Eulogy given by
Br. Michael Andrejko, FSC
“Jesus said to his disciples: ‘What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, Amen I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones will be lost.’” (Matthew 18:12-14)
These words from the Gospel of St. Matthew, spoken just this past Tuesday, capture the image of Brother Alan Flood. He truly was the Good Shepherd to the children he taught over his many years as a Brother of the Christian Schools. Alan, very humbly, was not just concerned about his students in their learning, but as our Rule points out, he was “concerned with his students’ deepest hopes and desires.” For the thirty years he spent at 2607 Military Road, NW, Alan spent most of his time being a shepherd of souls.
Brother Alan Flood was born William Gerald Flood to William and Aileen Flood on December 27, 1931. Alan was a native Washingtonian, something that is rare, not only in the Brothers, but also in the general population. A proud member of St. Gabriel’s parish, young Gerry was athletic and smart. He always said he played a lot of baseball when he was young, and I can attest to the fact that he played croquet in his later years with pinpoint accuracy. Gerry was popular in his neighborhood. Few people know of the article that was written about him and his friends in the 1940s as being the “Store Boys” because of the neighborhood store where Gerry and his friends would hang out. It is hard to imagine Gerry just hanging out on the street corner with his friends, but like so many people at that time, he was just a normal everyday American youth.
William Gerald Flood entered the community of the Brothers of the Christian Schools on June 15, 1953, and became Brother Edmund Alan.
In many senses, he was the penultimate of what the Brothers were looking for: smart, athletic, young, and energetic. Alan graduated from The Catholic University with a degree in chemistry and he later earned a Master’s degree from Purdue.
To say Alan took his ministry of teaching youth seriously would have been an understatement. A contemporary of his recalls a time when they were chasing a skipper at St. Gabriel’s Hall (skippers were runaways from a juvenile detention facility) and they reached the Schuylkill River. Despite the pleas of his Brother colleague, Alan decided to take his shoes off, jump into the river, and chase down the renegade youth.
Known as a crackerjack teacher at Canton Ohio Central Catholic, West Philadelphia Catholic Boys High School, South Hill Catholic in Pittsburgh, and Bishop Walsh in Cumberland, MD, Alan always had the reputation for being challenging, knowledgeable, and thorough. One Brother who was Alan’s student during this period of time called him “one of the best teachers I ever had.” When these types of stories would be recanted later about his success in the classroom, Alan, being the good, humble Brother that he was, would simply laugh and say, “I don’t quite remember all that.” If you knew Alan well, there was not a day he would enter the classroom unprepared and/or not be nervous about how the lesson would come off. He would plan for hours when he tutored in summer school at Ocean Rest.
Alan spent a good number of his years teaching and tutoring at his beloved alma mater, St. John’s. The image that again comes to mind is the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Jesus says: “I am the Good Shepherd. A Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” (John 10:11) For those students who were academically down and out, Alan was always there to help them. The countless hours he spent tutoring students in math and science were a testimony to the care, compassion, and love that he had for each and every one of his students. My whole image of Alan in school boils down to him sitting one-on-one with a student, and patiently and firmly reassuring the student that he or she was able to do math, and do it well.
When the Brothers moved, in 1999, to the neighborhood near St. John’s, everyone in the neighborhood had a good relationship with Alan. He would talk to them, walk and babysit their dogs, and occasionally have dinner with them. With faculty members at school, Alan often wrote notes to colleagues on their birthdays or on the feast days of their favorite saints, especially if he knew someone was going through a particularly rough time personally. The true impact he had on those with whom he came into contact is simply immeasurable.
Alan and I had a personal friendship (forbidden in the Pre-Vatican II Church; yes, we were ‘pf’s) that really started when we lived together at St. John’s from 1996 -2000. Even after that time, we often corresponded on the phone or by mail during various times of the year. Every time I went down to the shore in the summer, Alan was ready for a walk. He would always dutifully take me by the new homes being constructed in the area and explain all the engineering and architectural marvels that were taking place with them. I will also miss the many talks that we had on the bigger questions in life. He, being the scientist, and I, being the accountant, tended to see life in black and white. I will never forget the many discussions we had on accepting the gray in life for what life is, and not what we wish it to be or want it to be. Most of all, I will miss the many laughs we shared.
Thank you, Alan, for the gift of yourself that you shared with your students, parents, family, and Brothers. You will live in our hearts forever!
Hold yourself gently, my friend, now that you are in the loving hands of your Creator!
St. John Baptist De La Salle . . . Pray for us!
Live Jesus in our hearts . . .Forever!
Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of
Br. Alan Flood, FSC
Born William Gerald Flood in Washington, D.C., on December 27, 1931
Entered the Ammendale, MD, Novitiate on June 15, 1953
Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Edmund Alan, on September 7, 1953
Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Ocean City, NJ, on August 27, 1959
Brother Alan died at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, NJ, on December 8, 2012
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Private viewing for
De La Salle Hall Community and Staff
De La Salle Hall
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Viewing from 6:30 – 8:30 pm
La Salle Hall
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville, MD 20705-1202
Friday, December 14, 2012
Viewing from 9:00 – 10:00 am
La Salle Hall
Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am
St. Joseph Church
11007 Montgomery Avenue
Beltsville, MD 20705
Burial in Brothers’ Cemetery
Lunch to follow
SUFFRAGES FOR OUR DECEASED BROTHER ALAN
District: 50 masses
De La Salle Hall community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 1 mass
Brother Alan suffered a severe stroke on Wednesday, December 5. After a brief hospitalization, he returned to De La Salle Hall, where he was placed in palliative care. Brother Alan died peacefully on Saturday evening. May he rest in peace.
Tour of Duty
Elkins Park, PA
Central Catholic High School
West Catholic Boys High School
South Hills Catholic High School
Bishop Walsh High School
Holy Family Community
St. John’s College High School
La Salle Hall
De La Salle Hall