Not everyone in religious life comes from a family that is full-throttle Catholic, but Brother Chris Patiño, F.S.C. does. He considers himself blessed to have parents who met through young adult ministry and who made Catholic education a priority for him and his sisters. From his Catholic immigrant roots, to his love for teaching, it was a natural path for Patiño to join the De La Salle Christian Brothers, an order dedicated to education.
How did you meet your religious community?
I encountered the De La Salle Christian Brothers during high school. It was their ability to relate to young people, their dedication to providing a human and Christian education to the young, especially the poor, and their genuine community life that really began to tug at my heart.
Best ministry experience to date?
The classroom is always a sacred space for the Brothers. In addition to the incredible joy I have found in the classroom, I found great meaning in my role as dean of students. As a Brother I would walk with students and families during very good moments but also in very challenging times.
Favorite way to pray?
Community prayer is very important to me, and so I think the time in personal meditation before communal prayer—combined with our time praying together—are both very special.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I am actually a pretty shy individual.
Most exciting experiences as a religious?
The most exciting experiences in my life as a religious involve the students who have been part of the journey. Whether it was taking 18 high-school students to Madrid for World Youth Day or taking students on retreats and immersion experiences, it has been exciting to be a part of their lives during significant moments.
What gives you hope about religious life?
I find great hope in the young people who continue to explore the possibility of religious life. Their dreams, their hopes, their desire to make our world a better place . . . that all gives me hope!
Wonder where God is calling you? VISION Vocation Network has an array of articles and resources about vocation and discernment.