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Summer Highlights: Companions on the Journey

It was an active summer for many of the Contacts, Aspirants, and Postulants of the District of San Francisco New Orleans.  Below is a glimpse into the various experiences of faith, service, and community that were experienced by the young men in the District’s discernment and formation programs.

Aspirant Discernment Retreat

Aspirants Albert Ahedo and Hermes Ruiz gathered for a discernment retreat in early June.  Albert will continue as a 2nd-year Residential Aspirant with the Alemany Brothers Community at Saint Mary’s College, while Hermes will be a first-year Residential Aspirant with the Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Brothers’ Community while teaching full-time in the school.

The retreat provided significant personal time to consider their ongoing discernment of the Brother vocation and processing time with Br. Chris Patiño, FSC, Director of Vocation Ministry and one another.

Young Lasallian Assembly 2019

Third-year Contact Zach Brittain served as a collegian during the District’s Young Lasallian Assembly in June.  As a collegian, Zach assisted with many of the logistics throughout the week.  He also immersed himself in many of the experiences, including serving as a Parmenie reflection group leader and accompanying a group during the service day.  Zach reflected on his time at YLA 2019 by sharing, “…this type of experience was exactly what I needed to reconnect and re-center myself in my faith and the Lasallian tradition.”

Having spent the spring semester studying and serving abroad in the Dominican Republic, Zach returned to Creighton University this fall.

Summer Ministry and Live-in Experience

Three Contacts along with Brother Postulants Rafael Rodriguez and Andrew Wozniak spent a month living in community with the Cathedral High School Brothers’ Community in Los Angeles.  For the Contacts it was an opportunity to spend significant time experiencing community life while serving in ministry.  Alvey Anderson, Halen Gamino, and Juan Urbano were part of the staff for the school’s summer program.  Alvey and Halen were assigned as teacher assistants, while Juan taught two sections of credit recovery courses in mathematics. Brothers Andrew and Rafael provided mentorship to the Contacts as well as worked on their graduate courses.  The Brothers’ Community welcomed and supported the presence of these young men. 

FSC Summer Contact Gathering

The annual FSC Summer Contact Gathering brought together Contacts for a weekend of reflection and brotherhood.  Hosted by the Brothers’ Community at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, the gathering provided time for the young men to continue reflecting on their vocation in the midst of their college experience and future goals.  Contacts Evans Brackenbrough, Julian Garcia, Luke George, and Juan Urbano participated in the gathering.  They were accompanied by Brothers Chris Patiño, Director of Vocation Ministry, and Nick Gonzalez, Assistant Visitor, during the four-day gathering.  Residential Aspirant Hermes Ruiz also participated.

The young men had the opportunity to reflect on the Brother vocation as it is lived today, fostering a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Church abuse crisis, and on Pope Francis’ exhortation, Christus Vivit.  Significant time was spent with the Brothers at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory who graciously welcomed the group.  The gathering concluded with Sunday liturgy at Saint Dominic’s Church in San Francisco followed by table fellowship over brunch.