May 1, the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, Fr. Vien Nguyen, SCJ, wrote the following to members of the US Province, reflecting on the vocation of brother:
On the feast of Saint Joseph the Worker, the Church honors and celebrates the vocation of religious Brothers. I want to take this opportunity to recognize the impact our Brothers have made in our lives and the lives of God’s people. I asked some of our Brothers to reflect on their vocation as part of celebrating this day. So, in their own words…
“To be a Brother is freedom: Freedom to be available, freedom to be present to our community, our congregation, and all who need us. We become a witness to God’s love and an example to others.” — Br. Brian Tompkins SCJ
“The fraternity of religious Brothers can be an impulse for the whole Church to present evangelical value of fraternal relations.” — Br. Andy Gancarczyk, SCJ
“Our vocation is prophetic: we prepare, encourage, advocate, and meet those whom God sends us.” — Br. Diego Diaz, SCJ
In his reflection on his vocation as Brother, Br. Ray Kozuch recalls Pope Francis’s call on Christian communities to offer a radiant and attractive witness of fraternal communion and to let people see how we care for, encourage, and accompany one another. Br. Ray wrote: “This petition of Pope Francis to the entire Christian people highlights the special place that brotherhood has within the whole of the shared Christian heritage. It is the pearl that Religious Brothers cultivate with special care. In this way they are, for the Church community, a prophetic memory of its origin and an encouragement to return to it.”
Happy Religious Brothers Day!