Cardinal McKeefry - just made a cardinal

Marist Fathers’ Novitiate,
P.Bag, P.Nth.
Sat. 29th March ’69.

Dear Mum & Dad,

It seems that Peter Cardinal McKeefry is on the way up – he got us a “Deo Gratias” at breakfast this morning (when it was announced) so we could talk during the meal.

Palm Sunday tomorrow – I think the singing should be alright. It is a bit tricky because we have to process outside singing psalms & won’t have the Organ to give the notes. We have only one tuning fork (which is the wrong note) so we have to transpose. The only sure way of getting it right is by singing the first six notes of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” which we will be doing!

Fr. Bennett has just come into the study to see someone. Kerry Maher didn’t realize & said at the top of his voice – “Hey, tell your parents to bring a teapot!” He then realized that Fr. Bennett was there, & exclaimed loudly again, “Gosh! Is that BENNY?” Fr. Bennett didn’t blink an eye.

Visiting Day – there are not many places to go here to have lunch, etc. It might pay to bring those 4 picnic chairs in your Picnic Set. Also, a lot of the other Novices will be having visitors so we will probably be mixing quite a bit! It is a good chance to meet the Band. If the “Blue & white” is out could you bring it up so that I could have a look. I think usually we are sent one later.

You mentioned Mum that you might think of joining the “Legion of Mary”. Just a thought – have either of you ever thought of becoming a Marist (!) by joining the 3rd Order of Mary? It is one branch (for lay-people) of the Society of Mary – the other branches are Marist Fathers, Marist Teaching Brothers, Marist Lay Brothers, Marist Teaching Sisters, Poor Sisters of Nazareth (Nursing Sisters), Missionary Sisters of the Society of Mary (Heretaunga) & the 3rd Order. Leila is a member of the 3rd Order of Mary. Other famous ones are (!) Saint John Vianney (Cure of Ars), Saint Peter Julian eyemard, & Mother Mary Aubert (Foundress of Sisters of Compassion) – so you can see that it produces saints! All it is – you have to be enrolled, etc) – but it would mean that you would not have to go out very often (at all really) to attend meetings. They just do good works (apostolic), say 1 decade of Rosary every day or Spiritual Needs of 3rd Order, say 3 Hail Marys Morning & Night for Sinners, and do 5 minutes meditation a day. (Just like the Marist Fathers except miniature!) but they get the same graces. They also have the same “Spirit” as all the other Marist branches, and this makes them Marists. “To live hidden & unknown, as it were, in the world with Jesus, Mary & Joseph at Nazareth, in intimate union with God, for his greater glory, and in forgetfulness of self – for the honour of Mary the mother of Jesus & our Mother”. Sorry to have gone on for so long about Marists, but thought you might be interested to know why I’m becoming a Marist instead of say a Jesuit. The aim of the Jesuit is NOT to live “hidden & unknown at Nazareth” (for example) but on the contrary – to be famous – great soldiers fighting, whom everyone can see, whereas we are in the backroom making all the arrangements, & are never heard of. All this distinguishes the “spirit” of one Society from another. You probably knew all this anyway!!

Well, after rambling on for four pages you have probably guessed that there’s no news this week. Got a letter from John Kavanagh – he got his Driver’s License at last!

See you on Easter Monday at 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Love from

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