Biographies, F – J

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William Fifer

My entire family became part of the Xavier community. My brother Walt was in the last Xavier class to graduate. My parents Ruth and Walter became close friends with many Xavier parents and teachers. In fact, several including Charlie Hegarty and Jim O'Brien were able to attend their memorial services. My parent’s genuine fondness for so many of my friends, together with having a good looking sister like Cindi, made our house a popular destination.


Following an unforgettable four years at Xavier, with the help of Father Mullen’s active lobbying effort, I was admitted to Georgetown for another strong dose of first-rate Jesuit education. I then spent 4 years teaching young children, including those with autism, severe learning disabilities, and emotional disorders. Though I loved being with these intriguing children, I found that I was not cut out for such demanding work given their complex problems (and their often equally troubled parents). So I decided to turn my attention to research into the early roots of childhood disorders and spent the next hundred years in graduate school (or so it seemed to my parents and Mike Allan who often questioned whether I would ever get my degree).


It took almost as many years to find my wonderful wife Jill, a beautiful Brit from London, whom I met in Sweden while at a conference on early brain development. Clearly the best meeting I ever attended. Though I moved to NYC with the intention of leaving after my two year post-doctoral fellowship at Einstein College of Medicine, I joined Columbia University and have stayed for the last 32 years.

Jill and I have raised two wonderful sons who thrived, even as serious Red Sox fans, in NYC. Our travels as a family around the world have made it easy for them to continue to explore other countries and cultures. James is studying coral reefs in the Dominican Republic and is enrolled in graduate school in Marine Biology in Guam, while his brother Lucas is enjoying Japan as he studies his favorite topics of astrophysics and Japanese culture.


I have enjoyed teaching at Columbia and Barnard, but most of my daily work is dedicated to carrying out a research program investigating early brain and behavior development. I have worked with incredible colleagues in many parts of the world, ranging from the Native American reservations in the Dakotas to the settlements in Cape Town, South Africa. And I hope to continue to do so as long as my health and the granting agencies permit.

As I read these sentences I am reminded how fortunate I have been, in large measure due to my own roots having been nourished by my family, friends and Xavier experience. And since this feels a bit like I am writing my own obituary, in lieu of flowers, please send a donation to, my brother Scott’s incredible foundation for improving the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world.

   Bill Fifer
   530 West 113th Street, 8A
   NYC, NY 10025


Paul Guaraldi

Guaraldi,P_2016 Guaraldi,P_1966

I live in Dallas, (who would have guessed), with my female Weimaranner, Dolce. I'm next to my son, Michael, and his dogs, Bailey and Buddy. I like the south and enjoy the warm weather. New England is too cold for me!

I'm a serial workaholic. After MIT, I went into the family machine shop business which we sold in 1981. I then started a hi-tech company with my brother Bob which we sold in 1997. Contemporaneously, I was a real estate developer with my partner Frank Burke until Frank passed away in 2000. From 2003 until 2009 I lived in Florida, and I created a real estate brokerage and commercial mortgage broker business which was successful until the great recession hit. My biggest lender was Lehman Brothers. OOPS!!

So I decided to close both companies and move to Dallas. I am currently an owner and CFO of the Donation Partners Corporation, a one year old start-up in the deconstruction industry. As an example of our work, we recently reached agreement to deconstruct 1,200 brick, single-family homes and a 1,000,000 Sq. Ft. shopping mall. Additionally, I provide business consulting including part-time and temporary CFO services for start-up companies. I'm also involved in equipment loans, accounts receivable financing, hi-tech startup working capital, and commercial real estate loans. I like what I do and enjoy the work. I spend my lesiure time with family and my business associates.

   Paul E. Guaraldi
   4400 Cowan Avenue
   Dallas, TX 75209


Charles M. Hegarty: Highlights of the Past Fifty Years 1966 - 2016

Hegarty 2016

After three years of being taught by the “Generally Brilliant” students of Xavier '66, I began my Jesuit theological training at Weston College (1965-68). During this time, I taught a senior seminar in Theology & Literature at The College of the Holy Cross, completed my MA in Literature from The Bread Loaf School of Literature, and played hockey on the pond at Weston with Mark McKenna and Billy Boland a few times. I completed studies and was ordained a Jesuit priest on June 7, 1968. Thereafter, I began my doctoral studies in Literature at the University of Chicago (1968-73). After failing the French language exam 7 times, I finally passed and received my Ph.D. in August 1973. Shortly thereafter, I was hired by The University of San Francisco as an Assistant Professor of English (1973-75).

In July 1976, I voluntarily petitioned Rome and was granted a canonical release from my religious vows as a Jesuit and from my priestly status. I was formally granted permission by Rome to become a layman. I was formally “laicized.” With humble self pride, I relish and celebrate my life as a Jesuit. It remains an integral, intimate, and permeating dimension of my life, my values, and world outlook today. In the Fall of 1976, I moved to Chicago and entered the world of civil rights, public service and elective politics.

As a senior Compliance Officer in The Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Dept. of Education (ED) Region V in Chicago, I served for 28 years (1976-2004). My predominant service was as a mediation specialist counseling concerned parents and educating school and college administrators to understand and comply with the requirements of federal civil rights laws as applied to minority faculty and students, faculty and students with disabilities, faculty and students denied equal educational opportunity and equal athletic opportunity based on their gender. I worked at all levels of educational institutions from elementary and secondary schools through colleges and universities throughout the Midwest and nationally. For this public service while employed with ED, I received the Department’s National Award for unique contributions to improve the lives of others.

Public service continued as I was elected Alderman to the City Council of Elmhurst, IL, serving as Chairman of the Finance & Management Committee (1989-1993). Not only did I save a buck, I actually fixed potholes! I was elected Commissioner to the Elmhurst Park District (1995-2001) and based on my background with disability issues, developed policies to ensure full program access to persons with disabilities in the park programs. I was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for my work with local and state legislators. I was appointed to the Board of Directors of HOPE, an Illinois Fair Housing advocacy organization, as well as to the Board of Directors of DuPage Center for Independent Living, an Illinois organization dedicated to equal opportunity in education, employment, and consumer rights of persons with disabilities (1996-2001).


I have been enjoying retirement since 2004, moving from Chicago to Cape Cod in 2006. However, after being bullied by the winter of 2015, we packed up our F-150 pickup truck, “Sweet Baby Ray,” and moved to sunny California in July 2015. One of the highlights of the past 50 years, as a faithful member of Red Sox Nation, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the 2004 and 2007 World Series, especially because, as a boy of 14, I worked as a Vendor selling scorecards, peanuts, and hot dogs at Fenway Park from 1950-1954. Actually I shook hands and talked with Ted Williams five times.

One of the sad moments of this period came in 2011 with the deaths of both John Murphy and Jack Leonard. Two of the great ones involved in the early days of Xavier. All three of us remained intimate friends throughout our personal journeys. I know not better quality men. Both were “For Others.” May their spirit, dedication, and love inform our Reunion.

The greatest highlight of this period was my 1978 Saint Patrick’s Day wedding to Mary Frances O'Shea, Ph.D. in a nuptial Mass concelebrated by 10 Jesuit priest friends and a large host of Usual Suspects. Our marriage and mutual love has informed, shaped, and given focus and drive to our mutual journey for the past 38 years and in saecula saeculorum.

   Charles M. Hegarty
   2064 Appersett Loop
   Roseville, CA 95747
   Cell: 847.508.2464


Paul D. Holland, S.J.


September 1966 saw me ripped from the comfortable confines of Concord and plunged into the cauldron of Cambridge, where I took up residence in Harvard Yard. So many daunting challenges — a freshman class five times larger than Xavier’s entire student body, professors holding forth to several hundred students in ornate lecture halls, girls sitting at the next desks, sharing a room with two equally bewildered frosh, and a war and racism rapidly ripping apart our generation, our church and our country. The next four years drew me deeper into each of those challenges. I agonized over issues of the war, non-violence and resistance, attended anti-war rallies, spent the night in University Hall when students occupied the building, watched in shame and anger as baton-wielding police dragged away student protestors “by the dawn’s early light.” I “retired” from the church for a while, distressed by the silence or open complicity of the hierarchy with the war and with our own unacknowledged racism. I worked in an anti-poverty summer program in Roxbury, a mental health clinic and a YMCA camp. I fell in love and somehow survived that wonderful, neurotic adventure; it was instrumental in my return to faith.

I got elected to local office in Belmont. After graduation I turned down admission to UVA law school, and worked as a political consultant for several campaigns, including an anti-war Congressional candidate. I then ran for school committee, and E.J. Dionne, now columnist for the Washington Post and Fellow at the Brookings Institute, served as my campaign manager. Since I lost, he now claims that he’s responsible for my priestly vocation! In a sense, he’s right. I was doing everything I had thought would make me happy—a political career—and realized that it wasn’t what I truly desired. As Arlo Guthrie would later say, it’s good to get at a young age everything that you think will make you happy, so that when you realize those things don’t fill your deepest desire, you still have time to find out what will. So the election loss, and falling in love but deciding not to marry Ellen, raised the big questions of my life: not just what did I want to do but who did I want to become? As poet Mary Oliver puts it:

"When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder If I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world."

With a new awareness of the Lord’s presence in my life and history, the question became, Who is He calling me to be?


A profound set of religious conversion experiences led me to enter the Jesuits in 1972. The Society missioned me to Zambia, Central Africa, in 1974, to teach in a high school for two years—a scholastic like those we had at Xavier. The challenges were a lot different from those faced by Misters Charlie Hegarty, Richard Murphy, John Murphy, Tom Gallagher, John Monahan et al. I survived two attacks by snakes (a cobra and a mamba), malaria, a school riot, and a diet that left me weighing 132 pounds when I returned to the US. (I’ve made up for it over the years!)

After philosophy and theology studies in Boston and Berkeley, I was ordained a priest in 1980, spent a couple more years in parish ministry in California, then went to Notre Dame for doctoral studies. I was on the 50 yard line for all the home games for ND’s last national football championship. In 1989 I was missioned to Fairfield University, where I was a campus minister and teacher in the Religious Studies Department. In 1993 I lived in Jerusalem for fall semester, then Sydney for seven months, on tertianship (Jesuit “finishing school”). In 1996 I went to the University of Connecticut where I was pastor of the Jesuit parish and director of Campus Ministry (and saw six NCAA basketball championships). In 2005, I became rector of Campion Center in Weston, just a few miles from Xavier, and I took care of a number of our former teachers during their final years: Jim Sheehan, Joe Mullen, Tom Gallagher, John Kerdiejus, and Bill Doyle. I returned to Fairfield in 2010 as rector; in my six years here I have taught in the University’s Religious Studies department and in the diocesan diaconate formation program, served as interim Director of Campus Ministry at both the University and the Prep school, and led programs in Ignatian spirituality.

Our reunion in June is also the start of my year-long sabbatical, which will take me to Santa Clara University, then back to Australia and finally to Manresa, Spain, the site of the “cave” where St. Ignatius underwent the prayer experiences which would become the Spiritual Exercises. June 2017 will take me to my new assignment in New York City. (But I refuse to become a Yankee fan!)

Addendum: I came across this item when I "Googled" Paul, and I couldn't resist adding it to his biography. Apparently Paul was passing through Minneapolis one cold day, and he noticed something odd. Puzzled, he consulted a local sage. Click here to see: The Letter

   Paul Holland, S.J.


Breck Hosmer


I graduated from Tufts University sine laude in 1971 with a major in English and a minor in poker. Thanks to a lousy lottery number I spent most of the summer and fall of 1970 at Fort Dix New Jersey going through basic training and cook school as a member of the Massachusetts National Guard.

My father died suddenly in 1972 at the age of 58. It remains the worst moment of my life, so in retrospect I guess I’ve been pretty fortunate. Father Phil Moriarty gave the eulogy. I was working in the family owned small business at the time. We made lubricants for leather tanneries. Tempted by the possibility of getting a hardship discharge from the National Guard, and a desire to protect my mother’s interests, I decided to buy out my father’s partner over the next seven years. Since my only knowledge of chemistry was gleaned from one of the worst teachers at Xavier, Joe Sawyer, my first decision was to hire a chemist. I worked very hard for the next ten years and built up the business, but even then the leather industry was moving overseas.

In 1982 I was able to sell our factory building to a developer who turned it into section 8 apartments. For the next seven years I worked as a consultant for a competitor in Charlestown, servicing my customers and supervising production. It was a glorious time, but by 1989 my kids had expressed the ridiculous notion of eventually wanting to go to college. So I went back to work full time as vice-president of quality control. I’m still there today, but now I only go in one day a week – when I’m not in Florida for the winter. Working in a family business is fine, unless you’re not a member of the family!

In 1975 I met a beautiful divorcee who had a 4 year old son with cerebral palsy. We were married in the Unitarian church a year later and Fr. Jim O’Brien attended in full Jesuit uniform, as a sign of mora l support. Tommy Neville was my best man. Our son Adam was born in 1977, and our daughter Lindsay came along in 1978. Adam lives in Tokyo with his wife and two children, and Lindsay Goodwin lives in Concord center with her two daughters. My step-son Brad lives in Maynard with his daughter. All three of the kids have at least two Masters degrees each.


In 2005 we moved from Westford Center to downtown Lowell. We live on the top floor of a converted mill building overlooking one of the many canals. It's the antithesis of living in a gated community. I've taken ten history courses for grades at UMass Lowell, and was finally able to attain the 4.0 grade average that eluded me at Xavier and Tufts.

We spend a lot of time in N.H. in the summer, and we just purchased a condo in West Palm Beach – so we’re guaranteed a place to stay next winter with our dogs. My wife Dian is still the love of my life. It has been a wonderful ride thus far. I play way too much golf but manage to swim an hour a day so my back can still function.

Xavier was truly a magical experience. I would still rank Father Moriarty’s freshman English, as well as Vergil in junior year Latin class, as comparable with anything I studied in over thirty college courses. Father O’Brien was a pretty good English teacher as well, although his French teaching skills left a lot to be desired!

   Breck Hosmer
   58 Prescott Street, Unit 13
   Lowell, MA 01852

Terry Culhane

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