1927 – 2017

Words of Remembrance for Brother Charles Scanlon, FSC

Mass of Christian Burial
La Salle University Chapel
Philadelphia, PA
July 27, 2017
Given by Brother Luke Maher, FSC

“The greatest love a person can have for others is to give his life for them.”

We offer our condolences to Charles’s sister Anne and her family, his brothers, Jim and Jake, and their families, his fifteen nephews and his niece Collen, and their families, the Christian Brothers, especially his home community, Anselm Hall, and his network of friends throughout the country.

We gather today in sadness because we lost a brother, an uncle, a Christian Brother, a friend. But, in order to be true to Charles’s spirit, we must overcome our grief and join in the celebration of his life.

Charles followed the example of the “Lord of the Dance.”

Dance, then, wherever you may be:
I am the Lord of the dance, said he,
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
And I will lead you all in the dance, said he.
I dance in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon, and the stars, and the sun
And I came down from heaven and I danced in the earth.”

Charles did not fear death and saw it as simply the next step on the journey. If he had a concern about death, it would be when it arrived, he would end up with some unspent monies.

Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonalds Restaurants, when asked by a reporter why he gave away millions of dollars to charity, responded, “Did you ever see a Brinks truck in a funeral procession?” Charles knew that there would not be a Brinks truck in his procession to Ammendale.

In one week, on August 5, the Community had prepared to celebrate our jubilarians, one of whom was Charles. Seventy years as a Christian Brother, Charles shared a lifetime of service, family, friendship, and celebration itself.

He graduated from high school in three and one-half years in order to join the military during the Second World War. He opted for the US Navy—no doubt influenced by Navy humor: Join the Navy and see the world! And see a good bit of the world he did after being assigned to the Pacific Fleet, the Fleet responsible for the defeat of Japan. After the war, Charles returned home with the rest of the “Greatest Generation” to get on with his life.

Following the example of his high school teachers, Charles joined the Christian Brothers with the adapted Navy humor, “Join the Brothers and see the rest of the world.” And, pretty much he did!

Charles was a person of many talents and gifts as reflected in his apostolates: Child Care worker, Saint La Salle Auxiliary staff member, high school teacher, high school principal, Activity Director for high schools in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Retreat House staff, Development Director, Purchasing Agent for St. Gabriel’s Hall, and Director of Senior Brothers for the Baltimore Province.

Charles also served for nearly one half of his seventy years in the Brothers as a beloved Director of two communities in Pittsburgh and for over twenty years at St. Gabriel’s Hall. He always treated the Brothers with respect and care. He was most generous to all.

Traits that Charles consistently displayed over the years were love of family, developing of friendships, and a joyful celebration of life. He loved his parents, sisters, brothers, nephews, and niece. He kept in touch over the years, and was always supportive and encouraging.

Charles established a network of friends that dated back to high school, the navy, college, his first assignment to St. Francis in Eddington, and to all of his placements over the years. His network extended from the east coast to California and from New England to Florida. He worked to maintain his many friendships and would not let anything disrupt them. Once you became his friend, he made it a lifetime commitment.

A loyal friend is like a safe shelter;
Find one, and you have found a treasure.

Charles always joyfully celebrated the gift of life. He viewed life as a gift that should be enjoyed as well as celebrated. He lived ninety years. I believe it is safe to say he enjoyed them all.

Henri Nouwen writes, The Beauty of Autumn

The autumn leaves can dazzles us with their magnificent colors, deep red, purple yellow, gold, bronze in countless variations and combinations. The autumn of life has the potential to be very colorful: wisdom, humor, care, patience, and joy may bloom splendidly just before we die.

As we remember Charles, let us be grateful for the beauty we saw in him and wait hopefully for a new spring.

Farewell, Charles.

Please pray for the repose of the the soul of Brother Charles Scanlon, FSC

Born Charles Boromeo Scanlon, Jr., in Philadelphia, PA, on January 20, 1927

Died at the Anselm Hall Community, La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA, on July 21, 2017

Entered the Ammendale, MD, Novitiate on October 12, 1946

Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Emmanuel John, on February 1, 1947

Pronounced Perpetual Vows at Ocean Rest, NJ, on August 28, 1953


Washington, D.C.
De La Salle College: scholasticate

Eddington, PA
St. Francis Vocational School: teacher

Ammendale, MD
St. La Salle Auxiliary: staff

Cumberland, MD
La Salle High School: teacher

Pittsburgh, PA
South Hills Catholic High School: teacher

Pittsburgh, PA
Central Catholic High School: teacher

Pittsburgh, PA
Diocese of Pittsburgh: Moderator of Diocesan Student Councils

Parkersburg, WV
Parkersburg Catholic High School: principal

Wyndmoor, PA
La Salle College High School: teacher

Radnor, PA
Archbishop Carroll High School for Boys: teacher

Washington, D.C.
St. John’s College High School: teacher

Adamstown, MD
Christian Brothers Spiritual Center: development director

Audubon, PA
St. Gabriel’s Hall: community director

Audubon, PA
St. Gabriel’s Hall: community sub-director

Audubon, PA
St. Gabriel’s Hall: community director

Philadelphia, PA
Anselm Hall, La Salle University: residence


Thursday, July 27, 2017

La Salle University, De La Salle Chapel
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141-1199

Brother Charles chose cremation

Guests will be received from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Mass of Christian Burial at 7:00 pm

Friday, July 28, 2017

La Salle Hall
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville, MD 20705-1202

11:00 am Burial in the Brothers’ cemetery

Luncheon to follow


District: 50 masses
Anselm Hall community: 30 masses
Each community in the District: 1 mass

Brother Charles passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep. May he rest in peace.