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Religious Brothers at the Core of the Viatorian Community

December 14, 2015

Religious brothers have been a part of the fabric of the Viatorian Community, since its

Two of the youngest Viatorian brothers: Br. William Pardo and Br. Peter Lamick

Two of the youngest Viatorian brothers: Br. William Pardo and Br. Peter Lamick

founding in 1831, when Fr. Louis Querbes envisioned a  congregation of catechists, who would teach Christian doctrine and be of service to the Holy Altar.

On Monday, the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, affirmed their importance, in a new document focused on the role of religious brothers in the life of the Church.

The document, entitled ‘Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church,’ was presented at a press conference by the head of the Congregation, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, and its secretary, Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo.

Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez, CSV, general councilor to Superior General

Br. Carlos Ernesto Flórez, CSV, general councilor to Superior General

Br. Dan Tripamer, CSV, math teacher at Bishop Gorman High School

Br. Dan Tripamer, CSV, math teacher at Bishop Gorman High School

Br. John Eustice, CSV, left serves in campus ministry at Saint Viator High School

Br. John Eustice, CSV, left serves in campus ministry at Saint Viator High School

Br. Pat Drohan, CSV, coordinator of Villa Desiderata

Br. Pat Drohan, CSV, coordinator of Villa Desiderata

Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, coordinator of peace, justice and integrity of creation

Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, coordinator of peace, justice and integrity of creation

According to the

Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, serves as a counselor at St. Viator Catholic School in Las Vegas

Br. Rob Robertson, CSV, serves as a counselor at St. Viator Catholic School in Las Vegas

Vatican, religious make up about a fifth, or 20 percent of all male religious in the

Br. Don Houde, CSV, retired administrator with Chicago Archdiocese Office of Catholic Schools

Br. Don Houde, CSV, retired administrator with Chicago Archdiocese Office of Catholic Schools

Catholic Church today. However, among Viatorians in the Chicago Province, 28 percent are religious brothers.

Br. Michael Rice, CSV, plant manager of St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas

Br. Michael Rice, CSV, plant manager of St. Viator Catholic Community in Las Vegas

Cardinal Braz de Aviz explained that the document addresses the identity of the religious brother in three ways: as the mystery of a gift received from God, as a communion of the gift shared and as a mission of the gift to be freely given away.

Viaotrian brothers in the class of 1951-52, L-R: Houde, Freitag, Foster, Linnan

Viaotrian brothers in the class of 1951-52, L-R: Houde, Freitag, Foster, Linnan

Overall, the document underlines the prophetic role of religious brothers, as well as that of consecrated women or sisters who similarly dedicate their lives to God.

Since that “vocation of religious men and women is not always well understood and appreciated within the Church,” the document says it hopes to shed light on the value and vital role that such people play in reflecting the face of Jesus.

Following the publication of the Vatican document, a celebration was planned to acknowledge the importance of religious brothers, worldwide. Consequently, the inaugural Religious Brothers’ Day took place May 1, 2017, on the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.