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Leo Banong and friends, including elder Jim Orbe (3rd from left)

This article is part of our Summer 2018 Newsletter, where we interviewed our Alumni: men who, out of their desire to pursue the Lord, have investigated the life of the Servants of the Word but, through their investigation and discernment, decided that their path of discipleship lay in a calling other than the brotherhood.

Many of our alumni said that the maturity and character of the brothers first attracted them to radical Christian life and brotherhood life. Here’s what they said:

“I have very good memories of living with the brothers, even though it can sometimes be humbling to live with men who are significantly saintlier than you. But at the same time it calls you on tremendously” (SB).

“Here were men who did not date, but seemed perfectly at ease with their state of life. That was challenging and attractive at the same time” (CM).

“These men lived together with bonds of comradery, and their human and spiritual maturity were striking. I wanted to be like them” (DE).

“The challenge I experienced while in formation with the brothers has made me into the man I am now. Just today I was teaching my son a skill, and I am sure I would not have done it as effectively without my time with the Servants of the Word”(DW).

Here is a short description of some of the men who were interviewed:

Andy Jordan (AJo), 30 years old, married with one boy and one child on the way. Youthworker in Glasgow, Scotland.

Andy Juan (AJu), 55, married with 4 children. Manager in a large, multinational corporation, currently self-employed and also senior coordinator of the Ligaya ng Panginoon community in Manila, Philippines.

Brett Lockhart (BL), 59, married with 4 boys, barrister and Queen’s Council in Northern Ireland.

Corey Mantel (CM), 59, married with five children, computer engineer, living in Chelsea, Michigan, USA.

Fr. Dan Jones (DJ), 64, Catholic priest, Associate professor at the Sacred Heart Seminary and Pastor of Our Lady of the Rosary, both in Detroit, USA.

Dave Wittgens (DW), 44, married with 5 children, practices general medicine in Detroit, USA.

Don Escarro (DE), 58, married with 5 children, engineer and consultant in the power-plant business in Manila, Philippines

Leo Banog (LB), 49, married with three children, IT consultant based in Manila.

Luis Fernando Aragon (LA), 59, married with two children, professor at the School of Physical Education and Sports Sciences and director of the “Human Movement Science Center” at the University of Costa Rica.

Luis Brenes (LB), 51, married with four children, agronomist and organic agriculture consultant in Costa Rica and senior coordinator of the community “Arbol de Vida” in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Peter Mackenzie (PM), 53, married with two daughters, Anglican minister and currently vicar of St. John & St. James in West London, UK.

Salim Baz (SB), 32, Lebanese, married with two young children, currently working on a PhD in Finance at Imperial College-London.

In interviewing these brothers their observations seemed to fall into seven categories. Click on the following links to read more about each takeaway:

  1. Radical Dedication
  2. The Brotherhood as a Band of Brothers
  3. Prayer is at the Heart of Brotherhood Life
  4. The Word Stands out in the “Servants of the Word”
  5. The Maturity and Character of the Brothers Attracted Them
  6. Formation in Character and Skills Has Given Shape to Their Lives
  7. Their Careers Have Been Positively Impacted by Their Time with the Brothers

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