January 1, 2014
On the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, Br. Bernard (James) Marra made his simple vows for three years in the presence of Abbot James Wiseman, the monastic community, his brother Frederick and sister-in-law, and many friends. Br. Bernard grew up in Cohoes, NY, where he attended parochial and Christian Brothers school for secondary education. Subsequently he earned a BA degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from American University in International Business. Much of his professional career involved working in finance, venture capital and fund raising. He is also an accomplished pianist, and performed and lectured on classical music internationally. His latest interests and efforts before coming to the monastery have been helping the disadvantaged and mentally handicapped, even living with them in group homes and with the Missionaries of Charity at the nearby Gift of Peace Home.