1942 – 2016


Words of Remembrance for Brother Joseph Radice, FSC

Written By Brother Dominic Gisondo, FSC
Delivered by Brother Joseph Reed, FSC
January 30, 2016
Mass of Christian Burial
St. Joseph Collegiate Institute, Buffalo, NY

Five years ago, Brother Joe asked me to give the eulogy at his Funeral Mass. I said yes on the condition that if I should die first, he would give the eulogy at my Funeral Mass. So we agreed on our eulogy pact. I then asked Brother Joe if there was anything he would like me to say at his eulogy. His reply was simple and direct: “Tell them to read my book, ‘Ticket to Heaven’”. So, please, please read Brother Joe’s book “Ticket to Heaven” published by Lulu Press in 2009 with a copyright by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lincroft, New Jersey.

“Come, good and faithful servant…now enter into the joy of my Father.” (Matthew 25:23). For 55 years Brother Joe Radice was that good and faithful servant as a De La Salle Christian Brother as he ministered: to students of color at St. Augustine Grammar School in the Bronx during his first teaching assignment; to children and young men in child care and court remanded cases at La Salle School, Albany, NY; to the students here at St. Joe’s Collegiate, Buffalo; to our young Brothers in formation at the Christian Brothers Novitiate in Skaneateles, NY near Syracuse, as Sub-Director of Novices; to the young men at Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, NJ as a teacher; and finally to his confreres at our Christian Brothers Nursing Home, De La Salle Hall in Lincroft, NJ, where he was elected for a time as Chairman for the house community meetings.

Brother Joe was a gentleman’s gentleman. He chose his words carefully so as not to offend. He spoke with warmth, sincerity, and simplicity with a positive encouraging tone. I recall several conversations with him about school matters. When I became overly serious, Joe would look at me, smile and say: “Dominic, you are so funny.” I did not think that I was being funny at all, but his message was – chill out and relax. Message received.

Born on December 2, 1942 to Pasquale (Pat) and Mary Klein Radice, Brother Joe enjoyed the rich heritage of his Italian and Irish parents. Joe’s birth was immediately followed, two minutes exactly, by the birth of his fraternal twin, John. His sister, Sharon, became their sibling two years later. Brother Joe’s early years were at St. Anthony’s National Parish on the West side of Buffalo, then later at St. Benedict’s Parish in Eggertsville where he attended the 7th and 8th grades.

It was as a student at St. Joe’s Collegiate that a Christian Brothers’ Vocation recruitment ad caught his attention. The ad in the form of a ticket read:

TICKET # 4281957

Thus the early seed of Brother Joe’s vocation was sown by a one way ticket to heaven ad.

Brother Joe and I came to St. Joe’s in 1974. He subsequently became Director of the Brothers’ Community, and I became the school’s Principal. He and I would joke among ourselves that along with the then Brother Matthew Edward Michelini as Vice Principal for Academics, and Brother Gerard Conforti as school Treasurer, we were a little Italian Mafia among the Brothers at St. Joe’s. Four Italian American Brothers in one community with administrative responsibilities was not too common an occurrence in the predominantly Irish American Brothers of the New York District in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

At St. Joe’s, Brother Joe taught a senior elective communications course, his field of expertise. He had his own radio program on Sunday mornings called Music with a Message. His students ran the program and conducted interviews with such notables as the Mayor of Buffalo and the then Bishop of Buffalo, Bishop Edward Head. At Brother Joe’s request, I listened to the program one Sunday morning. Well, I was stunned as I did not recognize Brother Joe’s voice. Instead, I heard his deep, professionally trained radio voice booming: This is Brother Joe Radice presenting Music with a Message.

At St. Joe’s in the 1980’s, the faculty ate lunch at two tables in the left hand corner of the cafeteria. We would often see Brother Joe going from table to table, talking and chatting with students. His hangout was the cafeteria. There he would contact students, especially those working with him in promoting the school musical. Brother Joe was the Publicity Director for Mr. James Deiotte’s famed school musical productions. Many store windows on Kenmore Avenue and downtown Buffalo had posters heralding information on the upcoming St. Joe’s musical, thanks to Brother Joe’s publicity blitz.

Brother Joe also taught freshmen religion at St. Joe’s. This past fall, I attended a St. Joe’s – Msgr. Farrell football game on Staten Island as I was anxious to see St. Joe’s alumni, Dennis Gilmore and Mike Stillwell, the varsity football coaches. While seated in the stands watching the game, two St. Joe’s alumni, Christopher Jordan and his brother, Timothy Jordan, recognized me and came over to chat with me. They spoke fondly of their freshmen religion teacher, Brother Joe, and wanted to know how he was doing and how they might contact him. I promised to send them Brother Joe’s address and telephone number at De La Salle Hall. Chris Jordan then gave me his card which I placed in my shirt pocket. Later on, I looked at the business card. It read:


What a tribute to Brother Joe! Some 35 years later, his students remembered him glowingly. He did indeed touch the hearts of his students, as St. John Baptist De La Salle exhorted the Brothers.

Brother Joe enjoyed a good time. I recall one summer when he invited the St. Joe’s Brothers to a Sunday afternoon get-together at his parents’ home in Eggertsville. I expected the usual chit-chat and social amenities. When the five Brothers and I got there, there was the usual conversation and exchange of pleasantries, but then we were invited into the backyard where a large round table was set up on the grass with a beach umbrella to provide shade from the sun. Brother Joe said: “We’re going to play the card game, UNO. I replied: “But I don’t know how to play UNO.” Brother Joe said: “I’ll teach you. It’s easy.” So all ten of us, Joe’s parents, Pat & Marge, Joe’s sister, Sr. Sharon, Brother Joe and all six Brothers played UNO. Soon, “got cha”, “You’re out of the game.” Laughter and hilarity filled the air of the Radice’s family’s backyard. It was an afternoon of wholesome, simple fun planned by Brother Joe, a day that stands out in my mind even to this day.

Because of health issues, Brother Joe went to De la Salle Hall, our Christian Brothers Nursing Home in Lincroft, NJ in 2003. While there, he was encouraged to write his autobiography. Brother Joe was enthused, re-invigorated and plunged wholeheartedly into writing his autobiography entitled, “Ticket to Heaven.” The book speaks mainly of his early life, his growing up in Buffalo, the loving care of his parents, Pat and Marge; his closeness with his twin brother, John; his dear sister, Sister Sharon; and the story of his vocation and life as a Christian Brother.

Brother Joe was so proud of his brother John especially when he came to De La Salle Hall to give a concert for the Brothers. Brother Joe was so grateful to his sister-in-law, Josephine, for donating her kidney to him in a successful kidney transplant operation. He particularly enjoyed and looked forward to his Sunday phone conversations with his sister, Sister Sharon, who was always there for him.

On February 2, 2009, while Brother John Mc Andrews and I from the St. Peter’s, Staten Island Community, were attending our monthly prayer group meeting at De La Salle Hall with Brother James Perry and Brother Joe, Brother Joe presented me with a personal copy of his book, “Ticket to Heaven.” On the first page of the inside cover, he wrote: “To Dom, a Good Friend! What a journey! Joe.”

Yes, what a journey indeed! Joe, you have touched many lives. Your life was full and well-lived. Your goodness, gentleness, wit and humor have touched us. I’m certain that all of you gathered today at the Cullen Center of the Arts have your own stories about Brother Joe and your special remembrances of him.

Brother Joe has completed his earthly journey. He has pierced the veil of unknowing and has entered into the new dimension of eternal life with the Father. Joe, you have punched your ticket to heaven. May the Lord bless you, keep you, look kindly upon you and give you eternal peace. May the angels welcome you into paradise and may the martyrs lead you into the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. “Come, good and faithful servant…now enter into the joy of my Father.” Joe, you are remembered in our hearts. And may Jesus, our brother, live in our hearts! FOREVER!

Brother Dominic Gisondo, FSC

Please pray for the happy repose of the soul of Brother Joseph Radice, FSC

Born Joseph William Radice in Buffalo, NY, on December 2, 1942

Entered the Barrytown, NY, Novitiate on June 30, 1961

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Joseph Pius, on September 1, 1961

Pronounced Perpetual Vows at Manhattan College, NY, in 1967

Br. Joseph died at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, NJ, on January 21, 2016


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Viewing from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Viewing from 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm (School Chapel)

St. Joseph Collegiate Institute
845 Kenmore Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14223-3195

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mass of Christian Burial at 9:00 am
(Cullen Center for the Arts)

St. Joseph Collegiate Institute
845 Kenmore Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14223-3195

Burial at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Kenmore, NY


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

Brother Joseph died suddenly and peacefully in his room at De La Salle Hall. May he rest in peace.


Bronx, NY
St. Augustine School

Albany, NY
La Salle School

Special Apostolate; radio
Albany, NY
(Residence: Western Avenue)

Special Apostolate: public relations
Albany, NY
(Residence: Gladwish)

Special Apostolate: p. r./recruitment
Albany, NY
(Residence: Lancaster)

Buffalo, NY
(Residence: St. Joseph Collegiate Institute)

teacher (Director: 1980-1985)
Buffalo, NY
St. Joseph Collegiate Institute

sub-director of novices
Skaneateles, NY

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall

Lincroft, NJ
Christian Brothers Academy

Buffalo, NY
St. Joseph Collegiate Institute

Lincroft, NJ
De La Salle Hall