Letter from the President

September 1, 2017

Dear Alumni,

The chapel resounded with the music of “What is This Place?” and “All Are Welcome” as the 2017 American College Alumni Reunion commenced on Sunday evening August 6th.  President Chris Fusco led this year’s participants in a short prayer service to begin a wonderful week together in celebration of the 160th anniversary of the American College.  Moments before, many of us were shown to our rooms in the recently renovated buildings of the College now under the direction of KU Leuven, and after the service the entire group gathered in the former dining room and gardens for a reception and buffet dinner.  By the time we dispersed for the evening we all knew that much had changed since the closing of the College as our seminary, but it was clear that we still felt “welcome” in “this place.”

 As the new president of the Alumni Association I am pleased to extend greetings to all of you and share a few memories from this year’s reunion.  Our secretary, John Kleinwachter, has already posted on the website an excellent, detailed summary of our days together, and Mark Moitoza has already posted photographs taken by John Steffen.  Because John’s summary takes us through the events of the week, I’ll limit my remarks to a few impressions and words of thanks.

It comes as no surprise that the alumni present for this reunion spanned several generations and decades of life at the American College.  Realistically, although we know that our numbers will no longer grow and that we are not getting any younger, I was most impressed with how vibrant our group is, how interested everyone was to be together and how everyone contributed to the success of the reunion.  The same spirit of helpfulness and personal caring we all knew from our student years I discovered again as participants pitched in with practical details, showed up promptly for events, invited others to join their group for dinner or a visit to the café, responded charitably to medical emergencies and basically demonstrated a generosity of heart.

Since this year’s reunion was held in Leuven, I especially commend Jack Dick for his hard work organizing all the details locally so that everything was ready for us when we arrived in Belgium.  Obviously, choosing to meet in Belgium means having a longer reunion and broader program than when our reunion is held in North America.  Jack did a superb job lining up catering at the College, accommodations at the hotels, special excursions, the banquet, liturgical ministers and, of course, arranging a full program of continuing education and securing speakers who could tell us about the new life at the American College.  I also want to thank Joske Dick who not only greeted us on Sunday and attended some of the other events but who, no doubt, helped Jack in many ways.

I also want to thank our outgoing President, Chris Fusco, who did so much to take care of our organizational structure during his term.  This past year he overhauled the bylaws, facilitated communication with Leuven concerning the Heritage Project and chaired a very productive annual meeting.  In addition to Past President, Bob Flannery, who completes his three-year term on the Board, I want to acknowledge that Chris who is finishing his term now in order to provide the Board with a staggered number of Trustees in accord with the new bylaws.  Thanks to you both.

 Looking forward now, I note that during the business meeting the members not only voted to approve the revised bylaws and to continue supporting the work of the Saint Damien Committee, they also unanimously approved the slate of nominees with Tuck Grinnell chosen as Vice-President/President-Elect and John Soares chosen as At-Large Member.  As already reported by John Kleinwachter in his report, our next reunion will be in the Orlando area thanks to leadership from Bill Weiskopf.  Although we often schedule our reunions in June, I am sure most will agree that going to Florida in the winter is an attractive alternative.  In view of this, there will be no reunion scheduled for the 2018 calendar year.  Instead, in order to comply with the bylaws, Vice-President Tuck Grinnell will host a meeting of the Board of Trustees in the Washington DC area in the fall of 2018 to which all alumni will be invited.  Then, after the 2019 reunion, John Griesbach and Ken Weare will host the 2020 reunion in California at a time and place to be determined.  Thanks to everyone for your generosity.

In conclusion, I am honored to be your President this year, and I trust that you will share your thoughts and ideas about the future the American College Alumni Association with me and other Board members.  I am confident that we will continue to remain viable as an association because of the great spirit that I saw a few weeks ago, a spirit that brings hope to our Church.

Fraternally yours in Christ,

Anthony Bawyn (’82)


Letter from the President

Christopher John Fusco, Esq.
1222 Rhoads Drive
Belle Mead, New Jersey 08502


June 16, 2017

Dear Fellow Members of the American College of Louvain Alumni Association:

Greetings from Central New Jersey! I trust this letter finds you well and enjoying these early summer days.

As the summer is now upon us, and as the Louvain reunion will soon occur, perhaps I might share some recent news and information regarding our alumni association?

Nominations

As no nominations to the open position of Vice-President/President-elect, or to open At-Large positions on our Board were received, invitations were extended to Horace H. (Tuck) Grinnell and John P. Soares to consider placing their names into nomination as Vice-President/President-elect and as an At-Large member, respectively. We are most grateful for their generosity in allowing their name be placed into nomination at our August business meeting in Louvain and for their willingness to serve our association in their respective capacity.

Tuck and John have each kindly provided a brief statement regarding their background. Their words may be found at the end of this letter.  We are most fortunate to have these two fine members serve on our Board for the upcoming 2017-2018 term, pending a vote at the annual business meeting in August. Thank you again, Tuck and John!

Louvain Reunion 2017

As you know, the annual reunion will be held in Louvain in less than two months with approximately fifty alumni and special guests in attendance. Many thanks to Jack Dick for his hard work in organizing what will prove to be a wonderful and memorable reunion experience in Louvain. Information regarding the Louvain Reunion may be found on the alumni website.

Business Meeting

As always, the annual business meeting will be conducted during the reunion in Louvain this August. In the midst of our discussions and deliberations, we will also discuss a possible revision of our current By-Laws as first proposed last year during the Collegeville reunion. The proposed revision itself may need to be further revised at the annual business meeting. If you have comments or observations you may wish to share, please feel free to forward them to me well prior to our business meeting.

In addition, if you would like to have an item placed on the agenda of this year’s business meeting; have an item you would like to have discussed at the business meeting but are not attending the business meeting in August; or, would like to submit a proposal for consideration of the association as a whole at the business meeting, may I ask that you preferably provide me with your discussion item for the agenda or proposal in writing not later than July 5, 2017.

This way, your discussion item may be included in the agenda and/or your proposal provided to the membership as a whole through the website with hardcopies prepared ahead of time for those attending the business meeting in Louvain this August. You may contact me at my email address: christopher.fusco@mail.law.cuny.edu.

Of course, any discussion item or proposal may be offered on the floor during the business meeting itself. But if you are planning on introducing a discussion item or proposal, please consider submitting it by July 5, 2017 so that it may be thoughtfully considered and discussed prior to and during the time allotted for the business meeting in Louvain.

Reunion 2018

 As of this writing, there are still no plans formulated for a reunion to be held in 2018. If you or several of your fellow alumni would be interested in hosting a reunion in 2018, please feel free to contact any member of the Board. Traditionally, the reunion has been held during the month of June taking into consideration the schedule of attendees regarding parish responsibilities, summer vacation plans, etc. However, perhaps another time period may be considered given the location of the reunion, available facilities, etc.

If you would be at all interested in hosting the reunion, or if you have an idea as to a different format regarding the reunion, you may wish to consider expressing your interest well prior to the annual business meeting to be held in August. The status of a reunion in 2018 will be on the agenda of that business meeting.  

The effort that is exerted in hosting a reunion is always gratefully appreciated and not taken for granted by our membership.

Alumni News

Our website contains the latest news and information regarding our Association and its members: www.acaalouvain.org.

Please accept my prayers and best wishes for an enjoyable and restful summer. With prayerful good wishes, I remain,

                                                                        Cordially yours in Christ,

                                                                        Chris   /s/

                                                                        Christopher J. Fusco, ’97, ‘01
                                                                        President
                                                                       
Horace H. (Tuck) Grinnell studied at The American College from 1970-1973.  He was ordained in 1974 and has served in parishes in the Diocese of Arlington, VA since that time.  Tuck is currently pastor of St. Peter Parish in Washington VA.  Through the years, he has been active in the American College Association including serving on the board of the AACA.  He (along with John Mollish and Mark Moitoza) hosted The American College reunion in Alexandria, Virginia in June of 2014.  He looks forward to serving, if elected, as the vice-president of the AACA.  

Some of the immediate challenges that he sees the AACA facing are:  the planning future reunion sites; the planning the future of the association as the members age; fostering the support of the Damian Project; and the ensuring the memorialization of the history of The American College.

+ + +
Hello, my name is John P. Soares and I am a 1991 graduate of The American College and currently I am a priest for the Diocese of Providence.  I am currently the pastor of St. Thomas parish in Providence, RI and the parish also has St. Thomas Regional School which is from K-8.  My first assignment was as an assistant pastor at St. Francis Xavier in East Providence, RI from July 1992-August 1996.  From August 1996 till June 2008 I was the Catholic Chaplain at the University of Rhode Island and from 2002-2008 was also the Director of Campus Ministry for the Diocese of Providence.

My time at The American College was such a wonderful experience.  From the wonderful theology at the KUL to the great homiletic and spirituality classes at the college.  I will be forever grateful for the 4 years I was there and the many countries I had the opportunity to visit, from the grandeur of Paris to the beauty of Lucerne, I will forever treasure these memories.  I look forward to assisting the board in any way that my time allows.


Letter from the President

Christopher John Fusco, Esq.
1222 Rhoads Drive
Belle Mead, New Jersey 08502


                  March 21, 2017

Dear Fellow Members of the American College of Louvain Alumni Association:

Greetings from Central New Jersey on this first full day of Spring.  I trust this letter finds you well and experiencing a blessed Lenten season. May I take this opportunity to make a particular request in addition to a regular, quarterly President’s letter which will be forthcoming?

On March 19th we celebrated the 160th anniversary of the founding of The American College of Louvain. In August 2017 more than forty alumni and friends of The American College will gather in Leuven to commemorate their College and participate in a theological conference on Catholic belief today. In October 2017, early in the new academic year, the Catholic University of Leuven will hold its own special commemorations in honor of The American College at 160 years.

I am writing today to invite you to contribute to The American College Heritage Project. As you keenly realize and appreciate, The American College has a rich history and has played an important role in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States, in Leuven, and of course at the KU Leuven.   

The American College Heritage Committee, a group of KU Leuven historians, among whom ACL alumnus, Prof. John “Jack” Dick, have made arrangements for the first phase of The American College Heritage Project. The interior design company FUGZIA has developed a permanent historical exhibition of photos, documents, and historical sketches that will be placed in the College. This exhibition will be visible for students, visitors and the many tourists that pass by daily. We hope to realize this commemorative project well before the American College Alumni Reunion in August.

Four commemorative panels will be permanently installed in the corridor outside The American College Chapel. I am taking the liberty of sharing on the reverse side of this letter and attaching a working sample of one of the commemorative panels.

We are asking for donations to keep our heritage alive. Individuals or organizations that contribute at least $1000 will have their names attached to the permanent commemorative display. Checks should be made out to The American College Alumni Association, with a memo “Heritage Project” and sent to: Rev. William Wegher, The American College Alumni Association, 10601 Dexter Pinckney Road, Pinckney, Michigan 48169.

Thank you for your kind consideration of this worthwhile project in support of the historical legacy of The American College. With prayerful good wishes, I remain,

 

                                                                                    Cordially yours in Christ,

                                                                                    //signed//

                                                                                    Christopher J. Fusco, ’97, ‘01


Letter from the President

Christopher John Fusco, Esq.
1222 Rhoads Drive
Belle Mead, New Jersey 08502
_____________________________________________________________________________

 

December 21, 2016

Dear Fellow Members of the American College of Louvain Alumni Association:

Greetings from Central New Jersey! I trust this letter finds you well and experiencing a blessed Advent season.

As the year draws to a close, perhaps I might share some recent news regarding our alumni association?

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
As of this writing, no nominations have as yet been received for the position of Vice-President/President-elect which will become open at the annual business meeting of the association held during the Louvain reunion this August 2017. If you have not already done so, please prayerfully consider nominating yourself or someone whom you believe would be of service to our association – even if you or the person has served previously. The success of our association relies so very much upon all of us providing some form of service at one time or another in the midst of our already busy schedules.

LOUVAIN REUNION 2017
The registration for the August 2017 reunion to be held in Louvain has already closed. Jack Dick reports that almost forty persons will be in attendance between alumni and special guests. Many thanks to Jack for his hard work in organizing what will prove to be a wonderful and memorable reunion experience in Louvain.

REUNION 2018
As of this writing, there are still no plans formulated for a reunion to be held in 2018. If you or several of your fellow alumni would be interested in hosting a reunion in 2018, please feel free to contact any member of the Board. Traditionally, the reunion has been held during the month of June taking into consideration the schedule of attendees regarding parish responsibilities, summer vacation plans, etc. However, perhaps another time period may be considered given the location of the reunion, available facilities, etc.

If you would be at all interested in hosting the reunion, or if you have an idea as to a different format regarding the reunion, you may wish to consider expressing your interest well prior to the Louvain Reunion in August 2017 so that necessary preparations and announcements could be made. It would also provide the opportunity to gauge interest amongst the membership about attending a reunion at the proposed locale and venue.

The effort that is exerted in hosting a reunion is always gratefully appreciated and not taken for granted by our membership.

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE HERITAGE COMMITTEE
As you consider your end-of year giving, perhaps you may wish to consider the project of The American College Heritage Committee of the KU Leuven (“The Heritage Project”) which was described in the last President’s letter of September 2016?

Ray Collins has reported that The Damien Project committee of our association is satisfied that sufficient funds exist at the present time for future scholarships to The Damien Project at The American College. As such, that committee is willing to forego the annual scholarship appeal that normally takes place at this time in favor of supporting The Heritage Project.

Jack Dick also reports that even with our association’s donation toward The Heritage Project this past autumn, the financial goal toward The Heritage Project of the KU Leuven has still not been reached. If you wish to provide a donation towards The Heritage Project, please send your donation to Bill Wegher.

At the end of this letter you will find a description of The Heritage Project as provided by Jack Dick which contains greater detail including additional information on how to make a donation to this worthwhile project.

ALUMNI NEWS
Many of you have been made aware of the death of Professor Georges De Schrijver, SJ in October 2016 while teaching at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. Professor De Schrijver retired from the KU Leuven in 2001. May he rest in peace.

Please share any news you may have regarding our association members, faculty at the KU Leuven, etc. Our website contains the latest news and information regarding our Association and its members: www.acaalouvain.org.

Please accept my prayers and best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a blessed New Year of 2017.
With prayerful good wishes, I remain,

Cordially yours in Christ,
Chris /s/
Christopher J. Fusco, ’97, ‘01
President


American College Heritage Project

The last renovations in The American College ended, after two years of intense building and renewing, in the spring of 2016. During the renovations, serious efforts were made to respect the historic character of the building as much as possible. This is particularly visible in two salons in the former “Rector’s House.”

As you keenly realize and appreciate, The American College has a rich history and has played an important role in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States, in Leuven, and of course at the KU Leuven. The rich tradition of the American College, however, is unfortunately not well known by most people currently living in Leuven or visiting.

The American College Heritage Committee, a group of KU Leuven historians, among whom ACL alumnus, John “Jack” Dick and Rebekka Jonkers the current Manager of The American College, see it as their duty and responsibility to preserve and display the history of the College. This is important for the 170 current inhabitants, but also for the many visitors and University professors and staff who use the public areas of the College.

For the first phase of The American College Heritage Project, the interior design company FUGZIA has developed a permanent historical exhibition of photos, documents, and historical sketches that will be placed in the College. This exhibition will be visible for students, visitors and the many tourists that pass by daily. We hope to realize this commemorative project in the spring of 2017, when the American College will be celebrating its 160th anniversary.

Other projects the Heritage Committee is working on are: a display honoring all the rectors of The American College, collecting archival materials, and, to the degree that it is possible, returning to the College works of art and furniture that are in fact an important part of the patrimony of the University and the College.

We are asking for donations to keep our heritage alive. Individuals or organizations that contribute at least $1000 will have their names attached to the permanent commemorative display. Checks should be made out to The American College Alumni Association, with a memo “Heritage Project” and sent to: Rev. William Wegher, The American College Alumni Association, 10601 Dexter Pinckney Road, Pinckney, Michigan 48169.


Letter from the President

Christopher John Fusco, JCL, Esq.
1222 Rhoads Drive
Belle Mead, New Jersey 08502

____________________________________________________________________________

This letter replaces an earlier version originally dated September 14, 2016

and posted on the website of the Alumni Association at that time.

Letter from the President
 

September 22, 2016
 

Dear Fellow Members of the American College of Louvain Alumni Association:

Greetings from Central New Jersey! I trust this letter finds you well and that you have had the opportunity to enjoy these past summer months.

It is an honor to serve our alumni association this upcoming year as its President. I remember experiencing my first encounter with the alumni association as a student at The College approximately twenty years ago by welcoming members of the alumni association to Louvain and assisting in that year's reunion. I feel reflective of those days as a full circle has been completed by serving this year as your President.

The American College is certainly much different now from what it was twenty years ago when I was a seminarian. Although no longer a seminary, its physical structure continues to be of service to students attending our beloved alma mater, The Catholic University of Louvain, as well as to those students who are members of the Saint Damian Community at The American College, "an intentional community for students to come together in faith, worship, and the pursuit of knowledge on the premises of the historic, newly renovated building called The American College." I suspect the lived experiences of these members of the Saint Damian Community, as well as the other students living at The American College, are quite unique from my own experiences as a seminarian.

I am very pleased to be of assistance to our association, organized to "enable fellowship among those who have been educated in the Faculties of Theology, Canon Law, or Philosophy at the KU Leuven/UCL," inter alia. As we embark upon another year of such fellowship, may I bring a few items to your attention?

GRATITUDE

First and foremost, I am sure I speak for all of us in thanking Bob Flannery, '73 for hosting this year's reunion in Collegeville, Minnesota and serving this past year as President. If you have not done so already, you may wish to consider reading Bob's letter to our association dated August 15, 2016.

A word of thanks to the outgoing members of our Board for their service to our Association: Mark Moitoza, Doug Comstock, Mike Welch, and Dave Norris.

In addition, a word of welcome to Tony Bawyn, Ted Tumicki, and John Kleinwachter as they serve our Board this year as Vice-President/President-elect, Member-at-Large, and Secretary respectively.

We are very blessed to have Bill Wegher continue to serve as our Treasurer, Jack Dick as a Member-at-Large, and, Bob Flannery as our Past-President. Our Association continues to remain active as our resources and circumstance allow.

DUES

As you know, our Association By-Laws require, inter alia, that annual dues in the amount of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) be paid in order to enjoy full membership in our Association. The dues are also required in order to vote regarding the Association's business.

The 2016 Annual Dues letter has already been mailed to Association members. If you have not yet paid your dues for this 2016-2017 year, please email Bill Wegher, our Association Treasurer at revbilly1@aol.com. He will also provide you with information regarding the payment of dues in Euros or Australian dollars.

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

Per Article 4 (N) of our Association By-Laws, please accept this correspondence as a call for nominees to serve on the Board of our Association beginning in August 2017. As you know, elections to the open position will take place at the annual business meeting to be held in Louvain in August 2017. The position of Vice-President/President-elect will be open.

If you would like to place your name into nomination, or the name of another person after having consulted with that person, please inform Tony Bawyn or myself of your desire, preferably not later one week before our annual business meeting in Louvain.

As was explained at the Collegeville meeting, recruiting members to volunteer their service on the Board is challenging in many respects, including as stipulated in our current By-Laws. We are grateful for the service of all our Board members. The proposed revised By-Laws is aimed at lessening that challenge, at least in part, and also provide for the staggering of offices.

LOUVAIN REUNION 2017

As you well know by now, our next reunion will be held in Louvain and graciously hosted by Jack Dick. Attendees should plan on arrival for Sunday, August 6, 2017 and departure on Sunday, August 13, 2017. The schedule is found on the Association website. During the next several months, you may wish to consider investigating the cost of airline prices to Belgium.

The reunion will feature a five-day conference, conducted by Leuven theologians, on the theme of "Catholicism and Contemporary Culture." Jack has shared greater particulars which are found on our Association website. In addition, the website now contains an on-line registration form for the upcoming Louvain reunion. Due to the great demand for rooms at The American College and also Leuven hotels in August 2017, we would appreciate having registrations by the end of November 2016.

REUNION 2018

As of this writing, there are no plans formulated for a reunion to be held in 2018. If you or several of your fellow alumni would be interested in hosting a reunion in 2018, please feel free to contact any member of the Board. Traditionally, the reunion has been held during the month of June taking into consideration the schedule of attendees regarding parish responsibilities, summer vacation plans, etc. However, perhaps another time period may be considered given the location of the reunion, available facilities, etc.

If you would be at all interested in hosting the reunion, or if you have an idea as to a different format regarding the reunion, you may wish to consider expressing your interest well prior to the Louvain Reunion in August 2017 so that necessary preparations and announcements could be made. It would also provide the opportunity to gauge interest amongst the membership about attending a reunion at the proposed locale and venue.

The effort that is exerted in hosting a reunion is always gratefully appreciated and not taken for granted by our membership.

PROPOSED BY-LAWS REVISION

As you know, a proposal was made during the Collegeville reunion regarding a revision of our By-Laws. The proposed revisions were made with an eye towards somewhat "streamlining" our By-Laws coupled with a lived experience of our current By-Laws and the Association in the almost five years when the By-Laws were first skillfully constructed and adopted by the membership.  

If you have not already done so, you may wish to consider examining the proposed By-Laws revision as found on the Association website under the Reunion 2016 tab. Your thoughts and proposals are, of course, most welcome.

Please feel free to contact any member of our Board, if you wish, should you desire to share your thoughts and proposals in anticipation of our 2017 business meeting in Louvain or during the business meeting in Louvain itself. The proposed By-Laws revision will be a topic on the agenda at that meeting and hopefully voted upon.

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE HERITAGE COMMITTEE

Additionally, a proposal was made at the Collegeville reunion that our Association support a project of The American College Heritage Committee of the KU Leuven ("The Heritage Project"), of which Jack Dick is also a member. This Committee is charged by the KU Leuven to "guarantee the survival of a lasting memorial of the American College seminary and the great contribution it made to Catholicism especially in the United States." Information regarding the details of The Heritage Project and the proposal itself may be found at:

ACL Heritage Project

and

Heritage Support Proposal

The proposal made in Collegeville was the Association would present a donation of 5,000 Euros from the Association's Belgium account in support of The Heritage Project of this KU Leuven Committee. This proposal had the unanimous support of last year's Board.

However, the proposal regarding The Heritage Project was tabled at the Collegeville meeting, presumably until the August 2017 business meeting. Concerns were expressed at the Collegeville meeting, as found in the minutes of the meeting, regarding the "mission" and future of the Association, as well as financial concerns.

An additional proposal made at the Collegeville meeting, establishing a Heritage Project Fund which individual Association members could donate to in support of The Heritage Project, resulted in a tie vote. As a result, this Fund was not established.

Since the Collegeville meeting, Jack recently shared with the Board that he has received word from The American College Heritage Committee of the KU Leuven that if The Heritage Project does not receive any further support by April 2017, The Heritage Project will be canceled. If this were to happen, this would obviously result in no tabled proposal for the Association to once again consider at the August 2017 meeting in Louvain and could result in an important project related to preserving the history and legacy of The College for generations to come, that is, The Heritage Project, not being realized.

Even more importantly, Jack has shared with the Board that The American College Heritage Committee of the KU Leuven is looking at our Association to see if a "good-faith effort" -  as it were - would be forthcoming as to preserving the heritage of The American College.

Jack and Bill Wegher report that as of this writing, there are 11,344.97 Euros in our bank account in Belgium (on August 26, 2016 this amount equaled $12,700.07). In addition, our bank account in the United States contains approximately $16,760.47. As a result, both Association accounts approximately total $29,460.54. In addition, 5,000 Euros on August 26, 2016 equals $5,597.22.

Your current Board has discussed The Heritage Project over the past weeks and is, like last year's Board, unanimous in favor of supporting The Heritage Project. We feel that support of the project comports with the "mission/purpose" of our Association to "promote continuing education for its members and for others . . ." (cf. ACAA By-Laws, Article 2[2]), most especially, the people of Louvain and Belgium who so graciously hosted us during our respective time of study.

As such, in accord with Article 4(I) of our By-Laws, on August 30, 2016 the Board voted unanimously in favor of supporting The Heritage Project and in accord with Article 4(B), consequently disbursed funds in the form of a donation totaling 5,000 Euros on September 12, 2016, said funds having been withdrawn from the Belgium account to The American College Heritage Committee of the KU Leuven in support of The Heritage Project. In so doing, the Board has found such action "proper and expedient to promote the objects of the Association" (Article 4[B]).  The Board also wishes to inform the Association of this action in accord with Article 4(J).

In its discussions, the Board recognized the financial aspects of this donation. While the Board recognizes the donated amount totals almost twenty-percent of its cash-on-hand, it does not believe such a donation is detrimental to the overall health of our Association when evaluated in macro. Nor are any major expenses anticipated prior to our August 2017 reunion. Further, the Association may wish to consider this donation, at the August 2017 meeting, as the traditional donation to The American College that is usually made in this amount and which would have been effectuated at the August 2017 meeting in Louvain.   

The Board also believes that if this action were to occur, it would have to occur at this time considering the April 2017 deadline. Further, the Board believes it is incumbent upon it to take such an action in accord with Article 4 of the By-Laws.

While normally it would have been preferable to undertake such action with an affirmative vote by the members gathered at the annual Association membership, to wait until August 2017 to undertake such a vote would have been too late. While it is contemplated, our By-Laws do not contain a provision for "on-line" voting of the entire membership on a given matter. To do so, such a provision would have to delineate a standard that a proposed matter would have to meet vis-à-vis the duties of the Board as enumerated in Article 4 of the By-Laws.

By way of comparison, a provision for conducting a business meeting remotely has to be clearly provided for in the By-Laws (cf. RONR [11th ed.], pp. 97-99; see also p. 159 of RONRIB.) Wisely, our By-Laws contain no such provision concerning our entire membership as it could run counter and exceedingly complex when compared with the enumerated duties of the Board.

Further, the two aforementioned votes undertaken at the Collegeville meeting did not result in an affirmative mandate either in favor of - or against - support of The Heritage Project. The proposal to support The Heritage Project was tabled and a proposal to establish a fund for individual members to support The Heritage Project (as opposed to the Association as a whole) resulted in a tie vote. The Board felt that in light of the results of these two votes, it was not acting contrary to an express mandate of the membership as a whole.

More importantly, the Board seriously considered the importance of such a donation in expressing the good faith of our Association towards the KU Leuven in its undertaking of The Heritage Project. The Board recognizes the good-will of the KU Leuven in memorializing the heritage of The American College as it existed for 154 years.

The Board felt it is incumbent upon our Association to not only express our support, but our thanks, to the members of the University community, the people of Leuven and the country of Belgium for their gracious hospitality extended to all of us during our time of study by making this donation.

Please feel free to contact me or any other member of the Board if you have any questions or wish to express any concerns.

ALUMNI NEWS

As you know, if you have any news (new position or assignment, publication, death of a member, etc.), please consider sharing it with any member of the Board so that it may be disseminated to the Association membership.

Just as a reminder, our website contains the latest news and information regarding our Association and its members: www.acaalouvain.org.

Once again, thank you for allowing me to be of service to our Association during this upcoming year. If you should have any questions or concerns, please free to contact me or any member of our Board. You may reach me by e-mail at christopher.fusco@mail.law.cuny.edu.

With prayerful good wishes, I remain,

 

                      
Cordially yours in Christ,

 

Chris     /s/

Christopher J. Fusco, Esq., '97, '01

President

 

 

 


                                                                       

Letter from the Immediate Past President

August 15, 2016

Feast of the Assumption

Dear American College of Louvain Alumni Members,

The American College of Louvain Alumni Association annual reunion which was held this year from June 6th to 9th on the campus of Saint John’s Abbey and University was a great and enjoyable experience.  As an alumnus of both Collegeville and Louvain, I was extremely proud that these two excellent educational institutions and places of faith could connect more closely together as I served as the coordinator of this year’s 2016 reunion while also serving as your association president.

Many of our alumni have a shared experience of Saint John’s and Louvain in the past and I hope it will continue in the future.  Among those who have a connection with both are the following--  monks/faculty/staff /adjunct faculty/authors/or students who visited or studied at Louvain: Virgil Michel – founder of the U.S.A. Liturgical Movement, Jim Moudry, Ray Collins, Ernest Kilzer,  Aelred Tegels, Bob Flannery, Tim Fitzgerald, John Merkle, Rob Culligan, Bob Koopman, Cletus Connors, William Skudlarek, Aidan McCall, Bill Schipper, Johan van Parys, Simon-Hoa Phan, Ed Girres, Kelly Ryan, Aaron Wessman, and Nathan Chase, to name just a few.

Thirty-five of the Louvain alumni, including several of their spouses as well as the new archbishop of Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Bernard Hebda--who was able to be present for one evening and morning--attended this memorable reunion event:  “A Sense of Place – A Taste of Collegeville”.   Our participation in the Abbey prayer life was a source of great enrichment and continuity throughout our stay. 

On the final night of this year’s reunion, the schola from the Minneapolis Basilica enlisted by Louvain Alumnus and Collegeville adjunct professor Johan van Parijs, Director of the Basilica Liturgy and Cultural staff, provided exceptional music for our final Eucharist which was held at the Emmaus Hall Chapel.   The closing Social and Banquet was held in The Great Hall (the site of the former Abbey Church) with about fifty-five guests including besides our alumni-- the presenters, Basilica singers for the Mass, and the numerous departments and agencies at Saint John’s who provided and hosted our socials throughout the week.  I heard from many who came to the reunion this year that it was one of the best ones ever!  

Not only did attendees get to enjoy the scenic campus and wonderful hospitality of Saint John’s in Collegeville, but we also had a first-hand look at the unique and famous The Saint John’s Bible, tucked safely away in the vault in the lower level of the Science Center, with a prior and fascinating introduction by Tim Ternes of The Bible and Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML).  The alumni, likewise, were engaged in a Visio Divina by Barbara Sutton of the Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary who used the illumination from The Saint John’s Bible—“The Woman Caught in Adultery”—very appropriate for this Jubilee Year of Mercy.  Louvain Alumnus, John Merkle, lead us in an excellent presentation on the background and current status of Catholic-Jewish relations and other interreligious issues.  Another Louvain Alumnus, Brother Simon-Hoa Phan, OSB, shared his multi-media filmography on “Benedictine Values and the Arts.”  Potter, Richard Bresnahan provided us with a tour of his studio with its famous kiln where he shared tea with us as part of his Japanese and Benedictine hospitality--which was echoed by numerous other departments, programs and individuals on the Collegeville campus. 

Various sponsored socials took place at the Liturgical Press Display room, Brother Willie’s Pub, the Chapter House, The Great Hall, and the Abbey Guesthouse venues, with informative explanations given by a number of individuals on campus regarding the original hundred year master plan at Saint John’s including the building of the Abbey Church, the Collegeville Institute, the School of Theology and Seminary programs, as well as the completion of other buildings and renovations at Saint John’s includingthe new Abbey Guesthouse where most of us stayed.   Even though we were able to keep the reunion registration fee and room costs lower than usual this year, we were still able to clear $1,737.91 for our association coffers due to my seeking out hospitality hosts from ten various entities at Saint John’s and the Basilica in Minneapolis, as well as the donated services of the twelve speakers or presenters who were all invited to our closing banquet in return for their kindness.

Our annual business meeting was held and the minutes can be found on our alumni association website, www.acaalouvain.org.  More work needs to done as we continue our transition as a different type of alumni association than we were before the American College Seminary closed at the end of the academic year five years ago.  There are a number of ideas on how to tweak this for the future, and I’m sure next year’s 160th anniversary reunion, back in Leuven from August 6 through 13, 2017, will help us continue our future direction.

For you information, regarding air plane tickets, I discovered the latter part of May or early June this year, that the prices for flights were as low as $920 roundtrip from my area of St. Louis to Brussels for the early part of August 2016.  That is probably because the airlines wanted to fill up the seats.  I don’t know if that will be true for next year, but you might want to keep this in mind as you start looking ahead for reservations.

Regarding this year’s reunion, it makes me feel especially proud to be an alumnus of these two visionary, life-changing places of Louvain and Collegeville both of which exude God’s grace and life-giving promise!  It is my hope and prayer that these two extraordinary academic institutions--and other places as well--can continue to work more closely together in the future through study abroad options—such of The Damien Project including the Damien Community, institutes, and sabbaticals—both on the undergraduate and graduate levels.  This is especially a possibility since English is a common denominator in many of the programs at the KU Leuven in Belgium.  I encourage all of you to reach out to prospective candidates or institutions in your area that might be interested in the Damien Project Programs—especially the Damien Community and other possibilities that are part of the new American College mission.

As I close, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you as the president of the American Collegeville of Louvain Alumni Association.  It has been a privilege and blessing to serve you in this capacity as I represented all of you this past October at the Grand Opening Prayer Service of the rededication and festive ceremony of The American College with its new purpose and vision as well as to represent you and preach at the 50th anniversary of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Waterloo this past December.  The year before on May 10th, 2015, the feast of Saint Damien, through the hospitality of Madame Marie (Mimi) Solvay, a long-time friend of The American  College, I was able to bring together for a Mass and elegant dinner at her estate, twenty-four individuals associated with the College and living in Belgium as alumni, St. Damien Community members, representatives from KU Leuven and UCL, the Damien Project committee, former staff members, some relatives of former Belgium rectors or nuncios, Our Lady of Mercy Parish, the Dean of the Leuven Deanery, and the pastor of Sint Quentin English-Speaking Community. I also was able to meet with the Belgian Damien Project Committee at a luncheon hosted by Jack Dick; I was invited to lunch on two occasions by the president of the Belgian Damien Project Committee and Dean of the Philosophy Department, Professor Bart Raymaekers; and lastly, on my three trips to Leuven I joined socially with the Damien Community members and their coordinator, Derrick Witherington, all of which travel was borne on my own expense.  It was a pleasure, bittersweet as it was, to see firsthand the evolution and beginning of a new life for our dear alma mater in its transformation full of vitality, excitement and hope.   Every resident room in the building is completely occupied and the number of activities and projects abound!

As I have come to the end of my tenure as your president, I ask you to join me in welcoming our new association president, Mr. Christopher Fusco, who was duly elected at our June business meeting and will serve The American College of Louvain Alumni Association throughout the coming year.  I know Chris will do an excellent job in his role as president, especially for our upcoming reunion next August in Leuven.  I look forward to working with him as I continue serving on our board for one more year in the capacity of past-president and also as an ongoing member of the Damien Project Committee.

Until we meet back in Leuven a year from now--God’s peace, brothers and friends!

Bob

Fr. Bob Flannery

Immediate Past-President and 2016 Reunion Coordinator

Damien Project Committee Member

The American College of Louvain Alumni Association

The Catholic University of Louvain, KU Leuven, Belgium