A Message from Brother Edward Driscoll, CFX, General Superior, reads below.
There is no doubt that Bonaventure possessed a restless heart. There is, however, abundant evidence that Bonaventure believed along with St. Augustine that he was made for the Lord. Inpreparing this memoriam, I was privileged to read some of Bonaventure’s personal reflections. One such reflection goes back to a dinner that he enjoyed with Bea and Peter Holland. According to Bo, Bea asked him, “What are you particularly proud of in your life?” He titled his response, “One Brother’s Pride—67 years of living our way of life—our Xaverian charism.” Bonaventure answered Bea’s question rather succinctly, “My most cherished pursuits were mostly my teaching, my efforts to encourage young people to deepen their relations with Jesus and to reach out to the less fortunate.” In February, Bonaventure celebrated his 70th Jubilee. Today he rests in the Lord.
Enthusiasm, boundless energy, love for his vocation as a Xaverian Brother and a certain restlessness are Bonaventure’s signature life themes. These ever so evident qualities fired his passion for whatever endeavor he was engaged in.
Bonaventure earned his bachelors in Chemistry at Catholic University in 1951 and his Masters inChemistry from the University of Detroit. He was one of the first Xaverians to teach in the Advanced Placement Program. Bo’s zeal for teaching, from St. John’s Prep, Danvers, to St. Xavier, Louisville, and on to Xaverian, Brooklyn and then home to Mount St. Joseph’s Baltimore where the seeds of his own vocation were planted, spanned seventeen years. In his own words, “in some mysterious way I became involved in the spiritual life of the students.” Bo was active in retreat work and various service projects sponsored by the Sodality, such as visiting the sick in a local hospital or young people in juvenile detention centers, teaching CCD or helping the poor with various food drives. Bonaventure’s boundless energy was invested in the students learning and growth well beyond the confines of the school day.
In the 1970’s Bonaventure earned a Certificate in Pastoral Counseling and his Masters of Religious Education from Loyola University, Chicago. Appointed Principal of Good Counsel, Bonaventure viewed his responsibilities as an administrator through the lens of his recent degree in Religious Studies. For Bo, religious formation was as important as the academic program. To help teachers and students “deepen their relationship with Jesus and each other", Bonaventure created the community system at Good Counsel.
After Good Counsel, Bonaventure was Superintendent of Catholic Schools in Denver and then inMemphis. From 1985 to 1999 Bonaventure returned to doing what he truly loved—working with students. He served as rector and counselor for 300 residents of Keenan Hall at the University of Notre Dame.
You are called to a life of constant searching.
Let the developments and changes of your times
Be a source both of confidence and challenge to you.
Restless. At times Bonaventure could be very restless. His restlessness was driven by his desire for the Xaverian Brothers to be responding to the signs of the times. Many times he was on the mark. Other times his suggestions went far beyond our capacity as a congregation. What was always clear, however, was his love for our Congregation.
In the last several months, Bonaventure understood more clearly the words of Augustine, “Lord, you have made me for yourself.” He wanted to be home at Xaverian House with his Brothers and did everything in his power to do so. As his condition became worse, he came to understand the words of our Fundamental Principles:
At times you will discover that God’s ways are not your ways,
And that God’s thoughts are not your thoughts.
When this happens try to surrender yourself trustingly
Into the arms of your Father, who knows you, understands you
And loves you.
May Bonaventure now enjoy his rest in you, O Lord.
Brother Edward Driscoll, CFX