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Religious brother jubilarians


Religious brothers celebrate jubilees: (top row) Brother Paul Bourque, OFM -- 50 years; Brother David Coakley, OSB -- 50 years; Brother Kevin Courtney, FMSI -- 50 years; Brother Daniel Cremin, CFX -- 50 years; Brother James Halliday, FMS -- 50 years; and Brother Kirk Phelps, CFC -- 50 years. (Middle row) Brother Thomas Puccio, CFX -- 50 years; Brother Daniel Skala, CFX -- 50 years; Brother Ernest Beland, FMS -- 60 years; Brother Donald Champagne, SVD -- 60 years; Brother Joseph Comber, CFX -- 60 years; and Brother Louis Marek, SA -- 60 years. (Bottom row) Brother Savio McNeice, SA -- 60 years; Brother Richard Hastings, CFX -- 70 years; Brother Arcadius Alkonis, CFX -- 70 years; Brother John J. Mahoney, CFX -- 70 years; and Brother Philip White, CFX -- 75 years. Courtesy photos

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Brother Paul Bourque, OFM -- 50 years

Brother Paul serves at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston after 33 years as a high school teacher. Brother Paul began his teaching career at Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y. After four years of teaching religion at Timon, he was assigned in 1978 to Queen of Peace, a co-educational high school in North Arlington, N.J. From there, Brother Paul went to Catholic Regional High School in Paterson, N.J., where he taught religion and French. After 14 years in Paterson, in 1994 he began teaching at the all-girls Academy of Holy Angels in Demarest, N.J. and taught English for a year at the Hispanic Institute in Hackensack, N.J. He also spent nine summers taking American students to France to study French at the University of Caen and the University of Paris.

Since arriving at the Shrine in the fall of 2017, Brother Paul is sharing his talent for knitting. He sells his hand-woven creations -- around three dozen wool hats and scarves a month -- from a table that's set up in the Shrine's lobby. He is also an expert in cake decorating -- a self-taught talent that he learned from how-to videos and a few amateur dessert-making classes at a local craft chain.

Brother David Coakley, OSB -- 50 years

Brother David is from New York City, where he studied voice and church music under C.R. Harmon, a student of Dr. Clarence Dickinson. Entering Glastonbury Abbey in 1967, he has been abbey organist since that year. (Brother David holds the record for the longest time in the same job in the abbey's history.) After profession in 1968, he studied at Massasoit Community College, Boston College, Northeastern University and voice at the South Shore Conservatory. He has worked in the abbey's business office for many years. From 1969 to 1982, he was also organist at St. Paul Church in Hingham. He received the Cheverus Award for service to the Church from Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley in 2016.

Brother Kevin Courtney, FMSI -- 50 years

Brother Kevin has served in the Sons of Mary, Health of the Sick at their missions in Peru, Venezuela, the Philippines and Boston and has held positions of leadership as councilor, financial coordinator and major coordinator for the congregation. He has served on the West Region Bishop Advisory Board for Religious since its inception in 1996 and was a recipient of the Cheverus Award for service to the Church in 2010.

Brother Daniel Cremin, CFX -- 50 years

Brother Dan entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1968. He taught at St. John Preparatory School for over 20 years. He then went on to Malden Catholic High School where he is now a counselor for the freshmen class.

Brother James Halliday, FMS -- 50 years

Brother James entered the Marist Brothers Novitiate in 1968 and professed his first vows in 1969. After completing a BA in History at Wheeling Jesuit University in 1972, he began his teaching career at Marist High School in Eugene, Ore. He professed his final vows in 1974 and earned an MS in Guidance from Fordham University in 1976. He went on to serve as a teacher and counselor at St. Elizabeth High School in Oakland, Calif. from 1987-1990 and has served at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence since 1990. He has also served for many summers as a staff member of Camp Marist in New Hampshire.

Brother Kirk Phelps, CFC -- 50 years

Brother Kirk was born and raised in Rochester, N.Y. He attended Bishop Kearney High School graduating in 1968. In September 1968, Brother Kirk entered the Edmund Rice Christian Brother's Postulancy on the campus of Iona College. Brother Phelps began his teaching career at Rice High School in central Harlem (New York City). In 46 years of teaching, he has been assigned to schools in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and now in Boston at Catholic Memorial High School. In 1994, Brother Kirk had the opportunity to teach at St. Anselm College, Birkenhead, England for a semester. His main areas of teaching have been Physics, Math and computer programming. He has been a local community leader twice and a vice principal for four years. Currently, Brother Kirk teaches Physics to juniors and seniors at Catholic Memorial and also runs the stage crew for the fall and spring shows.

Brother Thomas Puccio, CFX -- 50 years

Brother Tom entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1968. He began his work in education at St. John Preparatory School. In 1986 he began working at Malden Catholic in administration, and he now serves as principal of the school.

Brother Daniel Skala, CFX -- 50 years

Brother Dan entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1968. In 1973, he began teaching at Malden Catholic High School. Brother Dan went on to work at Boston College and Merrimack College before becoming an administrator at Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood in 1990, where he is presently the headmaster.

Brother Ernest Beland, FMS -- 60 years

Brother Ernest Beland entered the Marist postulancy in 1957 and the novitiate in 1958. He professed his first vows on July 26, 1959. After completing a bachelor's degree in English Literature at Marist College, he began his teaching career at St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Conn. He professed his Final Vows on July 26, 1964, before earning a master's degree in English Literature from New York University in 1968.

Brother Ernest served as a teacher at Marist High School in Chicago from 1964-1967; St. Joseph High School in Lowell from 1967-1968; Marist High School in Eugene, Ore. from 1968-1969; and Central Catholic High School in Lawrence from 1969-2012. Since 2012 he has continued to serve at Central Catholic High School as a substitute teacher.

Brother Donald Champagne, SVD -- 60 years

Born in 1937 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Brother Don first encountered men called brothers upon an invitation to visit Techny (Chicago), Illinois, the headquarters of the Divine Word Missionaries. Brother Don entered the seminary high school at Techny in 1951.

Since professing his first vows in 1958, Brother Don has served as a business office manager, music educator and formation director at the society's high school and college. Brother Don professed his final vows in 1964. He was appointed music minister of the Miramar Retreat Center in Duxbury in 1991 and director/rector from 2005-2011 and re-elected as rector in 2017. While stationed at Miramar, Brother Don has ministered to those living with HIV/AIDS and the elderly in nursing homes. He was also a board member of the Religious Brothers Conference from 2000-2006 and received the archdiocese's Cheverus Award for service to the Church in 2015.

Brother Joseph Comber, CFX -- 60 years

Brother Joe entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1958. He spent the majority of his teaching career at St. John Preparatory School in Danvers. He later became a Certified Nursing Assistant at Mary Immaculate Nursing and Restorative Center in Lawrence. He now resides in Chelsea.

Brother Louis Marek, SA -- 60 years

Brother Louis has been in ministry at the Chapel of Our Savior in Brockton since 1993, where he is chapel administrator. He was born in Rhode Island, and he received his habit in 1959 and took his final vows in 1966. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Providence College in Rhode Island.

Brother Savio McNeice, SA -- 60 years

Brother Savio died June 10, in the midst of his 60th jubilee year. A native of Pittsfield, he entered Graymoor in 1958. He made his first vows as a Friar of the Atonement on July 26, 1961. During the two years he trained as a religious at the novitiate in Cumberland, R.I., he also trained as a chef and most of the first part of his ministry as a Friar of the Atonement was spent preparing meals for friars and guests, as well as teaching other friars how to cook. During this part of his ministerial life, Brother Savio spent 10 years at Graymoor, N.Y.; five years at St. Joseph Novitiate in Saranac Lake, N.Y.; and finally seven years at the seminary in Washington, D.C.

A significant change in ministry came when Brother Savio was assigned to help the Sisters of the Atonement in downtown Vancouver, Canada in their ministry with the poor and homeless. He spent 18 years in this ministry and all during that time was able to show his great love for the poor.

In recent years, Brother Savio was known for welcoming all those who came to the Chapel of Our Savior at the Westgate Mall in Brockton, where he touched the lives of many.

Brother Richard Hastings, CFX -- 70 years

Brother Richard entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1948. Brother Richard spent many years in education, teaching at Cardinal Hayes High School in New York, St. John Preparatory School in Danvers, Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Maryland, St. Xavier High School and The David School in Kentucky, and Sacred Heart School in Mississippi. Brother Richard is now retired and resides at Xaverian House in Danvers.

Brother Arcadius Alkonis, CFX -- 70 years

Brother Arcadius entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1948. He taught in several schools in New York and at St. Joseph Preparatory School in Kentucky in his early years. He then spent 15 years in Kenya teaching in various schools. He returned to the U.S. in the late 1970s to teach for a brief period at St. John Preparatory School before going back to Kenya for another few years. In 1985, Brother Arcadius returned to St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers where he still works today, now as a volunteer in the Library.

Brother John J. Mahoney, CFX -- 70 years

Brother John entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1948. He began his teaching career at Mount St. Joseph High School, Baltimore, Maryland. He also taught at Cardinal Hayes in New York; Xaverian College in Maryland (Dean); St. John High School in Washington, D.C., and Our Lady of Good Counsel in Maryland. He also worked in Migrant Ministry in the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina, and spent several years in Haiti. Brother John retired in 2001, but continued his ministry to the poor and marginalized through his volunteer work. Brother John now resides at Xaverian House in Danvers.

Brother Philip White, CFX -- 75 years

Brother Philip entered the Congregation of the Xaverian Brothers in 1943. He started out at St. Mary Industrial School in Baltimore, Maryland. He spent his teaching career at various high schools including Flaget in Louisville, KY.; St. Francis de Sales in Utica, N.Y.; St. John Preparatory School in Danvers; Cardinal Hayes in the Bronx, N.Y.; and Malden Catholic. He is now retired in Danvers.

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