January 9 – MEN OF RELATIONSHIP
MEN OF RELATIONSHIP
Br. Stanislas Kostka belonged to the Hirschauer family of Alsatian origin that spoke German and came to settle down in Paris after the 1870 war. After teaching in France, he worked in Peruwelz (Belgium) and in Rome. He had great diplomatic talents. At Peruwelz he knew, with his extreme politeness and his knowledge of German, how to deal with the vicissitudes of the 1914-1918 war and with the occupation authority. Then he was in Rome as Procurator, ever smiling and efficient. When he died there in 1927, ·the whole French colony joined the procession to the · cemetery of Campo Verano. ·
Many other Brothers like him knew, through their relations and affability, how to get in touch and to work for the greater good of the Institute.
Br. Louis Gonzague, Provincial of Midi (France) in the 19th century, was of such kind nature that no one has ever heard him speak against anyone. Br. Augustin chose him for his exquisite politness to do in Paris the necessary for the recognition of the Institute.
Br. Louis, founder and principal of the Institution for the deaf La Persagotiere (Nantes), was known all over France, as evident from this incredible anecdote. The owner of a big hotel in Batavia (in present Indonesia) wanted to get a important supply of French canned food, and passed on the order to Br. Louis. The address on the envelope was only “Brother Louis, France”. The letter reached him without delay. Br. Louis asked a canned food producer in the neighbourhood, who carried out the order.
Br. Francis of Assisi who taught for eighteen years in Church schools in Fontenay-le-Comte and in Paris and who would be for seven years the first Brother sent as private educator to the Bourbon-Parme family, had such pleasant manners that he was chosen to be a commercial traveller for the products of the St Gabriel distilleries between 1900 and 1910.
In the 20th century, Br. Angelo in Rome, plumb and heavy, was well known to ecclesiastical and political authorities and he could get a lot of things done with his unconquerable ways and manners.
In France, Br. Pierre Durand, who died in 1984 (See 10 January), was of the same make and could get round the ministers and prefects for the realisation of his projects.
One more name in this incomplete list: Br. Guillaume, Provincial in France, who, by his diplomacy and polite ways, greatly increased the list of benefactors for St Gabriel. Many houses of formation owe thanks to his efforts (Le Boistissandeau, La Hilliere) as also the Provincial House in Nantes.