Friday, October 6, 2023

 By the Grace of God, today on St. Bruno's feast day, I have been consecrated for 10 years. Let us pray together that we may serve God at his pleasure, Fr. Brian.<><

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.

Deuteronomy 32

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.