Heeding His Call


#1

As someone who is lovingly indebted to God for having been called to a vocation, I wanted to share some of my experiences along that journey (or discernment process) in order to hopefully help others who are attempting to discern whether or not they have a calling. Please understand that God works in many mysterious ways, and please do not take my experiences as the only true way to discern. Rather, I would like you to see the overall working and dealings of God in a life He has called.

I don't want to make this into some huge journal, so I will only mention those areas that I feel helped to contribute or solidify for me that I was indeed being called.

I believe it started back in my youth. You see, I always had this sense that God existed and He knew me - I would always take great comfort in that. However, from my childhood through my sophomore year in high school, I didn't particularly pursue a relationship with Him, instead, I spent most of my time and energy doing things that boys usually do during this time - just enjoying my youth. Yet, when I met up with some old friends while in the 10th grade, they told me very excitedly about Jesus and having a relationship with Him. I didn't buy into it right away, but that one night when I followed the Protestant method of saying the "Sinner's Prayer", I knew that something special had happened. It was from this point that I knew God was real, and that He cared for me.

During those years from this initial revelation about God and through my mid 20's, I had this hot/cold relationship with God. There were times that I was very hot, and there were times that I was very cold. Sometimes even years passed where I had thrown in the towel and left God. Yet, something unique happened each time - God always called me back to himself. No matter how rebellious or sinful I had been, God kept calling me back. Now, being a rather thick headed person myself, it took me a long while to realize that God wanted me. It is here that I realized that He was not calling me back to just a relationship with him, no, it was something more than that. A bond had been established, and He wasn't going to give up on me so easily.

During the next 16 years, my relationship with God became cold and hot again. However, the two extremes weren't so extreme as they were when I was younger. Instead, I would often punish myself because I believed I had failed Him, and even though nothing could be further from the truth, it would make me despair and give up. Even though my spiritual life waivered back and forth, I career wasn't suffering in the least. I worked for a good, well established company, that would keep promoting me until I got to the point where I was living rather comfortably. This comfort became the blinder I slipped on to forget God. I reasoned that because things were going well financially, it was God's stamp of approval on my life which meant I could avoid certain religious practices because God was more pleased with my job than in having me attend church and other things. So, I began to slowly distance myself from Him again. I had developed such a love for and desire to help the poor earlier in my walk. Now I regarded the poor as cursed, lazy and judged by God.

Then in late '08 my life came crashing in on me when I had grown increasingly more depressed (due to my avoidance of God no doubt), and I had a series of life events which were slowly tearing down everything (worldly) that I depended and counted on. The last final insult (as I thought it was at the time) was the loss of my job. Unable to find employment for many, many months just added to my feeling of worthlessness. God had abandoned me - I am all alone. Well, not quite.

It was during the period of being laid off that God began calling me back. Only this time it was the real deal - I was looking into becoming Catholic. As I explored this road further and further, the only saint that I knew about as a Protestant (one which really affected me in a good way) was St. Francis of Assisi. So I bought a medal of him without really knowing anything about him. And it turned out that it was St. Francis who acted like an anchor or a bridge during this time as I came closer and closer to accepting the Catholic Church even though I didn't know that it was happening at the time.


#2

Soon I would make the decision to join the Church, but it came when my life really unraveled. I lost my apartment, I lost pretty much everything I had, and I was forced to live with other people and therefore lost my independence. It was a very difficult and confusing time, and in the many months that would follow, I would experience some of the hardest mental and spiritual hurdles to come into the Church - it was truly an agonizing journey at times. Meanwhile I developed a great love for Our Lady, and I began to pray on and off for a vocation (I even explored many options which none of them worked out). It was here that I felt like I hit dead end in terms of a vocation, but I continued finding myself always preoccupied with God, the saints, Our Lady and Holy Mother Church. I just couldn't stop thinking about them. I continued to pray for a vocation but I really thought that I was asking for the impossible because it seemed to me that God had already made His decision which was a firm, "No". But I couldn't stop thinking about spiritual life and about spiritual things, in fact, nothing else really mattered to me even though I had the constant pressure from family to get a job (which I had been doing all this time). I just felt a secular job wasn't for me. I just wanted to think about and serve God with my whole life.

It seemed that everything in my life was pushing me away from a vocation. Family, friends, attempts at finding a vocation all seemed to be telling me it wasn't going to happen. Months and months went by and I began to despair. I was just about to tell God I couldn't take it any more when all of the sudden a strange thing happened. It seemed like every priest and deacon I spoke to thought I had a vocation! Then other signs pointed to the same thing. I contacted Br. Jay to see if I could come down for a "Come and See" with the Brothers of Life, and he said yes. Suddenly I felt that this was it (it was something I just knew inside of me), so I told my family that I was off to Miami to become a Franciscan. The amazing thing that happened here was that everyone was very happy for me - even my Dad and Step-Mother who are both very anti-Catholic! This was my confirmation if I still needed one right now. Then I met with Br. Jay, we talked, discussed and both admitted to having a bond with each other that seemed to transcend the few days we had spent together. There was something more there and we both finally came to the conclusion that God had started this ministry and brought us together in order serve Him and His wishes. A vocation! A calling! I was shrouded in darkness and despair over not having a vocation only a week and a half earlier, and suddenly God started moving and brought me dreams and desires into fruition!

Where does that leave you? That is between you and God, but if you feel Him tugging at you in a certain direction, talk with Him and let Him guide you and don't be afraid of the impossible - only be afraid of not allowing God to do the impossible through you!


#3

Thanks for sharing your story. It's wonderful.


#4

The call to which the OP has responded is a difficult one and should serve as a model for those who wish to follow Christ in a more intimate way as consecrated religious. As the Superior General of the Brothers of Life of the Order of St Francis (OSF), I’m very happy to see the growing interest in our community. But I am also very careful to remind the young men who come to us that in many respects our life is a battle against nature.

During the probation year, which we call the candidacy year, the candidate is exposed to many trials. These are experiences designed to help the candidate discern if he wants to pursue a life among us. Much will be required of him in the practice of Christian virtues. Before being received as a postulant and later a novice, the candidate must discern the following:

Does he believe everything that the Catholic Church teaches, without gloss, without compromise, without personal interpretations?

Does he believe in the dignity of human life from the womb to the tomb without exception? If during this period of discernment he has questions about abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, infanticide, and any other threat to human life that is inconsistent with the teachings of the Church and of St. Francis, he is not meant to be among us.

Does he believe that he can obey the Church, as she expresses her authority through the Holy Father, the bishops in union with him, the local bishop and Church authorities without questioning, without murmuring, without criticism, without resentment, without judgment?

He must discern whether he is ready to accept the authority of the superior, even when the superior is wrong, except in cases that involve sin? Can he obey with silence and submission? Can he offer up his understanding of how things should be done, as a penance and accept the voice of the superior as the voice of Christ in the community, even when he believes that he has a better idea?

This period is a time to discern whether he is willing to detach from his former life in the world, including his former relationships, status, and is willing to attempt to live in anonymity, doing good and disappearing.

The candidate must answer a very important question. Does he genuinely hear the call of Christ to follow him in the same manner as our Holy Father Francis? Is he willing to take the next steps, which would be postulancy and novitiate to begin to root out his personal faults and replace them with the Gospel virtues as practiced by St. Francis?

The candidate shall discern the cost of a life of total poverty, before embarking on to the next step, which would be to try it for a period of six-years, before making final vows. This poverty not only involves total detachment from personal property, but also detachment from his biological family, detachment from his personal opinions, wants and desires to that he can hear what Christ wants and desires; detachment from his way of doing things to adopt Francis of Assisi’s way of living the Gospel and daily life; and finally, detachment from his God-given right to be a husband and father to be bound to a community of brothers whom he must love and serve as the most important people in his life from which he receives spiritual nourishment and support during times of difficulty.

As a candidate the individual enters a period of discernment concerning his relationship with Christ. He must question his life of faith, prayer, the proper use of grace and gifts and he must question his ability to embark on a life-long mission to become like Christ.

The candidate goes through a very tough period of transition from life in the outside world to life within a community of brothers. He must discern if Christ is calling him to find his salvation among these brothers. Among these brothers his priorities are predetermined by the rule of St. Francis and the constitutions of the order. His first obligation is a life of prayer: communal and private prayer. He will be asked to spend four to five hours in prayer. His second obligation is a life of brotherhood. He will test his stamina. Can he meet the demands of fraternal life? The ministry and service to the outside world are no replacements for the ministry to his brothers. They come first in the hierarchy of charity. He must love them, serve them, see himself as the smallest among them, and place his talents and resources at their disposal. He must also humbly accept from them the gifts that they offer him, which include their resources, talents, love and support, even when these may seem very small in comparison to what he may be giving them. Part of this life of brotherhood includes manual labor. Regardless of his position in the world, his academic degrees, his experiences, he must discern if he’s willing to roll up his sleeves and clean bathrooms for his brothers, do dishes and laundry, scrub floors and wash cars, go grocery shopping, sit up with a sick brothers.

Part of this year of discernment is also dedicated to learning the externals of religious life. Little things that make our life different from that of other people, such as: traditions of the Franciscan family, kissing floors when he is in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, dressing in simple habit day in and day out, asking for permission to do the things that he once took for granted, such as permission to go for a walk outside of the community house, and those little rituals that are such a significant part of our life such as asking for the Father Superior’s blessing when leaving the house in the morning and returning to it. Maintaining appropriate distance from, yet a healthy relationship with the laity is an important part of this process. One must discern if one is called to this dialectic between the world and the enclosure.


#5

Then there is the ministry of life itself. The candidate participates in the ministry of the Gospel of Life. He becomes familiar with every word in that document and he spends hours and days in pregnancy centers, with the sick and the dying, visiting parishes, schools and other groups where he will observe a brother teach the Gospel of Life to the laity and the clergy. He will spend few hours sleeping and many long hours in silent preparation to go out to proclaim the Gospel of Life in a variety of settings. Many men find this the most difficult part of this life. They will never be pastors, confessors, preachers, or celebrate mass. Instead they will serve those who are threatened by the Culture of Death or who have been broken by the Culture of Death. In order to do so, they will have to remain completely detached from parishes and other traditional institutions that so often absorb the religious to the point that he becomes a hermit in the parish or his place of ministry. For many men, this is a great sacrifice.

His dealings with the laity will often be painful, since most lay people do not know what a consecrated religious brother is and many who do know do not appreciate him, because they see him as someone who does not meet their sacramental needs, often forgetting that the brother is the prophet that calls their attention to life in the Kingdom of God, thus seducing them to come back to the sacraments and to full communion with the Church. The brother offers the laity a shadow of life in the Kingdom of God with the hope that others will want this life so badly that they will find a priest and go to confession and communion.

Finally, there is the question of academic and professional training. A Brother spends up to eight years studying Franciscan Rule, Franciscan Constitutions, Franciscan History, Franciscan Theology, Franciscan Liturgy, philosophy and theology. Part of these studies take place at the community house and part take place at a theologate for religious. The candidate has a year to discern if he wants to engage in this rigorous program of studies.

Let us pray for Wxboss that this year of discernment will be a fruitful one and that he may discover whatever path God has planned for him.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#6

i do not know who to congratulate first... :D

Br. Jay / JREducation. I am so happy that you have another one discerning vocation with your community! Your community (Bros of Life) is very blessed to have you as their founder! You will always be the most intelligent friar for me.

and for wxboss, wow! just inform us what's going on with your discernmet.i am excited to hear MORE from you! I'm happy for u. :)

I thank God for the Brothers of Life. please pray for our country. I am afraid that soon, the government will push pro-choice projects. They are starting right now, and it's terrible.

God bless you!


#7

*Dear wxboss,

This is wonderful news to hear! Congratulations and may God bless you and always be at your side especially during the next year. Please also be assured that my prayers are with you in your discernment. God knows that I can bear first hand witness to the fact that we do need more Brothers of Life.

Also, thank you for being willing to accept the direction that God's tugging is taking you.

As always my prayers are with you, Br. Jay and all the Brothers of Life and their/your mission.

*


#8

Thank you for your kind words. I guess you don’t know many friars, if I’m the most intelligent one. :stuck_out_tongue:

Pray that God sends us many more brothers. This past year we had 31,000 abortions within the boundaries of our diocese. This was a low number compared to 2008 when we had 34,000 abortions. We had over 100 cases of euthanasia, disguised under other names. There were literally several hundred thousand people admited to area hospitals and asked to sign a waiver of their end of life rights, which is a policy in this state. They euphamistically call it “end of life directives”. What it amounts to is that the patient surrenders his right to live so that his surrogate and his physician can decide when his life no longer has any quality and he should be allowed to die, even when this means accelerating death by taking away a feeding tube and hydration. This is murder, pure and simple. We need Brothers who will travel from community to community educating healthcare professionals and citizens about the moral rules that govern end of life decisions. We need brothers who will teach the dignity of suffering vs the indignity of bailing out of life. We need more brothers to teach the faithful Catholics that the choices about life are not choices about us, but choosing to live according to what God has revealed about the dignity of life.

There is also a great need for brothers who will work with youth to teach them chasity, not just abstinence. The sacredness of life must be protected. The only way to do so is to understand the true meaning of chastity, commitment, marriage, family, love and the responsibilities that come with being a real man or woman. These are not things that the average parish priest has time to teach or the training to teach. Many parish priests find that they are out of their league when they have to address these issues with youth. They call upon our brothers to perform this ministry. Catholic schools often call on us to run Chastity Days for their students.

We also need brothers to take on the electronic ministry, such as being present here on Catholic Answers. There are many well meaning Catholics who have difficulty understanding and applying what God has revealed to us about life. There are others who have significant difficulties separating the sinner from the sin. Without realizing it, they often violate charity and justice toward the sinner in their attempt to right a wrong. The brothers guide people in responding appropriately to situations and persons in the political and ecclesial community, with respect, charity, great compassion and the gentleness of St. Francis, as Paul said to the Philipians that we must never allow our anger to lead us into sin.

Finally, we need men who want to live a life of intense prayer, penance, poverty, sacrifice and who want to live within a family of other men who love each other and take as much care of each other as Francis loved and took care of his brothers over 800 years ago. We must recover, not only the spirit of St. Francis, but go beyond the spirit. We must recover the vision and worldview of St. Francis os Assisi, if we want to live the Gospel in a way that brings life to the souls of men.

Please pray for us or contact us if you want to know how to help.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


#9

yes yes, we need these men. our country really needs these men! i think our government has started to include sex education in elementary schools. it’s in the news but i dare not hear more for it’s really heartbreaking to see men exerting lots of efforts to destroy life and human dignity. There are also news that under our new president, reproductive health bill will be passed (link)

i pray that there will be religious orders devoted to the protection of life be available to the Philippines. i pray that your community will flourish to the extent that you have to send a team of your friars here in the Philippines.:thumbsup:


#10

Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement! They are greatly appreciated!

I would just ask that you do pray for all the religious around the world, and please pray that God would send us more brothers as well.

Yours in Jesus and Mary,

Pete


#11

I believe that one of the most beautiful elements of this life that Pete is taking on is the return to the Franciscan charism as it was lived by the early Franciscans in union with the Church’s current teaching on the Gospel of Life. What makes these brothers very unique among Franciscans and other religious is that there is a continuity between the past and the present.

In 1209, when our Holy Father Francis founded our family, he never thought about abortion, euthanasia, infanticide, contraception, murder, war, capital punishment, promiscuity and other sins that lead to a deterioration of human dignity and by consequence an increasing isolation of man from God and neighbor. For Francis, it was a given that all of this was immoral. He did not have to address it in his rule, much less train his brothers and sisters to address it. The Church had already spoken on these matters. Even on the matter of war and capital punishment, which were often in practice, the Doctors and Fathers of the Church had made their positions known.

What Francis set out to do was to convert Catholics to Catholicism. He founded his community as a brotherhood where men lead other Catholics back to the faith through the example of their lives, not their work. This is very unique to the Franciscan movement. It was the first religious family to focus on being over doing, but it was to be done outside of the hermitage and outside of the cloister. Monks and hermits also focused on being good Catholics and becoming saints, but they lived this life in solitude. The Franciscans were the first to take the life of the monk and the hermit and live in the middle of the crowd.


#12

What happens today is very similar to what happened during the 13th century. Catholics have fallen away from the Catholic faith. Some have become agents of division. An excellent example is this entire fight about the form of the mass. The idea behind the two forms was to offer all Catholics a venue where they would be spiritually uplifted, not to creating two opposing groups of Catholics who squabble over the form of the mass every time they get a chance. This kind of bickering always ends up in an attack on the dignity of a person and his spiritual life. On the other hand, we have those Catholics who have become agents of a secular morality that tolerates any threat against human life and dignity as a good or at worse a necessary evil. When did any form of evil become necessary?

The Franciscan Brothers of Life have taken the rule of St. Francis, which commits every brother to absolute obedience to the Gospel, the Church and to Francis. They have taken the mission that Francis gave the first brothers, to go out and convert the Catholics. If they had time and men who could do so, then go out and convert the non-Catholic. In addition, the Brothers have taken the mandate that Francis gave his first communities to live in harmony with each other as a real family, not just an association of men who share some common ideals and a common vision. But these are to be men who drop everything to serve the needs of one of their brothers in community and in so doing they set an example of Christian family life for the lay Catholic. These men spend at least five hours per day in prayer and 12 hours in total silence. They fast and abstain twice a week and have three Lents every year. These are just some of the things that the Brothers of Life have preserved from the Franciscans of the 13th century.

At the same time, they have taken the Gospel of Life written by the Ven. John Paul II and have laid down next to the rule of St. Francis and daily pray and discern how the two complement each other and how to apply the Gospel of Life in today’s society, while remaining faithful to the first brothers in the history of our Franciscan family. Unlike the time of Francis when people committed these sins, but everyone knew that they were sins, today people do these things and believe them to be the right thing to do. Now we are in a position where we have to speak about those subjects that Francis never mentioned, because they were a given. It is no longer a given that Catholics will respect and obey what has been revealed about the dignity of life, marriage, sex, celibacy, children, family, aging, suffering and death. The first thing that Catholics do is to refer to these truths as “the Church’s teaching” or “the Church’s laws.”

No, these are not the teachings or laws of the Church. These rules were revealed to us by God, through scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Teaching Magisterium, none of which can ever be wrong.

Like Francis of Assisi, the Franciscan Brothers of Life take on a rigorous life of prayer, penance, poverty, brotherhood and obedience to the Church. It is out of this obedience that the brothers have taken upon themselves the single ministry of converting Catholics to the Gospel of Life. Young brothers like Pete take quite a beating when they open their mouths on such subjects such as: contraception, abortion, euthanasia, death penalty, infanticide, promiscuity with either gender, the role of the family in salvation, God’s place in the family, the role of suffering, illness, pain and death in purification and atonement. They usually take the hardest hits from Catholics, not non-Catholics. Catholics are either aggressively opposed to this message or indifferent. The minority that stops to listen is a small one.

When these young brothers stand before the Traditionalists and the Liberals and call them to task, because their bickering is not resolving problems, they are called heretics by the right and archaic by the left. These conflicts are actually creating greater division, greater pain, greater anger and resentment, and great disrespect for another living person. This is not a show of respect and appreciation for the life that God has given to us and has shared with us through the Incarnation. As Brothers of Life, these men not only protect the dignity of physical life, but also the dignity of the spiritual life.

As you can see, men like Pete are responding to a call to bridge the gap between the past and the present by living according to the Franciscan tradition, which is 800 years old, in order to proclaim the Gospel of Life, which was formally proclaimed very recently. What cements this older Franciscan tradition with this newer necessity to proclaim the Gospel of Life is good old fashioned obedience and prayer.

As the brothers become more popular in the local diocese the Catholics are asking the superior to send them brothers. The problem is that we do not have enough brothers. We need your prayers, but we also need you to help spread the word that there are Franciscan Brothers of Life.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:


#13

Thanks Bro JR,

Will pray


#14

We held the reception ceremony of the new candidates to the Franciscan Brothers of Life at the 6:00 pm mass at the local parish. Normally, this ritual is not open to the laity. But I decided to open it up, because this is the Life Teen’s mass. I wanted to expose the young people to religious life and to consecrated brothers. They know what priests and deacons are, but they have no clue as to who or what consecrated brothers are.

To my great joy and surprise, the entire church was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Every eye was on the sanctuary. The pastor celebrated the mass, assisted by a deacon. Both are secular men. Neither of them had ever seen the reception ceremony of a religious. Like most diocesan priests and deacons, neither had any idea what religious life is about or its demands and stages of formation. They know sisters and they know priests who belong to religious orders. But they do not know the difference between themselves and these ordained religious, except for the fact that religious make vows and diocesan deacons and priests do not make vows. Throughout the ceremony they sat glued to the program book in their hands.

The ritual begins with the Father Superior calling the candidate(s) forward. They prostrate on the floor in front of him and he asks them, “What do you ask of God and this community?” They respond, “I ask for the mercy of God and the grace to begin my period of discernment to the Franciscan Brothers of Life.” Then the superior invites them to kneel.

As they are kneeling he walks them through the creed, asking them if they believe. Once that part is complete, he questions their resolve to obey in order to hear the voice of God and his holy Will. He asks:

[LIST]
*]Do you accept the authority of the Lord Pope and his bishops in communion with him, in all matters: doctrinal, moral and prudential?
*]Do you accept the authority of our Holy Father Francis and his canonically elected successor as the voice of Christ for this brotherhood?
*]Do you understand that you will be asked to obey without questioning, without murmuring, without resentment and without second thoughts?
*]Do you understand that you will be asked to sacrifice your thoughts, feelings, and desires so that you may learn to practice perfect poverty and abnegation as our Holy Father Francis practiced it?
*]Do you understand that your first moral duty will be to your Franciscan brothers and sisters for whom you will care in order to discern your vocation to a life of perfect charity as Christ practiced it on the cross?
*]Do you understand that you will be asked to go deeper into the mystery of the Liturgy of the Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours and the contemplative life?
*]Do you understand that if you discern that this is not where God is calling you to be, you may leave freely at a time of your choosing or that of the Father Superior and return to the world?
*]Do you come to this of your own free will, without reservations and without prejudice?
[/LIST]

Once the man has answered all these questions the Father Superior asks the priest to step forward and bless the Tau and the sandals that the new candidate will wear as a sign of his journey with Francis of Assisi. The Father Superior holds the Tau in the air and says to the candidate, “Arise in the name of God.” The candidate stands and is given the Tau as a sign of his brotherhood with Francis and Christ who were both pierced for the sake of love.

The Superior then kneels, kisses his feet and puts the sandals on him. As he does so the Superior solemnly promises the candidate to discern with him, to guide him in discovering God’s will for his life, to protect him as a father protects his son and to serve him as Christ served the Apostles on the night before he died. The candidate is then asked if he accepts the Superior’s promise. Once he accepts, the Superior stands and says to the candidate, “Go with God my son, begin your journey of discernment and do not look back.” The candidate leaves the sanctuary and returns to his seat. The Father Superior then turns toward the priest and bows very reverently. He then leaves the clerics alone in the sanctuary and returns to his seat with the community.

After the mass, the pastor was so excited and asked me if he had done and said all of ther right things. I was amazed and impressed by his humility. Most pastors may not ask such a question, especially since we're not on his staff. We simply volunteer at his parish.

After the mass, the laity came up to the brothers. The comments went something like this:

[LIST]
*]That was powerful.
*]I did not know that brothers lived this way.
*]Why has the Church never allowed us to see brothers before?
*]Why don’t we ever pray for vocations to the brotherhood?
*]I never knew that it takes 10 years to become a brother!
*]It was amazing. It was as if Christ were standing there speaking, calling to the man who is offering his life.
*]It was the most solemn ceremony that I have ever seen.
*]I had never seen a Father Superior who is not a priest. It gives a whole new meaning to the title Father.
*]That is so cool.
[/LIST]

The young and the old were very kind to us. Not only that, but they were amazed at how demanding the questions are. The one comment that everyone made was that they always associated Francis of Assisi with poverty. They never thought that Francis was so intense about obedience. But hearing the questioning of the candidate, using the words of the Holy Rule, what came through was the great weight that Francis gives to obedience and how poverty is really a response to a call to obey the Gospel when Christ says to leave everything behind.

The young people were very excited for the new candidates to the Brothers of Life. We were very excited to have been able to preach without saying a single word.

Fraternally,

Br. JR, OSF :)


#15

great news! i hope you'll post pictures at your website, if that is okay with you.. :D


#16

I just had to jump back in here because the more I'm getting exposed to other parts of the ministry, the more excited I become!

Br. Jay has been given a great and unique vision - that of protecting the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death. This is a very large and daunting task.

Since Br. Jay has been working and praying over this for a long time, he has many ideas which can only be accomplished with more brothers. It is too big just for a few of us, but it is also very exciting at the same time. There are so many opportunities to teach, proclaim and advance the truth that all life is sacred. As Pope John Paull II stated, we are living in a culture of death where human life is looked at as disposable or a means to an end for someone else to get what they want. Everyone misses the beauty of each life and the special gifts God has given to each individual that He hasn't given to anyone else. We are all unique and loved tremendously by God and this has to be our clarion call to wake all those who slumber and deny the truth.

Not everyone is called to be a brother or a religious, but everyone is called to pray. Please pray for us so that we may be used the way God intends us to be used. So that together with us, we will all accomplish great things for the Kingdom of God.

Blessings and Peace in Jesus and Mary,

Pete


closed #17

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