Tuesday, June 3, 2014

To Absent Friends - Brother Gregorian, FSC

Today's mail brought the quarterly newsletter of the Christian Brothers, and in it I learned of the death this past March of Brother Gregorian McLaughlin, FSC. He was 89 years old.

I realize that many of you will have no idea who this is.  Brother Gregorian was my freshman English teacher at Central Catholic, and probably no teacher had a more positive impact on my progress through life.  Unlike other English teachers at Central, Brother Gregorian did not place a lot of emphasis on the "fun" part of English class, i.e., reading stories, or literature.  Rather, he emphasized grammar, parts of speech, and the oh so tedious exercise of diagramming sentences.  It was dull, it was boring, it was awful.

But guess what?  As I went through college, and more importantly, as I entered the business world, I found that my strong suit was communications - writing proposals, business plans, and writing business letters.  Job performance reviews over thirty-five years always, always indicated high praise for my "communications skills".  And I give the lion's share of the credit for those abilities to what I learned from Brother Gregorian.

About twenty years ago, a sermon at one Sunday's Mass urged people to think about a religious person who had an impact on your life, and to perhaps reach out to him or her.  Well, I contacted Central, found out Brother Gregorian's address, and did just that.  I received a very warm response from him.  In 2006, while Bro. Gregorian was visiting Central, I went to the Brothers' House there and we had a very nice visit with him that day.  I am glad that I had the chance to tell him the value his teachings had on my life.

He was a Christian Brother for sixty-eight years.  Heaven is a bit richer now that Brother Gregorian is there, but those souls up there had better be sure speak proper English when talking to him!

And be sure that I am double-checking everything I am writing in the blog entry, because I am sure that he will somehow be checking on it.

RIP Brother Gregorian.

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