Reflection by Br. Raymond Meagher, FSC
How do you describe a person like Br. Kevin Hargadon who rose to the challenge of being the person God created him to be? How do you describe a unique personality whose desire to follow God, his faith, and
John Baptist De La Salle gave him a steadfast enthusiasm and strength to make a remarkable difference in our world?
When we think of Kevin, we recall the young boy from “St. Jerome’s Parish” or the “College Professor” or the “World Traveler” or the “Clinical Psychologist” or the “Renaissance Brother” or as the developer of the “Hargadonian Paradigm.” These are all aspects of Kevin’s life but they cannot capture his complex essence.
I believe Kevin is best represented by the statement of St. John Baptist De La Salle: “The greatest miracle that you can perform is to touch hearts.” The dominant theme of Kevin’s life was being a genuine human presence in the lives of his students, his clients, his Brothers, his colleagues, his treasured friends, his loving family – and actually with anyone he met along his varied journeys. He seemed to regard every person he encountered as the image of God and he often went all out to personally and professionally help that image shine through. His most powerful and enduring lesson comes to all of us through his often articulate, insightful advice and example.
Kevin had the gift of seeing the invisible sign we all wear that says “Make Me Feel Important.” He made people feel that they mattered – that they were valuable and special. He treated everyone with respect and dignity, he took the time to listen, and affirm people with genuine praise. His behavior – his words and actions – speak volumes to all of us.
A former student from Manhattan College, Br. Peter lorlano, stated, “At different points, Kevin provided me a trusting place to talk about things that were of concern to me. His warmth and care were clear to me. He listened without being judgmental and when necessary gently and respectfully invited me to consider alternative ways of looking at my concerns. I enjoyed Kevin’s company, care, gentleness, kindness, humor, and affirmation during those times I had the opportunity to be with him. I am much better for having known him.”
Br. John Guasconi, now in Rome, shared the ‘ following: “Kevin loved to push buttons (as we all know). I believe it was his own unique way and style of reaching out to someone, of staying in touch. Though technically retired, being a member of the younger Brothers lunch table group in Locke’s loft kept him and made him young – it was the Hargadonian paradigm in action. One was “young” until 70 I middle-aged from 70 – 90 I old after 90 and alive until 24. I believe he firmly reached for that and lived it out convincingly every day of his own life. I always personally felt him to be one of my greatest affirmers and supporters. He was always interested in what I was doing and was up to … he was that way with anyone who came across his path.”
Br. Jack Curran, from our Bethlehem community, recalled that he met Kevin as he was recovering from the miraculous surgery that saved his life after the motorcycle accident. Kevin was in a wheel chair and had both legs in casts. Jack helped Kevin each day to take his socks on and off and to keep his feet clean. Even on the most difficult days of rehab, Jack always found Kevin to be engaging and affirming in their conversations. On Holy Thursday morning Kevin asked Jack, “Would it be okay with you if today I wash your feet?” Jack was deeply moved that a Brother who himself was “on the mend” would turn to him on one of our most holy days to ask “May I wash your feet?”
Br. Michael McGinnis, President of LaSalle University, has a print made by one of Kevin’s patients. The print portrays a somewhat mysterious figure emerging from shadows into clear light. The movement of that figure from the shadows to light is a great metaphor for the role Kevin played in so many lives.
As we celebrate Kevin’s life today, we are grateful to God and rejoice over our good fortune in having him with us for so long, for the extraordinary life he led and for the strength of his message of touching hearts. Our world was more exciting and alive because Kevin was part of it. He loved deeply and possessed a sacred sense of what was truly important in life. He taught us much. He walked with many of us on our challenging journeys.
Kevin, thank you for touching our lives and our hearts!
Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Br. Kevin Hargadon, FSC
Born Joseph James Hargadon on March 29, 1930
Entered the Barrytown Juniorate in September, 1943, and Novitiate in June, 1947
Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Bernardine Kevin on September 7, 1947
Pronounced Perpetual Vows at Hillside Hall, Troy, NY, in 1955.
Brother Kevin died at De La Salle Hall on November 19, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Viewing from 10:00-11:00 am
De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738-1608
Viewing from 2:00-5:00 pm and 7:00-9:00 pm
Christian Brothers Center
4415 Post Road
Bronx, NY 10471-3499
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Viewing from 9:15-9:45 am
Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am
Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers, Manhattan College
4513 Manhattan College Parkway
Bronx, NY 10471-4099
Burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Valhalla, NY
SUFFRAGES FOR OUR DECEASED BROTHER KEVIN
District: 50 masses
De La Salle Hall community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 1 mass
Brother Kevin entered hospice care at De La Salle Hall in early November and, after being anointed on Thursday morning, he died peacefully in his room during the evening. May he rest in peace.
Tour of Duty
De La Salle College
La Salle Academy
Teacher / Student (RPI)
Teacher / Student (CUA)
De La Salle College
Northern Virginia Health Institute
Founder and Director
De La Salle Center
Associate Professor, Lecturer
Christian Brothers Academy
St. Raymond’s Community
Manhattan College Community
De La Salle Hall