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Andy Juan (2nd from right) with some of the leaders he works with

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 their careers have been positively impacted by their time with the brothers. Here’s what they said:

“When I left practicing law to join the brothers, many people told me my practice would never recover. In the end I was the first of my generation to become Queen’s Council (Senior Lawyer in the UK). I attribute that to God’s blessing, but also to the sense of clarity of purpose I developed in the brotherhood” (BL).

“I wanted to start training with the brothers, but I had a full-time job as an engineer. So I submitted my resignation: when my boss found out, he inquired what I wanted to do. I explained, and he offered me to work only half-time, something unheard of. But he clearly liked what he saw in my work” (DE).

 “Medicine was an old dream of mine which I had almost forgotten. It came back to the fore during vocational testing which the brothers had me go through. Also my first year with the brothers was in Mexico, where I learned Spanish. And I lived in Detroit with the brothers, which is where I developed my love for the city. So running a medical practice in “Mexican town” (a part of Detroit, Michigan) fits well with what I had done up till now” (DW).

“I was a manager for a multinational company for 28 years. The learnings in community and with the brothers were huge: character, how people behave, managing people – a lot of skills I needed I picked up with the brothers (AJu). I attribute my career progress to God’s blessing, but also to the sense of clarity of purpose I developed in the brotherhood.

Former Costa Rican affiliates (Luis Brenes first from left, Luis Fernando Aragon 3rd from left) on a father-son outing.

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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