In Memoriam: Brother Raymond Hoyt, CFX 1953 - 2017

Brother Ray Hoyt gives a presentation to students at the XBSS Student Retreat in 2014.

Friday, October 13th | 4 - 7 PM
Xaverian Brothers High School Chapel — Westwood, MA

Funeral Mass
Saturday, October 14th | 10 AM
St. Timothy's — Norwood, MA

Saturday, October 14th | Noon
Brothers' Cemetery — St. John's Preparatory School, Danvers, MA
Followed by luncheon in the Prep’s dining hall. 

Brother Raymond was born on February 28, 1953 in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. He was the oldest child of Frances and Raymond Hoyt, Sr. Brother Raymond is survived by his sister, Elaine, and brothers Russell, Randy and Robert. Raymond graduated from Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Massachusetts in 1970. He entered the Congregation on September 12, 1971 and professed perpetual vows on September 20, 1980.

Raymond was a lifelong learner. He prepared himself for his call as an educator by earning both his BA (1975) and MA (1981) at Boston College. His field of concentration was English Literature with a minor in French.  He did additional graduate studies at Worcester State, Assumption College, St. Joseph College, Hartford, CT and the University of Hartford. Raymond was certified to teach English and French. He earned his Administrative Certification at Boston College in 1999. Raymond was an outstanding educator.

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

Henry Adams

The chaplain at the Kaplan Family Hospice Center, Reverend Ed Bernald, shared the quote with Brother Bob Green and me when we visited Raymond on Saturday. The chaplain was paying a tribute to Raymond. He told us that he had met a young man who was wearing a Xaverian Brothers High School shirt. He was working at a gas station. He was a graduate of XBHS. The chaplain asked if the student knew Brother Raymond. The young man spoke of the positive impact Ray had on his life. Raymond was a great mentor who took the time to show interest in this student. We pray that Raymond now realizes the many people whose lives he influenced. 

Raymond was blessed with crystal-clear mission as a Xaverian Brother. For the better part of his life as a Xaverian, Ray "manifested God's compassionate love” to his colleagues, his students and their families with great joy and enthusiasm. Gifted with a keen perception of the individual, Raymond helped students, in particular, see themselves as "a unique expression of God's love." (FP) Raymond's attitude and actions communicated this belief to his students. It is that sense of mission that filled Ray's life with his typical positive energy and joy. 

Raymond's life as a Xaverian would take him from St. John's in Shrewsbury, MA, to Xavier High School in Middletown, then on to the Northeast Province's mission outreach in Orangeburg, SC where he was Principal at Holy Trinity Catholic School. He would return to his alma mater, Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, MA, as both teacher and administrator. Raymond's generous soul allowed him to leave the familiar and accept the position of Principal at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, KY where he also taught a French class. He would return to Xaverian Brothers High School in 2003 and continue his ministry as an administrator and teacher. He loved teaching the middle school students French. I am sure they loved him as their teacher.

A Xaverian Brothers High School tribute video to Brother Ray.

Raymond was masterful whether teaching French or English, honor students or strugglers, teenagers or teachers new to Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools. For years, Ray was a key member of the annual XBSS Retreat. Raymond's ability to tell a story, to communicate a point, to generate positive energy with plenty of humor was outstanding. 

O Lord, I cannot understand Your ways,
but I must adore them.

On June 20, 2016, Raymond's world was shattered. He was diagnosed with bulbar ALS, which affects speech, swallowing and breathing. His signature gift of communication would gradually be taken from him. I am sure Raymond understood more than most of his Brothers the meaning of the Founder's quote ”O Lord, I cannot understand Your ways, but I must adore them.” 

On September 10, 2017, Raymond shared with the community at Xaverian House some of the challenges of his life since the diagnosis. As he concluded, he shared: 

Brothers, I want to thank you all for your kindnesses to me. Those who picked me up when I fell, those who help clear my dining room space, those who say 'hi' to me when I can't answer back. I'm afraid of the future and what will happen to me. I know it's all in God's hands...I would ask for your prayers and watchful eyes. March on.

Brother Raymond Hoyt.

In many ways it was hard for Ray to grasp what was happening to him. It happened so fast. I know it was difficult for me to see Raymond at the Kaplan Family Hospice Center. It is sad. The faith we share as his Brothers gives us hope knowing that Raymond is now at peace. 

Let us pray in thanksgiving for Ray's many gifts to us. Let us pray that he now experience the peace that comes from a life of doing God's will. May he now understand in his heart the truth from Henry Adams,

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

May Raymond enjoy the eternal love of God.

Brother Edward Driscoll, CFX | General Superior