3/26/13 -Winona MN – Brother Joseph Loewenstein, FSC will receive a Doctor of Humanities from Saint Mary’s University, Minnesota, in honor of his inspiring leadership throughout his 70 years as a De La Salle Christian Brother. By working at home and abroad, Br. Joseph provides education access to those who might otherwise be denied it and embodies what it means to be Lasallian. He served first as a teacher on the East Coast of the U.S., then as a teacher, vice principal and headmaster in Kenya, and most recently he served more than 30 years in Palestine. Br. Joseph has held a number of positions at Bethlehem University, including president and vice chancellor. In addition, he has heroically responded to the needs of those living in Palestinian refugee camps.
3/23/13 – Syracuse, NY – It is with reverence for his selfless spirit and a life lived fully in the Lasallian tradition, that Christian Brothers Academy presented the 2013 Purple & Gold Award to Brother Edmund Dwyer, FSC.
Brother Edmund Dwyer, FSC spent a lifetime doing great things with great love. At age 92, he’s taking Mother Teresa’s advice and scaling it back to small things with great love. Brother Edmund grew up in Syracuse’s Strathmore neighborhood. He knew by his sophomore year at Syracuse Central High School that he was destined to be a man of the cloth – which cloth was yet to be determined. One rainy afternoon, after a summer mission camp at St. Lucy’s Church on the Near West Side, Brother Edmund felt compelled to knock on the rectory door. The priest answered, told him he was too skinny, he was going to get consumption, and he should go home and get a good meal.
Not to be discouraged, he took his father’s advice to visit CBA. Inspired, he said, by a “terrific fellow Irishman”
named Brother Marcellus Leo, Edmund took his vows as a Christian Brother in 1940. He became an educator and guidance counselor to primary and secondary students within the Northeast Province, always drawn toward the homeless, the orphans, the delinquents or all three. For 25 years, Brother Edmund taught at La Salle Academy in New York City. By day, he taught and ministered to the lonely and the marginalized. By night, he rode his bicycle to St. Vincent’s Hospital to sit bedside with AIDS patients whose families had forsaken them. During a time when it took great courage to simply stand near those with AIDS, Brother Edmund gave them hugs. He continued to visit and care for them, even after they’d been hopelessly discharged. On weekends, against the better judgment of the prison ward, Brother Edmund would wander the residential area of Riker’s Island prison to see if anyone wanted to talk.
In 1980, Brother Edmund was one of 800 mourners at Dorothy Day’s wake and funeral. He used his faith as she did to buffer against burnout and despair in his daily work. And like Day, whose devotion to her neighborhood derelicts and drunks lacked truly measureable outcomes, so with Brother Edmund’s relentless devotion to the poor in spirit. But as St. Theresa of Lisieux admonished: results don’t matter to the prayerful. Suffice it to say that Brother Edmund often spent days sitting silently beside a new patient, praying quietly to himself, until finally this dying man would give in, roll over to face him at last, and talk. Brother Edmund’s philosophy was simple: reach out to others, impact their lives, love them, and let them know they’re OK the way they are.
After La Salle, Brother Edmund trained to teach at the Brothers’ mission schools and spent eight years in Kamwenja College in East Africa. He returned to Syracuse in 1996 and took up residence with the Brothers at CBA, working as a substitute teacher. He continued to work in AIDS ministry and also began to work with refugees in the area as part of the Catholic Charities Refugee Relocation Program. Today, Brother can be found in the CBA Development office, processing raffle ticket orders for the CBA Classic Corvette Raffle. Small things, maybe, but always with the greatest of love.