By Kaiyun Chen, Staff Writer
For Brother Raymond Meagher, F.S.C., building communities was one of his greatest accomplishments. On the evening of Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, a community of Jaspers came together to celebrate this guiding star.
Over the summer, the woeful news was announced for Brother Raymond’s passing away on Tuesday, July 18. The Quadrangle reported this news that morning, along with the information for the services being held in the Christian Brothers Residence and in the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers back during the weekend of July 21 and 22.
Unfortunately, many of his students, who consider him a mentor and a friend, were unable to attend the services held due to the summer break schedule.
Senior Brett Ilie recognized such regrets, saying, “I miss Br. Ray tremendously and I felt like he really needed something from the students to say their goodbyes.”
Hoping to plan a remembrance event in honor of Brother Raymond, Ilie gathered a few friends. Working together, Ilie, Erin Keating (junior), Chloe Ludlow (junior), Crista Peyko (junior), and myself organized the details for that night. After Ilie created the memo for the event, the news spread through social media and conversations.
That night, more than thirty Jaspers and Christian Brothers (Brother Jack Curran and Brother Charles Barbush) gathered at 8:00 p.m. on the quad. The “Beauty Prayer,” a prayer taught by Brother Raymond in his classes, was chanted by students holding flashlights on their hands. After spreading love through the prayer, the community of Jaspers relocated themselves in Cornerstone. A conversation was then raised with reflections of Brother Raymond.
It was a heartfelt experience, students shared memories of Brother Raymond and moments spent in his classes.
“Participating in the event brought me back to the unforgettable moments and experiences shared in Brother Ray’s class,” said junior Katherine Prevo. In this Jasper community, a safe space was provided with love and support for students to talk, to share, and to cry.
“I feel like that was exactly what we all needed after this loss,” said sophomore Shannon Monahan. The event ended with hugs and goodbyes.
Many students shared their last thoughts on Brother Ray.
“Thank you, Brother Ray. We will keep you in our teacher hearts, forever and always,” said Prevo.
“I was so lucky to have the opportunity to be in his class and I know his teachings will live on with me when I become a teacher,” said sophomore Taylor Aloisio.
“[It was important we came together] to celebrate his life the way he taught us to celebrate life,” said Monahan.
From this writer, I thank Brother Ray for his guidance to help us become better students, better future teachers, better individuals. This guidance is not only for one or two semesters, this guidance lasts for a lifetime.
For Brother Raymond, building close communities has always been one of his best works throughout his life. That day, a community that Brother Raymond created with passion and love united to say one more time, “Than you, love you forever and always.”