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Novice Profile: Brother Joseph (J.D.)

HometownPittsburgh, PA
High SchoolCentral Catholic High School
UniversityPenn State University, State College, PA
DegreesB.S. Management Information Systems
La Salle College High School, Wyndmoor, PA

What was your first experience of the Brothers?

I first met the Brothers in the summer before my freshman year of high school because I worked for the school in the summer as part of a tuition assistance program. When I would run into different Brothers around the campus that summer each of them chatted with me as though it was the only thing they had to do that day. They went out of their way to make me feel welcomed, which made my transition to high school far better than I could have ever imagined. Eventually, when school started that August I felt as though I had an advantage over my classmates because I was already familiar with all the Brothers.

What was significant for you in your discernment experience that affirmed you and your desire to enter the Novitiate?

I found my time teaching at La Salle College High School to be reaffirming, both in and outside of the classroom. I felt both challenged and encouraged as a Brother teaching various classes and calling upon my prior professional experiences to enrich my lessons.

Discernment is a process. How has your discernment journey led you one step at a time (maybe in a way you didn’t foresee in the beginning)?

I started discerning my vocation in high school when the school chaplain invited me to a Diocesan retreat for young me interested in the priesthood. I wasn’t actively discerning the priesthood but I thought it was an opportunity to explore what my vocation might be. My feelings towards priesthood remained unchanged at the end of the retreat, so I decided to go about my daily high school life. But when I returned to school one of the Brothers told me “your qualities that would make a good priest would make an even better Brother.” I was completely surprised by what he said because I hadn’t thought of being a Brother. But after some prayer and some advice from that Brother, I began actively discerning my vocation as a Brother and an educator with young people.

What do you look forward to about the Novitiate experience?

I look forward to having the opportunity to reflect on my experience as a Postulant. I’m grateful for my experience as a Postulant but there were times when I felt I didn’t have the opportunity to stop, pray, and reflect on my experiences as much as I should have. In my eyes, the Novitiate experience will provide the time and space to actively reflect on the question “is this where God is calling me to serve?”

Prefer to WatchReruns of old TV shows like Modern Family, Full House, or Friends
Prefer to ReadFictional Drama or Suspense Novels
Prefer to Go OutTo the Movies
Want to Travel but have never beenEngland or Ireland
Favorite AuthorGrowing up I enjoyed J.K. Rowling
Book that changed your lifeProof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeons Journey into the Afterlife
If you were to create a piece of artA sunset of the Pittsburgh skyline
If you could go back in time1962, when JFK was President
Favorite Ice Cream FlavorPumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Most Played SongVienna by Billy Joel
Favorite Time of the YearFall
Favorite SaintSt. Paul
Favorite Pope Francis Quote“God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy.”
Favorite Saint John Baptist de La Salle Quote“How long has Jesus been knocking at the door of your heart, waiting to enter?”
Favorite Prayer “Come Holy Spirit! Take possession of my heart, And so guide my actions That I may be able to say that they are the work of your hands rather than mine; and that my whole being in each of its functions, is entirely dependent on your good pleasure. Blessed will I be when I no longer live or act but by the Spirit of God. Then will I be able to say, “It is no longer I who live, but Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit who live in me.” Saint John Baptist de La Salle, from his Method of Interior Prayer

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