Priests and Brothers
One common mission
There are both priests and brothers in the Society of Jesus, together friends in the Lord, and all of them ‘participating in Christ’s priestly work of reconciling the world to God’ (General Congregation 34). In other words all Jesuits, whether as priests or as brothers, are seeking to make known through the way they live and what they do God’s immense love for all human beings, so that that love of God can make whole what is broken.
Either at the time of joining or in the course of the novitiate, a man expresses a desire, in the light of how God is calling him, to go forward in the Society as a scholastic in preparation for ordination or to serve in the Society as a Brother.
Jesuit brother vocation
Some men experience a call to a life of service, but without feeling called to priesthood. For such men the life of a Jesuit brother can offer a challenging and fruitful way to serve Christ. Through a life lived in poverty, chastity and obedience they come to embody a way of being open in a very deep way to the will of God.
As expressed in a recent Jesuit document: ‘“In some ways the religious brother embodies religious life in its essence, and so is able to illustrate that life with particular clarity”. (General Congregation 34)
Jesuit brothers in Britain in recent years have worked in the following ministries:
- Retreat work, giving the Spiritual Exercises
- Health Care
- Working with Refugees in East Africa
- Managing the finances of the Province
- Formation of teachers
- Inner city community development
- Province Administration
Jesuit priest vocation
Others considering a vocation to the Jesuits feel drawn to the priesthood as the particular way of living out their Jesuit vocation. Before ordination they will have had many opportunities of being of service to people in typical Jesuit ministries (Spiritual direction, service of the poor, teaching and catechesis, academic study) and this experience will help them to appreciate that priesthood in the Society is entered into as a way of extending the scope of our service, bringing to the different ministries we engage in the life of the sacraments of the Church.