BROTHER MARCIAN (STANISLAUS) KARSKY, CSC (1903-1942)

PRELUDE TO GLORY

Brother Marcian was born in Ostretin, Czechoslovakia. His parents came to the States in 1908 and settled in North Dakota.  He entered Holy Cross in 1921 and was professed in 1926.  He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1930 with a Bachelor of Arts in Latin (Magna Cum Laude).  His master’s work was done at Columbia University, NY and he graduated with the diploma PRINCIPAL OF HIGH SCHOOL. From 1924-1933, he was assigned to Cathedral High School, Indianapolis, IN where he taught the Classics and served as Prefect of Discipline and Assistant Principal.  From 1933-1939, he served as the first principal of Monsignor James Coyle High School in Taunton, MA, and from 1939-1942, he returned to Cathedral H.S. as principal.  During the early part of December, 1941, he was stricken with a streptococcic infection of the blood, and in February 1942 was moved to Seton Infirmary, Austin, TX where he died in November.

The following is taken from an obituary printed in the 1942 issue of The Association of St. Joseph: “The Congregation sustained another loss on November 11, 1942.  Brother Marcian had nothing to do with retirements, twilights, or memories; rather he stood on the brink of a brilliant career.  Characteristic of his optimism was a strange deathbed request: he wanted for his library a recently published book on the history of the Catholic Church in America.  And propped up on pillows, he read serenely with pencil poised for the marginal notes that would soon augment his classroom preparations, ‘after I shake-off this fever.’

“That the young teacher possessed qualities of leadership is evident by his appointment to positions of responsibility.  Under his direction two student organizations flourished at Cathedral: the Students’ Activity Council and the Students’ Council for Catholic Action. 

“To know Brother Marcian was to discover in him an admirable blend of shrewdness of temper with simplicity.  Young teachers are often terrified by the slightest rent in that priceless fabric they call their ideals.  A thoughtless boy is more than likely to prove catastrophic to the rigid standards of discipline set up by the uninitiated.  To these young teachers whose personal displeasure became at once a world crisis, Brother Marcian was wont to ask: ‘Now, remember that you were once a boy yourself, what do you suggest that I do?’ Even though he knew beforehand—with some strange kind of knowing—what ought to be done.’”

Brother Marcian was a man who could temper justice not only with mercy, but also with charity; who could maintain principles without being arbitrary.  His hearty laugh and genuine sense of humor made him a favorite among students.

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