Brother Philip Robert passed away on Monday, January 17, 2022 at the Champagnat Hall Residence in the Bronx, New York. He was 91 years old and in his 74th year of Marist religious life.
Brother Philip (Guy Ouellette) was born in Fort Kent, Maine on June 9, 1930, the son of Ned and Leda Ouellette. He studied at St. Joseph’s Prep, the Marist Brothers’ Juniorate in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts and upon graduating entered the Marist Novitiate at St. Ann’s Hermitage in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1947. He received his habit in 1948 and
made first profession of vows in 1949. After first profession, he did his scholasticate at Marist College in Poughkeepsie and graduated with a BS in Spanish in 1953.
He was assigned as a teacher at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence, Massachusetts from 1953 to 1956. During this time, he made his final profession of vows in 1954 after his retreat in Esopus, New York. In 1956 he was assigned to St. Ann’s Academy in New York City and the following year he moved with the school to Archbishop Molloy High School in Jamaica, Queens, New York. During his time there, he obtained an MA in Spanish from St. John’s University in 1960. He remained at Molloy until 1966 when he went to Fribourg, Switzerland for his second novitiate. Upon his return he professed the vow of stability and joined the staff of the novitiate in Esopus, New York.
During this time, he founded the Marist Youth Encounter Program which brought alive the Marist mission of Making Jesus Known and Loved among young people and continues to do so today. In 1968 he became Director of Student Brothers at Esopus and also served on the faculty of John A. Coleman High School in Hurley, New York.
Brother became Director of Vocations in 1970 and served in that capacity for seven years. He received a second Master’s Degree from St. John’s University in Counseling in 1973. He was a member of the Eastern Region Vocation Directors Association and was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Association in 1973 and Chairman in 1975.
He was elected Vice-Provincial of the Esopus Province in 1977 and then Provincial in 1980. He served as Provincial until the General Chapter of 1985 when he was elected to the General Council of Brother Charles Howard, Superior General. He served as General Councilor in Rome until his term ended in1994 when he returned to the USA to do
formation work and was based in Newark, New Jersey. In 1996 he was named Director of International Formation and headed the program in Écully, France until it ended in 1998. Upon his second return to the USA, he worked with a team of Brothers as Parochial Coordinator of a parish in Morefield, West Virginia.
In 2006, Brother Phil participated in the 3rd Age Renewal Program in Manziana, Italy and then went to join the Brothers’ community at the House of Prayer in Esopus, New York. In 2008 he became a member of the novitiate community in Esopus and in 2015 he retired to the Brothers’ community at Champagnat Hall in the Bronx, New York. Oh, what consolation we have, when about to appear before God, to remember that we have lived in the favor