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 formation in character and skills in the brotherhood has given shape to their lives. Here’s what they said:
“It’s hard to over-emphasize how much my character has been formed by the brothers” (AJu).
“The payload of formation you bring coming out of the brotherhood is impressive: character, Scripture, knowing how to love others practically, household life, pastoral care—the list goes on and on” (DJ).
“You learn to live relationships and communal life in a way that is practical, doable, measurable—something very important for an engineer” (CM).
“You learn spiritual disciplines such as prayer, fasting, silence, the exercise of spiritual gifts, truth telling, reliability and commitment” (PM).
“In some ways I still consider myself a Servant of the Word. The pillars of the brotherhood still apply, though differently. I need to live chastity, simplicity and obedience” (LB).
“I still struggle to buy a new car, because I have maintained a desire to live simply and be generous with others” (LA).
“I do think twice about spending money, and we’ve never owned a television” (PM).
“Of course my parents taught me many things; but aside from them it’s the brotherhood that imparted to me a basic Christian skill set—servant leadership, treating others with respect—many of those traits were drilled into me while being in formation” (DW).
“I would not be the youth worker that I am today without the mentoring of older Servant of the Word brothers in Northern Ireland and Detroit. My methodology is really Servant of the Word methodology” (AJo).
“I mentor younger students in my work as a university professor. It’s the mentoring and training I received which have in part equipped me for that” (LA).
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:
- Radical Dedication
- The Brotherhood as a Band of Brothers
- Prayer is at the Heart of Brotherhood Life
- The Word Stands out in the “Servants of the Word”
- The Maturity and Character of the Brothers Attracted Them
- Formation in Character and Skills Has Given Shape to Their Lives
- Their Careers Have Been Positively Impacted by Their Time with the Brothers