“Siamo tutti Fratelli” (“We are all Brothers”) was the motto for a gathering of religious Brothers at the General House of the Brothers of the Christian Schools on October 24. Over 130 religious Brothers from 20 men’s Congregations were celebrating their vocation during the Year of Consecrated Life. Four Oblate Brothers took part in the event: Brothers Zygmunt WOLNIAK, Silvio BERTOLINI, Donato CIANCIULLO, and Salvatore VITIELLO.
The guiding theme for the encounter was based on the three objectives indicated by Pope Francis for the Year of Consecrated Life: “look at the past with gratitude;” “live the present with passion;” “embrace the future with hope.” During the day, each Congregation shared something specific about its own vocation, after the showing of a video of activities of Brothers in the many countries where they work. In the introduction to the video, the former Superior General of the Dominicans, Fr. Timothy Radcliffe, stated: “Often, religious are men and women who take us beyond the Church, beyond our little, well-known world. Pope Francis says that we must get out of the sacristy. Often, it is the religious who do that, to go into places where the name of Christ is unknown and to uncover it there.”
The meeting made clear that the vocation of the Brother is genuine. It is no coincidence that recently the Princess of the Asturias Award for Concord, one of the main awards given in Spain to those who are outstanding in the field of humanitarian values, went to the Order of the Hospitaller Brothers of St. John of God for their work during the Ebola epidemic in Africa which killed 18 Brothers and co-workers, as well as their work with refugees.
The group of Brothers that organized the meeting stated: “Although the vocation of the Brother is diminished in the total number of members, nevertheless, it is ever more widespread in the world and continues to be necessary as an icon of equality and service in a world that is divided, unequal and filled with so many poor persons.”