In September of 1971, Richard began his studies at Chaminade High School in Mineola. Those first months of Marianist education influenced the rest of Richard’s life. “I first began to think of becoming part of the Society of Mary when I was a freshman,” Richard reflected many years later. “At this time, I had the opportunity of working with the Brothers on Saturdays and several free days throughout the year. I would always look forward to these Saturdays when I would be able to share in the life and work of the Brothers.”
Richard joined the Society of Mary immediately after his graduation from Chaminade in June, 1975. Bro. Richard was one of the first novices of the Meribah Province and professed his first vows on January 8, 1978. He pursued his academic and professional studies at St. John’s University (BS 1979) and Adelphi University (MS 1982).
Brother Richard began his many decades as a Marianist educator in September of 1979. Over the years, he proved his skill and versatility as a teacher of earth science, physics, mathematics and religion. He taught at Chaminade (Mineola) until 1987.
In March of 1987, Richard was chosen as one of the pioneers of a new Marianist school, Kellenberg Memorial High School, named in honor of the first bishop of Rockville Centre, Most Rev. Walter P. Kellenberg. This was to become his life’s work and his heartfelt passion. Richard immersed himself in every detail of the new school, serving as the first director of the Marianist community and the first Dean of Students of the new school. Much more of a “Martha” than a “Mary” in temperament, Richard thrived on the endless tasks and even the frequent turmoil of establishing a new school. He loved working with the young men and women of Kellenberg Memorial, particularly on service projects and retreats. Perhaps inspired by the Saturdays he remembered from his youth, Richard’s ideal weekend consisted of working with a group of students on the endless renovation of Kellenberg’s grounds and facility all morning, then marshalling the boys of his Service Club to set up and serve dinner to several hundred guests in the cafeteria in the evening. After washing all the dishes, Richard would load another group into one of the school vans and head off on the three-hour drive to Founder’s Hollow for a retreat beginning on Sunday morning.
Founder’s Hollow, the Marianist Residence and Retreat House located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, is Richard’s most enduring legacy to the Province. He investigated dozens of properties in pursuit of his dream of finding the ideal rural retreat where both the Brothers and students of the Province schools could enjoy the beauty of nature and the fellowship of community. Founder’s Hollow, established just weeks after the beatification of Fr. Chaminade in September, 2000 is a monument to Richard’s determination, devotion and dedication.