EduardoBarrosEulogy given by Br. Augustine Loes, FSC


I have lived pretty close to Eduardo for twenty-five or more years out of the last thirty of our lives. Fifteen of them were spent somewhat in retirement at the Queen of Peace Community in North Arlington, New Jersey. Eduardo had retired from teaching; I from working at De La Salle Hall. Two things stood out in his mind during those years: Cuba, of course, but also, prayerfully, Our Most Blessed Mother Mary. I have been inclined to think of Eduardo’s relation to Mary as the devotion of an uneducated native of Cuba whose life was lived within the limits and demands of farming, not at all within the scope of his extensive learning, simple but profound, serious yet joyful, deep and still always available. He spoke to her with absolute confidence. As I witnessed this repeatedly, it seemed to me that there did not seem to be any need for Jesus, the Son of God, and that bothered me. Mary would take care of everything. It would not surprise me if that was how Eduardo felt right up to the moment of his death.


We have to place this pervasive religious disposition along side of the fact that Eduardo was also a good high school teacher in Cuba for at least ten years and for twenty-six years in the United States in four of our high schools: La Salle Academy (New York), Cardinal Spellman, CBA (Syracuse), and Sacred Heart, Yonkers.


Eduardo wanted to be a Brother at the age of twelve when he came under the influence of the Spanish and French Brothers who taught at the Academia De La Salle in Havana. His mother supported Eduardo in his desire to be a Brother, but his father, who worked as an accountant for a firm of lawyers, was strongly opposed and wanted Eduardo to be a lawyer. Shortly after Eduardo began his high school with the Brothers, his father suffered a heart attack and was expected to die. He called Eduardo and made him promise that he would study to be a lawyer. His father recovered from his attack. After graduating from high school, Eduardo dutifully began his studies in law at the University. There he earned his degree in two years. In 1941, he began practicing as a lawyer at the age of twenty-two. In this way he became the support of his parents since his father had to retire from work for health reasons. While practicing law, Eduardo also continued to teach part-time at the Academia De La Salle, and became a member of an informal group of teachers who had an interest in becoming Brothers.


It was on the occasion of a second heart attack in 1948 that Eduardo’s father, feeling that this attack would be fatal, called Eduardo to his bedside to ask him to get a priest. But, first, he thanked Eduardo for his obedience in becoming a lawyer. He then added that he felt his son was not really happy practicing law, but that he would rather be a teacher and a Brother. He asked Eduardo if this were true. Eduardo said that it was. Thereupon his father released him from his promise and instead insisted that his son do his best to be a good Brother. Eduardo then obtained a priest for his father who survived for another two months before dying.


Eduardo took steps to see that his mother would be cared for. He gave up his practice of law, and at the age of twenty-six, entered the novitiate in Mexico. (At that time, the Brothers did not have a novitiate in Cuba.) After his novitiate, he returned to teaching high school at the Colegio De La Salle in Vedado, a section of Havana. He taught there from 1950 to 1960, when he was forced to leave Cuba to seek exile in the United States.


Meanwhile, however, Eduardo had shown his zeal for his personal education by adding two other doctorates to his doctorate in law: one in education, the other in social science, which included political and economic areas as well as social. Eduardo deserved credit for securing these degrees while teaching in the Colegio. He was very much the scholar. He demonstrated that during the fifteen years he was retired at the Queen of Peace Community in North Arlington. Those of us who lived with him there can testify that there was hardly a day, even on weekends, that he was not at his desk, researching in his ever expanding library, the history of Cuba. Eduardo had already written an encyclopedia on Spain, and a book of 300 pages on the national shrines of Our Lady for each of the nineteen countries of Hispanic America. Happily, his good friends in Union City have provided the funds and the care to preserve not only his extensive library but also the tens of thousands of filed index cards that record his findings on all the aspects of Cuba’s history.


Probably Eduardo is remembered more for his excellence as a teacher than as a scholar. Certainly we have witnessed the loyalty of his former students in Cuba who have welcomed him at their gatherings in Florida and visited him in North Arlington. When asked to explain this devotion of their former pupils to the Brothers, his simple answer was, “Because we loved them.”


Not only did Eduardo teach in the high schools of Cuba and the United States, but he also spent five years teaching Spanish to the seminarians at Dunwoodie. Brother Joseph Miggins was with Eduardo at Sacred Heart, Yonkers. He says that Eduardo exemplified the strong and confident teacher, the leader of his students, and the demanding pedagogue. At the same time, Joe said, “… indefinable sensitivity and tenderness toward the hard working but slower students always resounded in his heart. I marveled at the affectionate care that he constantly bestowed on these struggling youngsters.”

In conclusion, I will again borrow words with a slight change from Brother Joseph Miggins’ Introduction to Brother Eduardo’s Oral History. “Eduardo balanced his professional and religious life in an admirable integration. Always present for the community spiritual exercises, he maintained his affection for certain preferred devotions, above all to the Most Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Guadaloupe. He was, indeed, faithful to the directive of St. John Baptist de La Salle to the Brothers, “Always have a special devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin.” Under her protection, Eduardo has come to the sunset of a truly great career as a De La Salle Brother and now enjoys the sunrise of eternal life.”

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of
Br. Eduardo Barros, FSC

Born Eduardo Enrique Barros in Havana, Cuba on September 7, 1919

Entered the Novitiate in Mexico on November 19, 1947

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Berchmans Eduardo on January 25, 1948

Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Santa María del Rosario, Havana, in 1953.

Brother Eduardo died at De La Salle Hall in Lincroft, NJ, on April 25, 2010


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Viewing from 2:00 – 4:00 pm
De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738-1608


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am
De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738-1608

Burial at St. Gabriel’s Cemetery, Marlboro, NJ


District: 50 masses
De La Salle Hall community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 1 mass

Brother Eduardo held the following degrees: Doctor of Laws (1942), Doctor of Social Sciences (1945) and Doctor of Education (1952) from universities in Havana. He passed away peacefully in his room at De La Salle Hall on Saturday after five days in hospice care. May he rest in peace.

Tour of Duty

Havana, CUBA.
Colegio De La Salle, Vedado

Havana, CUBA.
Academia De La Salle

Havana, CUBA.
Colegio De La Salle, Vedado

New York, NY
La Salle Academy

Dunwoodie, NY
St. Joseph Seminary

Dunwoodie/New York, NY
St. Joseph Seminary/Cardinal Spellman H S

New York, NY
Cardinal Spellman H S

Syracuse, NY
Christian Brothers Academy

Yonkers, NY
Sacred Heart H S

North Arlington, NJ
Queen of Peace H S

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall


May the soul of Brother Eduardo, and all the souls of the faithful departed, rest in peace.