Meet a Brother: Brother Patrick
Br. Patrick Reilly, B.H.
Brotherhood of Hope
The first time I felt God calling me to a vocation was at a Steubenville Youth Retreat of 3,000 high-schoolers in Alexandria, Louisiana. I felt God stirring deep within my heart, calling me to give Him my whole life. I remember getting back home and having a conversation with my dad in the car. "Dad, I think I'm being called by God to be a priest." That's probably not the best way to 'break the ice' for a vocational conversation — and I think the skid marks on the road are still there to prove it.
Later on, during my college years at Florida State, I got to know a solid community of Brothers who serve campus ministry at FSU: the Brotherhood of Hope. My faith and prayer life deepened through their mission and mentoring. Eventually I lived with them and other college men in a summer household for men's formation and outreach training. I can remember leaving their house after that summer and thinking, "There's no way I could do what those guys do!" But God's plan for my life was bigger than any of my plans. While I had initially thought it might be priesthood, there was something that kept attracting me to the way the Brothers prayed, the way they talked to others about Christ in their evangelization, and the way they lived a deep fraternal bond through their common life.
Living now as a vowed Brother is a great gift, knowing that I'm following what God has been calling me to. It's a summons to hold nothing back from Him, and to give everything to the One who gave everything for me. I consider it the greatest joy of my life.