Ordained October 23rd, 2021
St. Bruno's Family
"I am living here in the wilderness of Calabria, far removed from all human habitation. There are some brethren here with me, some of whom are very well educated, and they are keeping assiduous watch for their Lord, so as to open to Him at once when He knocks." St. Bruno
Monday, October 25, 2021
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
By the Grace of God, I will be ordained a hermit priest on October 23rd, 2021.
Thursday, July 1, 2021
Letter to my Archbishop.
My Archbishop asked me to write a letter that he could take to the Council of Priest in our Diocese as a final act of deciding to ordain me. Here it is:
Peace and joy to you Your Grace;
Over time in my vocational journey with you, we have shared much material addressing my hermit’s vocation and also of a hermit priest. Although some of this material shared between us may be reflected here, my purpose, as best I can, is to share more of a personal aspect of my vocation.
Early in my life as a hermit, I found that it is not about receiving praise and notoriety. It involves accepting one’s poverty of one’s own heart and allowing oneself to be led by Jesus. It is a call to deeper self-discovery and embracing who you really think you are in the light of the Father’s healing love. I believe that in embracing this healing love it allows a person to be a conduit of God’s universal love for all. As Bishop Delaquis wrote: “This is a special way to ‘be Christ’, taking on the sin of the world on the cross, (which calls for suffering and dying to oneself and to sin) and calling on the mercy of God to transform sin into grace, new Life, for the greatest Glory of God.
In my years of reflecting on a hermit vocation, my experience has led me to believe that a journey through the desert of self is also a journey to the foundation of mankind itself and here unity of mankind is also a part of the Body of Christ. Here is Christ with his love available for all. And the hermit brings to the Church, indeed the world, the sense of transcendence in a world that tends to live and organize itself without any reference to the divine or accepting God’s Revelation or understanding His presence in this world. I find that there has been much thought and innovation given to mankind’s well-being over human history, but in recent times little depth of thought is given to who he really is, and by my life of silence and solitude I find opportunities are there for Christ’s action to open up new vistas on the understanding of mankind; I believe that mankind needs this contemplative service of love: a renewed sense of transcendence. And the hermit is transformed by the Word in order to preach by his life.
In part, I have also found that learning to live in the present through silence and solitude, opens up new opportunities for the action of Grace. Though God did not come to solve all our problems we would probably have fewer problems if God were more present in our thinking and living. A hermit is a ‘conduit’ to that source of Wisdom and Life as a desert intercessor for all. And a life lived in a desert is an environment that can be very fruitful for finding the necessary life of prayer:
He found them in a wilderness, *
a wasteland of howling desert.
He shielded them and cared for them, *
guarding them as the apple of his eye.
As an eagle incites its nestlings forth *
by hovering over its brood,
so he spread his wings to receive them *
and bore them up on his pinions.
The Lord alone was their leader, *
no strange god was with him.
The call to priesthood ordination has always been a part of me and has deeply matured in my years as a hermit, and in order to obey this call, I have submitted my belief in this call to your pastoral discernment Archbishop Albert. I found that living a life of silence and solitude needs a foundation of Liturgy, the necessary environment to support self-understanding and the spiritual connection with the Body of Christ. Here is the reality in which we all live and move. And Liturgy is formative: lex orandi, lex credendi – the law of praying is the law of believing:
“Worship, that is, the right kind of cult, of relationship with God, is essential for the right kind of human existence in the world. It is so precisely because it reaches beyond everyday life. Worship gives us a share in heaven’s mode of existence, in the world of God, and allows light to fall from that divine world into ours. In this sense, worship…has the character of anticipation” Ratzinger
I note with joy that during this time of the pandemic that priests of this diocese, for the most part, are celebrating Mass ‘in private’, alone, and those celebrations are meaningful and important. Although the people of God are not in the same location as the celebration, the spiritual efficacy, indeed the actualization of Christ’s salvific work and His love for the Father and the good of all is present. As a hermit-priest, I would be celebrating this same Mass and for the same reasons as noted above. As Pope St. Paul VI has written in support of this vocational understanding:
“…A sound perspective of the fitting relationship between both consecrations, that proper to the priest, and that proper to the hermit/monk. Indeed, solitude, the absolute loss of the goods of the world, the abnegation of one’s own will: things that are undertaken by those who enclose themselves within the bounds of a monastery/hermitage, most singularly prepare the soul of the priest to be devoutly and ardently offered up for the Eucharistic sacrifice which is the source and summit of the whole Christian life.”
I believe that serving God as a hermit-priest in obedience to you, Archbishop Albert, is to serve the whole Body of Christ and reaches out to all beyond committees, programs and ministries and makes merciful Love possible for all. Celebrating the Eucharist opens me to be open to and founded on God’s action and expressing that great love for His creation through celebrating the Eucharist. This reality moves beyond the natural limitations of myself.
Your obedient servant;
Br. Brian <><, er dio.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
A quote of a hermit to his pastor.
After our last meeting, while reflecting on the fruitfulness of a hermit priest, I remembered that I have a few friends who are involved with the Carthusians [as I am] or are Carthusians. They do not take a vow of silence but use silence to support one another and as a tool for opening their hearts to God, and they write very little. I am honored that I do have some contact with them, and occasionally I receive some good reflections from them in our exchanges. Here are a few thoughts I have received and reflected on:
- How efficacious for the world is the Eucharist when celebrated by a Carthusian Father alone in his chapel! « Separated from all, we are united to all for it is in the name of all that we present ourselves to the living God. » (Statutes 34.2) Commentary: The Carthusian did not choose solitude for its own sake, but because he saw in it an excellent means for him to attain a deeper union with God and all mankind. It is upon entering the recesses of his heart that the Carthusian solitaries become, in Christ, present to all men. He becomes a solitary to attain solidarity. Contemplatives are at the heart of the Church. They fulfill an essential function in the ecclesiastical community: the glorification of God. Carthusians withdraw to the desert first and foremost to worship God, to praise him [the Eucharist and liturgy of hours], to admire him, to be seduced by him, to give themselves to him, in the name of all of mankind. It is in the name of all that they are mandated by the Church to be a permanent prayer.
- Intercession: commentary: Since the very beginning the Church recognized that monks tied to contemplation act as intercessors. Representing all of creation, on a daily basis, at all the liturgical offices and during the Eucharistic celebration, they pray for the living and the dead.
- Witness: from their Statutes: « Turned, by our profession, solely toward Him who is, we are witness in face of a world engrossed in the earthly realities that outside of Him there is no God. Our life shows that the good from heaven is already to be found on earth; it is a precursor of the resurrection and like an anticipation of a renewed world. » Statutes 34.3 Commentary: For the solitaries, being such a witness is not realized by speech, nor by personal contact. By his mere presence, the monk is a witness that God lives and can take over the hearts of men.
- From Vita Consecrata, #30: In the priest, in fact, the vocation to the priesthood and the vocation to the consecrated life converge in a profound and dynamic unity. Also of immeasurable value is the contribution made to the Church's life by religious priests completely devoted to contemplation. Especially in the celebration of the Eucharist they carry out an act of the Church and for the Church, to which they join the offering of themselves, in communion with Christ who offers himself to the Father for the salvation of the whole world.
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
My ordination to the diaconate will probably go ahead (April 15th) as there will be few people involved. b.<><I want to share a few thoughts with you this morning, the date after the night before.Yesterday, at my request, you made a special step forward, simple but meaningful, a step of commitment, a step of entering more clearly in the journey of yours on the way to the Ordination to the diaconate and the ministerial priesthood. You express your desire of giving yourself in Christ, you also express the willingness to respond to the grace of God. You enter into the Will of God as officially recognized by the Church or the Pastor of the local Church. The engagement and the direction are more officially acknowledged; you enter ‘officially’ on the way to the Ordination. Your vocation as a hermit was already sanctioned officially over five years ago. Your vocation takes a more definite direction to enter more deeply in the Mystery of Christ giving his life out of love for the salvation of the world and for the greatest glory of God. Congratulation and may the good Lord continue His Work in you; and continue to keep your heart open to His grace.I think it is also meaningful that you should become a candidate to the ordained priesthood in the midst of the crisis or pandemic that we are going through, a time when all the Masses celebrated for the public or in public are now cancelled. BUT it is highly recommended that the priests would continue to pray and to celebrate the Eucharist privately for the people entrusted to their care in particular. I think, for you, this would be a very special sign that celebrating Mass ‘in private’, alone, is still very meaningful and important. It seems that it tells us that the celebration of the Mass is important on its own and not necessarily as a means of bring the faithful people together and to celebrate their communion in Christ. Encouraging the priests to celebrate also reminds us that the celebration of the Mass is indeed the representation and commemoration (and shall we say: the actualisation) of the salvific work of Christ for the world, out of love for his Father and for the good of all people. I think this is a confirmation of what you are preparing yourself for, namely the offering of your life in Christ for the glory of God and the salvation of the world, bringing the ultimate answer and victory in Christ to all ills and evil that may happen to us in our confused world.Let us not be overcome by the fear and anxiety that the pandemic may ignite in the heart of people, but may we stand firm in Faith and Hope relying on the One who is our salvation and LIFE.Have a blessed day, in the Lord,