Archive for the ‘uncategorized’ Category
City of Cleveland :: Division of Park Maintenance and Properties: Destroying public property at will to lighten the maintenance workload
We are posting this email here for the record with regard to the city’s arrogant and high-handed attempt to destroy mature, big trees in W. C. Reed Park. Portions of this communication are mine, and others are Laura McShane’s:
This kind of high handed "full steam ahead" without adequate community engagement is unacceptable.
Destroying trees that have a value of $192,973 per tree and replacing them with 2 in. saplings because they MAY BE toxic is unacceptable.
Trashing a neighborhood park in the name of "remediation" with funds from the EPA is unacceptable.
For years, residents near the park have asked for routine maintenance of the trees only to be told how long the maintenance list is, how small the Urban Forestry budget is, and how short handed they are is unacceptable.
In the light of the unwillingness for the City to provide the documentation that provides the FACTS concerning why the trees must be destroyed is unacceptable.
I find it exceedingly strange that when new housing was proposed along the park and on Denison Avenue, these environmental concerns were down[played as "having no effect" but when park improvements that are strictly discretionary and DO NOT have to be done, environmental issues that will allow EPA funds be used for a contract for remediation the landscape changes. WHY???
Please provide the documents the residents requested posthaste and STOP the forward momentum until the community has answered.
On Thu, May 9, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Laura McShane <email@example.com> wrote:
Hello Ms. Roberson,
Please release all planning and informational documents pertaining to the renovation and remediation of WC Reed Field.
Residents have not received materials as promised at public meeting held at St. Barbara’s Church in December 2012. Commissioner Cox assured residents that these materials would be made available for review at the Cleveland Public Library Brooklyn Branch 3706 Pearl Rd. Cleveland OH 44109.
We are now being told that the City of Cleveland plans to proceed with contract under Ohio EPA for remediation that is to include removing all trees at the park.
For the record, residents have not been given adequate information or notice for this to proceed and residents are opposed to removal of mature oak trees in the park.
by Gloria Ferris
“Trees give you a connection to the past, and a sense of continuity in a neighborhood.”
Benjamin Swett, New York City photographer of trees, gave the above quote during an interview with Ian Frazier in the March 4th, 2013 issue of The New Yorker. It is a fitting beginning to Brooklyn Centre Naturalists’ (BCN) annual Arbor Day article. (Arbor Day was observed on April 26th).
The history of trees in Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn is a rich one. When the neighborhoods were initially settled in the early 1800s, a forest of oak, beech and maple trees greeted the first pioneers.
In the 1850s, Cleveland became known as “The Forest City”. Brooklyn Centre and Old Brooklyn certainly are part of that heritage. In the 1900s when these areas became bustling communities, planting trees along streets and boulevards was part of the strategic plan. The giant sycamores along South Hills
Blvd. in Old Brooklyn, for instance, remain as a bastion to this time of uniting nature with communities.
Sadly, the majestic trees of Archwood Ave. were decimated by the tornado which roared down city streets in 1953. More recently (last autumn) trees in both neighborhoods were hit by Hurricane Sandy.
In 1902, William Stinchcomb planned and oversaw the building of the bathhouse, tennis courts and main building at the new zoo at Brookside Park. Stinchcomb’s vision of the Emerald Necklace included Brooklyn north and south of the Park. Presently, our park neighborhoods are holding their own. Many
70 to 100 year old trees remain, but storms, updated street plans and age are destroying them regularly.
For years, City budget restraints have also taken a toll. Instead of the City automatically replacing a lost tree on a tree lawn, a home owner must request a replacement. When utility companies replace or make improvements to failing infrastructure, a disclaimer such as this one is often made: “Every effort to save
shrubbery and trees will be made. If necessary, they will be removed. They will not be replaced.”
Residents must act now or the neighborhood history of tree-lined streets will become only a memory of the past instead of a part of the future. Today, every resident can help to solidify Cleveland’s label of “the Forest City”. They can replace trees which have been removed because of storm damage, age and progress, instead of waiting for the City to do so. And they can plant new trees because trees contribute
to utility cost containment and storm water management. (Older homes were built with the intention of using trees for coolness in summer and warmth in winter.)
Planting a tree is a way to combine nature and progress. Join BCN in their effort to make sure that Cleveland — the Forest City — is a reality in the future and not just a memory. Plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day 2013. And when it’s mature, it just might increase the value of your property by many thousands of dollars.
(This article also appears at http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/OBN/13MayOBN.pdf)
http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/OBN/12DecOBN.pdf is where you can see the *.PDF of this article. We got copies of the paper just yesterday. This is the text of the entire article.
Mention a community activity which
includes Brooklyn Centre, and it’s likely that
Gloria Ferris is/has been involved in it. The
Brooklyn Centre resident is active with Friends
of Big Creek; Brooklyn Centre Naturalists;
Stockyard Clark-Fulton & Brooklyn Centre
Community Development Organization;
Garden Walk Cleveland; and Old Brooklyn
Community Development Corporation’s
Green Space Committee. She is also a regular
contributor to the Old Brooklyn News.
Originally from Shreve, Ohio (a rural
community outside of Wooster), Gloria arrived
in Cleveland in 1973 to teach junior high
school and work as librarian at West High
School (now Joseph M. Gallagher High
After that, Gloria became the Campaign
Administrator for State Senator Charlie Butts;
a later job was taking care of national railroad
accounts at BP America for twelve years.
Before settling in Brooklyn Centre in
1981, Gloria lived in several places in Greater
Cleveland — the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood,
Cleveland Heights and Lakewood.
When asked why she moved to Brooklyn
Centre and why she and Tim, her husband of
twenty-eight years, have stayed, Gloria replied,
“the people, convenience, transportation
options and amenities like the Zoo and
Brookside Reservation. And I love the small-town
feel we have here.”
Gloria’s involvement in all things green
started with creating a Backyard Habitat at her
own home. The goal of the National Wildlife
Federation (www.nwf.org) certification program
is to provide food, water and cover for
wildlife. Through it, Gloria connected with
people in Friends of Big Creek and the
Cleveland Metroparks who were already working
on similar initiatives.
As Gloria forged even stronger links with
like-minded residents in both the Brooklyn
Centre and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods,
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists was born. Among
other things, they have been working to make
the 44109 zip code a registered National
Wildlife Community since 2008.
In 2011, Gloria and the Brooklyn Centre
Naturalists collaborated with employees of
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and members of the
Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American
Association of Zoo Keepers to plant a Polar
Plot at the W. 36th Street Commons Park.
Polar Plots is a program in which participants
plant trees and native plants in local communities
to help educate the public about how the
presence of trees counteracts a warming climate.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists also received
a Neighborhood Connections grant for a children’s
educational program which took place
in 2009 at the former Brooklyn Memorial
United Methodist Church. The program looked
at community through nature, and included
courses on gardening, backyard retreats, and
arts and crafts.
In 2012 the Brooklyn Centre Naturalists
were the impetus for getting the Old Brooklyn
and Brooklyn Centre neighborhoods included
in the second year of Garden Walk Cleveland.
Gloria’s current efforts include planting
herb and dye gardens at Art House, Inc., 3119
Denison Ave. Dye gardens incorporate plants
such as hibiscus (red, white and pink dyes),
coreopsis (yellow and orange dyes) and purple
basil because they make nice fabric and paper
dyes. She hopes to utilize the dye plants next
year for projects at Art House.
Brooklyn Centre Naturalists are now
focusing on getting the last twenty-one of the
necessary one hundred backyard habitats needed
for the National Wildlife Community certification.
More information about how to create
backyard habitats can be found at
The Brooklyn Centre Naturalists have
also compiled a cookbook using recipes from
Old Brooklyn and Brooklyn Centre residents
called A Taste for All Seasons. It will be for sale
for $10 at the Art House’s Short & Sweet
Holiday Shop, which will feature sixteen local
vendors The dates are November 30th to
December 2nd, and December 7th to
December 9th, and the hours are Fridays from
4 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1
to 5 p.m. More information is can be found at
When asked how she stays so passionate
about Brooklyn Centre and the environment,
Gloria replied with a huge grin, “I don’t think
I could be anything else! I’ve always thought
that every day is an opportunity. And after my
heart attack and two-month hospital stay, I
wanted even more to keep on doing as much as
possible for as long as possible. My community
involvement has allowed me to meet so
many great people. My place now is to help
younger people find those connections and
continue this great work. At the end of the day,
it’s about people. We’re still here and change
Gloria and Tim have two daughters and
two granddaughters. Older daughter Maureen
and her husband, Geri, and granddaughters
Teagan and Maggie live in Knoxville,
Tennessee. Katie, their younger daughter, lives
outside of Philadelphia.
(Lynette Filips contributed to this article.)
My first encounter with money market funds was back in 1981 when I worked for BP Oil. One of the refinery guys would discuss stocks and bonds with me while we waited for his drivers to call in so that he could answer the question I had about fuel deliveries. One day, he told me about money market funds. He said the beauty of them was that they used Net Asset Value, and you always knew your dollar would be a dollar. He was right they are beautiful due to their stability and accessibility. This will no longer be the case if SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro has her way. Changing to a floating NAV and requiring “capital buffers” for money market quite likely will be the death knell for money market funds.
Not only is this an attack on money market funds but it is an attack on the middle class who use them as savings vehicles for rainy days and for sunny days.
Below is a letter sent by Federated investors, Inc. to financial professionals, investors, and other interested parties that informs the public of the attack on Money Markets Funds led by SEC Chairman Mary Shapiro. Please take the time to click on the link and tell the SEC just how bad an idea this regulation is.
Over the past 40 years, money market funds have become a staple of the US economy, used by millions of investors, businesses, state/local governments and non-profit organizations as a stable, efficient and liquid cash management vehicle. Unfortunately, if Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Schapiro has her way that may not be the case for much longer, as the SEC is poised to consider a set of proposals that would be the death knell for money market funds.
Federated has been very active in the battle to save money market funds and I am pleased to report that we are not alone. In addition to a host of financial services companies, hundreds of corporations, business groups, state/local governments and non-profits have written to the SEC to express their support for money market funds and to oppose Chairman Schapiro’s proposals. There are three proposals being promoted by Chairman Schapiro and other Washington regulators – a floating NAV, redemption restrictions and capital requirements – each of which would destroy the very foundations that make money market funds so effective and so popular.
· Replacing the stable $1.00 net asset value, which has been the hallmark of money funds, with a floating rate NAV would create accounting nightmares for all users, requiring the tracking and reporting of fractional changes in share price each time shares are bought or sold.
· Instituting redemption restrictions would prohibit money fund users from having full access to their investments when they want it or need it. Such a freeze would also cripple sweep accounts, check-writing and a number of others features that money market fund users depend on.
· Requiring money market funds to maintain “capital buffers” or reserves would further limit the attractiveness of money market funds, particularly in the current low interest rate environment. It is crunch time. The SEC is getting ready for a public meeting on these proposals. We need the help of everyone who knows the benefits of money market funds and their importance to the economy. Federated has developed a website that provides you the ability to contact the SEC and other officials to let your voice be heard in support of money market funds. You can visit www.savemoneymarketfunds.org to tell the Washington regulators not to destroy money market funds.
I truly appreciate our relationship and your consideration of helping Federated and money fund users everywhere in this important matter.
J. Christopher Donahue
President and Chief Executive Officer
Federated Investors, Inc.
A member of our household who no longer blogs sent this to me by email, and I decided to share it here. It’s about the proposed CREG Center, which seems not so much proposed as implemented without asking. At the links you will find dates, times, and places. We plan on attending.
Mulling over the effects of this incinerator proposal, I remembered that the Kiwanis Club of SE Cleveland had as one of its missions or objectives the mitigation or eradication of unnecessary causes of respiratory problems in humans. This gasification project will create problems with its incinerator itself; it will cause problems with the creation of diesel hot spots in areas affected by the 500+ additional trucks daily required to keep the plant at a break-even level; and it will also cause problems when the trash pellets it produces are burned again to produce electrical energy.
Not much attention has been paid to collateral costs to the community; this is not a green project, it will not create many jobs at all for the amount spent, and its an unproven technology promoted by an administration with no history of sensible undertakings.
There is a public hearing Monday on this issue, and it was mentioned in the PD just recently. I think that Kiwanis involvement is appropriate at this time, given the stated mission of the local chapter. The Ohio EPA is trying to sneak this one by the federal EPA; they are not acting in the best interests of the community, the way Gloria and I see it.
It affects the area in which your club operates; it is said that it should have an adverse impact up into the Cleveland Heights/Shaker Heights area.
Please see more about the hearing at the following links and if, after giving this stealth project a cursory inspection, you decide it might not be in the best interests of the people and businesses of the Cleveland area, please lend your support to efforts to promote health and wellness, which probably entails the scuttling of this gasification fiasco as soon as possible.
Note also that the PD editorial stance on this project is to be in full-cheerleader mode, as they sell full-page advertisements to this CREG group promoting the project. Conflicts of interest do not exist for the shameless. We hope to see as many of you as possible at the hearing, and later, in the fray. There are lives and property values in play here.
Now we begin the process of conserving our true wealth.
In a first, federal environment officials today scientifically linked underground water pollution with hydraulic fracturing, concluding that contaminants found in central Wyoming were likely caused by the gas drilling process.
The findings by the Environmental Protection Agency come partway through a separate national study by the agency to determine whether fracking presents a risk to water resources.
Drilling Regulatory Staffing in Your State
In the 121-page draft report released today, EPA officials said that the contamination near the town of Pavillion, Wyo., had most likely seeped up from gas wells and contained at least 10 compounds  known to be used in frack fluids.
I sent this as a email today to our distribution lists and am sharing it on the blogs and social media sites as well. This is a critical issue that is not receiving the attention it deserves, and it makes you wonder, “Whose interests are being served here?”
On April 18, 2011 the Board of Zoning Appeals denied the application made by the Baumanns, Bradley Road Landfill, Landsong Environmental, Inc. and Ty, Inc. for the variance to allow the strip mining of the topsoil at Bradley Road Landfill.
On April 25, 2011 the denial was to be ratified but the City of Cleveland asked that BOZA rehear now that there is a letter of intent. BOZA agreed and said that they would IF certain things happened.
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CLEVELAND BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS that the parties have shown good cause to rehear Calendar Nos. 10-194,
10-259 and 10-260, which the Board shall set for a rehearing upon the filing of a joint stipulation between the City and the Appellants that a
pre-rehearing conference was held by the principals of the City, the Appellants, the Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation, and
the directly affected property owners to discuss the previously mentioned Letter of Intent, including a Settlement Agreement and Consent
Decree involving litigation in US Northern District Court of Ohio Case No. 1:04-CV-1757.
To get an idea of the seriousness of the proposed plans for this landfill and the impact for a much wider community than is included in the invitation list for Wednesday’s meeting:
Be sure to read these letters to:
OH Dept of Natural Resources http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/BradleyRdMining/Brady_to_ODNR_6-11.pdf
Army Corps of Engineers http://www.oldbrooklyn.com/BradleyRdMining/Brady_to_ACofE_6-20.pdf
Watch for words like "yellow cake" and "radioactive." Note the number of people potentially affected, just in contiguous areas.
Tomorrow is the meeting for the "affected" land owners requested by BOZA.
Here are the details:
WHAT: Bradley Road Landfill Meeting
WHERE: Knights of Columbus Hall, 4730 Pearl Road
WHEN: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 6 pm
WHO: City of Cleveland and
WHY: Board of Zoning Appeals condition for reconsideration of Request for Variance
As you know this landfill has been problematic since its inception, and its impact is much greater than they would have you believe.
Air quality, water quality, real estate valuation effects everyone’s quality of life and impacts our WHOLE community.
This will probably be the usual "sit, be quiet, and listen" kind of meeting held in the City of Cleveland with few questions and fewer answers, BUT
We should attend so that they will see by our numbers we are concerned about our community.
MAKE THEM GET MORE CHAIRS!!!
When this story first hit, I wondered how many of the attorneys and employees of the “Rights” groups touting unfair targeting had ever ridden the Health Line or any other RTA bus other than the high end commuter buses from the suburbs. Regular riders on the 79, 35, 20A and 26 myself included often wait patiently as a bus driver explains to someone with no fare why they can’t ride for free “just this time”. More often, we are shuttled on to the bus because the fare box is not working. For years, I have wondered how much fare money is lost because of these fare boxes. Do I feel guilty when I can’t pay, no, because I had every intention to honor my agreement with RTA ”I pay you, you get me where I am going on time. Of course, I probably have had to start my journey an hour and a half before my appointment, but that’s another post.
The Health Line has become a regular route on my forays around town. It allows me to meet friends and colleagues for coffee with little hassle because of the coffee shops along its route. I travel the route from downtown out to University Circle and back again. I now know how to buy tickets at the stations thanks to two very helpful Case Western students. Actually, I might still be at the station in front of Thwing Hall if not for those two. Let me say that I found the instructions on the fare board more confusing than helpful. I continue to avoid 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm whenever possible because the crush of high school students is very intense. I have, at times, not been able to avoid rush hour which is another crushing time, but I am well equipped to pay my way although I often feel like I am one of the few who do pay regardless of age.
Two of the things I like best about the Health Line are: the display board telling you when the next train will arrive and the space for waiting for the “train/bus”. When I first started hopping the Health Line, I had some trouble finding where I should validate my card. I did what I always do in a situation where i don’t know what to do, I observed the other people at the stop. Imagine my surprise when not one person swiped their card. Each and every one of them stood, hands in pockets, avoiding eye contact. Finally, I ventured over to the fare card box and figured out how and what I needed to do. That day, one man and myself were the two who paid fares before boarding the train. For a year and a half, I have from my own observation believed that the pay rate for the health line was probably somewhere between 15 and 30 per cent excluding people transferring from other buses. I have yet to see people step up to swipe a card or buy a fare more than once or twice while waiting for a train.
Last week, I met a friend for coffee at Moko Cafe. As I walked to the 14th Street stop, I decided I would make sure I counted each person who paid a fare. I knew I would be waiting six minutes for the next train. I had just missed one. Granted, some riders may have transferred from another bus, but the majority would probably hop on from one of the office building around the stop. Twelve people waited at that stop in the middle of the day-four with book bags, three with cold hands stuffed in pockets, two with briefcases, a lady with a baby in a stroller, me, and a young man who sprinted across the street hopping into the train just as the doors closed. I figured he was probably the rider transferring from another bus. How many did I see pay? Me. Not one other person bought a fare or swiped a card. Every other person arrived after me. Now, I understand from an article in the Plain Dealer that this “quick on honor system” was a concession to receive federal money for the project. Well, it doesn’t work.
There is a lot of talk about targeting certain riders for non payment, but I can say to you that the group I waited with was very diverse and NO ONE paid except me-the white haired white lady. So, stop a full train, target any population, and I am willing to bet that you will find that the percentage paying is probably around 30 to 40 per cent. Cross socio-economic lines, ethnic groups, age groups, and you will find the same numbers. It should not be about targeting any one group. It should be about a stupid “honor” policy that does not work in the real world. If anyone had asked regular riders of the RTA how such a system would work, we could probably have told you that it wouldn’t. Of course, when the need for federal money to finish a project or to start a project outweighs the practicality of an “honor system”, we know which one wins, and now, we have a community again targeted as “discriminatory”. The Health Line is discriminatory, but not for the reasons cited in this Plain Dealer article. It discriminates against me and every other Clevelander of any color who pays their way on the bus line.
If it were free to each and every rider what would the economic benefit be to the businesses and employers along that line? If it were free, would more college students use it to attend classes at CSU and CWRU stopping to eat lunch or have a cup of coffee with a study group? If it were free how much revenue would the parking lots lose along Euclid Avenue? If it were free how much would the carbon emissions in Dontown Cleveland be decreased? If Cleveland’s carbon footprint was enhanced how many federal $$$ would that mean for Cuyahoga County? Would people use it to reach Playhouse Square? How would gridlock be eased during rush hour on snowy or black out days? Would people feel safe and secure along the route if it was used night and day? We do know the “honor system” is not working. Have we looked at innovative and creative ways of solving the problem? Or have we simply slipped into punitive, unenforceable mode?
We missed this in December of 2008 and wish to share it with you now, one of our favorite guys talking about another.
In Memory of Fr. Miller
Homily delivered by Holy Cross president emeritus, Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., ’49 at the funeral Mass for vice president emeritus for development, Rev. Francis X. Miller, S.J., ’46 celebrated at the Campion Health Center, Weston, Mass., on Dec. 3, 2008, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier
Homily delivered by Holy Cross president emeritus, Rev. John E. Brooks S.J., ’49 at the funeral Mass for vice president emeritus for development, Rev. Francis X. Miller S.J., ’46 celebrated at the Campion Health Center, Weston, Mass., on Dec. 3, 2008, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier
We gather this morning on the Feast Day of St. Francis Xavier to express our temporary “good-byes” to our beloved brother, Francis Xavier Miller, to celebrate his passage from this life, through death, to a new and everlasting life in the presence of our loving God, and to offer all the comfort and consolation we can possibly command to Frank’s sister, Mary, and to those relatives and many friends who have repeatedly experienced Frank’s kindness, patience and love over the years.
My words this morning can only constitute an inadequate labor of love, for there is nothing I can say, or that any of us might say, that would begin to do justice to the fullness and the richness of the life lived by our good friend Frank Miller.
Frank and I enjoyed a deep, personal understanding of each other. Each one knew that he could ask the other whatever he would, and it would be given. The simple knowledge that Frank was my friend, that I had his affirming, unconditional love, has from the early years of my Jesuit life made me feel a much better person than I am. It gave me courage to do things I would not have attempted otherwise. Such is the power of love.
It’s hard to define the precise moment when friendship is formed. It is as filling a vessel drop by drop, and there is at last a drop which makes it run over.
At what point in my relationship with Frank Miller my cup runneth over, I cannot really say. It all began so many years ago—66 years to be precise—in the fall of 1942 when both Frank and I enrolled as freshmen at the College of the Holy Cross. A violent World War II soon interrupted as each of us volunteered for military service—Frank to the U.S. Navy and eventual assignment to the island of Guam in the Pacific; I to the U.S. Army and assignment in June 1944 to France in the European Theatre of Operations. Once hostilities ceased, we returned to the Worcester campus with Frank graduating in 1947 and I in 1949. Following his graduation from Holy Cross, Frank journeyed to New York City and entered the Chase Manhattan Bank’s prestigious and highly competitive executive training program where his industry, talents and personal skills were quickly recognized. At the end of fall 1949 semester, I departed graduate school to enter the Jesuit novitiate at Shadowbrook in Lenox, Mass.
One morning in early August 1951, I was told that the Novice Master, Fr. John Post, wanted to see me that afternoon at 4 p.m. in his office. Given the 17 months experience I had had in that particular environment, I spent the entire day wondering what I had done now that was about to be corrected. Promptly at 4 o’clock, I knocked on the door of Fr. Post’s quarters, entered the room, sat down and waited. Fr. Post looked at me and said, “Brother, a Holy Cross friend of yours will be entering the novitiate and joining you on August 14.” Before he could tell me who it was, I said, “Father, I don’t think any of my Holy Cross friends are likely to be coming here.” Unmoved by my comment, the Novice Master informed me that the new novice would be Frank Miller—and so it happened. Frank Miller and I were reunited, and for the next 57 years we were blessed, we were given that gift of time. We traveled much the same path down through the years, diverging here and there, as paths do in the woods, but always coming back together again.
In 1973, Frank returned to Holy Cross where his father had served as College Bursar for 47 years, joining me and working as the Vice President for Development and College Relations. For the next 22 years we traveled the United States together, visiting 40 to 50 cities a year from Maine to Florida, from the East Coast to California, meeting with individuals and addressing countless gatherings of alumni and friends at receptions, dinners and in private homes—seeking always their generous support of Holy Cross. On flights from one city to another, Frank would “prep” me as to who would be in attendance at our next gathering—providing me with names of alumni, graduation years, job titles, spouses’ names, number of children and schools they attend. As the years went by, people began to comment on the wonderful memories we appeared to have—the truth, of course, being not so much that our memories were strong, but rather that whatever memory skills we did display were due directly and solely to the detailed preparation Frank had executed prior to our departure from campus.
That preparation, coupled with the immense respect and admiration alumni across the country had for Frank, were the keys to the College’s ability to engage nearly 60 percent of its alumni as donors each year to the Annual Fund—clear evidence of the truth of the old fundraising axiom that “people give to people”—people gave to Frank Miller.
The late German Jesuit theologian, Karl Rahner, in a classic essay taking the form of an address by St. Ignatius Loyola to contemporary Jesuits, tells us that a Jesuit must be selfless and serviceable, and that the ultimate task of a Jesuit is to help others experience God directly and realize that the incomprehensible mystery we call God is present to us, and is someone to whom we can speak and with whom we can converse. That being the ultimate task of a Jesuit, it follows that whatever one does as a member of the Society of Jesus—be it an academic, pastoral, administrative, social or political activity—must be tested to see that it serves that purpose.
Frank Miller’s long career in the Society of Jesus earns high grades on that test:
• his strong and exemplary commitment to service to the New England Province of the Society of Jesus and to the College of the Holy Cross
• his vast and intimate knowledge of Holy Cross
alumni and their families
• his approachability by and accessibility to everyone
• his personal warmth and genuine kindness to all without exception
• his integrity, his trustworthiness, his humility, his loyalty
• his work ethic and administrative skills
• yes, even his great love and genuine respect for the game of golf.
All of these attributes have, over the years, served to bring relatives, friends, co-workers and brother Jesuits to a reassuring experience of God and to a knowledge of Christ’s presence among us.
The famed French Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin once wrote, “I am more keenly aware that for the rest of my life my task is to develop in myself, humbly, faithfully, doggedly—and at the same time to impart it as much as possible to others, that form of spirituality which makes one seek God in every single thing and in all one’s activity.”
That statement seems to me to have a peculiar pertinency to the life of Frank Miller. For the secret and source of Frank’s amazing energy, his complete dedication, his countless acts of kindness and his boundless but hidden charities was that, like Teilhard, when he looked at the world, he saw people not in their nameless, unlovable collectivity, but with the face and heart of Christ. He saw his vocation (and that of all Christians) to recognize and find Christ everywhere in the world, to find that divine, personal Omega point who alone is capable of drawing all women and men to Himself, and of changing the world into a better, happier place by the power of His love.
Was not Frank Miller’s life a fulfillment of the life described by Teilhard? His life of service to the Society of Jesus, to Holy Cross and to his many admiring friends, both Jesuit and non-Jesuit, was an extension of his priesthood.
This is the “moral virtue” that filled Frank’s life—a life whose main thrust and unwavering direction was his priestly calling as a Jesuit.
May his soul now join that of his beloved brother Jesuit, St. Francis Xavier, in the welcoming embrace of our loving God.