ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY ANNUAL BROTHERS’-SISTERS’ NIGHT
St. John’s University Campus Ministry sponsored its fifth annual Brothers’-Sisters’ Night at the 5:30 Sunday Night Student Mass on September 15. This event is sponsored annually by St. John’s UniversityCampus Ministry Department and coordinated by Marist Brother Mike Sheerin FMS, Campus Minister.
Bro. Mike said, “The main purpose of this annual event is to let the students see, meet, pray, and eat with a good number of Sisters and Brothers serving the local Church.” Representing 24 Congregations, 70 Brothers and Sisters gathered together in the University Church of St. Thomas More. This effort is beginning to realize some fruit as the Call to Worship and Post Communion Reflection talk were bothgiven by students at St. John’s who have experienced previous Brothers-Sisters nights on campus. Previous years saw vowed Religious offering these two moments. Graduate Student Zack Savino is inquiring about the Brothers’ life and Rachel Burgos, a senior, is curious about the Sisters’ vocation. Bro.Mike went on to say, “Both students witnessed to their ongoing discernment and because of their example other students are beginning to come forth with some initial curiosity and interest. Students already discerning a religious vocation are also feeling comfortable in sharing more openly their ongoing thoughts about religious life. It was our hope that this would happen as students can see themselves in fellow students witnessing to their discernment and therefore resonate with their experiences.”
In her Call to Worship, Rachel mentioned how she has thought about a religious vocation since she was very young and that these evenings helped her understand the value of talking about and discerning that thought further. In Zack’s reflection, he spoke of discernment as a prayerful exploration with twists and turns that keeps the vocation alive in his heart. He said, “So I’m not telling you to go join a religiousorder – I’m just asking you, have you ever seriously thought about it? Oftentimes, we can’t find what wereally love until we find what we don’t love – but we’ll never even know that unless we try... In participating in 5 Brothers’ Sisters’ nights, they’ve helped guide me not only towards my vocation, but to a specific charism as well, if that is what I end up choosing. Ask the difficult questions in life – I promise,you’ll find fulfillment in the end, whatever that may be.”
A consistent compliment shared by the visiting Religious each year, especially by those who sponsor some of the Catholic high schools in the local dioceses that send their students to St. John’s, is thereassurance that the religious education and spiritual experiences they inculcate in their respectiveschools is reinforced and enhanced at St. John’s.
Following Mass, all the Religious and students participated for a meet and greet and pizza. The energy and feel of the whole evening is always palpable each year. Students commented as they always do each year, that they never saw so many Sisters and Brothers gathered in one place and so easily and readily sharing their love of the Consecrated life. Once again, it was the Church alive!