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Column: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano

Remembering Fr. Lewis Brown and a special prayer he shared

Our community has lost a dedicated and caring servant. Fr. Lewis Brown recently passed away, leaving a hole in the heart of our community. Those who knew Fr. Brown know the word “servant” described him well. He served God. He served his country. And he served his community.

Born and raised in Elmira, he served in several parishes in our region over his 53 years in the priesthood, including St. Ann in Hornell (1972-77), Immaculate Conception in Ithaca (1981-85) and, most recently, since 2008, at All Saints Parish in Corning. Father Brown also served 22 years in the U.S. Navy as a chaplain. His life and vocation were dedicated to service. He will be greatly missed.

I want to take this opportunity to share and leave with you a special prayer that Fr. Brown shared with the NYS Legislature when he came to Albany in 2016 to give the opening prayer in the Assembly and Senate. Although he modified the prayer to pray for the Legislature, the words of the prayer certainly apply to all of us, especially today, during these challenging times. So I will conclude this column with Fr. Brown's words as he spoke them that day in the Assembly Chamber. I hope they mean as much to you as they meant to us.

"Mother Theresa," Fr. Brown said, "would daily say the prayer of St. Francis,
'Lord make me a channel of your peace ...'
Thinking about the prayer, she composed a like-minded one," which follows:


People are often unreasonable,
Illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind,
People may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful,
You will win some false friends
And some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank,
People may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building,
Someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
They may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today,
People will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have,
And it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never about you and them anyway.

"Today, I add: Lord, guide our legislators in deliberating the issues
that contribute to the welfare of our citizens, protect the environment,
and unite us so that all may become better -- Excelsior. Amen.”

Thank you, Fr. Brown, for being a dedicated servant. Rest in Peace!

Photo in text: Asssemblyman Phil Palmesano

Earlier, Assemblyman Palmesano urged his constituents to participate in the 2020 Census. To see that column, click here.

Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Carl Blowers, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp

Bottom row: Gary Gray, David Reed, Phil Barnes, Mark Rondinaro


Legislature Chairman

Carl Blowers, 535-6174 or 237-5469

Legislature Members:

Gary Gray, 292-9922

Van Harp, 329-2160

Jim Howell, 535-7266 or 227-1141

David M. Reed, 796-9558

Michael Lausell, 227- 9226

Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen, 481-0482

Mark Rondinaro, 398-0648

County Clerk: Theresa Philbin, 535-8133

Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222

Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222

County Treasurer: Holley Sokolowski, 535-8181

District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383


State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County

Sen. Charles E. Schumer

United States Senate
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano-- Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
Room 723, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5791


© The Odessa File 2017
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869