John Richard Hasting was the loving son of Raymond and Catherine (née Camerford) Hastings. Richard grew up in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn where he first met the Xaverian Brothers who taught at Holy Cross Elementary School. Richard is survived by his brother, Raymond and his three sisters: Kathleen Larkin, Anne Murphy and Mary Bushey.
Richard’s call to the Xaverian Brothers came early in his life. Upon graduating from Holy Cross Elementary School in 1944, Richard entered Saint Joseph Juniorate in Peabody, MA, a preparatory high school for young men considering their vocation to the Xaverian Brothers. During high school, Richard demonstrated strong academic ability, mechanical aptitude, self-discipline, respect for others and a mature sense of responsibility. Among his peers, Richard was also seen as a very strong athlete. One of his confreres told me that Richard gained a nickname from the radio series that featured the weekly adventures of the fictitious “All American Boy” named “Jack Armstrong.” The nickname would follow him throughout his teaching career.
Richard graduated from Saint Joseph Juniorate in 1948, and entered Sacred Heart Novitiate located in Fort Monroe, VA where he would spend the next two years studying the Rule of the Xaverian Brothers along with the essentials of the spiritual life. On August 15, 2018, Richard received the religious habit of the Xaverian Brothers and the religious name Brother Ivo. However, his nickname would continue to follow him. Now he would be known as “Jack Ivo”
Richard did his undergraduate studies at the Catholic University of American in Washington, DC. Five years later he would complete his Master’s Degree in Industrial Arts at New York University. Brother Ivo’s first teaching assignment was at Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, followed by two years at Saint John’s Prep, Danvers, before returning to Cardinal Hayes for one more year. He would spend the next twenty-three years in Maryland and Kentucky where he taught at Good Counsel High School Wheaton (1961-1972) and at Saint Xavier High School in Louisville (1972-1984).
One of Richard’s confreres who taught with him at Saint Xavier, noted that because Richard was a private person and somewhat stoic in the face of frustrations and pain, that he could be misread. This Brother “Jack Ivo” was a very caring, helpful, kind and supportive man. The Brother goes on to say, “I respected and appreciated Ivo’s many acts of unobtrusive kindness to me and to others especially in time of need.”
In 1984, Richard decided to try ministry outside of our traditional schools. The leadership of the Province was encouraging Brothers to move to the margins and to minister with those who are under-served and poor.
Richard would spend the next thirteen years ministering first in a special school for poor children in David, Kentucky, which is located in Appalachia. Richard would then move to Camden, Mississippi to Sacred Heart School, a small Catholic school dedicated to the education of poor African American children. Richard was a new person as a result of his involvement with these school. Perhaps his sense of mission was inspired by a new ‘purpose’— helping those whom others were not serving. I suspect another major reason for his renewed energy was the fact he could more fully use his mechanical aptitude.
In 1997, Richard would retire first to Saint Mary’s Ryken in Leonardtown, MD and then to Xaverian House in Danvers, MA.
As we know ‘religious ‘ do not really ‘retire.’ Simply put, we can retire from a job, but cannot really retire from our ‘mission.’ Richard did not retire from his mission. As the Brother who lived with him in Louisville, noted, Richard’s mission was to make Christ present to others through his small acts of kindness and his helping those who needed help. He carried out his mission by participating in the House Council and in community meetings on transformation, by his repairing things in the house that needed repair, by his fidelity to the spiritual exercises. Richard remained faithful to the call he first heard in his family and with the Xaverian Brothers seventy-four years ago as an eighth grader at Holy Cross Elementary School.
Our Rule of Life exhorts us “to make God’s word our home.” The Rule goes on to say,
To do this you must be willing to spend time each day
In solitude and prayer, opening yourself to His living word.
Your Found too, insisted that his brothers enter into
An intimate relationship with God.
Richard edified his Brothers daily by his faithfulness to the Prayer of Centering. One could see him several times a day in quiet prayer in the chapel. Richard’s mission in now complete. May he rest in the Peace of Christ and enjoy intimacy with the Father.