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Religious order Brothers

A Brotherly Fact

Did you know that there are over 200 religious brothers working in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles? They serve in diverse ministries such as: Administration, Detention Ministry, Evangelism, Liturgy, Mechanics, Missions, Parishes, Retreats, Social Work, Spiritual Direction, and Teaching, etc.

An Overview

Religious brothers take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and live in community. There are two types of religious orders for brothers. Some communities are composed solely of brothers, like the Christian Brothers de La Salle, the Irish Christian Brothers, or the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. Other religious orders accept men who wish to be brothers or priests, like the Jesuits, Franciscans, Holy Cross Brothers or Benedictines. Brothers are not ordained.

Life

Religious brothers take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience and live in community. There are two types of religious orders for brothers. Some communities are composed solely of brothers, like the Christian Brothers de La Salle, the Irish Christian Brothers, or the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. Other religious orders accept men who wish to be brothers or priests, like the Jesuits, Franciscans, Holy Cross Brothers or Benedictines. Brothers are not ordained.

Brothers are involved in a wide variety of ministries in ways similar to religious women. A brother ministers through a particular profession or trade. Usually the particular ministry of the brother depends on his talents and educational background as well as the charism of the order. The lifestyle of a brother depends on the community to which he belongs. The different orders of brothers are varied in mission, focus and lifestyle. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity Brothers minister directly to the very poor and live simple lives in community. Brothers in other communities may teach at a university, run the pharmacy at the Vatican, or counsel troubled youth. There is as rich variety of ministries as the diverse gifts and talents of the brothers.

Brothers live in communities where they pray together and support each other. Having time to relax and enjoy leisure is also part of community life. Brothers gather for retreats together, meetings and to plan their future contribution to the Church.

Prayer is an integral part of the brothers' life. Both private and communal prayer are part of the religious life. The way the community prays together is part of the spirit of the order and differs from one community to the next.

What is the special gift of brothers to the Church? Here is the perspective of one brother:

"The ability of brothers to bond with all peoples, the solidarity and fraternity they have nourished in their ranks, the purification they have experienced in the fires of change, their dream of participating in the refashioning of a broken world into a global family where justice and compassion reign instead of oppression and racism — here may be found the seeds of brotherhood for tomorrow."

- Blessed Ambiguity, Michael F. Meister, FSC, St. Mary’s Press, Winona