Brother Nicholas Lanese, M.S.C., a member of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, died April 4, 2017 in Hospice at Manor Care Nursing Home. He was born in Cleveland, OH, on Aug. 17, 1933, to Angelo and Assunta (Mitri) Lanese, both now deceased.
Br. Nicholas graduated from Murray Hill Grade School in 1948. From 1949-51, he attended Cleveland Hts. High School. He then entered Sacred Heart Mission Seminary in Geneva, IL, where he completed his secondary education and one year of college. In 1956, he entered the novitiate, in Youngstown, OH, making first profession of vows in 1957. He completed two additional years of college at the MSC school in Shelby, OH, before being assigned to the MSC retreat house in Youngstown, OH, as a member of the maintenance staff.
Later in 1959, he was transferred to the MSC community in Geneva, IL, where he worked in the print shop till 1962. He was then assigned to the MSC community at Shelby, where he worked in the laundry and in housework. From 1968 to ,1995, Br. Nicholas has been a house brother: in Youngstown, OH, from 1968-69; in Geneva, IL, from 1969-73; in Elgin, IL, from 1973-74; in Reading, PA, from 1974-79; and in Aurora, IL, 1979-95. In Elgin, Reading, and Aurora he was also part-time cook. In 1995 Br. Nick was assigned to the Direct Mail Staff. In 2001, Br. Nick was assigned to the Chicago house of formation to help with the cooking during the school year. He later moved back to Aurora until 2010 when he took up residence at Sacred Heart Villa, Center Valley, PA.
Br. Nicholas loved classical music, especially opera. He was widely appreciated in Aurora by the poor folk who come to the door of the MSC community looking for food and other help.
A Reflection on Br. Nick by Fr. Ray Diesbourg
Brother Nicholas’ funeral Mass was held on Monday, April 10, at our Sacred Heart Villa in Center Valley, Pennsylvania. Br. Jim Miller, read the first reading from Isaiah’s “On this holy mountain…” Brother Nicholas’ niece Gina did the second reading from St. Paul’s “We were baptized into Christ…” And I did the Gospel from Matthew’s “Come to me all you who labor…”
Relatives in attendance were his nieces from Madison, WI, and Mentor, OH, along with their husbands and several of their children. Besides the MSC members from Pennsylvania, also present were Fr. Pierre Aubin and Fr. Vince Freeh from Watertown, and Br. Jim Miller, Fr. Andy Torma and I from Illinois. Along with some of the staff who took care of Nick over the years were a few local neighbors who got to know Nick by attending daily Mass at the Villa.
Burial took place at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Ottsville. Br. Nick joins the 11 MSC confreres buried at St. John’s: Brothers Dick Kuhl, John Rose, Al Schirmers, Bob Murphy and Fathers Mike Vasti, Bob Cell, Ray Costello, Tom Keller, Leo Petit, Ron Leinen and Ed Ball.
After the committal prayers, we sang the Salve Regina.
Arrangements were taken care of by Reichel Funeral Home of Nazareth. The latches did not line up properly and they had to take the coffin back into the lobby where they could push things back into place. After the burial, all returned to Center Valley for a spaghetti dinner in honor of Nick’s Italian heritage. All in all it was a warm and prayerful send-off for a brother with a big heart.
Fr. Ray Diesbourg, M.S.C.
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