I arrived at Jeremy House (the Brothers’ regional Postulancy community) on May 20th, about a week after my last exam.
I remember Brother Mike’s first invitation. Philadelphia?, I thought. My city, for a month. Home of the Philly cheesesteak (the best, I’ve learned, is Delasandro’s). Where stop signs are (almost) optional. The only place in the world where you can spell “water” with a “d”. The city of Brotherly love.
Yes, brotherly love– a fitting theme for the month. I’m 400 miles from home– Buffalo, NY, St. Joe’s Marauder territory. There I study Education at Canisius College, a fine Jesuit institution. But my month in Philly was nothing short of full investment in the Christian Brother community.
The city a pretty hoppin’ place for the Brothers: Jeremy House, La Salle College High School, the University (La Salle), West Catholic. I even spent a day at Ocean Rest on the shore!
But the highlight was working at La Salle Academy.
Each day looked different, and trust me, it was never uneventful. I found myself leading lab for 8th-grade science, tutoring math in grade 6 and doing some surprise classroom Zumba with the little 3rd graders. My favorite moment was leading seventh-grade students in a Restorative Circle designed to build community and address some of the tensions in the classroom.
Here I was stretched to a new confidence working with students.
I met dedicated teachers, staff, and volunteers who modeled the vision of loving Lasallian service through education.
And the students, well they just touched my heart. I can only hope the feeling is mutual.
My sincere thanks to my Contact director, Brother Mike Andrejko, for making the arrangements of my stay. And to Brother Richard Buccina and all the brothers at Jeremy House.
You welcomed me into an experience I will never forget.
Reflection by Jesse Brodka
Contacts are young men who are at least of college age who discern whether God is calling them to this life of service.