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McEniry, Msgr. Buchignani affiliated as Brothers in Nov. 3 ceremony

McEniry, Msgr. Buchignani affiliated as Brothers in Nov. 3 ceremony

In an historic ceremony held in front of the entire student body and faculty of Christian Brothers High School on November 3 – only the second time for Memphis -- two recognized Memphians were installed as the newest Affiliates to the Christian Bothers: Robert C. McEniry and Msgr. Peter P. Buchignani.

The affiliation brought together both communities of Christian Brothers in Memphis – those at Christian Brothers High School and at Christian Brothers University. This is the highest honor bestowed by the international Institute of the Christian Brothers. Sixteen Christian Brothers and seven Affiliates attended the ceremony.

Brother Larry Schatz, F.S.C., Visitor (Provincial) of the Midwest District of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, explained to the boys and guests just what affiliation means, namely, adopted sons. “These are men of faith and zeal who live in the holy presence of God,” he said.

In affiliating these three, it makes them spiritual sons of Saint John Baptist De La Salle, the holy Founder, explained Brother Larry to the student body. “As sons of St. De LaSalle . . . they are now our brothers,” he said. “This is the core of the meaning of affiliation to the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The F.S.C. now following the names of the Brothers in Latin, ‘Fratres, Scholarum, Christianarum’, which literally means Brothers of the Christian Schools.”

The ‘A’ before the F.S.C. signifies Affiliation, letters now following their names – A.F.S.C. -- the making of sons of St. De La Salle and now Brothers of more than 5,000 Brothers of the Christian Schools found in more than 80 countries of the world. Only 42 other people have been affiliated in Memphis.

In his testimony for McEniry, Ken Kimble ’92, CBHS Director of Capital Projects and Foundations, said that one cannot tell the story of the history of Memphis without talking about the Christian Brothers. “And one cannot tell the story of the Christian Brothers in Memphis without talking about Bob McEniry.”

After graduation from St. Anne Catholic School on Highland, Bob McEniry entered Christian Brothers on the Parkway in August of 1955. He was a member of the city championship swim team, the Choral Club, the Benildus Club, Key Club and Senior Council. Following graduation in May of 1959, Bob matriculated to Vanderbilt, majoring in history. After graduation he joined his dad’s business, nexAir, which produces and sells gases for medical, industrial, food, and research applications. Under his leadership the company grew rapidly, serving eight states. Today, his son Kevin, a 1989 CBHS graduate and a 2005 CBU MBA graduate, continues as CEO. The company enjoys even greater progress under Kevin’s leadership. Bob and his wife Paula also have a daughter Mary Silva and eight grandchildren. They are communicants of St. Peter Catholic Church. Bob served for thirteen years on the Board at Christian Brothers University, three as its Chairman. He and Paula are involved in several philanthropic endeavors, including Honorary Chairman of the current capital campaign for CBHS. He is also a CBHS Hall of Fame member.

“What we have in common is that we are all Brothers’ Boys,” said McEniry, in addressing the student body. “Always try to do your part to make this institution and tradition continues for several more centuries.”

Brother Chris Englert, F.S.C., president of Christian Brothers High School, gave a testimony for Buchignani, speaking of his long history with the Brothers and his commitment to the Church in West Tennessee, paving a smooth road between the school and the diocese. “I am proud to call you my brother,” said Brother Chris.

Peter Buchignani attended Sacred Heart and St. Michael Catholic Schools. In 1954 he entered CBHS on the Parkway. There he sang in the Choral Club, was band manager, stage manager for the plays, and active in YCS (Young Catholic Students). After graduation in 1958, he entered the seminary, attending St. Mary’s Seminary in Kentucky. He completed his studies for the priesthood in Rome, celebrating his first Mass at the Motherhouse of the Brothers in Rome. His assignments have included Sacred Heart, Resurrection, Holy Rosary, founding pastor of Incarnation and pastor at St. Francis. He was honored with the rank of Monsignor and Proto-Notary Apostolic in the Diocese of Memphis. He has worked with all four bishops in Memphis and has served as Chancellor of the Diocese. He completed his Licentiate in Canon Law at the Gregorian University in Rome. In 1973 he established the Diocesan Tribunal. Monsignor has served for many years on the Boards of Christian Brothers University and Christian Brothers High School. He is also a CBHS Hall of Fame member. And 2015 is Monsignor’s 50th year as a priest!

“This honor is the external confirmation of what I have felt in my heart all my life,” said Msgr. Buchignani. “Without the Brothers I probably would not be here today as a priest. I have been a Brother in my heart for over 50 years.”

Each new Affiliate received a copy of Sacred Scriptures, the Rules of St. John Baptist De La Salle, a Crucifix, a Six-Decade Rosary and Candles, symbols of light and joy. Also, each received a framed citation which was signed by Brother Robert Schieler, FSC, Superior General, and Brother Jose Maria Perez, FSC, Secretary General of the Christian Brothers. It reads as follows:

The undersigned Superior General of the Brothers of the Christian Schools acknowledges with joy and gratitude your outstanding collaboration with our Institute, the quality of your personal life inspired by Lasallian spirituality, and your active and long-lasting participation in our work of education.

My council and I wish to demonstrate our gratitude by associating you more closely with our religious family, and by presenting you with the present Letter of Affiliation. As an affiliated member, you share in the spiritual benefits of the prayers and apostolic activities of all those who are serving in the Lasallian Mission, and of the Brothers of the Institute. When the Lord calls you to himself, you will benefit from the regular intercession of our Institute for our deceased Brothers and Affiliated members.

May the Lord in his goodness confirm this Affiliation and, through the intercession of Saint John Baptist De La Salle, shower you with his blessings.

Given at Rome, in the Generalate of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, under my signature and the seal of the Institute, February 4, 2015.