At age 22, I had completed three years of university studies in Engineering, and had a reasonable social life. I happened to read Thomas Merton's Seven Story Mountain. Suffice to say, this served as a significant turning point in my life, and in January, 1950 I entered the postulate at Watertown, Wisconsin.
I entered the novitiate in August, 1950, at Rolling Prairie, Indiana. It is only in retrospect I realize how austere our novitiate program was as compared to today's standards.
I studied at St. Edward's University and continued there in General Engineering studies toward that degree.
After one and a half years, with degree in hand, I was assigned to teach at Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, Indiana, in January, 1952.
Following Final Vows in August, 1954, I went to Archbishop Hoban High School in Akron, Ohio. During the next 13 years I would teach the Industrial Science classes: Woodworking and Metalworking and Mechanical Drawing, along with Math. I was also Director of Maintenance and bus driver for athletic events.
From September - December 1968 I was the Novice Master and Director of Aspirants at the Holy Cross Brothers' Center at Notre Dame. In less than three months, we had a new provincial and procedural changes. The novices were moved to the Novitiate in Valatie, New York, and I was really happy to be released from an extremely challenging role involving experimaentation and new modus operandi in the formation program.
After enrichment studies in Theology at Notre Dame, I accepted Brother Charles Krupp's request to got to Monrovia, Liberia, to teach math/science at St. Patrick's High School. For the next 42 years I would be a Holy Cross missionary. There is no way to describe the myriad of unfolding events and experiences in my 28 years of ministry in Liberia.
In April, 1996, an open conflict resulted among four different rebel factions erupted in an inner-city civil war in Monrovia, thus closing down all schools, from which the archbishop decided not to reopen St. Patrick's, deciding to opt for a new polytechnic school.
With the closing of St. Patrick's, I was assigned to live with the Holy Cross community in Ghana. There I opted to write math textbooks for the senior high school program in Catholic schools in Liberia.
I am currently editor of our District quarterly newsletter: HOLY CROSS TODAY - GHANA. I also am House Directory of our Holy Cross Community at St. Augustine's College, Cape Coast. All things considered, it has been a wonderful 66 years living out my vocation as a Brother of Holy Cross, more than half of which has been here in West Africa. (Credit: Brothers of Holy Cross)
For more information about Brother Tom, click here.