The Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated the first-ever Religious Brothers Day May 1, early on Sunday with a Mass of thanksgiving at St. Gregory the Great Church, Bellerose. Msgr. Edward Ryan, pastor, was the main celebrant.
In attendance were brothers from all across the diocese including Franciscans, Marists, Christian Brothers and Brothers of the Sacred Heart.
The day was a celebration of all the work the brothers do and to offer hope to help the brothers continue their work in the future. Following the liturgy, the brothers shared some refreshments with old and new friends.
Brother Bill Boslet, O.S.F., former head of the Brooklyn Franciscans, enjoyed being able to come together and celebrate the day. “What we have tried to do today is have a day to shed light on the vocation of brothers which is largely unknown by many people in the church,” he explained.
“We want to highlight the vocation of the brother and make ourselves more known to people. Our idea was to gather in one church in the diocese and have a chance to both meet new people that have come out to see us or renew old friendships from the past. Today is a celebration of all these relationships.”
“We are very grateful for the celebration today,” added Brother Dan O’Riordan, F.M.S. “For us as Marist Brothers, we are a part of a great tradition of brothers in our country and help influence a lot of people especially young people that help to add to the church and keep it growing.
“It’s nice for us to gather today and be all together because it’s not just us but also the lay people as we are all part of the church and it is great to celebrate all of our roles.”
Brother Paul Joseph, S.C., said he was happy at the attendance.
“It’s nice to see brothers from other communities and be together because even though we have different traditions and beginnings, we are all one.
“I just regret that we are all getting old, and we don’t have many young brothers left. It’s nice to see so many people come out and see us and join us today, but also it is great to see so many young people for the church. Maybe some of the young men will start to think of a life in some religious order.”