Br. Pat has been a teacher, coach, and counselor at Molloy for over 50 years. A champion of service, volunteerism and the disadvantaged, Br. Pat has inspired generations of students, athletes and families, often forming lifelong bonds.
“Being a Marist Brother gives me the opportunity to interact with young people, to motivate them to do extraordinary things in their lives,” said Br. Pat. “It’s a life that I chose and have never regretted. The influence I may have on kids is often returned as they have a profound influence on me too. It’s very rewarding.”
Br. Pat started his career at Molloy by teaching Freshman biology. In the classroom, he is most inspired by students who have academic difficulties. “I have always enjoyed working with the students who have a little tougher time than others. I want them to get a sense that they can succeed. Having been a student like that myself, I understand where they are coming from, so in that sense that’s my advantage as a teacher,” explained Br. Pat. Later in his career, he helped bring Christian Marriage to the senior curriculum as an elective. “The course grew out of my work in guidance. I have worked with kids who come from tough family situations and I saw them as victims. I recognized that I could not change the situations they were in, but I became motivated to write a course that would teach teenagers about marriage and give them a better understanding of it before they reach that point in their lives.”
Br. Pat the Guidance Counselor has been an extremely popular figure among students. “I always want to be approachable and definitely not judgmental. I tell the truth. If I don’t like what a student is doing, I will let them know. At the same time, I want someone who is getting into trouble to feel that they can speak with me without being judged. I am always open-minded, and as a guidance counselor that is key. You have to understand that everyone has problems and offer as much care as you can.”
Br. Pat’s wisdom has also often been sought out on the track, as he is just as approachable in his coaching role after school. He has coached field events and hurdles since 1962, but beyond that he has taught how to be a true competitor. “Winning has never been an issue for me. The issue is teaching kids individually that they can succeed as best they can with the talents God gave them. Whether an athlete has talent or is struggling, kids are kids and they all need to be recognized. I never want them to forget that it’s just a sport – not life and death. If an athlete struggles all I expect is for him or her to do their very best.”
As you can tell, Br. Pat has many passions. Perhaps none are more important than service. As a Marist Brother, Br. Pat has committed his life to serving others and putting the needs of the disadvantaged and marginalized before his own. These are lessons he shares with all of his students. “I’ve been working at camps for needy children and young adults at Esopus since 1973. I get more satisfaction out of these experiences than I give, to be honest. Every time I work with the campers, I realize how lucky I am as an individual to be able to go to the camp. I also realize it is an important part of my ministry, but I am personally driven to bring young people to the camps and give them this great experience of service. They might be unsure at first, but after working with the campers they gain great perspective and learn how fortunate they are in their lives. They are learning something about themselves they never knew or knew they could do.” Service abroad through the St. Marcellin Champagnat Society brings students even closer to the reality that there is more to the world than what they are used to. “International service broadens the world of our volunteers. A lot of people have needs out there, and there’s always an opportunity to fulfill them.”
Br. Pat has played a significant role in the lives of many, let us keep him and his work in our hearts and prayers.