Frequently Asked Questions
By people who know little about Brothers:
1. What exactly is a Brother?
A Brother is a man who consecrates himself to God and performs some service to God’s people. His call is to relate to others as Jesus did, as a brother.
2. Do Brothers take vows?
Brothers do take vows. The common vows for Brothers are the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.
3. How is a Brother different from a priest?
The call of a Brother is to live the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and offering some other non-sacramental service to God’s people through such works as education, health care, social work, spiritual accompaniment and prayer. The call of a priest is to the altar offering the sacraments of the Church to people.
4. Do Brothers pray all day?
Some Brothers do have prayer as their primary ministry, but all Brothers do some other kind of work, which we refer to as ministry. Recreation, exercise and household responsibilities are also part of a Brother’s life.
5. Are Brothers monks?
While some Brothers are monks who dedicate themselves to a more contemplative lifestyle in a monastery, other communities of Brothers who are not monks focus more on providing direct service to others.
By people inquiring about the Marist Brothers:
1. Do the Marist Brothers wear a habit?
Some Marist Brothers wear a traditional habit consisting of a cassock, a cross, cords, and a Rabat (a white bib-like piece that fits on the front of the cassock). Others wear some distinguishable black garment. Marist Brothers who do not wear a habit wear a congregational cross when doing ministry.
2. How do the Marist Brothers pray?
Marist Brothers are called to pray communally and individually. The style of community prayer varies but most often it involves the Liturgy of the Hours. Personal prayer varies, but includes forms of meditation and contemplation. Brothers also make an annual retreat of about a week’s time. When possible, Marist Brothers attend daily Mass and are encouraged to engage in spiritual reading.
3. What is community life like?
Marist Brothers’ religious communities vary in size from two to 20. Regardless of a community’s size, Brothers live communally, sharing prayer and meals together and spending quality time with each other. The hallmark of a Marist Brother community is family spirit. Each community is a welcoming place for co-workers, family members, friends, young people and others who share the Marist spirit.
4. What is your connection to the official Church?
The Marist Brothers is an official congregation of religious brothers within the Roman Catholic Church. Our specific role within the Church is to make Jesus Christ known and loved through the Christian education of youth, especially to the most neglected. We collaborate with the local Church in helping young people know Jesus.
5. What do the Marist Brothers do?
The Marist Brothers work in education in a variety of capacities with a special focus on youth. Many Brothers are counselors, teachers, school administrators, spiritual directors, and campus ministers.
For more information on our vocation programs, contact Br. Todd Patenaude.