Whenever a grup of persons are placed into a common environment thetr is almost always a bonging experience that occurs.This was certainly true in the Seminary and my life was certainly enhanced by so many of my fellow seminarians. Name expolode in my brain and the memories of those days bring smiles and gratitude to my heart. I could go on and on but would like to mention just a few of my bthe band of Brothers who stood side by side in common cause.One was rocco Constantino a former politacl
Operative from Bellville New Jersey. Rocco had a personality that could charm th devilhimself and his outrageous behavior brough laughter and acceptance from everyone. Once while we are on vacation at the Jersey Shore we seven of us entered a Pizzeria.Without hesitatation Rocco marched into the kitchedm and aid to the chef”Hey shorty start making pizzs and don’t stop thill I tell you. The chef roared with laughter. I f I had said that I would probably bre running down the boardwalh avoiding a knife weildinf chef.
On aonother occasion early in the morning he laned out his window and shouted to the ocal bakert deilery man that e were being held hostage and would hw please call the state police.Remrakable character with a heart of gold. Learned much about life and people from him.
Joseph Michael Ryan was perhaps the brightest and mosr well read person I had met before the seminary. He was not only my friend but my mentor. He had a range of interest that went beyond what we were sopposed to be reading and had the uncanny ability to teach without ever being patronizing or pedantic. My level of topics that were outside the scope of the seminary curriculum was widwdened and developed through Joe’s loving guidance.
Jim Herbert was another luminary that opened my mind plus he was one of the funnies guys in the seminary. He once said to me that his brother had married a wealthy woman who was into thorough bread horses. He told me my brother is a great guy but out of his league with that crowd. Until he met her he thought every horse had a cop on it.I was fortunate to have my first parish assignment in my second summer with Jim.It was in a poor section of Newark and our job was basically to run a camp for ten year olds.Jim fractured me with his making shoe boxes into altars during arts and crafts. I f I make one more popsicle cross I make become a serial killer.
There were others who influenced me just by their kind and warm nature like John Iggy Ford.