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Religious Brothers Day, May 1

30/04/2019: General House

“Hello, brother!” is a familiar greeting which many of us receive each day in our communities or work place be it from students, colleagues or parents. However, this greeting took on a special meaning on 15 March in New Zealand, when Daoud Nabi, a 71 years old Afghan Muslim grandfather greeted the terrorist gunman who stormed the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch.  Daoud met hostility with hospitality and welcomed a stranger as a brother into his place of worship.  Sadly, Daoud became the first of 50 victims killed by the madness of the racially motivated perpetrator.

“Hello brother!” is often seen as the recognition of our unique and often misunderstood identity as religious men in the church and this title distinguishes us from the more commonly understood ordained member of the clerical church: ‘Father’.

On the 1st of May, parts of the world celebrate Religious Brothers Day, a day connected with the feast of St Joseph the Worker and there are resources prepared on some websites such as http://tiny.cc/h58x5y


As part of the preparation for this Religious Brothers Day, the communication department in Rome has been releasing posters each week for the past 6 weeks on social media.  These images connect with the theme of being Brothers Today.  The images are of brothers and of brothers with other Marists of Champagnat.  Each of these images are accompanied by a quote from the 2015 Vatican document, The Identity and Mission of the Religious Brother in the Church. Here are the images from the past 6 weeks. There are still several weeks of images to come.


As part of the celebration of Religious Brothers Day, a video has been created with recent images of brothers from each of the regions. The images are accompanied by the ‘Bicentenary Salve Regina’ composed by Michael Herry and sung by an international choir of brothers.  The video begins and ends with a view of our galaxy from the edge, a place where religious brothers are constantly called to attend. You see here the video: 

Perhaps on this Religious Brothers Day, we can learn from the legacy of Daoud Nabi, the Muslim grandfather who met hostility with hospitality and greeted the stranger as brother first. As religious brothers whom Pope Francis describe as ‘Experts in Communion’ may we always step out to our edge and greet others in the way that we can best relate, “Hello brother, hello sister.”


Br Tony Leon, Secretariat of Brothers Today

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