I was born in Queens, NY in 1932. My parents immigrated to the USA from Italy a few years before I was born. My father had family who also came over, but my mother’s family remained.
As I completed my high school years at Bishop Loughlin in Brooklyn, I felt called to the life of helping students to learn as a Christian Brother. I was ready to join. However, my father told me that the family was taking an extended trip back to Italy (the first since they moved here). In his broken English, he told me, “If you don’t go, none of us will go.” Of course, I went.
Those were wonderful months, but when I returned, the calling was still just as strong. My parents were not in favor of this, but as my brother had just been drafted, my mother decided this might be safer. I am happy to say that they eventually warmed up and in fact became quite proud of my life and my being a part of God’s work.
I am so blessed to have been able to play a small part in shaping the lives of so many students in such a variety of ministries through the years: teaching grade schoolers, high school students, and boys in the Juniorate who were considering becoming a Brother. Even in my retirement, I am enjoying the opportunity to help students one-on-one as I tutor Spanish at Saint Peter’s Boys High School in Staten Island.
Life in Community with my fellow Brothers, and the daily prayer we share, have also helped me over the years to more clearly understand God’s will for my life.
I am grateful to God for my seventy-year journey as a Brother of the Christian Schools.