I recently celebrated my 60th Diamond Jubilee as a Marist Brother and right around the corner is another celebration – my 78th birthday. Two milestones, but my greatest joy comes from the fact that I remain healthy and strong enough to continue my ministry of caring for the elderly and disabled Marist Brothers. This privilege fills me with gratitude.
As I look forward to many more years ministering to my Brothers’ needs and health, this is also a time for reflection. One blessing that stands apart is meeting you—along with our entire extended Marist Family.
We’ve stood together through prosperity and recessions, continuously raising funds to care for our elderly and
disabled Marist Brothers—those who gave the gift of their lives, the best of their years, and the length of their days to the youth of America through education.
This may be my Diamond Jubilee, but YOU are a brilliant jewel in my life’s work. With your help and support, we’ve turned budgetary crises into triumphs.
However, soaring costs to care for my Brothers cast a dark shadow on my Diamond Jubilee. I grow more worried with each passing month that there will not be enough money to cover rising utility costs, urgent medical needs, and even the most frugal maintenance for our Marist Brothers’ retirement facilities. Our budget is already sliced so thin.
Today I ask you to strengthen your support and help me raise $30,000 so I can meet this fall’s upcoming expenses.
You have my word that every nickel will be judiciously budgeted to create the best possible life for each elderly and disabled Brother. Although I must admit, when I was first asked to take on the care of these wonderful Brothers — 25 years ago — my budgeting abilities were a little wobbly. After all, my background was in teaching science and religion at the secondary and collegiate levels.
I grew up in Brooklyn, New York, with my parents, four sisters, and one brother. Every evening, at some point after supper, my parents would kneel on the floor and pray the Rosary. With varying degrees of willingness, we six children followed suit. For me it was an evening ritual, and I’d not yet discovered the beauty within each prayer.
In high school, though, I discovered the Marist Brothers. I was overwhelmed by how authentic and jovial the Brothers were. That image, coupled with their devotion to educating young people, especially those most neglected, made a lasting impression that framed the rest of my life, for on July 26, 1954, at the age of 18, I joined the Marist Brothers.
My journey began as a teacher in Manhattan and later the Bronx. Next it was off to Washington DC, where I earned my Ph.D. Then it was on to teaching at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Oglala Sioux Community College in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and finally at Catholic Charities in Jackson, Mississippi. At that point I was assigned to the Development Office in Chicago.
Ever since, I have thanked God for allowing me to serve those who once taught me, mentored me, and counseled me. Today I ask you to share my joy and help me raise $30,000 to care for my elderly and disabled Brothers.
No matter what you can afford, every contribution helps. It’s like the nickel tucked in with my letter. Alone, the coin is only 5¢, but nickels add up — just as donations add up. Before long, we’ll have the $30,000 so urgently needed to strengthen our budget. And to show my gratitude for your continued support, I’m sending you a special prayer card.
In fact, every Marist Brother will want to express his gratitude by thanking God for your support and including your intentions in their daily prayers. So please…write your prayer intentions on the enclosed donation response slip and send it back to me along with your gift.
In closing, know that the greatest gift to celebrate my 60th Diamond Jubilee is your continued support. It is a blessing to call you a member of our Marist Family—and a loyal champion for our elderly and disabled Brothers.
God bless you for caring so deeply,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of DevelopmentQA01