Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn
a life of prayer, community and service
"The form of life of the brothers is this: to
observe the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ, living in obedience, in poverty,
and in chastity." (Rule 1:1)
-We are members of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis.
-We strive toward continuous conversion.
-We live simply as a sign of our consecration to the Gospel life.
-We are a vowed, non-ordained religious order of men.
-We live simple lives of community and prayer.
-We strive to be "brothers" to those with whom we work.
Brothers arrived from Ireland in 1858, responding to the invitation of Bishop
Loughlin. They began serving the Diocese of Brooklyn in child care, primarily as
educators, opening high schools and a college, and staffing local parish grammar schools. The Brothers traveled all over Brooklyn from St. Francis Monastery on Butler Street, which served as the brother's motherhouse for a century. As the congregation grew, the
Brothers took on assignments throughout Brooklyn and Long Island. Over the past 25 years the Brothers began serving the church in pastoral ministries other than education and the congregation began ministering in areas outside New York, including Missouri and North Carolina. In 1968 the Brothers began a period of renewal as a response to the spirit of Vatican II and spent several years revising the congregational Constitutions. In 1982 the Brothers celebrated with Franciscans all over the world as the Holy Father approved the new Rule and Life for members of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. In 1989 Pope John Paul II promulgated the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn an Institute of Pontifical Right with a decree of praise. The Brothers very happily celebrated 140 years in the United States on Pentecost Sunday of 1998.
". . .because God loves us, the Brothers should love one another. . . Let them manifest their love in deeds." (Rule VII:23)
The Brothers live together in local houses called friaries. We are called to support each other as brothers, caring for each others’ needs with fraternal respect and affection. Our rule challenges us to live simply and in a loving manner.
Our life is nurtured by communal prayer and our Rule asks us to strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ through private prayer and daily Eucharist.
". . . since the Brothers are to be totally
conformed to the Gospel, they should reflect and keep in their hearts the words
of our Lord Jesus Christ. "
"The Brothers are to love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind, and with all their strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves. Let them glorify the Lord in all they do. For He sent them into the world that they might give witness by word and work to His voice and to make known that the Lord alone is God." (Rule IX:29)
Our congregational mission is to participate in the educational and pastoral ministries of the Church. (Directory II, A) Upon arriving from Ireland, the Brothers discerned the needs of the Brooklyn Diocese to be in the areas of education and we continue to serve the Church in schools. We presently minister on the grammar school, high school and college levels in the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Center, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Raleigh, North Carolina. A segment of the community can be found in social ministries serving the pastoral needs of the Church. Brothers work with the elderly, the handicapped, the imprisoned; in parishes, prisons, shelters and hospitals. We run Camp Alvernia, a summer camp in Centerport, NY, and St. Francis Center, a retreat house in Oyster Bay, NY. We also do retreat work and serve in a variety of other ministries responding to the contemporary needs of the local Church. All brothers are professionally trained for their work so that they may develop their gifts to the fullest in order to give service to the People of God.
"The brothers are called to heal the wounded, to bind up those who are bruised, and to reclaim the erring. "(Rule IX:30)
The formation program of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn is designed to allow the candidate personal growth in the spiritual and communal life while discerning God's call. Through gradual phases of incorporation it allows the individual time and space to develop as a member of the congregation.
. . . getting to know the community through periodic gatherings and individual conferences with the Brothers. Each member of the program is encouraged to get to know the Brothers and to explore the possibility of membership in the community. Opportunities for service are offered through various Franciscan ministries.
. . . a live-in program where the candidate experiences the joys and challenges of community life. While maintaining financial independence, candidates share in the responsibilities and prayer-life of the local community.
. . . the first step of the incorporation into the Franciscan Brothers. The novice receives the Franciscan habit and spends a year in preparation for his first vows. The year includes the study of the Franciscan Rule and Constitutions, the study of theology, opportunities in varied ministry, as well as the sharing of ideas in an intercommunity program.
. . . the new brother takes his first vows for three years and embarks on his journey of living the vows in community. If need be, he completes his preparation for ministry and begins his work. At the completion of three years, he may renew his temporary vows for each of the next three years before his final commitment. Brothers in temporary profession are supported by a congregational program which stresses personal, spiritual, and emotional development. Brothers are encouraged to receive spiritual direction to support and strengthen their commitment.
. . . the brother vows to spend his life in continuous conversion to the Gospel and in service of others. Each of the brothers is encouraged to work toward growth in all areas of his religious life, especially in developing a rich prayer life and deepening the commitment to communal living. Spiritual direction, retreat and renewal experiences, and educational and professional development are all part of the brother's commitment to live as a member of the congregaton.
CALLED TO BE PEACEMAKERS!
As followers of St. Francis, the brothers strive to mirror Christ in all that they do. Our vows bind us together in following the gospel way of life. Every brother contributes to the efforts of our community. We celebrate each brother's joys, are with them in their pain or suffering, rejoice in their successes and challenge each other to continually be faithful to the vows we all took to live a life mirroring Christ in the spirit of St. Francis in today's society.
We seek ways ways to express our poverty. We use goods to initiate Gospel action rather than to protect gain. In imitation of Christ, our brother Francis calls us to love the dispossessed of the world. (Constitutions, I.3)
Faithful to our Franciscan charism through our apostolic works in the educational and pastoral ministries of the Church, we proclaim peace as we respond to the needs of society. When we work to establish harmony among people, Christ's peace becomes real and we are free to see all as equal members of His Body. (Constitutions, II.7)
To send an e-mail, simply click on the link below --or you may write to me for further information at the following address:
For More Information,Please Contact: Brother James McVeigh, O.S.F.
St. Anthony's Friary
275 Wolf Hill Road
South Huntington, NY 11747
Brother James McVeigh, O.S.F.
God Bless You and Keep Smiling!