We asked this month's spotlight a few questions. Below are his answers.
AR: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
PM: "The Cadillac University of America." It's all about relatedness! What is he talking about? LIFE! It's the summation of the two greatest commandments. BE RELATED, to God and to others! Pretty simple really. I hope it's how I live my life.
Born and raise in New Orleans, I came to CUA as a junior on a Basselin scholarship
for diocesan seminarians to major in philosophy, with some speech courses rolled in. Wonderful years! Lived at TC [Theological College]. Elected as many courses as I
could hold without dropping any. Joined gymnastics club to stay in shape. Whatever shape that was, is no more!
Graduated in '74. Had just finished three days of comps when I suffered
another detached retina, in the left eye. I had lost all vision in the right eye, from a detached retina, back in 1964. Then I suffered a detachment in the left eye in 1968. (Seems like I had a peculiar retinal-Presidential campaign syndrome!) Since then I've had partial, but pretty good, sight in my left eye only. And I've avoided Presidential politics!!
I came back for one year for my master's. In 1975, I decided to stay close to campus to finish my thesis. I was thinking about William James' "will to believe." So I took this temporary job as communications coordinator, which, in those days, meant that
I managed the telephone system at CUA, until I...I still haven't written a thesis. And I'm still at the same temporary job. I
haven't quite decided what I want to be when I grow up!
I lived in "Turkey Thicket" after my academic career ended. I shared it with a lifelong friend I met at CUA, Shawqi Talia,
who is now a professor in the Semitics department and is godfather of our third child, Moe, who got his B.S. in nursing here at CUA in 2009. Another friend I made here at CUA in the "International Club" is also a godfather to our youngest daughter,
LaRita, who is a freshman at Archbishop Carroll High School just off campus.
A couple of friends from CUA and I rented a house in the nearby DC subdivision of Woodridge. That house became a 'half-way' home for several more CUA grads along the way. One of them, also from New Orleans, used to attend the Friday
night charismatic prayer meetings in Maloney Auditorium. We had a party for him when he was leaving for his Ph.D. at Notre Dame. That's where I met members of his faith community, a group of young people from those Friday night prayer meetings
who had decided to live together. I joined this group, the Christian Family Community (CFC), in 1979. I met my wife, Kristy, in CFC. In 1981, we got married at Caldwell Chapel. We had made arrangements to reserve the chapel and the auditorium, had
hired the campus caterer to "fill-in" at the reception what our community did not provide, and we had just sent our wedding
invitations. Then Brother Gregory Nugent called me one day and explained that the Board of Trustees was scheduled to meet
that same day in Caldwell Auditorium. I'll never forget: he asked if we had sent our invitations yet, and when I told him we had,
he said, "Then you all have it. We'll move our meeting to Caldwell Dining Room." Shut up!! We had two priests concelebrate at
our wedding: one who had taught me in high school in New Orleans, and one who was a classmate from CUA.
Our community, CFC, founded a Montessori school, primarily for children, in 1981. The Christian Family Montessori School is still a wonderful little school employing the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a method of incorporating Montessori pedagogy in the spiritual development of children. All six of our children have attended some aspect of this marvelous little school and I served on its board for several years. One (or was it two?) of our kids received their First Communion through this program at St. Vincent's Chapel too! We are still members of CFC and we meet every Wednesday evening for a prayer meeting in our home in nearby Maryland. And we are always open to new members or visitors, as the Spirit moves them! We are smaller than in our earlier, younger days, but we are every bit as faithful and faith-filled. Many of our members have some relatedness (ah, there's that word again!) to CUA, either alums or parents of alums. Besides our son, Moe, the nursing grad, our son Andre just graduated in electrical engineering in May 2012. And our oldest son, Joseph, worked in the law school for several years too. Brace yourself CUA; we have two high school freshmen yet to come to college!!
AR: Were there any specific faculty members who mentored you? Any courses you enjoyed?
PM: Some favorite classes/teachers: Dr. Phyllis Chock, Language and Culture; Father Gerard Austin, O.P., Liturgy; Dr. Prufer, Monsignor Wippel, and Monsignor Sokolowski in Philosophy; and Dr. Nicolich and Madame Gabrielle Rogers, Conversational French: what a fun class that was! (J'ai deux pieds gauches!") And how warm and wonderful was our gymnastics coach, Jone Dowd!
AR: What clubs and organizations were you a part of, if any? How did they prepare you?
PM: Besides gymnastics (Gee! Can you remember the sauna and pool in the basement of the old gym? Now it's the Crough Center, home of the architecture school. No one believes me when I tell them that!), I was a member of the Ecology Club. Yes, even way back then! We collected newspapers and cardboard and even planted some apple trees around campus; the only few remaining are around Hartke Theater.
AR: Any additional information you would like to include?
PM: So I'm a "Lifer"!! And I hope I never get paroled for good, or bad, behavior! Three short years reading the tomes and a
little over three short decades managing the phones. People have come and people have gone. Buildings have come and buildings have gone. What remains through it all -- the relatedness of the people who make up the family of CUA and the Family Malochée.
[Below is a picture of my family.] I can't see a pic of me alone. When you see me, you see who I am related to. I hope they are inseparable. Thank you, CUA, for allowing me to live a life full of people, full of God, and full of love. I never knew what I was choosing so long ago when I chose this temporary job. I think all too few people too seldom realize the wondrous gift and power we each have 'to choose.' After all, I didn't just choose a career; I wound up choosing a life. I couldn't imagine my life now
without my being here all these years.