Did you know about what a religious brother is?
Many people are afraid to ask the question. “What’s a Brother, anyway?” It’s a perfectly good question to ask at any time one feels so inclined to put it out there.
The “Brother” in the Catholic Church is a man who is vowed to poverty, celibacy, and obedience like any priest who is a member of a religious congregation like Holy Cross. In the Congregation of Holy Cross, the brothers and priests live together in community and follow the same “constitutions” or rules. All are involved in various ministries in fulfillment of the vowed commitment. So, what is the difference between priests and brothers?
All priests are ordained by the Sacrament of Holy Orders to administer the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. The priest is called to this important ministry and fulfills it in a variety of ways and places.
Brothers do not feel called to receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and therefore do not administer the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. The brother is called to minister in other ways. Many Holy Cross brothers have been involved in educational ministries of our congregation.
The beauty of Holy Cross is that men are encouraged to live out their God-given vocation to priesthood or brotherhood in a fraternity of equals. Those interested in learning more about the Congregation of Holy Cross should approach a priest or brother and ask questions openly.
You may also learn more by way of a lecture happening at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. Fr. Jim Connelly, C.S.C., will reflect on the 200 years of existence for the Holy Cross Brothers. All are welcome to come to this lecture happening in the Brian Doyle Auditorium located on the lower level of Dundon-Berchtold Hall.
“Did You Know?” is a regular feature in UPBeat to help staff and faculty understand dimensions of this Catholic, Holy Cross university. You can send questions to Fr. Jim Gallagher, C.S.C. (Campus Ministry) or Karen Eifler (Garaventa Center).