It might seem unlikely, but the vow
of poverty has brought me peace,
and peace is what I believe everyone
desires. Chastity has been a decision to love everyone and everything
with a respect and reverence that
reflects God’s love for me. Although
contemporary society restricts its
understanding of chastity to sexual
abstinence, it’s far more than this.
It’s about transmitting a love commensurate with the special vocation
of a life consecrated to God. It’s a
covenant God offered when I first
perceived the call to religious life.
Community life and continuous
growth in prayer bring focus to my
love and remind me of who and what
I love. And of course community is
closely connected to obedience because I’ve vowed to obey God’s will
as expressed through my community.
Personally I find the vow of obedi-
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ence the most challenging of the
three vows. Yet prayer and continuous openness to where the Word is
pronounced clears and calms my
anxiety around decisions and ongoing conversion.
How do your students respond
to learning about brothers?
The response is very positive; it’s
new to them. Also, as these conversations happen, I’ve picked up
on things about brothers that are
attractive to the young, namely
that we live in community and we
pray often together. This taps into
their own need for communion and
Fraternity is a big attraction for
Are you happy as a brother?
college men; perhaps belonging to
one forever is an initial attention-
getter. People need to know that the
concerns of God are what call us to
be brothers and what sustain us. I
do not perceive that my students are
turned off by the spiritual underpin-
nings of our vocation. In fact, they
are fully engaged by it precisely
because many hunger and hope for
something more, something other
than what is socially and culturally
In general brothers are happy, not
because of professional accomplishments and acquisitions, but because
we are living out our vocation in joy,
happy to stay with “yo boy”—as one
of my students refers to Jesus.
My own happiness comes from
being at home in my vocation—simi-
lar to being at home in one’s skin.
Being a brother enables me to be my