BROTHER EDWARD G. BOZZO, CFX
1932 - 2018
Brother Kurt’s religious spirit is simple and humble.
He is devoted to his religious duties and is exemplary in community
Brother Climacus, CFX
For those who had any significant contact with Brother Edward Bozzo, Brother Climacus’ words ring so true. Like Brother Alberto, his natural brother, the call to “the life of love in faith and trust as a disciple of Jesus in the Congregation of the Brothers of Saint Francis Xavier”was grounded in his early formation. As we know, the call to religious life is nurtured in the faith and love one experiences in the family.
According to our records, Ed was born in Little Italy, Manhattan, to Emil and Rosa. He was one of six children. He had two sisters, Elvira and Evelyn and three brothers, Emil, John and Alberto. Ed was baptized at Transfiguration Parish on Mott Street. His parents were from Genoa. The family moved to Bensonhurst Brooklyn where Ed would come to meet the Xaverian Brothers at Saint Michael’s Diocesan High School.
La famiglia is central to the Italian culture. Ed received his earliest formation from the ritual of Sunday dinners and family celebrations of religious holydays and festivals .His sisters and brothers learned from their parents to embrace life and the Catholic faith with their characteristic gioaia di vivere of the Italian culture.
If the family nurtures the call to religious life, it is the spirit of the religious community that helps the individual to discern the call. Ed would have been taught by such Brothers as: Claude, Gilroy, Jogues, Randal, Donald, and Thomas More. An outstanding student, Ed graduated from Saint Michael’s in June 1950 and entered Sacred Heart Novitiate in Fort Monroe, Virginia in September of the same year. On the Feast of Saint Joseph 1951 Ed received the religious habit of the Xaverian Brothers and the name ‘Brother Kurt.’ After novitiate, Ed would attend the Catholic University of American earning his BA in Spanish in 1956 and his Bachelors in Theology in 1962. From 1961 to 1964 Ed lived with the community at the Generalate in Rome while studying for his Licentiate at the Lateran University. He was enrolled in the Pontifical Institute of Jesus Magister (Jesus the Teacher).
Upon return to the United States, Ed would spend from 1964 to 1970 teaching New Testament and Moral Theology at Xaverian College in Silver Spring, Maryland. In 1969 Ed earned his doctorate from Catholic University.
In 1970 Ed’s journey would find him teaching theology at Cardinal Cushing College until 1972 followed by a year as a director of Religious Education. Ed would then teach for thirteen years at Saint John’s Preparatory. In 1986 he would join faculty at Malden Catholic High School where he would spend the next thirty-two years in various capacities.
Give the gift you have received as a gift.
Ed’s gifts were many. A sharp intellect, quick wit, a sense of humor that captured life’s incongruities were gifts that attracted the attention of his students and benefited their learning. We simply enjoyed being around him. I have vivid images of small groups of scholastics surrounding Ed in front of the Chapel or dining room. I can still hear laughter coming from the group. We enjoyed his presence. His Moral Theology class was one of the best classes offered at Xaverian College.
Ed’s humility and empathy made him approachable. As Brother Climacus noted, Ed was inclined to be ‘serviceable to everyone.’ He embraced a simple life and remained faithful to it to the end. “Why do the righteous suffer?’, is a question that Rabbi Harold Kushner raised in this When Bad Things Happen to Good People which he wrote in response to his son, Aaron’s tragic death. There is no simple answer to the question of evil. Ed taught us that reality in his Moral Theology class. How we respond to evil, according to Rabbi Kushner, is tied up with the meaning of life that we discover in our relationship with God and each other. For Ed discovered that meaning many years earlier in simplicity of his family life, the inspiration of his call to follow Christ as a Xaverian Brothers and the joy he experienced in serving others.
We pray in thanksgiving for Ed’s life. May he now enjoy the peace Christ promises us as he joins his parents, sisters and brothers.
Brother Edward Driscoll, CFX