Father Venard Poslusney, O.Carm.
The Order of Carmelites are saddened to report that Father Venard Poslusney, O.Carm., died at the age of eighty-eight on Thursday, December 15, 2005, at his home in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
Father Venard, laid in state at Saint Anastasia Church, in Teaneck, New Jersey, Monday, December 21, 2005. The Lay Carmelites prayed the rosary before the wake service that was held that evening. The Mass of Christian Burial took place at Saint Anastasia Church, December 22. The Very Reverend John Welch, O.Carm., Prior Provincial of the Most Pure Heart of Mary Province, was the presider. Burial immediately followed at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Tenafly, New Jersey.
Venard Poslusney was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 1, 1917. He attended Saint Nicholas Grade School in Millvale, Pennsylvania. Entering High School, he joined the Carmelites at Mount Carmel Preparatory Seminary in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He made his simple profession of vows at the Carmelite Novitiate house in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania, on August 15, 1936; and his solemn vows on August 15, 1939.
Entering college, he attended Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He also attended De Paul University, Chicago, Illinois where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Spanish in 1947. He had a great interest in music and entered the Chicago Conservatory of Music, in Chicago, Illinois, where he received both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Voice and Composition in 1949 and 1951 respectively.
Father Venard Poslusney, O.Carm., was ordained a priest on May 28, 1942 in Washington, DC. After ordination, Father Poslusney began his career as Carmelite priest as formator for the province in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania. In 1944 he went to Chicago, Illinois, where he taught at Mount Carmel High School while completing his degrees at the Chicago Conservatory. In 1950 he continued his teaching of seminarians at the Carmelite Junior Seminary located then in Hamilton, Massachusetts. Two years later, he returned to New Baltimore where he taught at the Carmelite Novitiate there.
In 1960, Father Poslusney moved to Wolfniz, Austria, where he began a semi-eremitical life. In 1969, after nine years in Wolfniz, he returned to the United States where he continued living a contemplative life style with a limited retreat ministry in prayer and contemplation, and the celebration of healing Masses, in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania. During that time he was also involved in Charismatic Renewal. After four years in New Baltimore, Father Poslusney began a prayer apostolate at the Carmel Retreat Center in Mahwah, New Jersey. There he served in healing and retreat ministry for three years until 1981, when he pursued a contemplative life in Saddle Brook, New Jersey. In Saddle Brook, Father Venard conducted weekly prayer groups with an accompanied Charismatic healing Mass, mini retreat days on centering prayer and contemplation and many Lay Carmelite retreats within the New Jersey area, where he lived until his death.
Father Venard was the author of a number of books on prayer, plus many articles on spiritual subjects. For over ten years, Father Venard Poslusney, O.Carm., had a cassette tape ministry on which all phases of spiritual life were discussed. Over twenty-two series of taped topics were discussed with some series having more than 15 individual taped sessions. He was credited with attending over 300 conferences that were recognized throughout the United States and Canada. He resided in New Jersey for more than thirty years and had served the Lay Carmelite Community as spiritual director and chaplain, founding the communities in New Jersey, Florida, and California.
May he rest in peace.
Reverend Jeffry Fairfield, O.Carm.
Carmelites of the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary mourn the loss of Reverend Jeffry Leonard Fairfield, O.Carm., who died at the age of 84 on November 28, 2005, at the Saint John of God Retirement Center in Los Angeles, California.
Three memorial Masses were celebrated. The first on December 8, at the retirement center, in Los Angeles, California; the second, on January 17, 2006 at the Chapel of the Crespi Carmelite High School in Encino, California; and in Darien, Illinois, at the Shrine of Saint Therese in February.
Jeffry Fairfield was born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 31, 1921. He attended Saint Felicitas Grade School on Chicago’s southside. He was a good athlete, a leftie, who enjoyed playing baseball. He was also an avid reader. Entering high school, he joined the Carmelites at Mount Carmel Preparatory Seminary in Niagara Falls, Ontario. He made his simple profession of vows at the Carmelite Novitiate house in New Baltimore, Pennsylvania, on August 15, 1940; and his solemn vows at Whitefriars Hall in Washington, DC, on August 15, 1943.
Entering college, he attended Mount Carmel College in Niagara Falls, Ontario where he received his bachelors in Philosophy. He also attended Boston College in Newton, Massachusetts and Saint Michael’s in Burlington, Vermont. In 1949, he received a Master’s degree in English Literature at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Jeffry Fairfield, O.Carm., was ordained a priest on June 8, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois.
After ordination, Reverend Fairfield began his career as a Carmelite priest by teaching seminarians at the Carmelite Junior Seminary located then in Hamilton, Massachusetts. He taught there a total of ten years in two, five year increments beginning in 1947 and 1962. A former student, now the Reverend Kevin Shanley, O.Carm., remembers him as a great teacher of English, “one of the reasons I became a journalist was because of his classes,” Shanley said.
Jeffry’s life at home as a member of the Fairfield family of ten, was viewed by his siblings as one of a strict disciplinarian. Jeffry, the second child, was thought of by his brothers and sisters as an authority figure, ready to take charge if need be.
During the years between his teaching careers at Hamilton, Father Fairfield worked as a Carmelite missionary serving in parish work in Lima, Peru. During a visit by his younger brother Gerard, he recalls that Jeffy’s working knowledge of Spanish was quite a benefit to them as they traveled Lima, and especially during their meeting with Bishop Nevin Hayes, O.Carm., then, the Prelate of Sicuani.
In 1967 Father Fairfield went to Houston, Texas, where he served in parish work at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. He also served at Saint Bernard’s in Joliet, Illinois; Saint Joan of Arc in Newport News, Virginia, and was the Pastor of Saint Gertrude’s Parish in Stockton, California.
In 1972, he returned to teaching for one year at Saint Joseph’s College in Stuart, Florida. From there, Reverend Fairfield began a twelve-year ministry as chaplain at two hospitals in New York, within the authorization of the Veterans Administration.
In remembering his brother Jeffry, Gerard Fairfield said, “I enjoyed traveling with him…he opened doors that I couldn’t have gotten into otherwise.” He remembers fondly his trips with his brother to Lima, Peru, Madrid, Spain and Rome, Italy. Jeffry wasn’t one to sit back, “he was a man who had to do something all the time.”
May he rest in peace.