Why did you join the Crosiers? When I was a seventh grader, Sr. Malachy handed out information about religious life. It was at that time that I knew I wanted to be a brother. For me it meant time for prayer, Mass, and physical work throughout the day. I knew there would also be times for silence (no talking at all) and other times for talking. I chose the Crosiers because they were located close to my home. It truly was the grace of God that directed me to the Crosiers. I am deeply grateful for the life God has given me.
How do you find life and meaning in living your vocation as a Crosier? One thing that has helped me to grow spiritually has been reading and reflecting on the Scriptures. I have become more aware of the Holy Spirit, too, whose gifts we receive at our baptism and in the sacraments. In understanding the Scriptures, I have found that the spirit of God has been given to us so that we might grow spiritually. God has spoken to me during my prayer time and other times, too, which prepared me for the Crosiers’ Decade of Transformation.
Vatican II asked all religious communities to be aware of their original way of life. After much study and discussion, the Master General and his council, in 2001, proclaimed a Decade of Transformation for the Crosiers. The first thing we worked on was our prayer life. We now chant the divine office (for the most part) rather than recite it, we spend time reflecting on the Psalms, and we pray with a more heartfelt spirit. God speaks to us (me) in our private and community prayer through the Psalms and Scripture readings, and this is very inspirational. Our prayer life has come to be a higher quality of prayer.
I also find God speaking to me in how I should live and treat my confreres and the people that I minister to. We, as Crosiers, are to live in a fraternal community. We are to share time in fraternity at prayer, at meals, and in recreation. We are to have an apostolic presence in our ministry, too. Our three pillars are to live in a fraternal priory; to nourish a quality prayer life; and to serve with an apostolic presence.
I am so happy that God directed me to the Crosiers. During the celebration of our 800th jubilee at St. Agatha in the Netherlands, I learned much more about our Crosier history. I lived for a week at St. Agatha, this priory founded in 1371, where Crosiers have lived all of these years. I learned of the good times when we had many Crosiers and many monasteries and then of the times of struggles and the challenges they faced in religious life. About every 150 to 200 years we go through this kind of scenario of decline and rebirth.
My ministry: I have worked in numerous ministries. The first number of years I worked in maintenance, cleaning, and the laundry. In 1957, I started part time in the tailor shop. In 1959, I began full-time tailoring of our Crosier habits and taught other brothers to make habits. I made habits for over twenty years. I also helped in many ways with the retreat program at Hastings, Neb.: preparation, seeing to the participants’ needs, on the team for high school retreats, clean up, and preparing for the next group.
When I came to Onamia, Minn., in 1980, I worked in the vocation office recruiting students to come to our seminary school. For many years, I worked in development in Onamia. I enjoyed being with people, listening to them, and sharing with them about faith and the work of the Church. I find it easy to visit with people and to share about Crosier Religious Life as a part of all this. On July 24, I transferred to Phoenix and became a member of the Phoenix community. I will be helping with aspects of our vocation program and also participating in our various ministries and inter-community activities.
Born and raised: I was born in Wichita, Kan., the sixth of 13 children. When I was a year old we moved to a farm 14 miles southwest of Wichita to the small village of Clonmel. There were six girls and seven boys and we attended the Catholic grade school taught by Dominican sisters from Great Bend, Kan.
Home parish: My home parish is St. John the Evangelist in Clonmel, Kan.
Hobbies and interests: The first 25 years I played a variety of sports with other confreres. Now I do a lot of walking to stay limber and in good health. In the last number of years, I have taken up photography and really enjoy this hobby.
Date of Profession: August 28, 1955