Due to recent developments and in order to assure the reasonable chronological accuracy of the present history, the following information is herewith included.
Brother Leo Sylvius, 1962-
The second provincial of the Esopus Province, Brother Leo Sylvius, Alban J. Cote, was born in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1912. He was educated by the Marist Brothers at Hevey Grammar School in that city. Following his graduation in 1925, he entered St. Ann's Juniorate in Poughkeepsie, New York, to begin his training as a prospective Marist Brother. He was received into the Congregation at the Novitiate in Poughkeepsie in 1928 and was given his religious name. One year later he made profession of his first vows.1.)
Brother Leo began his college work at Marist Training School in Poughkeepsie in 1929 and completed his studies at Fordham University in 1934. Six years later he obtained a Master of Arts in the Romance Languages at the same university.
In his first years of teaching, Brother Leo was assigned to the grade school departments at St. Joseph School in Lowell, Massachusetts (1931-1932), and St. Ann's Academy in New York City (1932-1935). In 1935 Brother Leo started his high school teaching at St. Joseph Juniorate in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. In subsequent years he returned to teach similar subjects at St. Ann's Academy (1937-1941) and St. Joseph School (1941-1942).
Brother Leo's administrative abilities were recognized in 1942 when he was appointed principal of Mount St. Michael Academy in New York City. During the ten years that followed, he initiated a development program through the assistance of a parents' study group. This group later was formed into the present Mt. Men's Club and Mt. Mothers' Club. Through these organizations, socials were inaugurated to provide funds for the construction of the present million dollar gymnasium-classroom building. The time and energy he exerted in studying the construction plans and in altering these gave him the experience which helped him to do similar work in later years.
In 1952 Brother Leo was assigned to ascetical studies at St. Quentin (Second Novitiate), France. Upon his return in February 1953, he was appointed Director of St. Agnes High School in New York City. The following September he was named to the post of Dean of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. In 1954 when the provincial administration decided to open a school (Marist High School) in Bayonne, New Jersey, Brother Leo was appointed as its founding Director.
During Brother Leo's seven and a half years of tenure at Marist High School, he directed a renovation program and negotiated the purchase of a county-owned institution in that city (1961) for the school. While in Bayonne, Brother Leo was named a provincial consultor (1955). In this capacity he was delegated to investigate the staffing of the present Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida (1959); to negotiate the legal transactions relative to the purchase of a camp in Bellport, Long Island (1960); to become a member of the planning committee for the construction of Christ the King High School in the Diocese of Brooklyn (1957-1961); and to supervise the founding of Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, New Jersey (1959-1960).2.)
On February 21, 1962 the burdens of the office of Provincial were assigned to Brother Leo. His administration responsibilities include the staffing of four schools committed by the previous administration. These are: Christopher Columbus High School, Miami, Florida; Christ the King High School, New York City; Marist High School, Bayonne, New Jersey; and Roselle Catholic High School, Roselle, New Jersey. Furthermore, Brother Leo must help to staff schools in the Marist Philippine District for the next few years.
The financial problems with which this administration must deal include: providing the Novitiate with an additional building, the further development and transfer of Marist High School in Bayonne, the development of the site in Bellport, Long Island as well as the liquidation of provincial debts caused by the completion of major constructions during the past ten years.
Administrative Changes, 1962
Bro. Linus William, Director of Aquinas High School, Augusta, Georgia.
Bro. Sixtus Victor, Director of Marist High School, Bayonne, New Jersey
Bro. Claude, Director of Roselle Catholic High School, Roselle, New Jersey
Marist College, Tucson, Arizona
Marist College, a grammar and junior high school was opened in Tucson, Arizona in 1914 by four Marist Brothers from the Mexican Province. Three of these brothers, viz., Gosbertus, Gregorius, and Louis Casimir, who were fleeing from Manzanillo, Mexico, where due to violent anti-clerical persecutions, the Marist schools were forced to close, arrived in San Francisco via a Chinese boat. Bishop Henry Granjon of Tucson invited these brothers to study English and the American system of education for a few months in Tucson in order to open a school in that city. A few days later Brother Henry Fumeaux from St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, joined them.
The brothers took up residence at the cathedral parish rectory. There, Father Louis Duval, a French missionary, tendedto the needs of the little Marist community. Father T. Connolly, the Pastor, tutored the brothers in the English language. He also arranged for the brothers to teach in the basement of Holy Family Church in the suburbs of Tucson. While the brothers were learning English the bishop proceeded with the construction of a three story, five classrooms and community residence building near the cathedral.
On November 2, 1914 the brothers started classes for four groups, from the first grade to the ninth grade. For the next eight years there was little change in the faculty or the enrollment. Brother Henry Fumeaux, who became director in 1922, hoped to increase the enrollment but found that the location of the school caused many parents to send their boys to other schools. To better the brothers' proficiency in English he sent them to Public Normal School in Flagstaff, Arizona. Despite efforts to attract new students Brother Henry found the parents would not send their children to the school.
Two years later Brother Eold, Provincial, visited the school and decided that the brothers should be withdrawn from this area and returned to Texas and to Mexico where the persecutions had subsided. That year Bishop Granjon died while visiting his native France. His successor, Most Rev. D. Georke, studied the situation of the brothers. In June 1924 he gave his blessing and farewell to the Marist community.
|September 1961||The first Americans to attend the Fribourg Second Novitiate in Switzerland started courses under Brother Stephen Urban, Master.|
|October 1961||The two American Provincials and the Philippine Visitor participated in the meetings of the provincial and major superiors at the new Mother House in Rome.|
|October 1961||The construction of a gymnasium at Aquinas High School in Augusta, Georgia was begun.|
|November 1961||Fire destroyed the study hall building at St. Helena High School in New York City. This building, which was renovated in 1953, also supplied the brothers with chapel and dining room facilities.|
|February 1962||News was received from Geneva, Switzerland, of the canceling of plans for the construction of Newman School. The sponsor, the National Catholic Welfare Conference, of the United States, was unable to raise the necessary funds due to the exorbitant cost for such a project in this international city. Brother Bernard Gregory, the Esopus Province negotiator, returned to the United States for reassignment.|
|February 1962||Brother Leo Sylvius, Director of Bayonne, was appointed Provincial to succeed Brother Linus William.|
|March 1962||The brothers in Texas celebrated the silver jubilee of St. Joseph Academy in Laredo.|
|June 1962||Archbishop Thomas Boland of Newark dedicated the first wing of Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, New Jersey.|
|September 1961||Central Catholic High School of Wheeling, West Virginia was co-institutionalized this year in the newly constructed building.|
|September 1961||Sheehan Hall, named in honor of the Pastor of St. Peter's Parish in Poughkeepsie, was begun. This is the first building at Marist College financed with a government loan.|
|November 1961||The announcement was made that the facilities at Cold Spring would be used for a summer camp, (Taconic Lodge), beginning in July, 1962. Brother Timothy Joseph was named as its first director.|
|February 1962||Brother Provincial and Brother Mary Andrew at the suggestion of the American and Brazilian Assistant Generals, traveled to Brazil to study mission possibilities.|
|March 1962||Monsignor Aloysius Dineen of St. Agnes Parish in New York City announced the beginning of a $4,000,000 renovation program for the brother's High School.|
|April 1962||A second dormitory building for Marist College, a seven-story structure, reached the blueprint stage. This building will also be financed with a government loan.|
|May 1962||Francis Cardinal Spellman dedicated Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, New York.|
|June 1962||The brothers' new residence in Wheeling, West Virginia was completed.|
|June 1962||Brother Leo, the fifth United States provincial, of the United States Province died at St. Joseph Novitiate in Tyngsboro, Mass.|
|May 1962||A classroom and residence wing at Marist Brothers High School in Kobe was completed.|
|February 1962||The second phase of the building program for Marist High School in Kumamoto was begun.|
|A residence in the capital city of Manila, Philippine Islands, was purchased by the District. This building will serve as a residence for brothers studying at the University and for lay students.|
|An elementary school building was constructed and opened its doors in September 1961 at Notre Dame of Dadiangas.|
|Two additional classes were constructed for the high school-college facilities at Not re Dame of Kidapawan.|
|In June 1962 an elementary school building was begun at Notre Dame of Marbel.|
|A juniorate building was begun at Notre Dame of Lagao in June 1962.|