Bearing Witness to the Reign of God: Discipleship as a Religious Brother in the Church
AbstractThis essay is an exploration of and theological reflection on religious brothers in the church. Since the Second Vatican Council, the church has experienced a far greater decline in the number of religious brothers compared to the decline in the number of religious sisters and religious priests. Through the lens of discipleship, the essay opens up the call to bear witness to the reign of God through the vocation of brotherhood. Discipleship is defined and then brotherhood as a concrete expression of discipleship is examined in three ways: the author’s journey as a brother, a close-up of the all-brothers institute to which the author belongs, and a critical look at the current and future state of brothers in the church. The author expounds the constant binary of priests and sisters in the media and common church parlance. The essay closes with a specific challenge to elevate the visibility of brothers and to recover the prophetic nature of religious brotherhood.
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