Each Brother is an open letter from Christ-a message written, not with ink but in the Spirit of the living God, with a faithful human heart to carry it!
Brothers are lay religious, who profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They commit themselves to a life of ministry and prayer within the community.
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What is a Brother?
As members of the Congregation of Christian Brothers, founded by Blessed Edmund Rice, we are lay religious, who profess vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. We commit ourselves to a life of ministry and prayer within the community. In Brotherhood, we are called to fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus. In our response we acknowledge both our gifts and our need for continuing conversion. Our way of life leads to spiritual freedom and simplicity through humble service of the poor, in whom we especially find Jesus Christ who is Lord.
For me, the life of a Brother is about relationship-relationship with God through both personal and communal prayer; with my brothers living in community; and with those whom I serve in ministry. - Brother Kevin Griffith, C.F.C.
What are vows?
We promise poverty, chastity, and obedience as a radical demonstration of our faith in the power and meaning of Jesus for a world that often ignores or denies His message. Poverty frees us to live simply and to be giving of ourselves. The vow of Celibate Chastity allows us to live in the "family" of our community of brothers and to love equally all those with whom and for whom we minister. The vow of Obedience calls us to listen to the Spirit in our lives and to meet the needs of the Church. Our profession, received by the Church, commits us firmly to the mission of proclaiming the Good News. It unites us in love and loyalty to all members of the Congregation.
What is the Ministry of the Christian Brothers?
As Christian Brothers, we commit ourselves to Christian education on behalf of the materially poor in the confidence that in all our truly human interactions God is transforming us as well as the people we serve. As apostolic religious we are missioned by the Church for the evangelization of youth, and especially for the education and care of the materially poor. The mission is expressed through a variety of ministries. In each ministry we respond creatively to emerging needs in a changing world.
Teaching is the primary and most effective means available in the Church in order to influence the lives of a given generation. The goal of Christian education is to provide an atmosphere in which our young people can develop a healthy, functioning conscience. - Brother T. Andrew Prendergast, C.F.C.
Why do the Christian Brothers live in Community?
Brotherhood in community is a principal source of our companionship and a privileged context for our personal growth. Our personalities develop as each of us accepts responsibility to make a unique contribution to the life and mission of the community. It is from community that we carry our gifts to others. We in turn are enriched as the lives of others touch our own.
What role does community prayer play?
In our mission of evangelization, revealing and discovering anew our God, we need the constant support of community prayer. We pray together daily using the Scriptures as well as the Liturgy of the Hours and other sources. Living in true Brotherhood, we see such prayer together as central to our life and mission, as we allow the Word of God to shed light on our local situation and on the world beyond.
I just finished Mass and breakfast with the community and I'm getting ready for a baseball game with the school team. A Brother's life is about keeping a balance that rests on that rock foundation, Jesus. It's a blessing to be a Brother because you can find Jesus who is present in your students, in their families, in our neighborhood churches, in our Brothers' communities, and on the streets. - Brother Bill Sherlog, C.F.C.
How do I learn more about the Christian Brothers and experience the Brothers' life?
The Brothers offer opportunities to visit the communities to find out more about the lifestyle of a Christian Brother. The Christian Brothers also sponsor "discernment weekends" where a man interested in finding out more about the Brothers would have an opportunity to live in community for a weekend. The weekend involves special presentations, question and answer sessions, and opportunities for discussion about the vocation of a Brother. There are also opportunities for a man to participate in service programs affiliated with the Christian Brothers' ministry sites. If interested in participating in any of these opportunities, please contact the Vocation Office.
Are there requirements for being a Christian Brother?
The Christian Brothers require that a man be a high school graduate before being able to enter into the Contact Level Program of Brothers' formation.
How do I apply for admission to the Christian Brothers?
The first step is to contact the Vocation Office (contact information below). A candidate to the Christian Brothers will be asked to complete a formal application process. The candidate will also be asked to participate in several assessment interviews and will be asked to submit academic transcripts, an autobiography, a personal profile, two letters of recommendation, baptismal and confirmation certificates, and a letter to the Province Leader seeking admission to the formation program of the Christian Brothers.
¿Que significe ser Hermano?
Los Hermanos Cristianos somos religiosos laicos. Profesamos los votos de castidad, pobreza, y obediencia. Nos comprometemos a vivir una vida dedicada al servicio del Senor y de su pueblo, en un espiritu de oracion dentro de una comunidad. Compartimos el espiritu de Edmundo Rice, nuestro Fundador, por la educacion cristiana. Ser "hermano" significa vivir y compartir un amor fraternal. Por eso, nuestra vocacion es de mutualidad e igualidad. Como hermanos proclamamos que somos unos con todos, en el trabajo, en la alegria, y en la compasion.
Creator God, life is your gift to me.
Through Baptism, you invite me to share the gift of my life in service to others.
Be with me as I choose each day to show your presence in our world.
Give me the courage and generosity to respond to your love, to your call.
I pray especially for those who serve you as priests, brothers, sisters, deacons and lay ministers.
Keep them close to you.
Open the minds and hearts of many other men and women that they might accept your challenge to build the kingdom.