Personal Profile, resume, and photo album (below)

(above) Richard at the Main Street Cafe in Tarrytown after a Manhattanville concert

(below) Richard Cross and Kathleen Marie Stanton - just engaged


Richard and Kathleen Cross - just married August 1969


Twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in Venice

A brief biography.

            I was born of a healthy WASP stock of Presbyterians on my mother's side and Methodists on my father's side.  We have five Revolutionary patriots in our family and I have a great grandfather who fought in the Union army at Vicksburg.  This makes me proud of my heritage but no better than anyone else on this earth.  I became a Roman Catholic in my youth and treasure today the values and culture of both my Protestant and Catholic traditions. Both have much to offer each other.  I feel uniquely qualified to work for Christian unity  - something I work at and pray for every day.  I am also actively engaged with Moslem friends whose friendship, culture and religious values I appreciate more and more each day. I am saddened that there is such injustice and bloodshed in the Middle East.  Working for justice, peace and non-violence in the world is also a cause  dear to me.

            I had the advantage of a classical seminary education for twelve years with a heavy emphasis on Latin and Greek, literature and the humanities. I must confess, however, that my education in math and the sciences was,  and remains,  embarrassingly weak. Church music has been a part of my life since my youth when I played piano at Sunday School in the Methodist church. I played the piano and organ all through my seminary years and do so to this day.

            I was fortunate to have had  the last six years of my seminary training in Europe at the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium).  Founded in 1425 by Pope Martin V Louvain is the oldest Catholic university in existence today. One of my great heroes, Erasmus of Rotterdam, taught at Louvain and I would like to think of myelf as a Christian humanist like him.  My courses in Louvain were mainly in are area of philosophy and theology, ethics and scripture among other things. Classes were conducted in either  French or Latin and all exams were oral in the ancient European university tradition. During my years abroad I was able to study Gregorian chant all the while with the Benedictines at the  nearby monastery of Mont Cesar. I also spent a summer session at the Gregorian Institute of Lyon (France).

The photo above shows yours truly in the  clerical garb what was required in Belgium at the time for all  clerical students during the years I studied philosophy and theology at the University of Louvain (1952-1958):  the cassock (
soutane) and the chapeau  were to be  worn at all times.  If the chapeau was not worn it had to be at least carried. There were two kinds of chapeaux.that were worn.  This was the Belgian "style" with the flat brim.  It was stiff and was easy to sail like a frisbie - something Belgian university students sometimes liked to do if they could get their hands on one of our hats.  This brought some of us  to blows with them  a couple of times. The Belgians students  were not used to clerics fighting back. Belgian clerics did not wear long pants under their cassocks, either;  but knickers or shorts.  All one could see potruding beneath the cassock were two bony legs with long black stockings.  We Americans were a cause of scandal and ridicule at first until the Belgians got used to us.

In the beginning of our sojourn the main problem facing us was learing French as fast as we could.  All our classes in philosophy for the first two years were in French. We got help from a few young American  Jesuits from down the street like Tony McHale and Tim Healy who tutored us on the side. Here I am in my room in 1952 trying to learn beginning French from the book all used "French Without Toil." An early phrase  forever in memory:
"Prennez ma valise et suivez-moi."

This was the little street above was behind our American College.  The "other" style chapeau we called "French" had a curved brim and was preferred by most of the guys.  The streets were not paved in our day but all cobblestone.

The little convent on the left down the street of "Les Soeurs Noires" faced the back wall of our college (on the right). Embarrassingly there was a public urinal (pissoir) on this wall on the street side.  These fixtures were common in those days.  This one provided local Belgians the opportunity to let the Anericans know that thought of us.  Many did.

We were required to go one walks on weekends out into town, into the countryside, or to our villa outside town - two-by two (bini et bini)
or in groups, but never alone.

            During summer vacation we traveled in pairs across Europe,  usually staying half the summer in a parish where we could learn French and experience the ministry of the local clergy.  I quickly developede a great love for France and things French through the many summers spent there, especially in remote Brittany.  Below are some Breton friends during my years in Europe.

Richard with the widow Madame Cariou and her beautiful Breton coif in Quiberon (Department of Morbihan) and with two Breton priests at an old Breton well.  They were fascinated by my corncob pipe (pipe de mais, as they called it).

I was also able to take an extended archeological and religious pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1957.  This sparked my interest in the Middle East where I developed a great love for the people and places in the Holy Land.  I have written much on the subject elsewhere.

Ordination to the priesthood on June 29, 1958 in Louvain, Belgium

Richard (above left) after an ordination ceremony (deaconate) in Louvain with three classmates (1967)

This was my ordination class. (June 29, 1958)  In the front row (left) is Father Thomas Ryan vice-rector of the Americn College, two classmates: then Monsignor Honoré Van Waeyenbergh, rector of the University of Louvain, then  ordaining Bishop Hurley of St. Augustine, Florida, and and next to him, Monsignor Thomas Maloney, rector of the American College of Louvain.  Richard is in the thrid row at the far left.


            Upon completion of my studies at the university and ordination in 1958 I spent the next ten years in various forms of pastoral ministry in my home state of Michigan. I served as a seminary professor for eight years,  directed choirs and helped implement the liturgical renewal after the Second Vatican Council. I also continued with graduate studies in French and studies in liturgical music: at the Catholic University of America,  Boys Town, and especially at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music at Manhattanville College. Involvement with choirs and composition (when the spirit moves me) has always been a passion. I am a member of the American Liszt Society and am devoted studient of the music, life and times of Franz Liszt (1811-1886).

    Here are three photos taken during the summers when I studied at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. It was during these years that I met and befriended Kathleen.

                                          Below: discussing music with the famous French composer and liturgist Father Lucien Deiss.

Below is a photo of the day I took Dom Gajard,  choirmaster of Solesmes Abbey in France,  on a Circle Line tour of Manhattan and introduced the great Gregorian chant artist  to the  American hot dog.

At  lunch at the Pius X School of Liturgical Music (Manhattaville College) with composer Alexander Peloquin and Archibishop (later Cardinal) James A. Hickey who many years later married Kathleen and me.

Pastoral ministry and seminary professor 1958-1968 


           During those years while I served  as a seminary professor I was fortunate to be able to take teams of my brave students of French  to Martinique during their summer vacations. There we did volunteer work (digging a sewer, painting, laying bricks, etc.) while cultivating a great  love and respect for the people of that beautiful  island.  In all, I taught for about 35 years before retiring - 10 years in Catholic schools and 25 years in public school - French, liturgical music, Latin, and also spent many years working with learning disabled students in the public school system.

            It was at Manhattanville that I met Kathleen Marie Stanton who many years later would become my wife.  She is a liturgist and superb musician as you will know from our CD. You can read about it on this site and acquire it if you wish.  Together we have served as music ministers in the same parish for nearly thirty years. We have a married son, Christopher, who is a talented musician and by profession a psychiatric social worker. He and his wife Millie have made us the proud grandparents of David Earl Cross and Isabel Marie Cross.

            I like to consider myself a Christian humanist in the best sense of the word.  It's been a joy to be a part of the Christian renewal and outreach after the Second Vatican Council.  Having lived and worked both before and after this historic event I feel qualified to pose certain questions and evaluate current events in the light of my experiences.  I do not have all the answers but like to speculate and probe a bit even if I have frequently ruffle a few feathers.  At 75 who should care? I welcome your input and hope to carry out this and other endeavors - always in charity -  as long as God lets me remain here. I have also been a Hospice worker for a few years now working with terminal patients and find this a great ministry.  As I mentioned, I support groups that promote ecumenism non-violence, peace and  justice especially in the Middle East, as well as  reform movements  within the church. With these ideas I invite you to explore some of the material in this site.    Richard


More Family Photos

Public school teacher working with children with learning disabilities - 1975

Richard and Kathleen in 1985

Christopher and Dad in 1985


My Happy Kathleen



Richard and Kathleen in Guadeloupe 1990


(Below) Richard and Kathleen - "Gemütlich" in Salzburg (1999)


(Below) Two ancient Druids at home

(Below) A 2002 visit from my earliest boyhood friend from grammar school,
Major Jack Washington, U.S. Air Force (ret.) 



Richard chez lui au piano 2002

Grandson David Earl Cross at a year and a half


David Earl's first piano lesson with Grandpa

Some sins of my youth


(above) My 1960 Studebaker Silver Hawk


(above) My 1967 Citroën


(below) Kathleen and Richard on vacation in Saint Martin 1973

(below) Sin of old age: Richard in Guadeloupe 2006


Here is a brief resume of my academic history and other activities:

Richard’s Academic History

Summary College and University studies

    University of Louvain, Louvain (Belgium)  (above)
         Institut Supérieur de Philosophie (1952-1954)
         Sacra Facultas Theologiae (1954-1958)
             B.A., M.A. in theology
    Manhattan College, Riverdale, New York      (1971-1974)
             M.S. in Education
    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI:  graduate studies in French
    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor:  social studies
    Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI: education
    Catholic University of America, Washington, DC:  liturgical music
    St. Mary’s College, Omaha, NE: liturgical music
    Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY: liturgical music
    St. Joseph Seminary/Aquinas College: humanities

Other studies:

    Institut Saint Grégoire, Lyon (France): Gregorian  chant
    Abbey of Mont Cesar, Louvain (Belgium): Gregorian chant
    BOCES of  Westchester : media and social studies


    Admitted to Kappa Delta Pi (National honor society in education) Manhattan College (1973)


    New York State - permanent:  Music, French, Special Education
    Michigan – permanent: English, Latin, music and French

Teaching experience:

    1971-1993 Isaac Young Junior High and Middle School, New Rochelle, NY
    1969-1971 BOCES of Lower Westchester (Project G.R.O.W.)
    1960-1968 seminary professor of music, French, and English at The Saint Paul Seminary,
    Saginaw, MI – accredited by the University of Michigan and the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools (1965)


Your Other Self, by Jean Vieujean, my translation from the French original (L’Autre Toi-Même).  Published by Newman Press, 1959, 165 pages.

The Journal of the American Liszt Society.  Two articles.

Carmelite Digest. One article

“The Story of the American College” in The American College Bulletin
listed as a reference in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, page 1038.

Music Publications:

    - Greenwood Press, Cincinnati, OH
    - F.E.L. Publications, Los Angeles CA
    - World Library Publications, Cincinnati OH
    - Morningstar Press, Fenton, MO
    - The Armed Forces Hymnal, United States Government Pub.

Other data:

    - six years of study and travel in Europe
    - archeological  study and expedition in the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel, 1957) directed by the Centre Richeilieu - Paris.
    - University directed archeological tours throughout Belgium.
    - two summer sessions of volunteer work with my students in Martinique – an activity that was cited by the U.S. Information             Agency  in its publication (Fort-de-France, Martinique, French West Indies)

Membership and activities:

    - National Pastoral Musicians (NPM)
    - American Guild of Organists (AGO)
    - Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)
    - Hospice of Westchester 
    - Pax Christi 
    - Gush Shalom
    - CORPUS 
    - Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR)
    - Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)  
    - Holy Land Christian Ecumenical Foundation
    - Churches for Middle East Peace
    - The American Liszt Society
    - Amnesty International
    - Call to Action
    - The Other Israel 
     -  NETWORK


Detailed histiory:

A. Elementary School

<>    Kindergarden:  William Ford School, Dearborn, Michigan  193701938
    First and Second grade: Isaac Crary School, Detroit, Michigan 193801940
    Third grade: 1 st semester, Isaac Crary School, second semesterm Saint Schilastica School, Detroit, MI
    Fourth and fifth grade: Isaac Crary School 194101943
    Firth grade - third trimester - Cherydale Public School, Cherrydale VA
    Sixth and seventh grade: Stillwell Junior High, Alma, Michigan 1943-1946

B. High School

    First and second year high: Saint Charles College, Catonsville, Maryland 1946-1948
    Third and fourth year high school: Saint Joseph Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan  1948-1950

    High school curriculum:

    - religion 4 years
    - Latin - 4 years   
    - English - 4 years
    - Greek - 2 years
    - French - 2 years
    - Industrial arts - 1 yuear
    - Algebra - 1 year
    - Geometry - 1 year
    - Ancient history - 1 year
    - Modern history - 1 year
    - American history - 1 year 
    - Sociology 1 year
    - General science - 1 year
    - Chemestry - 1 year
    - Elocution 2 years
    - Music four years

C. Junior College

      Saint Jospeh Seminary and Aquinas College, Grand Rapid, Michigan 1950-1952


    - Religion - 2 years:  Apologetics, Dogma, moral
    - English - 2 years:    Composition
                                        Rhetoric I and Rhetoric II
                                        Poetry I and Poetry II
                                        Prose readings I
                                        Prose readings II Newman: "Idea of a University" and "Dream of Gerontius"         
    - Latin 2 years            Cicero (Cataline), Virgil and prose composition
                                         Ovid (Metamorphosis), Horace (Odes), Livy (History)
    - Greek: 2 years        Plato, Xenophon
                                        Sophocles, Demosthenes
                                        Homeric  GreekL (Illyad)
                                        New Testament Greek (koine)
    - Medieval/Modern history ; 1 year
    - Sociology - 1 year
    - General physics 1 year
    - Elocution and forensics
    - Music - 2 years

D. University of Louvain - School of Philosophy (Institut Supérieure de Philosophie) 1952-1954

    Notions of Epistemology (Logique ancienne et épistémologie)
          Prof. Georges Van Riet
    Encylopedia of Philosophy (Encyclopédie de Philosopĥie)

          1. Classical philosophy and General Metaphysics
                Canon Fernand Van Steenberghen
          2. History of Medieval Philosophy - Thomism (Histoire de la Philosophie du Moyer Àge)
                Canon Fernand Van Steenberghen
          3. Modern philosophy (Philosophie moderne)
                Prof. Georges Van Riet
          4. Contemporary philosophy (Philosophie contemporaine - Speacil metaphysics)
                Canon Albert Dondeyne
    General Ethics (Philosphie morale)
                Canon Jacques Leclercq
    Social philosophy (Philosophie sociale)
                Prof Jean Ladrière
    Cosmology (Eléments de critique des sceiences et de cosmologie)
                Canon Fernand Renoirte
    Special Ethics (Morale spéciale)
                Canon Jacques Leclercq
    Philosophy of Education (Philosophie de l'Éducation)
                Canon Jean Vieujean
    Contemporary  mystics  (Mystiques Contemporaines) Hegel and Feuerbach
                Canon Franz Grégoire
    General and philosophical psychology (Psychologie générale et philosophique)
                Prof. A.  Fauville
    Experimental psychology (Psychologie expérimentale)
                Prof. Gerard DeMontpéllier
    General biology (Biologie générale)
                Prof. Paul Debaisieux
    History of social theories (Histoire des théories sociales)
                Prof. Paul DeBie
    Political economy (Économie politique)
                Prof. Paul Rousseau
    Latin readings (Lingua Latina)
                Prof. Joseph Mogenet
    Archeology (Archéologie)
               Prof. Paul  Naster

E. University of Louvain - School of Theology  (Sacra Facultas Theologiae) 1954-1958

    Fundamental dogmatic theology (Theologia dogmatica fundamentalis) 1 year -  Canon Gustav Thils
    Fundamental moral theology (Theologia moralis fundamentalis) 1 year - Canon Louis Janssens

    Advanced dogmatic theology (Theologia dogmatica specialis)  3 years -  Canon Gustav Thils

    Advanced moral theology (Theologia moralis specialis ) 3 years - Canon Louis Janssens

    On Laws (De legibus) 1 year Professor Franssens

    Old Testament (Vetus Testamentum)  4 years - Canon Joseph Coppens

    New Testament (Novum Testamentum  4 years - Canon Eduard  Masseaux

    Canon Law (Jus Canonicum) 4 years  - Canon Henri Wagnon

    Church History  (Historia Ecclesiastica) - 4 years - Professor De Smet

    Patrology - (Patrologia) 4  years - Canon Van Roey

    Ascetic and mystical theology  (Theologia ascetica et mystica)  4 years - Canon Gustav Thils

    Archeology (Archeologia) - Professor Noster

    Latin (Lingua Latina) - 1 year