1928 – 2022

Brother John Herron, FSC

Born John Anthony Herron in Philadelphia PA on 28 March 1928
Entered the Ammendale MD Novitiate on 11 June 1946
Received the Religious Habit and Name Gratian Alician on 7 September 1946
Pronounced Perpetual Vows at Ocean Rest in Ocean City NJ on 28 August 1953
Died at De La Salle Hall in Lincroft NJ on 5 September 2022

Words of Remembrance for Brother John

Written by Brother Colman Coogan, FSC
Delivered by Brother Charles Lackes, FSC

Mass of Christian Burial
De La Salle Hall Chapel
Lincroft, New Jersey

September 8, 2022

“Blessed are the meek for they shall possess the land”
Mt. 5:5

It is a particular honor to be asked to offer these reflections on Brother John’s seventy-six years as a Brother of the Christian Schools. Although we knew each other well but lacked a personal community experience, I am indebted to several Brothers who did have that privilege and who shared their remembrances which I gladly pass on to you.

John’s Early Life

A West Philadelphian by birth, John has been predeceased by his parents and four siblings. After attendance at the Good Shepherd and St. Clement elementary schools, he moved on to West Catholic High School, then under the direction of the well-known Brother Anselm, famous for his religious “feverinos” to the assembled students.

John was so impressed with the Brothers and the atmosphere at West that, as a freshman he requested and was granted, entrance to the Ammendale Junior Novitiate where Brother Henry Laffey was Director. After three years, he moved on to the Novitiate under the leadership of Brother Erminus Joseph. Later he was greeted at De La Salle College by Brother Charles Henry. Doubtless, these powerful early experiences under extraordinarily talented formateurs served to establish a solid foundation in the religious life that would serve John well in succeeding years.

Years in the Apostolate

John began his career as a teacher of History and Religion at West Catholic, a few years at St. Francis (Eddington) then on to Calvert Hall, Baltimore, for an extended period. In 1976 he found himself at St. John, D.C. for twelve years including administration, and several years as President that were extremely challenging from an enrollment standpoint. Eventually, he returned to Calvert Hall and later to Archbishop Carroll, Radnor, Pennsylvania.

While he did admirably in all these settings, Brother Richard Kestler mentioned John’s willingness to serve in extracurriculars in many schools such as alumni moderator, for Mothers’ clubs, basketball, and even more unlikely, girls’ basketball at Carroll where he formed numerous long-lasting friendships. Always a sports enthusiast, John held a lifelong loyalty to the Philadelphia Phillies. According to Brother Charles Lackes, John exhibited boundless enthusiasm thereby earning the nickname of “Energizer Bunny”.

One Special Gift, Meekness

With all of the above said, Brother John Herron could possibly fit the mold of a very special teaching Brother. The one outstanding trait he possessed was that of meekness. Rebecca Ecklund, in her critical analysis of the Eight Beatitudes, is at pains to dismiss any thought that this quality was synonymous with weakness or shy disposition. On the contrary, she characterizes this quality as one of strength, steadfastness, and an even temper when faced with impetuosity, anger, and volatility.

For Eklund, “possession of the earth” is metaphorical for possession of the Kingdom. Supporting her claim is the person of Jesus himself, who although displaying anger when called for, his equanimity was a model in the face of confrontation, even death. The writer goes on to cite other scriptural personages noted for their meeknesses such as Moses, David, and the prophets. Even the Psalms, especially 36 and 37, speak of it.

In closing, we can sum up the life of Brother John Herron who lived the virtue of meekness to an extraordinary degree together with all of his other great qualities. Thank you, John, for being the grand person that you were. May you, too, now rest in the peace of God born of meekness, the eternal reward you so justly deserve.

May John’s soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace. Amen.

Live, Jesus, is our hearts… Forever!


Thursday, 8 September 2022

Visitation – 3.30pm
Funeral Mass – 4.30pm
De La Salle Hall
810 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft NJ 07738

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Rite of Committal & Final Commendation – 11.30am
La Salle Hall Chapel
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville MD 20705

Interment following
De La Salle Cemetery
6001 Ammendale Road
Beltsville MD 20705

Reception following

Brother John died peacefully on Monday evening after two weeks in hospice care due to respiratory issues.

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

May he rest in peace.


Washington DC
De La Salle College (scholasticate)

Philadelphia PA
West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys

Eddington PA
Saint Francis Vocational

Baltimore MD
Calvert Hall College High School

Washington DC
Saint John’s College High School

Radnor PA
Archbishop John Carroll High School

Baltimore MD
Calvert Hall College High School

Beltsville MD
La Salle Hall (resident)

Lincroft NJ
De La Salle Hall (resident)