Personal Profile, resume, and photo album
(above) Richard at the Main Street Cafe in Tarrytown after a Manhattanville concert
(below) Richard Cross and Kathleen Marie Stanton -
Richard and Kathleen Cross - just married August 1969
Twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in Venice
A brief biography.
I was born of a healthy WASP stock of Presbyterians on my mother's side and Methodists on my father's side. We have five Revolutionary patriots in our family and I have a great grandfather who fought in the Union army at Vicksburg. This makes me proud of my heritage but no better than anyone else on this earth. I became a Roman Catholic in my youth and treasure today the values and culture of both my Protestant and Catholic traditions. Both have much to offer each other. I feel uniquely qualified to work for Christian unity - something I work at and pray for every day. I am also actively engaged with Moslem friends whose friendship, culture and religious values I appreciate more and more each day. I am saddened that there is such injustice and bloodshed in the Middle East. Working for justice, peace and non-violence in the world is also a cause dear to me.
I had the advantage of a classical seminary education for twelve years with a heavy emphasis on Latin and Greek, literature and the humanities. I must confess, however, that my education in math and the sciences was, and remains, embarrassingly weak. Church music has been a part of my life since my youth when I played piano at Sunday School in the Methodist church. I played the piano and organ all through my seminary years and do so to this day.
I was fortunate to have had the last six years of my seminary
training in Europe at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium).
1425 by Pope Martin V Louvain is the oldest Catholic university
in existence today. One of my great heroes, Erasmus of Rotterdam,
at Louvain and I would like to think of myelf as a Christian humanist
him. My courses in Louvain were mainly in are area of philosophy
and theology, ethics and scripture among other things. Classes were
conducted in either French or Latin and all exams were oral in
the ancient European university tradition. During my years abroad I
was able to study Gregorian chant all the while with the Benedictines
at the nearby monastery of Mont Cesar. I also spent a summer
at the Gregorian Institute of Lyon (France).
The photo above shows yours truly in the clerical garb what was required in Belgium at the time for all clerical students during the years I studied philosophy and theology at the University of Louvain (1952-1958): the cassock (soutane) and the chapeau were to be worn at all times. If the chapeau was not worn it had to be at least carried. There were two kinds of chapeaux.that were worn. This was the Belgian "style" with the flat brim. It was stiff and was easy to sail like a frisbie - something Belgian university students sometimes liked to do if they could get their hands on one of our hats. This brought some of us to blows with them a couple of times. The Belgians students were not used to clerics fighting back. Belgian clerics did not wear long pants under their cassocks, either; but knickers or shorts. All one could see potruding beneath the cassock were two bony legs with long black stockings. We Americans were a cause of scandal and ridicule at first until the Belgians got used to us.
In the beginning of our sojourn the main problem facing us was learing French as fast as we could. All our classes in philosophy for the first two years were in French. We got help from a few young American Jesuits from down the street like Tony McHale and Tim Healy who tutored us on the side. Here I am in my room in 1952 trying to learn beginning French from the book all used "French Without Toil." An early phrase forever in memory:
"Prennez ma valise et suivez-moi."
This was the little street above was
behind our American College. The "other" style chapeau we called
"French" had a curved brim and was preferred by most of the guys.
The streets were not paved in our day but all cobblestone.
The little convent on the left down the
street of "Les Soeurs Noires"
faced the back wall of our college (on the right). Embarrassingly there
was a public urinal (pissoir) on this wall on the street side.
These fixtures were common in those days. This one provided local
Belgians the opportunity to let the Anericans know that thought of
us. Many did.
During summer vacation we traveled in pairs across Europe,
usually staying half the summer in a parish where we could learn French
and experience the ministry of the local clergy. I quickly
developede a great love for France and things French through the many
spent there, especially in remote Brittany. Below are some
Breton friends during my years in Europe.
Richard with the widow Madame Cariou and her
beautiful Breton coif in Quiberon (Department of Morbihan) and with two
priests at an old Breton well. They were fascinated by my corncob
pipe (pipe de mais, as they
I was also able to take an extended archeological and religious pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1957. This sparked my interest in the Middle East where I developed a great love for the people and places in the Holy Land. I have written much on the subject elsewhere.
the priesthood on June 29, 1958 in Louvain, Belgium
Richard (above left) after an ordination ceremony (deaconate) in Louvain with three classmates (1967)
This was my
ordination class. (June 29, 1958) In the front row (left) is
Father Thomas Ryan vice-rector of the Americn College, two classmates:
then Monsignor Honoré Van Waeyenbergh, rector of the University
of Louvain, then ordaining Bishop Hurley of St. Augustine,
Florida, and and next to him, Monsignor
Thomas Maloney, rector of the American College of Louvain.
is in the thrid row at the far left.
Upon completion of my studies at the university and ordination in 1958
I spent the next ten years in various forms of pastoral ministry in my
home state of Michigan. I served as a seminary professor for eight
years, directed choirs and helped implement the liturgical
renewal after the Second Vatican Council. I also continued with
graduate studies in French and studies in liturgical music: at the
University of America, Boys Town, and especially at the Pius X
of Liturgical Music at Manhattanville College. Involvement with choirs
and composition (when the spirit moves me) has always been a passion.
I am a member of the American Liszt Society and am devoted studient of
the music, life and times of Franz Liszt (1811-1886).
Here are three photos taken during the summers
when I studied at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music at
Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. It was during these years
that I met
and befriended Kathleen.
Below: discussing music with the famous
French composer and liturgist Father Lucien Deiss.
Below is a photo of the day I took Dom Gajard, choirmaster of Solesmes Abbey in France, on a Circle Line tour of Manhattan and introduced the great Gregorian chant artist to the American hot dog.
At lunch at the Pius X School of Liturgical
Music (Manhattaville College) with composer Alexander Peloquin and
Archibishop (later Cardinal) James A. Hickey who many years later
married Kathleen and me.
Pastoral ministry and seminary professor 1958-1968
During those years while I served as a seminary professor I was fortunate to be able to take teams of my brave students of French to Martinique during their summer vacations. There we did volunteer work (digging a sewer, painting, laying bricks, etc.) while cultivating a great love and respect for the people of that beautiful island. In all, I taught for about 35 years before retiring - 10 years in Catholic schools and 25 years in public school - French, liturgical music, Latin, and also spent many years working with learning disabled students in the public school system.
It was at Manhattanville that I met Kathleen Marie Stanton who many years later would become my wife. She is a liturgist and superb musician as you will know from our CD. You can read about it on this site and acquire it if you wish. Together we have served as music ministers in the same parish for nearly thirty years. We have a married son, Christopher, who is a talented musician and by profession a psychiatric social worker. He and his wife Millie have made us the proud grandparents of David Earl Cross and Isabel Marie Cross.
I like to consider myself a Christian humanist in the best sense of the
word. It's been a joy to be a part of the Christian
renewal and outreach after the Second Vatican Council. Having
lived and worked both before and after this historic event I feel
to pose certain questions and evaluate current events in the light of
my experiences. I do not have all the answers but like to
speculate and probe a bit even if I have frequently ruffle a few
feathers. At 75 who should care? I welcome your input and hope to
carry out this
and other endeavors - always in charity - as long as God lets me
remain here. I have also been a Hospice worker for a few years now
with terminal patients and find this a great ministry. As I
I support groups that promote ecumenism non-violence, peace and
justice especially in the Middle East, as well as reform
within the church. With these ideas I invite you to explore some of the
material in this site. Richard
More Family Photos
Public school teacher working
with children with learning disabilities - 1975
Richard and Kathleen in Guadeloupe 1990
Richard and Kathleen - "Gemütlich" in Salzburg (1999)
(Below) Two ancient Druids at home
(Below) A 2002 visit from my earliest boyhood friend from grammar
Major Jack Washington, U.S. Air Force (ret.)
Richard chez lui au piano 2002
Grandson David Earl Cross at a year and a half
David Earl's first piano lesson with Grandpa
Some sins of my youth
(above) My 1960 Studebaker Silver Hawk
(above) My 1967 Citroën
(below) Kathleen and Richard on vacation in Saint Martin 1973
Here is a brief resume of my academic history and other activities:
Richard’s Academic History
Summary College and University studies
University of Louvain, Louvain
Institut Supérieur de Philosophie (1952-1954)
Sacra Facultas Theologiae (1954-1958)
B.A., M.A. in theology
Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York (1971-1974)
M.S. in Education
Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI: graduate studies in French
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor: social studies
Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI: education
Catholic University of America, Washington, DC: liturgical music
St. Mary’s College, Omaha, NE: liturgical music
Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY: liturgical music
St. Joseph Seminary/Aquinas College: humanities
Grégoire, Lyon (France): Gregorian chant
Abbey of Mont Cesar, Louvain (Belgium): Gregorian chant
BOCES of Westchester : media and social studies
Admitted to Kappa Delta Pi (National honor society in education) Manhattan College (1973)
New York State - permanent:
Music, French, Special Education
Michigan – permanent: English, Latin, music and French
1971-1993 Isaac Young Junior High
and Middle School, New Rochelle, NY
1969-1971 BOCES of Lower Westchester (Project G.R.O.W.)
1960-1968 seminary professor of music, French, and English at The Saint Paul Seminary,
Saginaw, MI – accredited by the University of Michigan and the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (1965)
Your Other Self, by Jean Vieujean, my translation from the French original (L’Autre Toi-Même). Published by Newman Press, 1959, 165 pages.
The Journal of the American Liszt Society. Two articles.
Carmelite Digest. One article
“The Story of the American College” in The
American College Bulletin
listed as a reference in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, page 1038.
- Greenwood Press, Cincinnati, OH
- F.E.L. Publications, Los Angeles CA
- World Library Publications, Cincinnati OH
- Morningstar Press, Fenton, MO
- The Armed Forces Hymnal, United States Government Pub.
- six years of study and travel
- archeological study and expedition in the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel, 1957) directed by the Centre Richeilieu - Paris.
- University directed archeological tours throughout Belgium.
- two summer sessions of volunteer work with my students in Martinique – an activity that was cited by the U.S. Information Agency in its publication (Fort-de-France, Martinique, French West Indies)
Membership and activities:
- National Pastoral Musicians
- American Guild of Organists (AGO)
- Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)
- Hospice of Westchester
- Pax Christi
- Gush Shalom
- Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR)
- Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
- Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation (HCEF)
- Churches for Middle East Peace
- The American Liszt Society
- Amnesty International
- Call to Action
- The Other Israel
A. Elementary School<> Kindergarden: William Ford School, Dearborn, Michigan 193701938