Farewell to Brother J. Benedict FSC

A Eulogy for Br. Benedict by Ramon R. del Rosario, Jr.

Our class, High School Class of 1962, was very fortunate in that we had Brother Ben as our math teacher throughout most of our high school years. He was, without doubt, the very best math teacher we ever had, for he had a way of teaching that allowed many of us not only to learn but to develop a real appreciation for mathematics. We also quickly learned that this ominous figure was in fact a lovable and loving person who truly cared for us. Until his passing he referred to many of us from this class as "his boys," and we have always been very proud to carry that tag. We developed a friendship that was to last nearly 50 years!

I am sure the Brothers will not resent my saying that Brother Ben was clearly the most effective and best loved Alumni Coordinator that DLSU ever had. And he was also one its most effective fund raisers, bringing his begging bowl with him wherever he could raise funds for the good old school.

Later in life, we had our disagreements. Br. Ben and I sat together in the Board of Trustees of DLSU in the first three years of my current stint on the Board. He welcomed my active participation in board deliberations and would often take me aside or give me phone calls just to tell me how pleased he was with the quality of my participation. He did become somewhat difficult when I did not agree with his views. When I chaired the Search Committee for the University President to choose a successor to Brother Roly Dizon, Br. Ben had very strong views about what should happen next. But he did not close his mind to the possibility that the criteria and process adopted by the Committee may indeed bring about a good result. I could not help but think that part of it too was that he still trusted me and had enough respect for me to believe that I had DLSU's interests at heart at all times.

Our final disagreement had to do with Guidelines passed by the Board of Trustees under my chairmanship on naming rights at DLSU. Brother Ben had numerous comments and questions. Aren't we being holier than the Pope? Who would decide who are acceptable and who are not? Why impose these restrictions when it is already so difficult to raise funds? We exchanged very long letters. I assured Bro. Ben that we realized this was a very sensitive issue, but we felt strongly that we were much better off with these guidelines than not to have guidelines at all. He ultimately dropped the matter. Again I think it was trust and mutual respect that allowed us to discuss this emotional issue without rancor, without affecting our friendship.

This then is the Brother Benedict I fondly remember. The best math teacher we ever had. De La Salle's most effective and beloved alumni coordinator and fund raiser. A dedicated educator of Filipinos. A most loving son and brother to his mother and sister. A human being who knew how to enjoy life, a good game of golf, a glass of whiskey. A warm and caring person. Above all, a truly wonderful Friend.

We will miss him. From "your boys," goodbye Brother Benedict. There will never be another like you.