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Andy and Mary Rose Jordan and their son Peter Andrew

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 observed that through living with the brothers, they learned to be radically dedicated to the Lord. Here’s what they said:

“When I came to the University of Michigan, I was hungry [spiritually] and I met this crazy group of men, on fire for God, yet very normal” (CM).

“You meet people who have something you don’t have. It’s very attractive, but you don’t know what it is… eventually you realize that it comes from the sacrificial offering of these people’s lives” (AJo).

“But it was not something distant. Rather as I spent time with them, I experienced God’s action in my own life” (DE).

“What has stayed with me is the desire to ask in every situation? What would give God the greatest glory?” (DW)

“There is a song called ‘My All for You’ by John Keating. This has become my mantra. Living with the brothers has ingrained a desire to ‘leave it all out on the field,’ to give my all to God and his call” (AJo).

“My years with the brothers helped tremendously to sharpen my clarity of purpose, to understand my vocation” (BL).

“There is no doubt that I discovered my vocation to ordained ministry while in the brotherhood. The call came as somewhat of a surprise, but thanks to the brothers, I was listening.” (PM).

“I learned kingdom values, the importance of the spiritual over the material, and these are values I have tried to bring into my family” (DE).

Leo Banog (2nd to left) enjoying a traditional Filipino Meal

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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