Jim Adams

I credit Father Joseph McKay, my chemistry lab teacher at Cathedral Prep in Erie, with stimulating my interest in the Oblates. He seemeded like a real person, in spite of being a priest -- I liked his sense of humor and his ability to relate to high school boys. He visited my parents and me one evening before I graduated and left for Childs, and I was surprised how much beer he could pack away that night. Here was a real man! And a priest as well! But my English teacher, Father John Naulty, and Father Charles Hordis, also made favorable impressions on me, and after that, Father Richard Blenner. Altho I was homesick for my first three months at Childs, I got over it after the first visit from my parents and sister in November. Some time after that, I began to suspect that I would be better suited as an Oblate brother, instead of a cleric. But good Father Conmy assured me, “No, James, I’m sure you have a vocation”, and that put an end to my doubts -- for the time being. After all, this was God speaking to me, thru the superior’s Grace of State. How could it be wrong?The only thing I hated about Childs was my temporary assignment to help Bro. Joe McDonald with “the chicken”. Actually, it was those stupid, smelly, noisy chickens that I hated, but Fr. Conmy, in his wisdom, mercy and grace of state, promptly took me off the job and replaced me with Ed Pikarsky. As far as I know, Ed never complained. The following year, I was assigned to keep Fr. Conmy’s office and bedroom clean -- a job that suited me better than those @#$%^&*! chickens.Well, there was one other thing I hated. My despised nemesis, Jack Murray, bestowed on me a certain nickname which I disliked from the beginning and which I shall not dare repeat. Jack and I shared no mutual affection whatsoever, and I thought I had left bullying behind in high school, but somehow I ended up on his waiting and dish crew. But I patiently endured the nickname, and eventually both Jack and the nickname disappeared into history (until Frank DeMilde just happened to remind me of it recently!)

My two years teaching as a scholastic at Salesianum were undistinguished. In retrospect, while I felt an affinity for teaching, I was uncomfortable dealing with the dynamics of a real classroom full of marginally interested students; in fact, it was around that time that I began losing my hair and developing bags under my eyes.(Father Tom Hopkins didn’t see any significance in that.) I had similar unsatisfactory experiences at St. Francis in Toledo after ordination, and later at St. Mary’s in Stockton. It was then that I initially decided it would be a wise idea to abandon the teaching profession and do something less stressful, like, maybe ... delivering mail? But it was also at the same time that I decided to leave the priesthood too. For most of my seminary days, I had few meaningful friends and felt alone, even when I was living among more than 100+ other colleagues at DeSales Hall. Mike Donovan and Ron Kotz helped me learn basic guitar chords, and that helped to integrate me into some community activities, but I never did become a very good guitarist! After ordination, I felt that I merely filled slots for the Oblates, one for teaching and one for ministry. My natural introverted personality made it difficult for me to make satisfying emotional connections with confreres. Furthermore, I wanted some control over my own life, and disliked having to ask some Father Superior for petty permissions when other men my age were having children, raising families, running companies and building their careers. So when I was transferred to Stockton, in 1970, I met some interesting people who seemed to recognize me as a person, not as a cog in the community wheel. One of those persons was my future wife, Libby, who introduced me to her Hispanic family with her two brothers, two sisters and a wide circle of relatives and friends. One characteristic of her family was their inclusiveness. Whenever someone else showed up for dinner at their house or needed a place to sleep for the night, I was reminded of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes -- there was always enough food or room for anyone who shows up. I was suddenly welcomed in their midst as a person in my own right, almost as an additional member of the family. They had helped me find my identity!

Libby and I were married in Stockton in 1975, with Andy Dunn presiding. Bro. Neil McMenamin was one of the groomsmen; Bill Press was my Best Man. Nonetheless, after a year out of the teaching profession, I missed certain rewarding aspects of the teaching experience. After a year as a part-time security guard which gave me the chance to take some extra classes in chemistry and biology and to become self-sufficient, I accepted a teaching position with the Christian Brothers in Sacramento. Again, my experience in the classroom was not remarkable. After a year hiatus, I chose to re-invent myself as a Science Education Technician, a para-professional who supports science teachers by doing stuff they didn’t have the time, interest, desire nor talent to do, but without the burden of managing a classroom and grading papers -- a role ironically analogous to the difference between a “brother” and a “cleric”! I found an opportunity for that kind of work at Las Positas College, in Livermore, California, where I worked from 1979 until retirement in 2005. Libby and I gave birth to our daughter, Jenny Lucia, in 1980. Jenny graduated in 2004 with a degree in structural engineering from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, and just recently married a fellow Cal Poly engineer, Rex Mananquil, who works with her in Irvine, California. The couple lives in Newport Beach with their friendly pit bull, Tank, and his companion, the beagle Kali.

Before I left for Childs, I remember the mother of a close friend asking me why I was throwing my life away by becoming a priest. I don’t recall any response I had for her at the time; for many years I had entertained a mysterious attraction for the priesthood and the liturgy, and the opportunity, as an Oblate, to pursue my primary interest in science, in imitation of Father McKay as well as of the famous scientist, Joseph Priestley, who himself was both a cleric and a scientist. However, in retrospect, my association with the Oblates was perhaps the best choice for me at the time, even tho I did not persist in the priesthood. If I fault the Oblates for anything, it would be for expecting me to function as a qualified teacher, with only two years of college and no training in the art of teaching, but also for training me to be a theologian but not as a minister to secular families with day-to-day challenges and real-life struggles. After 10 years of so-called “preparation”, I felt largely unprepared to do what was actually expected of me in the real world. But I am sure things have changed with the Oblates at this time. On the other hand, my experience with the Oblates has given me a valuable perspective on life that I am sure I would not have obtained without my background in a religious community. For one, I learned to live with different people and personalities, and recognized my mistakes in that realm. My liberal education, heavy in theology, has given me a broad interest in many fields of knowledge which I now, in retirement, have the opportunity to pursue more widely than before. And my liberal arts education enables me to perform reasonably well during nightly viewings of Jeopardy! But my experience in the classroom also was very helpful to me as a science education technician with the responsibility of presenting information and materials to students intelligibly and efficiently. Having practiced composing sermons with a view to making them as meaningful and direct as possible, both to me and my audience, I have become a reasonably good technical writer. And experience living in the “real” world has made me more patient, sensitive and diplomatic. As a father and a youth soccer goalkeeper coach, I have still enjoyed the opportunity to teach, and have learned -- or rather, am still learning -- how to be patient with young children. As a retired scientist, I volunteer to develop and maintain the Granada Native Plant Garden in Livermore, where I often meet people from a wide cross-section of the community who stop by to chat, exchange views on gardening and sometimes philosophy and theology, and to comment on the attractiveness of the Garden. I think of that vocation as a form of ministry. The Garden is an educational resource for people to learn how Native Americans depended on native plants, and how native birds, animals and insects still do. If you are interested, just Google the “Granada Native Garden Newsletter”, an endeavor which gives me a creative outlet by researching new information and making it available to the public. And my chemistry background has made me a pretty good winemaker, both out of grapes and any other fruit I can get my hands on. Maybe one of these years we can share some together at an XOSFS reunion!

 

Bill Albe
Bill joined the Oblates after attending his Senior year and graduating in 1960 from St. Francis in Toledo. He attended both Catholic and Niagara Universities and worked at Camp DeSales during the summers. He discovered in his two year assignment at North Catholic that he loved to teach. By the end of his Junior year at Niagara, Bill realized that he would rather be in a traditional family; but Fr. McHugh suggested that he complete his college degree before leaving the Oblates. When Bill protested that the Oblates would be paying for his education only to see him leave, Fr. McHugh replied, "We're not that provincial. You will be a good Christian and Oblate no matter what your career. Besides, have you ever been paid for teaching, or work at camp or maintaining the residences?” Bill completed his BS in Natural Science at Niagara University in 1967. That spring he went to an on-campus interview with a recruiter from Dow Corning Corporation, (amid the 'Agent Orange' protest popular at the time). He was hired and spent the next ten years as an Analytical Instrument Engineering Specialist and the next twenty-four as an Associate Analytical Scientist at Dow, supervising groups of technicians, engineers, and scientists in designing, inventing, and applying automated chemical analyzers to control chemical processes and monitor the environment. In 1968 Bill was drafted into the Army and during his tour of duty taught Electronics at the US Army Signal School at Ft. Gordon, GA. 

In 1985, while at Dow Chemical, he joined the Adjunct Faculty at Saginaw Valley State University and for the next fifteen years taught Astronomy to packed classes of more than 60 students. He was recognized Adjunct of the Year from a group of 300 candidates in 1999. That same year he was awarded “Science Education Volunteer of the Year” by the American Chemical Society, Michigan Section, for years of science outreach classes, assemblies, presentations;  demonstrations benefitting schools, libraries, civic organizations and local museums; and for co-founding the mid-Michigan “Sunset Astronomical Society.”

Bill is divorced with three married daughters. Jennifer is a doctor and co-owner of Midland Family Physicians and President of the Michigan Section of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Jennifer has two children, ages six and ten. Debra is the owner/operator of a horse ranch with two children ages one and four. Maureen is a Physicians Assistant working at the Michigan State University Clinic and Mid-Michigan Medical Center. Bill is a ham radio operator with the call-sign N8FUZ.
Bill has always treasured his time in the Oblates and the life lessons learned there.
 
Phil Cerrato
Phil received his MA in Theology at De Sales Hall in 1979 and was ordained in 1981.  He taught as a scholastic at Northeast Catholic High School.  Following his ordination in 1981, he taught at Holy Name High School in Reading, PA until 1983 and at Paul VI High School in Fairfax, VA until 1985.  He served at St. Mary of Sorrows Parish in Fairfax, VA until 1989; St. Joachim Parish, Philadelphia, PA until 1990; and at Holy Infant Parish, Durham, NC until 1992.

Phil attended Virginia Commonwealth University from 1992 and received his MSW in 1996.  Since then he has worked as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at the Community Mental Health Center, Manassas, VA.  He is a member of Corpus, CFM (Federation of Christian Ministries) since 1994.

Phil is married to Elizabeth since 1994.

Jack Costigan
While with the Oblates, Jack earned his BA magna cum laude in Modern Languages and Philosophy from Niagara University, and his STL from Catholic University; and he did Master study in French at Villanova University.  While at CU in Washington, DC he was a Graduate Student Council Representative in the School of Theology and a member of the Administration, Faculty, Student Advisory Board.  He taught French, Spanish, and Science; and coached Track, Cross Country and Basketball at Salesianum in Wilmington, DE in 1965 and 1966.

Jack has worked since 1969 in the Insurance Industry, mostly in Commercial Property and Casualty.  He worked for the Insurance Company of North America from 1969 to 1983, working his way up from Property Underwriter to Vice President of Marketing.  After INA and Connecticut General merged, he spent five years at the corporate level as VP of New Business Development for CIGNA Corporation before returning to Property/Casualty as Senior VP¬.  In 1990, he left CIGNA to become a Division Head for AIG Risk Management in New York City and later COO for AIG’s Public Entity Practice.  In 1998, Jack joined AON as Executive VP of one of its subsidiaries.  In 2000, having had more than enough of large companies, he formed Spectrum Risk Services, an insurance consulting firm of which he continues to be President.  He does a lot of expert witness work for lawsuits involving insurance, arbitrations of insurance disputes, due diligence examinations for investors considering buying insurance companies and audits for insurance regulators both in the US and internationally.  He is also Vice Chairman of a small Cayman Islands insurance company.

Jack has been married to Jane for 40 years and they have one married daughter, Jennifer.  Jennifer is married to Greg Hausner and lives in Towson, MD, a three-hour drive.  There are two grandchildren: Lila Grace, 3 years old, and Andrew Gregory who will be one on August 23.  Jack and Jane have lived in Medford, NJ most of their married life with two hiatuses in Hinsdale, IL and Richmond, VA (both resulting from corporate transfers).  They also had a beach home in Avalon, NJ.  In 2004, they sold their large home in Medford and the beach home in Avalon and built on an acre of land on a golf course only three miles from Avalon.  Jane says the house is still too large but when you are near the beach, one tends to get a lot of company.

Jack had four brothers and two sisters.  He lost his sister Rose nine years ago at 45 and his brother Larry three years ago at 64, both to lung cancer.  His Dad has been in heaven since 1988, but his Mom is still going at 92 though she has Alzheimer’s and is in a nursing home.

Jack is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and currently Grand Knight of Council 12184 in Cape May Court House, NJ.  He still uses his Dorazio training to sing at Mass.
Though he has gained some weight (now 220 but down from 252 ten years ago), he still plays golf (not well and too infrequently despite living within walking distance to the club).  More occasionally now than before he likes to down hill ski.  He played masters soccer until he was 51 and league softball until 50, but a torn ACL skiing eliminated those pastimes along with basketball and volleyball even before advancing age.  He still enjoys carpentry and has a great but not well-used workshop in his basement.  He also enjoys growing vegetables, especially Jersey tomatoes.

In keeping with a Salesian saying that one should “make a virtue of necessity,” Jack still likes to travel, even though it has become not as pleasant as it once was.  He has logged over three million air miles, been on every continent except Antarctica and in every state except Montana and North Dakota.  He also got to play a lot of Golf Digest’s top 100 golf courses – mostly thanks to work.  He and Jane also like to do leisure travel and have logged several trips to Hawaii (most recently in April); Ireland and Italy (with my brothers Larry and Pat and wives); Lima and Mancha Pichu, Peru; France and England; most of the Caribbean;  Mexico City and Acapulco as well as US and Canadian destinations.  Thanks to his Cayman Islands company, they also spend a week in Grand Caymans every December.  Next big trip, hopefully: Australia and New Zealand.

John J. Dealy
John graduated from Northeast Catholic in Philadelphia in 1949 and entered the Oblate Novitiate at Childs.  He was assigned to NECHS to teach as a scholastic in 51-52.  John received his AB and MA while at De Sales Hall in Washington, D.C.  He taught for two years at Fr. Judge, then until 1969 at De Sales HS in Lockport, NY.
John then worked for a short time with Community Chest in Syracuse.  He taught history at The Harley School from 1969 to 1993.  He also taught three semesters at Genesee Community college, Batavia, NY.

John serves on the pastoral team at St. John’s Parish in Rochester, NY and volunteers to work with adult education groups at Christ the King Parish in Rochester.

John is married to Jean and they have two daughters:  Anne and Meg.  They keep busy with household tasks, parish activities, and family.  Their three grandsons, 13-year-old Eddie, 10-year-old Jack and 4-year-old Josh keep them on their toes

Frank DeMilde
Frank graduated from Salesian High in Detroit and entered the Oblates at Childs in 1959.  As a scholastic, he taught at Bishop Duffy High School and spent the summers as a counselor at Camp de Sales.  While completing his BA in Philosophy from Catholic University and his MA in Theology from the University of Maryland, he taught CCD at Ft. Belvoir, MD and coached basketball at the Kennedy Institute in Washington, DC.  Following ordination in 1971, Frank taught at Aquinas High in Southgate, MI serving as Assistant Principal from 1973 till 1976.  He spent the next three years as a Chaplain at Mt. Carmel Mercy Hospital, Detroit, MI earning a Clinical Pastoral Education Certificate in 1978.  He left the priesthood in 1979.       

After renewing friendship with John Rooks in 1977 and witnessing his marriage in November, 1977, Frank and John were cross country skiing at Kensington Metropark on Ash Wednesday, February 8, 1978.  John succumbed to a heart attack.  His wife, Jo Ann, was pregnant at the time.  John’s son, Matthew, is now married to a Japanese woman and they have a 2 year-old son.  Matthew lives in Japan and teaches English not far from a military base where John was once stationed.

After leaving the Oblates, Frank learned to repair typewriters from a friend and worked with him in his business for a year.  He then entered nursing home administration, passed state licensing certification, and worked in the field for three years.  He met Betty, his lovely better half, in 1980 through a dating service and married at the age of 45 in October, 1987.  He started and continued his career in Information Technology at Ford Motor Co. for 22 years and retired in 2008.

Frank inherited his mother’s house and Shih Tzu at her death in 1997.  Toto, the Shih Tzu, provided nine more years of enjoyment till her death at sixteen.  He enjoyed playing many sports over the years although three ruptured Achilles tendons slowed him down a little at basketball and racquetball.  He still bowls and plays golf.  He and Betty have travelled to Cancun; Sedona, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas; the Smoky Mountains; Copper Harbor and the Porcupine Mountains in MI; Alaska and Hawaii.  He still tinkers with computers.  Frank directed and co-directed the parish RCIA program for 10 years and is currently a Lector and Eucharistic minister.  This year he and Betty have volunteered as preschool tutors for Detroit Public School System.

Paul Dinan
Paul graduated Bishop Duffy High School (an Oblate school), Niagara Falls, NY in 1964, and completed one year at SUNY College at Buffalo before he entered the novitiate at Childs in June of 1965.  He spent only three months as a postulant (a 90-day wonder!) before beginning his novitiate under “Gaff,” the Novice Master.  He professed his first annual vows at St Anthony Church, Wilmington, DE August 15, 1966.  He then attended Niagara University and graduated June of 1969.  Paul spent two years teaching at Judge Memorial HS, Salt Lake City, UT and one more year at his request to “think things over” at Aquinas HS, Southgate, MI.  He departed the Oblates in the summer of 1972

Paul spent one more year in teaching at Bishop Gallagher HS, Grosse Pointe, MI during 1972-1973.  He then worked in sales, service management, operations and credit at various Firestone retail stores in both the Detroit and Buffalo, NY areas from 1973 to 1977.  He became a line worker at GM Hydromatic, Willow Run facility making transmissions for three years, leaving in 1980 to maintain his sanity.

Paul earned an Associates Degree in Accounting at nights while working with GM, graduating from Schoolcraft Community College in Livonia, MI in 1980.  He began work for a convenience store/truck stop chain with 31 locations in Utah and Idaho.  For the past 31 years, Paul has worked as price book coordinator/auditor based out of the main office in Salt Lake City, UT.

Paul has no real “hobbies” but is an avid reader, “my delicious and guilty pleasure is anything written by Stephen King.”  He has a daughter, Kristin, born in Buffalo, NY in 1975.  Her mom and he divorced in 1984.  Paul has one granddaughter from Kristin’s marriage: Cheyenne, who is now thirteen.

Paul married Tamara in September of 2000 and their favorite thing is travel!  They have just returned from a two-week stay in Great Britain and Republic of Ireland.  They have taken two Alaska cruises and get to the Oregon coast for at least a week every summer.

Paul is an active vestry and choir member at All Saints Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City.  He also serves as sub deacon, lector, and chalice bearer at liturgies.  He is progressive and liberal in his theology and a believer in the Episcopal credo that “ALL are welcome!” at Christ’s table.

Jim Doll
While with the Oblates, Jim completed a degree in Religious Education from the University of Detroit.  He taught High School for fourteen years, did Retreat work, and served at St. Pius X for two years.

Jim was self employed for a time, and worked in sales for an alarm company and a department store.  He is retired now, still Catholic (Vatican II style), and enjoys working on his computer, fishing, and golf (when nobody is watching).

Jim is married to Mary and has three stepchildren and seven grandchildren.


Andy Dunn (9/27/35 - 2/3/2012)
Andy received his BA from the Catholic University of America, an MA in History from Niagara University, and a MDiv in 1984 from St. John’s.  He spent his years of ministry with the Oblates at Fr. Judge, North Catholic, DeSales, St. Francis, St. Mary’s, and Bishop Duffy.

Andy completed a three year MFA Hilberry Fellowship in Theatre at Wayne State University.  He worked with Artpark, NY for two years, performed in seven shows at the Meadowbrook Theatre, and worked with the Detroit Repertory Theatre during the 80’s and 90’s.  Andy also appeared in productions at the Attic Theatre, Greenfield Village, and the 4th Street Theatre.  Andy taught for 15 years at Aquinas High School and is currently retired.
On June 17th, Andy and Theresa celebrated their thirty-third anniversary of marriage.  They have had two children.  Daughter Ruthann, who suffered from the effects of a “birth accident,” went to be with the Lord on December 11, 1990.  Their son, David, graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas grade school and Detroit Catholic Central High School.  He played in CC’s marching band and concert band for all four years.

Andy and Theresa have taken four trips with Princess Cruise Lines including the Mediterranean, the Eastern and Western Caribbean; and two trips with the Royal Caribbean Lines.  Andy and Theresa both have been in leadership roles in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal since 1972 and for the past fifteen years have served the St. Thomas Aquinas Prayer Group.

Dick Fell, MD
Dick entered the novitiate at Childs in 1962.  He studied at Niagara University, taught math and science at Northeast Catholic High School from 1964 to 1967, and spent summers at Camp de Sales.

He earned a BA in Economics in 1969 from the University of Toledo.  He spent the next four years at Loyola University Medical School.  He did his residency at the University of Hawaii Medical Center from 1973 to 1976, followed by a two-year Cardiology Fellowship at the University of Michigan.  Dick then practiced at the Toledo Clinic for twenty-nine years until he retired in 2008.

He spends his time now working on apartments and rental houses and indulges his secret vice:  the futures market.

Dick is married to Luann, a radiation oncology nurse, and they have three daughters:  Renee is a second year law student at Loyola University in Chicago; Katie is a senior Biology major at Loyola; and Marissa is a sophomore in Fashion Design at the University of Chicago.

Jim Gallagher
After leaving the Oblates, Jim held a few jobs.  He ran a sheltered workshop for developmentally challenged adults in Philadelphia, and then taught for one year at Lumen Christi High School with Dick Doll and Tony Sutton.  In the early 1970’s, he went to California to visit, got a job at 3M and never moved back East.  He left 3M to work in sales, and for thirty-four years worked for a privately held company that made plastic injection molded products: plastic pails and fittings.
 
Now, though officially retired, he works two part-time jobs.  For the past eight years, he’s been a bartender at the Honda Center, home of the NHL 2007 Stanley Cup Champions; and he’s a starter and PA (players assistant) at a golf course that is a five-minute walk from his home in Anaheim.  “I get my golf for free and all the golf balls I can find.”
 
Jim volunteers at a local hospice and at their Catholic church.  At the church he is an "alter man" and assists at funerals.  He exercises regularly, plays golf two or three times a week; and with wife, Peggy, enjoys traveling.  They have been to China, Europe, and South America. 
 
Jim and Peggy have been blessed with good health and great friends.

 

Joe Gallen
While with the Oblates, Joe studied at Catholic University and Niagara University, spent time at De Sales Hall and Camp Brisson, and taught at Father Judge.
Joe teaches high school religion at John Carroll School, Bel Air, MD since 1996 and previously taught at St. Mary’s Ryken High School from 1990.  He worked as a Director of Religious Education in Salisbury, MD and in San Diego, CA.  He taught at the University of San Diego while finishing an EdD program in education
and worked in the adult education office, Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Joe is married to Patricia and they have two children.

While he won’t be with us in September, Joe hopes the gathering is as much fun as it sounds!

Dick Gatza
Rich left the Oblates during his novice year.  He is a Viet Nam Veteran.

He is a Journeyman Millwright (4 year apprenticeship) who is retired after 23 years at Ford Motor Company and 17 years with the Rouge Steel Company.  He has a BGS from Wayne State University and an MSA from Central Michigan University.

Rich is married to Ruth and has four children and six grandchildren.  He pretends to be a golfer (nineteen handicap for nine holes); has visited all fifty states; and has travelled to Great Britain, Egypt, and Italy.  He volunteers part-time as a docent giving tours of the River Rouge Factory and the Henry Ford Museum.


John Gussenbauer
After graduating from Adrian Catholic Central HS, John went to Childs in September of 1961.  He was first professed in August 1963 and was sent to “the” Catholic University for his sophomore year of college.  Having survived both CU and Fr. Ed Carney, he was assigned to Fr. Judge and taught physics and general science.  It was memorable – think “Up The Down Staircase.”  His smallest class was 63 juniors, only because there were seven rows, each with nine desks, bolted to the floor of the classroom.  Summers were at Camp de Sales as part of the infamous waterfront crew, teaching waterskiing, sailing, etc.

He was assigned to Lewiston and went to Niagara, graduating in 1968 with a BS in Physics.  Then it was back to DC for theology when the Washington Theological Consortium was formed. 

John was ordained in June 1971 at his home parish (St. Joe’s in Adrian, MI) and then taught physics at St. Francis De Sales HS in Toledo.  There was discussion about “small communities” and eventually, Jim Doll and John moved across the road to live with Louie Komorowski and Ray Navarre at the mansion called the Provincial Residence (Louie was Provincial at the time).  The PR was sold soon thereafter and the four of them moved to “the motel,” a mostly vacant motel at the corner of Bancroft and Monroe that was going to be turned into a trucker’s overnight stop.  There are volumes that could be written on this!  About a year later, Jim Doll, Tony Steger, and John rented a house out in Point Place and continued to teach at SFS and St. Ursula in Toledo.

John, Louie Komorowski, and Bill Auth moved into St. Mary’s, Adrian, in 1976.  Louie was pastor, Bill did the youth ministry, and John was doing some peace and justice work and some pastoral ministry for both parishes there.  During this time, a “support group,” as it was called, was formed that included several Oblates in MI and OH.  John believes that “it was one of the best things ever (thanks guys).”

John moved to Saginaw, MI, in 1980 to work for the Diocesan Peace and Justice Office.  Frank Reh was the Bishop and Ken Untener replaced him.   Both were awesome pastoral men.  It was also at this time that the Vatican was ramping up its undoing of Vatican II.  Saginaw held on for a few more years but John grew increasingly disenchanted with the direction John Paul et al were moving.  Eventually, he reached a point where he could no longer collaborate in it.  He took a leave of absence from ministry in 1983, (which meant employment at the Diocese ended), found a dirt-cheap apartment in central city Saginaw, and became a part of the real world.  He began dating a person he had met in Saginaw, Sally Mutschler, and they eventually decided to marry.

In case you don’t recall, this was the economic “recession” of the 1980’s.  It really was a depression in Saginaw with unemployment near 20%, so jobs were scarce.  Sally, his fiancée, had graduated from Aquinas College in psychology and religious studies.  She had friends living in Grand Rapids, MI so she and John decided to move to there.  John found a job doing grassroots community organizing in the summer of 1984.

Sally and John married in August 1984.  Looking for a place to rent, they found a vacant house for sale in the Eastown neighborhood where John worked.  The asking price was $25,000 (no, he didn’t drop off a zero) and was available with a land contract.  It was a neat house - built around 1912 with hardwood floors, wide oak moldings, and some leaded glass.  However, they didn’t notice the leaky fixtures and rotting countertops, They bought it and learned a lot of new skills, especially plumbing.  The house had been vacant so the water was off; so when they moved in and turned it on, the faucets didn’t just drip, they gushed.
They decided to have kids and found a local midwife who would do homebirths.  Their daughter Leah was born at home in May, 1987.  Their son, Tobias, was born two years later, in August 1989.  They had planned a home birth for Toby as well.  At the time, they were part of a “parenting for peace and justice” group of young families who met regularly.  They were at such a meeting on the far north end of GR when Sally’s back started aching and they decided to head home, about 25 minutes away.  Thinking it might be the onset of labor, one of their friends paged the midwife as they were leaving.  To make a long story short, it was “precipitous labor.”  As they neared their house, Toby was already “crowning.”  They made it to the front of the house and John delivered him in the car.  To this day, they sometimes call him “Honda.”  The midwife showed up sometime later – she was out to dinner when paged but thought there would be time to finish dessert.  The people on the block already considered them the strange white folks down the street, but this event sealed the deal.

John and Sally believed that kids need a “stay-at-home” parent so Sally did that.  That meant the wages from John’s community organizing job no longer could be stretched to cover four of them.  Fortunately, the Grand Rapids Urban League decided to hire John in late 1988 to be the program manager for two of the League’s social service programs: housing and employment.  He also went back to school, getting a Master’s degree from Aquinas in 1991.

John worked for the League until 1997 and then was hired by the Salvation Army to work in their Divisional Office to provided program development and evaluation assistance to their various offices and Corps located from northern Indiana, up through western half of the Lower Peninsula, and into the UP.  He worked for them until 2001 when the new director of the Urban League asked him to come back to work there.  John “retired” from the Urban League in November 2010 and keeps wondering why he still works there more than ten hours per week writing proposals, etc.

In 1990, the crack/cocaine epidemic hit Grand Rapids and they concluded they needed to move.  Sally grew up on a dairy farm and John was from a small town so they thought, “wouldn’t it be nice to find a little place in the country.”  The kids would have space to run, they could have a garden, etc.  After going into “sticker shock” looking at a few places that were for sale, they decided to try to find land and build the house themselves.  “Heck, we learned all those skills fixing the old place.”  They eventually found eight or nine acres in a cornfield near Saranac and Clarksville, not too far from the farm Sally grew up on.  They broke ground in the spring of 1991 and started working on it.  John had accrued a zillion vacations days at the League so took most Fridays off to have three-day weekends to work on the house.  They found a buyer for the Bemis Street house and moved out on Toby’s second birthday.  Since they were nowhere near finished building, Sally’s mom and dad put them up at the farm for what was supposed to be “just a couple months” while they finished the house.  They contracted out the foundation work, heating, most plumbing, and the drywall but did the rest themselves.  Needless to say, the “couple months” stretched into about twelve.  They moved in around Toby’s third birthday with a good bit of finish work remaining.

The kids went to Clarksville Elementary about three miles away.  The Village of Clarksville is one whole street long (a metropolis compared to Childs) and the school has one grade for each year, kindergarten through fifth.  Sally started volunteering at Clarksville when the kids were there.  The staff loved her and kept telling her she should teach.  She finally did return to school, getting her Master’s in Education from Aquinas College, and has been teaching at Saranac Elementary for nine years now.

Clarksville is part of the Lakewood School District, which encompasses several small towns in Ionia, Kent, Eaton, and Barry Counties.  It’s pretty much a farming area and is the geographically largest school district in the Lower Peninsula.  The Middle and High Schools are located in Lake Odessa, about fifteen miles from them so, after Clarksville, the kids went there.  The High School is relatively small, graduating about one hundred seventy pr year, but has great teachers.  Both Leah and Toby did well and both ended up at the University of Michigan.  Leah graduated in 2009 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and got a job in Pittsburgh with Westinghouse.  “We joke that Toby is on the ‘five year plan’ at Michigan; he likes so many things he wants to learn them all.”  His declared major is computer science.

While the kids were home, summer vacations usually involved camping on some of Michigan’s awesome State Parks on Lake Michigan.  One memorable trip was to the Colorado Rockies in 1999.  They stayed in Rocky Mountain National Park and did day hikes.  Toby was fascinated with dinosaurs.  Since they weren’t far from Utah they drove over to Dinosaur National Park.  From there, it was up through Flaming Gorge to Custer to Wind Cave and then to Mt. Rushmore.  They finished with a “side trip” to the “dugout on Plum Creek” in Minnesota (Leah loved the Little House on the Prairie books).

Another memorable trip was in 2008.  The kids were at Michigan and their spring break is in late February.  They all flew to Merida to visit Bill Auth in the Yucatan over break.  The kids consider him “Uncle Bill.”  They still talk about going to Mass at the Oasis (a hospice for folks with AIDS) where Bill leads the Sunday celebration.  To call the setting “humble” is an understatement: outside in the heat, mismatched folding chairs, and a tin roof.  John’s kids are pretty disenchanted with “the Church” but still talk about how awesome church was that day.

John does some woodworking – Shaker style furniture like some beds and bookcases.  He’s sold a few of them but most end up being gifts.  He has fished since he was a kid and still enjoys it.  He’s lucky enough to end up living in an area where there are some nice trout streams, steelhead and smallmouth rivers, and lakes within a 20 minute drive.  There is a nasty rumor, started by his children, that the old man never catches anything; as much as he claims to practice “catch and release,” they retort, that’s simply a fabrication and cover-up.  In his retirement, he does some “handyman” work for people, mostly carpentry, some painting, repairs, etc.  Most of it is for folks where they go to church.  Grand Rapids is home to Marywood, the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters’ motherhouse, and they welcome everyone to their Sunday Assembly.  If not for them, just about all who go there would be church dropouts.  If you have ever seen the animated movie “Rudolph,” you may recall the Island of Misfit Toys.  Some who attend talk about Marywood like that.

“This trip down memory lane has reminded me of how important and significant the Oblates have been these fifty years.  Thanks and Peace.”


Tom Hallan
Tom received his BA from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1972 and his MA in Theology at DeSales Hall in 1980.  He served in the Oblate missions in Reo Grand do Sul from 1980 to 1983 and in Calderon Grande, Bahia and Saude Brasil until 1987.

He worked at the Social and Pastoral Center, “Hope of God” with Humberto Leib, OSFS from 1993 to 2007 when he retired.  He is now a small business owner, farmer, and flower grower in Sergipe, Brazil.

Tom is married to Elvira and they have a son, Patrick, who is twenty-one.


Dan Hurley (2/26/43 - 1/7/13)
Dan left the Oblates in 1970 and married in July of 1972.  He’s owned a State Farm franchise in Newark, DE for 38 years.

Dan has one daughter, 31, who is engaged to be married.  His parish is St. Joseph-on-the-Brandywine, the same parish as Joe Biden, the Vice-President of the United States.  Dan’s known him since the seventh grade and they remain good friends.

Dan’s brother, John, is still an Oblate priest and is the head of the Oblate Missions. 

Jim Kane
Jim Doll reports that Jim Kane taught for many years at a girl’s school in Philadelphia.  He had taken Spanish in college, got good at it.  He moved to Mexico partly due to his arthritis and because it’s cheaper to live there than it is in the US.  He doesn’t have a computer, but Jim Doll’s written him several times and has received replies. 


Jim Kantner, PhD
Jim earned his BA, (cum laude, French, Latin & Psychology), in 1970 at the University of Toledo; his MS in 1972, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology in 1975 at Purdue University.  In 1992, he was awarded an MPS (Pastoral Studies) from Loyola University. 

Until 1977, he worked as a Visiting Professor in Brazil, Staff psychologist in Corrections, Social Worker with juvenile delinquents, Psychology trainee in the Veteran’s Administration and High School teacher and coach.

From 1977 to 1982, Jim taught as a tenured Associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston.  He taught undergraduate and graduate courses, coordinated the graduate program in clinical psychology, supervised master’s theses and clinical practica, plus undergraduate paraprofessional training.  He also served as consultant for multiple community social services.  He was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award.                           
In 1982 to 83, he was Associate Professor, Department of Psychology (tenure track) at the University of North Carolina, in Asheville.  He taught undergraduate courses, mainly applied and clinical; supervised independent research, fieldwork, and academic advisement, and held the Bremen Chair of Social Relations.

From 1983 to 1991, Jim served the Diocese of Toledo, OH as Director of Diocesan Consultation Center where he initiated, developed, and administered a consultation and counseling service for religious professionals of the Roman Catholic diocese (religious, priests, deacons, and seminarians).  He conducted individual and group therapy and psychological assessment of seminarians and group supervision training for retreat staff and spiritual director supervisors.

He spent the school year of 1991 to 1992 at the University of Toledo as Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, teaching undergraduate courses and graduate clinical courses and advising psychology majors.

Jim spent 1993 to 1995 as a lay volunteer at the Komchen Maya Indian Mission in Yucatan, Mexico.  He assisted Fr. Bill Auth in social and spiritual outreach to several Mayan villages, taught English in Komchen pueblo, performed social work with alcoholic individuals and their families, and directed a residential shelter in the capital city of Mérida for mentally and physically disabled orphans and abandoned children. 

In 1996, Jim moved to the Archdiocese of Atlanta, GA as Program Director of Counseling Services, Catholic Social Services, Inc.  Until 1999, he supervised clinical staff and contract therapists in nineteen sites, expanded counseling services to the Hispanic population, consulted with parishes, conducted in-services, workshops, psychotherapy and psychological assessments, and supervised an innovative Refugee Mental Health grant.  Then in 1996, he was named Director of Catholic Charities.  Until 2004 he Directed four Archdiocesan corporations: Catholic Social Services, Inc., Catholic Personal Care Homes, Inc., Catholic Housing Initiatives, Inc., and The Village of St. Joseph Child and Adolescent Counseling, Inc.  He supervised four departments: Office of Family Concerns, HIV/AIDS Ministry, Pro-Life Office, and Project Aware/Office of Child and Youth Protection.  He also served as the Director of Catholic Relief Services for the Archdiocese and provided psychological evaluation for refugees, immigrants, and asylees.

In 2004 and 2005, Jim moved to Belize City, Belize,  Central America as Co-director of the Hand in Hand Ministries Outreach Center where he inaugurated a holistic care and outreach center serving children and their families infected/affected by HIV/AIDS.  He supervised staff, volunteers, and interns and collaborated with other NGO’s and community agencies to empower people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA’s) to decrease stigma and discrimination.

From 2006 to 2008, Jim worked as the Strategic Development Director of AVITA Community Partners in Flowery Branch, GA (aka Georgia Mountains Community Services).  He analyzed trends in the mental health, developmental disabilities, and addictive diseases fields for their impact on the organization.  He recommended programmatic needs and resources for long-range planning, assisted the Services Director and senior management on new program initiatives and special projects, and trained Clinical services MR/DD staff. He also coordinated all clinical supervision and provided supervision and leadership for the Resource Development Group.

Presently, Jim is the Clinical Director at Baldwin State Prison in Milledgeville, GA.  He provides supervision and administrative oversight for Mental Health services at adult male facility, close security; acilitates training, in-services, and case conferences for staff, emphasizing evidence-based practices.  He provides individual and group counseling, psychological assessment, parole evaluations and sexual allegation interviews.  He facilitates treatment teams, conducts rounds in the Acute Care and Crisis Stabilization Units, and collaborates with the unit manager in overseeing the CQI and utilization review programs.

Jim is a Licensed Psychologist in Georgia and Ohio, a Member of the American Psychological Association and of Catholic Charities USA.  His community service includes:  Catholic Charities USA Committee for Advancement of Racial Equality & Diversity, 1997 to 2002;  Juvenile Court Blue Ribbon Panel (Fulton County), 2000 to 2003;  Board of Directors for Covenant House Georgia, 2001 to 2004;  Board of Directors for Caminar Latino, Inc., 2003-2004;  Diversity Leadership Academy of Atlanta, Fellow, Inaugural Class, 2001;  Teacher, ESL & Citizenship, Nuestra Senora de las Americas Mission, 1996 to 2000;  Peer Reviewer, Council on Accreditation, 2002 to the present. 


 

Pat Kenney
Pat Kenney entered the Oblates in 1958 after attending DeSales H.S. in Lockport. As a scholastic Pat taught at Fr. Judge H.S in Philadelphia. He received his BA from Catholic University. He achieved the titles of Chartered Life Underwriter and Chief Financial Consultant at the American College, Bryn Mar, PA. He is currently a VP of Assurity Life Insurance Co., Lincoln NE, working in the insurance business since 1970. After his first wife died of cancer in 1994, he married Kim in 1997.
He has no children. He is currently president of St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, a member of Rotary 14, Lincoln, NE and serves on several civic organizations after moving to Lincoln in 1994.


Dennis Kelsch
Dennis went to Childs in August of 1961 and was one of a "special" group who spent three years there.  He took first vows and was sent to Lewiston, NY in August of 1964 for a year of college.  He taught at Fr. Judge for two years.  During that time the provinces were split and he returned to Lewiston for an accelerated degree program.  He then went to De Sales Hall in 1969 for two years.  The Detroit-Toledo Province Formation Team pulled him out and he was ordained a Deacon in Toronto in Dec ember of 1970 and then ordained a priest in May of 1971. 

Dennis was pastoral assistant in Benton Harbor for a year followed by several years of part time work at Lumen Christi.  During the summers before and after ordination, he was deep into Camp de Sales.  He followed Paul Lynch as Director in the summer of 1972. 

In 1975 or so, he became a Formation Team member and was asked to go to De Chantal Hall in the fall of 1976.  Within the next year or so, De Chantal was sold and a house was purchased in Buffalo for Associates going to college in Buffalo.  In 1980, his turn on the Formation Team ended and he opted for an assignment in Salt Lake City.  He served at Judge Memorial for the next ten years. 

In 1990, he asked for a parish and the Diocese sent him to the small berg of Moab (now world famous for "slick rock" bicycling trails).  The parish had about 250 families.  In 1994, he was asked to take a parish in Price, UT, a coal-mining town, where the parish had the only Catholic school outside the metro Salt Lake City area.  “The school was in financial ruin and the second year the Diocese sent a newly ordained lunatic to be my associate.”  After two years, Dennis asked to return to Toledo to be near more Oblates.  He was appointed pastor of Pius X.  “The first year went great but I was very unhappy.  Jim Cryan sent me to counseling and, after about eight months, I decided to take a leave of absence.”

Dennis moved to Grand Junction CO and worked for the March of Dimes for a year.  The following year he returned to Salt Lake and was hired as a supervisor at the Salt Lake Homeless Shelter.  He was married to Kathleen Hoenig  in a civil ceremony in September, 1999 (validated in May of 2004).  He worked at the shelter for almost two years and was then hired at Catholic Community Services (Utah's Catholic Charities).  He was recently appointed Director of Basic Needs Services for CCS.  Dennis now manages a downtown facility that feeds a hot, balanced meal to between eight to twelve hundred homeless folks six days a week; and a day care center where they can get out of the elements, take showers, make phone calls, do laundry, get free clothing, and get help finding a job.  CCS also offers rent and utility assistance for low income families, free backpacks for kids when school starts, and new clothing for kids at Christmas.

Dennis will be married twelve years on September 11, 2011 to Kathleen who  has three adult children from a previous marriage and three grand children.  Dennis and Kathy are active at the St. Catherine Newman Center at the University of Utah.  Kathy works for Salt Lake County Aging Services.  

Bruce Kijowski
Bruce received his BA from Niagara University in 1973 and taught as a Scholastic at Aquinas High School in 1974-5.  He attended St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto and earned an MDiv in 1978.  He served as a Deacon in 1979 at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Detroit.  He was Associate Pastor of St. Richard Parish in Westland,  MI from 1979 to 1981 and Co-Pastor at St. Anthony Parish in Milan, OH and St. Mary’s parish in Wakeman, OH from 1981 to 1984.

Bruce received a MSW from the University of Michigan in 1985.  He’s worked till now as a Social Worker, Counselor, Coordinator, Director, and Intensive Services Manager at Firelands Regional Medical Center Counseling and Recovery Services in Sandusky, OH.

Bruce is married to Julie, a special needs teacher in Norwalk, OH.  They have four children:  one is a social worker, another is completing student teaching, another is completing an internship in speech pathology, and the last works at Kalahari Resorts and is finishing a BA at Bowling Green, Firelands Campus.

Bruce and Julie have timeshares in Orlando, FL and Williamsburg, VA.  Bruce follows all Detroit sports teams and U of M teams avidly. 

Ron Kotz
Ron entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in 1959, taught at Northeast Catholic High School in Philadelphia from 1962-64 and spent the summers from 1961 to 1966 at the Oblates’ Camp de Sales in the Irish Hills of Michigan.  He earned his AB in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America and has studied art at CUA, Temple University, Wayne State University, and the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.  While in Washington DC, he was the Art Editor for Salesian Studies, a quarterly publication.  He left the Oblates in 1969 and spent 38 years working in Human Resources at Chrysler Corporation.  Over the years, he had the opportunity to take part in some of the behind-the scenes activities when Chrysler acquired American Motors, merged with Mercedes Benz to form DaimlerChrysler AG, and then was taken over by Cerberus Capital Management.  It was an exciting place to work.  For the last 10 years, he was the HR manager for all of HR and Labor Relations.  He retired in 2007. 

Ron first met Carol, who hails from Darlington, England, in 1969 and they married in 1976.  They have two sons, Stephen and Paul; and two grandsons, Jacob, 10, and Tyler, 6. 

Ron is a Lector and Eucharistic Minister and, with Carol, has directed a contemporary music group at St. Matthew and St. Clare of Montefalco parishes for the past 40 years.  He’s getting back into his art work, learning to play golf, and having a great time with his grandkids.


Joe Kovack
Joe spent his first year of college at Georgetown University, Washington, DC before beginning his Novitiate at Childs in 1961.  He spent the summers at Camp Brisson and taught at Northeast Catholic, then at Bishop Duffy High School in Niagara Falls.  He graduated from Niagara University in 1967.  He pursued his theological studies at Salesianum-Eichstatt, Germany, until March 1970.  While in Europe, he attended the University of Vienna, Austria during the summer of 1968.  Joe was able to travel to Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1968 and to Munich, Berlin and Rome in 1969.

In November 1970, Joe began a thirty-four year career as a Special Education teacher with the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare in White Haven, PA.  He served as a Union Representative for the P.A.F. Teachers Union from 1972 to 1996 and for PaS Services Union from 1996 to 2004.  During his long career, he taught MH/MR adults and provided MH/MR staff training.

Joe married Judy in 1977 and they have two daughters and one grandchild, William Joseph, who was born June 18, 2011.

The Kovacks enjoy travelling in the US and Europe.  Joe is interested in all sports, photography, and reading.  He has been involved in the local Lions Club since 1985 and in the Knights of Columbus since 1991.  He is also a member of the local Citizens Advisory Group. 

Bill Maher
Bill entered the Novitiate at Childs, MD after attending La Salle College in Philadelphia, and was first professed in 1960. He was sent to Northeast Catholic where he taught Civics and National Problems for two years. He completed his BS in Business Education at Niagara University in 1964, and his degree in Theology at Catholic University while at De Sales Hall. He was ordained in 1967. Bill taught religion at Salesianum in 1968-69 and was the Junior Class Moderator and the Football Moderator. In 1969 he served in the Diocese of Trenton, NJ at Sacred Heart Parish and as Chaplain at Trenton State Prison. Bill left the priesthood in May, 1970.

Bill then served as a social worker in the Philadelphia prison system from 1970 to 1998 when he retired after twenty-seven years, twenty of which as a supervisor. There was never a dull day. During the late 60’s and early 70’s, social workers were brought into the prisons following the riots at Attica and Holmesburg prisons in Philadelphia.

Bill is married to Dottie and they have three children (two stepchildren) and ten grandchildren. They live in the Roxboro area of Philadelphia and have a home in Ocean City, NJ to share with family and friends. Bill and Dottie go to Fort Myers for a month in the winter where he plays a little golf. They’ve enjoyed many trips abroad with unusual destinations such as St. Petersburg, Istanbul, and Rhodes. One of their favorite trips was biking through the Loire Valley in France. They will be traveling in Spain for two weeks in mid-September.

Jim Marks
Jim entered the Oblates in 1958 at Childs, took his second year of college at Catholic U in Hyattsville, MD and taught math, English, general science and civics as a Scholastic at Northeast Catholic in Philadelphia.  In 1963 he went to Lewiston, NY and graduated from Niagara U in 1965. 

From 1965 to 1969, he was sent to the Collegium Salesianum, Paderborn, Germany; attended the Theologische Fakultaet (5 semesters) and Priesterseminar (3 semesters); earned a Theologicum (roughly equivalent to a Master’s degree).  He attended U. of Cologne in spring 1966 & 1967, where he took German courses; he attended Alliance Francaise, Paris the summer of 1966 and the fall of 1968, to study French.  He spent spring breaks at Oblate houses in Fribourg, Switzerland and Annecy, France, to study/practice French and helped with English & German conversation courses at Ecole St. Michel, Annecy, while he was there.  Jim was Ordained on September 7, 1969.  He taught mathematics at Bishop Ireton High School, Alexandria, VA from 1969 to 1971.  From 1971 to 1972 he taught combined 4th, 5th & 6th grades at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Day School, Compton, CA.  From 1970 through summer of 1972, he took a number of graduate courses in psychology at various universities.
 
He lived and worked as an assistant at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, a Spanish-speaking parish in Santa Ana, CA in 1972-73.  He began full-time studies in the School of Social Science at University of California, Irvine, in the fall of 1972.  In June 1973, he resigned from the Oblates.

Jim met his wife, Jeanne Crawford, in April 1978.  Although born in Philadelphia, Jeanne hails from Michigan.  They were married in August 1979 and have two sons: Raphael, born in Costa Mesa, CA, in October 1980, and Sean, born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in December 1982.  (He’s their Canadian citizen.)  Rafe now lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he works with Year UP, a program to support the academic and professional progress of at-risk youth.  Rafe is a computer whizz who also had a stint with the Peace Corps in Honduras from 2007 to 2009.  Sean now lives with us.  He has a degree in culinary arts, is a wonderful cook, and is trying to figure out how to overcome a bad back to continue with food and hospitality.  Both sons were in Spanish immersion through school and are fluent in Spanish, and both have traveled/lived in Central and South America.

Jim spent two longer periods in Canada, first from 1974 to 1977 in the Cariboo (yes, that’s with two “o”s) region of British Columbia.  He lived with a girlfriend in an A-frame cabin eleven miles north of Williams Lake, B.C.  There was  no power, and they cooked and heated the place with a wood stove, and hauled water from a spring a couple hundred yards down the road.  Jim worked in a lumber mill the first year, then, after returning to UCI for the fall quarter of 1975 to advance to candidacy, he returned to Williams Lake where he organized a community legal services and information program for the town and the vast rural area surrounding it.  His dissertation is based on this work.

He returned to UCI in the fall of 1977 and completed his graduate studies in the fall of 1979.  After doing part-time teaching, he landed a long-term consulting position with Alberta Environment, a provincial government agency, to organize and manage public outreach and involvement for the South Saskatchewan River Basin Planning Programme, a water-management planning effort that lasted over four years and covered almost all of southern Alberta, about 50,000 square miles. It was a politically fraught effort, but his team did manage to get the job done.

At the end, though, the Alberta economy, based on energy (think of it as Texas North, very right-wing, but without the guns) had collapsed along with energy prices.  Jim could have been taken on as an employee of Alberta Environment, but he was loath to become a bureaucrat.  “Maybe, after having spent fifteen years with the Oblates, I was wary of joining up with any organization.”  After fruitless efforts at trying to land work north of the 49th parallel, Jim searched for work in the Bay Area and found a job with an environmental consulting company in San Francisco. He moved his family moved there in 1986.

Jim’s sons grew up in San Francisco  and call it home.  Jim does as well,  but he still roots for his home-town Philly teams. (You can take the boy out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the boy.)  Jim and Jeanne have been married for almost 32 years, though there were a number of years when they were separated and each of them was a part-time single parent. Jeanne taught special education for many years, first in private schools, then in public schools.  During the past 15 years she has worked with autistic children and adults.  Since retiring from the public schools a couple of years ago, she has done autism training and consulting, and is now concentrating on young adults, where the autistic population in need of services is rapidly expanding.

After spending a few years with the environmental consulting company, Jim spent the next fifteen years working for a small public involvement consulting company in the Bay Area.  He left that company in 2004 and went to work for the City and County of San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission, managing public outreach and involvement for large-scale water and power projects.  He retired two years ago and is glad that he finally relented about becoming a bureaucrat.  His health-care supplemental insurance comes through the City and he gets a small pension, too. Every little bit helps.  He’s still hustling for consulting contracts, but not so diligently that he can’t enjoy retirement.

Jim doesn’t have much contact with the Catholic Church, except through some good German friends. The Episcopal priest he first worked with forty years ago has remained a life-long friend.  His best American Oblate friend, Dave Hagan, passed away in May 2005.  He still sees Joe Rutte every so often; actually, he went to Seattle in June and he and Joe went to three Mariners-Phillies games.  Jim and Jeanne intend to visit Joe and his wife, Carol, later in August.

Jim loves to travel and speak other languages.  Jeanne and he have been to Europe several times, as well as to Central and South America.  Seventy-one now, he still can’t figure out how that number snuck up on him.  “Except for my joints paining me and the need for Viagra (and several other prescriptions), I certainly don’t feel like I’m seventy-one.”

Jim extends his hopes that for a great reunion.  “Love one another.  What else is there?  As the Germans say, “Tschuess!”  (Adieu!)”
 

Ray McCracken
Ray spent three years, from 1962, as an Oblate brother at Childs and left in 1965 after one year in vows. 

After leaving the Oblates for health issues, his dad got him a job at DuPont in Philly where he, himself, had worked most of his life.  Ray started out in the paint factory and after a year or so, moved up into an experimental lab as a lab assistant.  He really disliked this work but stayed for five years because he was living on his own and DuPont paid very well.  I n 1968, he met and married his wife Joanne.  He had been going to school at night and in 1970, he quit DuPont to finish the last two years.  He graduated in 1972 and began a teaching career.

Ray started out teaching in a private school for emotionally disturbed children and continued going to school at night to become a certified Teacher of the Blind.  In 1974 he began his real life’s work as a teacher, counselor, social worker of the blind and partially sighted children (under 21).  During this time he and Joanne had two children: Brendan and Caitlin. Both got married in the summer of 2007.  Ray left the Church for almost ten years but returned when the kids came along.

Ray continued to go to school at night and summers and earned an MA in 1978.  For a few years, he served as the regional coordinator of the Association of Christian Therapists out of Philadelphia.  After 32 years of work with blind children, he retired in 2004 on a Friday; and on the following Monday he began a full time job with a religious order, the Marianists.  He did a research project for them that involved interviewing 200 of their elderly brothers and priests.  He traveled throughout the US, Rome, France, and Hawaii for this project.  Ray retired from the Marianists in June of 2009.  During his time with Marianists, he worked on and received certification as a Spiritual Director from the Pecos Benedictine Monastery in New Mexico.

Joanne retired from school nursing about five years ago but has kept her hand in nursing.  Last September she began supervising RN’s working on their school nurse certification through Rutgers U. All of these nurses are placed in the Camden City Schools.

Ray and Joanne have belonged to Sacred Heart Church in Camden, NJ
for the last twelve years.  They and many others who attend the Sunday
liturgy there are trying to make South Camden a better place for those who live there.  With their kids, Ray and Joanne work “Joe’s
Place,” a restaurant Sacred Heart runs in a converted row house.  It is
not a soup kitchen; they serve full, sit down meals.  When there is enough
help, Ray leaves the others in the kitchen to sit and talk with those who come in to eat.  There are between a hundred to a hundred twenty people, including children, who come in for these meals.  Camden, NJ remains a hard place.  On Thursday mornings Ray does spiritual direction with prisoners in the Camden County Prison.

Joanne and Ray have lived in a wooded area of Medford, NJ for the
past 33 years.  Their daughter Caitlin, who manages security for Target,
and her husband, Steve, were transferred back to the Phadelphia area from Buffalo, NY and moved in with them about a year ago in order to save money for a down payment on a house of their own.  Caitlin and Steve just moved into their own house this April.  Joanne and Ray’s son, Brendan, is a trauma surgeon.  He and his wife Lisa just bought a house in Fairfax, VA.  Brendon just started his first full time job last summer after fifteen years in pre-med, med-school, and various residencies. 

These past two years since retiring, Ray has been working on his house which he had neglected these past thirty-three years; and he continues to facilitate retreats and days of recollection. This spring he facilitated a retreat, “The Gift of Days, the Spirituality of Aging” in Cape May Point, NJ.  He used material from the interviews of the older Marianist brothers and priests; and, he was really motivated to do the preparation for this retreat because this is where he is and what he, too, is now dealing with.

Throughout His life, Ray has enjoyed backpacking, wild caving, white water rafting, walking on the beach at the Jersey shore, attracting humming birds to his yard, and books.


 

Kevin McGonigle
Kevin was born and raised in Philadelphia and first met the Oblates when his older brother, Jim, became an Oblate Brother in 1951. He remembered visiting Childs at a very young age. He graduated from Father Judge in 1961 and entered the postulancy at Childs in September 1961. He did his novitiate under father Aloysius Gaffigan and after profession in August of 1963 was assigned to De Sales Hall for a year. He first went to camp Brisson , the first of four such summers, in the summer of 1964 where he developed a life long love of the outdoors from working in the camp's Nature Den. In September of that year he was assigned to Salesianum where he taught history for two years. In 1966 he was assigned to de Chantal Hall under the guidance of Father Thomas Mchugh. He left the Oblates in the summer of 1968 and immediately secured employment in Delran Twp, NJ as a history teacher. He taught there until June of 2009. While teaching he became involved in historical re-enactment and continued with his hobby of photography. He married his wife, Dr. Judith McGonigal, also a public school teacher and Penn professor, in 1974 and together they have twin daughters, Dr. Kelly McGonigal who teaches psychology at Stanford in Palo Alto California and Dr. Jane McGonigal who is a game designer in San Francisco. Since Kevin never got a doctorate he likes to joke that if a letter comes addressed to Dr. McGonigal the only thing he knows for sure is that it is not for him. He continues to reside in New Jersey. Kevin would like readers of this site to know that he believes that the seven years he spent in the Oblates was the most important period of his life in the formation of his personality and character. The two most important role models for his own teaching career were two Oblates, Andrew Dunn, who taught him how to run a classroom of ninth graders and Thomas McHugh who taught him the value of scholarship. Whatever success he has had in this life is the result of the intense education he had, not just in the classroom, but from the day to day camaraderie and interaction with his fascinating confreres. He regrets not one moment the time he spent in the Oblates and has the fondest memories of that time.

Mike Meloche (8/1/44 - 12/16/12)
After graduating from Salesian High School, Mike attended college and joined the Detroit Police Department from March, 1963 through December, 1964.  With the Oblates, he cooked in the Western Province Provincial house during the spring of 1966.  He was then stationed at Salesian High School in Detroit during the school year 1967-1968.

Beginning in 1968 and for the next 20 years, Mike worked at Detroit Diesel Engine Division of GMC.  He held various hourly and salary positions up to General Foreman in the plant before transferring to Technical Service and being promoted to the field as a Service Engineer in January 1977.  He moved his family to Cherry Hill, NJ where they lived for the next 33 years.  Mike left Detroit Diesel in June, 1988 to take a position with the American Public Transit Association as Director of Bus Technology.  “That lasted two years before the highly political nature of the association became more than I could stomach and I left to return to Detroit Diesel.”  For the next fourteen years, he was the bus and boat guy: public transit and tour coaches for the entire country; and pleasure boats from thirty-eight footers to seventy-two footers for all of the Eastern USA.  When DaimlerChrysler bought Detroit Diesel strictly for the North American Distribution network, Mike saw the handwriting on the wall and took his retirement as a lump sum payment.  He took a contract job with Motor Coach Industries (MCI) in August 2004 as Director, Fleet Support, Public Sector.  Public Sector was the transit agency running MCI Buses, (i.e. New Jersey Transit, Houston Metro, New York City Transit, etc.).  The two-year contract ended in June 2006 and he went to work for ESPAR selling heaters for trucks and buses until he retired for good in June 2009.  Presently Mike volunteers three days a week in a charity thrift shop

Mike is married to Maureen Desmond, Neal Desmond’s sister, for those who remember him, and have three children, (two boys and a girl).  They have nine grandchildren, six girls and three boys.  Mike is an avid hunter and fisherman.


Tony Meloche
After Tony’s first profession as a brother, he attended Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, then went on to Western Michigan University his junior year and graduated with a degree in music, cum laude, December 1973.  While in the Oblates his summer assignment three years running was to cook at DeChantal Hall which he enjoyed tremendously.  De Chantal Hall was always his favorite Oblate property and was associated with many good memories, especially of Fr. George Kroupa, his candidate for Reader's Digest "Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met.”  Tony did the "Outward Bound" trip to Algonquin Provincial Park with the formation team and "new recruits" the summer of 1972, a tremendous experience.  They navigated the park with the topographical maps.  He and John Thompson were the cooks for the trip.  .


After Tony left the Oblates, he worked as a music teacher in three elementary schools in Dowagiac, MI.  He taught there for 30 years before retiring in 2003.  Tony then worked for Sears in Receiving/Customer Service from 2003 to 2009 when Sears regretfully closed that store.  He’s employed by Four Winds Casino, run by the Pokagon Band of the Pottowatami Indians, in Hartford, MI, a much shorter drive to work!  Tony has lived the past 20 years in Hartford, in the country just south of town, and for the 14 years before that he lived just south of here.  So he has become an "honorary" lifer in Southwest Michigan.  Tony is married to Sue and they have two children and two grandchildren.  He enjoys many leisure time activities, but shares a passion for fishing with his brother, Mike Meloche. 

Bob Minnaugh
Bob graduated from Cathedral Preparatory School, Erie, PA in 1963.  He received his BA (Social Studies) from Niagara University in 1968.  Bob taught at Bishop Duffy High School, Niagara Falls in 1968 to 1969 and at St. Francis De Sales High School, Toledo, OH in 1969 to 1970.  He left the Oblates in 1970 and went on to receive his MS (Secondary Administration) from Barry University in 1973.  He married Vicki in 1977.

Bob spent the next eighteen years at Chaminade High School, Hollywood, FL as a teacher, Dean of Student Affairs, and Dean of Academics.  He also served as Guidance Counselor for the entire span of service from 1970 through 1988.  He was awarded the Chaminade College Preparatory Founder’s Award in 1986.

In 1988, Chaminade merged with Madonna Academy and Bob was the founding Principal of the new Chaminade-Madonna College Prep High School.  This merger was accomplished in less than four months after the Archdiocese and the Provincial Chapter made the decision to allow the establishment of a co-ed school.  The merger included managing physical plant, personnel, PR, and curriculum changes among a myriad of other priorities.  In 1993, within five years of the merger, the U.S. Department of Education designated the new school a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.  Less than one half of one percent of schools nationally achieve this award.  Bob was awarded the Order of the Flame from Barry University, the Barry University Alumni Award, and the Chaminade-Madonna Alumni Appreciation Award for his contributions.

During his tenure, Bob Served as Director of the Encounter Retreat Program at Chaminade-Madonna College Prep for twenty-five years.  This quarterly program was run jointly with Christopher Columbus High School in South Miami for approximately thirteen of those years opening a dialogue between schools and cultures.  He helped to design and  run “The Colloquium on Catholic Education.”  This program for Marianist schools in the U.S. and Puerto Rico was an annual three-day retreat at Cape May, NJ.  Teachers from all of the U.S. Marianist schools were invited to attend all expenses paid.  The purpose was to revitalize experienced teachers in their profession by reconfirming their role as a teacher in a Catholic institution and to develop support groups to maintain growth upon return to their schools.

Bob retired from education and entered residential real estate in 1997 as a Realtor in the AAA Realty Group, Inc.  His achievements in the business world resulted in a steady stream of recognition:  the Century 21 Grand Centurion Team in 1999 and 2000; Century 21 Double Centurion Team in 2002, 2003, and 2004; Century 21 Centurion Team in 2001, 2005, and 2006; Century 21 Quality Service Award in 2004 and 2005; HomeBanc and Mortgage Corporation “You Mean the World to Us Award” in 2003; and being featured on the cover of Broker Agent Magazine in 2007.

Bob was appointed to the Founding Board of Advisors of the Pembroke Pines Charter Schools by the Pembroke Pines City Commission, one of two members to represent the business community in the city.  He received a Certificate of Appreciation for hard work and dedication on the Inaugural Charter School Board by Mayor Alex Fekete, and City Commission, City of Pembroke Pines, in 1999.  He also volunteered as a computer teacher at the Southwest Focal Center (senior center) in Pembroke Pines.

At St. Mark Church, Bob served five years on the Parish Council, three of them as President.  He served on the Design Committee for the new church.  He is a volunteer in the St. Mark Parish Outreach Program (food and financial assistance for those in need), and a worker for various events for the Women’s Club, Men’s Club, and other parish activities.  At the present, he is a member of The Men of St. Mark Executive Board, a member of the newly revised St. Mark Parish Council, and Co-Chairperson (with wife, Vicki) of the St. Mark Parish Carnival – coordinating all aspects of the carnival.

Bob is also an Advisory Board Member and Volunteer for various fundraisers for the Jimmy Jr. Fund which works in conjunction with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, FL.

He established the Patricia, Paul and Mary Minnaugh Endowed Scholarship – Fine Arts Department to support Barry University and it’s mission.

Bob cites two elements that have strongly influenced his life: first, his parents and his family life, and then, his seven years in "Oblate Boot Camp" with all of his confreres.  “There is never a day that passes that I do not thank the Lord for those gifts and the opportunities that followed that allowed me to share the Salesian spirit with my many students and friends. “


Bill Mittendorf
Bill entered the Oblates in September 1960 and made his first profession in 1962.  He studied at DeSales Hall, Washington, DC in 1962-63.  Bill taught at North Catholic from 1963 to 1965 and was sent to Lewiston in 1965-67.  He spent several summers at Camp DeSales, where he reigned as “Castro,” part of the infamous team of “Cess & Castro.”  He left the Oblates in January 1967.

He returned home to Cleveland, OH, finished his undergraduate studies at John Carroll University, and received his AB from Niagara University in 1968.  He worked for the Cleveland Trust Company in the Personal Trust Department while attending law school.  He received a JD in 1972 and practiced law in a small Cleveland law firm from 1973 to 1985.  He formed and operated his own firm from 1985 to 1995, then practiced on his own from 1995 to 2006.  Over the years, his practice included estate planning, trusts, probate, taxation, corporate, and business.  Bill is now, finally, retired.

Bill married his wife, Bonnie, in 1970 and they celebrate their 41st anniversary this year.  Bill and Bonnie have two daughters, Betsy age 38 and Kristen age 35.  Both daughters are married.  There are two grandchildren.  Their oldest daughter, Betsy, is an attorney with a Trust Company in Lexington, KY.  She is married to Kevin, an attorney, and they have two children: Ryland, 9 and Caroline, 6. Their youngest daughter, Kristen, has a ME in education and teaches third grade in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.  She is married to Bryan, in real estate development.

Bill and Bonnie spend six months in Bonita Springs, FL where they attend Our Lady of Light, an Oblate parish.  They also spend six months in Avon, OH, a suburb of Cleveland.  Bonnie is a retired guidance counselor in a middle school.  Bill’s mother and dad are both deceased as are his two brothers.  Bill is the sole survivor of the Mittendorf family.

Bill’s interests include running (he’s run several marathons including Boston and NY), golf, family, and the study of Thomas Merton (the famous monk writer of the Abbey of Gethsemani in KY).  Bill is a close friend of Br. Patrick Hart, a monk at Gethsemani and former secretary to Merton.  He makes frequent visits to the Abbey and is a member of the International Thomas Merton Society.  He also lectures and writes about Merton.

“I have fond memories of my days in the Oblates and thank the Lord for a life full of blessings and this Reunion.  May his Blessings be on all my XOSFS confreres.  May God be Blessed! “


Tom Moran (8/9/49 - 4/16/11)
Frank DeMilde writes in July, 2011:
 
I have some sad news.  I had talked to Tom Moran on the phone on March 9th.  At the time he was in Wyandotte Henry Ford Hospital for kidney and diabetes treatment.  He was due to be released to go back to MediLodge, a rehab facility in Taylor, MI.  He told me he had been on peritoneal dialysis for five years.  He had retired from Ford Motor as a cad-cam instructor in engineering in 2008 after putting in some thirty years.  He was excited about the reunion and looking forward to coming. 
After I sent out the mailing for the reunion last week, I got a letter from a Terry Migliaccio who was a very good friend of Tom's and had been caring for him.  She told me Tom got out of the hospital on April 15th and was released to the MediLodge.  He died in his sleep that evening and was found the next morning, April 16.  She told me that John Ebenhoeh would visit Tom before John died.  Tom told me that he got into Ford through some math teachers at Niagara.  I remember Tom fondly and recall the time years ago I was kidding him about being from Billings, Montana, and he got upset with me.  May he rest in peace!


Jim Murphy
Jim entered the Oblates in 1959 at Childs, MD.  He taught at Northeast Catholic High School and at Bishop Ireton.  He was sent to De Sales Hall in Washington, DC and received his AB in Philosophy from Catholic University of America in 1966.  Jim left the Oblates in 1967 terribly disillusioned.

He received an MS in Mental Health Sciences from Hannemann University in 1977 and for three years attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  He is certified in Special Education MH/MR.  Jim worked in various fields, but mainly teaching until his retirement in 2007.  He also painted billboards and murals in Philadelphia.

Jim is married to Marcia.  He has seven children and eight grandchildren.  He stays busy painting and drawing, mostly for fun.  He has a new book called “Reds Downy” ready for a good edit and generally enjoys life.  He and Marcia travel, swim a lot, and shop… and babysit.


Ray Navarre
Ray was first professed in 1947 and ordained in 1956.

He is married to Kathleen Russell since July 8, 1987.  They have no children.

Ray received his Ph.D. in counseling and Human Services from the University of Toledo in 1983 and is a Licensed Mental Health professional.  He is the former Director of REMSNO EMS Academy and a part-time instructor at the University of Toledo.  He is still active at Navarre and Navarre Consulting and, on a part-time basis, with Owens Community College.

Ray does some carpentry work and Katie is involved in their parish.  They both enjoy reading and they travel a lot.


Art Nicoletti (12/12/40 - 4/17/13)
Art was born in 1940, grew up in Philadelphia, PA and was educated in parochial schools.  He was High School Class President, Honor Roll, and named to the Honorary All Catholic football team at Northeast Catholic.  He entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales seminary in 1959 to study for the priesthood and considered the years he spent there some of the most valuable and wonderful years of his life.  He studied at Catholic University and Niagara Catholic University before leaving the Oblates in 1963.

Art continued his education at La Salle University in Philadelphia from 1963 to 1967 and majored in Spanish Education.  Though he never received a degree, he was President of the local fraternity chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), the Founding President of Inter-fraternity Council at LSU, and was nominated for international president (TKE) twice.  During this time, he was a live-in counselor and supervisor at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and a door-to-door Fuller Brush salesman.

Art taught high school Spanish for two years at Cardinal Daugherty High School in Philadelphia, PA.

In 1970, he became Assistant Director for Admissions, Columbia College, Columbia, MO.  He also worked as a special sales representative for Sony Corporation and as a state organizer for Common Cause.  Art began to involve himself in local politics to address the drug problem, supporting candidates with character running for city council, congress, governor, and President of the United States.

In 1973, Art launched a citywide grass-roots organization in Philadelphia, Americans United Against Crime (AUAC), dedicated to find a way to bring the drug issue to an end.  All segments of the city initially received it very well until Art refused money and grants from various civic and political power brokers in exchange for suppressing information that could link and connect illegal drugs and money laundering to anyone in the police department, courts, civic leaders, or political figures.  After AUAC initiated the first citywide citizen Court Observation Program examining the police department’s record in dealing with crime and the drug issue, false arrests and convictions, and the killing of young black drug dealers by the very same white police officers who supplied them drugs, AUAC lost all of its funding.  Personal friends no longer returned calls and a slanderous whisper campaign followed.  In 1978, four attacks on Art’s life were attempted, the last resulting in the need for three facial reconstructions.  Art lived in a converted storage room in a facility outside of Philadelphia for some twenty-two months until August of 1980, when he recovered sufficiently to resume his work.  Funded by friends, churches, media, foundations, school unions, individuals and corporations, Art has been blitzing the United States for more than forty years.  He has met with community, media, political, religious and business leaders, presidential hopefuls, members of law enforcement and the intelligence community, including high level national security persons.  The essence of the meetings centered on the question: Can we, as people, bring the drug issue as we know it today to an end and do so without causing ourselves more problems than we already have?  Once he was convinced it was possible, Art advanced this theme sponsored by the Institute of Justice for All (formerly AUAC).  Following the Election of 2008, Art wrote a report: A Citizen’s Report to President Barack Obama: the Enabling of Drugs and the Business of Drug Monies by Twelve Presidencies (1943-2008).  The Report is a snapshot of decisions made by twelve presidents that gave us drugs and the business of drug monies.  It also serves as a major factor in local and national Chapter initiatives.

On November 11, 2000, Art met for a two-day conference in Philadelphia with concerned citizens from seven states.  The meeting was opened by Rev. Rudolf Coleman, AME Pastor, Dover, DE with a statement: “Art, you know we all respect you and love you.  But I have got to say, we don’t need anymore research.  In fact, we need a movement and we thought you could help make this happen with your research.”  An Executive Committee meeting of The Institute of Justice for All  in February 2001 subsequently approved a trial run.  After meeting with good folks in seven cities from Philadelphia thru Minnesota, plans were made to repeat the trip in some thirty-six cities during June and July of 2001.  At these meetings, Art met with concerned groups who freely offered ideas and suggestions on the question of how to end the drug issue in America.  These suggestions were transposed into three suggested acts (the Omnibus Acts), each currently a work in progress.  The suggested Bills call for:  (1) A Truth and Reconciliation Commission on how the drug issue really started and continues uninterrupted; (2) The People’s Bill authorizing the confiscation and return of all drug monies to be brought back to the communities of America and spent as the communities deem necessary; (3) Code of Sacred Honor that outlines for the first time in our history a set of accountabilities and responsibilities to be placed on our elected and appointed officials.  On October 11-12, 2002 the Board of Directors for Consent of the Governed approved the three suggested Bills.

In October 2001, the first national Board of Directors for a grass-root citizen lobby, Consent of the Governed, was convened in Philadelphia, PA to meet the need for a political action arm to complement the research and training arm of The Institute of Justice for All.

In October 2003, the national Board of Directors met to develop, design, and implement a national strategy and plan of action that could reach out to concerned citizens in some thirty-five states by way of a series of Statewide and Regional Forums.  These forums have been delayed due to lack of funding.  In the interim, citizen conversations began in January 2004 in Memphis, TN and concluded in June 2004 in Portland, OR.  A call for a special Presidential debate on the recommendations emanating from the conversations became a top priority.  A national strategy forum was held in September 2004 in Philadelphia, PA. 
Prior to the 2008 Presidential debates, Consent of the Governed has concentrated on continuing education and training sessions around the country to prepare folks to speak out with one voice calling for a national debate among the presidential candidates.  However, since there were so many debates during the campaign, the effort failed.  After the debates the strategy was to get the message directly to the President and U.S. Congress via a series of reports on the Anatomy of Drugs in America: “Decisions by Twelve Presidents” and “America’s Own Form of Apartheid;”  to develop local chapters; to lobby for the Omnibus Acts; and to establish an independent source of funding.  The effort in 2010 and 2011 has been to concentrate on securing support of the Omnibus Acts from the Oval Office and Congress, fundraising, and public education.   
A video production is on the drawing board that will be presented to PBS.  A book entitled, Tenui Nec Dimittam, I’ve Taken Hold and Won’t Let Go, is also under discussion based on the life of Art Nicoletti.


 

Joe Palm
Joe entered the Oblates in 1962 at Childs, MD as a “very naïve” young man.  He spent a year at Catholic University & DeSales Hall, Hyattsville, MD; then taught math and bio lab at Bishop Duffy HS, Niagara Falls, NY, and algebra and German at Salesianum, Wilmington DE.  He spent the fall of 1967 studying history at Allentown College and left the Oblates at Christmas time, 1967

Joe worked briefly as a lab tech for Rohm and Haas Co, attending LaSalle College at night.  On April 2, 1968, he was drafted into the US Army.  Following basic training, he was sent to Army Chemical School in Alabama where he stayed as instructor for a year.  In August 1969, he received orders to go to Viet Nam.  The orders changed on the date of his scheduled flight to Bien Hua.  He was sent instead to Schweinfurt, Germany thru March 1971 when he was discharged as Staff Sergeant in Battalion Operations and Training.

He returned in 1971 to Rohm and Haas as a Research Technician until 1975, spent a year in Tech Service, and five years in Sales.  In 1974, he received a BA (Humanities) from LaSalle University and in 1980, his MBA (Marketing/Management) from Xavier University.  He was promoted to Market Manager at Rohm and Haas in 1981 and became Business Development Manager in 1986.  In 1995, he moved to Menasha Corp, Neenah, WI in Strategic Planning.  In 1997, he joined Amoco Chemical as a Marketing/Business Manager.  Amoco was acquired by British Petroleum in 2001, then spun off to Ineos, AG.  Joe retired in 2010.

Joe notes that he moved around a lot as he worked up the ladder.  He’s lived (in order) in the Philadelphia area for five years, Cincinnati for five years, Southampton, PA (Bucks County) for fifteen years, Neenah, WI (just west of Green Bay) for a couple of years, and eight years in Lisle, IL near Chicago.  Since 2006, he’s lived near Houston, TX.

In 1973, Joe married Ann and they have three kids, Kathy, Bill, and Mike, who are all still in the northern climes.  Kathy, a PhD Clinical Psychologist at Clark University, is in New England; Bill, an engineer for Nestle, is in Bloomington, IL; and Mike an Athletic Trainer/Sports medicine therapist, lives in Chicago.  Ann taught in Catholic schools in the Philadelphia area and in Wisconsin and worked in school administration in Lisle, IL.

Joe has been active in local organizations, frequently involving the kids.  He wound up refereeing soccer games for 17 years and his knees show the wear.  He has also been active in several professional organizations:  currently on the Board of the Southwest Chemical Association and just elected to the Board of Arabian-American Development Co., a small publicly held company with some chemical manufacturing business. 

Most of his time these days is spent playing golf, dealing with Board business, and visiting the grandkids.  (Bill has a boy and a girl; so does Kathy).  He’s done some teaching at Association conventions in the past, but that’s over with; it was a good way to have expenses covered when going to various conventions.  It also afforded more contacts for the sales and marketing jobs.

Joe and Ann just returned from a week in Hilton Head with their two sons and two grandkids.  They had a great time but appreciate getting back to the home turf.  “Spoil the grandkids, then leave.  That’s a grandparent’s role.”


Tim Pilat
Tim was first professed as a Lay Brother at Childs in 1963.  He served in Wernersville, PA, St. Pius X in Toledo, OH, Battle Creek, MI, back to Childs, MD, Stockton, CA, and finally the Provincial Residence in Toledo, OH.  He attended college at Kellogg Community College, Western Michigan, University of Virginia, and Catholic University.

After leaving the Oblates, Tim went to work for Groskpf Engineering for three years.  He then took a job as a Deputy Sheriff in Lucas County, OH, and remained there for over thirty-one years.  He is a graduate of the FBI academy.  His duties were mostly in patrol, but he supervised the SWAT team and a four county major crimes task force during his last six years as a deputy.

Tim reads, listens to music, and works when he can.  Tim is married to Beth Ann and they have two sons and three grandchildren, one of whom, an eight-month-old, they’ve raised since the child was three weeks old.


Bill Press
Bill is the host of The Bill Press Show, a nationally syndicated radio talk show, airing weekday mornings from six to nine on Sirius XM Satellite Radio and many local stations across  the country. 

Bill brings to talk radio a wealth of experience in politics and the media.  For twenty-five years, he has been a major player in state and national politics, in addition to hosting top-rated radio and TV shows in California and on national cable networks.  In both capacities, he is on top of the important, critical issues of the day.

Bill is the former co-host of MSNBC’s Buchanan and Press, a fiery debate program illuminating the most complex of contemporary issues along with Pat Buchanan.  Prior to his role at MSNBC, he was co-host of Crossfire, CNN’s dynamic political debate program, for six years and co-host, with Tucker Carlson, of CNN’s Spin Room.

Bill is the author of five best selling political books.  His first book, Spin This!, published in 2001, explores the culture of spin—what spin is, who does it and why.  In 2004, Press published Bush Must Go: The Top Ten Reasons Why George Bush Doesn’t Deserve A Second Term.  Bill’s third book is How The Republicans Stole Religion (Oct. 2005)—an examination of the role religion plays, and should play, in American politics, and the impact it has on American society.  His book, Trainwreck: The End of the Conservative Movement (And Not A Moment Too Soon) was published in 2008.  His newest book, published in May 2010, is Toxic Talk—a blistering look at right-wing talk radio, a book that Rush Limbaugh hates!  Press is also a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist.  His weekly column is distributed by Tribune Media Services to newspapers across the country.

Bill has enjoyed a high-profile career in government, politics, and broadcasting.  He was chairman of the California Democratic Party from 1993 to 1996.  He served as chief of staff to California State Senator Peter Behr and as director of the California Office of Planning and Research under Governor Jerry Brown.  He managed several local and statewide political campaigns, and in June 1990, Press was a candidate in the Democratic primary for California State Insurance Commissioner.

In addition, Bill is an award-winning radio talk show host and television commentator.  He began his career as a political commentator on KABC-TV in 1980 to 1989, and later on KCOP-TV, both in Los Angeles.  He hosted Bill Press: True American on KFI-AM, Southern California’s number one AM radio station and was a regular weekend talk show host on KFI-AM from 1991 to 1996.

Bill has received numerous awards for his work, including four Emmys and a Golden Mike Award.  He was named Best Commentator of the Year by the Associated Press in 1992.

Bill is a native of Delaware, still owns a home in California and now lives in Washington, D.C.  He received a bachelor of arts in philosophy from Niagara University and S.T.B. in theology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.  Bill and his wife Carol have two sons, Mark and David.

 
Steve Puhl
Steve was born July 31, 1941, the eldest of a family of eight siblings in Toledo, OH.  He attended four years at the newly constructed St. Francis de Sales High School and entered the Oblate Novitiate in Childs, MD in 1959.  He was first professed at St. Anthony of Padua in Wilmington, DE and completed his second year of college at Catholic University, Washington, DC while residing at De Sales Hall.  Steve spent two years teaching French and Religion at Northeast Catholic HS in Philadelphia, PA.  Steve spent the summers of 1963 and 1964 at Camp de Sales in the Irish Hills near Brooklyn, MI as the fearsome “Cess Puhl,” who with his nefarious crony “Castro Mittendorf,” terrorized campers during morning inspections.

Steve graduated from Niagara with a BA “magna cum laude” in Philosophy and Linguistics in 1966.  He was sent to the University of Fribourg, Switzerland where he took a BA “magna cum laude” in Theology in 1968.  He returned to De Sales Hall and completed an MA in Theology “cum laude” in 1970.  He was ordained in 1969 as an Oblate of the Toledo-Detroit Province.  He spent one year as Assistant Principal at the new Aquinas High School in Southgate, MI and left the Oblates in 1970 with a full Canonical dispensation.

Steve spent a short time with Kearney Travel Association as a Sales Representative in Detroit, MI.  In 1971, he married Patricia Forget with who he had three sons:  Eric, Mark, and Jason.  He spent the next five years counseling and teaching Family Living and History at Bishop Gallagher High School in Harper Woods, MI. 

General Motors hired Steve as a Supervisor for the Hydra-Matic Division in Ypsilanti, MI in 1977.  Within two years, he was promoted to General Supervisor of Manufacturing and Assembly; and in 1981, he was promoted again to Plant Superintendent of Manufacturing and Assembly at the Willow Run facility.  In 2008, Steve retired from GM after more than thirty-two years of service. 

Steve and Patricia were divorced in 1991.  In 1995, Steve married Lorene Mijal and inherited a beautiful daughter, Heather.  He is now the proud “Papa” of three granddaughters (Leah, Josephine, and Charlotte) and a grandson (Evan), all of whom he’s spoiling.  Steve and Lorene live in a home they built thirteen years ago in Ann Arbor, MI where he’s developed his “woodland gardens” and raises vegetables.  Steve is the “moderator” of an aviation website:  armyairforces.com.  He’s written articles for aviation periodicals and is contemplating a book.  He’s studying music and the guitar.


Tony Steger
Tony sends greetings from the Pacific Northwest.  The sun, he says, is out and the sky is a beautiful blue.  Both the Olympic and Cascade Mountain Ranges are in full view.  Though he will not be able to attend the reunion, he sends his greetings to all and will be with us in spirit, hoping that we have a great time.

Tony is married to Maxine Gilmeister and they will be celebrating their 28th anniversary this year.  They have two daughters, Shanta and Sarah and two grandsons, Christian and Gabriel.  Shanta and her sons are presently living with them while she continues to go to school and work.  Their home is a busy place.  Sarah works and lives in Tacoma, WA.  Maxine and Tony continue to enjoy their work of counseling.  They will probably continue doing this for a few more years, and then slow down and relax.  They are both in good health and have a great vegetable garden, which gives them many wonderful things to eat.

Life is good and they enjoy living in Port Orchard, WA.  Tony and Maxine write, “Please feel free to visit us at anytime.” 


Frank Sullivan (8/11/36 - 8/21/11)
Sadly, as this copy was being prepared for our September meeting, Frank died suddenly while on vacation with his family in Holland, MI.  He was attended by his wife, Judy, his two sons and grandchildren. 

Frank was first professed in 1955 and left the Oblates in 1979 and married Judy that same year.  They have two sons, Jon and Nate, both of whom are married, and two grandsons. 

Frank worked as a limited licensed psychologist with individuals, couples, groups, and for a group home for abused or neglected adolescents.  In a career change, he was trained and accredited as a legal assistant and worked for Ford Credit Legal for 15 years until retirement at age 70. 

Post retirement, Frank took up writing non-fiction and fiction as well as genealogy and children’s books for his grandsons.  He did some parish religious education work for children and adults.  One of his writings, Jocks and Jesus (sports and religion), was incorporated in religious education sessions, and was made available to local high schools.  Frank had done volunteer work with Visiting Nurses, students of English as a Second Language, No One Dies Alone parish program for the dying, and served as lector and commentator for parish liturgies.  Frank was laicized about five years ago.
   
After marriage and as their boys grew older, Frank became a baseball and lacrosse coach.  He served as president of their Homeowners Association and helped in a parent support group at Brother Rice.  Sons Jon and Nate distinguished themselves as starters in lacrosse at Brother Rice with four State Championships, All-League, and All-American awards.

Frank and Judy shared their love and companionship for thirty-two years. 


Tony Sutton
For six happy years, Tony was nurtured and sheltered by the Oblate bulwark.  He spent time at Childs,MD,  Catholic University, Washington, DC, North Catholic, and Sallies in Philadelphia, before his exclaustration in 1966. 

Anthony Thomas Sutton, fully formed, burst upon an unsuspecting world where he immediately met the love of his life, Kathie, in a Medieval French class at Wayne State University. Finishing college, he was drafted in 1968, found to be too fat to fight, and was hired by Fr. Joe Coyle, OSFS, the same day.

Tony was married in 1969 (by the same humble priest, Fr. Joseph Coyle, whose sermon "Better to Marry Than to Burn" is still being discussed in rhetoric classes).  For eighteen years he labored at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson, MI as an English teacher, rising to the rank of Department Chairman.  In 1987, Mr. Sutton was invited to join the staff of Western High School in Parma, MI.  Still teaching English and making twice as much money, he strove mightily for nineteen more years.  In 2005, after an orgiastic retirement party, Tony became a born-again idler who lives off his wife's income, does little or nothing, and waits for the next blood clot to hit his brain.


Warren Tipton, MD
Warren entered Childs in 1963.  He spent one year of study at DeSales Hall in Hyattsville, MD and another at DeChantal Hall in Lewiston, NY.  He served two summers as a counselor at Camp de Sales in 1967.

Warren completed his BA in Psychology at the University of Toledo in 1968.  He worked for a year as a social worker for the Ohio Youth Commission at the Maumee Youth Camp, Liberty Center, OH.  He continued taking pre-med courses at the University of Toledo and in 1973 completed his MD at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo.  He served an internship at French Hospital in San Francisco, CA in 1973 and practiced Emergency Room medicine in California for another before returning to Toledo in 1975 for a Family Practice Residency.  In 1976 he began a 35 year career as an ER physician at St. Luke’s Hospital, Maumee, OH and retired April 1, 2011.

On September 13, 1968, Warren married Patricia Vanderhorst, with Al Russell, OSFS presiding, and Charlie Kaufman as best man.  They have two daughters:  Jim Kantner is godfather of their first; Ed Gordon (Eastern Province) is godfather of their second.  The Tiptons have four grandchildren.

Travel is Warren and Pat’s main avocation in retirement—visiting National Parks and friends around the country, as well as around the world.  They have been to Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Baltic countries, Mexico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Aruba, and the Caribbean.  They hope to do more medical mission work in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.  They are scheduled to leave for a river cruise on the Rhone River in French wine country September 9.  Warren is planning to see everyone on September 8 before they leave.


Rod Tomczak, MD, EdD
Rod graduated from Toledo St. Francis de Sales High School after spending his Junior Year at Haus Overbach, Salesian Center and Educational Institute, Julich Germany.  He entered the Oblates and graduated from Niagara University, with a BA in German.  He taught German, Algebra, and English; and coached football and hockey at Bishop Duffy, Niagara Falls, NY.

After medical school, Rod taught surgery at Des Moines University and earned an Ed.D. in Adult Education and Curriculum from Drake University.  He came to Ohio State University Department of Orthopedic Surgery in 1995, and retired from surgery with a respiratory latex allergy in 2002.  He has subsequently served as a founding or first academic dean at four medical schools and designed their curricula.  He has just accepted the position as academic dean of a new medical school in Oklahoma funded by and for Native Americans.

Rod married Gretchen, an RN who he met their first day at Niagara in 1967.  Their daughters, Meghan, 30, and Lauren, 27, are also RN’s.  He has just returned from a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Americanizing the curriculum of a new medical school.  He’s done the same in Belize and Curacao.  “Living abroad is not all it’s cracked up to be.  I miss the Oblate community life and stay in contact with a number of my former confreres.”


Frank Wilderman, DPM
Frank went to Niagara University, taught at Salesianum H.S. and graduated
from DeSales University. He received a Masters in Education and a Doctorate in Podiatric Medicine from Temple University. He was a Podaitric Surgical Resident at Hawthorne Memorial Hospital, Hawthorne, CA. He was then Director of the Foot Clinic and Loiusville Plaza Surgery Center, Monroe, LA. Presently he is Assistant Professor of Biology at Northwest Florida State College, Fort Walton Beach, FL. Frank is married to Hatsuko (pic. in our Photo Album under Misc.).
They have travelled extensively to England, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Taiwan, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Denmark, Belgium, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Bali, and Singapore.
 

Bob Wojtowicz
Joe cooked at the Novitiate in Battle Creek, MI.  He is widowed.  Joe sends his regrets that he will not be able to attend the reunion because he’ll be travelling in Poland during September.


Don Zurack
Don completed his theological studies at DeSales Hall, Hyattsville, MD and received an MA from Niagara University.  He served as an Oblate as a Secondary School Instructor in English for two years at Salesian Catholic in Detroit, for six years at Fr. Judge Memorial Catholic in Philadelphia, and for one year at Niagara Catholic in Niagara Falls.  Don also did part-time hospital ministry for eighteen months at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston, NY and at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, MI.  In the end of January 1982 he enrolled in a residency program at The House of Affirmation, a psycho-theological program for religious (men and women) in Whitinsville, MA.  After leaving the program in February, 1982, he resided in the Oblate community in Detroit on Strathmoor for three and a half months during which time he transitioned to what effectively amounted to the laic status by petitioning for and receiving a “leave of absence” from the Oblates.

Opportunities for fulfilling employment did not come easily in the early 80s (Reaganomics wasn’t driving the economic engine!)  “I was rather (or – ok, very-) naïve about my value in the marketplace – young (late forty’s), handsome, intelligent, charismatic, dependable, vitally curious, and the list goes on – or, at least so I thought.  My eyes were gradually opened to the realities of business interests, i.e., the bottom line.  And there was the item about the monthly rent, utilities, car payments, and food.”

“So, - to summarize:  I settled into a bifurcated (look that up in your Funk and Wagnall’s) routine of retail sales (full-time) and English instruction (part-time) for the most ‘productive’ years of my working career.”

Don has been officially ‘retired’ for the last five years.  He was a docent at the Henry Ford Estate, Fairlane, in Dearborn.  He’s done some travelling (most recently, 2010, to Paris), and has been graced with the good fortune of a late-life companionship – his soul mate, Audrey.  “We can finish each other’s sentences, but we usually resist the urge!”

Don adds, “Oh, yes, I’m still subscribing to the faith of our fathers.”  He attends church regularly and serves as a lector on a scheduled basis.  “People (some) think I’m a fairly good cook – small pleasures, small pleasures, but you take what you can get, right?”