0413-peter-mannionPrepared by
Br. William Spellman, FSC
Given by
Br. Jules Knight, FSC

There is a line in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet which reads “What’s in a name”? We might begin this evening with that same question and use it for a study of the name: Brother Benezet Peter.

We will begin with the name Peter. All of us are familiar with the conversation between Jesus and Peter in St. Matthew’s gospel when he told him: ”You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of the netherworld will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom. Jesus knew that in Peter there was the strength of a rock, in spite of his many weaknesses and final denial and unpredictability. So Jesus entrusted Peter with great responsibility.

Pete’s second patron, St. Benezet, is not as familiar to us. He was a saint dating back to the 12th century. Benezet was a pious young shepherd in Avignon, France where he took care of his mother’s sheep. In that town was the Rhone River which was well known for its raging waters and the many people it killed as they were trying to cross it. Legend has it that Benezet was inspired by God to build a bridge to help all the people in that town. He almost singlehandedly began the work of moving huge rocks to construct the bridge and became known for his astounding strength and his ability to get others involved in helping him. When the bridge was completed, he died very suddenly, and the people, as a sign of their love for him, made a tomb for his body on the bridge itself. It remained there for 500 years and reportedly was found preserved even though the bridge suffered great deterioration.

So the image of the rock as a symbol of strength was obvious in both his patrons and brings us to our own Brother Peter Mannion who is known among us as a “rock” in so many personal ways.

I have known Peter since I was a young boy in Greenpoint in Brooklyn. He was several years older and entered Barrytown to begin studying for our life. He was well known in the parish of St. Cecilia and became an inspiration to Steve McCabe and me to follow him in what he was doing. Peter always gave the impression of strength in his personal life, combining his many talents with a wonderful religious sense and kindness. On the many instances when I have met him over the years, he was always kind and interested in how I was and in what I was doing. He was blessed with a gift of laughter and good humor which made it a pleasure to be with him. He had a robust singing voice which he loved to use both in the chapel and at a party. His kindness to his ailing sister for so many years was deeply admired by all who witnessed it.

His career in the legacy District of New York was outstanding. Peter ran the gamut of assignments since 1948, interspersing teaching with administration, directorships, and work in formation on four different levels: the day Juniorate, small novitiate, novitiate and scholasticate. In each of these assignments, his leadership qualities, his common sense, his kindness, prudence, patience and his devotion to the Brothers and the District made him a “go to” guy. Whenever there was a need to be filled or a problem to be solved, Peter was near the top of the list of Brothers to go to.

So, with all his talents and qualities, he has been a rock to all of us and to his former District (New York) and his current District (DENA) as well.

What’s in a name? It has been said that what really matters is what someone is, not necessarily what he is called. Like both his patrons, Brother Benezet Peter Mannion has been a tower of rock-like strength and we Brothers who have had the privilege of being his Brothers, are much the better for it!


Live Jesus in our hearts … forever!

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of
Br. Peter Mannion, FSC

Born Peter Keron Mannion in Brooklyn, NY on January 17, 1926

Entered the Barrytown, NY, Juniorate on September 1, 1940, and Novitiate on June 28, 1944

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Benezet Peter, on September 7, 1944

Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Troy, NY, in 1951

Br. Peter died at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, NJ, on April 20, 2013


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Viewing from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738-1608

Viewing from 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Mass of Christian Burial at 7:00 pm

Christian Brothers Academy (Henderson Theater) 850 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738-1698

Thursday, April 25, 2013

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


District: 100 masses
De La Salle Hall Community: 30 masses
Each community in the District:
1 mass

Brother Peter died peacefully in his room at De La Salle Hall while in hospice care. May he rest in peace.


New York, NY
La Salle Academy

New York, NY
De La Salle Institute

Barrytown, NY
St. Joseph Normal Institute

Bronx, NY
Manhattan Prep

Pro-Director, Day Juniorate
New York, NY
St. Bernard’s

Second Novitiate

Buffalo, NY
St. Joseph Collegiate Institute

West New York, NJ
St. Joseph of the Palisades High School

Syracuse, NY
Christian Brothers Academy

director of seniors (until Dec. 1968)
Washington, D.C.
De La Salle College

director of novices (Jan to Sept)
Barrytown, NY
St. Joseph Normal Institute

director of candidates
Lincroft, NJ
La Salle Provincialate

Lincroft, NJ
Christian Brothers Academy

Lincroft, NJ
Christian Brothers Academy

development office
Lincroft, NJ
Christian Brothers Academy

Lincroft, NJ
Christian Brothers Academy:

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall

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