Letters to the Editor

Franciscans’ Ample Wings

Dear Editor: In 1954, the Grey Nuns, from Queens, told my brother-in-law’s mother that he was headed to the reformatory, so why not send him there. Not willing to give up on her 10-year-old, only child, she found St. Anthony’s in Greenpoint.

Thankfully, the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn were willing to take a potential delinquent under their rather ample wings. There Jerry met Brother Becket Ryan, O.S.F. A former social worker, Brother Becket had just entered the order. In Brother Becket’s estimation, “There was nothing amiss, Jerry just wanted to read.” While others played during recess, Jerry sat on neighborhood stoops and read. Brother Becket and Jerry transitioned to St. Francis Prep and “Gloriosky, we never looked back” (to paraphrase Brother Becket).

Over 63 years, Brother Becket became a part of our three generational extended family. To be in his company is to understand God’s joy in His world. Brother Becket talks to all and leaves them smiling. We believe that he would talk to a brick and it would smile.

His abundant love of nature also exhibits the true Franciscan spirit of love for all of God’s creation. We can truly say that God has touched our hearts and souls through Brother Becket Ryan, O.S.F.

Haiku in honor of Brother Becket:

Joyous humble heart

Emanating God’s spirit

Lighting up the world


Mill Basin