I’m happy to have the opportunity to tell you a little about our care for our elderly and disabled Marist Brothers.
I don’t have to tell you that the responsibility of caring for an elderly parent or dear friend is something that often falls to us out of necessity and love, not choice. But I was given a choice.
I was asked to take on the care of our elderly and disabled Marist Brothers a few years ago and at first I hesitated. My background is in teaching and coaching at the high school level. As a graduate from a Marist Brothers High School – Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens, New York – I was excited to become a candidate with the Marist Brothers after I got my BA in Mathematics from University College in Cork, Ireland. I served as a teacher, coach, counselor, and Campus Minister at Archbishop Molloy from 1994 to 1998, at Bishop Donahue High School in McMechen, West Virginia from 1998 until 2004, and at Roselle Catholic High School from 2004 until 2011. I served as Vocation Director for the Marist Brothers USA Province from 2011 until 2015, and I am currently serving as the Director of Senior Brothers and as part of the USA Provincial Administration team. Assisting with the financing of care for our elderly Brothers is very different the positions I have held in the past, but since I have started I’ve been amazed and proud of all the support we receive for the care of our good Brothers.
There is much our elderly Brothers share with me when we talk. You’ll recognize their concerns: they worry they are being a financial burden on the younger Brothers, they are embarrassed to not be able to always reach a bathroom in time, and they are losing the strength in their hands.
Yet, in the company of their fellow Marist Brothers in our retirement communities, I see them perking up. These good men are their family. They are Brothers who they went through training with, Brothers they taught side by side with, Brothers they shared the same laughs and hours at prayer with.
Now they share their suffering together, their memories together, their losses together, their prayers together. They are blessed.
And so are we: by your compassion and your support. We have asked for your partnership in caring for our elderly and disabled Brothers and you have responded, even in these difficult financial times.
In parting, I offer you our sincere “Thanks,” and our delight over your continued friendship!
Br. Daniel O’Riordan, FMS
Director, Senior Brothers Care Program