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Institute’s new General Secretary

02/04/2009: General House

Dear Brothers, please join me in welcoming Brother John Klein, FMS, who serves presently as Provincial of the Province of the United States, as the Institute’s new General Secretary effective March 2010. The members of the General Council and I are grateful to John for his willingness to take on this new responsibility and know that his presence and expertise will be a blessing for the administration that begins its mandate later this year.

John brings to the work a strong academic background and long history of creative and effective leadership in the area of administration as well as a love of our way of life and mission. As mentioned just above, he serves currently as the Provincial of the Province of the United States and was for six years previously the Provincial of the former Province of Esopus. Under his leadership challenging programs of strategic planning were undertaken resulting in new administrative structures as well as novel and realistic approaches to age old administrative tasks.

Prior to his work in Province administration, John served as president and chief administrator of schools in the Province of Esopus. The populations served by each of these institutions varied and in each instance John was able to adapt himself and the school’s programs to meet the needs of the young people who made up the student population of each institution. At the same time he worked effectively with staff encouraging new thinking and the implementation of creative ideas.

John also served as President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in the US and in that capacity participated as an observer in Synods and meetings of the National Conference of Catholic bishops, and as a member in sessions of the Tri-Conference and other groups related to the Conference. He holds a doctoral degree in history from Fordham University as well as degrees in educational administration and supervision.

Perhaps most important, however, is John’s zeal of our Marist mission and his commitment to the principles of our way of life. These elements have been evident not only during his years of Institute leadership but also in his life in community and apostolic efforts throughout his religious life. He will bring these gifts to his new work as well as an eye for innovative and effective organization and management of what has become in recent years a fast growing department within the General Administration. Many thanks, John, for your willingness to take on this new ministry.

As we welcome John, I also want to offer a word of thanks to Brother Jean Ronzon, who has served as General Secretary for the last several years and will continue to do so until early 2010. Jean brought to his work not only an enthusiasm and capacity for hard work but also an attention to detail, an ability to organize well, a keen interest in the heritage of our Institute.

During his tenure the department underwent a major reorganization in response to a study carried out on behalf of the General Administration, introduced a new system for cataloguing Institute archives, and moved ahead in the use of information technology to improve communication. In each of these efforts, Jean played an important role of leadership and worked hard to ensure that all of these programs were brought to completion.

Having had the privilege of living in community with Jean over the past several years, I can attest to the fact that a spirit of brotherhood marks all that he does as well as to the quality of his Marist life and love of our charism and Marist heritage. Many thanks, Jean, for all your efforts on behalf of our Institute and mission.

May the Lord continue to bless both John and Jean and may Mary and Marcellin be their constant companions during these days and the days of transition that lie ahead.

Blessings and affection,

Brother Seán D. Sammon, FMS
Superior General - 25th March 2009



Brother John Klein was born on August 23, 1947 in New York City. In September 1965, he became a postulant in Esopus and received the Marist habit in 1966. After professing first vows in August, 1967 he entered the Scholasticate at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. He continued his studies at Fordham University and received his Doctoral Degree in American History in 1980.

He served as teacher and school administrator at several Marist High Schools in the New York/New Jersey area. In 1980 he became the Assistant Principal of Archbishop Molloy H.S. and then served as Principal from 1986-1992.

In 1992 he was appointed the Provincial of the Esopus Province and served in that capacity until 1998. While Provincial, John was elected President of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men for the United States. In 1997, Pope John Paul II appointed him as an auditor and presenter at the Synod of Bishops for America. For the past several years he has served as a member of the National Advisory Council for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In June, 2003, he became the first Provincial of the Province of the United States. In June, 2006, he commenced his second term.

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