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Postulant Profile, Bro. Joseph (J.D.)

Hometown:

Pittsburgh, PA

Current Ministry:

La Salle College High School

My first connection to the Brothers was…

I attended a Lasallian high school. I first met the Brothers in the summer before my freshman year because I worked for the school in the summer as part of a tuition assistance program.

When I would run into different Brothers around the campus that summer each of them chatted with me as though it was the only thing they had to do that day. They went out of their way to make me feel welcome, which made my transition to high school far better than I could have ever imagined. Eventually, when school started that August I felt as though I had an advantage over my classmates because I was already familiar with all the Brothers.

In the Brothers I see…

Dynamic religious men that are wholeheartedly dedicated to the mission of providing a quality education rooted in the Gospel calling to serve those on the fringe of society. I see men that are firmly rooted in their faith, whose dedication to not only their ministry but their community was inviting and supportive of my discernment journey.

When I started thinking about my life and my call (when I started discerning)…

I started discerning my vocation when the chaplain at the Lasallian high school I attended invited me to a diocesean retreat for young me interested in the priesthood. I wasn’t actively discerning the priesthood but I thought it was an opportunity to explore what my vocation might be. My feelings towards priesthood remained unchanged at the end of the retreat, so I decided to go about my daily high school life. But when I returned to school one of the Brothers told me “your qualities that would make a good priest would make an even better Brother.” I was completely surprised by what he said But after some prayer and some advice from that Brother, I began actively discerning my vocation as a Brother and an educator with young people.

My experience as a Brother, in the Postulancy stage of formation, has enriched my spiritual life….

Through community prayer, I have recognized the presence of God’s care in my community. Through personal prayer where I reflect on my ministry, I have come to recognize the presence of God in the selfless acts of the students, that are unaware of how impactful their actions are. Seeking spiritual direction has deepened my understanding of God’s calling for me as a Brother committed to serving young people.

I find that community challenges each Brother to be the best they can be, not only for young people they serve but also for the Brothers in community. Sharing in community is also life-giving experience because no Brother has to “go at it” alone, my experience is that communal life is a support system not often present in all areas of life. Community also presents the opportunity to seek both professional advice as well as spiritual advice from the Brothers in community.

Hobbies:

Golfing, cooking, and gardening

Favorite Reads:

The Way of Discipleship by Anthony Gittins, The Courage to Teach by Parker Palmer

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