Mighty Men of Maryknoll

Why we joined Maryknoll [Click]

Why guys left Maryknoll [Click]

What happened after GE [Click]

Where are they now [Click]

Lifelong Tryst with Maryknoll by George L. Weber [Click]

Report on Jack Schloerb Condition [Click]

Pictures from Angelo Arrand [Click]

Pictures from Dan Pavsek [Click]

Pictures from Dennis LeBlanc [Click]

Pictures from Ed Armstrong [Click]

Pictures from Foster Braun [Click]

Pictures from George Fry [Click]

Pictures from Joe Scinto (Reunion) [Click]

Pictures from John OConnor [Click]

Pictures from Lloyd Hevelhorst [Click]

Pictures from Lyle Herzog[Click]

Pictures from Paul Mangi[Click]

Much of the information here comes from
Mighty Men of Maryknoll Facebook page [Click]
Why we joined Maryknoll

Lyle Herzog (Why we joined Maryknoll)

I grew up as a Catholic in a small town in central Minnesota and had my life fairly well planned out. I started St. Thomas College in the summer after I graduated from high school. I was going to be a math teacher and athletic coach. I planned out all my courses - lots of math, science, phy ed - no languages.

I started reading the Confessions of St. Augustine and was struck by his description of eternity when he says to think of a bird carrying a grain of the earth to the moon and by the time he flies back and forth enough to bring the whole earth there, it is not even a second compared to eternity. Having been raised to believe in heaven and hell, that started making me think about the value of the life on earth if the afterlife is so much more important. I eventually came to the conclusion that life on earth is only important if we use it to bring others and ourselves to heaven. Any other use of this life would be meaningless when we think of the span of years here versus eternity.

I started contacting groups like Christian Brothers, Maryknoll and others. I really didn't want to deal with the Sunday Catholics I grew up with and really wasn't interested in being a priest, because I have never been too fond of ceremony and liturgy. So I wanted to be a brother. So when I looked at the Maryknoll information, I thought that I would like to be a brother in a foreign country. I called the Maryknoll office in Minneapolis and a Father Deutsch came to St. Thomas to visit with me. He explained that the Brothers in Maryknoll are primarily laborers and not teachers like the Christian Brothers are. So I said that I would be a priest then. Two months later I showed up at Glen Ellyn.

My parents, brothers, sisters and friends were a bit surprised, but never expressed any objection. So that is my story.

Angelo Arrando (Why we joined Maryknoll)

There are as many different stories as men and everyone of them is valid and real. But the bottom line is we all answered a call, came in pursuit and encountered one another. And here we are some 40 years later and that encounter is still meaningful. Maryknoll makes a difference and we are part of that difference. It's pretty amazing.

John O'Connor (Why we joined Maryknoll)

As I wrote elsewhere on how I got to the High School Seminary in Brooklyn.How I got to GE is different. Actually, at Cathedral I played a lot of handball and not too much studying,and where I had to study, handball helped my Physics and Spanish grades. When you were one of the best players in the city and you go to a school that declared a day off when its baseball team won its first game in 12 years!, winning City Titles allowed for "Special Dispensations". Cathedral was a very good academic program; I remember that we had Understanding the New Testament by Kee, Young and Froelic.[sp] - a mind blower.

Anyhow I seemed to have had a split-person hiding inside me.One the one hand, I was very religious: I can probably count the number of times that I did not attend daily Mass even on vacations through university.On the other hand, I was a Brooklyn street-wise city kid. I can remember the first time I expressed a string of Brooklyn colloquialisms after missing an easy basket, or that when you greet a friend, you do not preface the greeting with "You old m-f'er". I realized that maybe I was in "Kansas". I don't think that I have ever unified the sides, but that have both mellowed with age. And I still haven't figured out which is a cover for the other. However, I was very idealistic. And it seemed that the Brooklyn seminary was very pedantic.It was safe: already classmates were lining up for placements in Rome or getting fitted for the red buttoned cassocks of monsignors. I guess that I wanted something more heroic. So I looked around.To show you the depth of my conviction, I tried the Capuchin Franciscans first because I thought it was cool that they could grow beards! I can't remember why I didn't pursue them after my first meeting.Maybe Brown wasn't my color.

My own sense of vocation began when I had just made my first communion and my father took me to a Holy Name Mass and breakfast. The speaker was a priest who became an Arctic pilot and missionary. [The book is: Arctic Wings by William A. Leising, O.M.I.] What I remember being most impressed about was that he had lost both his thumbs just like Isaac Jogues - he lost his thumbs from frostbite, not from being chewed off. I thought that maybe I could be a missionary just like that.

My first encounter with Maryknoll was when I was about 8 years old. My East 28th Street friend, Bobby Potterton, who came from a Swedish Methodist family, his grandmother was in a nursing home in Ossining. So while Mrs. Potterton visited her mother, Bobby and I would explore,and there was a little brook where we would catch fish and stuff. One day we followed it up stream to a cemetery and big buildings.It was Maryknoll,and I do remember going in and watch guys play pool and then giving us drinks.

My first serious encounter with Maryknoll was in the vocations centre in Manhattan. A priest [name long forgotten] met with me and then invited me to come to the Christopher program, "You Can Change the World." [Half century before Barack] Just light on candle,etc. I almost have no content recall of the program but it is what made me sign up for GE in the fall. I was impressed that it was new and modern,and the focus of the society was on many of the social justice issues that I was beginning to identify with essential Christianity.

I think that my flight from NYC to Chicago was my first flight. We had to ship the trunk much earlier,and buy a black suit. I am not sure if anyone else was on the plane but we were greeted at the airport and got in a car with several other newbies. When we arrived at the front steps of GE we were greeted by Tom Wilcox who called each of us by our names.wow!

I went to Maryknoll because I was looking for a little adventure.

Lyle Herzog (Why we joined Maryknoll)

Great story, Jon! I am sure your life has been full of adventure even if it wasn't through Maryknoll. Next we have to start talking about golfing. I play about 5 days a week in the summer - leave the weekends to the guys that aren't retired.

John O'Connor (Why we joined Maryknoll)

I walk a golf couse in the summer... I doubt that anyone calls it golfing. I play 9 holes about 4 times a week and during lobster season there aren't too many golfers... some days it is a private course... saves me the embarrasment of playing a third ball into the pond from 50 yards.

Ed Armstrong (Why we joined Maryknoll)

Before I went to Maryknoll, me and a friend of mine (who is now a priest for the Joliet Diocese) used to go up to Maryknoll to "play" golf. I knew a couple of the students there in the late fifties and early sixties and they would let us use the G.E. golf course. This, by no means, attests to my skill as a golfer. I do know that G.E. used to be home to a country club and that is where the golf course (such as it was when we were there) came from. Later I think it was a law school, a community hospital and, I think something else, maybe a funeral home?

Mike Mulhern (Why we joined Maryknoll)

Can't help you guys on the golf because I'm terrible! Friends took me out a couple years ago and I knocked 12 balls into the drink on the first 9 holes! Went to Maryknoll (the H.S. seminary, the Venard) because a recruiter came and addressed my 8th grade class. Plus a number of alumni of my grammar school were already enrolled. Sounded like an exciting life at the time!

Joseph Scinto (Why we joined Maryknoll)

I joined to go to undeveloped foreign countries and help bring the pagans to the Lord. I got to do the first part.

Why Guys left Maryknoll

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Hi, Jack--or John:

First question: Is it Jack or John? I'm up to the chapter where I'm commending you for winning that colossal $25 cash prize from Modern Photography, and I need to know which identity you would like to go by.

Secondly, I'm opting for a questionnaire to conclude "Sterling Men for God," and -- if the book is a success -- I'll be editing a sequel, "Sterling Advice," in which I will give anyone interested a chance to submit a chapter of helpful information that may be of assistance to the general reader about some life problem. Some of the contributions may be human interest-oriented; some may be genuinely informative. Am going to ask Foster Braun to write about his thoughts and fears as he battled cancer, and elation he felt when he learned the battle is apparently won; Tom Brennan about living with a wife who came down with Ahlzeimer's; etc. What I would like to do with the royalties is -- with all the contributors' consent -- give them to a worthy charity. One suggestion has been to donate them for the construction of the Mike Brady Memorial Library (a deceased G.E. classmate) that is being built in the town in Ethiopia where he served in the Peace Corps. It's already a 501c3 nonprofit in the U.S. Lots of our former schoolmates who were bounced out of Maryknoll that would have made great missioners went on to satisfy that drive in them by joining VISTA or the Peace Corps. A former Maryknoller VISTA volunteer I spoke to last night -- Jack Lyons -- even got a letter of apology from Maryknoll for kicking him out asking if he would kindly return to the fold and resume his priestly studies! They made a lot of mistakes with their assessments of us! Wisely, I resigned before they had the opportunity to DEMAND that I leave!

What I am learning from establishing my contacts with many of you is that the seminary period of your lives is one that still is having a lot of residual effects, ones that still require some sort of closure. Plus, I've learned it's a period of your lives you have neglected to discuss with your families. Figured if I wrote about it, it would spare you guys from EVER having to do so, because our stories, experiences and thoughts are basically the same. Let me put it this way: My wife read my memoir, and said, "For the last 40 years, I've been wondering why your so weird. Now I know!" All I know is that from all I'm finding out, this is a GREAT STORY!

Let me get back to work. Am on page 98 of my GE memoir, and may even finish today!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)


Very interesting idea. I know I'm always interested in what everyone else did/was doing and how Maryknoll/GE/Venard/Chesterfield/Mountain View affected lives. You are correct, this is something I've never discussed with family to any great extent. Occasionally, one of my sisters asks about it and I'm non-committal about my feelings, etc. No one asked me to "resign" I just came to the conclusion on my own. It was a difficult decision to make and, as with many things in life, it was a decision that had to be private. You can ask and ask and ask others for input and advice but no one can make that sort of decision for you. I think the decisions I made with respect to Maryknoll, both at the beginning (like most, I was pretty young) and at the end, had a profound effect on my life. I never paid much attention to how Maryknoll "assessed" individuals though I had heard stories, rumors and the like. I was surprised to hear that MK actually asked someone to return to continue studies (Lyons). I have often wondered what became of old classmates and friends. I've maintained contact with a few but I knew so many more. I think it's also interesting that after 40 or 50 years the names are still familiar even though one hasn't seen these folks during that time. Just looking at the names on the email addresses above, I see names that I thought I had forgotten to the extent I couldn't put a face with the name but amazingly the "connections" return. I see one name above, Tom Brady, and his name reminds me that my grandson who is five idolizes Tom Brady, Jr. and told me once that as soon as my wife and I left their home (they live in Connecticut) Tom was coming over to play football with him. I guess that didn't happen, but see what remembering a name and a face do?

I'll be interested to hear how your memoir progresses because thoughts about those years (five of them in my case) remain on a daily basis.

Edward L. Armstrong, P.C.
Attorney at Law

Foster Braun (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your thoughts. I find it ironic and interesting that I was "in Maryknoll" from 1960-1972 and left just one year shy of ordination but never really heard much about people being asked to leave. I only knew of a very few isolated cases in those 12 years and they happened primarily in high school and early college years.

In most cases, I found that the upheaval in the culture and the Catholic church were the biggest causes of departure for the guys who communicated with me. One of our old classmates, now Dr. James Leonard, went through high school and left early in Glen Ellyn. He just didn't feel that he was cut out for that kind of work, enlisted in the army and used it to become a doctor. He has been a noted professor at the University of Michigan School of Medicine for many years.. I guess my point is that Jimmy, like most of the rest of us, was motivated to serve others and the best model for that for Catholic boys who grew up in the 50's were priests. As the Catholic Church and American culture in general were shaken during the 60's a whole lot of other models for service like the Peace Corps and VISTA etc. arose.

Then there were the radical changes that Pope John Paul XXIII introduced in the early 60's that lead to the "agiornamento" of the Catholic Church and such upheaval all over the world. I remember in particular that there were many guys in our college ranks who, after 1964, were convinced that at any time the Catholic Church would open up to a married priesthood but who got tired of waiting. Celibacy is an incredible gift given to a very few men whom I have known within and outside of Maryknoll and I have a world of admiration for those who truly live out that calling without "compensating". I speak as one who worked for two years on the mission field with Knollers in Venezuela and trained with others in Bolivia. The whole issue of mandatory celibacy, in my opinion, robbed the Catholic Church of some of its finest servants and terribly damaged others who sublimated with alcohol, pornography and sexual obsessions. I guess I left in '72 after finishing my MA in Theology in Caracas because I just couldn't see myself drifting into the priesthood only to leave after a short while to marry someone. I had seen the devastation that was left behind both in the parishes in Latin America and in the personal lives of many of the guys I worked with. Heck, the superior general of Maryknoll (forget his name) ran off with the mother superior of the Maryknoll nuns in the early 70's, if memory serves me correctly. Talk about leaving a confused bunch of people in his wake!

In a curious way, the turmoil of the Catholic Church and American culture succeeded in scattering some wonderfully compassionate and committed young Catholic men into fields of endeavor where they might never otherwise have had a chance to impact people's lives. I think of Jo'c serving as a Lutheran chaplain for many years in a Canadian hospital, Dr. Jimmy Leonard teaching a couple of generations of doctors at the University of Michigan, Eddie Armstrong practicing law, Dale Meisel serving as the prison warden of a Pennsylvania county jail, Mike Mulhern an editor, writer and interviewer of famous people....the list could go on for a long time. I think that the fruit of our emails and conversations will be discovering the wonderful placement of talented, passionate young in service to others in so many different ways. That is the story I can't wait to continue to hear.

Foster Braun
(586) 940-1633 Mobile

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)


I think you expressed many of the feelings that I had after my five years with Maryknoll. I do remember Jim Leonard very well and I knew he was a doctor in Michigan though I didn't know he was a med school prof. I find that interesting because I've been teaching at the college level since 1988, albeit in the field of tax law and business law, not medicine (which is infinitely more interesting...I wanted to go to med school and I allowed Fr. Meehan to talk me out of it). Aside for reasons for leaving and pursing other careers, I always had a warm feeling about Maryknoll and all the guys that I met over the years. All solid citizens, thoughtful and compassionate people. Over the last forty years or so, we've all dealt with our demons and with our angels. We all came from different backgrounds though not that different because we all ended up initially following the same path. Thinking back over those years I must say I spent more time laughing than I probably did at any other time in my life and laughing is important because when one is laughing he/she comes out of himself or herself, forgets the bad things for a few moments and then is refreshed. Just think about all the ways we entertained ourselves over the years. Lots of different ways but all good ways. We would bitch about studies but then we all (at least in my opinion) received an excellent basis for further study. Look at all the things our friends have done over the years, whether dealing directly with church work, academia, medicine, you name it. I think that is special in and of itself.

Yes, I can't wait to see and hear the stories that unfold over the next months and years. I hope that many of us become involved in this endeavor and I'm thankful to Mike, you, John and others who have sort of spearheaded this effort. A great thing to look forward to as the days pass!

Edward L. Armstrong, P.C.

Sal Corda (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Hi Guys,
Can't help myself, after listening to what people are saying, I have to weigh in even though my tenure was only two years but what a two years!
Initial thoughts--
This almost sounds like a conversation among combat veterans who can only talk to other combat veterans about their experience because those outside of it would not understand. Maybe that's why it was so hard to talk about our time with others.

When I go back and try to make sense out of how and why we became so close there seem to be a couple of things operating. Most of the people on the list started out at the Venard in 1960. What would one think would happen when you put a bunch of twelve year olds together in a setting that is focused on such a monumental undertaking as the priesthood where our motivation was probably more emotional than anything else? Add to it the dimension of coming into contact, for most of us, with a diverse group of boys from different backgrounds united by a mentality that the freshman are at the bottom of the food chain and have to 'protect' themselves from the older boys and establish their own identify. And we did establish ourselves. We were the only freshman class in the history of the Venard to pull off a class Freeday. Seems silly but it means something. Either we became a band of brothers or one left because the pressure became too great. For most of us, it was the brotherhood. My goodness, you couldn't burp without everyone knowing about it. I remember Vinnie Walsh telling me right before Christmas vacation in our sophomore year that he wanted to personally shake every member of the class's hand because every guy was important! Pretty profound for a 13-14 year old.

I think Ed makes a good point-- our careers took us to a place where we could serve others which is why we went to the Venard in the first place.

For me it was only two years but I can still close my eyes and see almost everyone in our class, most with the names. Fuzzy said it better than I did, but the bond, once formed, can never break no matter where we went.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Sal, It's funny that you use the analogy of "combat veterans." Before I ever saw your post I had a similar thought. While I wasn't actually in combat I was in Vietnam for a year and was with a group of guys with similar backgrounds to mine (law, not Maryknoll, of course) but those are guys that I'll never forget because of what we were doing and the circumstances under which we were doing it. While I've not seen any of those people for a long time, if we were together for something or other the "bond" would re-establish itself. The case for such a bond is even stronger with guy from G.E. and the Venard and Chesterfield because the circumstance was definitely more positive and the memories good. I had forgotten about that class Freeday, but you are right, Sal, they said it couldn't be done yet it was and everyone had a great time doing it. It is almost incomprehensible that a 13 or 14 year old could take on the kind of decisions most of us did but I've never regretted it and have always had good memories of all of the guys that I was in with.

John O'Connor (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I certainly don't have any numbers of classmates asked to leave; however, when a bunch tried to get us together - before internet - I received a handwritten note from David Garringer's father.

"I am David's father. I am sorry to inform you that David was dropped from the Maryknoll program. Later, he joined the Marines and became an officer and was killed in combat in Viet Nam in November 1968. I feel that Maryknoll did not use good judgment in their dropping many good men. They cited David as being a weak person and emotional. But his military citation certainly did not indicate same. Sincerely, Frank Garringer Ask your fellow priests to pray for David that his soul may rest in peace."

Attached was a copy of his Silver Star Award. I'll scan it. And no mater what I think or thought about Nam or war... It is not a description of a weak person.

Angelo Arrando (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Jim Cliffcorn was also a member of my class who chose to leave Maryknoll to do a tour of duty in Viet Nam. Jim was planning on returning to Maryknoll but got killed in action. His body was buried in GE and then when GE closed, his body was brought to Maryknoll NY and lies with the rest of the Maryknollers in the cemetary. Jim was a good man.

One of the sad realities of why so many very good men were asked to resign was the super abundance of vocations at that time. The numbers were large and the powers-to-be used very bad judgement in trying to weed out some men to keep the numbers manageable....then the down turn came and the good men that were rejected had already moved on with their life decisions. But the good thing is, I believe, it allowed us to meet a fantastic group of men that we would never have done if was not our common Maryknoll experience.

I clearly remember in my first year (1962/63) freshman were told that we had to go to Starved Rock for the day. When we came back to GE there were pink slips on a lot of the doors which meant that they were being asked to leave. Sad day in Maryknoll's history. But Maryknoll's loss was a blessing for the world-at-large. It received an abundance of weath in the gifts these men had and have.

John O'Connor (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Yes, I remember his funeral... There was a storm going through and the "vents" in the chapel's centre tower opened and rain poured down on the altar. I was also on outside duty and helped dig the grave. Somethings you remember. Take Care.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I was just reading what Angelo wrote about Jim Cliffcorn and others, leaving Maryknoll either voluntarily or being asked to resign. He also mentions the trip to "Starved Rock" which we also went on in my year at G.E. (1964-65). I agree with him totally that whatever the reason for men leaving Maryknoll, we are all better off for having known each other. I went to Vietnam a couple of years after my departure from G.E. but I was fortunate to have been "pulled out" of the infantry and placed in the JAG corps to do courts martial work. I was there with a couple of friends from the Venard, G.E. and Chesterfield. We didn't work together over there but we occasionally spoke on the phone and it was, for me anyway, comforting to know that there were guys that I had very much in common with over there at the same time.

I guess I never worried too much about whether I would be asked to leave or not, I was probably naive in that regard, but it just didn't seem to be important. I always thought if this was something meant to be then it would come to pass. The fact that it did not was something I came to realize during my year at G.E. Making the decision to go into Maryknoll took time, even for a 14 year old but the decision to leave was agonizing because you looked back on what were some of your most formative years and wondered why and what purposes did that serve. Maybe now we are finding out.

Foster Braun (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Wow, I must have been really thick because the whole pink slip thing eluded me. The only guy I remember getting kicked out was in college and apparently he had made some homosexual advances on another guy. The ironic thing was that I roomed with him and it was never an issue...wait, I have to clarify. The subject never came up? Oh well, I don't think there is a good way of getting out of this! LOL

The point I was clumsily making is that during the 12 years I was part of Maryknoll, I really don't remember that being an issue. Somehow I was isolated from it. On the other hand, I did know a fair number of guys who left because they discovered that their parents had the vocation for the priesthood, not them.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Interesting point that Foster makes about the vocation "belonging to the parents" rather than to the student. This wasn't an issue for me, my parents never pushed me one way or the other, just supported me in the decision.

During my time at G.E. I don't remember anybody getting asked to leave. Of course, this was probably done quietly but if there were "pink slips" on doors, I never saw them or it never entered my mind that thats what they were for.

I do remember some people being tossed out of the high school portion but those were usually for things a student might have been kicked out of any school for (back then), such as shop lifting or some such thing.

John O'Connor (Why guys left Maryknoll)

It "may have" applied to me as I was the oldest son in an Irish catholic family whose mother's mother had four sons who turned out to be "Bums" - actually they were all rich lawyers... not priests. My mythic story is that in 8th grade I wanted to go to a public HS for mathmatics as it was the only subject that I liked... However, you had to put the Diocesan Seminary number one choice on the City entrance exams. Sitting at the kitchen table one Saturday morning with the "support" of both parents I yielded and decided to put the seminary first.. Later in the day, my father and I went to a hardware store opening and while he looked for some "whatchmacallit" I stayed and filled the ballot box with my name. As we were leaving, my name got drawn and I won! It was a plastic bathroom set of silver accessories - soap dish, toilet roll holder, etc... When we got home my mother interpreted the "fixed ballots" as God telling me that I had made the right choice.

Angelo Arrando (Why guys left Maryknoll) (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Now, if anything, that is a sign from God. If it had been a "gold" plastic bathroom accessory kit that meant you were meant to be a " ". I don't even want to go there.....yeah for silver. :)

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Am just finding out how to do all this stuff on Facebook, so let me be a late-joiner to this discussion. What I am discovering about myself and everybody else is that we've never really had closure about what transpired in the seminary part of our lives. It's like a significant portion of our beings is frozen in a time warp because there's unfinished business in our lives dating to that period. The way guys were dismissed was atrocious. Am not surprised the faculty at GE took advantage of the students' absence from the seminary on a field trip to execute their pink-slip dirty work! In my first year at Venard, "Bull" Allen stood up at the refectory reader's podium after lunch one day and said, "Will the following people report to me up here after the meal," and read off a list of names. It was a group execution! Reminds me of some words uttered by Thomas Jefferson: "If there's a just God, somebody is going to have to pay for this!" And the church now is with a paucity of priests it now has and no new recruits stepping forward!

David J. Brown (Why guys left Maryknoll) (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I appreciate the sharing that all have done - touching, courageous, humorous and poignant bits of stories of how our journeys have unfolded. Along with others, it feels sad to think of the losses as well of people like Jim Cliffcorn, Mike Hendrickson, Dave Garringer, Dick Grillo, Dick Carr, Ernie Chapman, Dennis Casey and others whose light was snuffed out far to early. Bull Allen used to proclaim that we all suffered from being weak-kneed American war-babies afflicted with too much Momism etc. Of course, as Fuzzy, and Mike and John and Angelo have conveyed so well, it's a lot more complex than that - though caricatures of the Bull will remain as good fodder for Ed AHM-STRAANG who did him so well.

I can relate a lot to what John O observed about the vocations of the parents-especially among the Irish - and that probably has a lot to do with my decision to move on at the end of novitiate = a determination to discern whose vocation it was- mine or my piously determined Irish mother who clearly had a lot invested in my being a priest. But again, it was more complex than that - as Angelo will attest - we had a lot of turmoil surrounding us in those years with Vatican II and the press to do something meaningful in the world for social justice and racial discrimination etc and the war, plus a growing discomfort with having to embrace a lot of "difficult" and unpalatable ideology and dogma, and of course the "Mandatum" from Gene Kennedy and Tom Cronin to learn to love, etc. - pretty complicated and conflicted! So I went off to get a Phd in Clinical psychology - another way to help people and I think to avoid the draft - and the irony of course, is that I ultimately ended up in VN anyway teaching psychology etc. - but I got to other parts of Asia as well - still that dream in a way to go to the Darkened East.

And then of course, like others I imagined that I would one day perhaps return to Maryknoll - for I liked a lot of what I saw and did there and certainly loved a lot of its people - once all the issues got clarified and settled. But still more complexity - with a wife and children and a career to nourish and bills to pay and more dissonance with much ecclesial policies, practices and people - and how did it get to be that I am in my sixties? I suppose this is the short version to the question of how my life evolved in and out of Maryknoll.

More later, but for now I do want to affirm how grateful I remain to Maryknoll as others of observed. for its nourishing gifts of education and training, values, and deeply cherished and life-long connections with people that have for me helped contribute to an enriched life.


David Brown (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Lyle Herzog (Why guys left Maryknoll) (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Right after I posted a note about Mike Brady, I saw this discussion so I am a bit behind the times. I agree with those who felt that mostly people just left Maryknoll because of the cultural and religious changes that were going on. But I do remember when Dave Garringer was asked to leave. He was very upset about it.

Personally, I left because after Biblical Theology, I really lost my faith in the Catholic Church. I somewhat resented having to relearn my religion because of the literal biblical interpretation that I was taught as I grew up. But I had no regrets about going there nor was I ever bitter about anything. I have the Jehovah Witnesses stopping by periodically, but I have no desire to get into theological discussions, so I smile and accept their pamphlets.

I have a mixed bag of brothers and sisters when it comes to religion. Some are still Catholic. Some are still struggling, some are Protestants. My last two years at Maryknoll were a serious struggle for me in terms of my faith. I always tried to use logic to come to conclusions about it and eventually realize that it is just a matter of believing or not believing. Seeing Foster's confident notes of faith make me happy that he still has it. But for me it has been gone for most of the last 40 years. But I feel like I have had a good life so far and lived a good life and when it is time for me to depart it, I think I will be ready whether it happen this year or 25 from now.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll) (Why guys left Maryknoll)

After reading Mike's comments above about "Bull" Allen standing up at the Venard after lunch or dinner and asking to see a list of people who were then asked to leave...I guess I missed that or, as is more likely, just too naive to pay it any note. If these methods were used (i.e., pink slips tacked to room doors at G.E. or public announcements at the Venard or Chesterfield) then I agree, it was a rather crude way of dismissing summarily a decision that took that person a long time to make. Since I left G.E. of my own volition, I cannot imagine what it might have felt like to have a group of people vote me out (I know they did vote and always thought that was a rather crass way to handle the job) at a time I was probably having some internal conflict in the first place.

I guess from my own perspective, this notion of faith still remains a difficult issue. Many years ago I became disgusted with the notion that a group of people (like bishops or popes or whatever) were deciding on the morality of every choice I made or might have made. The authoritarian way in which church matters were (and for that matter still are) decided (although perhaps with a "softer" touch). I never felt this so much from Maryknoll in the five years I spent but I guess it's something that had been troubling me for a long time.

I guess while I was an MK student I had some opinions about some of the faculty but that's only natural. There are always some teachers you like and some that are a real pain. I've heard people complain about Fr. John Casey, the latin teacher. Well, I didn't think he was so bad at that but I could never understand why he thought he had to maintain this "icy" personality. I think Bull Allen was just what you saw: A guy full of bull. I liked him too, plenty of good material for "discussion." I guess when I sit down and think about it there wasn't any one of them I positively couldn't stomach. Some weren't such hot teachers/profs, but as people I can't complain too much.

Sometimes I think that life at Maryknoll was sort of like life in the military (for me all one year, eleven months and twenty-two days). Everything was planned out for you and, if you didn't want to think, you didn't have to. Eventually, that sort of gets to you. The one time at the Venard (I was only there freshman year then switched to Chesterfield) we had a "Scranton Day" I decided that a group of us should have a bit more fun so we went to visit the Mayor of Scranton, a typical old time politician. He sat us down in his office, gave us each a Coke and a five dollar bill (payoffs at an early age) and talked about his days as mayor. Then he told us he was going to drive us back to the Venard but not until he took us out for lobster dinner. We had him call Herr Commandant Casey who gave his blessing but upon reporting into Fr. C. he told me "You're lying, I don't know what you thought you were doing, but I think you're lying." I never could figure out what I might have been lying about, anyway, that was the end of the story, but we had a good time.

Well, I've wandered all over the place trying to express my feelings about some things. I guess part of my musing was triggered by this discussion of the methods by which guys were asked to drop out. Very depressing if you think about it.

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Hi, gang--

Some of the guys who got bounced never really got over it and have unfinished business to this day from that period of their lives. Had lunch a few weeks ago with Joe Scinto, who got sent packing by Lou Wolken at the Venard because he was made to take the rap for a shoplifter. We all thought he was guilty until we invited him to a class reunion this past summer, where he was for the first time in 47 years able to clear his name. Could you imagine bearing a burden like that for that long? He was so grateful for the opportunity finally to get closure on what happened to him back then -- at the age of 15! If only 10% of those who were dismissed or run out of seminaries during the '60s attained ordination and stuck with it, we wouldn't have the priest crisis we have today!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I was never aware that happened to Joe. There were times when he made me laugh so hard. I'm not sure what "code" the faculty operated under when it came to "judging" students but from what I'm reading, there wasn't so much a policy at all and that many of the dismissals were or at least seemed arbitrary. I agree that to place that type of burden on a young person, age 15, 16 or whatever is a tremendous burden because at those formative ages, appearances to one's peers are vital.

Angelo Arrando (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Yeah, that is kind of true, Mike...maybe no priest crisis....but I really believe the world is a lot better because of those men who left Maryknoll or were pushed out. They are touching lives that perhaps would never have been touched if they stayed. I was ordained in Maryknoll, went to Korea and left. I wasn't easy. But Maryknoll is part of my life...of our lives, and that makes us connected as well. Can you imagine the world without the Maryknoll experience. I can't.

Sal Corda (Why guys left Maryknoll)

My recollection of what happened to Joe-- He and George Hesse went off campus and that is where George (We started to call him. "Buddy"-- blond haired kid who came from everywhere because his Dad was a colonel or a major in the Air Force.) It was George who pocketed something but Joe had to go as well because he was with him. We started to call Joe 'the Jap' after his role in the Mikado. I remember the day Joe left. He was crying and hugged me goodbye because we had grown pretty close and said, "I didn't do anything. I didn't even know George took anything." Vinnie Walsh and I went to see Fr. Wolken and begged him to let Joe stay but Wolken was adamant. I remember we asked him as we left, "Is this what Jesus would have done?" The silence was deafening. In some ways that was the beginning of the end for me. Then during the summer of our sophomore year, I fell in love, and that was that.

The realization that priests were men who made mistakes in some ways was a little too much to bear at that age. I remember Father White calling Vinnie a cripple (Remember, he had a bum arm.) as the priests were leaving the refectory one night and Vinnie went after him. Ended up working four Wednesday afternoons with Brother Eugene's penal squad. I went to Wolken wanting to know what was going to happen to Fr. White given his comment but was told we had to make allowances because of how Fr. White suffered at the hands of the Chinese in Korea. "Yeah," I said, "just like you made allowances for the Jap." We actually went to the Superior General that summer over that and I understood they transferred Fr. White after that but I don't know for sure because by that time I had left.

In some respects, maybe we were too young and the Venard as an institution was not such a good idea but, on the other hand, look at all the good that has come out of it. We've all make our mark in one way or another and I think our experience there had a lot to do with it.

Peace, my brothers

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Geez, I forgot about George Hesse, but not about Joe. He was a great guy, funny and kind. I've mentioned before that he really made me laugh. I thought Hesse might have been a psychopath, but that was just a thought that popped into my head. There's lots of guys I've thought of over the years, but he was never one of them. I remember one time I brought Felix White a carton of cigarettes when my history grade wasn't too good (dang, he made history up as he went along...pure fiction) and that did the trick...I went from a possible "D"to a pretty solid "B." I had forgotten about Vinnie's arm but I do remember White called Oscar Best the "N" word. White was something else. At G.E. my recollection from my one year was that he was pretty harmless there as long as you greeted him properly as he wandered down the halls in the morning with his screwdriver and donut.

Sure, we were probably all too young for some of the choices we were asked to make but, at least from my perspective, being "away" at school was a pretty good thing as far as developing some independence. I always felt bad leaving home after a vacation but it didn't take long to get back in the swing of things at school.

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

First Sal--I need your new e-mail address. All my messages to you are returned to me. Been trying to alert you about the fact that Mike Dunbar passed away Jan. 31. Also, I have touched base with Mike Walsh, Vinny's brother in quest of Vinny, but have not yet heard back from him. Did not know the story of the Vinny - Father White altercation, but did know Vinny put a dead field rat on Father White's chair before Freshman II history class (Vinny was in Freshman I), and Father White punished Freshman II for the crime and had them write a punishment assignment during the class that day.

Ed, like you, I heard Kevin Cahill gave Father White a carton of smokes and was awarded a grade of 99 and decided to find out if the rule still applied. Unfortunately, White got me and Monahan mixed up, so whatever grade my gift was supposed to entitle me to went to him!

I have alerted Joe Scinto that he is being discussed in this extended blog, so he may be having something to contribute here.

Dave Brown, I am just now remembering the fact that you attended Venard with us. Remembered you from GE, but not Venard, probably because we were only there together one year before you were shipped off to Chesterfield.

Angelo, so as not to upset you, I took a picture of Jim Clifcorn's name on the Vietnam Memorial Wall about 20 years ago and dropped it in the mail to you today along with some of those other items I promised you in my recent e-mail.

Lyle, I still think about all those student nurses you hooked us up with at GE to keep our mailboxes filled up with their provocative letters. They were more horny than us seminarians were -- and that's saying a lot!

John O'C, I can tell you're upset over not getting pink-slipped at GE. Fr. Cappell is now 91 years old and living in St. Theresa's in Maryknoll, N.Y. I'll be happy to let him know about your disappointment so he can backdate a special message to you! BTW, found Mario LaMantia from our GE class today and invited him to join our Facebook group.

Fuz, no special message. Am still celebrating your miraculous ongoing recovery!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I think Oscar also "ratted" White because the rat or mouse was on the lectern White liked to use when creating history and he threw the thing at Oscar. I said Oscar "did it." White assumed he did it. I could never stay awake in that class.

Mike, don't you remember the night that David Brown and fellow juniors passed through BV dorm and gave all of us a coating of shaving cream. Nolan caught them at it and I remember waking up for a second or two not really knowing what happened. The entire junior cohort assigned to the B.V. dorm got some sort of penalty.

The mention of "penal squad" brought back memories...I won't say fond, but I don't think I was ever sentenced to that at the Venard but once in Chesterfield by Lionel Stewart who was a senior at the time. I was really angry at him as I got assigned to the Trash Room. Fr. Keegan was in charge of manual labor then and talk about annoying! He's still alive at Maryknoll but I think he must be over 100...I thought he was near that at chesterfield. I don't think most Venarders who ended up at Chesterfield probably knew Keegan, but he was also a piece of work. I repeatedly fell asleep in his post lunch religion class and he sent me to Bull Allen's office and Bull would send me back. Finally, Allen escorted me back and told Keegan to quit the crap and finish the class. Needless to say Greg Keegan didn't like me much. Oh well.

Sal Corda (Why guys left Maryknoll)


My email address is cordas1@southernct.edu

I did read about Mike Dunbar when I last checked this page. I always remember him as a quiet kid, sat a couple of rows behind me in some classes.

I often wonder what happened to some of the priests we had-- I suspect that some of them may be gone now. Fr. O'Connor, Fr. Grady, our basketball coach, Fr. Condon--I loved him, always laughing and he seemed to really care about us, he gave Paul K the "Bullmoose" moniker; Frs. Burke and Milroy, Fr. Bradley, I seem to remember he succeeded Fr. Casey as the Dean of Discipline in sophomore year.

Let me know if you hear from Mike Walsh and how to get in touch with him and Vinny. I lost touch with them in the mid 70's. I spent a lot of time at the Walsh's during high school.


Hesse was no psychopath (at least I don't think so!) but wrapped pretty tight. He was always generous with me, loaning me his ice skates all the time. I think his Dad ruled with an iron hand. I remember how he was actually shaking when he told me how he didn't know how he was going to tell his father what he had done.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)


Thanks for the info, I really didn't know George. The only thing I remember is sitting next to him in chapel that year. I think that military mentality could well have something to do with his life at home. Larry Lilly's (GE and Chesterfield) dad was an Air Force colonel on active duty when we were in school and I think Larry had some problems with "fear" of his father. Maybe George did what he did to send a message to his dad, I don't know but thanks for the info, Sal.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Sal, I have it from Fr. Ratermann (Dick Schulte's uncle) and a good friend of Fr. O'Connor's, that O'Connor was released from Maryknoll and is a diocesan priest somewhere in Illinois. Fr. Ratermann sees him pretty frequently in his travels around the country. Ratermann is an amazing guy and almost 90 but still very active in many ways. Fr. Branley was at G.E. while I was there and I was in his "unit." Very funny guy and very approachable. I think he went to Japan to teach, but others probably know more than I. His English class was great.

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Father O'Connor is in a nursing home in Des Moines, Iowa and suffers from dementia. Talked to him on the phone back in July, and he kept getting lost in the conversation and asking, "Now who am I talking to? Who IS this, anyway?"

Father Condon has been dead many years. Father Grady and Father Wolken are still alive, and can be seen in recent photos if you go to the reunion photos on Ray Voith's website,
Maryknoll Seminary Days

Father Branley turns 81 this year and just got a doctorate in art history LAST YEAR! Go to whitepages.com and google him (Brendan R. Branley, Albuquerque, N.M.) to get his address and phone number. I call him every now and then and he's a delightful conversationalist. He remembers EVERYTHING! Had a flashback about the day the rat appeared on Whitesey's lectern. We had afternoon classes after manual labor and Freshman II had the first class, and Whitesey made them all write a punishment assignment hoping to punish the person who put the rat there. He failed to succeed, because Vinny was in Freshman I, whose class period followed that of Frosh II. Because he didn't lecture Frosh II, Whitesey gave Frosh I a whole class session of questions and answers only. Sal Corda shoots up his hand and asks, "How come the Swamp Fox did all his Revolutionary War activity in North Carolina, when all the swamps are in New Jersey?." to which Whitesey responded, "Assinine question!" We used to try and get Whitesey to answer questions where the answer required him to say "Jefferson Davis," because he always referred to this guy as "Jeff Davison." Sal Buccellato had to clean his room for morning duties and told me, "You should have seen all the liquor bottles under his bed!"

Sal Corda (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Geez, that Corda was a wise ass!

Speaking of White-- Anton Gardner and I were assigned to library squad and use to light one of his cigarettes in the office where he always smoked. Then we would rotate moving White out into the library for some foolish reason until we finished the cigarette.

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Still recovering from my heart attack because the Saints actually won the Super Bowl! Back to Whitesey's history class: We used to split the room down the middle and the one side of the room would have a contest against the other to see which side could get Whitesey to answer the most questions. You were on my side of the room. Most of the questions we asked were assinine, caring more about the score than the information he provided, but you were the only one he identified as an assinine questioner!

Sal Corda (Why guys left Maryknoll)

And an astute observer he was, but at least I contributed to the team!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I guess I don't remember this game or, probably more accurate, I was asleep. I always fell asleep in his class. Should have been called "world fiction."

David J. Brown (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Hi Guys I have been enjoying and recalling some of the names and people that you touch on here, like Vinny Walsh, and Anton Gardner, and Kevin Cahill, and others though disgusted and sad to recall those ugly things that Felix White got away with in re Vinny Walsh and Oscar Best. I don't remember some of the other, perhaps apocryphal stories like my allegedly running though the BVM dorm putting shaving cream on Ed Armsrong - still I do remember doing my share of time on Casey's punishment squads on Wednesday afternoons -digging the new cesspool.Yes Milroy, and Condon, and Greg Keegan are long dead. Jack Grady is still alive at ST. Theresa's but pretty sadly declined into dementia. It's also sad that we nicknamed one of my beloved classmates "Felix" years ago and the name endures for him. I was fortuate to talk with Bill Knipe two or three times in the week he died this past June - it was eerie - he declared he would be dead in a few days but was fascinated about what going through the process would be like and wanted to talk about it. Brother Leon is still around as well, and still collecting bugs at times, though pretty stooped over with spinal deterioration. Take care all, David Brown

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Last I heard, Keegan was still wandering around talking about basketball, but I guess I heard that some time ago. As for the "incident" in BV dorm, since I was mostly asleep I couldn't swear that it was you, Dave Brown, but if memory serves me your name did come up. It was actually very funny but guys like Fr. Nolan, etc. were trying to act like it was some coup d'etat on that dorm or something. As to Keegan, I was thinking of a song that someone, perhaps Pat Miller penned, to the tune of a Bobby Darrin song "things." One of the lines went: "Thinking about things, like a costly mop, things like a pepsi top...." remembering his eternal quest for Pepsi caps which he could turn in for dollars somewhere.

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Sal and Ed: I've just lifted some info from this running blog to add to my Venard memoir. I'll e-mail it to you both, but it's on the newest version of microsoft, so you may not be able to open it. Sal, I have your e-mail address, but Ed, I don't have yours. Dave, you're welcome to it, too, but I need your e-mail address as well. (Got a lead on Tom Knoten's whereabouts. Will pass it along to you shortly.) Am putting the finishing touches on my GE memoir today, though I was only there two years. Remember singer Mary Hopkins? "Those were the days, my friend. We thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance forever and a day..."

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I was just out raking leaves (something we have to do in the South in the dead of winter), and suddenly I'm back in Whitesey's class listening to his favorite "Final Jeopardy" question that he stumped all of us on on final exam day: "What was the name of Alexander the Great's horse?" And your answer for $20,000 and first place is --- Bucephales! And for Dave Brown: He also had a stump question for the juniors in American History class: "Who was the first baby born in the English colonies?" The answer to that one was Virginia Dare. In sophomore religion class, he told Mike Riccitiello, "You bring joy to my heart!" and asked Jake O'Donovan, "Have you ever heard the song, 'Come to me, my melancholy baby!'?"

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I remember looking through the index of the world history text White used, trying to find that name of Alexander the Great's horse. I never did find it anywhere. I think I answered the question "Trigger." He didn't get mad at me so I figured he never read the exams anyway. That carton of Pall Malls really helped things along. Too bad I couldn't have given him a litre of Jim Beam or something.

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

One time he wanted us to find out -- and I'm spelling this phonetically -- who Shanhadgupdamarea was. I'm still stumped on THAT one!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Like I've said before, he created history everyday and there was certainly no consistency in his versions of it.

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

When he died while I was at GE, I had to don altar boy garb and kneel at his coffin for an hour-long vigil. And his body still had that combination perspiration-cigarettes-and-booze smell that it always had!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

So, I imagine that hour long vigil was rewarded by at least a partial indulgence, or maybe several, one each for cigarettes, perspiration and, last but not least, booze. I remember being offered a very strong cup of coffee by RFW in the G.E. library one morning and it was definitely an "eye opener."

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

He was 56 when he died, but 100 proof!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

He was only 56? Geez, I would have thought he was older than that, alot older. I don't know if you remember Calvin Delisle (sp?)(DeLeuil) but he used to sing a song that he made up to entertain us when we were on dish squad. "I want a beer, just like the beer that pickled Felix White. A good old fashioned beer with lots of foam, it took ten men to carry Felix home...."

Mike Mulhern (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Don't remember the song, but remember Cal. He showed up at GE as a Glenmary seminarian, some society Maryknoll was charging to educate its priestly candidates! They called him "Pinhead" because his face was so elongated!

Ray Voith (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Note: Cal Deleuil may have been Glenmary, but he didn't start at Maryknoll at GE. He was at the Venard as a Freshman. See Venard yearbook class pictures:
Venard Yearbook 1960 [Click]
Venard Yearbook 1961 [Click]

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Yeah, that's correct, the pinhead part. I didn't realize he joined Glemary. I knew a couple of guys in that order and I wonder if it's still around. The parish I grew up in was only a short distance from G.E. and there was a "Glenmary" influence introduced into our school but I can't remember who did that. It seemed alot like Maryknoll.

David J. Brown (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Thanks Mike and Ed, for the trip down memory lane including the name of Cal D, "the pinhead." I am surprised to learn that RFW was only 56 when he died. Mike I think the word or name you were alluding to came from a song from those days which sounded something like -Shana, Guantanamara - I'll ask Dudley or Al Scheid - they will know. By the way, Mike, has Bill Murphy been in touch with you about the "writing project" that the MK Alumni Committee (SACC) is promoting? My email is djb24-@psu.edu. Kind regards to you both David B

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Dave, now that you mention the name Al Sheid, I think I was actually in Vietnam with him, well not with him, but he worked near where I did and we had occasion to meet a few times. I'm sure it was Al because we talked about Chicago, etc.

David J. Brown (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Ed, Al was from Chicago Hgts, and went to the Venard and Chesterfield, GE etc. with us. I am not aware that he was ever in VN, but since we are in touch, I will ask him. Where and when were you there . I was in Cam Ranh in '69-70. By the way, what is the health issue with Fuzzy Braun - I thought I asked him but apparently the communication didn't go through. Take care

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

I was in Pleiku, RVN 1969-1970 in the 4th Infantry Division. That's where I saw Al. I believe he filled me in on all I needed to know for my R&R to Sydney. Fortunately, I was pulled out of the infantry before I was put into it and assigned to Staff Judge Advocate doing courts martial. The Army is/was the Army and my one year, eleven months and twenty-two days went very slowly, at least I thought so then.

Joseph Scinto (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Here I am gentlemen. Thanks for all the kind sentiments expressed above. It took a long time for me to overcome the stigma mentioned above but I reached closure (whatever that is) this year at the reunion. I know that I would have left at some point due to biological urges that beset all adolescent young men. The way I left under disgrace did knock me down for several years though. I couldn't get over the fact that I did no wrong but was thrown out of school for being with a guy who took a roll-on deodorant. I drifted through the rest of high school but joined the navy and saw the world (still seeing it if you look at my photos). That pulled me back to reality and today looking back I have no regrets about my 1.5 yrs at Venard. Anyway, God Bless Us Everyone. (Plagiarized from Tiny Tim)

David J. Brown (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Hi Joe, Welcome and I am glad you're here. While I had no idea that you had to endure that awful and unjust treatment, I wish they could even now apologise to you for such a painful and indiscriminate and lousy way of messing with someone's life. I hope your reunion helped you feel vindicated and valued, and some recognition for being the victim of something bad, not the perpetrator. Kind regards, David B

Joseph Scinto (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Thank you Dave for your kind words. Like everything else in life we deal with what we are dealt. As we all are or once were strong believers in God - giving Him the burden we carry is the best way to handle the 1000 shocks we are heir to. It was quite the paradox to eventually realize that His representatives on earth were the ones unjustly excoriating me at that vulnerable point in my life but I dealt with it and have overcome the mental stigma it caused. Today there would have been a hearing and other judicial recourses which would have vindicated me. There was a witness to the shoplifting. But it was 1962...

David J. Brown (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Hey Joe Thanks for the pictures, and it might help if you added the last names of the people there.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

That must have been Joe Cours and Oscar Best. I recognized both immediately even though Oscar was sans hair.

Joseph Scinto (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Maybe Mike Mulhern can tag the names on the pix - My brain is a bit Fuzzy (sorry Fuzzy) on the names aside from what I wrote at the time on the pix.

Lloyd J. Hevelhorst (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Just joined the group, and found this discussion extremely interesting. Nothing much to add, since Fuzzy, Ed and Sal have basically mirrored my sentiments entirely. Recently shared my Venard yearbooks with my SO Mary, which led to a plethora of questions about the whole seminary experience. I have always maintained that, outside of the inevitable problems inherent when throwing a bunch of 12 year old males together in a closed community, the educational benefits were second to none.

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Lloyd, is that you decked out in that Grenadier outfit? Or is that what the guards at Buckingham Palace wear?

Lloyd J. Hevelhorst (Why guys left Maryknoll)

s33 Yup, that's me in my 1860 42nd Black Watch full dress uniform, Ed. Been doing American Civil War reenacting for 20 years (Church's Battery D, 1st Michigan Light Artillery), and decided to add a new wrinkle with some British Victorian military impressions, and attending events as a Queen's Observer staff member. Currently I have mid-19th cent. uniforms for the 42nd, 93rd Sutherlands, Royal Artillery, and Royal Horse Artillery. One of these days I'll get my Scottish accent down!

Ed Armstrong (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Lloyd, sounds interesting. I had a client once, she was 89 years old and broke her hip during a reenactment down in Tennessee. I went to visit her after her hip replacement surgery and she said as soon as she healed she was "going back to the front lines." I think she's passed away now (she'd be something like 120 if she were living, but if she was, she'd being running up the hill in full charge).

Lloyd J. Hevelhorst (Why guys left Maryknoll)

Sounds like where I'll be in a few years, Ed! We're hoping the "hobby" gets a new influx of younger folk with the 150th anniversary starting next year. God knows most of us in the Battery are getting long in the tooth! I had a total knee replacement last summer (had been walking around bone-on-bone for 40 years, after having my lateral meniscus removed senior year at the Venard), so I'm good to go for a few more. Interestingly, I missed our class trip to Gettysburg because of the surgery, this after classmate Jim Paradis and I had given an audio-visual presentation to the class on the 3 day battle! Talk about irony, aye??

What happened after GE

John O'Connor (What happened after GE)

It may go without saying that beginnings and endings are important, as well as a good dose of "remembering" [I have finished Mike Mulhern's Sterling Men, Part II and it was a great read, but I sure didn't remember as much as he did,and there were moments that I thought he went to a different GE than I. I must have been oblivious to it all; and I was a poor student, never paid much attention to rule and had a New York City mouth, I can't figure out how I survived without a "pink slip".] I was really looking forward to see what is happening to us today and do we attribute parts of who we are to our GE experience [or broader, youthful vocation]. So I'll start:

I have been retired for eight years. Actually, I consider myself a refugee from middle management in health care; an escapee from the clutches of soul-stealing corporate conformity. I had gone into hospital ministry full time in Aug 1978 when I went to McMaster University Medical Centre in Ontario, Canada as the director, Chaplaincy Services. In fact, except for a part-time secretary, I was the whole department.

Before that I switched brands - again more accident than an informed and deliberated choice; they accepted my Maryknoll credits - and enrolled as a student in the Lutheran Seminary in Waterloo, Ontario. It was a great choice: academic standards were not as stringent as GE. I had promised to switch the good guys for the bad guys. From one GE paper.. now it was Luther who won the Luther - Erasmus debates! The strength of Lutheranism at the time was the primacy of the individual relationship with God and the Scriptures. GE taught us to think well for ourselves, so when we got to the Major Seminary and they were now going to tell us what to think.I think that this was my prime reason for leaving. There was a freedom in Lutheranism that was for me very seductive and engaging. The other main bonus for me was their emphasis on praxis. I ended up working for a great teacher, Ken Beal, at the local hospital - full time in the summers and part-time during the school term. It was in this ministry that I wanted to live out my vocation.

In those days, one had to have 3 years ordained parish experience before applying for hospital ministry. So after my graduation from the Lutheran Seminary in Waterloo, Ontario, I was offered a chance to preach for a "call" to a small church in Hespeler. I had rejected an internship as I had worked in all sorts of church situations under supervision and internships didn't pay. So one morning our Synod President [now they are bishops to seem more religious] called and told me the good news with something like, "I have arranged for you to preach at St. James. It is a difficult congregation and you probably won't make it." Did I feel supported or what? I met with the church council and had a positive visit, but I had to preach a sermon to the whole congregation and then they vote afterwards. I decided that they had to know who I was and rather than risk a "safe" sermon, I'd tell them who I was. This was 1972 and the men-in-space was front page news, so I compared the miracle complexity of intrauterine development to the human accomplishments of space travel.And I had started with a basic description of intercourse, complete with penis and vagina.[There were two older women who go up and walked out,and I was too nervous to remember who they were and actually did not find out till my farewell that they had left not in protest of my subject matter; they just could not hear me!] Kristin, my daughter was only a month old then and feels she deserves the credit to my acceptance because of her "cuteness factor" at the luncheon that followed as she was passed all around and cooed over.

I think it was at GE and Boston City Hospital CPE in Novitiate that I discovered "me" and my vocation.Part of that self was say who you are and what you are thinking. I didn't want to start a ministry with a pretend persona. They should know who they were getting - burps and farts included.

I spent 6 years there and there are many good stories; however, for this edition: it was - for me - pretty boring. There may have been three or four families that made up the congregation and they had been forever in Hespeler.They needed a preacher on Sundays, Confirmation teacher, shut-in deliver of communion, and an every other year family home visitor. In those days I had way more energy than that, but that was enough for them. My last attempt at new was a non-online dating service for the over 30 crowd. Singles could mingle at church sponsored events who were interested in developing a relationship. The community thought that it was great; the church council said that there'd be no sex-"pic-up"-fornicating club in their basement. So I contented myself with gaining some counseling credentials, AAMFT Member and Approved Supervisor and CPE Supervisor.

I had decided that when I went to a parish that I would stay 5 years following after Saul Alinsky's [whom I got familiar with at GE] - if you want to effect change then you have to stay with an organization or project for five years. They were good people and parochial and it wasn't exciting enough - too little of a living adventure. I did discover that I was not a parish pastor.My enthusiasm was for hospital ministry. In fact, I had applied to MUMC a year or so before but never got an interview; however, the successful applicant had his bad luck and my good luck to die. And as with most of my "lucky" life, a friend was the one who saw the job ad in the paper and told me about it.

It is interesting how history follows you [or as I say, "We are condemned by our personalities."] Anyhow, during the initial set of interviews, the CEO burst in and interrupted the Director of Nursing and Assistant Administrator who were conducting the interview. He pontificated something and then spotted me and said, "Who are you?" I told him that I was applying for the chaplains position. He mumbled something, like, "What good are Chaplains?" I knew he was jerking me around, so I suggested that maybe one could teach him some manners. He came back in and sat down. He wanted to know how many fights I had gotten into with doctors.I responded that it depended on whether I thought that I was right and it was better for the patient. And I got offered the job.

Maybe I should end Part 1. I would love to hear others journeys.

Ed Armstrong (What happened after GE)

Well, my story isn't very exciting. When I left G.E. at the end of the 1964-65 school year I returned to St. Louis. I had applied to several colleges but settled on St. Louis University (not because of the Jesuits though, in my time there I had only 3 Jebbies and they were ok, but, well I guess I didn't experience enough of the "Jesuit experience" to make a difference). I got interested during those years in law as an academic study and ended up going to the University of Missouri School of Law. I made it through 1 semester before Uncle Sam nailed me. Spent 1 year, 11 months and 22 days answering that call. I spent time in MO, Seattle, Pleiku in South Vietnam and finally, New Jersey. I was supposed to be a hired killer in Vietnam but someone was praying for me and I got assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate and spent my tour doing courts martial. Most of these were petty drug cases but I'm grateful for my "safe haven."

After I got out of that mess, I went back to law school, got married, graduated and initially went to work for a small firm defending defendants in medical malpractice cases. It was interesting for awhile but then I got a job with a banking company doing trust work and spent from 1974 to 1979 doing this. Then private practice for a couple of years, then back to the trust stuff for 7 more years with two firms and another company. Then, I opened my own office where I've been since 1988. I went back to school in 1976 and got a graduate law degree in tax law at Washington University here in town and do mostly estate planning, probate and tax stuff. I gave up all the divorce stuff, most litigation and bankruptcy. I try to avoid stuff that causes acid indigestion which, nowdays, is almost everything lawyers do.

I'm sure most of you have experiences that are much more fun and probably much more uplifting. I don't think Maryknoll had anything to do with my taking up law, but I do think it had an impact on the way I viewed education and further study. Like I said, originally, I looked upon this as purely academic but I supposed it ended up being a career. I would say probably a large percentage of what I've done has ended up being freebies for people that I end up feeling badly for and I know that type of activity has something to do witht he years I spent with Maryknoll. I would like to believe that it ingrained in me values which might have been there but needed a bit of prodding. I've always felt good about the years I spent with Maryknoll and am glad to be reconnected with guys that I spent that time with all those years ago.

John O'Connor (What happened after GE)

Thanks Ed... I think that "the other's" life seems to be more exotic than our own familiar one. I have fallen - with luck - through a good deal of my living. I think it may have been a character on Laugh-In who used to say, "It seemed like a good idea at the time." Each life has enough drama and comedy,and maybe some of us are just better story-tellers.

Lyle Herzog (What happened after GE)

Nothing so awe-inspiring for me when I left Maryknoll. I spent two years in the Peace Corps in Ethiopia working at a Reform School teaching and trying to set up a jobs program for the street orphans. I came home after my two years and dealt with the conscientious objector status with Uncle Sam. I got that, but had to commit to alternate service so I had to take some civil service tests. Then I flunked the physical because of a hearing problem and I was free.

Except that I went back to Ethiopia and got married. Living in Minneapolis, I was selling insurance (or at least making an attempt to do that). Luckily, a job with the St. Paul Welfare Department was made available to me because of the test that I took for the alternate service. For 9 years I worked there and really got burnt out. My wife worked as a Northwest Airlines cabin attendant and wanted to move to Paris, while I was thinking of a cabin in the woods of northern Minnesota. We ended up separating and then divorcing even though we remain friends. Our daughter Rahel is almost 40 - rather scary.

I bought a place in northern Minnesota with a plan to have a hobby farm and work a few months each year to get by. It only worked for about 6 months, because then I remarried and Linda had two children so I needed a real job again. I became Business Manager for the Department of Transportation in Virginia, MN and spent the next 24 years there while hunting, fishing, gardening, raising all sorts of animals, making maple syrup and cutting a lot of firewood since we have always heated with wood. My wife Linda and I had one child together so we had a mine, hers and ours kind of family.

I retired a few years ago and really enjoy my life - as boring as it may seem. I golf a lot and we travel at least a couple times a year and visit the kids and 6 grandkids who are scattered around.

I think the impact that Maryknoll had on me was somewhat affected by my painful experiences at the Welfare Department. I didn't become a Republican like Ed, but I lost my idealism. Spending hours on the phone with the poverty stricken, the abused, the landlords hollering, the system being unresponsive, the overwhelming issues with no solutions left me drained everyday. It seemed that no one could understand anyone else's position and I felt caught in the middle, empathizing with everyone. I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, because I knew I didn't want to spend 40 years working there. I really couldn't figure out anything I wanted to do and so I became somewhat of a hermit here. I went to a job that I did well, but had no desire to do, but it paid the bills. But I came home to my family and was able to do all the things I wanted to do there.

If anything, I have learned that the world needs so much more compassion. But I find so little of it. As a society we have become fragmented by race, political parties, religion and don't seem to want to understand anyone else's positions, but only to force them to understand ours and adopt our ways and language and system of government. It saddens me that people are like that so I guess my hours away from people are far more peaceful for me than when I am with them. Anyway, tha!t's where I have been and where I am at. I would like to hear about the rest of you.

Ed Armstrong (What happened after GE)

It was interesting reading Lyle's description of where his life took him and it is even more interesting to see that the things that concern him are also of concern to me and, I suspect, many of us who spent time at Maryknoll. I guess about 5 years ago I totally burned out on stuff legal. I think it was about 5 years ago but I started looking more closely at the things my profession seemed to be engaged in and the more I looked, the less I liked. I closed my office a couple of years ago because I just couldn't walk in there and go through the motions any more. Yeah, I still do stuff from my home office but I am much more particular about the types of things I do. I want nothing to do with litigation and I surmise it's for some of the same reasons Lyle expressed about not wanting to work in the system he worked in for so many years. My two daughters are grown and gone and I have two grandchildren and visiting with them and my daughter and her husband in Connecticut (with my wife) is a great source of happiness for both of us. Unfortunately, that occurs only maybe once a year. I've only driven to Connecticut once from here and it is a terrible drive so flying is a must (at least until we get the "bullet" trains Barack is talking about). Thus far I've not been able to dream up a suitable occupation for myself but I don't really feel like retiring, officially, anyway. I think sharing our experiences is a really great thing and I don't think I've really done that with anyone previously. I list myself as "republican" not because I'm active in pursuit of something in that regard but because I just don't know exactly (after all these years) about how I feel about government, etc. I took a couple of "informal" tests and each of them indicated I was somewhat of an anarchist. I guess I shouldn't be surprised about that, but still I was. Oh well, does it really matter??

Lyle Herzog (What happened after GE)

I was just joking about the Republican stuff, Ed. I have a golfing buddy who is a very staunch Republican and we are always joking about politics. I lean towards the social views of the Democrats, but I have been known to vote for a Republican candidate now and then. With our system of government, there is usually no cause for alarm regardless of who is elected or which party is in power because we can lean that way for awhile and then we will lean back again. The snail's pace of democracy prevents us from moving too far from the center.

Ed Armstrong (What happened after GE)

Yeah, Lyle, I think your assessment is entirely correct. During each cycle (to the right or to the left) we (Americans, I guess) provide great fodder for Saturday Night Live (which I only see sporadically). My mom's family (well, parts thereof) were heavily involved in Cook County (Chicago) politics for years. One of them (a cousin) went to prison, along with many of his cohorts, after Dick Daly died. The cousin that went to prison was an Illinois State senator as well as Cook County Clerk (an obvious violation of law...can't hold two offices at once, but, hey, while Daly the elder was alive all things were possible). We lived in DuPage county (G.E. was in DuPage) and this county was the exact opposite...a haven for the Republican party. Corruption was plentiful there though usually not as "public" as in Cook County. For awhile my dad was a republican precinct committeeman in DuPage but he took the job (volunteer) so that I would get the job of passing out pamphlets (I got about $5 each time, but when you were 9 or 10 this sounded great. In the '60 election they couldn't find anyone to ride in a motorcade with Nixon so they asked dad and he said he had to work that day (he said privately that it might have been fun but Nixon was kind of goofy and he didn't want folks to associate him with a goofy politico). Anyway, I don't know why I went into all of this, I guess it's the nature of the game when you are recalling events that took place in another time and place.

Where Are They Now?

Foster Braun (Where are they now)

We asked the question about how many of our fellows ended up ordained and were still ordained. Fr. John Ahearn MM who ministers in Hong Kong sent me this list to start the ball rolling:

Foster--hope you had a good report on your recent visit to the doctor--prayers......

Have been thinking of various names of people who perhaps came in later and were ordained or left....don't have any lists to hand--just basic memory for now--am sure I am missing some names.....

      Original class-- ordained..still in Maryknoll : 
        J. Mylet Japan
        J. Northrop El Paso Tx--Mission Border
        J. Ahearn Hong Kong

      Joined class later--ordained--still in 
        W. Senger

      Original Class--ordained- deceased 
        R. Grillo - deceased

      Original Class-ordained--left 
        J. Ulak
        J. Picardi
        C. Teixeira
        J. Dunn
        G. Morrison ( think he may have died )

      Joined class later--ordained--left 
        J. Remmele
        R. Madonna
        J. Halper
        D. LaRoche

I would add Paul Sykora from N. Dakota who joined us later on and at one time was working as a MM missionary in southern Chile last I heard.

Foster Braun (Where are they now)

John Ahearn (Where are they now)

- don't think he was in our original class--no ? In any case, he is still in and is in Bolivia: pablosykora@yahoo.com please add him to list......

John O'Connor (Where are they now)

One of my last memories on the day that I left Maryknoll was one older priest telling me that I was an "apostate". He had found out that I was looking at pursuing my studies with the Episcopalians... It confirmed in my mind that it was my time to go..

Ed Armstrong (Where are they now)

Interesting that the "older" priest would say that but maybe not considering some of the "older" priests I knew then. I don't know if anyone would say it now.

John O'Connor (Where are they now)

That's okay.. Today I am probably closer to being agnostic.

Angelo Arrando (Where are they now)

Hey John

Whatever you are you are one hell of good person. The old farts like me would not say it today but most of asshole young one would. We are in scary times. These young guys scare the crap out of me.

Mike Mulhern (Where are they now)

My goal in life is inner peace and those who threaten it I simply ignore. Am not interested in collecting any additional negative baggage in life to deal with. I flee from those who want drama and want to involve me in it. One can practice compassion without being abused. Just need to have a firm line.

Angelo Arrando (Where are they now)


John O'Connor (Where are they now)

My conversion was way more pragmatic. After Novitiate Gabe Paollozzi [now Ford] and I headed out to LA to work with a Team ministry of the Episcopal Church.. It was great. After I left Maryknoll [It was because the Major Seminary and Order was reactionary, or at least ahead of John Paul's priests as ritual specialists - my motivation was the lack of freedom and the imposition of authority on true thought. and I was getting involved with a Lutheran Deaconess more a critical incident than causal.], I tried the Episcopal Church in NYC and it was oppressive.

I lived in Brooklyn near her work and convent home and assisted them working with the Kids. Anyhow, we decided to get married and went to visit a Sister friend of hers in Waterloo Ontario. While we were there we were driving past a building with a large cross and when I asked what it was Marg said it was the Lutheran Seminary. Well, my future wife was Lutheran so probably ok. I got out found the Dean and without transcripts accepted all my Maryknoll credits. I decided that was as close as I was ever getting to God's voice. and started a few months later. I got ordained as a LCA pastor in 1973. I had a parish for 6 years and then went to McMaster in 1978. as the director of Chaplaincy.. I was the only one. When I left in 2002 or 3? There were three supervisors plus myself five hospitals and a dozen fulltime residents, an unknown group of basic students, a graduate programme in Health Sciences in Spirituality and Health and three of us had faculty appointments . when I want to impress people who don't know me. I am [and still] an Associate Professor, Family Medicine, McMaster with Graduate School appointments in Nursing and Rehabilitation Sciences. Now with all of that.. I still needed a token for the subway. It was a good time and a great ride. After I escaped it all fell apart (actually it was destroyed) and now the chaplains say lots of prayers. which maybe a better thing?

Well, for those 25 years I have been with those who were dying or journeying with them all ages and every week. One's experience of a God being in charge of a world is impossible to maintain. I have found solace in the Holocaust theologians like Elie Wiesel. Being employed by a hospital allowed me not to deal with the Lutheran polity and doctrinal purists. I have remained Lutheran as an identity because they have been good to me and part of my pension is with them. Now they are trying to be more Catholic than the Episcopalians or the RC's. I will formulate a more systematic account one day. I am sure it will get me a heresy trial almost everywhere, but it is me. What I liked about Lutheranism in the 70's was an emphasis on personal experiences and understanding.

Anne's Unitarian Universalist faith group is not a Christian faith group. They value reason, tolerance and freedom, so I may be a closet UU. [In case you want to look: http://www.uua.org/visitors/6798.shtml ] Many of my residents and students over the years were from more fundamental or authoritarian churches and none of them ever died. I (maybe like you) see us all headed the same way, just on different paths. Actually when Anne and I got married (a whole other story) the minister was a single, female Pentecostal minister. As where we live there is neither a Lutheran or UU congregation, I don't really have to decide anything, and for now that is okay.

Can't even remember what your question was but I have typed enough.

You are right that Anne has a good sense of humour even though she is British.

Take Care, my old friend,


Foster Braun (Where are they now)

From: Foster Braun [mailto:fosterbraun@hotmail.com]

Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2010 9:06 PM

To: John JSPS

Subject: Re: A short response...

Dear Jo'c,

I am afraid that you have unleashed the full, pent up energy of my newly enforced retirement. Feel free to cut this conversation off any time it gets to be more than you care to share. While I am rather thick, I do get the point within a few well aimed blows to the back of the head. ;-p

It appears that your chaplaincy at McMaster University was under another religious cover than Roman Catholic (your charming wife gave me that hint). How did you make that transition from RC seminarian to a minister in another "Protestant" denomination? I realize that I am making a fair number of assumptions here but I am intrigued at how many of our classmates found ways of living out their "vocations" or callings to God's service through other religious organizations and structures. Actually it makes perfect sense to me that our passion for serving God would find a way of expressing itself regardless of the structure.

For me the process was one of turning 180 degrees in the opposite direction when I returned from Venezuela in 72. I had lived the missionary life and seen the best and the worst of our guys in the field only to find that the simplest but most dishonest thing I could have done was to ride the conveyor belt to ordination in 1973 only to eventually abandon the dysfunctional RC ship as so many of my peers had done years before. Instead I just returned to Detroit and wandered around wondering what to do with my rotten life when I grew up. In the process I wandered from any religious practice so that by the time that I married Ginny and her four daughters in 1975, I was just your normal, run-of-the-mill, self-absorbed, alcoholic baby boomer. it wasn't until nearly three years into our marriage and at the point where we were on the verge of divorce that my life changed suddenly, radically and forever. Through a series of circumstances that I won't go into, I found myself confronted with my own shallow pursuit of meaning and pleasure and coming up empty even though I was at the start of a promising broadcast career in the 5th largest radio market in the country. One Sunday morning in the spring of 1978 I found myself in the back of a little black, Baptist church in the ghetto hearing the words of Jesus clearly for the first time when He said, "The enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy (I had that part down pat) but I have come that you might have life and the fulness of it." John 10;10 Suddenly that was all that made sense: a complete surrender of my life to Jesus as I knew Him as true Lord of my life. The rest of the story is the history of the last 31 years of our lives. I have been sober for all those years; and Ginny and I celebrated our 34th anniversary in November in the midst of the chaos of my cancer treatment. This is about the time that most of my old classmates start to squirm and look for the "pitch"; I have none except an enormous sense of gratitude to God for making Himself so real in my life and fulfilling that ancient call or passion that once burned in a little boy in Wisconsin to serve God as a priest.

BTW, I love that picture that you attached to the last email. Ok, touche, your turn, if you like. But if not, know that it has been a pure pleasure to find out about your life and what brought you to MWP, NS. Please give my regards to your wife; she has a wonderful smile and has to have a good sense of humor to put up with one of us!


John O'Connor (Where are they now)

On Jan 7, 2010, at 3:28 PM, John JSPS wrote:

Hello Fuzzy:

I may have unleashed a demon. I am having trouble answering my email. I guess that I should have learned to type.

Is it hard being an "outsider" in a tight-knit Acadian community and region?

I guess that there are many ways to answer that. In some ways everyone here is related and have been for years. They call people who were not born here as they "come from outside". Now "outside" is often five miles away. So yes we are from "outside" and always will be as they identify people by who their grandfathers were, as many have the same names. If you ever meet a d'Entremont, they certainly come from West Pubnico.

However, in other was, they are a most welcoming community.. And while most prefer to speak a really local dialect of French, whenever I come up to a group they automatically switch to English as all are bilingual. Fishermen drop off lobster and I know most at the golf cours, about $600 US yearly membership and I have played in January some days. They have made us feel welcomed. Anne is part of the Garden Club and has even organized an Amnesty International Group. It is a good move though she misses the kids and grandkids more than me, so she goes back to Hamilton more than me.

What did you do before you retired to your cottage by the sea?

Short.. I was a chaplain in a hospital, McMaster University Medical Centre, and don't laugh: I was a dreaded CPE Supervisor. My clinical work was with children and families as MUMC was a pediatric trauma and cancer specialty. I lasted through several mergers until there were more assholes who never would see a patient but knew everything, so when they offered me a chance to go, I went. Over the last seven years I have been a volunteer at a small Catholic hospital in Guyana, South America, where I spend three months teaching student nurses in Psychology, Sociology and Ethics. I am planning on returning in September. At least it keeps me off the streets and my mother is convinced that I might return to the fold.
Enough for now.

I'll try and get something organized done. I look forward to your stories.

Take Care,

From: Foster Braun [mailto:fosterbraun@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 07, 2010 12:36 PM
To: John JSPS
Subject: Re: A short response...


Foster Braun (Where are they now)

I deeply appreciate your addition to the CaringBridge. It remains one of the sweetest aspects of this miserable disease that it has put me back in touch with some very special people. What did you do before you retired to your cottage by the sea? Is it hard being an "outsider" in a tight-knit Acadian community and region? Sorry but one answer just seems to generate more questions. Again thanks for starting the ball rolling on Facebook; I think that will be fun to watch develop.

John Ahearn wrote back from Hong Kong to say that only he, John Northrop, and Jim Mylet went on to ordination from our original class. Talk about attrition rates! It is also curious that the other Maryknoll groups (3) on Facebook include one for the Colegio de Maryknoll in Cochabamba, Bolivia where I went to language school for six months before heading to Venezuela to work with the guys there and finish my major seminary training.


John O'Connor (Where are they now)

On Jan 7, 2010, at 11:08 AM, John JSPS wrote:

Hello Fuzzy:

I put up a note on your journey site.

Anyhow, I got to MWP because when I retired, I wanted to live by the sea. [Brooklyn is right on the ocean] And unlike your sister, we didn't have enough money to look at Vancouver Island. And did not want to return to the States. Canada is still a gentler world.. but with Harper who knows for how long.

We took an internet inspired Real Estate MLS "houses on the ocean" tour of Nova Scotia and ended up in MWP. We didn't know anyone and the only one here who is not related in one form or another. Our neighbor has 72 first cousins and more than 90% live close-by, and he was an only child. It is an Acadian fishing/lobster community; and everyone has been kind and supportive. I've thrown in a couple of pics..

Hang in there.


Lifelong Tryst with Maryknoll by George L. Weber

September 2011

Since recent double bypass heart surgery has me temporarily "grounded", my good "African" friend, Father John Eybel, M.M., has asked me to write down some personal thoughts that he could share as he might seem fit with fellow attendees at Maryknoll's September 2011, Centenary Celebration. John knows how deep are my family roots in the "Maryknoll Movement" - priests and sisters alike.

When I was two years old in 1931 my Aunt Sister Rosalie (Dad's sister) returned from some ten years of teaching in China to join nine other Sisters selected by Mother Mary Joseph to establish the Maryknoll Cloister - where Sister toiled prayerfully 'til her death - well into her 80's. When I reached the age of twelve my oldest sister, Virginia Marie, entered the Maryknoll Sisters' Novitiate; and labored after final vows (as Sister Alma Virginia), mostly as a teacher in Hawaii. Sister died in her 87th year on Christmas Eve, 2008.

I myself was accepted and entered Maryknoll after my third year of high school at Sacred Heart Seminary in the diocese of Detroit. Ordination came on June 11, 1955, with 59 other classmates. After MA studies in English Literature at Notre Dame and one year each of teaching in Mountain View, California and "The Venard", I was assigned in 1958 to Tanzania, EA. During four busy years after language school I lived with classmate, Jim Lenihan, at Mipa Mission, twenty miles north of Shinyanga. Under the guidance of Bishop McGurkin and with the crucial assistance of Brother George, we filled a two acre campus with a chapel, an office and storage complex, a twin classroom facility, two wells, two latrines and twelve housing units for student catechists and their families.

With guidance from fellow Maryknollers (often former classmates) I selected my twelve families and established curricula for both the catechists and their wives for their full year of training on our Mipa Mission campus. Along with catechetics we studied and practiced proper farming procedures; introduced the students and their families to vegetable gardening and marketing techniques. We opened markets in Shinyanga town, Kolondoto Hospital, Williamson Diamond Mine and with local neighbors (who soon began raising them on their own).

I returned to Maryknoll on home-break in late spring, 1964. After several months of rest at Novitiate, shaking off an attack of hepatitis A, I was assigned to follow in the steps of Father Al Fedders, my former latin teacher at Lakewood, New Jersey, as rector at "The Knoll". My "boss" turned out to be the late Fr. John McCormick, whose "guest" I had been at the Novitiate, and who now was our newly-elected Superior General.

In hindsight I can see that ours was destined to be a stressful relationship. Along with my new assignment I had inherited a dynamic, "post Vatican II, post Vietnam War" student body that was, might I say, more creative and, perhaps more "laissez faire" toward local rules than I had experienced under Bishop Comber in the early fifties. And, frankly, I loved the challenge - especially after my teaching experience with young adult catechists in the same age group at our Mipa-based Leadership Training School under Bishop McGurkin's inspiring guidance. And there were, indeed, fun times at the Knoll during my year and a half "in office".

One comes to mind involving tall, friendly, easy-going Vietnam war veteran, Nim Hornung. His tardiness with meeting Father General's laundry assignments brought me legitimate phone calls of strident distress from "the boss". Nim was quickly reassigned to a lower level faculty member who, according to Nim, also called him to task for "substandard services". I asked Nim if he had apologized and found out that he had indeed. "I have just come now from Father's room," Nim assured me. "And what happened?" I asked. "Well," Nim replied, "Father opened the door a foot or so, and I gave him my best Army compliment: 'Father, you chew a damn good ass!' And I think father was smiling as he slowly closed the door." Nim, indeed, was unique. I understand that he died at a young age after leaving the seminary. May he rest in peace.

Like myself, Father McCormick later requested laicization and, like me, married a former Maryknoll Sister. My now deceased wife, Julie, (formerly Sister Veronica Anne) was one of ten Burton children born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, directly across from Detroit. For seventeen years I could see their house on a clear day from my tenth floor office in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield building on Jefferson Avenue. With an offer too good to resist, I accepted an early retirement opportunity from BCBSM in 1987 and moved with Julie and our three children to a position as "Director of Mission Effectiveness" at Mercy Medical Center in Mason City, Iowa. Thanks to my past African experience I was selected in 1991 and again in 1993 to join a team of five sent by the Sisters of Mercy on a month-long overseas technical support program at Bugando Catholic Hospital in Mwanza, Tanzania - just seventy miles from Mipa. It was there, while teaching basic management skills to forty nurses, that I met my now good friend, Fr. John Eybel, at that time founder and Director of the diocesan CPE Program.

Shortly after my retirement in 1994 I returned to Tanzania, and accepted John's invitation to share his residence near the hospital. We had many refreshing sundowners and fruitful discussions on his famous screened-in porch overlooking Lake Victoria with its incredibly brilliant sunsets. As often as not, especially with guests, we laughed a lot, both at ourselves and at the countless zany things that can only happen in Africa - like a friendly bird each morning screeching "Wake George Weeber" from a tree outside my window. Or tales of buses stranding passengers for days instead of for a respectable hour or two. Or Zebra meat getting prepared in motor oil by a careless cook and eaten with mixed results by unaware hungry hunters. Thankfully, all survived and later enjoyed laughing over this and many other "heroic" incidents. They may hurt when they happen but more often than not they amuse when recalled. And recalled they were often at John's popular "house on the hill".

If John shares all or a part of this very truncated tale at the Friday night "Sundowner", September 16, I would like to have him close with a favorite quote of G. K. Chesterton by Thomas Moore, that needs no explanation:
And still on that evening when pleasure fills up

To the highest top sparkle each heart and each cup,

Where'er my path lies, be it gloomy or bright,

My soul, happy friends, shall be with you that night;

Shall join in your revels, your sports and your wiles,

And return to me beaming all o'er with your smiles.

Too blest, if it tell me that, 'mid the gay cheer,

Some kind voice had murmur'd, 'I wish he were here!'

God bless us all! And God bless Maryknoll's second millennium!

Report on Jack Schloerb Condition

Just received this update from Jim McCormick this morning on the condition of Jack Schloerb (Venard, '62 - '66, GE, after '66): Good morning. Over the years I have made a number of trips to Normandy, once biking the entire military front for a week - the beaches remain a magnet for those who still value the cost of freedom and also have the opportunity to visit and reflect on what happened there 68 years ago thismorning. It seems appropriate, then, that I forward the update on Jack that I just received from his children. If you do not know the background behind the LRRP in Jack's e-mail address, he was in a Long Range Recon Patrol during Vietnam, dropped behind enemy lines to scout and report back - dangerous business. His illness affected him in his writings and ratings long before he was officially diagnosed. Jack remains well, though continues to rapidly digress. Along with those who stormed those French beaches so many years ago, remember Jack today in your own special way, please. Letter follows. Warm regards,


Hello All,

We know it has been about 6 months since we last gave you all a good update on how our father, Jack Schloerb, is doing. At the time of our last letter, Dad had been in the VA Lyons Medical Center for only about 1 month after his 10 week stay in the VA hospital

. At this point, he has been living there for about 7 months and it is comforting to say he has settled in well.

Much has changed since we chatted last, and I'm hoping this letter gives everyone a better picture of where he is at at this point. So many things have changed quite rapidly since Dad has left home. To briefly summarize him physically, he has slowed down a lot since he moved in last November. Though he's still independent to walk, he is slower and more careless and has consequentially had repeated falls. As a result, he wears pants with padding in them as well as a helmet to better protect him if he does fall. We don't want him in a wheelchair full time because he still is able to walk and it keeps him mobile, which is great for him to do for as long as he can. However, he does have a wheelchair to use on occasion. He is also now completely dependent on the nursing staff for most of his daily activities such as bathing, toileting, shaving, etc., which has been very difficult to see as his family, but thankfully he doesn't really understand and has been okay with having others help him. He is still able to feed himself which is wonderful! In fact, he has lost about 35 pounds since he moved in, which is quite a bit in a short amount of time, but as we know we mentioned in the last letter, he had been obsessively eating (characteristic of this disease) prior to moving in, and he now is on a regular diet which is controlled to his needs. So 35 pounds less is all round great, and he is back to the weight he always was before he got sick. That's not to say he wouldn't still eat a whole tray of cookies if we brought them in!

Dad has gradually settled himself into a routine since moving into the veterans' facility, and we are very thankful for that, as his first few months were filled with much more anxiety than what he displays now. At this time, he spends most of his day going back and forth between his room and one of the smaller common rooms that are not used much by any of the other men on his unit. And he prefers this, as too many people around is overstimulation for him. He watches a dvd of family photos over and over throughout the day, and will also watch one or 2 of his music video dvds which include his favorite singers and bands from back in the day. He can no longer engage in games and mainly he just doesn't