enjoyed the
ten young junior counselors in making puzzles, watching TV, having a
Mass, or just plain talking. Louie loved the CITs, and they had a deep
respect for him.
Louie had a profound effect on all of us present
here and on so very many others that he touched in a special way during
his life. Louie is now physically gone, but his devoted life as a Marist
Brother, his love of people, especially young people, his contagious
smile, his devotion to God and his dedication to his beloved Camp Marist
make up our inherited legacy. Thank you Louie for having been our
special friend who will now be our beloved guardian angel.
Barbara Baumhart, friend from Marist-Chicago
Brother Louis KINDNESS was inherent.
His helpful nature and sense of always being considerate was evident in
all his relationships but shone clearly with the students he nurtured.
He anticipated their needs. He was a kind taskmaster as he faithfully
worked each day of his life. Whether it be in the school’s computer lab
or Academic Resource Center, working with the hockey program, selling
tickets at Marist home football games or spending his summer with the
kids at Camp Marist, his benevolence reigned.
Brother Louis’ kindness also extended to the Brothers he lived with and
those he worked with daily. He openly greeted everyone with his
warm-heartedness. His friendly nature made us all feel as if we were a
special friend. He was generous with his greetings and could bring
comfort and show understanding by holding your hand or offering a hug.
Remember this kind and gentle soul, O Lord. May his SMILE live in our
memory until we meet again.
BROTHER LOUIS RICHARD
Letter from Brother Seán
Sammon, Superior General
Thank you for your note of yesterday with the sad news of Louis
Richard's death. I must say that it took me by surprise since I
realize that he just recently moved to Lawrence and was looking forward
to catching up with family and
friends back there after so many years.
Louie was a great blessing to the
former Poughkeepsie Province and I'm sure to our new Province of the
United States during the brief time he was a member of the
latter. The two qualities I remember most about him were his simplicity
and his honesty. He was the kind of person who worked hard to make sure
that the relations in any community were good and he always managed to
clear the air if he thought that
there was some disagreement that lingered between himself and someone
was Provincial when he made the move from Mount to Chicago. It was quite
a challenging one for him since he had spent so many years in the Bronx.
However, after a short period of adjustment,
Chicago became very much his home
and he gave more than 20 years of good service to the Church and to so
many young people while he was part of the Leavitt Street Community and
worked at St. Thomas More School and later at Marist High School.
I shall long remember his many kindnesses to me. There was
always a warm welcome and a sense of
hospitality in any community in which he was a member. Please do know
that we will pray for him here in Rome and celebrate on this Feast of
All Saints his joining in the communion of saints. May he rest in
God's everlasting peace.