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Novice Profile: Brother Rafael

HometownLos Angeles, CA
High SchoolCathedral High School
UniversityLa Salle University
DegreesB.S. Psychology / American History Minor. 
Masters in Pastoral Studies – Religious Ed Concentration (M.RE)  
Social Studies Teacher: American Government, Psychology, World Geography. 
Religion Teacher: Hebrew Scriptures  
Liturgical Minister (High School and University Level) – Branch of Campus Ministry  
Assistant Rugby Coach  

What was your first experience of the Brothers?

I first met the Brothers at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles. In those days, we would interview as part of the application process. Br. John Montgomery, FSC, the principal, was my interviewer. I would eventually have a few more Brothers along the way as teachers but their presence in the school was equally as vibrant.  

What was significant in your experience that affirmed your desire to enter the Novitiate and continue formation? 

The most significant experience in these last three years has been the hands on opportunities afforded to me. Whether in ministry or in community, the Brothers have always challenged me to strive to be the best person and Brother I can be. Success and failure come hand in hand and regardless of that day’s outcomes the Brothers were always there to humble me or lift my spirits.   

Discernment is a process. How has your discernment journey led you one step at a time?  

Discernment is a tricky thing. Half the time you hope it’s what God is asking and the other half you wonder if it’s your own desires taking lead: the answer becoming clear after the fact. 

Hindsight is great!  In my experience, it is usually the things I don’t believe myself capable of doing that when I look back on, I see grace best at work in my life. The key to discernment, regardless of how one might describe it, is prayer and reflection. Sitting with Christ and discussing the decision that I face, often more than once, and even more so, without a solid answer: after all, God doesn’t choose for us.  

What is exciting/energizing for you about religious life(particularly Being Brother) today? 

 What the world needs today is genuineness. It needs honesty. It needs models and witnesses of love and mercy. These are very confusing times, wrought with division on multiple levels. Pope Francis calls us all to be vehicles of mercy and imitators of Jesus Christ in the Gospels. As Brothers, we are in a great position to witness this love, mercy, and compassion. Whether in our schools, in administrations, or in other forms in which we minister. We are capable, by our vocation, to be both witness and models of this future. Though we can try to change the world, I would be content with making sure that our students know/understand there is a different way to live their lives than the one sold to them by advertisements and social constructs. 

Prefer to WatchRomcom, then Sci-Fi
Prefer to ReadMost things in the Pastoral Theology section
Prefer to Go Out toMovies or Hiking
Travel byRoadtrip
Favorite SceneryThe Pacific Ocean or Hiking Trails
Favorite BookThe Giver
If you could go back in timeParis, 1920s
Most Played SongMy Way, Frank Sinatra
Celebrity Look AlikeNone to my knowledge
Favorite Time of the YearDecember
Favorite Scripture Quote“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it” – John 1:5
Favorite SaintBlessed Brother James Miller, FSC
Favorite Pope Francis Quote“This is what I am asking you — be shepherds with the smell of sheep” 
Favorite Saint John Baptist de La Salle Quote“What you lack in the evening the new morning will bring you if you know how to hope in God” 
Favorite Prayer The Road Ahead – Thomas Merton 

Check out Brothers’ Banter Podcast

Brother Rafael and Brother J.D. are looking to invite everyone into a conversation about religion, spirituality, current events and all things Lasallian. Follow the podcast on Spotify.

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