>>DEATHS 2003      
   
       
Number

Name

Date of Death SM Unit
2003-42 Brother John Gilfether December 24, 2003 USA
2003-41 Brother Jacinto Velasco Armentia December 19, 2003 Colombia/Ecuador
2003-40 Brother Jean Léonard Hubert Dorr December 19, 2003 France
2003-39 Father Louis Cazals December 6, 2003 France
2003-38 Brother Pierino Cagna November 5, 2003 Italy
2003-37 Brother Willy Schommer September 26, 2003 France
2003-36 Father Akira Laurent Tsuda September 5, 2003 Japan
2003-35 Brother Abilio Fraile Ruiz de Ojeda September 4, 2003 Madrid
2003-34 Brother Pierre Didierlaurent August 23, 2003 France
2003-33 Father Robert Lewandowski August 13, 2003 USA
2003-32 Brother Charles Delavaud August 10, 2003 France
2003-31 Brother Edward Prochaska August 1, 2003 USA
2003-30 Brother George Schuster July 26, 2003 USA
2003-29 Father Bernard Stueve July 26, 2003 USA
2003-28 Brother Nicolas Matter July 11, 2003 France
2003-27 Father Melchor Alegre July 11, 2003 Zaragoza
2003-26 Brother Eugene Claret July 9, 2003 Switzerland
2003-25 Father Louis Reile June 25, 2003 USA
2003-24 Father Alphonse Sirlin June 21, 2003 France
2003-23 Father Joseph Knobloch June17,2003 France
2003-22 Brother José Jeremías Arroita Bilbao June 10, 2003 Zaragoza
2003-21 Brother Pierre Alphonse Freyburger May 28, 2003 France
2003-20 Father Alberto Echeverría y Martín May 13, 2003 Zaragoza
2003-19 Brother Wilhelm Kreutzer May 7, 2003 Austria/Germany
2003-18 Brother ángel Gallo Renes May 6, 2003 Madrid
2003-17 Brother Edouard Billmann May 1, 2003 Japan
2003-16 Brother Fumikazu Paul Sugiyama April 27, 2003 Japan
2003-15 Brother Louis N. Schott April 6, 2003 USA
2003-14 Father François Isidore Heitz April 4, 2003 France
2003-13 Brother Marion T. Pietkiewicz March 30, 2003 USA
2003-12 Brother Kikuichi Michel Matsuoka March 21, 2003 Japan
2003-11 Brother Juan Antonio Régil Laiseca March 16, 2003 Zaragoza
2003-10 Brother Arsène Volkringer March 13, 2003 France
2003-09 Father José Ricardo Unzueta Aguirrezabala March 5, 2003 Madrid
2003-08 Brother John Eugene Krus March 4, 2003 USA
2003-07 Father Roger Ninféi February 28, 2003 France
2003-06 Brother Joseph Edward Maly February 9, 2003 USA
2003-05 Brother Louis T. Neugebauer February 1, 2003 USA
2003-04 Brother Jesús María Puente Sanz January 26, 2003 Madrid
2003-03 Father Hideichi Augustin Kozasa January 16, 2003 Japan
2003-02 Father Antonio Farrás Esquivel January 10, 2003 Madrid
2003-01 Brother Charles A. Walke January 10, 2003 USA
         

2003-42

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JOHN GILFETHER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 24, 2003, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 90th year of his age and the 71st year of his religious profession.

John Peter Gilfether was born August 21, 1914, in Cleveland, Ohio, to John and Maud Gilfether, the first of the Gilfether’s three children. Bro. John lost his father at the age of five. His interest in the Marianists began in 1929 when he entered Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland. Bro. John graduated from Mount St. John Preparatory in Dayton in 1932 and professed first vows there on August 15, 1933. His final vows were professed in July 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Bro. John’s teaching career in the United States from the 1930s until the early 1960s took him to Pittsburgh, Honolulu, Dayton, Cleveland, Washington (D.C.), Brooklyn, Mineola, and Baltimore. From 1938-40, just prior to the invasion of Pearl Harbor, he taught the children of expatriates in Japan at St. Joseph College in Yokohama. Bro. John earned his bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton in 1947 and his master’s degree in religious education from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., in 1952.

In 1963, Bro. John made a significant move to Africa, where he taught and ministered for 18 years. His first assignment was the Nkhata Bay secondary school in Malawi. Nine years later he began teaching catechetics at the Kachebere Major Seminary in Malawi and became founder and director of the seminary’s Catechetics Department. He also taught at the Marianist Scholasticate in Nairobi, Kenya. During his time in Africa, Bro. John was active on the Marianist African Area Formation Team and was a member of the training center for African religious. He also authored several papers requested by the Propagation of the Faith in Rome.

Bro. John returned to the United States to several ministries, including the Marianist Family Program at Cape May, New Jersey and St. John’s Home in Rockaway Park, New York. He was an avid fan of track and field, coaching several championship cross-country high school teams. “Bro. John was a demanding coach, holding practice 365 days a year, rain or shine,” said Bro. Jim Vorndran, who has known Bro. John since the 1960s. “He coached state champions in Ohio and New York. Nobody could touch his teams. They were unbeatable.” Three of Bro. John’s former track team members served as pallbearers at his funeral, December 27, at Queen of Apostles chapel in Dayton.

Bro. John suffered from extremely painful psoriatic arthritis for decades, but never complained. “He was always cheerful, despite the pain,” said Bro. Vorndran. “He offered up his suffering for other people. He always asked about the illness of others, rather than dwelling on his own. He had a very strong faith.”

At the time of his death, Bro. John was living in the healthcare facility at Mercy Siena Retirement Community in Dayton. We thank God for Bro. John’s life, teaching gifts and love of the Society of Mary.

2003-41

The Region of Colombia-Ecuador recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JACINTO VELASCO ARMENTIA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 19, 2003, in Santa Fé de Bogotá, Colombia, in the 87th year of his age and the 70th year of his religious profession.

Jacinto Velasco Armentia, the son of Aquilino and Baldomera, was born in Montoria (Alava) on February 10, 1917. He entered the Postulate in Escoriaza on September 28, 1929. He professed his first vows as a Marianist religious in Elorrio on July 10, 1934. During the Spanish civil war he was conscripted and served in the Zamora Regiment and the San Marcial Regiment. Don Jacinto spoke very little of his wartime experiences, but he had to eat so many canned sardines that he never wanted to taste them again the rest of his life. He was decommissioned on December 26, 1939. He professed his perpetual vows in Escoriaza on August 15, 1942.

Don Jacino was an excellent teacher and educational administrator. He began his teaching activity in 1937 working with small children in Cádiz. In 1940 he taught the newly-enrolled in Madrid. From 1942 to 1956 he was a teacher and later subdirector of the school in San Sebastián. In 1957 he made the second novitiate in Castelgondolfo. He became the Director of the scholasticate in Zaragoza in 1958, and in 1960 returned to San Sebastián where he was again named subdirector of the school. In 1964 he was named Director of the school in Zaragoza.

He arrived in Colombia on November 22, 1967 and was assigned to the Cure of Ars Inter-parochial School of the South (CISSCA). When Jacinto and the Marianist community went to take up the academic, spiritual and economic direction of the school,  belonging to the St. Anthony Foundation of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, they found it almost in ruins. The first work of fixing up the physical plant (from windows to painting floors) was done by the Marianist community itself. Jacinto spent 20 years of untiring dedication to the work of the CISSCA. At times he was Director, at other times a teacher, but always an Administrator. He was really the soul of the work from 1967 until he retired in 1987.

On November 13, 1982 he was run over by a bus in downtown Bogotá. It was a serious accident, and Jacinto was alone. Only the protection of the Virgin and his intense desire to live were able to help him fully recover from that accident. From the time the beginning Unit of Colombia began to keep financial accounts, Jacinto was the Administrator, first of the Unit, and then of the Region. In 1999 he left that position to become an Assistant to the Regional Administrator.

When he retired from teaching in 1987 he went to the community of the Madeleine of which he was the Director during all the time that the Rule of Life permitted, and then some. In 1995 he had both hips operated on from which he recovered well, though slowly. In that same year a multiple melanoma was discovered, and in spite of the treatments of chemotherapy, sent first by Fr. Artadi to Switzerland and later obtained in the country, he began to decline little by little.

During 2003 his weakening became more noticeable. The periods of lethargy grew longer. On Wednesday, December 17, he spent the whole day in bed almost without saying a word. On the 18th he seemed to have difficulty recognizing people, and on Friday the 19th at 10:10 p.m. the patriarch of the Marianists in Colombia went to the Father.

2003-40

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JEAN LÉONARD HUBERT DORR, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 19, 2003, in Antony in the 73rd year of his age and the 54th year of his religious profession.

Jean Dorr was born on May 30, 1931, at Calamine (Province of Liège), in Belgium. Through his mother’s godson, a teacher at St. Ambrose in Liège, an establishment directed by Marianist religious, Jean was oriented toward the postulate at Rèves in September 1943. Gifted with a practical mind and with manual skill at woodworking, he was confided to a craftsman at Sart-à-Rèves in order to learn carpentry. In September 1948, he began his novitiate in France, at Antony, near Paris. That period of formation, at that time, lasted only one year, but future working-Brothers were asked to prolong it by six months. It was on March 20, that he pronounced his first vows at La Tour de Sçay (department of the Doubs), where the novitiate had been relocated in September 1949.

It was with an experienced working-Brother, Charles Theissen, that he finished his professional formation, at Collège Fénelon in La Rochelle (Charente Maritime), from 1950 to 1952. When it was over, he returned to his native Belgium. It was in Rèves that he spent the first part of his active life, with an eighteen-month interruption for military service (1954-1956). But, his many talents, his manual skill, his feeling for personal contact were such that his activity was not limited to his workshop:  he rendered many kinds of service, like any good working-Brother, for the upkeep of the house, in the service of the students of the Collège Ste Marie, where he assured the transportation for the school, for the Brothers of the community, and for the teachers at the Institut Ste Marie. In addition, he assured the functions of infirmarian at the school, which had many boarding students, as well as for his fellow Brothers.

The year 1980 marked a change in orientation in the Jean’s life. With Fr. Robert Witwicki and Pierre Zians, he was part of the team of founders of the parish in Jauche. A new stage in his life began:  on the one hand, pastoral activity with the parish group, and on the other hand, above all, after formation as a “senior-aid” in Brussels, visiting and caring for elderly people and sick people, gave a new orientation to the activities of our brother. “My life was turned around,” Jean confided recently to a friend, “I became myself fully in that vocation of ‘senior-aid’ during the 15 years spent in Jauche and in the neighboring villages.”

In 1996, he took advantage of his official retiring to take a sabbatical year devoted to getting a formation in palliative care, at Villejuif, in a Paris suburb, and it was again at Jauche, that he would work giving nursing care in the home on his visits to elderly, sick, or disabled people. Assigned to Maison St. Jean in Antony in 1999, he cared for his sick, handicapped or hospitalized elderly fellow Brothers with great competence and devotedness.

In November 2001, because of a state of fatigue and of digestive troubles, a surgical intervention permitted a cancer of the intestine to be discovered. But the intervention was too late. The harm had been done, the cancer spread rapidly, attacking the liver in particular. After two years of treatment and months of suffering, Jean left us a few days before Christmas having supported sickness and suffering with exemplary courage.

2003-39

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, LOUIS CAZALS, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 6, 2003, in Lavaur in the 94th year of his age and the 77th year of his religious profession.

Louis Cazals, the youngest in a family of five children, was born on April 4, 1910, at Camps-Lagrandville (Aveyron); two of his sisters are religious:  Lucy, who is now 95 years old, is a Marianist Sister in the community at Auch. In 1922, he entered St. Mary’s School at Montauban, directed by the Marianists; in fact, it was a postulate. In 1926, he entered the novitiate at Saint-Rémy-Signeulx (Belgium) and made his first religious profession on September 12, 1927.

After his time in formation, in 1931, he was assigned to the Marianist community in Tunis; and began his career as a teacher. During the year 1932-1933, he made his military service… in Tunis, where he remained still another year. After a year spent in Bordeaux, he was admitted into the seminary in Fribourg (1935-1939); he was ordained on August 15, 1938. In 1939, he was mobilized, but was discharged because of his health. From 1939 to 1943, he was a teacher and the vice-principal at Stanislas in Cannes; from 1943 to 1946, he was again at Bordeaux-Caudéran.

In 1946, he was named Principal of the Marianist Collège Stanislas in Cannes, a position which he would keep for 20 years. He would always have very clear memories of the activities he carried out in this school, which he loved so much. During his last years spent at Fiac, how often didn’t he recall such and such an event from that period as he paged through photo albums. After twenty years as principal, he relinquished the helm to Father Beaud and went back to Collège Grand Lebrun (Bordeaux) and stayed there until 1969. Then, for four years, he served as chaplain in the school at Réquista, in Aveyron. In 1973, he was assigned to Fiac, as Director of the community and pastor of the parish. He took his new functions very much to heart and gave himself completely to the parish at Fiac:  he had the church “restored,” he took care of catechism lessons and of the servers…  How many vivid memories, which he found it a real pleasure to recall to those who, during these last years, came to visit him. In 1985, because of his health, he asked to be relieved of his parish ministry:  Father Jean-Marie de Miscault came to take his place; but, Father Cazals used to tell us, “he left before me.”

In the month of April this year, 2003, Father Cazals was very much affected by the death of Father Isidore Heitz-- he lost a confrere, a friend, a confidant:  “it was my turn to go and not his…” The weight of his years made itself felt; Louis Cazals hardly left his room. In the evening of November 10, he fell several times. On November 11, he was hospitalized at Lavaur because of heart troubles… That immobilization in a hospital bed was a great trial for him. His strength lessened, and he realized it: “I am all washed up… It’s over.” In the evening of November 27, because of severe bleeding, he was admitted to the I.C.U. On the 28th, after receiving the sacrament of the sick, although he was very tired, he expressed his joy:  “I am happy…I have received the sacrament of the sick… I am very happy… Hail Mary… pray for us, now and at the hour of our death… I am happy.” He was again calm and at peace…To a priest of the parish, who visited him the next morning, he said:  “This is the most beautiful day of my life,” and when he had let go of his hand, he began crying in a weak voice:  “Heaven! Heaven! Heaven!”

These past days he again seemed to be relatively better; on Friday, December 5, the day before his death, he seemed to feel quite well, even joking; wishing to go back to the community at Fiac, he said to me:  “Take me with you...  If you don’t take me, I’ll call a taxi!” During the morning of Saturday, December 6, his condition degenerated rapidly; the hospital chaplain called us. Two Brothers from the community were at his side when the Lord called him.

2003-38

The Province of Italy recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, PIERINO CAGNA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 5, 2003, at Verbania-Pallanza, Italy, in the 90th year of his age and the 74th of his religious profession.

Pierino Cagna was born on March 26, 1914 at Lu Monferrato, in the province of Alessandria, a village of a little more than 2000 inhabitants, known all over the world as it has given the Church hundreds of religious vocations; one of these was Pierino’s brother, Mgr. Mario Cagna, Archbishop, who died in 1986. After various diplomatic missions in the Netherlands, Italy and Peru, Mgr. Cagna was sent by the Pope to Japan as Apostolic Nuncio, as Nuncio in Yugoslavia,  as Nuncio in Austria and promoter of the Ostpolitik of  the détente with the communist countries.

After Pierino finished elementary school in his native town, he entered the Postulate at Pallanza in 1926 and did his secondary studies. He began his Novitiate on August 12, 1929, at St.Rémy-Signeulx with the Novicemaster, Joseph Schellhorn -- he would remember him with devotion all his life. Pierino pronounced First Vows on September 12, 1930, on the feast of the Holy Name of Mary. He made Perpetual Vows at Antony, on August 23, 1936.

Pierino spent the rest of his life in the communities of Rome and Pallanza -- he spent 40 years of his life at Pallanza, working at the Secretariat of the Santa Maria Institute. His health conditions made it necessary to have him transferred to the community of Villa Chaminade at Pallanza. Pierino spent his last years in dedicated prayer, playing the organ during the Liturgical Prayer. An exemplary religious, a good-hearted man who was the friend of the younger as well as the older students, he spent the last years of his life taking care of his frail health.   

The conclusive words of the homily that the Provincial pronounced during the funeral Eucharist in the parish church of Pallanza well describe the life of our fellow Brother who departed this world on November 5, 2003: “Dear Brother Pierino, we thank you for the witness of love to God that you have expressed through the simplicity of your life, living in heartiness with your Brothers,  your pupils and a great many friends. We thank you for your dedication in the many tasks that you fulfilled during your long life… Your life, completely dedicated to the Lord, in union with Mary, has shown to those whom you have met the way to find in their hearts the light of the Resurrection day, the day of Eternal Life, the day of the fullness of Love.”

2003-37

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, WILLY SCHOMMER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 26, 2003, at Rèves (Belgium), in the 90th year of age and the 72nd year of his religious profession.

Willy Schommer was born on February 12, 1914, at Amel (Amblève). He was the third of fourteen siblings. One of them died as a young child; another was killed at the Russian front, and an accident in the forest caused the death of third sibling. His family lived in close union which made Willy particularly happy. His nieces and nephews loved it when their uncle told them stories. Willy was known by all as the “uncle who can tell wonderful stories” (Mrchenonkel). At the age of fourteen, his deep love for the Lord had him enter the Postulate at Rèves. He entered the Novitiate at St-Rémy-Signeulx on September 11, 1931 pronouncing First Vows on September 12, 1932, and Perpetual Vows at Antony, on August 28, 1938.

At the end of his Scholasticate at Rèves, he was conferred a Diploma as a primary school teacher by the Central Court (State Jury), on August 27, 1935.  He was then transferred to Chimay, where he remained until 1946. It was a time that would remain impressed in his memory. The community hid the Trappists’ printing office to prevent it from being confiscated by the German army. In these years of severe food constraints, Willy would bring the community and friends young crows that he found in the woods; they were served as pigeons. He had to live clandestinely to avoid being enlisted in the Reich army as his native town had been annexed by the army of occupation. He found a shelter at Rèves where, under the name of Monsieur Dumont, he lived the troubled time of Liberation. Br. Willy remained at Chimay.

In 1946, the College of Bishops of Chimay recovered the Brothers’ primary school. The inhabitants and alumni of Chimay fondly remember him. Willy then spent a school term at the St. Ambroise School at Liège. Back to Rèves, on September 15, 1947, he served as a teacher until he retired in 1976. The school was opening a boarding class at that time; a secondary studies section was opened in 1948. Willy became the Director of a full-time class for the boarding section of the primary school. He was a demanding teacher with discipline as well as the diligence of his students in silence, attention and good handwriting. His motto was: “A legible handwriting means half as many mistakes.” The evening work lasted a long time; it was divided in two parts: homework and lessons, a short break, and a reading time with a background of classical music. When a punishment was necessary, no copying or “writing lines” were given; he rather had them do maintenance work or gardening with him. It was more fun. A great camp fire was lit at the end of the school term. Brother also found time to lead a choir which still exists today.

Together with a teacher and his wife, Richard and Lucie Henriet, and with the help of some young religious, he launched the “Camp de Rèves”, which he directed for about 50 years. He was also a man of such important works as drainage, preparation of the soccer field, reinforcing the banks of the pond, felling of trees and maintenance of the park and woods.

After his retirement, he did research on the local history and led the Historical Center of RODAVA. A museum and journal were created to revive the past and promote a new union among the inhabitants of the area. Br. Willy’s last years were difficult; his sight was becoming weaker and his deafness grew worse and worse. His lived physical dependence was a humiliation to him. Nevertheless, his intellectual faculties were remarkable. Remembering old times, he still was able to add appropriate biting remarks! He absolutely disliked loud discussions.

He thought about death with peacefulness, and used to talk about the present day as if it were his last. His faith and devotion were deep and strong. He died of heart failure after a day spent without any forewarning of what was about to happen. We trust the goodness of our Father for this devoted Servant of Mary. He shows us the way. May He also assist us on it.

2003-36

The Region of Japan recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, Akira Laurent Tsuda, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 5, 2003, in Kannami, in the 77th year of his age and the 50th year of his religious profession.

Laurent Tsuda was born on January 1, 1927, at Yokohama, Japan. He was the fourth of eight siblings. He entered St. Joseph College (Yokohama) in 1948, having his first experience with Christianity there, thanks to the Marianists who served at the school. He received baptism on April 8, 1950, and entered the Marianist Postulate at Tokyo. The community life with 12 to 17 year old Postulants may have been difficult for him, as he was already 23. He attended the School of Philosophy at the University of Sophia in 1951 and concluded his studies in 1956. In the meantime, he did his Novitiate at Kiyose, where he also pronounced First Vows on March 25, 1954.

At the end of his formation at Tokyo, he served one and a half years as a teacher at the Taisei School, Fukuoka. He made Perpetual Vows on July 31, 1957. He was then sent to Fribourg for his theological studies. He was ordained as a priest on July 17, 1960, and studied psychology from September 1961 to May 1962 at the University of Dayton.

Back to Japan, he served as Chaplain and teacher at the schools of Gyosei (Tokyo), Kosei (Sapporo) and Meisei (Osaka). He became Principal of the Kosei High School and remained there two years. At the formal request made by the Bishop of Yokohama, Fr. Tsuda accepted the direction of the small Diocesan Seminary of Yokohama. From 1975, Fr. Tsuda served as Director at the community of the Kannami Retreat Center, Director of the Gyosei infants’ school (Tokyo) and Director of Chaminade Community (Tokyo). He served as Vicar at the church of Yamato (Diocese of Yokohama) as long as it was under the responsibility of the SM. He was also named Chaplain at the Saint Joseph International School at Yokohama in 1993. He remained there one year. In October 1994, Fr. Laurent was sent to the community of Kaisei (Nagasaki) to serve as Chaplain for two years. Transferred to the community of Kannami in 1996, Fr. Tsuda remained there until his death. In the meantime, he served as Chaplain at the Trappistines of Hakodate.

He began to suffer from asthma when he was director of the small Seminary at Yokohama, and had this disease ever since. Polluted air being the main cause of his crises, he was very careful about his health condition. During breakfast, on September 5, Father felt a pain in the chest and shoulders; he called for the doctor to have an electrocardiogram. He drove himself to the hospital and while awaiting the results, he collapsed and died of an acute heart attack.

The starting of a Marianist lay community belonging to the religious community of Mariazan had been decided; Fr. Laurent was named its Director, and carried on his task with great enthusiasm. We feel deeply disappointed, but the design of God is different from ours. God had given; God has taken back. May God be blessed.

2003-35

The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ABILIO FRAILE RUIZ de OJEDA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 4, 2003, in Madrid in the 81st year of his age and the 65th year of his religious profession.

Br. Abilio Fraile was born February 10, 1923 in Pisón de Ojeda, in the Province of Palencia, a small town which he always considered the best in Spain. In his personal documents he describes his infancy as a time when he was happy, mischievous and a bit unruly. He entered the Postulate at Escoriaza in September of 1934. He made his novitiate in Elorrio and professed his first vows on July 10, 1939, in the same place. He continued his studies in Vitoria. Some years later, in 1953, he completed his Licentiate in Romantic Languages at the University of Salamanca. Before that, in 1947, he had made his perpetual profession.

In his many years as an educator, he carried out his mission as a teacher in the schools in Vitoria, Madria (El Pilar), San Sebastián, Cádiz, Valladolid and Jerez de la Frontera. He was the founder and first Director of the Pillar School in Pola de Lena in Asturias, and Director of Our Lady of the Pillar Institute in Tetuan (Morocco). From 1968 to 1974 he was in charge of S.M. Editions, a publishing house dedicated to making text books for the students of the public and private schools of Spain. From 1984 to 1986 he worked in Peru at the Higher Pedagogical institute José Jiménez Borja and lived with the bishop of the Diocese, V. Rev. Oscar Alzamora, S.M.

Don Abilio was a very lively person, an optimist by nature. He spoke frequently of his past, of the places where he had worked, of persons he knew, and of the problems he had had to resolve. He did this always looking at the positive aspect of things and satisfied with what he had done.

He was greatly interested in the history of Spain and tried to spread his own enthusiasm. He enjoyed analytical history and was proud of the country in which he lived. Even in his later years, in spite of his age, he continued to organize and guide tours which his community, the parish of  Our Lady of the Pillar, and the retired religious of the Province made. Everyone admired his vigor, his mental acumen which his words revealed and the clarity of his ideas, and at the time he was almost 80 years old. He continued to work in the Province archives of which he had been in charge since 1988, even though he as no longer responsible for them.

On August 7, after eating breakfast as usual, he had sharp stomach pains. In the hospital he was initially diagnosed as having a pancreatic problem which later was attributed to a tumor in his stomach. The doctors did an emergency operation on Wednesday the 27th. They discovered that the situation was irreversible. He was conscious of the seriousness of the situation and fully accepted the proximity of death, offering his life to God. He wanted to receive the sacrament of reconciliation but considered himself incapable of making a good examination of conscience. Fr. Enrique Aguilera, Superior of his community, gave him absolution and confided him to the good-ness of God. He wanted to receive Communion although he could take only a very small particle of the host. His asked his Brothers to remember him at Mass, especially at the Offertory, because he wanted to offer his life to God. After almost a month in the hospital of St. Camillus in Madrid he died early in the morning on September 4. A few moments before, at the Eucharist celebrated in the community of the Provincial Administration, his name had been explicitly mentioned at the Offertory. Although it was known that his situation was very serious, no one imaged that on leaving the chapel they would receive the news of his death.

The funeral was held the following day, the feast of Mary, Queen of Apostles, during which we gave thanks for his life full of joy and optimism and entirely devoted to the mission.

2003-34

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, PIERRE DIDIERLAURENT, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 23, 2003, in Colmar in the 78th year of his age and the 59th year of his religious profession.

Pierre Didierlaurent was born on August 10, 1926 in La Bresse (Vosges), a town well known to the Marianists. He had a twin brother, Paul. The Didierlaurent family grew little by little: there were four boys and two girls who grew up in a very Christian atmosphere. La Bresse had seven private schools at the time in that area which the pastor had the burden of sustaining. Pierre and Paul went to the school next to the church confided to the Marianists. Many vocations came from the contacts with the Brothers. They were much influenced by the directors Bro. Guth and especially Bro. Herrbach. It was not unusual that in such an atmosphere Pierre heard the call of the Lord. He went to the Postulate at La Tour de Sçay, near Besançon where he remained for four years under the guidance of Bro. Alphonse Jud. It was a period of very austere restrictions in which the young school boys were not pampered very much.

In September of 1943 Pierre went to the novitiate in Bordeaux and there he made his first vows on September 12, 1944. He stayed one year in St. Dié and then spent a year in St. Claude. After military service, Pierre went to the community in Colmar on August 22, 1948 where he remained until September of 2001 except for a few months of second novitiate in Rome at the beginning of his stay in Colmar.

Pierre’s active life in Colmar was very diverse and he participated in many activities, both secular and religious. He was the Boarding Prefect and a teacher at the same time. But his basic activity was teaching religion and catechism which was always exact and supported by reading and prayer. With great experience Pierre for many years animated the meetings of the Marianist Fraternities. They were moments which were enriching and which many looked forward to. For several years he was dedicated to sending out the Marianist magazine.

One of his colleagues notes that what was most notable in the religious life of Pierre was the consistency between being and doing. His prayer life was not a rigid conformity to the Rule, but a natural expression of his religious life. That life of prayer continues now in Heaven in the form of intercession for all those who knew and loved him here below, above all the members of his natural family and his religious family.

Pierre Didierlaurent has left us, but not in a gradual way which one might expect of a person who suffered a long and progressive illness. His condition became serious very quickly a few days ago signaling a rapid and unexpected end. He died just shortly after his 77th birthday.

2003-33

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 13, 2003, in Osage Beach, Missouri, in the 72nd year of his age and the 52nd year of his religious profession.

Robert Lewandowski was born Jan. 25, 1932, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the only son born to Jan and Martha Konstancza Lewandowski, and enjoyed the attention of three doting sisters, one of whom also joined a religious order.

Fr. Bob, as he was affectionately called, graduated from Don Bosco High School in Milwaukee, and entered the novitiate in Galesville, Wisconsin, in August 1950. He professed first vows on Aug. 15, 1951, and continued his college studies at Maryhurst in St. Louis. The following year he transferred to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio where he completed his bachelor’s degree in English in 1954. Fr. Bob professed perpetual vows on Aug. 15, 1956, in Galesville, Wisconsin.

His first teaching assignments were in St. Louis at McBride High School and St. Mary’s High School, where he taught English, Latin and religion. In the classroom, he was known to be both tenderhearted and fun. In 1960, he began seminary studies in Fribourg, Switzerland, and was ordained to the priesthood in March 1964. For the next 10 years, Fr. Bob continued his teaching career at Assumption High School in East St. Louis and St. Mary’s in St. Louis, and at Don Bosco High School and Thomas More High School in Milwaukee. During the summers, he attended Loyola University in Chicago and earned a master’s degree from the Loyola Institute of Pastoral Studies.

A turning point in his life occurred in 1974 when he left teaching to assume full-time parish ministry as associate pastor of Our Lady of the Pillar parish in St. Louis. During this time Fr. Bob became a spiritual director for those suffering from alcohol or substance abuse problems. “He loved the 12-step approach and felt everyone could learn lessons from the program,” said Bro. John Schlund, who lived with Fr. Bob in the Marianist community in Denton, Texas. He adapted the 12-step philosophy and created the “12 Spiritual Ways” program for young adults.

In 1981, Fr. Bob moved to Texas to serve as assistant pastor at Our Lady of the Rosary parish in San Antonio. From 1983 to 1990, he served as pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption parish in Fort Worth. For the last 13 years, Fr. Bob had been involved with campus ministry in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He served as campus chaplain at the University of North Texas, Texas Women’s University and the University of Texas at Arlington. “He was loved and revered by students who looked to him as a father figure,” said Bro. Schlund. An avid fisherman, he was known for the annual “Fr. Bob’s Fish Fry” for potential vocation students at the Catholic Campus Center.

Fr. Bob was an active member of St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Denton. “He was loved by students and parishioners alike,” said Mary Birden, a parishioner at St. Mark’s and volunteer outreach coordinator. “He was concerned about peoples’ whole being, not just their spiritual life.”

During the early morning hours of Aug. 13, while visiting a friend at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, Fr. Bob died after suffering two massive heart attacks and complications of myelodysplasia. May he rest in peace.

2003-32

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, CHARLES DELAVAUD, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 10, 2003, in Antony, in the 82nd year of his age and the 65th year of his religious profession.

Charles Delavaud came from Beauvoir sur Mer in the Vendée region of Western France, well known for its fidelity to traditions and to the faith of its ancestors. He was born into a deeply Christian family on August 30, 1921. The school for boys at Beauvoir was directed by Marianist religious, who detected in their young pupil a generous heart and a deep faith. Encouraged by his parents, he left in 1933 for the Marianist postulate at Antony (directed by the Province of Paris at the time) and continued there until 1937. He made his novitiate year at St. Rémy (Belgium) in 1937-38 and took his first vows on September 24, 1938. His formation as a young religious continued at the scholasticate in Rèves, from 1938 to 1940.

At St. Thégonnec, in Brittany, he took refuge in May, 1940, together with the French novices who were obliged to flee from Belgium at the time of the German invasion. There, and later at La Rochelle, he continued his training as a tailor. Leaving La Rochelle, he was forced in 1943 to work in Germany, in Pomerania, to carry out the « Obligatory Work Service » required by the occupying forces of young men born 20 years earlier who, because of the occupation, had not seen military service. This period spent in a foreign land amid privations and restrictions deeply marked the young religious, who already had precarious health.

When he returned from Germany, the superiors took note of Bro. Charles’ talents as a tailor and sent him to Merville, where he continued his apprenticeship under a master-tailor well known by the nearby Marianist community. Here Charles learned his trade and became a competent skilled workman at the service of Marianist houses. For about 40 years, his reputation as a tailor went well beyond the borders of France. He worked successively at Nivelles in Belgium at the General Administration before it moved to Rome in 1950, then at Rèves, Fribourg (Villa St. Jean and seminary), Antony, and at Rome, where he spent lengthy periods. While at Rome, he harmoniously combined his professional work with the discovery of the architectural, artistic, historical, and religious treasures of the Eternal City. Charles was gifted with a lively sensitivity and his artistic spirit responded to beauty in all its forms. He could become enthusiastic before a work of art and delight in concerts of the Sistine choir. He sought an elegant style in making suits for his fellow Brothers and cassocks for priests in Rome or Switzerland.

After retiring to Antony in 1986, Bro. Charles continued to serve by tailoring for the Brothers of the 3 communities in the Paris area who asked for his services. It was a pleasure to visit him in his studio in our oldest house in Antony. He always enjoyed these visits. His workshop was picturesque: two blue-plumed parrots fluttered freely around the room, postcards from his numerous friends from all parts of Europe and even beyond decorated the walls, while Bro. Charles welcomed you, seated at his working desk.  Remodeling of his building to become the Chaminade Student Residence deeply affected him. It was a real crisis for him to leave the workplace that had become so personally his own. It was like the breakdown of an entire machine because of one loose spring. Bro. Charles gradually withdrew, his health declined, and it was during the intensely hot summer of 2003 that he left us, on Sunday evening, August 10. May Mary welcome this « working Brother », a few days before the feast of her glorious Assumption, into the presence of her Son!

2003-31

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, Edward Prochaska, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 1, 2003, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 93rd year of his age and the 72nd year of his religious profession.

Edward Prochaska was born on April 10, 1911, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Thomas and Bertha (Votruba) Prochaska. The family stayed in the Cleveland area where Bro. Edward attended Cathedral Latin High School and Cleveland East Tech before entering the novitiate at Mount Saint John in Dayton. He professed his first vows in 1932 and perpetual vows in 1936.

Bro. Ed began as a teacher for the Marianists at St. Mary’s primary school in Cincinnati. His real calling was discovered in 1934 when he began working with paper and ink as a pressman for the Marianist Press in Dayton. “He was very enthusiastic about printing,” said Fr. Paul Vieson, Director of the Alumni Hall community in Dayton where Bro. Ed was living before he died. “He was a fine craftsman and lamented the printing industry becoming more computerized.”

Bro. Ed loved the printing process. He was known for his attention to details for getting things just right. “He wouldn’t let us do anything slipshod,” said Bro. Joe Mariscalso, who worked for two years with Bro. Ed at the Marianist Press. Bro. Ed spent more than 40 years in the printing business for the Society of Mary, working on Catholic publications and materials for the University of Dayton.

In 1956, Bro. Ed left the printing business for a series of jobs in maintenance, first at the University of Dayton as director of buildings and grounds department, and later at Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton, as well as the former Cincinnati Provincialate when it was located at High Acres in Dayton. “He was the original recycler,” said Fr. Vieson. “He saved everything: nails, bolts, screws, you name it. If you needed something fixed, he was your man. He could fix almost anything; plumbing, electrical and carpentry -- all came easily to him.” Bro. Ed had great stamina and an iron constitution that he used as he willed his way through life. “He led a simple, austere life, very dedicated to the religious life and the vows he had taken,” said Fr. Vieson.

By 1972, Bro Ed returned to the printing business as a printing technician working for the university’s printing and design department on a full- and part-time basis until the day before he died. “He’s what you’d call a true working brother,” said Bro. Mariscalco. “He died with his boots on.”

Bro. Ed died after suffering complications of heart failure in the cafeteria at the University of Dayton. May he rest in peace.

2003-30

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, GEORGE N. SCHUSTER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 26, 2003, in San Antonio, Texas, USA, in the 93rd year of his age and the 76th year of his religious profession.

George Schuster was born in Chicago on Sept. 10, 1910, to George and Susan Kaiser Schuster. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Dyersville, Iowa. There he and his brother, Louis, became acquainted with the Marianist Brothers. George entered the postulate at Maryhurst in St. Louis in 1924 and the novitiate in 1926. He professed first vows at Maryhurst on Aug. 15, 1927, and perpetual vows on Aug. 2, 1932, at Chaminade College Preparatory High School. Brother George earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University in August 1932. After one year at the scholasticate at Maryhurst, he began his teaching career at Saints Peter and Paul School in St. Louis in 1928. In 1929 Brother Schuster was assigned to St. Mary’s Academy (now Central Catholic High School) in San Antonio. In 1932 he returned to Maryhurst as a teacher. That same year he went to St. Michael’s High School in Chicago as a teacher and attended Loyola University. He earned a master’s degree in August 1935.

Brother George returned to St. Louis for the rest of his professional career. From 1935 - 1938 he taught the scholastics at Maryhurst, and then taught at South Side Catholic (St. Mary’s) High School from 1938 - 1946. Brother George developed muscular dystrophy as a young man and was told by doctors in the early 1940s that he would be dead by 1947. He lived 56 years past that date.

It was while teaching English at St. Mary’s that Brother Schuster began his lifelong work and labor of love as editor and publisher of the Catholic Authors Press. He established the press in response to papal pleas for the Church and schools to promote quality Catholic literature. Pius XI wrote, “In vain do you build schools and churches if at the same time you do not also build up a good Catholic literature.”

In 1947, Brother Henry Ringkamp offered Brother George space at McBride High School in St. Louis for the Catholic Authors Press. The following year the St. Louis Province made the former novitiate on the Maryhurst property available for his use. For the next 40 years he lived and worked there and published booklets containing selections of recognized Catholic authors for their works of poetry, biography, history or fiction. The popular Catholic Authors of the Past and Present for high school students, which included illustrated reviews of Catholic books, a history of Catholic literature and biographies of Catholic authors, sold almost 150,000 copies. Crown Editions was a series for high school students that included intensive studies of a single work and a teacher’s handbook.  Among the series were G.K. Chesterton’s Ballad of the White Horse and Gertrude von Le Fort’s The Song at the Scaffold.  Brother George traveled extensively to schools to lecture and promote the reading of Catholic literature. He also maintained a large collection of scarce and out-of-print books. Many Brothers and priests assisted him during the summer months at the Catholic Authors Press. In 1989 Brother Schuster discontinued Catholic Authors due to poor health and retired to the Marianist Residence on the campus of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio.

Bro. Francis Haug, who first worked with Brother George in 1947, said he was a great lecturer and had an impressive knowledge of language and English. “He was wonderful to listen to, one of our gifted English teachers. He was an extremely hard worker, a perfectionist.” Bro. Earl Leistikow was impressed with Brother George’s dedication. “Even though he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy as a young man, he persevered and accomplished much in his career.” Brother Louis Mason said that in his later years, whenever Brother George was asked, “How are you doing, George?” His answer was always, “I’m waiting.” Brother George’s wait is now over. May he rest in peace.

2003-29

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, Bernard C. Stueve, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 26, 2003, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 96th year of his age and the 77th year of his religious profession.

Bernard (Ben) Stueve was born on February 19, 1908, in Wapakoneta, Ohio. One of five children born to Julius and Mary (Wahrer) Stueve, Fr. Ben attended the University of Dayton Preparatory School and graduated in 1925. He entered the novitiate at Mount Saint John and completed his training in 1926. Fr. Ben professed first vows on Aug. 15, 1926, at Mount Saint John and final vows on Aug. 10, 1931, at Immaculate Conception Chapel at the University of Dayton.

His passion for learning started at the University of Dayton where he graduated in 1929 with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. As a first-year teacher he was assigned to Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland, where he taught languages and religion and moderated the Sodality. The second year he taught at Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York. Fr. Ben was a “man for all seasons” whose teaching fields included Spanish, Latin, Greek, German, English, History, Religion, Psychology and Philosophy.

In 1934, Fr. Ben left for the seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland. Until then, his father had been unhappy with this choice of vocation. But over time his father’s attitude changed.  “I recall seeing him standing on the railroad station platform as I set off for Europe. He was 67 and crying, feeling that he might not live until I returned . . . For nearly three years he wrote me faithfully. I received his last letter the week after he died.” Fr. Ben was ordained on April 2, 1938, in Switzerland.

Upon returning to the United States, Fr. Ben was assigned to the chaplaincy and a teaching position at Catholic High School in Hamilton, Ohio, followed by a teaching assignment at the University of Dayton. Having been accepted into a master’s program at Catholic University of America, Fr. Ben spent the next year completing his degree in Religious Education. His next teaching assignment was at Colegio San Jose in Puerto Rico from 1943 to 1948. He returned there from 1961-66 as Diocesan Superintendent for Catholic Schools in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Fr. Ben spent many years of service at the University of Dayton in teaching and administrative roles. During the 1970s, he served as a parish priest and hospital chaplain in Cincinnati, and for a year in Gainsville, Florida, before assuming the chaplaincy of Alumni Hall Marianist Care Center in Dayton until 1985.

Upon retirement, Fr. Ben lived at the Marianist community in Hollywood, Florida and at Alumni Hall in Dayton before moving into nursing care at Mercy Siena in Dayton. “He was a quiet man with a dry sense of humor, who never complained,” said Bro. Jim Vorndran, who became acquainted with Fr. Ben during his later years.

A devoted man of prayer, Fr. Ben once wrote: “None of us achieves success or even approaches it except by becoming a prayer.” May he rest in peace.

2003-28

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, NICOLAS MATTER,  who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 11, 2003,  at  Châtenay-Malabry (Hauts de Seine), in the 93rd  year of age and the 76th year of his religious profession.

Nicolas Matter belongs to the generation of Marianist religious native from the region of Alsace that was attached to Germany after the 1870 war, and that remained such until the end of World War I. Historical circumstances explain  the attachment of this population, so often tossed alternatively under the French and German  authority, and the sufferings of a province whose inhabitants felt divided in their inner self. He was born at Lupstein (Lower Rhine) on February 11, 1911. He came from a large family with a deep Christian faith. He would always be happy during his whole life, when he had a chance to praise the rich historic past of his native village. After the hard time that followed the War, when he taught German at Primary School, he entered the Postulate at St Hippolyte in the Spring of 1923. He was then sent to Rèves (Belgium) the following year, to continue his formation until 1926. After Novitiate at St-Rémy under the direction of Fr. Schellhorn, he pronounced First Vows on September 12, 1927. Br. Nicolas then returned to Rèves to continue his Scholasticate (1927-1931).

He spent his life serving in many communities as a teacher and educator for young children of Primary School. He began his mission in western France: St Thégonnec (1930-31) in Brittany; Boupère (1931-32) and Clisson (1932-33) in Vendee; he was then transferred a first time to Antony, before joining the army for his military service (1933-34). Back to Antony, he worked there from 1935 to 1939. Mobilized in August 1939, he spent some months of the “drôle de guerre”  before being taken prisoner in June 1940 and  interned as an Alsatian in Switzerland. Br. Nicolas was transferred for the third time to Antony (1941-43). He returned to Vendee, at Beauvoir sur Mer (1945-49).  He returned to rue de Pétrelle, in Paris where he served from 1949 to 1955. Nicolas was sent to eastern France, at Granvillars  (1955-60), before returning to Antony where he ended his career as a teacher in 1979. Although he was officially retired at Maison St Jean, he continued to help in many ways at the Institution Sainte Marie, where he supervised the students of the Secondary classes, and did the photocopying.

In his letter of 07/07/97, a few weeks after the 70th anniversary of his First Vows in the Society of Mary the Superior General wrote to the Jubilarian:” During your long years of service, you have been a teacher, a supervisor and a prefect, especially at Antony. You may have personally experienced the truth stated in our rule of Life:”The educational works are for us a privileged means of formation in faith. They allow to seed,  to cultivate, to grow and make the Christian spirit be fruitful in the souls” (art. 74). Only God knows how many students, relatives, friends and Brothers you have influenced during your long years of service, but we thank our Lord for His graces and also thank you for your faithfulness.”

Handicapped when walking during the last years of his long life, Nicolas never gave up his activity, and never let himself go. With a surprising will-power,  an exemplary energy – it could even be said , an edifying obstinacy -, our Brother fought till the end against infirmities caused by age. Nicolas departed this world on July 11, 2003, the Feast of St. Benedict, our Patriarch and Patron in religious life. He died at the hospital of Chatenay-Malabry, where he had stayed during his last days. May Mary receive him “in the womb of her maternal tenderness.”

2003-27

The Province of Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother MELCHOR ALEGRE, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin on July 11, 2003, in Vitoria, Spain, in the 75th year of his age and the 57th of his religious profession.

Melchor Alegre González was born in Mazueco de Lara (Burgos) on January 4, 1929. His parents were Vicente and Gregoria. Of four siblings, one became a Franciscan and Melchor chose the Marianists. The other two married. On September 30, 1942, he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza (Guipúzcoa). He began his novitiate in Elorrio (Vizcaya) on September 28, 1946, and made his first profession in the same place on September 29, 1947.

After his profession he went to Carabanchel (Madrid) to study in the scholasticate, obtaining the degree of Bachelor. He began his teaching career in September of 1950 in the Santa María del Pilar school in Zaragoza with the small boys. On August 15, 1952 he made his perpetual profession in Vitoria. In September of 1955 he went to San Sebastián where he taught the older boys. In 1957 he went to the Seminary in Fribourg to prepare for the priesthood.  He was ordained in Fribourg on July 17, 1960. During 1961-62 he finished his pastoral studies in Rome. In September of 1962 he was sent to Escoriaza as chaplain and teacher. The following year he returned to the school in Zaragoza as chaplain and teacher. In September of 1965 the superiors sent him to Elorrio as Novice Master and he remained here four years. In September of 1969 he began another facet of his apostolic work: he was sent to Almería as assistant in the parish of St. John. The following year he was made pastor of the parish which was run by the Marianists and remained in this community until September of 1977 when he was sent to the Santa María community in the Eguía area of San Sebastián where he continued his parish apostolate as assistant. In September of 1982 he was transferred to the community of Adurza in Vitoria. There he worked as chaplain in the school of St. Ignatius (a public school run by the Marianists) and also helped out in the parish of St. Ignatius in the neighborhood.

In September of 1988 he began another phase of his life, the one which perhaps most characterized the last years of his life. He worked in the parish of St. Joseph the Worker in Burjassot and also with the prisoners in the jail of Picassent (Valencia). He had to struggle against the environment and overcome many obstacles to do the pastoral work in the area of his parish (a marginal neighborhood composed of displaced persons). During the ten years of working in that environment his health declined and the superiors thought it would be best to send him to a rural parish which was less complicated and he was transferred to Velez Blanco in the province of Almería where he served as pastor. There he was diagnosed with leukemia. His health worsened and after two years he was changed to the community in Vitoria where he could lead a peaceful life since he could no longer do any active pastoral work.

He spent three years alternating between frequent visits to the hospital and living in community. His strength declined rapidly and on the 11th at 6:00 in the morning he went to the Father’s house. God was present during his illness. He repeated the words of the poet:

In the midst of shadows and suffering
They ask me if I believe in You. I say
That I have everything when I am with You,
The sun, the light, all good things, and life.

Fr. Melchor was a cultured man (Licentiates in Philosophy and Theology) and he like to keep up to date on the most diverse topics. A non-conformist and stubborn fighter, he didn’t mind going against established customs if he thought there was something unjust. With great devotion to the Virgin, he was very sensitive to those who live “in the well of maraginalization”, and he himself lived this way in the different environments in which he worked: with the fishermen in Chanca and especially the prisoners in Picassent and their families. A cordial man of good humor and communicative, Melchor made friends with all who were in contact with him. This was evidenced by the numerous visits of friends he had made in different places. Of small stature, he was a great man in his thought and work, motivated by evangelical principles and faith. He was always grateful for whatever was done for him, and especially for the care he received from the community in Vitoria in the last three years, as well as the visits and attentions from his relatives and friends.

2003-26

The Region of Switzerland and its Sector Togo recommend to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother,  EUGENE CLARET, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on July 9, 2003, at Sion (Valais), in the 91st year of age and the 74th year of his religious profession.

Eugène Claret was born at Monthey (Valais), on October 16, 1918. His father, Auguste, was an employee at the CFF, and his mother, Eugénie Mollié, came from Chatel d’Abondance (High Savoy). Eugène had three sisters: Augusta, Noelle and Flory. He went to elementary school in his hometown. He then entered the Postulate at Martigny; from 1925 to 1928, he did classical studies, including Latin and Greek. He entered the Novitiate at St-Rémy-Signeulx (Belgium); Fr. Schellhorn was his Novicemaster. Eugène pronounced First Vows there, on September 12, 1929. He did his Scholasticate at Rèves (1929-1930), and at Villa St Jean; he received his High School Diploma at Besançon in June, 1932. He attended the Recruiting School at Coire, from July to November 1932. He was then sent to Martigny, where he taught three years in an industrial class. Eugène made Perpetual Vows at Antony on August 15, 1935. He studied at the University of Fribourg from 1936 to 1939 and contemporarily taught and served as supervisor at Villa St-Jean, where he also received a BA Diploma in Literature.

A long service as a teacher at the Elementary Teachers’ School of Sion (Valais) began for him (1939 to 1964).  Not only did he teach French, but also drawing and manual works. He cooperated with the Schola of the  young singers’ choir of Notre Dame and with an octet of young teachers named “The Joy of Life.” He founded the ODIS (Office for School-related Documentation and Information). He worked as a member of the editorial staff of the “Ecole Valaisanne” for a long time. During the summer, he would give many specializing-improvement courses to the teachers. He was also an expert in civics at the employment schools.

He was named Inspector of the Province of  Switzerland  in 1960, and kept this task until 1967. Succeeding Fr. Louis Boucard, he directed the Collège Sainte Marie de Martigny from 1964 to 1978. He spent that same year as a very active retreat at the Regina Mundi Seminary at Fribourg: community life of the students, library, editorial staff of “Information,” bursar. Br. Eugène Claret wrote several articles on Pedagogy as well as some beautiful pages about the Virgin Mary. A renowned philatelist, Brother Eugène had a special interest in “Marian stamps” from all around the world. From October 1984 to 1986, he was sent again to Sion (Chaminade) where he worked at the secretariat and at the archives of the Province.  He returned to Fribourg (St Raphael), where he assisted the affiliates for a long time (1986-1999).

In his old age, Br. Eugène’s health began to fail: arthritis, thigh-bone and prostate surgery, cataracts. He bravely met all these challenges. At the age of 88, he asked to return to the sun of Sion. He had to be hospitalised in November 2001, due to pneumonia and problems of the urinary tract. Monsieur Eugène Claret, surrounded by his sisters, the members of the Marianist community and many friends, solemnly celebrated his 90th birthday. The Thanksgiving mass was celebrated by his friend, the former chaplain of the Schola, Cardinal Henri Schwery and the group “The Joy of Life” took care of the chanting. At the beginning of May, 2003, poor health made it necessary to hospitalise him. On July 9 in the afternoon, Eugène’s generous soul joined the Lord and the Society of Mary in Heaven.

2003-25

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, LOUIS REILE, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 25, 2003, in San Antonio, Texas, USA, in the 79th year of his age and the 53rd year of his religious profession.

Louis Reile was born June 13, 1925, in San Antonio, Texas. He was one of three boys and four girls born to Louis Reile and Theresa Haass Reile. Louis was educated at Sacred Heart elementary school by the Ursuline Sisters and attended St. John’s Seminary for the eighth grade. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1943. He attended St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1949. While at the university, he assumed a leadership role in the campus sodality and other Marianist organizations. He also worked on the staff of the Rattler, St. Mary’s student paper, and was active in his parish. These experiences and the influence of the Brothers, especially Father Stanley Kusman, encouraged him to enter the novitiate at Marynook in Galesville, Wisconsin

Father Reile professed first vows on August 15, 1950, and final vows on July 17, 1954, both at Marynook. His teaching career began in East St. Louis, Ill., and continued at St. Boniface in Canada and at St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis. He taught religion, English, and journalism and moderated the sodality, speech, school paper, student council and dance committees. He also worked in guidance and served as vocation coordinator. In 1957, Father Reile entered the seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland, and was ordained on July 17, 1960. In a letter he wrote before ordination, he said, “With God’s help and the special protection of Mary, I am most willing to give myself again to her to spend my life in work and prayer, whatever forms this dedication takes . . . with God’s help I would like to try to be His priest for His greater glory.” 

After ordination he was assigned to Vianney High School in St. Louis as chaplain and teacher.  Two years later he was assigned to East St. Louis. In addition to his duties of teaching and chaplaincy, he was active in vocation work and in moderating school papers and drama productions. In 1965, Father Reile earned a master’s degree in creative writing from  Johns Hopkins University. He returned to St. Mary’s University to assume a teaching career in English which spanned more than three decades. During this time, he attended Pacific University in 1972 in Stockton, Calif., to pursue a year-long advanced studies program in literature.

Father Reile was a prolific writer. Among his best known works are the autobiographical Battle and Brother Louis and Running Giant, the life of Father Chaminade. “It is one of the most requested works at the North American Center for Marianist Studies,” said Carol Ramey, director of the center at the University of Dayton. “His contributions to advancing the story of Father Chaminade will continue well past his death.” Father Reile also loved to exercise his flare for creative writing. In 1975, he published a book under the auspices of the International Fine Arts Center of the Southwest, Winding Flows the River, which included six short stories and a novella. 

In 1986, Father Reile received the Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching in recognition of more than 20 years of service to St. Mary’s University. He retired from full-time teaching in the early 1990s and took up many apostolic activities: preaching retreats, ministry in local parishes, radio and television presentations, and cooking for the community. He continued writing on many topics and contributed film reviews for the archdiocesan newspaper. Although he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in 1995, he continued to write and edit existing works. During the summer of 2002, he appeared to have had a stroke and began to lose his capacity to perform both physical and mental activities. Father Reile is survived by four sisters--Theresa Zaldivar, Dorothy Richter and Joyce Owerton of San Antonio and Marguerite Swanson of Houston--as well as many nieces and nephews. May he rest in peace.

2003-24

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ALPHONSE SIRLIN, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 21, 2003, in Saint Hippolyte (Haut-Rhin) in the 99th year of his age and the 82nd year of his religious profession.

Alphonse Sirlin was born at Montreux-Jeune on March 1, 1905, in Alsace then under German rule, near the border with the Territory of Belfort.  He was the first of four children.  At the age of 10, during the First World War, he was evacuated with his family to Faucogney in the Vosges. He stayed there until the end of the War, and kept alive his memories, his friends, and his love for the mountain scenery until the end of his long life. At Easter, 1919, the Marianist school at Saint Hippolyte, closed in 1870 by the will of Bismarck, finally reopened. The young Sirlin was a student there for 15 months, until he was ready to enter the Marianist novitiate in Belgium in order to prepare for Marianist religious life. The novitiate experience was rather special in the years immediately after the war. It was filled with teenagers like Alphonse Sirlin, side by side with rough soldiers, used to a tough life, to the explosion of shells, the misery and dangers of war, familiar with death and its irreversible wounds. Alphonse Sirlin pronounced his first vows on September 25, 1921. He continued his intellectual and religious formation at Reves in Belgium, then at Fribourg in Switzerland. He began teaching at Saint Hippolyte in 1926; next he fulfilled his duty of military service, returned to teaching at Saint-André in Colmar, then at the Normal School in Sion, Switzerland. The final stage of his formation was the seminary at Fribourg.

Ordained on March 28, 1936 by Bishop Besson of Fribourg, Fr. Sirlin taught for a year at Saint-Jean in Besançon, and then his superiors assigned him responsibility for the young religious in studies at the Fribourg scholasticate. He remained their director until they were mobilized for the Second World War, in 1939.  The hostilities in France came to a rapid end, and he was quickly freed from imprisonment because he was an Alsatian. Since he was a religious, he was easily permitted to make the choice for France. So it is that we find him at Sainte-Marie school in Belfort from September, 1941. Here he taught French and Latin in the upper classes. His courses in literature were carefully prepared and structured; he was always there on time, before the students arrived; he assigned an essay and a Latin translation or a theme once each week; he conscientiously corrected them all and returned them rapidly with comments. In every French class, he assigned 10 lines of poetry or a paragraph in prose to learn by heart: from Villon to Baudelaire, from Corneille to Marcelline Desbordes-Valmore; he required an intelligent delivery, respecting the requirements of diction and expression.

Should we say that Father Sirlin was a poet? No. But his demands inculcated respect and love for fine language, for precision and exact expression. He always loved to read, to learn more about life around him. He was ready to give conferences to the community or preside at liturgies. He was an informed and discreet conversationalist at table, entering peacefully into arguments, often with a bit of humor, happy to recall sparingly some of his life experiences. During the war, Fr. Sirlin was not only a chaplain and teacher, but he also directed a troop of senior scouts. During that period, such troops were forbidden by the occupying forces, and the members sometimes carried out resistance activities that were far from childish, with full collaboration from their parents, who knew all about it and had confidence.

In 1949, he was assigned to be chaplain and teacher at Saint André in Colmar, and he became the Principal from 1950 to 1956, succeeding Fr. Macker and handing over his task in 1956 to Fr. Barb. After six years, he asked to be relieved of this responsibility. He returned to Belfort, where he was chaplain and traveled by motorcycle to help out in nearby parishes, served as principal of the lower school (as the elementary school was then called), dean of the middle and high school, advisor to the group of prefects...through it all, teacher of French to the junior class. Always with the same good qualities for which he was known: faithfulness to the rules, evenness of temperament and fairness to all, strict but paternal and just. He was busy with all kinds of activities, but without excitement or exaggeration, until September, 1976, when he came for his last assignment to Saint Hippolyte, for a new apostolate, in full possession of his faculties despite being already advanced in age. He gave his time especially to the elderly and the sick. Last Saturday morning, on June 21, 2003, during the night, he gave over to the Lord his spirit and his long life of work and apostolate. The Lord welcomed him: “Come, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.”

2003-23

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JOSEPH KNOBLOCH, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 17, 2003, in Saint Hippolyte (Haut-Rhin) in the 92nd year of his age and the 76th year of his religious profession.

Joseph Knobloch, originally from the Marianist Province of Paris, was born at Altenheim on July 13, 1911, the youngest in a family of 4 boys and two girls. He joined the Society of Mary at the invitation of Bro. Joseph Durrenbach, his maternal uncle, who spent his final years at Saint Hippolyte, where he died in 1956. He underwent the usual, austere formation of his time: at the age of 12, in 1924, he left his family, spent a year at Saint Hippolyte, then 2 years at Antony. Next came a year of novitiate at Saint Remy in Belgium. After first vows, he continued his formation at Reves (Belgium) for one more year, then at Fribourg (Switzerland).  From 1931 to 1934, he began his teaching career at La Rochelle: while teaching, the young Brother studied whatever was available to him in classical literature at Poitiers, preparing for a licentiate. After a year of military service at Metz, his superiors sent him to College Saint-Etienne at Strasbourg, until he was ready to enter the seminary at Fribourg in 1937.

In September, 1939, he was mobilized, in view of a war that he never really saw, retreated to the South where he was demobilized at Villefort and thus escaped becoming a prisoner of war.  In October, 1940, he returned to Antony, where with other Marianist seminarians he was able to continue and complete his seminary. After his ordination, on December 8, 1940, at Chevilly Larue, there followed 9 years of intense activity at the school of Sainte-Marie, rue de Monceau in Paris.  There - not in the Congo, where he had volunteered to go with the Marianist pioneers - he worked as teacher, chaplain, and scout leader. In 1950 he spent a brief period at La Rochelle before landing in Bordeaux from 1950 to 1954.  After the war, Grand-Lebrun school was experiencing a hard time, with lagging discipline and doubtful parents... In 1950,  a new director appeared on the scene, Fr. Braun, together with a new dean, Fr. Noblot - this is how the Alsatian Fr. Knobloch chose to be called, with a name more pronounceable for people in the Southwest of France. As for the students, they called him “Titus,” after the name of a rather likable and resourceful, but also intimidating dog in a comic strip. In four years Father Noblot, with his formidable temper, severe but fair, re-established the discipline that had been lost for years, gave a new sense of confidence to the parents, obtained better results in studies and conferred luster on the school. For Fr. Cazelles, then teacher of philosophy, later principal of Grand-Lebrun and Provincial, “Titus” was the chief architect of the restoration of Grand-Lebrun.

After four years at Fribourg, at the Villa St. Jean, Saint Etienne School in Strasbourg once again called on his competence as dean, a task that was always public and demanding. Finally, we find him, in 1960, settled for more than 30 years at Sainte-Marie school in Belfort. There he was highly successful, especially in the junior-high school classes, as teacher of French and Latin. The Inspector of the Academy of Belfort, Louis Legrand, characterized him as “your teacher who is a human dynamo.” It is true that he was forceful in his teaching, never seated, full of imagination to keep students interested, constantly active, demanding and enthusiastic, always busy with his lessons and homework corrections, allowing no misconduct or disorder in class, feared and beloved....

His was a priestly life that influenced the young people who came close to him. He was happy as a teacher, even more so since Sainte-Marie of Belfort had just bought a new property, “Champs Fleury,” 15 kilometers away, to occupy the boarding students on Thursdays and on the weekend. There Joseph Knobloch went every week, by scooter and motorcycle, to enjoy gardening, puttering, long conversations with the neighbors. After retiring to Saint Hippolyte in 1992, Father Knobloch started getting weaker: severe deafness made conversation difficult and health problems multiplied. On Friday, June 13, he received the sacrament of the sick, with some moments of consciousness. On Tuesday, June 17, he repeated to the Lord the perpetual and eternal “yes,” which he had first said 76 years ago and which he never took back.  We remember him with prayer and thanksgiving.

2003-22

The Province of Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JOSÉ JEREMíAS ARROITA BILBAO, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 10, 2003, in San Sebastián in the 83rd year of his age and the 65th year of his religious profession.

José Arroita was born in Elorrio (Vizcaya) on September 20, 1920, and was baptized the same day. His parents were Marcos and Magdalena. His mother died when he was very young, and not long afterwards his father passed away. In spite of these problems, he received a good education in the family. A proof of this is that of the four children, a sister, María Teresa, became a religious of the Holy Guardian Angels, and he decided to join the Marianists who had their novitiate in his town. On November 16, 1933, he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza. On August 9, 1937, he entered the novitiate in Elorrio and made his first profession on September 5, 1938. During the novitiate he decided to become a Working Brother.

After his profession he continued his formation as a Working Brother in Segovia, although before that he had to go through a period of military conscription because of the civil war in Spain. In September of 1941, he went to Madrid (Carabanchel) where he worked as a carpenter. On August 22, 1946, he professed perpetual vows in Escoriaza (Guipúzcoa).

With the division of the Province of Spain in 1950, he was destined to the young community in Zaragoza where he worked as the driver of the school bus which transported the students of the school which was outside of the city and which had begun four years before in the Larrinaga Palace. In 1955, he was sent to the school in San Sebastián to continue working as a chauffeur of the school bus known familiarly as “the coffee color”, which was followed by “the mandarin” also because of its color which was used for trips to Bordeaux, Perigeux, Lourdes, etc. In July of 1962, he was sent to Madrid to work in the S.M. publishing house. He spent a long time there in different tasks. In his van he went around Madrid taking care of various things. He was in charge of getting paper and making other purchases, as well as other administrative tasks. His simple rustic character won him the sympathy of people, more and more numerous, who worked in the publishing house, and when he retired in 1991 they gave him a gift of a trip to the Canary Islands.

In September of 1991, now retired, he returned to San Sebastián. There, he continued taking care of little jobs and helping as much as he could. A man with a great affection for others, he showed it in his concern for his family in Elorrio. A brother died very young, leaving four children. This reminded him of his own situation in his infancy when his parents died leaving the four children orphans.

José was a religious who was very much a community man - faithful, serviceable and communicative - in spite of his difficulty in learning Spanish, since his native tongue was Euskera. His health was never very strong and he had to have a hip operation which left him very limited. On the other hand, his heart was not very good and not long ago they gave him a pacemaker and he seemed content. It is noteworthy that he never complained about his ailments and knew how to suffer in silence. He was leading a normal life when in the afternoon of June 9 he had a cerebral hemorrhage which resulted in leaving him in a coma which lasted until five o’clock the next morning. A simple man, he wanted to go to the Father’s house, or the Lord wanted it that way, without making any fuss and without causing anyone much trouble. May he rest in the Peace of the Lord.

2003-21

The Province of France and the Region of Congo-Ivory Coast recommend to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, PIERRE ALPHONSE FREYBURGER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 28, 2003, in Clamart, France, in the 77th year of his age and the 60th year of his religious profession.

Pierre Freyburger was born at Giromagny, a charming village located at about 10 km. from Belfort, at the foot of the Ballon d’Alsace. He came from a family who had a deep Christian faith; one of his paternal uncles was also a Marianist. He received the traditional formation of his time: he made his Postulate at la Tour de Sçay from 1938 to 1942 and was deeply influenced by Fr. Louis Guichard during these years. He then entered the Novitiate at Antony where he remained from 1942 to 1943, and did his scholasticate at Belfort from 1943 to 1946, ending his secondary studies with a High School Diploma in Elementary Mathematics.

He was sent to Sainte Marie (St Dié), did his military service, and was transferred to Sainte Maure (1949-51), where his life probably took the direction that he would steadily follow, as his Superiors sent him to Grangeneuve (Fribourg, Switzerland) to receive formation as an agronomist. He received a Diploma in Engineering in 1953. After a second stay at Sainte Maure, he went to Réquista for a Second Novitiate at Castelgandolfo (Italy). He then returned to Sainte Maure where he remained for 16 years. He was given the task of directing the Professional Center of Agricultural Formation for young adults who are preparing to work in the field of agriculture. He gave his very best to comply with this task. His nearness to the youth, his pedagogical methods based on an education to freedom, the formation system – original for that time - with periods of practical training, alternated with the theory courses given at the Centre de Sainte Maure, the travels abroad,… these were some of the aspects of the method used by Pierre Freyburger with the young students who attended Sainte Maure.

But our Brother had asked his Superiors for a long time to be sent in mission. Fr. Cazelles, who was the Provincial in those years, accepted his request. Br. André Saulnier needed help in Ivory Coast. Pierre remained there 3 years. In 1982, the Novicemaster had asked for an assistant. Pierre was assigned to this important task for 10 years before working – again in the area of formation - with the young African religious at the Scholasticate of Abidjan. In 1994, Pierre came to reinforce the community at the Sanctuaire Marial that had been rebuilt in the southern suburbs of the capital. Being a multi-talented man, he was sought in the economical field as well as in the material one. He had the mind of a builder. He was the one, together with an architect, who created the plans for the Novitiate of Abadjin-Doumé, the scholasticate of the Riviera III area and Maison Chaminade at Limete, Kinshasa. He had been recently working at the construction of the “Village Chaminade,” opposite the Novitiate. Master of the works, technical advisor and supervisor, Pierre cumulated all these titles and realized the various tasks. He also served as econome, investment adviser and funds collector.

Back to his native town for some rest on May 9, he was to recover from a period of particularly hard work during the last months. Pierre had been staying at the community of Maison Saint Jean d’Antony for some time, before joining his family for a well-deserved rest. This was his project. An acute crisis of malaria had him fall into a deep coma. He was hospitalised at Clamart on Sunday, May 25. The medical staff at Béclère hospital did everything possible to re-animate him. It was too late. Our Brother died on the May 28. He was to celebrate his 78th birthday on May 30 and his 60th anniversary as a Marianist the next September 12.

2003-20

The Province of Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ALBERTO ECHEVERRíA Y MARTíN, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 13, 2003, in San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa) in the 75th year of his age and the 56th year of his religious profession.

Alberto Echeverria was born at San Sebastian (Guipuzcoa) on April 22, 1929. His parents, Isidoro and Nieves, had him baptized on April 28. He studied at the Colegio Santa Maria, directed by the Marianists. When he finished high school, he began his Novitiate at Elorrio, on November 14, 1946. He also pronounced first vows there on November 15, 1947. He was then sent to Carabanchel (Madrid) to continue his scholasticate formation. Fr. Echeverria began his work as a teacher at Valencia in September 1950. Three years later, he was transferred to Vitoria where he taught the senior students. On August 15, 1952, he pronounced perpetual vows at Vitoria.  He then moved to the community at Valencia to end his studies, receiving a BA in History in June 1958. He was sent to Fribourg (Switzerland) in September 1958 to study Theology and prepare himself for priesthood. He received a Licentiate of Theology in June 1960, and was ordained a priest on July 16, 1961. He remained one more year at Fribourg and did pastoral studies.

Fr. Alberto began his services as teacher and chaplain at the Colegio de San Sebastián, and became Director of the school in 1966. Back to Valencia in September 1967, he continued his tasks as teacher and chaplain and was appointed Vice-Director. He was sent to Antony (France) in 1970 to continue his pastoral studies. Fr. Angel returned to the Colegio del Pilar, at Valencia, in 1971. During the 1972-73 term, he lived with a group of young religious in an “experimental” community in Valencia while continuing to work at the school. His superiors sent him to the Colegio de San Ignacio de Adurza (Vitoria), a school located in a workers’ area, where persons coming from different regions of Spain lived. He took care of the human and religious formation of the students there. His apostolic work took a new direction in September 1979 when he began to work in the parishes and was appointed the parish priest at San José Obrero at Burjassot (Valencia). He also worked for the social ministry called “Manantial” that had been created next to the parish. He taught religion for one year in a technical – vocational institution of the area. He returned to San Sebastián in 1987, but this time, to work as a co-pastor in the parish of Maria Reina, run by the Marianists. He occasionally gave some lessons at the Colegio Santa Maria, cooperating in the pastoral work of the school. During the 1992-1998 school years, he was also Director of the community. He was sent to the community of Santa María (also at San Sebastián) to serve as chaplain and professor of philosophy.  An encefalopaty caused a quick and irreversible deterioration of his condition.

Alberto was a lively and heartfelt man, gifted with a special talent for poetry. He knew how to communicate easily with others. He had a cheerful conversation but was also a committed worker, very much interested in his tasks.  He was a hard working educator, deeply engaged in his apostolic mission and always ready to help. He worked with the Movement of Christian Families. He did his very best to work – from different missions - for a renewed Church at the service of the poor.  He also worked for the retired religious during these last years, promoting meetings between the older religious of the Province of Zaragoza. This concern for the older religious is not new: A special Commission, where Alberto was already engaged, had already been thought of in 1976. Being a righteous man, he never failed to directly face problems related to living together, as well as in his apostolic work. Fr. Angelo’s health had never been excellent, but he knew how to deal with his aches and pains with humour, being able to suffer without complaining.  He will remain in our memories as a most efficient religious, a priest who was the shepherd of those sheep that need to be looked after more than others.

2003-19

The Region of Austria/Germany recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, WILHELM KREUTZER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 7, 2003, in Pregarten, Austria, in the 88th year of his age and the 70th year of his religious profession.

Wilhelm Kreutzer was born at Unlingen (near Ulm), Germany, on December 1, 1915. He was the eighth of ten children. After attending for some time the grammar school at Reidlingen, he entered the Postulate at Freistadt and made his Novitiate at Greisinghof, where he pronounced first vows on August 20, 1933.

After the end of his studies at Freistadt, he began his studies to become an English and French teacher at the University of Graz. He also served as Prefect at the Marieninstitut. Brother Kreutzer made perpetual vows in Freistadt, on July 23, 1939. He joined the Wehrmacht a short time later. Made prisoner for a period of time, Brother returned to Graz during the summer of 1945, where he ended his studies in 1952.

He taught at the Episcopal Seminary at Linz.  From 1953 to 1986, Br. Kreutzer served as a teacher and educator at the Marianum, in Fulda. His first concern was the good and the moral development of youth. He dedicated all his energy to the students, helping them to form their personal autonomy. He used to paint and whitewash during the summer holidays. All of his students appreciated him, as he loved all of them, no matter if they were particularly brilliant or not.

He was ready to leave Fulda in 1986, after 33 years of service there, to return to Greisinghof. As Secretary of the Province, he was involved whenever translation work, speeches, or the sending of the “Marianisti” bulletin needed to be done. He also took care of watering all the plants in the house.

Willi was an extremely fine musician. He promoted the presence of children’s choirs in Church and belonged to the choir of Gresisinhof. He had also played the organ during his years of service at Fulda and continued to do so at Greisinghof.

Gifted with a subtle mind and a rich interior life, his first concern was that of deeply and sincerely living a true and lively Marianist life. He gratefully accepted every good word, letting himself be strengthened by it, even when the burden of anguish and insecurity had become part of his life.

Brother Wilhelm’s parsimony was moving as well as his absolute absence of personal requirements. He was always ready to help when he realized that someone had been treated in a way that he had not deserved. During the last years of his life, an increasing forgetfulness made his life particularly difficult. It often gave him a feeling of insecurity and suffering, as he had always been at the service of others. Brother Wilhelm had lived at the seniors’ retirement house of Pregarten since November 2000, receiving all the necessary assistance.

2003-18

The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ángel Gallo RENES, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 6, 2003, in Madrid in the 87th year of his age and the 69th year of his religious profession.

ángel Gallo was born on January 20, 1917, at Covarrubias (Burgos).  He entered the Postulate at Escoriaza at the age of 13. Three years later, he began his Novitiate at Elorrio, where he also made first vows on July 10, 1934. After three years of scholasticate, in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, he had to join the battle front. He remained in the army until a few months after the end of the war, when peace had been already re-established. In those difficult times, he did his very best to keep as much as possible in touch with his Superiors and with the other Marianists who had been mobilized. The correspondence of these years reflects his religious concern and his interest in informing and being informed as to the situation of the other young Marianists.

At the end of the war, he received his diploma as a Teacher. Brother ángel pronounced perpetual vows on August 15, 1942, dedicating his life to God in the Society of Mary. He spent his first fourteen years serving as a teacher in the schools of Yurre and Madrid, Nuestra Señora del Pilar and Fundacion Santa Ana y San Rafael, becoming Director of this school from 1951 to 1953.

Brother Gallo then began the task that would last for all his active life. He served as bursar for the schools of Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Madrid and San Felipe Neri in Cadiz. The General Administration asked him to undertake the same task for the Regina Mundi Seminary at Fribourg. The religious who were seminarians between 1964 and 1969 have a dear memory of him. Brother ángel then became a member of the leading staff at the Colegio Mayor Chaminade in Madrid, where he was loved by the personnel and the students. He continued to work as Administrator for all the years he spent at the school. He was transferred to the Postulate at Carabanchel in 1977 where he continued to serve with the same task, as he did at the community of the Provincial Administration five years later. Brother Gallo quit his work in 1997, at the age of 81, in poor health.

He was committed to music all his life; he was an excellent singer, being first voice at community or school celebrations. He had joined the choir of St. Thomas Aquinas University since his years at Colegio Mayor Chaminade, taking his music to many countries in the world, from Poland to South America.  During the time he spent at the Provincial Administration, he was part of the choir at the Parish of Santa Maria del Pilar, to which the community belonged. He continued to be part of it, even the last years of his life despite bad health conditions. Even though his strength was weakened, he used to go up the stairs of the choir to praise God with his Canticle every new day.

In the meantime, his disease had undermined his health. A chronic oesophageal haemorrhage permanently weakened him. He needed very frequent blood transfusions. As they analyzed the results of his blood tests, physicians could not figure out how Brother ángel’s life had been prolonged for so a long time. “He continues to live because he wants it,” they said. During his last year, he was transferred to the Provincial infirmary. He continuously needed transfusions. His condition had become very poor due to a hospital infection. Back in his community, he had to be isolated in a room, as much as possible away from any risk of infection. On May 6, ángel, who had always wanted to live, passed away to Life filled with joy. The choir of angels from above has now been reinforced with a good tenor.

2003-17

The Region of Japan recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, EDOUARD BILLMANN, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 1, 2003, in Tokyo, in the 91st year of his age and the 72nd year of his religious profession.

Edouard Philippe Billmann was born on November 10, 1912, at Wingen, Lembach, France. He was the third of four siblings. His father, Louis, took part in the military service in 1914, during World War I, and died in Siberia in 1916. Edouard never saw the face of his father. He entered the postulate at Saint-Hippolyte in 1928, and spent his novitiate at St-Rémy-Signeulx (Belgium), where he also pronounced first vows on September 12, 1931. After ending his scholasticate formation to become a teacher in Rèves (Belgium) from 1931 to 1934, he worked at Art-sur-Meurthe (France) for a year as a teacher before joining the army for his military service (1935-1936).

In 1936, he received a letter Good Father Kieffer requesting that he go to Japan to replace a Brother who was returning after 45 years. The response was, of course, affirmative. After a short month of preparation, he left Marseille on October 30, 1936, and arrived at Kobe, Japan, on December 12, to begin his complete dedication to the service of God in Japan - a service that would last nearly 70 years.

World War II began a short time after his arrival in Japan. He was obliged to leave Japan with 14 other young Frenchmen to join the French army. They were told, as soon as they arrived in the French Indochina, today’s Vietnam, that France had been occupied by the German army. The group remained in Indochina to continue their military service under the Japanese and French military authority. Br. Billmann returned to Japan at the end of June 1942, thanks to the intervention of his Marianist Superiors. He worked in a school for foreigners at Kobe, which had been created in that time by the Japanese Marianists. He remained there till the end of World War II, and lived one of the hardest times of all his life (very difficult conditions concerning food, fear of bombardments, the school and the Marianist house were set on fire, etc.). The school closed in 1946, and he was sent to the St. Joseph School at Yokohama, Japan.

After a year, help was needed at Osaka, at the Bright Star School (Meisei), where he taught French, English and Religion. He spent almost 10 years at Osaka: an experience that he considered as his “first love”. From 1954 until his death, Brother Edouard remained at Gyosei (Morning Star School), Tokyo, where he taught French, English and Religion. He retired in 1996, but always remained active, since many people came to him to learn French and Religion.

He received a special decoration from the Japanese government in 1992, for his contribution to the education of the young Japanese students. In 1994, the French government decorated him with the medal of “Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur”. The 60th anniversary of his arrival to Japan was celebrated on December 6, 1996. From December1999, he spent his last years at the Chaminade Marianist Assisted Living Community. In 2001, he returned to Wingen to share the joy of his visit with his sister and the family of his nephews. Since 2002, his condition had him stay almost permanently in bed, often hospitalized, as he had lost his appetite and was unable to eat. Due to pneumonia, he passed away on May 1, 2003. He was the last French Marianist sent to Japan.

2003-16

The Region of Japan recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, FUMIKAZU PAUL SUGIYAMA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 26, 2003, in Nagasaki, in the 71st year of his age and the 52nd year of his religious profession.

Fumikazu Paul (Niichi) Sugiyama was born on June 10, 1932, at Kuroshima, Nagasaki, as the second son and the fourth child of 10 children to Pierre Toru Sugiyama and Julie Somi. He was admitted to Taisei Middle School in Fukuoka as a postulant in 1946.  Taisei had just been taken over by the Society of Mary from the Diocese of Fukuoka who had been using it as a seminary.

Br. Sugiyama was transferred to Gyosei High School (Tokyo) in 1947 to continue his education until 1951, when he entered the novitiate at Kiyose in Tokyo. On March 25th of the following year, Br. Sugiyama professed his first religious vows and returned to Gyosei High School to complete his high school education.

In 1957, Br. Sugiyama graduated from Tokyo Rika University with a major in chemistry and was assigned to Kosei High school in Sapporo.  There he taught chemistry for 14 years.  In 1959, he professed his perpetual vows in Tokyo.

From 1964 to 1971, Br. Sugiyama worked in school administration as the assistant principal of Kosei High School.  From 1971 to 1972, he studied advanced courses in chemistry at Sophia University, Tokyo, and from 1972 to 1973, at the University of Dayton (USA).  After these three years of academic refreshment, he returned to teach in Meisei High School in Osaka, and in 1988 was appointed the principal of Kosei High School in Sapporo. During his school administration, he put renewed energy into preparing for the reopening of the junior high school which had been placed in limbo for 20 years. Before the junior high school reopened in 1996, Br. Sugiyama had retired as principal of the school and took a sabbatical year in Via Latina, Rome. From 1998 to 2002, he reassumed his teaching career in Kaisei, Nagasaki, as a part-time teacher and used his spare time to study theology and to obtain a teaching license in Religion.

Br. Paul Sugiyama was a man of efforts.  For him, learning was a delight.  From his youth, he used to learn something extra during the holidays in summer and in winter.  He learned not only in his major field of expertise but also in many other subjects in order to earn enough credits to obtain licenses. He had licenses for chemistry, mathematics, teaching the disabled, English and Religion. He was also able to teach Japanese and Calligraphy as well. In addition to the driving license, he also had licenses as a boiler man, security of explosives and combustibles, etc., etc. It is almost impossible to list them in a page.

Br. Paul enjoyed good health in his life, and he learned Judo when he was a college student.  During his career, he worked without interruption by ailments. In his later years, he suffered with diabetes and needed eye surgery on cataracts. As he felt occasional numbness in the legs and arms, he retired from school work completely as of March 2003. He died of a heart attack in his room, without notice, on the morning of April 26.

2003-15

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, LOUIS N.  SCHOTT, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 6, 2003, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 97th year of his age and the 67th year of his religious profession.

Louis Schott was born March 27, 1907, in Pocahontas, Iowa, the fourth of six children born to Charles Schott and Anna Stelpflug. Br. Louis attended Trinity College, a Marianist university in Sioux City, Iowa, and graduated in 1933 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. He entered the novitiate at Mount St. John in Dayton in 1936 and professed first vows on February 2, 1937. His final profession of vows took place on August 25, 1940.

During his lifetime, Br. Louis served in many ministries in the Society of Mary. He taught elementary school at Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., and at St. John’s Home at its Brooklyn, New York, location as well as its present location in Rockaway, New York. For several years, Br. Louis taught high school business subjects at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh; Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland; Chaminade High School in Dayton; and St. James High School in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Gifted with business and managerial skills, Br. Louis worked with temporalities at many communities including Mount St. John in Dayton; Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York; Colegio Ponceño and Colegio San José in Puerto Rico; the provincial house in Baltimore; Most Holy Trinity in Brooklyn; and at St. James in Chester.

Br. Louis retired in 1972 and enjoyed an active life serving the elderly at Jenkins Memorial Nursing Home in Baltimore. In 1976 he moved to Lincoln Street community in Hollywood, Florida, and remained there for 18 years visiting the elderly and assisting with temporalities. In 1991 he moved to St. Joseph Community in San Antonio, Texas before moving to the Franciscan at St. Leonard in Centerville, Ohio in 1994.  In December of last year, he moved with other Marianist Brothers to Mercy Siena Gardens in Dayton.

Br. Jim Vorndran fondly remembers Br. Louis as the “bird man” of St. Leonard. “He loved birds. He had five in his room: a cockatiel, a dove, a pair of parakeets and a canary. He used to feed the ducklings in the courtyard at St. Leonard. I can still see the ducklings, who had become accustomed to him, flocking around whenever he came outside.”

Br. Louis was a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters, one of the largest fraternal life insurance societies in the United States, and served as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist. He also loved to dance.

Br. Louis was a robust man who enjoyed relatively good health until a bout of pneumonia a few weeks before his death. He died at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. He is survived by his only living brother, Francis, who lives in Waukon, Iowa.

2003-14

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, FRANÇOIS ISIDORE HEITZ, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 4, 2003, in Lavaur in the 84th year of his age and the 65th year of his religious profession.

François Isidore Heitz was born on January 5, 1920, at Geispolsheim, in Alsace. He was baptized that same day. He was the eldest son of a Christian family of 8 children, in which there was one religious sister and two brothers who had to join the German Army, both died at the Russian front. At the age of 12, he entered the Marianist postulate (at Saint-Hippolyte, in the Haut-Rhin). After his novitiate at Saint Rémy Signeuls (Belgium), he made his first vows as a Marianist religious on September 24, 1938. He was not yet 19 years old!

Mobilized in 1940, prisoner, liberated as an Alsatian, he was an insubordinate and found refuge in the city of La Rochelle, where he benefited by continuing his studies. He was Titular of the Old Combatant Card and Victim of War. From 1943 until 1945, he began his work as a teacher at Joeuf Génibois. During the scholastic year of 1945-1946 he took courses at the Catholic Institute of Paris and at the Sorbonne; in 1946, he was at Strasbourg as a teacher and supervisor of the boarding-school. In 1948, he was admitted to the international seminary in Fribourg, Switzerland. Ordained a priest on July 22, 1951, he was assigned to Saint-Étienne School in Strasbourg, where he worked for almost 33 years as a teacher of German and of Religion. Father Isidore, with a degree in Letters, was very interested in philosophy and in the arts; and he knew how to stimulate his students. He was a tenacious, meticulous and perfectionist worker, gathering incessantly all information and documenting himself, deepening his knowledge, something he used to share so well.

In 1985, at the age of 65, he retired as a teacher. He left Strasbourg and went to Saint-Hippolyte, where he was in charge of the parishes of Rodern and Rorschwir. People discovered Fr. Isidore by another aspect, not only as a Priest but also as a Pastor. He loved to meet people; he was interested in knowing them, in listening to them. Despite his reserved aspect, he demonstrated being a very warm person; he was quickly loved by others. Eight years later, in 1993, he was assigned to Saint Avold, Diocese of Metz, at the Sanctuary of the Basilique Notre-Dame du Bon Secours with the team of animation for pilgrims. Furthermore, he had the charge of two parishes.

Five years later, in 1998, his Superiors asked him to leave eastern France to join, as a priest, the community of Fiac, far away from his native Alsace. There, he was treasurer and provided parochial service; he led about twenty Rosary groups. Those who could get closer to him and knew him better perceived his immense culture, his spirituality and his theology.

Father Isidore was a man of God, a man of prayer, a man of reflection, thirsty to help people deepen their Faith. Beyond 80 years old, his health began to be fragile; his heart began to worry him. During the last years, he felt more fatigue. Hospitalized at Lavaur on Tuesday, April 1st, he was under observation; the day before his death, the hospital nurses found him relaxed, jovial, recounting the memories of his ministry. But on April 4, the feast day of his patron saint, Saint Isidore, at the first hour of the morning, God called him to Himself.

2003-13

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, MARION T. PIETKIEWICZ, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 30, 2003, in Baltimore, Maryland, in the 73rd year of his age and the 40th year of his religious profession.

Marion Teofil Pietkiewicz was born on February 22, 1931, in Trenton, New Jersey. He was one of three sons born to Kathryn Koryzana and Boleslaw Pietkiewicz. After working as an accountant, Br. Marion entered the novitiate in Marcy, New York, and professed his first vows on August 22, 1963. He professed his final vows on August 24, 1966.

Br. Marion was a versatile scholar, earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Rider College, a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Dayton, and a master’s degree in humanities and liberal arts from Johns Hopkins University. He also received a certificate of advanced studies from Johns Hopkins University.

He began his teaching career in 1965 at Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York. His next assignment was in Baltimore, where he taught English and literature from 1974-1979 at Cardinal Gibbons High School. Br. Marion spent the following eight years at Chaminade High School in Hollywood, Florida.  In 1988 he returned to Baltimore and lived there until his death.

As a youth, Br. Marion was injured in a fall that crushed part of his spine and left his legs paralyzed.  Nevertheless, his love of literature and music, his gentle heart and his imaginative teaching style made him a beloved mentor to his students. “He was an inspiration in the classroom -- very gifted. He had a brilliant mind,” said Br. Howard Hughes, who worked with Br. Marion in New York.

As a recovering alcoholic, Br. Marion spent many years in Baltimore ministering to homeless and alcoholic persons. Through long hours of counseling and service through Alcoholics Anonymous, he quietly touched the lives of many people struggling with alcohol addiction.

“Br. Marion’s life was filled with wonder and with pain,” said Br. Stephen Glodek. “But from both the wonder and the pain, he touched many, many lives with his warmth and his gentle caring.”

In October 2002, Br. Marion was admitted to Genesis HealthVentures in Baltimore, where he remained until his death from complications of prostate cancer.  He is survived by his brother Zenon, who lives in Princeton, New Jersey. We thank God for the gift of his life.

2003-12

The Region of Japan recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, KIKUICHI MICHEL MATSUOKA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 21, 2003, in Tokyo, in the 99th year of his age and the 80th year of his religious profession.

Kikuichi Michel Matsuoka was born in city of Nagasaki, March 18, 1905, as the son of Gennsaburo Michel and Jeanne Yone Matsuoka. When he was 14, he entered St. Maria Gakuin then located at Urakami in the city of Nagasaki, and while there was admitted as a postulant of the Society of Mary. In 1922, he entered the Novitiate and professed his first religious vows in Urakami on April 1, 1923.

Immediately after graduating from Gyosei School, Tokyo, in March 1926, he was assigned to Kaisei Middle School in Nagasaki as an assistant teacher and the director of the boarding house. Two years later, in 1928, he professed the perpetual vows at Chaminade in Tokyo.

His long career as a school teacher of Japanese literature started after graduation from Tokyo College in Tokyo, 1931, and covered practically all the Marianist schools in Japan. In 1931, he returned to St. Maria Gakuin at Urakami as a teacher; one year later was assigned to Kaisei in Nagasaki; two years later to Meisei in Osaka; in 1941 to Gyosei in Tokyo. Since that time, he was assigned to such schools as Taisei in Fukuoka in 1953 and back to Gyosei in 1954.

In 1959, Br. Matsuoka was assigned to Taisei High School, Fukuoka in Kyushu, as the principal until 1962. In 1967, he retired as a school teacher in Tokyo and was charged with the school bookstore until 1991. After retirement, he devoted himself to teaching catechism to Catholics as well as non-Catholics.

Br. Michel’s most outstanding characteristic was as a man of will. He seldom complained of pain or fatigue, and the cancer of the prostate was not discovered. In 1998, when he was admitted to the infirmary attached to Chaminade Shudoin, Tokyo, he was found already to be in the last stages of cancer. The cancer had spread into the pelvis, but never was a word of pain spoken. On March 21, Br. Michel died peacefully at the hospital near Chaminade Shudoin, Tokyo.

2003-11

The Province of Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JUAN ANTONIO RÉGIL LAISECA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 16, 2003, in Logroño (La Rioja) in the 68th year of his age and the 51st year of his religious profession.

Juan Antonio Régil was born at Yurre-Urquizu, in the province of Biscay, on August 10, 1935. The town of Yurre, where there was a school run by the Marianists, gave a good number of vocations to the Society of Mary. He entered the missionary Postulate of Segovia on October 2, 1948, inspired by the example of his uncle who was a Marianist. He entered the Novitiate at Elorrio, on September 11, 1951, and pronounced first vows on September 12, 1952. After a few years of studies at the Scholasticate of Carabanchel, he began to work as a teacher and a prefect of the younger pupils, in 1955, at the Postulate of Escoriaza. He made perpetual vows at Vitoria on August 15, 1958. He then left Escoriaza to work at the rural school of Elorrio (Biscay) in 1961; he also directed the little school composed of three units in 1963. Br. Juan continued to serve at this school until its closure in 1970.

Br. Juan was then sent to Barcelona, to the Colegio Del Pilar, a school that belonged to the SEAT and that was run by the Marianists. His superiors gave him the opportunity of doing a Sabbatical Year at the school “Ecole de la Foi” in Fribourg (Switzerland) where he remained for two school terms.

Back in Spain (1979), he was sent to the community of Burjassot that is linked to the Parish of San José Obrero. Br. Régil taught at the Colegio Del Pilar, at Valencia. In the afternoon and on weekends, he would help with the tasks of the parish. After three years’ time (1982), he was transferred to the community of El Pilar where he continued his work at the school; he also served in the administration of the community.

Br. Régil was sent to Logroño in 1996. He worked at the boarding school, where he always gave the students who came from the surrounding regions an optimistic note of gaiety. His health conditions had him undergo hip surgery some time ago. Although his condition seemed to improve, he suddenly felt sick on Sunday, March 16. He had a sudden heart attack. Brother was called to join the House of the Lord. May he rest in peace.

Juan Antonio was a kind person, simple, affectionate, always ready to render a service. He was a man of the community with no fear of seeming ridiculous. His concern for the works of the Society, for vocations and for the religious who lived with him was admirable. He was happy to participate in every activity organized by the Province. A faithful religious, he felt greatly satisfied during the common prayer and accompanied the liturgical choirs playing the harmonium during the celebrations. He loved to help the students, cheering them up and caring for their families and their lives.

2003-10

The Province of France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ARSENE VOLKRINGER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 13, 2003, in Colmar in the 96th year of his age and the 78th year of his religious profession.

Arsène Volkringer was born on December 14, 1907, at Thal-Marmoutiers; he was baptized on the 22nd of that same month. He spent all of his childhood, as well as the 1914-18 World War with his parents. He was then sent to Saint-Hippolyte where he did a part of his Novitiate, continuing it at Antony. He ended his Novitiate at Saint Rémy-Signeulx and did his scholasticate at Antony.

He began to serve as a teacher in 1928, at Tourcoing, but poor health already caused him several problems; he lived in this condition for the rest of his life. He was sent to Rèves, in Belgium, where he worked as supervisor and then to Montauban, where he worked as a teacher. After the war, he returned to Antony to serve as Novicemaster. He was then transferred to La Tour de Sçay. He returned to his task of supervisor at Clisson, Art-sur-Meurthe, and Réquista, probably because of his frail health condition. Br. Volkringer settled at the Marianist Seminary of Fribourg (Switzerland), where he served as concierge up to 1989. During the time he spent there, he was totally dedicated to all the friends he had made among the seminarians who came from all over the world. He welcomed everyone: guests, women religious, persons living in the house, always listening to everyone’s problems, ready to give all his kindness and dedication, receiving the gratitude of all those who knew him.

Fr. Hakenewerth wrote: “Only God and the Blessed Virgin Mary know how many persons you have influenced during the years of dedicated service in so many different ways, within the Society but also outside of it; we are sure that these long years of service have been a special gift of God for you, as well as the result of your own cooperation with His Grace.” The seminarians of those years say that Monsieur Arsène was not only a good concierge, but that he was also an excellent advisor.

Another witness, expressed by a Sister: “My God, I thank You for giving me the opportunity of living so many years close to Monsieur Arsène. I have learnt a great deal by seeing his simplicity, his wisdom, his good temper and his spirit of service and kindness toward every one of us.”

Monsieur Arsène answered to the many expressions of gratitude, and thanked the Superior General with these words: “What a debt of gratitude I owe to the Society of Mary for accepting me as a part of its family, when my Marianist uncle, who then served as a teacher at Sion, offered me to join him in hsi religious family. Through my vocation, I have found my happiness, offering my services to the Church in the Society of Mary… May the Lord be thanked for these unforeseen paths that He has chosen for me.”

We have said nothing about his family, but his links with every person, young or old, were very strong and full of tenderness, sharing the joys and the sorrows of all, and keeping all of them in his prayers.

He ended his days at Saint-Hippolyte, always smiling, enthusiastic, overwhelmed with the joy of God, admiring until the end the beauty of nature, the birds, the trees, as a venerable old man who has kept the soul of a child would do. May he rest in peace.

2003-09

The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JOSÉ RICARDO UNZUETA AGUIRREZABALA, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 5, 2003, in Cádiz, Spain, in the 85th year of his age and the 68th year of his religious profession.

José Unzueta was born on July 9, 1918, at Yurre, Province of Biscay, an area that gave birth to many Marianist religious. Thirteen years later, he entered the Postulate at Escoriaza (Guipuzcoa) and began his Novitiate at Elorrio on July 9, 1934, professing his first vows one year later. He continued his studies the two following years at Vitoria and Segovia and then pronounced perpetual vows as a Marianist religious in 1939. His mission as a teacher began in September 1937. Nine years later, he was sent to the seminary of Fribourg to prepare for his future priesthood. José served at the schools of Jerez de la Frontera, Madrid and Escoriaza and finished his studies to become a teacher. He then received a BA in Philosophy and Literature.

Msgr Charrière ordained him as a priest in 1948. He continued his formation one more year at the Seminary and began his priestly ministry in 1949 at the school in Tangier (Morocco). Two years later, he was transferred to Ciudad Real where he served first as chaplain and teacher, then as Director of the school and Director of the community (1957). One year later, he was assigned at La Parra to become the confessor of the Novitiate. After the time spent there, Fr. José became Director of the community at the General Administration in Rome.

Fr. José returned to Spain in 1962 and lived for a short time at Madrid and at Jerez. He was then assigned to the new school at Cadiz, where he remained until his death.  During this long time (almost 40 years), he worked as long as his strengths allowed as chaplain and teacher. He ended his years as a Religion teacher at the Infirmary School, “Salus Infirmorum,” that was linked to the Diocese of Cadiz. As his students one day would become practitioners in the field of medicine, he introduced them to the difficult area of bioethics. He had a close and steady relationship with them. This became evident when F. Unzueta was hospitalized. His former students, who now worked at the hospital, affectionately assisted him.

Even though he had not been sent back to his native region since his first years as a religious, he kept all the memories of his childhood and youth alive. He continued to speak his native dialect, as he did during his childhood. He also loved the English language that he had learned after ending his studies at the university, spending several summers in Great Britain to improve his knowledge of it. This permitted him to teach English to high school students and to the seminarians of the Diocese at Cadiz.

Fr. José was a rather discreet man when it came to communication with his fellow Brothers but he would write a great number of letters. Over a hundred of his letters are kept in the Provincial archives. The first ones are his requests to enter the Society and those to renew his vows. In these letters, he expressed his enthusiasm for the religious life. The letters that followed contain a great deal of information about his various missions, his successful experiences, and his difficulties and his great illusions. They describe a person who is aware of his limits and sure of his beliefs; a man who feels that he has been sent to announce the Gospel as an educator and a priest.

He ended his lessons at the Infirmary school in 1998, when he was already over the age of 80. His life continued in the community, in the peace of prayer and in the quietness of a well-deserved rest. During the first days of February, he was transferred to the Puerta del Mar hospital with a cerebral haemorrhage. He partially recovered but unexpectedly contracted pneumonia which he could not overcome. Fr. José was called to Eternal life on March 5, at dawn, on the first day of Lent. He has already passed through the path to the eternal Easter.

2003-08

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JOHN EUGENE KRUS, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on March 4, 2003, in Fort Worth, Texas, in the 66th year of his age and the 49th year of his religious profession.

John Krus was born June 7, 1937, in St. Louis, Missouri, to John and Caroline Guzior Krus. After graduation from St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis, he entered the postulate of the St. Louis Province at Maryhurst in Kirkwood, Missouri. He professed first vows on August 15, 1954, and perpetual vows on July 19, 1959. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1958 and a master’s degree in mathematics in 1966 from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

Br. John was a respected educator for almost half a century, teaching mathematics at the secondary and university levels in Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin and in the Province of Peru. He began his career in Texas in 1957, teaching for two years at St. Joseph’s High School in Victoria, Texas, followed by an assignment at Central Catholic High School in San Antonio from 1959-1968. Br. John spent the next six years in St. Louis, teaching at the old McBride High School from 1968-71 and at Chaminade High School from 1971-1974. His next assignment was in South America, where he taught for five years in the Province of Peru. He returned to St. Louis from 1980-1984 to teach at St. John Vianney High School, followed by three years at Thomas More High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

From 1987-1994, Bro. John taught at his alma mater, St. Mary’s University. He returned to Chaminade High School in St. Louis for the 1994-1995 school year. Since 1995 he had run the computer lab at Nolan Catholic High School in Ft. Worth.

John was a life-long sports enthusiast and loved to bicycle.  He boxed as a high school student at St. Mary’s High School, where he was awarded the Sportsmanship trophy.  He coached and refereed sports as a young religious.  For many summers he also worked on the staff at Camp Tecaboca in Texas, assisting the campers with woodworking.

Br. John was a reserved, even shy, man who took his commitment as a vowed religious seriously. He lived a simple life, totally without pretension. “He was tremendously faithful to his prayer life,” said Fr. Larry Doersching. “He was the first at chapel every morning, even on weekends.” He offered service in a variety of ways: as a participant in Nolan Catholic’s Habitat for Humanity program; as a worker in an “English as a second language” program; and in computer support at the high school. “He provided service to so many in such an unassuming way,” said Fr. Doersching.

Br. John had been treated for some heart problems over the last few years but he died suddenly, in the middle of the day, on Tuesday, March 4. May he rest in peace. Br. John is survived by three brothers--Gene, Herman and Bro. Sylvester Krus, CSC--and two sisters, Dorothy Sims and Irene Kopsky. All live in St. Louis, except Bro. Sylvester, who lives in Massachusetts.

2003-07

The Province of the France recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ROGER NINFEI, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 28, 2003, in Antony, in the 87th year of his age and the 70th year of his religious profession.

Roger Ninféi was born during World War I, on July 30, 1916, at Moyeuvre, a coal-mine village in the industrial region of the Lorraine. He came from a family where virtues such as work and a Christian spirit were part of a solid tradition. Besides, the influence of the “Brothers of Mary”, who taught at the nearby school of Joeuf, directed this young student towards the Marianist postulate of Antony (1919) and, later, to that of Rèves. He entered the Novitiate at Saint-Rémy-Signeulx (Belgium) in 1932. Roger pronounced first vows on September 12, 1933. His religious and university formation follows the classical Marianist itinerary of those years: scholasticate at Rèves and successively at Fribourg (Switzerland. The young religious began his mission as a teacher at Art-sur-Meurthe (1937-39). After the “drôle de guerre” (“funny war”), he was sent to La Rochelle (Charente Maritime), where he served as a teacher, an educator, a student, contemporarily dealing with all of it. It is acknowledged that this man was gifted with a brilliant intelligence and that he was a hard worker. After receiving a BA in Classical Literature (1942) and in Theology (Fribourg, 1947), he was ordained a priest in 1946. He crowned his theological formation with a Doctorate that he received at the Catholic Institute of Paris in 1948.

Two years later, his Superiors entrusted him the direction of Sainte Marie de Monceau, in Paris. That time was the beginning of the democratization of teaching. In a few years’ time, the number of students increased from a few hundred to 1,200 students. The qualities of this priest-educator and pedagogist were unanimously appreciated. A competent and devoted educational staff made the rest. These ten years at Ste. Marie were an opportunity to determine in him the typical requirements every “big boss” should have. When he was assigned  Director of Sainte Marie de Grand-Lebrun (Bordeaux, 1960), he contemporarily attended to the  building of the school chapel, a particularly dear chapel to the Marianists, as it is located in the town that is the cradle of the Society of Mary. The chapel of Notre-Dame des Grâces will therefore impress in the memories of those who knew him, Fr. Roger’s years of hard work in the Aquitaine region. In 1962, Mgr Veuillot, Cardinal-Archbishop of Paris, beseeched the Marianist Provincial of France to send a religious to the diocese in order to entrust to him the direction of the Collège Stanislas. When he arrived there, Fr. Roger found the school almost in the same condition as the Brothers had left it in 1903 when the anti-religious Laws obliged the teaching Congregations to leave the country. At this point, Fr. Roger revealed his talents as a “bricklayer”. He gathered round himself a board of directors, competent and influent personages, and the new Collège Stanislas rose from the ground -- school buildings, amphitheatres, self-service restaurant, swimming-pool, gym area -- and when there was not enough room at the surface, structures were built in the underground.

During 8 years’ hard work, Fr. Ninféi had done his very best. He was now called to another task, the Diocesan Direction of Catholic Education at St-Etienne (Loire). Those who worked with him during that time remember him as an extremely competent person, with an accurate knowledge of every document in his office. He was expert in the texts of national education dealing with agreements, a diplomatic interlocutor in the relationships with academic authorities and an efficient advisor of the School Board and the educational staff of the diocese. Sainte-Marie d’Antony was the last stage of his career (1974-1984).  This new school was founded in 1968, in the southern suburbs of Paris. Fr. Ninféi set up steady and efficient structures as to school problems in the educational field. During these ten years, the school became one of the leading catholic institutions in the southern area of the Hauts de Seine area.

Fr. Ninfei “stopped” only at the age of 68. His many responsibilities had affected his health. Heart and respiratory problems obliged him to slow down. But his years of retreat still remained very active -- lectures, writing a monography of the history of the “Maison Chénier” of Antony, monthly conferences at the Sillon Catholique -- all this kept his last years quite busy.

On the last day of February 2003, he took part in the community life, had lunch with his Brothers at Maison Saint Jean and, without making any noise, left them during the evening.  May the Blessed Virgin Mary receive, next to Her Son Jesus, this man who worked so well at the service of the youth during half of a century!

2003-06

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JOSEPH EDWARD MALY, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 9, 2003, in San Antonio, Texas, in the 72nd year of his age and the 54th year of his religious profession.

Joseph Maly was born March 30, 1931, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Charles Maly and Julia Brautigam Maly. Joseph grew up in south St. Louis with his brother Robert and sister Loretta. His elementary school years were spent with the School Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Wenceslaus and Our Lady of Sorrows elementary schools. With the encouragement of Fr. Charles O’Neil, he began to consider the religious life during his sophomore year at St. Mary’s High School. Bro. Maly entered the postulate in 1946 at Maryhurst in Kirkwood, Missouri, where he completed his last two years of high school. In 1948 he entered the Novitiate at Marynook in Galesville, Wisconsin. He professed first vows on August 15, 1949, and final vows on July 16, 1955, both at Marynook.

After initial college studies at Maryhurst and the University of Dayton, he participated in the pioneer scholasticate group at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. In 1952, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Dayton, and in 1967 he received a master’s degree in chemistry from Notre Dame University.

Bro. Maly is best remembered for his days in the classroom where he was most at home in the chemistry lab among the flasks and Bunsen burners. His career as a teacher in both chemistry and mathematics started in Texas at St. Joseph’s in Victoria and Central Catholic High School in San Antonio.  He also taught general science and religion and even coached golf.

His teaching career included several moves. He left Texas after his first two years to take an assignment at Assumption High School in East St. Louis. Three years later he returned to Texas and taught for an additional three years before moving to Wisconsin, where he spent two years at Don Bosco High School in Milwaukee. He returned to Texas to teach for nine years at Central Catholic, and then moved to St. Louis, where he taught for three years at Chaminade College Preparatory School. His final, and longest, teaching assignment was at St. John Vianney High School in St. Louis from 1974 – 1998.

The call to be a Brother and teach chemistry to young boys was one he took seriously.  In a letter in 1949 asking for permission to make his first profession of vows, Bro. Maly wrote: “Of the different categories of the members in the Society of Mary, I think I am called to be a teaching Brother.”

He knew that science and math stretched the critical thinking skills of his young protégés. He said he was “building character” in boys and “exercising their brainpower” by putting them through the paces in his chemistry class.

He was a man with a happy disposition.  “He always seemed to be on the verge of breaking into a smile,” wrote the biographer of Jubilarians of 1999, the year Bro. Maly celebrated his golden jubilee. Bro. Louis Mason said that Bro. Maly will be remembered for his “quick wit, broad smile, and enduring patience over the many years he was confined to a wheelchair.”

Failing health forced his retirement from the classroom, and eventually to the health care facility in the Marianist Residence on the campus of St. Mary’s University. May he rest in peace.

2003-05

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, LOUIS T. NEUGEBAUER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on February 1, 2003, in San Antonio, Texas, in the 87th year of his age and the 68th year of his religious profession.

Louis Neugebauer was born on Feb. 2, 1916, in San Antonio, Texas, to Louis and Marquerite Magott Neugebauer. He had four brothers and three sisters. After attending grade school with the Divine Providence Sisters at St. Joseph’s, he attended Central Catholic High School in San Antonio. His activities included ROTC, Rifle Club, school newspaper and yearbook.  He was elected senior class president.

Influenced by Fr. Cyril Kuehne and others, Bro. Louis entered the Marianist Novitiate in Kirkwood, Missouri, and was professed at Maryhurst on Aug. 15, 1935. He took final vows there on July 17, 1940. His college studies were at Maryhurst and St. Mary’s University, where he graduated in 1938 with a Bachelor’s degree in English.

His long teaching career included assignments at two St. Louis schools: South Side High School (1938 – 43) and McBride High School (1944 – 46); and at Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit (1943 – 1944). In 1946, he began a long association with Central Catholic High School, teaching there until he retired in 1983. Classroom duties involved teaching religion, English, Latin and social studies. Bro. Louis also served as registrar, assistant treasurer, bookstore manager, boxing coach, American Red Cross moderator, vocation coordinator and alumni moderator. He served on the camp staff of TECABOCA in Texas every summer for 14 years. His devotion was evident by a report he sent to the Provincial regarding his duties as registrar. Under the heading “Hours Per Week,” Bro. Louis wrote: “Every minute I could find.”  Bro. Louis remained active in retirement as a substitute teacher at Central Catholic and performing chauffeuring and maintenance duties for his community.

His quiet presence was a positive factor in community life, echoing his letter asking for first vows:  “I sincerely desire to be admitted to that lovely family which strives to imitate the filial piety of the divine model and which assists the heavenly Mother in the work of the apostolate.”

In 2002, Bro. Louis was diagnosed with stomach cancer and underwent major surgery. As his strength declined, he moved to the Marianist Residence at St. Mary’s University. He died from complications of cancer the day before his 87th birthday. May he rest in peace.

2003-04

The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JESUS PUENTE, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 26, 2003, in Madrid in the 59th year of his age and the 41st year of his religious profession.

Jesús María Puente Sanz was born October 17, 1944, in Monasterio de Rodilla, in the Province of Burgos. Monasterio is a small town from which many Marianist religious have come. Twelve years later he entered the Marianist Postulate in Valladolid. He was in one of the first groups in this house of formation which was established shortly after the division of the Province of Spain. He made his novitiate in La Parra in the Province of Avila, and on September 12, 1962, made his first profession there in the new chapel.

The following four years he was a scholastic in Carabanchel Alto, and then began his mission as an educator, one year at Colegio Santa María del Pilar in Madrid and two in Jerez de la Frontera. He made his perpetual vows in the Society of Mary on September 5, 1967, the feast of the Queen of Apostles. In 1969, he began he studies of Chemistry while living in the community of the Chaminade University of Higher Studies during the difficult years for Spanish universities which experienced the beginnings of the political changes. In September of 1974, after spending a year as a teacher in the school at Ciudad Real, he was made Director of the community. He went back to Madrid to continue his studies and a year later was put in charge of the formation of the postulants who had moved from Valladolid to Carabanchel Alto. The following years he was in Madrid and Valladolid.

In 1990, when he was only 46, he suffered a thrombosis from which he only partially recovered. With his body half paralyzed, he had to move about in a wheel chair. He didn’t lose his ability to speak but many things he said were unintelligible. His efforts to try to recover were not effective. He had to be moved to the infirmary which at the time was located in the building of the Provincial Administration in Madrid. He needed total care since he was incapable of taking care of himself. When a new provincial infirmary was established in the community of Siquem in 1994, he was one of the first religious sent there.

He continued trying to speak and welcomed the persons who came to visit, sharing his memories of the past, some true and others imagined. His health progressively deteriorated. He had to be interned in the October the Twelfth Hospital, almost in a coma. A new cerebral attack brought about an irreversible situation and he died on Sunday, January 26.

Life has many difficult aspects. The long illness of Jesús, from a relatively young age until his death, had to be a difficult experience for him. Suffering was his constant companion. He lived it in tranquility, except when he rebelled against his situation now and then. It was difficult for him to accept his weakness. Such a long time of prolonged incapacity is also hard for us to understand. We know that the Son of God made flesh also shared with humanity bitterness and pain. He did not avoid them and with his life showed that suffering is also human and is part of the love of God. But our faith is weak and there are human experiences which seem practically incomprehensible.

We know that he now enjoys the love of God and that he prays for us so that we, too, may know how to see the face of a loving God in the most difficult circumstances of our lives.

2003-03

The Region of Japan recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, HIDEICHI AUGUSTIN KOZASA, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 16, 2003, in Tokyo in the 88th year of his age and the 68th year of his religious profession.

Augustin Hideichi Kozasa was born on October 5, 1915, the son of Ignatius Tatsuuemon and Clara Waki Kozasa in the Urakami section of Nagasaki. He entered St. Mary’s Institute, the Apostolic School, in Urakami as a Marianist postulant in 1928. He made his novitiate in Mitaka outside of Tokyo and professed his first vows on April 1 in 1935. From 1936 until 1939 he studied in the Special Course of Toyo University and obtained there a license to teach the Japanese language. Between 1939 and 1942 he taught Japanese at the Society of Mary schools in Osaka, Tokyo, and Nagasaki. Hideichi Kozasa professed perpetual vows on July 29, 1940. He served in the military from 1942 until 1945. After the war he entered Jochi (Sophia) University in Tokyo where he began his preparations for the Marianist priesthood. In October of 1949 he entered Fribourg University and was ordained on July 20 in 1952. Following his three-year program of theological studies in Switzerland, he returned to Japan to complete his studies in the Department of Theology at Jochi (Sophia). He served as chaplain for the religious community and the students at Gyosei in Tokyo from 1952 until 1955, at Kosei in Sapporo from 1955 until 1959, at Chaminade in 1959 until 1960, and then at Kaisei in Nagasaki from 1960 until 1963.

Fr. Kozasa was appointed as Provincial of the Province of Japan in August of 1963. That was right in the midst of Vatican Council II and the “waves” from that Council were beginning to reach the shores of Japan. Pluralism in thought and in action flourished and being at the helm of the Province ship grew to be an increasingly difficult task for him. In particular, some of the religious did not share the ideas of the administrators of the educational institutions to which they were assigned and Fr. Kozasa suffered greatly as a result. He resigned his post as Provincial in March of 1967, not having completed his first term. After that he moved to Kosei School in Sapporo. There he set up the student dormitory program and thus helped to lay the foundations for the future growth of that institution. In 1978 he was appointed as the Director of the Kaisei religious community and as the Chief Director of Kaisei School. At the end of his term there, he was reassigned to Sapporo. In 1987 he was sent to the Sanwacho Community in Nagasaki and in 1991 he was sent to Chaminade in Tokyo where he spent his twilight years.

He was a great sports enthusiast and from the time of childhood he especially loved playing baseball. Although he never had any responsibility for a baseball team in the formal sense, to whichever school he was assigned, he would involve himself to the degree that he was even referred to as the “shadow” moderator. Both in the heat of the summer and in the cold of the winter, Fr. Kozasa was an almost daily spectator at the baseball practices where he offered words of encouragement to the players.

He was a simple person by nature and disliked being in the limelight. He was friendly and related warmly and spoke casually with whomever he met. He placed great value upon personal prayer. After retiring from the classroom it became customary for him to spend hours each day in chapel. He grew increasingly hard of hearing in his later years. Perhaps it was for this reason that he didn’t realize the loudness of his own voice. Oftentimes his “private” prayers of entreaty were quite audible and even startled those around him. Fr. Kozasa participated in the “Marian Movement for Priests” and looked forward to attending the gatherings held on the First Saturday of each month. During the past year he had responsibility for the Tokyo Region due to the transfer of the previous moderator. In spite of his personal hearing difficulties, he continued to guide those in the group.

Fr. Kozasa was operated on for lung cancer in December of 1995. During a medical examination in November of this past year, it was discovered that the cancer had reappeared not only throughout his lungs but also had spread to his bones. In early December, the pain he was experiencing forced his hospitalization. He died peacefully in the hospital on January 16 of this year.

2003-02

The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ANTONIO FARRAS, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 10, 2003, in Madrid in the 92nd year of his age and the 76th year of his religious profession.

Antonio Farrás Esquivel was born on November 2, 1911 at Vitoria (capital of the Province of Alava). At the beginning of 1922, he entered the Postulate at Escoriaza (Guipuzcoa). He began his Novitiate at Elorrio (Biscay) on November 3, 1926.  He pronounced first vows one year later, at the age of 16, and made perpetual vows as a Marianist religious on the feast of Our Lady of the Pillar, in 1936.

Fr. Antonio spent his first years as a Marianist studying atVitoria and Segovia.  He began to work as a teacher at Tetuan (Morocco), under the direction of Blessed Carlos Eraña. He was mobilized during the war, joining the Health Service of the Army. Immediately afterward, he finished his studies at the University of Zaragoza where he obtained a BA in History.   He then made studies of theology at Vitoria and Fribourg, aimed at his priestly ordination which took place at Fribourg, on April 10, 1943.

Fr. Esquivel served at the schools of Jerez, Valladolid and Madrid (El Pilar), where he became Director of the community and Director of the school from 1951 to 1960. He also served as chaplain at the school of the Marianist Sisters that was located in the neighborhood. He then served as Archivist and Secretary of his Province.  After his retirement, he joined the community of the Colegio del Pilar in Madrid until a stroke made it necessary to have him transferred to the Provincial infirmary, in 1996.

He was thoroughly aware of his condition, and it was not easy for him to accept it. Being hospitalized, he would often admit, during his fraternal conversations, how difficult it was to deal with the difficulties of the moment: “How many times have I preached Christian resignation, and how difficult it is to live it when you are concerned personally.”

During his stay at the infirmary of Siquem, he never lost his courage and his desire to live even though a hearing loss made it more and more difficult to communicate. He loved to read.  His poor health made him weaker every day. He died in the morning of January 10, when his community was remembering the anniversary of Adèle de Trenquelléon’s death.

Fr. Antonio has been one of the persons who left an important witness during the first years of the history of the Province of Madrid. He was a religious whose strong personality made him a demanding person towards himself and others.  He lived his vocation very intensively, although he was always aware of his limits and of his work.

Motivated by his passion for History, he wrote – among other works -, an accurate biography of Blessed Fr. Chaminade, in a series of short chapters that were regularly published in the “Noticias” issues, an information newsletter of the Province.

After Fr. Antonio’s death, while revising his personal effects, we found a short summary of his activities, and the request that this be read on the day of his funeral. This text is his spiritual legacy, in which he sincerely asks forgiveness of all those to whom might have caused sufferings, and above all, he thanks God for his vocation, for having received the gift of dedicating his life to his mission. He expresses his gratefulness to everyone of was close to him, and ends by asking his brothers and friends to pray for him. Let us all join them in prayer, as our dear Fr. Antonio would have wanted.

2003-01

The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, CHARLES A. WALKE, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 10, 2003, in Rockaway Beach, New York, in the 89th year of his age and the 71st year of his religious profession.

Charles Walke was born on May 12, 1914, in Muncie, Ind., to Alois and Clara Clemons Walke.  He was one of five children. Shortly after his birth, he and his family moved to southeastern Indiana where he attended Catholic elementary schools in Batesville, Greensburg and Morris.  As a youngster, he attended St. Anthony’s Parish in Morris.

It was during the eighth grade at Morris that his pastor, a former Marianist Brother, encouraged him to consider the religious life.  In July 1928, Bro. Charles entered the postulate at Mount St. John Preparatory School in Dayton and graduated in 1931. He professed his first vows in 1932 at Mount St. John and professed perpetual vows in 1936 at the University of Dayton.

Bro. Charles was a Working Brother whose labor consisted of dairy work, farming and maintenance.  From 1933-41, he served at Beacon, N.Y., before going to Mount St. John where he spent the next six years. Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland called him in 1947 to serve one year in custodial and maintenance work.  The following year he took a similar assignment at Chaminade High School in Dayton.

In 1949, Bro. Charles was called to serve at the Marianist novitiate in Marcy, N.Y., where he worked for 33 years. Bro. Charles felt most at home at Marcy, a site that later became known as the Bergamo East Retreat Center. Here his love for farming, gardening and grounds keeping could be expressed and appreciated.

After retiring in 1982, Bro. Charles lived at St. John’s of Rockaway Beach community in New York, where he did maintenance work, sewing and gardening.  “He was a wonderful presence in our community,” said Fr. Paul Landolfi, community director. “We will miss him and the great tomatoes he grew every year.”