Brother Lawrence E. Oelschlegel, FSC

Born Lawrence Edward Oelschlegel in Philadelphia PA on 24 November 1944
Entered the Ammendale MD Novitiate in 15 June 1964
Received the Religious Habit and Name Geffrey Benet on 1 September 1964
Pronounced Perpetual Vows in Adamstown MD on 10 August 1972
Died at Franciscan Village in Lemont IL on 1 August 2022


Given by Brother Richard Kestler, FSC

Mass of Christian Burial

Marian Chapel
La Salle College High School
Wyndmoor, PA

August 8, 2022

Good morning and welcome to all! A special welcome to all members of Brother Lawrence’s family and his neighbors from his old neighborhood.

Today, we have gathered to celebrate the fifty-eight years of Christian Brother Ministry of Brother Larry Oelschlegel, and to thank God for the gift of Brother Larry’s presence and talent among us.

It is true that most of his years were spent in University ministry as English/Writing professor as well as in various other administrative responsibilities. Forty-one years at three universities is some record by any measure!

Larry was a product of the Tacony/Frankford section of the city of Philadelphia and a parishioner of Saint Bartholomew parish. Eventually as an undergrad at LSU, he discovered his vocation as a Christian Brother and teacher.

Larry blended the best of his Oblate education at Father Judge High School with our Lasallian traditions and values.

He was not without as successful a career on the high school level as well with service at West Catholic Boys, Saint John’s College High School, Washington, and briefly at Seton-La Salle High School, Pittsburgh.

With the opening of Anselm Hall, we became Larry’s “Home Community” whenever he was in the Philadelphia area. Just a year ago Larry visited for two weeks and enlivened the community with his stories and presence. This year, he was again planning a visit around the time of the District Assembly, but God had other plans. We and Larry were looking forward to his retiring among us. (We were also looking for his treat of Trappist jellies as he had provided in the past!)

We want to thank the La Salle College High School community and school for their gracious welcome and hospitality this morning.

Thank you also to our celebrant, Father/Brother Anthony Janton and Mr. Mark Norman, today’s pianist, who took some time away from his vacation to be with us.

In a special way, we thank the Brothers of the Mid-West District for their care and love of our Brother Larry. May Larry continue to watch over his beloved Lewis University and the Brother’s community there.

Please join now in celebrating Larry’s extraordinary life and his service to the young.


Given by Brother Phillip Johnson, FSC
Midwest District

Mass of Christian Burial
Sancta Alberta Chapel
Lewis University
Romeoville, Illinois

August 4, 2022

Brother Larry was a good man, a good brother, a good Christian Brother, a good community man, a good friend, a good teacher, and a good colleague who always tried to be his best.

Larry loved his family, and in the last few years looked forward to his planned summer trips with his sister and brother. After his sister died, it was even more important for him to get together with his brother, Norm. So, it was especially hurtful when he had to cancel his visit with his brother in July.

Brother Larry, once known as Brother Geffrey Benet, was a Brother of the Christian Schools for fifty-eight years. He earned the reputation among the Brothers as a “good community man” which is a High Honor and meant he contributed generously to the community’s well-being and was easy to be around.

Larry often did things behind the scenes to make community life pleasant for the Brothers. He made sure we had laundry detergent, softeners, hand soap, cleaning supplies, and yes, even toilet paper. He would often decorate the dining room tables for special meals and occasions and see to the cleaning and folding of table cloths and napkins afterwards—all without any fuss or desire for acknowledgement.

One of his great gifts to us was making our Christmas celebration surprising and special. Each year he would scour Dollar General stores and other specialty stores on Black Friday, fighting the crowds, looking for cheap things we did not need or necessarily want but were always surprising and wrapped in very peculiar ways. The opening of such gifts was much anticipated and provoked much laughter and a number of groans—odd smelling lotions, off brand toothpaste, toilet bowl cleaners, #2 pencils, and shoe laces along with colorful socks, handkerchiefs, gloves, and a variety of snacks were par for the course.

He was also a spiritual man and very faithful to community prayer life. Although in many ways a private man, his commitment to his vocation was evident. He took his prayer life seriously. He was a faithful member of AA for forty years and lived each day deliberately and with resolute serenity.

Larry was also a good friend to many. He was welcoming and always willing to lend a hand or an ear as the situation would warrant. He was thoughtful and always careful when he spoke. He was indeed respectful You sensed that his words were very deliberate and therefore genuine. He was truly an engaged conversationalist.

Larry taught in a number of high schools in the Baltimore District, now known as DENA, and at St. Mary’s College in Winona, MN, Lasalle University, Philadelphia, and, of course, here at Lewis for thirty years.

He was a very conscientious and creative teacher who prepared twenty-five page syllabi , even before Covid hit, and then prepared each lesson fastidiously. His life was centered around his students. He spent hours giving feedback to them in all his classes but particularly in his composition classes.

He never stopped being a student himself. One was amazed at his breadth of knowledge in so many areas of literature. We relished the times when he would share valuable insights from his reading or recall all kinds of wonderfully interesting tidbits from the great writers he had studied.

He was a good colleague and a loyal member of the English Studies department. As a member, he took his many and varied responsibilities seriously. He was always an advocate for students and their learning. When he served as Assistant Dean, he sometimes had to sort out student-teacher relationships that did not go well. Although he never betrayed confidences, he often wished that teachers would have handled things differently.

As Assistant Dean, one of his main responsibilities was revising the Course Catalog—a tedious job, but because of his amazing attention to detail, he completed it successfully.

Larry was a ONE on the Enneagram. That meant that he was a perfectionist which helps explain his attention to details because things had to be done perfectly. It also explains why he was so often hard on himself and why he had such high standards for his teaching and his students.

The Book of Daniel reminds us that: Those who instruct many unto justice shall shine as stars for all eternity. So now, when we look up at the sky at night, let’s see if we can spot Larry’s star in our ever unfolding Cosmos.


Thursday, 4 August 2022

Visitation – 10.00am
Funeral Mass – 11.00am

Lewis University
Sancta Alberta Chapel
One University Parkway
Romeoville IL 60446

Reception following

UPDATED 8/4/22

Monday, 8 August 2022

Visitation – 9.30am
Funeral Mass – 11.00am

La Salle College High School
Marian Chapel
8605 Cheltenham Avenue
Wyndmoor PA 19038

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Prayer Service – 11.30am

La Salle Hall
Brothers’ Chapel
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville MD 20705

Luncheon reception following

Private Interment

De La Salle Cemetery
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville MD 20705

Brother Lawrence died unexpectedly of a heart attack early Monday morning.

The District of Eastern North America remembers Brother Lawrence with memorial liturgies according to the tradition of the Institute. Through their prayers, communities and individuals entrust Brother Lawrence to God’s loving care.

May he rest in peace.


Elkins Park PA
La Salle College (scholasticate)

Beltsville MD
Novitiate (staff) & University of Maryland (graduate study)

Philadelphia PA
West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys

Philadelphia PA
Villanova University (graduate study)

Beltsville MD
University of Maryland (postgraduate study)

Washington DC
University of Maryland (postgraduate study)

Romeoville IL
Lewis University

Winona MN
Saint Mary’s College

Philadelphia PA
La Salle University

Santa Fe NM
Sangre de Cristo (renewal – 2nd semester)

Pittsburgh PA
Seton-La Salle High School

Romeoville IL
Lewis University