Portal for the Members of the SM
|Date of Death||SM Unit|
|2005-28||Brother Jakob Thalmann||December 30, 2005||Switzerland/Togo|
|2005-27||Brother Bernard Diethorn||December 27, 2005||USA|
|2005-26||Brother Paul Nomi||December 20, 2005||USA|
|2005-25||Brother Remigio Franch||December 13, 2005||Italy|
|2005-24||Father Juan Vesga Cuevas||December 9, 2005||Zaragoza|
|2005-23||Brother Anthony Young||November 25, 2005||USA|
|2005-22||Brother Bernardo álvarez Gutíerrez||November 16, 2005||Madrid|
|2005-21||Father Miguel Lete Alday||November 14, 2005||Colombia/Equador|
|2005-20||Brother Iwao Jean Nagata||November 7, 2005||Japan|
|2005-19||Father Francisco Pérez de Mendiguren||November 4, 2005||Zaragoza|
|2005-18||Brother Bernardo Guevara Landa||October 31, 2005||Madrid|
|2005-17||Father Tokuichi Joseph Tomonaga||October 20, 2005||Japan|
|2005-16||Brother Agustin Calzada Gutiérrez||September 16, 2005||Madrid|
|2005-15||Brother Robert C. Kraft||September 12, 2005||USA|
|2005-14||Brother Benito Revuelta Abecia||September 7, 2005||Zaragoza|
|2005-13||Brother Anthony V. Sobocinski||August 17, 2005||USA|
|2005-12||Father Philip C. Hoelle||August 13, 2005||USA|
|2005-11||Father Richard K. Knuge||August 6, 2005||USA|
|2005-10||Brother John J. Schneider||June 21, 2005||USA|
|2005-09||Brother Richard W. Rose||May 23, 2005||USA|
|2005-08||Brother Norman C. Eckl||May 14, 2005||USA|
|2005-07||Brother James W. Riley||April 29, 2005||USA|
|2005-06||Brother George J. Whiston||April 18, 2005||USA|
|2005-05||Brother Angel Chomón Vallejo||January 22, 2005||Madrid|
|2005-04||Father Emilio Ortega Sebastián||January 17, 2005||Zaragoza|
|2005-03||Brother Timoteo Soto Angulo||January 8, 2005||Zaragoza|
|2005-02||Brother Marcellus Joseph Ross||January 2, 2005||Peru|
|2005-01||Brother Pierre Devanthey||January 2, 2005||Switzerland/Togo|
The Region of Switzerland recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JAKOB THALMANN, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 30, 2005, at Sion, Switzerland in the 96th year of his age and the 69th of his religious profession.
Gottshaus (God’s House) is the town in the canton of Thurgovie in Switzerland where Jakob Thalmann was born on April 3, 1910, Quasimodo Sunday. Jakob was the second in a family of seven children. He spent his childhood in Gossau (St. Gall) where he attended primary school.
Already at 14, in 1924, he was working in a garment factory and in 1927, in a textile factory in Herisau (Appenzell).
At 26, he heard the call of God. Because of what he had read in a magazine, young Thalmann knocked at the door of the Marianists. He entered the novitiate in Greisinghof (Austria) and on September 12, 1937, he made his commitment in the Society of Mary by the profession of the evangelical counsels.
One year as an apprentice in a new trade, carpenter, in Freistadt (Austria) and a year at the Technicum in Fribourg (Switzerland) introduced him to his work in the Society of Mary. On July 26, 1941, Brother Jakob Thalmann made his perpetual vows in the service of Mary, in Fribourg.
Grangemeuve (Fribourg), Yseure (France), Rome and Martigny, at the bend In the Rhone, were Bro.Jakob’s places of professional activity. At Martigny, our brother plied the trade of St. Joseph for forty years. He knew all the nooks and crannies at Collège Ste-Marie where he made transformations, repairs and renovations.
In 1994, at 84, he left the community in Martigny, which was closing its doors and went to Sion where he continued his passion for carpentry work. He spent his time of retirement doing odd jobs around the house, reading and praying. How often we saw him with his rosary in hand, or a spiritual reading book on his desk… or in the chapel!
For several years, Brother Jakob had expressed his desire to return to the Father’s house. The last two months of his life he spent between the clinic, the community and the hospital. He awaited serenely this journey to the heavenly Father: “I know where I stand”, he told his superior who was driving him from the clinic to the community. On Sunday, December 25, he asked: “Oh, my guardian angel, have pity on a poor sinner”, and the nurse tucked him into bed. Friday morning, December 30, 2005, in his 96th year, Jakob died peacefully in the hospital in Gravelone.
Baptized at Gottshaus (God’s House), Brother Jakob went to the Father’s House, the Father he served by his commitment in the Marianist Family as a religious in alliance with Mary. May the Lord open wide his arms full of mercy.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear brother, BERNARD DIETHORN, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 27, 2005, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 86th year of his age and the 67th year of his religious profession.
Bernard Diethorn was born on March 12, 1920, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Edward and Julia (Appel) Diethorn. His childhood experiences set the stage for his vocation. He lived in the South Side Pittsburgh neighborhood of Holy Hill, where even the streets were named after saints, and attended church and grade school at St. Michael’s. The brothers at St. Michael’s made a lasting impact on Bro. Bernie and his family. At a young age, he was impressed by his oldest brother’s interest in the brothers and their stories about Mary. By the time he graduated from eighth grade, Bro. Bernie shared his brother’s enthusiasm for these men “who gave their whole hearts to Jesus and Mary,” as he described them.
In 1934, Bro. Bernie entered into the postulate of the Society of Mary at Mount Saint John in Dayton, Ohio. He professed his first vows in 1939 and perpetual vows in 1943, both at Mount Saint John.
He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and history from the University of Dayton in 1942. He earned a master’s degree in U.S. history in 1952, and an education doctorate in counseling in 1966, both from Case Western Reserve University.
Bro. Bernie spent his life working in education – as a teacher, administrator, counselor and writer of several articles on education. His teaching career began in 1942 at Chaminade High School in Dayton, where he taught Latin, English and history. Over the next 15 years, he also taught at Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland and Purcell High School in Cincinnati.
In 1957, he began taking on more administrative roles, working as a vice-principal at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh and then assistant principal at Purcell High School in Cincinnati in 1961. In 1964, he became director of guidance at Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland.
Bro. Bernie taught at the University of Dayton for 30 years, from 1966 -1996. He began his work at UD as an associate professor of counseling. In 1979, he became a full professor. His last 10 years at UD were focused on training counselors for social service agencies. In addition to his work at UD, Bro. Bernie also taught summers at Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawai’i, from 1977-1997.
Bro. Bernie continually sought to improve his knowledge of education and attended numerous workshops and seminars. He also was active on many university/school committees and in several professional organizations. “He was an outstanding teacher and professor and a first-class person,” said Bro. Ray Martin, Indiana Community, Dayton, and a former student of Bro. Bernie’s.
Commenting at his 60th jubilee on the most important grace the Marianist life has given him, Bro. Bernie said, “The opportunity to help others–some 6,000 counselors in high school agencies as well as mental health agencies. I was also able to support hospital personnel across the country. Such a variety of people has touched my life.”
Since 2004, Bro. Bernie resided at the Mercy Siena healthcare facility in Dayton. He died at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton of kidney and liver failure. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, PAUL NOMI, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 20, 2005, at Honolulu, Hawaii, in the 65th year of his age and the 44th of his religious profession.
Paul Nomi was born on August 21, 1941, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Yukito and Flora (Okuda) Nomi and attended Sacred Heart Parish. He graduated from Saint Louis School in Honolulu in 1959 and attended college at Chaminade College (now Chaminade University of Honolulu) from 1959-1961. In 1961, Bro. Paul entered into the novitiate of the Society of Mary at Chaminade Preparatory in Santa Cruz, California. He professed his first vows in 1962 and perpetual vows in 1966.
While his family had varied religious roots including the Japanese religion of Shinto, Buddhism and the Baptist faith, Bro. Paul was drawn to Catholicism, and particularly the Society of Mary. As a brother, he believed he could convert his family and many others to the Catholic faith. His parents welcomed his religious aspirations, viewing them as a way of returning their son to God.
Bro. Paul spent his life working as an educator. Fluent in Japanese, he began his active ministry in 1964 as an English teacher in Yokohama, Japan. In 1969, he went to Seoul, Korea, and studied for two years to learn Korean. He stayed and taught English and religion in Mokpo, Korea, until 1981. He was then transferred to St. John’s Residence and School for Boys in Rockaway Park, New York, where he worked as a counselor for six years. From 1990 to 1996, he was assigned to the Kieffer Community in Honolulu and taught at the Saint Louis School. In 1996, he transferred to the Marianist Hall Community in Honolulu and taught “English as a Second Language” in the Adult Division of McKinley High School. Bro. Paul taught there until earlier this year when complications from pancreatic cancer made him too ill to continue.
“He was a simple and spiritual man,” said Fr. John Bolin, Bro. Paul’s former provincial. “He had an incredible sensitivity to the needs of others.” Fr. John said this quality was evident in Bro. Paul’s work at St. John’s Home, where he willingly accepted the more difficult assignments. “He often performed the tasks that many did not want to do. He was happy doing it and very helpful to the young people. They really valued him.”
Bro. Paul had a special place in his heart for the Koreans and other immigrants he worked with in his ministry in Honolulu. He assisted them in finding housing, jobs and in helping them gain U.S. citizenship. “He had a real influence on the Korean people,” said Fr. Bill O’Connell, who worked with Bro. Paul in Honolulu. “They were appreciative of the support he gave them, which was over and above teaching English.”
Fr. Tim Kenney, Assistant for Education, St. Louis, Missouri, who visited with Bro. Paul shortly before his death said Bro. Paul expressed much gratitude for his life as a Marianist. “Even during his time of suffering, he remained positive and full of love for people,” said Fr. Tim. “Paul’s battle with cancer has taught us about patience, hope and a willingness to enter into the struggle and to ask God for help and strength.”
May he rest in peace.
The Province of the Italy recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, REMIGIO FRANCH, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 13, 2005, at Rome, Italy, in the 96th year of his age and the 78th of his religious profession.
Brother Remigio Franch was born at Cloz (Trento), a village in an Alpine valley. He made his Postulate at Pallanza (1922-1927), and his Novitiate at St. Remy (France), where he also made his first vows on 12 September 1928; his perpetual vows at Antony on 26 August 1934.
He was dean of the Marianist Province of Italy and died in Rome in the early afternoon of 13 December after suffering a stroke a few days before.
Until then, and above all in the last years of his life, he spent his time in simplicity and prayer. He was always present for community meetings, often participated in a second Mass and went, as often as his health allowed him, to the Church of the “Divin Amore” at the gates of Rome.
Every day he worried about knowing the time of Mass so that he would not miss it. In community, he was a discrete and amiable presence. No one had to take care of him – not even in his last days. He was pleasant to everyone and liked to listen to others. As a matter of fact, he did not talk very much, but the way he looked and smiled was welcoming and serene. Trentine by birth, stubborn and very hard-working, he shared with his brother, Father Oreste (deceased many years ago), the adventure and the decision of dedicating his life to the Lord and to Mary in our Congregation. Like them, one of their sisters chose the religious life.
Remigio was able to use and make the most of this natural temperament along with the spiritual and professional formation received in the SM (he obtained his Normal School diploma in 1934) in the education of the smallest children and as business manager in different works of the Province.
At table and on informal occasions, he often thought and spoke of the troubles and difficulties getting everything to work properly, of past events in his religious life (he loved to recall that he was one of the first to obtain a driver’s license, a rare thing at that time!), and about the growing of apples in his valley (the Val di Non).
When he heard anyone talk about his birthplace, he would come alive and in community, when “his” apples came, he was truly proud and offered them to everybody (brothers and friends). To enjoy eating them was the best gift one could give him. A visit from relatives or compatriots was a real pleasure for him.
Since 1974, he had been in the Santa Maria Community in Rome. He no longer had any official function, but he never refused to help out, not even in little odd jobs like the distribution of meal tickets to the pupils of the school. He was punctual and regular at this task and meeting with the little ones and their parents was a great joy for him.
During his old age and his changing physical conditions, he showed his mountaineer temperament with a good dose of endurance: one rarely heard him complain. He was able to affront this last stage of his life with good spirit and serenity.
Now, we confide him to the paternal hands of God and the maternal hands of Mary so that he may receive the promised inheritance and enjoy everlasting peace and joy.
The Province of the Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JUAN VESGA CUEVAS, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on December 9, 2005, at Valencia, Spain, in the 90th year of his age and the 73rd of his religious profession.
Juan Vesga Cuevas was born November 24, 1916 in San Sebastián, the son of Fernando and Juana. On October 3, 1928 he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza . He began his novitiate in Elorrio on July 9, 1932 and made his first profession in the same place on July 10, 1933. After his profession he went to Segovia where he was a scholastic for three years.
A good part of his life he worked in different schools as teacher and chaplain. He started at Our Lady of the Pillar school in Jerez de la Frontera in 1936. He was there when the Spanish Civil War broke out. At the beginning of 1937 he was recruited into the army where he remained until August of 1939. After that he worked in the schools in San Sebastián, Madrid (The Pillar), Escoriaza, Vitoria and Valencia. On August 15, 1940 he made his perpetual profession. He began his seminary studies in Vitoria, continued them in Carabanchel (Madrid) and finished in Fribourg. He was ordained on March 13, 1948.
His Marian piety led him to deepen his Mariological studies, first in Madrid, and then during 1981-82 at the Marian Library in Dayton. For many years, motivated by his love of Mary, he gathered information on most of the Marian images in Spain. This allowed him to write a doctoral thesis at the Gregorian University in Rome titled “The Titles of the Images of the Virgin Mary Venerated in Spain” in 1986 when he was 70 years old which was given the highest grade.
He also worked as an assistant to the novice master Fr. José Ansejo at the novitiate in Elorrio, and later he was the Provincial Secretary for fourteen years.
In 1982 he returned to the community in Valencia where he remained unitil his death in 2005. On the night of December 8, the feast of the Immaculate and already December 9, at four in the morning he went to the Father’s house. It was fitting that one who had loved the Virgin so much should die close to her feast. In his later years he prayed thousands of rosaries, each time asking Mary to “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”. She most certainly inter-ceded for him and received him together with her Son.
He has left us some examples, at least the witness to his faith, his hope and his devotion to Mary. May they edify us and help us continue preparing to receive the God who will come to look for us so that each may enter fully into the Kingdom.
May the Lord and our Mother, the Virgin of the Pillar, have received him and may he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ANTHONY YOUNG, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 25, 2005, at Mountain View, California, in the 78th year of his age and the 53rd of his religious profession.
Anthony Young was born on May 19, 1928, in Keanae, Maui, Hawaii, to Yim and Victoria (Wong) Young and attended St. Gabriel Parish. Upon graduation from Saint Louis College in Honolulu, he served as a sergeant for the Reserve National Guard from 1948 to 1952. He professed his first vows in 1953 and perpetual vows in 1957.
Inspired by the service of Mother Teresa and Father Damien, a missionary legendary for his work in Hawaii, Brother Tony spent his life serving as a working brother. He began his active ministry in 1954 as a business manager at the Marianist novitiate community in Santa Cruz, California. He went on to do maintenance and landscaping work in West Hills and Gardena, California, and in Honolulu, Hawaii. He later returned to California and from 1988 to 2003 served as an outreach minister at the Newman Catholic Center at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
Although he worked in construction and accounting, he was especially admired for the landscaping and culinary talents he generously shared with the many people and organizations he served. “He was gentle and giving of himself to the students,” said Father Roland Bunda, a fellow Hawaiian who worked with Brother Tony at the Newman Center. “They would never go away hungry. He always prepared plenty of food for them and made sure they were well provided for.”
Echoing Father Bunda’s remarks, Bridget Smith, a Lay Marianist Associate in Santa Cruz, said, “Brother Tony was hardworking, and made a big impact on the students. He felt it was his job not only to teach them how to study, but to teach them to help others. Every student he touched is better at whatever their life’s vocation is because of him.”
In addition to the Newman Center at Santa Cruz, Brother Tony also was active in the Newman Centers at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, and California State University Monterey Bay. He also served many other organizations in the Santa Cruz and Monterey Catholic diocese, including the St. Francis Soup Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, Jesus, Mary and Joseph Home for women and children, Siena Maternity Home and the Poor Clares Monastery, among many others.
One of Brother Tony’s most rewarding experiences was visiting Blessed Father Chaminade’s homeland in Bordeaux, France. Wayne Shaffer, a Lay Marianist Associate, accompanied Bro. Tony on this trip and several other excursions he made to his beloved homeland of Hawaii. “Brother Tony called these ‘vacations’ but he was the type of person who never said ‘no.’ We worked all day going from place to place to fix something for someone, help with lawn work or plant a garden. He will be missed because he did so many things for so many people.”
Brother Tony’s other great passion was encouraging vocations. He often talked about vocations and prayed that men and women would get involved in the church. One of his dreams was that someone he touched would choose a Marianist vocation. The alumni at the Newman Center at Santa Cruz are working to create a scholarship in his name, the “Brother Anthony Young Scholarship Fund for Student Leadership.”
Brother Tony was honored by the Santa Cruz Newman Center at its annual dinner on January 22, 2005. He also received a letter of proclamation from the mayor of Santa Cruz for his many years of service to the community. “He knew everyone in Santa Cruz,” remarked Father Bunda. “We often said he could run for mayor. Brother Tony was a man of faith and of prayer, a man who used his talents to build up the Kingdom of God.”
Brother Tony celebrated his 50 year jubilee in 2003. Over the last two years he had been treated for problems associated with heart and back surgeries and had moved to the Villa St. Joseph community in Cupertino, California. He is survived by two sisters, Rina Moore of San Diego, California, and Victoria Kanoa of Wailuku, Maui. May he rest in peace.
The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, BERNARDO áLVAREZ GUTIÉRREZ, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 16, 2005, at Madrid, Spain, in the 88th year of his age and the 72nd of his religious profession.
Bernardo álvarez was born August 28, 1918 in Villarin de Campos in the Province of Zamora. When he was 12 he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza, and began his novitiate in Elorrio in 1933, making his first profession on September 1, 1934. He spent his formation years in Elorrio and Segovia. His studies were directed toward professional work in graphic arts, specifically book binding. He made his perpetual profession on August 15, 1940.
He joined the community at Via Latina 22 in 1949 to serve the General Administration. He also did some work for the Vatican. During the Holy Year 1950 he helped sell stamps to pilgrims who came to Rome. In 1958 he went to Valladolid to give classes in book binding to some postulants. Five years later he began to work at the S.M. Publishing House where he continued to work until he retired. He always showed himself calm, serene and serviceable. People liked him.
Afflicted with diabetes, he began losing his sight. In 1982, though he continued working in the Publishing House he had to change jobs because of his vision difficulties. The doctors said he would have a progressive loss of vision which would eventually lead to total blindness. In order to face that situation, he took a three months course organized by the National Organization for the Blind in which he learned the techniques necessary to be able to get along by himself when he would lose his sight.
When he began to feel ill, Bernardo peacefully accepted the medical indications that forewarned of a complex future full of limitations. No one ever heard him complain. He continued to prepare for the limitations he was going to face. He lived in peace and tried to be as useful as possible.
In spite of the fact that he was blind, he wanted to continue being useful. He joined the community of the Provincial Administration where he took care of the telephone in an amiable and efficient way. Little by little he lost strength and became disoriented, losing all sense of time so that in 1998 it was necessary to send him to the Province infirmary.
After a few months his progressive deterioration came to a point where he was bedridden. His illness and its consequences continued to advance. His level of consciousness was almost imperceptible. He spent five years in this condition until he died in the afternoon of Wednesday, November 16.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation” is the song we sing during a funeral. Bernardo had sung it many times in his life. When the external light disappeared from his eyes he concentrated more on Him who is the Light. During the Mass we heard St. Paul’s invitation: “Act as children of the light whose fruit is goodness, rectitude and truth.” One who had to live in physical darkness for many years learned how to find the Light, and be light.
He had been a person who was simple and approachable, who now hears the words found in the letter to the Ephesians: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from among the dead and Christ will be your light.”
The Region of Colombia-Equador recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, MIGUEL LETE ALDAY, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 14, 2005, at San Clemente, Colombia, in the 80th year of his age and the 63rd of his religious profession.
Miguel was born on July 4, 1926 in Arcarazo, Spain. From 1938 until 1942 he was a postulant in Escoriaza after which he entered the novitiate, professing his first vows on September 12, 1943. He continued his formation as a scholastic at both Segovia and Carabanchal. He earned his baccalaureate in 1946 at Madrid.
For the next several years, Miguel was involved in teaching ministry at San Sabastián. In 1952 he began studies for the priesthood at the Marianist International Seminary in Fribourg. Ordained on July 17, 1955, Miguel continued his studies in Fribourg until 1957. Returning to teaching, Miguel served the next seven years as professor and vocation director in Escoriaza, Spain.
Over the next forty years, Fr. Miguel divided his ministry between Escoriaza and San Sebastián. He served as teacher and chaplain in both places. Then, at the age of 66, he generously offered his services to the people of Colombia. Arriving in Bogotá in 1994, Fr. Miguel spent a year there before moving to San Clemente, Colombia. Fr. Miguel lovingly served the people of Colombia for more than ten years.
On November 14, 2005, Fr. Miguel died at San Ignacio de Loyola University Hospital, Bogotá. He had been suffering from a very grave form of pneumonia. He passed on to his eternal reward peacefully and without pain.
Fr. Miguel’s funeral was held on November 15th at the parish of Nuestra Señora de la Caridad, Bogotá, and he was buried in the Central Cemetery the same day.
May he rest in peace!
The Region of Japan recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, IWAO JEAN NAGATA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 7, 2005, at Tokio, Japan in the 96th year of his age and the 77th of his religious profession.
Iwao Jean Nagata, the son of Kanematsu Louis and Jimi Maria Nagata, was born on the island of Kuroshima in Nagasaski Prefecture. His official date of birth was June 1, 1910, the date his birth was recorded with the local authorities. However, he was actually born on May 19, 1910 and baptized on May 20, the following day. He entered St. Mary’s Institute (the Apostolic School in Urakami) as a Marianist postulant in April of 1924 and went on to profess first vows there on March 24, 1929
He graduated from Gyosei Secondary School in Tokyo in March of 1932 and was assigned to the Osaka Meisei Commercial School in April of 1932. He professed perpetual vows on August 24, 1935. In September of 1942 he graduated from the Nihon University Higher Teacher Training School – the Department of Geography & History. Bro. Nagata was blessed with an amazing memory. Whenever some event from the past came up in conversation at community mealtime or elsewhere, and there was a lack of clarity about the facts, it would fall upon him to provide the details. He did so with delight for he was talkative by nature. He was one of the “storytellers” in the Region of Japan. He spoke vividly and clearly, helping and bringing joy to his listeners.
Upon his graduation from the university he was assigned to Nagasaki Kaisei School. However, in June of 1944, then at the age of 34, he was conscripted into the Japanese military like many of his fellow Marianists during those war years. He himself was sent to the Southern Front. At one point during this time, the convoy of seventeen ships on which he was traveling was attacked. All of the ships but one were sunk and thousands died. This experience as a “survivor” had a profound effect upon him and this event would form an important part of his repertoire of stories. Why had he survived while so many others had died?
Upon being discharged from the Army in May of 1946, he was assigned to teach a short while at Taisei School in Fukuoka, (then an SM-staffed school). He later taught several years again at Kaisei School (1948-1951; 1967-1970) and spent a year (1970-1971) serving as the supervisor of the short-lived boarding program at Chaminade in Tokyo.
Most of his post-war teaching career, however, was spent at Osaka Meisei School (1951-1967; 1971-1988). For a time during his years at Meisei he served as the “Dean of Discipline.” He was reportedly nicknamed “shachi” or “killer whale” by the students at Meisei, and even by students from other schools in the immediate area, for the ferocious tenacity with which he approached any student, on or off campus, whom he felt was deviating from school rules or regulations.
In May of 1967, he was given an “Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Education” by the Prefecture of Osaka. Upon his official retirement from Meisei in March of 1988 he continued to live at the Meisei Marianist Community and help out in the school library. He moved to Chaminade in Tokyo (the health-care wing) on October 7, 1993. He died of heart failure at Chaminade early in the morning of November 7, 2005. On the wall of his room was pasted a sheet of paper containing the words of that traditional “Prayer before Retiring” which he had handwritten in large Japanese characters to compensate for the effects of cataracts. “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I entrust myself spirit and soul to you; Jesus, Mary, Joseph, help me during the agony of my final hours; Jesus, Mary, Joseph, may I die peacefully under your protection.”
The Province of Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, FRANCISCO PÉREZ DE MENDIGUREN, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 4, 2005, at Vitoria, Álava, in the 71st year of his age and the 52nd of his religious profession.
Francisco Pérez de Mendiguren Ruiz de Lazcano was born on October 24, 1935 in Tres-puentes (Alava), the son of Ezequiel and Lucia. On September 30,. 1947 he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza and began his novitiate in Elorrio on September 11, 1953, professing first vows in the same place on September 12, 1954. He made his perpetual vows in Vitoria n September 4, 1960.
He received a Licentiate in History from the University of Valencia in 1970. He worked in various schools as a teacher: Our Lady of the Pillar in Valencia from 1957 to 1962; Santa María in San Sebastián from 1962 to 1966, and again in Valencia from 1967 to 1969, returning to San Sebastián for the year 1970-1971. From 1972 to 1977 he was at the Postulate in Escoriaza.
From 1977 to 1998 he was in Colombia where he worked in Bogotá and Medellín. In the latter city he studied theology and was ordained a priest by Bishop Octavio Betancourt. He returned to Bogotá and then went to Guática as pastor, moving from here to the La Paz school in Bogotá as Director of Studies, and finally to the parish of Perpetual Help in the same city, as pastor. Every where he went he worked hard.
In September of 1998 he returned to Spain and was sent to the community in Almería where he worked in two parishes where the Marianists are in charge. He remained there until January of 2005 working with the gypsies, the fishermen of the port, the Spanish Conference of Religious and the prison which he visited regularly. He volunteered to work in the new mission in Cuba and received a visa which allowed him to join the community in Camaguey to which he had been assigned.
At the age of 69, he went to Cuba with great expectations and disposed to work with all his energy, which was a lot, but in September of this year, after spending some time in the hospital where he was treated for a bronchial infection, other worrisome symptoms of a different nature appeared and he was advised to return to Spain. He did so on the 23rd of the same month, going to Vitoria. Very quickly a bad-looking cerebral tumor was detected. They offered to operate but with no guarantee and with the warning that this type of tumor reproduces very rapidly. After thinking about it for some days, he decided against the operation and placed himself in God’s hands, accepting the days of life left to him as a grace from God to prepare for death. From that time on he was at peace. After some days of improvement in which he could enjoy his native place, his family and the company of his Brothers, and even talk to the students about the mission and celebrate the Eucharist for the community on All Saints Day, he had to return to the hospital where he died in the service of the Blessed Virgin on November 4, 2005.
He leaves us his testimony of the certainty of his faith, of his hope and peace in the face of death, of his untiring missionary spirit, of his work with the poor and his spirit of holding out to the end.
The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, BERNARDO GUEVARA LANDA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on October 31, 2005, at Madrid, Spain, in the 94th year of his age and the 77th of his religious profession.
Bernardo Guevara was born on August 19, 1912 in Crispijana in the Province of Avala, Spain. When he was twelve years old he entered the Postulate in Escoriaza. He began his novitiate in 1928 and made his first religious profession on September 6, 1929. Five years later on September 2, 1934 he made his definitive commitment to the Society of Mary with his perpetual vows. In that same year he finished his studies to be a teacher.
When he finished the scholasticate he began his mission as an educator at the Pillar school in Madrid. Immediately after his made his perpetual profession he was sent to Buenos Aires where he remained until 1949. For the next eight years he worked at the school in Santiago, Chile. In 1957 he returned to Spain where he spent the rest of his life except for two years in Tangiers (Morocco). The schools in Ciudad Real and Cádiz benefited from his dedication to education.
In 1980, when he was 68, he joined the house of prayer at La Parra in Avila as head of maintenance. From 1988 to 2000 he was a member of the community in Vitoria where he went to take care of his two brothers, both bachelors, who were suffering from Alzheimer’s. He had to assume legal responsibility for them . The time came when his own health deteriorated and he was no longer able to carry out that responsibility. The brother who is still living was put into a home and Bernardo joined the community at the Provincial Administration in Madrid. Two years later he had to be transferred to the Province infirmary in Carabanchel.
He had an apparently extraordinary physical health but his mental faculties were greatly diminished. On October 31, the vespers of the feast of All Saints, he died very suddenly. His last years had been very serene. He lived in peace with himself and others. People liked him. Shortly after he died someone who knew him well said, “If everyone were like him there wouldn’t be any wars in the world.” Would that the same thing could be said of all of us on the day of our death!
During his whole life Bernardo was a Marianist educator convinced of his vocation and dedicated to whatever was assigned to him. In preparing for his funeral, a religious who is one of his former students recalled some of the comments on the Holy Infancy which he had heard from his young professor in Grade School. Everyone who knew him in the years when he was in good physical health remember him as a simple religious of deep piety, always available, calm, and a worker.
When he as in Vitoria taking care of his brothers and talked about them he often said, “We Guevaras have always been very austere.” And it was true. It is a good lesson in a world in which happiness is often confused with comfort.
The Region of Japan recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, TOKUICHI JOSEPH TOMONAGA, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on October 20, 2005, in Tokyo, in the 94th year of his age and the 76th year of his religious profession.
Joseph Tokuichi Tomonaga was born on August 15, 1912 in Tabira-cho in Nagasaki Prefecture. He was the sixth of the ten children of Peter Suketaro and Agnes Tomi Tomonaga. He entered the postulate in 1925, professed first vows in 1930 and made perpetual vows in 1935. He studied philosophy and theology in Fribourg, Switzerland and was ordained to the priesthood there on July 27 in 1941. That was right in the midst of World War II and he found himself unable to return to Japan. He remained in Switzerland and taught at Villa St. Jean in Fribourg. He finally returned to Japan in 1946 and, after serving as chaplain at Sapporo Kosei School and then at Tokyo Gyosei School, was appointed in July of 1953 as the Provincial of the Province of Japan. Following his ten-year tenure as Provincial (two terms), he became the Director of the Nagasaki Kaisei Postulate. He was renamed as Acting Provincial in March of 1967, a post he held until October of that same year. He then became the chaplain at the FMI Convent in Chofu. In 1969 he returned to Gyosei School where he ministered until his reappointment as chaplain to the Marianist Sisters in Chofu in 1981. From 1984 until 1993 he served as the Director of the Mariazan Community and Retreat House in Kannami. He retired from the “front-lines” of active service in 1993 and subsequently devoted himself full-time to the ministry of offering spiritual direction to the laity and guidance to various prayer groups. From 1995 to 1998 he served as chaplain to the Carmelite Sisters in Fukuoka Prefecture. After that assignment he returned once more to Gyosei in Tokyo where he spent much of his time in prayer.
Father Tomonaga was a multi-talented individual – sports, painting, music, and languages. In the area of sports, he could aptly be labeled an “all-around athlete.” Not only did he like tennis, baseball, soccer, jogging, mountain climbing, etc., but he towered above the other members of the Province in such activities. During his years of ministry in the Tokyo area, it was his yearly practice to climb Mt. Fuji, which ranks in the class of 3,000-meter mountains. He was also quite a painter. Although it couldn’t be said that he enjoyed oil painting like one of those weekend artists, the backgrounds that he painted for theatrical performances and especially for the elaborate Christmas Crèches that he created each year brought delight to all who saw them.
He was deeply devoted to Mary and Marian devotion. Not only did he himself pray, but he also encouraged others to do likewise. In his later years he became enthusiastically involved in the Charismatic Movement and directed several prayer groups.
One of the special talents of Fr. Tomonaga that could be mentioned was his ability as a “diviner.” He was able to guess with great accuracy the direction, the depth and the volume of water in water veins underground. Many, many were grateful to him for the wells that were dug on the properties of religious institutes and churches throughout Japan.
Finding it increasingly difficult to get around, Father Tomonaga moved to Chaminade in April of 2003 where he had the use of an elevator. In early 2005 his appetite began to decrease and swallowing food became more and more of a problem for him. He experienced several bouts with pneumonia as a result. A decision was made to feed him intravenously. His blood pressure began to drop about that same time. He was called to the Lord on October 20 at 8:10 in the evening.
The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, AGUSTIN CALZADA GUTIÉRREZ, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 16, 2005, at Pola de Lena, Spain, in the 74th year of his age and the 56th of his religious profession.
Agustín Calzada was born May 5, 1932, in Avellanosa del Páramo in the Province of Burgos, Spain. At the age of 13 he entered the Postulate at Escoriaza. In 1949 he began his novitiate. He professed his first vows on September 12, 1950. A few months later he was sent to the scholas-ticate in Brandssn, Argentina. On February 16, 1956, he made his definitive commitment to the Society of Mary with the profession of perpetual vows.
Agustín was one of the religious sent to Argentina for the scholasticate and university studies which would enable him to carry out his mission as an educator in the Andean countries. He began his teaching in Buenos Aires in 1953 where he remained for nine years He worked in South America for twenty years until 1973. During that time he was at the schools in Nueve de Julio (Argentina) and Linares and Santiago (Chile).
When he returned to Europe he spent a year in Castelgandolfo for the second novitiate, after which he returned to Spain. In the following years he carried out his mission as a teacher in the schools of Rodríguez Fabrés Foundation in Salamanca, Our Lady of the Pillar in Madrid, in Valladolid and Pola de Lena. He arrived at the latter in 1981 and remained there for fifteen years as a teacher and secretary and then as retired until his death.
His health problems began at an early age. Problems with blood circulation caused varicose veins in his legs and in his esophagus The first were more visible and forced him to keep his legs bandaged. The esophagus veins were more difficult to treat and were a serious threat to his life.
He knew he was sick and took care of his health. He had to limit his work but was always active. In spite of the difficulties he suffered he was cheerful in his relationships with the persons close to him in community. He made special efforts to animate the Ex-Students’ Association to which he gave a lot of his time.
On the morning of September 16 he had a strong internal hemorrhage. An ambulance took him to the hospital immediately. The doctors worked to reduce the loss of blood but their efforts were in vain and he died a few hours later.
By sheer coincidence the group which finished its school studies 25 years ago was meeting precisely on Saturday the 17 to celebrate the silver jubilee of graduation. They had planned to have the Eucharist together and did so in the school chapel where the body of Agustín was laid out. Don Carlos Osoro, bishop of the diocese, who had gone to pray for the religious and accompany the Marianist community in its sorrow and in hope wanted to join with the celebration of the ex-students and presided at the ceremony.
In the afternoon the parish church was filled with friends of the community and of the school, teachers, parents, alumni and neighbors who joined the Marianist community and the family of Agustín to accompany him in his final journey to God.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ROBERT KRAFT, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 12, 2005, at Troy, Ohio, in the 74th year of his age and the 33rd of his religious profession.
Robert C. Kraft was born on March 4, 1932, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, to Daniel and Gertrude Feldt Kraft. He grew up with his brother, Daniel, and sister, Doris, and attended Cathedral Latin High School in Cleveland, where he was active in the Marianist Sodality. At the age of 41, on September 8, 1973, Brother Robert professed first vows in the Society of Mary in Dayton, Ohio. He professed final vows on August 12, 1979.
Prior to joining the Marianists, Brother Robert served in the Korean War with the Army from 1952 to 1954, when he was honorably discharged. In 1961, he received a bachelor’s degree in education from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The university awarded him a master’s degree in education in 1966. He then worked in teacher education for a school district in Michigan.
Most of his ministry in the Society of Mary was spent as a religion teacher. Brother Robert taught religion at Cathedral Latin High School from 1974 to 1976, at Chaminade-Julienne High School in Dayton from 1976 to 1981, and at Memphis Catholic High School in Memphis from 1981 to 1991. He also taught at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati.
“Brother Robert was a popular and beloved teacher,” said Brother Charles Wanda. “His willingness to live community life and his devotion to Mary called him to service in the Society of Mary.”
Brother Robert died of congestive heart failure at the Harborside Healthcare facility in Troy. May he rest in peace.
The Province of Zaragosa recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, BENITO REVUELTA ABECIA, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on September 7, 2005, at Zaragoza, Spain, in the 91st year of his age and the 73rd of his religious profession.
Benito Revuelta Abecia was born April 3, 1915 in Armiñón (Alava), the son of Pedro and Cirila. On November 17, 1927 he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza. He began his novitiate in Elorrio on September 15, 1931 and made his first profession at the same place on September 28, 1932. After his profession, he returned to Escoriaza for a year to begin his scholasticate. In 1934 he was sent to Segovia to continue his scholasticate studies.
His religious life was spent doing various services in the following places:
– From 1935 to 1936 he was at Las Arenas school in Vizcaya. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936 he was able to get to Lequeitio in October and from there went to San Juan de la Luz in France. On November 11, 1936 he returned to Spain and the following January 7 was inducted into the army where he remained until August of 1939.
– From 1939 to 1940 he was at Our Lady of the Pillar school in Madrid.
– The following year he went to Santa María school in San Sebastián. On August 15, 1941 he made his perpetual vows in Escoriaza.
– For the next eleven years (1941-1952) he was stationed at Santa María school in Vitoria.
– He returned to San Sebastián in 1952 and was there for the next three years.
– The following three years were spent at Santa María del Pilar school in Zaragoza.
– From 1958 to 1961 he was again at Santa María in Vitoria.
– In September of 1961 he was sent to the S.M. Publishing House in Madrid. He remained here until 1969 when he was transferred to a new branch of the Publishing House in Zaragoza where he remained until 1976.
– From 1976 to 1981 he was an administrative assistant at Our Lady of the Pillar school in Valencia.
– From September of 1981 until his death on September 7, 2005 he was in the community of Santa María del Pilar in Zaragoza.
Benito was a genial and cordial man, always ready to laugh. He spent his life doing many different things. He was a teacher, worked in the administration of various schools, and served in the S.M. Publishing House spending many years at CESMA it’s distributing center. In all of these things he always showed great vitality and energy. For many years he suffered without complaint from arthritis which impeded his movements. He was always interested in the situation of the Society of Mary and vocations which he often prayed for. He was, in fact, a man of prayer. He was also interested in reading. His last years were spent at Santa María del Pilar in Zaragoza doing whatever he could until he could no longer leave his room. He was always grateful to the Brothers who took care of him during the time of his illness.
May the Lord and our Mother, the Virgin of the Pillar, have received him and may he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ANTHONY V. SOBOCINSKI, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 17, 2005, at San Antonio, Texas, in the 86th year of his age and the 66th of his religious profession.
Anthony V. Sobocinski was born on June 10, 1920, in St. Louis, Missouri, to John and Stella Dejnowska Sobocinski. He grew up with his brother, John, and sister, Virginia, and attended St. Hedwig grade school and South Side Catholic (now St. Mary’s) high school in St. Louis. Brother Anthony professed his first vows on August 25, 1939, and his final vows on July 30, 1944. In a letter requesting his final vows, he wrote: “Since my days in high school, I have wanted to draw close to God and to Mary.”
In 1942, Brother Anthony graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree in education. His fields included history, English and Latin. He also studied library science at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana, and the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas; Polish at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois; theology at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio; and nursing at Alexian Brothers Hospital in St. Louis.
He spent much of his ministry in education. Brother Anthony taught at Cathedral High School in Belleville, Illinois; Holy Redeemer in Detroit, Michigan; Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis; and Don Bosco High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Brother Anthony was appointed assistant novice master at Marynook in Galesville, Wisconsin, in1951. In 1957, he was transferred to Maryhurst in St. Louis, where he was a teacher and infirmarian. He then served as a librarian for almost 20 years – working at Assumption High School in East St. Louis, Illinois; St. Mary’s High School in St. Louis; and St. Mary’s University. Brother Anthony helped organize the Theological Reference and Marianist Documents libraries and the St. Louis Archdiocesan Center library.
Brother Anthony joined the retreat center staff in Glencoe, Missouri, and served as pastoral administrator for a parish in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. In 1988, he moved to the Marianist Residence in San Antonio, Texas, to assist in the health care center and serve as sacristan.
“Brother Anthony was one of the most pious persons I’ve ever known. He was very strong in his prayer life,” said Brother Martin McMurtrey. “Tony was appointed assistant novice master because he was such a fine example of a religious in the Society of Mary. The young brothers learned a lot from him.”
“Brother Tony loved the outdoors – camping, hiking and going on picnics in state parks,” added Brother Edward Loch, who often walked with Brother Anthony. “He also was an avid reader. His favorite books were historical novels.”
Brother Anthony died of complications from a stroke at the Marianist Residence in San Antonio, Texas. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, PHILIP C. HOELLE, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 13, 2005, at Dayton, Ohio, in the 94th year of his age and the 75th of his religious profession.
Philip C. Hoelle was born on April 2, 1912, in Hamilton, Ohio, to Jacob and Mary (Hogan) Hoelle. Philip was one of eight children. He had one sister, who joined the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and six brothers. Father Philip attended St. Mary’s School in Hamilton, and later wrote of his vocation: “My call to the Marianists is associated with the visit to St. Mary’s by Bro. Bernard Reckert. This genial gentleman’s friendly smile radiated an inner peace and joy. That was the time for me when night ended and the day of faith began.”
Father Philip entered the postulate at Mount St. John in Dayton, Ohio, on July 14, 1927, at the age of 15. He professed first vows on August 15, 1930, and perpetual vows on August 13, 1934. In a letter to the Provincial in 1930, Father Philip wrote: “I know that of myself I am utterly unworthy of such a vocation, yet it is for the glory of God and the honor of Mary that I wish to become a priest.” Twelve years later, he was ordained to the priesthood in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 10, 1942.
Father Philip was a highly educated man. He graduated from the University of Dayton with a bachelor’s degree and later earned an S.T.B. (Bachelor of Sacred Theology) from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and an S.T.L. (Licentiate in Sacred Theology) from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. At Ohio State University in Columbus, he earned both a master’s degree (1947) and a Ph.D. (1953) in classical languages.
His early years as a teacher—from 1933 to 1939—were spent at Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland, Ohio, and in Dayton at Chaminade High School and at the Marianist scholasticate/postulate. After seminary training in Fribourg, Switzerland, and Washington, D.C., in 1943 Father Philip returned to teaching at Trinity College in Sioux City, Iowa, and at Cathedral Latin. He also completed graduate studies at Ohio State University. For more than 10 years, from 1953 to 1964, Father Philip was professor of theological studies at the University of Dayton. He also directed the Marian Library at the university from 1954 to 1967. Father Philip served on the Provincial staff of the former Province of Cincinnati from 1964 to 1973 as assistant for religious life and assistant for apostolic action.
Father Philip was a humble man of action and quiet service. He quoted St. Francis in this regard: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible, and suddenly, you are doing the impossible.” Father Bert Buby, S.M., a longtime friend, admired his many spiritual and apostolic works. “Fr. Phil was a great wisdom figure,” Father Bert said. “He knew how to get people involved in ministries that would benefit the poor and marginal.”
In 1962, Father Philip founded “Front Line,” a training program for lay missionaries. With the help of volunteers, he founded the Dakota Center in 1965, a small community and humanitarian services center on Dayton’s west side. In 2001, the Dakota Center moved into a new $1.5 million facility with a gymnasium, classrooms, community rooms and gardens. He was the first recipient of the Dakota Center’s Founder’s Award for 30 years service to minority youth.
In 1973, Father Philip began a 20-year association with the Bergamo Conference Center at Mount St. John in Dayton, where he gave retreats, provided counseling and worked with pastoral programs. He initiated an annual charismatic retreat and scripture institute and was a mentor for the lay pastoral ministry program. In 1980, he helped initiate the “Caring for Aging Parents” program at Bergamo, which met monthly for years. He also began a Marian group called the Miriam Guild, similar to the Marianist Lay Affiliates.
Father Philip was a charter member of the Dayton Christian-Jewish Dialogue Group and helped plan the first international workshop on Christian Jewish relations held at Bergamo in 1973. In 1986, he was honored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews as the Dayton Catholic Honoree of the Year for his lifelong devotion to a ministry of reconciliation.
For his significant volunteerism, Father Philip also was given the Christian Service Award in 1993 by the UD Alumni Association as well as the New Leaf Award, the Golden Rule Award, the Liberty Bell Award and a presidential citation from the White House.
Father Philip retired in 1993 and became part of the pastoral team at The Franciscan at St. Leonard’s community. He continued his work with the Dakota Center as a volunteer and board member. He also was an avid fan of Notre Dame’s football team and the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.
“Father Phil was a great apostle of Mary, a person of deep, loving faith,” said Father Bert. “He was a creative agent of many good movements within the Society of Mary.” Father Philip died the day before he was to celebrate the 75th profession of first vows at a gathering in Dayton. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, RICHARD K. KNUGE, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 6, 2005, at Dayton, Ohio, in the 80th year of his age and the 61st of his religious profession.
Father Richard K. Knuge was born on April 3, 1926, in Dayton, Ohio, to Ralph and Dorothy (Burman) Knuge. He had a younger sister, Dolores. As a third grader, Father Richard offered to help the Sisters do sacristy work. “This was a thrill for me,” Father Richard wrote in a 1944 letter. “Perhaps this was the sowing of the seed of my vocation.” After graduating from Chaminade High School in Dayton in 1943, Father Richard entered the novitiate at the Marianist Preparatory in Beacon, New York. He professed first vows on August 19, 1944, and perpetual vows on August 20, 1949. He was ordained a priest on July 22, 1956, in Fribourg, Switzerland – a desire he first realized in grade school. Father Richard received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton in 1947 and a M.Ed. in guidance and counseling from Xavier University in Cincinnati in 1962.
Father Richard’s early teaching career in the late 1940s began in the Northeast, first at St. Michael’s in Baltimore, Maryland, followed by three assignments in New York: St. John’s Home (Rockaway), Most Holy Trinity High School (Brooklyn) and Chaminade High School (Mineola).
After Father Richard was ordained, he returned to the classroom. For almost 20 years, from 1958 to 1977, he served as principal, teacher, chaplain and guidance counselor at many Marianist schools in Ohio, Kentucky and Florida, including Hamilton Catholic High School in Hamilton, Ohio; Purcell and Moeller High Schools in Cincinnati; Cathedral Latin in Cleveland; Covington Catholic High School in Covington, Kentucky; and Chaminade High School in Hollywood, Florida. He taught English and history, two of his great loves. “Father Dick loved the English language. If you needed grammar checked, Dick was the one to go to,” said Bro. Ron Overman. “He loved to read historical novels and discuss them with the community at dinner.”
In 1977, Father Richard experienced a major career switch when he became director of the Marianist Mission in Dayton, a fundraising organization for the Marianist order. He held the position for more than nine years. “The job was a real learning experience,” Father Richard wrote in his 60th jubilee autobiography. “I was able to visit Marianist locations in Africa, Korea, Japan and Australia.” Following this assignment, he worked in development, counseling and career placement for the University of Dayton for five years. From 1992 to 1994, he returned to the academic world as president of Chaminade-Madonna Preparatory School in Hollywood, Florida.
Father Richard considered his five-year stint as a hospital chaplain in the 1990s at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton his most interesting ministry. “Dealing with life and death on a daily basis was a blessing for me. I had experiences I will never forget,” he wrote in his 60th jubilee autobiography.
In semi-retirement at the Meyer Hall community at Mount St. John in Dayton, Father Richard played backgammon and cribbage, read and helped with priestly service at neighboring parishes. He corresponded with many friends. “He was an extrovert who was very welcoming and sought out people,” said Bro. Ron. “He created many long-lasting friendships.”
“I was attracted to the Marianists by the strong example of community life I saw as a student at Chaminade High School in Dayton,” Father Richard wrote in his 50th jubilee autobiography. “Sharing my love of Mary with others has been an important part of my life . . . I still learn from her each day.”
Father Richard died of pneumonia and complications of cancer at Miami Valley Hospital. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JOHN SCHNEIDER, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 21, 2005, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 76th year of his age and the 58th year of his religious profession.
John J. Schneider was born on September 14, 1929, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Roman S. and Augusta Rudloff Schneider. His family included his twin sister, Jeanne, and sister, Rosemary. Brother John attended Corpus Christi School, Chaminade High School and Mount St. John Normal School in Dayton. He entered the Society of Mary in Beacon, New York, and professed his first vows on August 17, 1947, and his final vows on August 17, 1951.
Brother John valued education. He received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton, a master’s degree in English from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Brother John participated in seminars at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He also received a certificate of theological studies from the Institute for Spirituality and Worship at the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of California, Berkeley.
He began his ministry as an English and social studies teacher for Most Holy Trinity High School in Brooklyn, New York. He also was a teacher at Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland; an academic dean and teacher for Chaminade High School in Dayton; and a headmaster, teacher and business manager for Mangu High School in Thika, Kenya.
A respected and effective administrator, Brother John was director of the Marianist community in Dublin, Ireland; executive director of Bergamo East in Marcy, New York; province assistant for socio-economic affairs and province treasurer for the former Marianist Province of Cincinnati; assistant to the vice president for development for the University of Dayton; executive director of the North American Office of the Marianist Conference in Silver Spring, Maryland; associate director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in Silver Spring, Maryland; director of the health care and retirement community at The Franciscan at St. Leonard in Centerville, Ohio; director of the former Cincinnati Province Office on Aging and Wellness; and director of campus development for the Marianist Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Brother John also had an eye for design. He was the “owner’s representative” for the construction of the Hale Malia residence for the Marianist community in Honolulu. The building received an Award of Merit from the American Society of Interior Designers, Hawaii Chapter.
“I’ve known Brother John since the early 1960s,” said Brother James Vorndran. “He was a person of excellence – an outstanding leader, teacher and friend. John had high standards for himself and others; he was a perfectionist. He loved to read and listen to classical music. He also was interested in exploring new theological developments and the future of religious life.”
“Brother John took on a wide variety of complicated tasks and executed them with dedication and expertise,” said Father William Behringer. “He was a skilled educator who got a lot out of his students. John had a great sense of social justice. His faith was the foundation for everything he did.”
Brother John died from complications associated with a stroke at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, RICHARD w. rOSE, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 23, 2005, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 64th year of his age and the 45th year of his religious profession.
Richard William Rose was born on March 12, 1942, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to John and Anna Lauff Rose. He grew up with his brother, John, and sister, Beverly, and attended St. Peter Grade School. As a freshman at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, he was drawn to the Marianists’ unique charism. Brother Richard entered the Society of Mary and professed his first vows on February 11, 1961, in Marcy, New York, and his final vows on August 15, 1965, in Dayton.
Brother Richard received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Dayton, with a major in secretarial studies and a minor in English.
A well loved and respected instructor, Brother Richard taught at Chaminade High School in Dayton; Purcell High School in Cincinnati, Ohio; St. Joseph High School in Cleveland, Ohio; and Cathedral Latin School in Cleveland. He served as a treasurer, bookkeeper, executive secretary and office manager for several schools in Cleveland. For ten years, Brother Richard held various positions at Cathedral Latin School — staying until the school closed in 1979. He also ministered at the Alumni Development Office at St. Joseph, the Alumni Development Office at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati and the Marianist Vocation Ministry in Dayton.
“Richard was the first brother I met at the Cathedral Latin community,” said Brother Joe Kamis. “He exemplified the order’s commitment to service. People were the most important thing to him. He always helped others. Richard had an extensive network of family, friends and fellow brothers he communicated with regularly,” Brother Joe continued. “He sent letters to them frequently and sent cards on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays.”
Brother Richard died of congestive heart failure at the Mercy Siena Community in Dayton. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, NORMAN ECKL, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 14, 2005, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 79th year of his age and the 59th year of his religious profession.
Brother Norman Eckl was born on December 17, 1926, in Buffalo, New York, to Charles and Magdalen Schmitt Eckl. He grew up with his brother, Edward, and sisters, Mary Ann and Dorothy, and attended St. Gerard’s School and Burgard Vocational High School. Brother Norman professed his first vows on August 18, 1946, in Beacon, New York, and his perpetual vows on August 17, 1950, in Dayton.
Brother Norman’s ministry was spent in the trades. He cared for the barn and cattle at the Mount St. John property in Dayton, where he also was a licensed boiler engineer, maintenance worker, physical plant superintendent and supervisor for the design and construction of the Bergamo Center for Lifelong Learning. Brother Norman was a boiler engineer and maintenance worker for Chaminade Preparatory in Marcy, New York, and a maintenance worker and boiler engineer for the University of Dayton, a position he held for 26 years. After he retired in 1991, he continued to work as a groundskeeper and devoted more time to his avocation as a ceramic artist.
In remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of his profession in the Society of Mary, Brother Norman said: “Prayer is the cornerstone of all we do and hope to achieve in our ministry. It is the fuel that keeps our motor running.”
Fellow brothers said Brother Norman was good-humored, straightforward and an excellent mentor. “Norm was like a father to me,” said Brother Jack Somerville. “He took me under his wing and taught me lessons you couldn’t find in books.
“‘Anybody can quit,’ he told me once, when I couldn’t get an electrical circuit to work,” Brother Jack continued. “Norm went back to the site with me to show me how it was done.”
“Norm had a gift for sharing his time, interests, family and friends,” said Brother Tom Payne. “He graciously turned the things he loved over to you.”
Brother Norman died of pneumonia at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, JAMES RILEY, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 29, 2005, in Cupertino, California, in the 63rd year of his age and the 43rd year of his religious profession.
Brother James W. Riley was born on June 23, 1942, in Far Rockaway, New York, to Joseph and Jenny Mateyko Riley. He grew up with his brother, Joseph, and attended Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York. He entered the Novitiate of the Society of Mary and professed his first vows on August 15, 1962, in Santa Cruz, California. He attended the Marianist Scholasticate in Honolulu and professed his perpetual vows on August 28, 1966, in San Jose, California.
Brother James served on the Marianist Provincialate administrative staff in Santa Cruz and as an office manager at Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose. For the past 30 years, he spent his ministry as a travel agent for members of the Marianist Provinces in the United States. As an agent for Travel Advisors of Los Gatos in California, he planned trips for Marianist brothers and the general public.
“His services were invaluable to the Province,” said Brother Stanley Murakami. “He was dependable, loyal and extremely faithful.”
“Brother James had a talent for remembering everyone’s name – fellow brothers, family, friends and clients,” said Brother John Haster. “He’d send them cards on their birthdays and on holidays. He also was devoted to the Poor Clare Nuns,” Brother John continued. “He went to Mass with them every Sunday morning and helped them with errands and chores.”
Brother James died of a heart attack suffered during morning Mass at the Cupertino Marianist community. May he rest in peace.
The Province of the United States of America recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, GEORGE WHISTON, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on April 18, 2005, in Dayton, Ohio, in the 74th year of his age and the 55th year of his religious profession.
Brother George J. Whiston was born on June 26, 1931, in Long Island, New York, to Walter and Katherine Valliere Whiston. He grew up with his sister, Loretta, and foster sister, Margaret. His father died when he was a boy, and his mother married Edwin Webb, who Brother George affectionately called “Pops.” Brother George attended PS71 and St. Joseph’s in Long Island. He began his training in the Society of Mary at Mount St. John in Dayton, professing his first vows on September 8, 1950, and his perpetual vows on August 15, 1956.
Most of Brother George’s ministry was spent in food service – as a cook, head chef, dietitian, bookkeeper and administrator. His culinary expertise brought him assignments in many locations, including Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Chaminade Preparatory Novitiate in Marcy, New York, the Marianist Retreat House in Dayton, the University of Dayton, Bergamo East in Marcy and the Marianist Seminary in Toronto, Canada.
In remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of his profession in the Society of Mary, Brother George said he initially agreed to work at Purcell Marian for one year because the school didn’t have enough cooks. “For the next 38 years, I cooked and ran food service. With Mary, all things are possible.”
“Brother George was an excellent cook,” said Marianist Brother Ronald Overman. “One of his specialties was cornbread. Everyone loved it, so he made it a lot.”
Brother George also worked as a receptionist for the University of Dayton’s Career Placement Center, now Career Services, and for the university’s student residential facilities. “He really enjoyed talking to young people,” Brother Ronald added. “He was outgoing, warm and liked to laugh.”
Magic and gardening were two of Brother George’s hobbies. “He did sleight-of-hand magic tricks. I remember him pulling peanuts out of a little girl’s ears,” Brother Ronald said. Brother George performed magic shows for children and groups with developmental disabilities in Dayton.
Brother George died of a heart attack at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton. May he rest in peace.
The Province of Madrid recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, ANGEL CHOMóN, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 22, 2005, at Madrid, Spain, in the 99th year of his age and the 82nd of his religious profession.
Brother Angel Chomón was born on Sept. 2, 1906 in Villanueva de Bricia, Province of Burgos, Spain, the son of Claudio and Baltasara Vallejo de Chomón. After a few years in the postulate, he entered the novitiate in Vitoria and made his first vows as a religous on Sept. 1, 1923. On the same day in 1930, he dedicated himself totally to the Society of Mary with the profession of perpetual vows.
After the scholasticate, his first years of active life as a teacher were spent in Ciudad Real, Vitoria, Tetuan (Morroco) where he headed the administration for four years, and Cadiz. In 1937 he became finance director of Colegio de Tetuan, and taught as well. Four years later, he repeated these same roles in Cadiz. In 1950, he began 25 years as the Province Head of Temporalities, where he contributed significantly to the growth of the Province.
The Province of Madrid is greatly indebted to him for the quality of his person and his enthusiasm. His most visible legacy is his dedication to the growth of our schools; also, as a key person in the great expansion of the province, beginning with the construction of the new building in Cadiz, then later with the construction or expansion of practically every school we have, the current Provincial House, and the two university residence facilities. Over all these endeavors is the signature of Br. Angel, who had a knack of overcoming huge economic difficulties and challenges inherent in such projects.
He found the strength and stamina to accomplish all this in his vocation as a religious. He felt deeply accountable to his brothers and to the Society. He drove himself always to do the best he possibly could. Consistant and trusting, prayer energized him to complete tasks he was involved in, some with almost no previous experience.
He was consistent, a master of details, and committed to his work. A hard worker with a great closeness to and respect for others, he wanted to do well and to serve in a very charitable manner, despite a sometimes dry exterior. He loved others and made himself loved by others. Short in stature and large in heart, he came across as present in every conversation with his curt, clear and always charitable speech. He was honest, simple, truthful, articulate and trusting while agreeing and disagreeing with the opinions and decisions of others.
He remained active, very active, but also he knew how to open the way to those who would follow him. In a letter to his Provincial on his 75th birthday, he wrote, “At my age, it isn\’t easy to change habits to understand and get used to new things. For that reason, I do not wish to be a block to the logical, normal and progressive development of the Province”.
He maintained this principle and at the same time did not wish to isolate himself from province affairs. Even in the year 2000, at 93, he sent a proposal to the provincial chapter dealing with the newly formed Domingo Lazaro Foundation that would improve and guarantee the financial stability and running of the schools.
These have been almost 100 years, full of life and fruitfulness, during which Br. Angel transmitted to all of us hope, the love of God, dreams, and responsibility to our mission.
The Province of Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, EMILIO ORTEGA SEBASTIáN, priest, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 17, 2005, at Zaragoza, Spain, in the 77th year of his age and the 61st of his religious profession.
Emilio Ortega Sebastián was born on March 18, 1928 in Castrillo de Murcia (Burgos), the son of Julio and Natalia. He was of the “old Castillian” type, calling things by what they are: “Bread is bread and wine is wine.” On February 12, 1941 he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza. He began his novitiate in Elorrio on September 11, 1943 and made his first profession at the same place on September 21, 1944. After his profession he went to Segovia and then to Carabanchel Alto (Madrid) for his scholasticate studies.
He held the following academic degrees:
– Bachelor from the University of Madrid in July of 1947
– Licentiate in Theology from the University of Fribourg in July of 1957
– Licentiate in Philosophy from the University of Valencia in September of 1958
– Licentiate in English Philology from the University of Zaragoza in September of 1977 at a somewhat advanced age, realizing he could be of greater service to the school.
He lived out his religious life doing various services in the following places:
– 1947 -1953: at Colegio Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Valencia. On April 12, 1950, he made his perpetual profession in Zaragoza.
– 1953-1957: a seminarian in Fribourg, having been ordained to the priesthood in 1956.
– 1957-1962: once again at the Pilar school in Valencia
– 1962-1964: at the Postulate in Escoriaza.
– 1964-1967: at Colegio Santa Maria in Vitoria
– 1967-1969: at the student Residence in Vitoria
– 1969-1971: Director at the school in Valencia
– 1971-1984: at Colegio Santa Maria del Pilar in Zaragoza
– 1984-1993: at the S.M. publishing house in Madrid, and Director of the community from 1985-1993.
– 1993-1994: at St. Lawrence College in Dublin, Ireland
– 1994-2000: at the school in Zaragoza again; Director of the community from 1998.
– 2000-2001: in the community at Velez Blanco and pastor at Cañadas. His generosity led him to accept this assignment, different from what he was accustomed to, at the age of 72.
– 2001-2005: at the school in Zaragoza until his death on January 17 at 2:00 in the afternoon.
Emilio was an accommodating, enthusiastic and many-faceted person. Throughout his life he was engaged in many different activities and things he liked. He did everything with his whole heart, giving of himself entirely. People liked his frankness and good humor which enabled him to make many friends. Toward the end of his life he turned his enthusiasm to the art of writing and to the pastoral services asked of him. He has left hundreds of poems, novels for children, biographies of founders, letters congratulating students and school per-sonnel, and from friends in Spain, Ireland and the United States. He also left many iron sculptures. He had a great love for the Province and offered his services to write the biographies of the Brothers who had died, including that of Timoteo Soto who had died a few days before. Death came suddenly as he was returning from visiting the classes of the young children at the school as he frequently did. He had started to present the person of Fr. Chaminade during the “Chaminade Week” which the school in Zaragoza celebrates.
May the Lord and our mother, the Virgin of the Pillar, receive him, and may he rest in peace.
The Province of Zaragoza recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, TIMOTEO SOTO ANGULO, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 8, 2005, at Zaragoza, Spain, in the 79th year of his age and the 62nd of his religious profession.
Timoteo Soto Angulo was born August 22, 1926 in Hermosilla de Bureba (Burgos), the son of Sinforiano and Ana. On September 30, 1938 he went to the Postulate in Escoriaza. He began his novitiate in Elorrio on September 4, 1942 and professed first vows in the same place on Septem-ber 13, 1943.
After his profession he went to Segovia, and then to Carabanchel Alto (Madrid) for his scholasti-cate studies. He had the following academic degrees: Teacher, obtained at the Normal School in Guadalajara in 1952, and Diploma in French from the French Alliance in Paris.
His religious life was spent in various services and places, which were the following:
1945 – 1947: Colegio Nuestra Señora del Prado in Ciudad Real.
1947 – 1949: Santa María del Pilar school in Zaragoza.
1949 – 1958: Nuestra Señora del Pilar school in Valencia.
During this time he made his perpetual profession on April 12, 1950, in Zaragoza.
1958 – 1959: he was in Castelgandolfo, Italy, for the Second Novitiate.
1959 – 1960: Colegio Santa Maria in Vitoria.
1960 – 1962: Colegio Católico Santa Maria in San Sebastián.
1962 – 1967: Colegio Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Valencia.
1967 – 1973: once again at the school in San Sebastián.
1973 – 1979: he returned to the school in Vitoria.
1979 – 1981: he was at the Odienné Mission in the Ivory Coast.
1981 – 1982: was spent at the Novitiate in Zaragoza, convalescing.
1982 – 1999: these sixteen years were spent at the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Pilar in Logroño.
1999 – 2005: at the Provincial Administration in Zaragoza.. He died on January 8, 2005, at five in the afternoon.
Timoteo was a man in love with the missions. His two years in Africa made a deep impression on him. He spoke of the Marianist missions, especially to children. That dedication to his students was the result of his vocation as an educator which he had until the end of his life. Joyfulness and good humor were among his outstanding characteristics.
Death came as a surprise while he was still alert and active. He left a happy Marianist religious life to go to a full life in the Kingdom of God. May the Lord and the Virgin of the Pillar receive him and may he rest in peace.
The Region of Peru recommends to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, MARCELLUS JOSEPH ROSS, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 2, 2005, in Lima, Peru, in the 84th year of his age and the 65th year of his religious profession.
Marcellus Ross was born January 14, 1921 in Alton, Illinois, the third of eight children of Hubert and Rose Ross. Moving to St. Louis, the Ross family was always exemplary in the practice of the Catholic faith. Early on Mark showed signs of an inclination to religious life and when he finished high school run by the Marianists he was firm in his vocation to be a Brother. In June of 1939 he entered the novitiate and after a year professed his first vows on August 25, 1940. He then went to the University of Dayton, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with a specialty in Business Administration. He professed perpetual vows in 1943 and started teaching at Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit.
Shortly after, Brother Mark offered himself for the mission which had begun in Peru, but since there were not many teachers with his specialty it was difficult to replace him. Finally his generous offer was accepted and in 1948 he went to Peru at the same time as recently ordained Fr. Robert Heil and both were assigned to Colegio Santa Maria, then in San Isidro.
Brother Mark was a redhead with a young face, somewhat shy, on the thin side but strong and agile with an in innate sportsman’s coordination. He played basketball, soccer, tennis, baseball and handball. This, of course, in addition to giving his classes in mathematics, religion, English and Manual Training because he was an excellent carpenter and craftsman, and also a mechanic. The furniture in the sacristies of the chapels of Colegio Santa Maria and Colegio Maria Reina and the aluminum cross at Santa Maria are examples of his work. His Chevrolet station wagon from 1961, still in good condition, is a testimony to his auto mechanic ability. He also had an exceptional voice for singing but usually limited it to the liturgy or starting the National Anthem or the school song at school assemblies.
From the time of his arrival in 1948, Brother Mark spent his whole life – a total of 51 years – at Santa Maria with three exceptions: from 1958 to 1961 he was a teacher at St. Joseph the Worker school in Trujillo; for a semester in 1965 he was on a renewal program, and in 1968 he was studying Spanish in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and ended the year as secretary to the Director of the Institute, Bishop Ivan Illich. In that same year he was called to be Assistant Novice Master at the Marianist novitiate in Peru, a task he carried out with great dedication but without losing sight of his favorite students at Santa Maria which was now operating on an adjacent property. Four times he was given the responsibility of Director of the Marianist community at Colegio Santa Maria, a proof of the esteem in which his qualities were held. In 1969 he had one of his greatest satisfactions as the trainer of the main soccer team of Santa Maria. The inter-school championship of all the state and private schools that year was sponsored by Coca Cola and the winning team was given a trip to Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile, and his team won!
More than the students, his fellow Brothers could appreciate the quality of religious life that always characterized Mark. His devotion to the Eucharist and the Blessed Virgin were most notable. He always went to bed early so that he could get up an hour earlier than the community and use the time for prayer. His singing of the Salve Regina inspired devotion in others.
Although he had not taught for some years, he kept active as the Sports Director and the delegate to the Sports Association of Religious Schools. He was a founding member of the organization and its first Vice President. He was always active either as a delegate or technical director, or chauffeur for the school team, or supervisor of the locale.
Brother Mark had several health problems in the past, but always managed to recover. The pneumonia he contracted two weeks before his death seemed to be under control when complications set in and in spite of the doctors’ efforts he died on Sunday, January 2, around 2:00 p.m. He was buried in the Gardens of Peace cemetery in Lima on January 4 after a Mass celebrated by His Eminence Juan Luis Cipriani, Cardinal Archbishop of Lima and a former student of Mark., and attended by numerous Marianists, teachers, students, alumni, parents, school staff and friends who wished to show their gratitude for his many years of dedication and pray for his eternal rest.
The Region of Switzerland and its Sector Togo recommend to our fraternal prayers our dear Brother, PIERRE DEVANTHEY, who died in the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary on January 2, 2005, at Sierre, Switzerland, in the 87th year of his age and the 70th of his religious profession.
Pierre Devanthey was born at Monthey (Valais), on November 29, 1918. He was the ninth of a family of ten children. At the age of 14, Pierre entered the postulate at Martigny; at 16, he began his novitiate in Belgium, at St-Remy-Signeulx. A year later, on September 12, 1935, he consecrated himself to God in the Society of Mary. On August 2, 1941, the young brother gave himself to God for ever and made alliance with Mary.
Pierre Devanthey spent most of his life teaching in Sion, at the trade school for almost 15 years (1939-1953), then at the normal school, while at the same time, pursuing his studies at the University of Fribourg. In 1972, he crowned his formation with a doctorate in history, with a thesis entitled La Révolution bas-valaisanne de 1790. His superiors then proposed a missionary experience to him and Brother Pierre, at the age of 54, answered the call that was addressed to him. For eight years, he taught at Collège Chaminade in Kara (Togo). He left a part of his heart there. In fact, each time someone talked about the African continent, a large smile brightened his features.
In 1983, Pierre retired. In prayer, he united himself with the events of the world as well as the joys and troubles of his extended family. He interceded for the people close to him and loved to receive intentions for prayer, which he kept in his heart, above all the sick that were confided to him.
He went to one of the churches in the city of Sion to pray the rosary. That is how, at the request of some of the participants, he helped form a Marian prayer group, which has met once a week in the chapel of the community since 1992.
With problems of health for several years, he had been preparing, in union with Mary, for his final meeting with the Lord. “I wish to carry out the will of God,” he confided, with his rosary in hand, during his last stay in community.
On Saturday, November 20, 2004, Pierre Devanthey was hospitalized because of breathing problems. The doctors discovered that our dear brother had suffered a heart attack. One week later, Pierre was transferred to the Clinique Ste-Claire at Sierre. At the time, he confided to one of his acquaintances: “I’m preparing myself for a long journey.” The last straight leg of this earthly path became a long journey of letting go, of saying goodbye to all those he loved, of having confidence in God in spite of the unknown things that awaited him. Finally, on the day the Epiphany was celebrated, January 2, 2005, he recognized the star and followed the light in order to be near the Lord. A testimonial letter sent a few days after the death of Brother Pierre summarizes that long road in a wonderful way: “With emotion, we think that the Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, whom we celebrated on January 1, simply led him to the Epiphany of the Lord. May he continue his precious intercession for us!”