As the first Provincial of the Esopus Province, Brother Linus William turned his attention from that of dividing a province to that of consolidating a smaller one of 229 brothers, assigned to sixteen American and Philippine schools. Here he found among the more pressing problems a lack of teachers, and the necessity of opening and staffing two novitiates for the Province.
Anticipated obstacles to normal growth in the new Province were soon resolved. For within the twenty months that followed the Esopus Province added several educational centers to its list: Marist Brothers Novitiate in Esopus, New York (1959); the Immaculate Conception Novitiate in Tamontaka, Philippine Islands (1959); Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida (1959); Notre Dame of Jolo High School, Jolo, Philippine Islands (1959); Notre Dame of Dadiangas College (Department), Dadiangas, Philippine Islands (1959); Roselle Catholic High School, Roselle, New Jersey (1960); Notre Dame of Kidapawan College (Department), Kidapawan, Philippine Islands (1960),(35.) and Camp St. Joseph, Bellport, Long Island (1960). The administrative problems which accompanied these new foundations have already been solved as we shall see.
To solve the problem of personnel shortage lay teachers were employed in the new schools so that additional brothers could be assigned to St. Helena High School, New York City, St. Mary's High School, Manhasset, Long Island, Marist Brothers Novitiate, Esopus, New York and to the two Texas academies. Moreover the graduates from Marian College assigned to this Province and the very high rate of perserverance in recent, years has also helped to stabilize the Province and its personnel.
For economic reasons Brother Linus William's new council agreed to establish the novitiate at the Esopus Provincial House: in September, 1959. For the time being it was less expensive than building. The following year the "Seniorate" building at Marist Preparatory was turned over to novitiate use. When this novitiate building was opened only postulants were admitted. The novices of the Province remained in Tyngsboro, Massachusetts to complete their novitiate training under Brother David Ottmar. Brother Peter Hilary, Director of St. Agnes High School, New York City, was appointed the first master of novices in Esopus. In August 1960, at the first investiture of this Province, twenty-four postulants under his charge were clothed with the Marist cassock. To better accommodate the candidates baseball fields were developed and plans for the construction of a recreation hall-dormitory building were drawn for the year 1961-1962 .
In Bayonne, New Jersey a problem of housing Marist High School in new quarters was resolved in the purchase of the Youth House from Hudson County. For $405,100 seven and a half acres of land with seven buildings were thus acquired on December 8, 1960.(36.) From the outdated accommodations on 8th Street and the parish facilities of St. Andrews Grammar School the students will be moved into the Youth House on 54th Street following renovations in the summer of this year. In the near future a gymnasiumclassroom building will connect some of the existing buildings and make room for 1,000 students.
Among the new schools acquired during the past two years Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida is outstanding for its beauty. Moreover, it was a gift to the Marist Brothers from His Excellency Bishop Coleman F. Carroll of Miami, who wished to replace the priests who were needed for parish work. In 1959 under Brother Benedict Henry, Director, six brothers were assigned to replace those priests, who had administered the schools since its foundation in 1957. Many of the needs of this community and of the school were met by enthusiastic parents and friends. For instance, in a drive to erect a gymnasium, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Korth contributed the needed ninety thousand dollars. On February 10, 1961 the completed building was dedicated by Bishop Coleman Carroll.
A second school, Roselle Catholic High School in Roselle, New Jersey, was opened in September 1959. One Brother from nearby Marist High School in Bayonne, New Jersey, was assigned to help organize this school in St. Joseph the Carpenter Parish, for the late Monsignor James J. Carberry, Pastor. One year later a Marist community was established there under the direction of Brother Sixtus Victor. The high school was established temporarily in the former sisters' convent in the parish. In the near future the school will acquire St. Walbergar's orphanage building as a permanent school building for 1,000 boys.
Brother Linus William's administration has also added a summer camp site to the Province. This site, Washington Lodge at Bellport, Long Island, was purchased in the spring of 1960. Brother Athanasius Norberto Director of Archbishop Molloy High School, Jamaica, Long Island (65 miles away), initiated a program of alterations to prepare a day camp in the near future.
In the Philippine Island Missions Brother Linus continued former policies of expansion and modernization. His success can be evidenced by the recent indult from Rome which created this Mission Territory as an autonomous Marist District subject to the General Council of the Institute in Rome.(37.) The further development of this District will be assisted by finances and personnel from the Esopus Province until 1970.
What helped this District to prepare itself for autonomy was the progress made in its establishments. A new novitiate begun at Tamontaka in December 1959 has already served to train five native postulants who had been studying under the direction of Brother Louis Omer at Notre Dame of Lagao High School in Lagao. On May 1, 1960 these young men donned the Marist cassock at Cotabato Cathedral. At this writing there are fortytwo brothers, novices and postulants who constitute this District.(38.) Twenty-one of these are Americans. In addition a new construction at Notre Dame of Dadiangas and at Notre Dame of Kidapawan High Schools enabled these two schools to initiate college departments. These buildings along with the novitiate at Tamontaka were dedicated in 1960.
Brother Linus William's administration was also highlighted by the dedication on May 4, 1959 of St. Joseph Academy in Brownsville, Texas, by His Excellency Bishop M. S. Garriga of Corpus Christi Diocese.
A final innovation of this administration deserves mention. At the request of Monsignor Henry V. Hald, Diocesan Superintendent of Schools in Brooklyn, summer school courses were established at Archbishop Molloy High School in 1959 in New York City. The registration for these courses during the first two years has numbered 1.159 students.(39.)
The professional advancement of the brothers during this administration can be evidenced by the increasing number of brothers who have received grants from various science and mathematics foundations. In addition Brother Linus William in September 1960 sent several brothers to Canada and Mexico to learn French and Spanish respectively. As a result of recent studies on syllabi used in Marist schools, the Marist Historical Society introduced a revised syllabus on Citizenship Education in September 1960. Brothers in the field of Mathematics published a 12th year Math textbook which helped to solve many of the problems in that course in Marist as well as other schools.
The general progress made by the Esopus Province under Brother Linus William along with the Poughkeepsie Province was marked at the Golden Jubilee banquet held at Archbishop Molloy High School on February 12, 1961. Following the Marist Educational Conference held that day a special tribute to the pioneers of the original United States Province was', offered. The work they accomplished had enabled the Province to divide and prosper separately. Moreover, the two short years of autonomy evidence' an accelerated program to expand. In the Esopus Province the advancement was further noted by Reverend Brother Paul Ambrose, Assistant General, while making his canonical visitation of the New York Schools:
The expansion of the Esopus Province in the years ahead is fairly well delineated already either from the commitments which have already been made, or from the requests which are being prepared and already talked about.
QUEENS: The new Christ the King High School will require a substantial faculty judging by the projected enrollment and the plans for the building. It is a diocesan school; it will be inevitable for us to hire a good contingent of laymen to supplement the religious faculty. The recently acquired Bellport property offers a number of possibilities which will have to be exploited. Its proximity to the densely populated area make it particularly attractive.
NEW JERSEY: As our own Marist High School moves into its new quarters and new site, it will seek to double its enrollment and expand the Faculty in accordance. As it is our own school, there is every hope that it will be developed according to plan. The Roselle Catholic High School, which is part of the Newark Archdiocesan Development Plan, will provide for 1,000 students, and here also, the Marist Brothers will have to be helped by a sizeable lay Faculty to provide the education for this new undertaking.
SOUTH: The Miami area, with our new Christopher Columbus High School, seems to be a very favorable sector in which to further extend our endeavors. Attractive offers, like that of Christopher Columbus, are strong inducement to our development. In the Texas area there is already a movement under way to provide another Marist school to fill the gap between the two present Marist school sites. With time the whole South could become the nucleus for another District or Province. The present rate of growth in vocations in our training houses seems to make this not only probable but highly desireable.
If we are faithful to our dedication to Jesus through Mary, God, who is never outdone in generosity, will give us the means to provide for this increase.(40.)
In December 1960 Reverend Brother Paul Ambrose, Assistant General, began a six months canonical visitation of the Esopus Province. As a result of the many provincial council conferences he presided over the Esopus Province personnel was commited to .,; number of international projects and in long range commitments within the province.
The changes made evident by these proceedings included the appointment of Brother Stephen Urban, Master of Juniors at Marist Preparatory in Esopus, New York and provincial consultor, as Master of Novices for the proposed English-speaking Second Novitiate at Fribourg, Switzerland.(41.) In addition a school was established by this province for the National Catholic Welfare Conference in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Brother Bernard Gregory, Supervisor of Marist Schools, was appointed as the first director of what is now known as the Newman School.(42.)
It was during this while that the Castro Government in Cuba began a persecution of the Church. Within months after Brother Assistant returned to the Mother House in Rome, a great number of Cuban Marist Brothers sought refuge in the United States. The effect this situation has caused is referred to on page 82.