1945 – 2017
Words of Remembrance for Brother Paul Yuzuk, FSC
Written by Brother Colman Coogan, FSC
Delivered by Brother William Hudson, FSC
Mass of Christian Burial
La Salle Hall, Beltsville, MD
September 7, 2017
Brothers, today we celebrate the life of one of our own who shared our Ammendale community for several years before requiring significant care for a debilitating illness after nearly 55 years as a Christian Brother.
Paul was a unique person, one of the few you will meet in your life who never had an unkind word, to or about anyone. Gentleness was one of his outstanding characteristics.
As a history major, Paul could expound on most of the great events that shaped our world. Conversation was his forte and as a result many a dinner was extended until he came to the end of his story. He could also be seen at a table on Saturday morning with his coffee carrying on conversations over several hours as various Brothers came and went. Despite his fund of knowledge he was always baffled by the lack of interest he found in his students. Although he loved teaching, he never quite got the knack of grading papers in a timely manner, nor calculating grades at the end of a quarter – much to the consternation of administrators who were trying to get out report cards. As a result, Paul moved into the area of Guidance Counseling. In that capacity, he was always a patient listener and gave students the time and undivided attention to hear them out on the difficulties they experienced in their lives.
When there were no guidance assignments to fill, Paul turned to private employment where he was a confidant and friend to all whom he met and worked with in the course of the day. Although he was not a trained librarian, he quickly familiarized himself with the holdings of the Law Library at the University of Pennsylvania. Aside from his duties of maintaining vigilance over the holdings, many students went to him for help in finding the necessary books. But these were difficult days for Paul since, as a non-driver, he had to make his way to and from work by public transportation. However, once again, he never complained or looked for someone to drive him to and from work.
There was something loveable about Paul. He was always calm. As long as he could light up a cigarette and have a cup of coffee, he was unperturbed. I can imagine that if someone told Paul a hurricane was coming, his response would be, “Thanks for telling me. Let me know when it hits.”
Paul could not point to any great personal achievements – no Ph.D., no important administrative positions, no buildings named after him. But what was essential was to be very much who he was – just being. Paul was unique unto himself, unhurried, observing all, satisfied with who he was with his gifts and deficiencies, but comfortable in the appreciation of who he was. It would be great if more of us could find that peace in appreciating just who we are. Paul was free to express himself – dressing up for Halloween, or in the many sayings of his that will live on for years. He could say things others could not because he was expressing what he saw and believed without making judgments. This is Paul’s gift to us – to be content with who we are, undaunted by the greatness or humbleness of others. I feel confident there is no smoking rule in heaven, nor will there be coffee at the ready. But what will be there is the affirmation of the very specialness of Paul. And God will be delighted to enjoy him for the uniqueness that he was and will be for all eternity. May he rest in peace!
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Brother Paul Yuzuk, FSC
Born Paul Richard Yuzuk in Jackson Heights, NY, on January 25, 1945
Died at De La Salle Hall, Lincroft, NJ, on September 3, 2017
Entered the Ammendale, MD, Novitiate on June 15, 1962
Received the Religious Habit and Name, Brother Paul Cyprian, on September 1, 1962
Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Jersey City, NJ, on September 28, 1974
Elkins Park, PA
Trinity High School: teacher
Jersey City, NJ
Hudson Catholic High School: teacher
Central Catholic High School: teacher
Serra Catholic High School: teacher, guidance
West Catholic High School: teacher, guidance
Archbishop Carroll High School: teacher, guidance
Holy Family Community: convalescence
West Catholic High School: clerical work
Private Employment: security guard
La Salle Hall: staff
La Salle Hall: retired
De La Salle Hall: resident
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738-1608
Viewing from 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Thursday, September 7, 2017
La Salle Hall
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville, MD 20705-1202
Viewing from 9:30 am – 10:30 am
Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 am
Burial in the Brothers’ cemetery
Lunch to follow
The District of Eastern North America remembers Brother Paul with memorial liturgies according to the tradition of the Institute. Through their prayers, communities and individuals entrust Brother Paul to God’s loving care.
Brother Paul died peacefully during the early morning at De La Salle Hall after a brief time in hospice care. May he rest in peace.