Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brothers vs. Priests

One of the most frequent questions I am asked is; "What is the difference between a brother and a priest?" My funny answer is "The brothers do all the work and the priest get all the credit." The reality in Glenmary is that both the priests and brothers do a lot of work and we do it for a greater good. We do it because "The love of Christ impels us." 
Glenmarian Brother Jack once said of brothers;  "By our presence, we bring a perspective of the Church and of brotherhood to people who may never have met a Catholic let alone a religious brother." While Priests are ordained ministers and commonly serve as pastor or sacramental ministers in the missions, Brothers although they are not ordained ministers in the Catholic Church serve in a wide variety of ways. Throughout our history we have had brothers who have been on Church building crews and others that have worked as carpenters in Habitat for Humanity programs in our missions. Therefore people often associate Glenmary brothers as builders, which is true but that is not all that they do. Glenmary also has brothers who have worked as teachers, nurses, social workers, interpreters and more. As brothers there is a bit of freedom to use one's gifts to serve in a variety of ways. Since there are about ten times as many priests as brothers in the U.S. it is much more likely Catholics know priests and what they do versus what the brothers are doing.
I think that the vocation brother is a very distinct one and I have seen an increased interest in young men who are contacting the vocations office. As we pray for more vocations to serve the Catholic Church and the missions, let us not forget to pray for sisters and brothers.
Soon I will upload a video about Glenmary priests but for now enjoy this short video about Glenmary brothers, as explained by Glenmary Brothers.
To contact us for more information about life as a Glenmary priest or brother follow this link.
Glenmary brothers, offer themselves as a life of service and share their gifts with the people in Mission-Land USA. If you want read more about Glenmary brothers, visit Glenmary's website and search "brothers"


  1. Are Brothers cannot also get married like a priest?

    1. Like Priests, Brothers take the same oath, promising to live a celibate life.