Meeting of the Commission for the Co-operator Brothers



The commission appointed by the Master of the Order to work on promoting the vocation and ministry of the co-operator brothers held its second meeting in Rome in the last week of June 2018. All members of the commission were present, Herman Johnson (St Martin, USA, president), Fabien-Joseph Hignette (Toulouse), Mariusz Skowronski (Poland), Tomasz Gaj (Poland), Miguel-Angel Espinoza (Venezuela), Joseph Mai Van Tuyen (Vietnam), Daniel-Mario Ibezim (Nigeria) and Vivian Boland (general curia, secretary). Brother Piotr Jonas (Poland) acted as interpreter.

The commission worked on developing a text, to be inserted into LCO, defining the identity and mission of the co-operator brother. This task was recommended by the general chapter of Bologna and assigned to this commission by the Master of the Order. The Commission’s work was assisted by the Acts of the last general chapter, by a paper prepared by brother Ignatius Perkins, and by the advice of the procurator general, brother Benjamin Earl.

Brother Orlando Rueda, the socius for apostolic life, made a presentation on the mission of the brother in the future. Sharing in the Order’s apostolate through profession, the brothers are true co-operators in its mission (LCO 219 §II). He indicated where co-operator brothers are active in the various preaching forums around the world, especially in situations where people are most needy and vulnerable.

The commission began to prepare a directory of the co-operator brothers in the Order. This will help the regional socii of the Master to work with the members of the commission in communicating with the brothers in the different regions, particularly in regard to promoting vocations to the brotherhood.

The commission’s work was assisted also by a text on formation produced by a brothers’ think-tank in the USA. Entitled ‘Guidelines for Formation of Religious Brothers in Mixed Institutes’, it is available in English, French, Spanish, Italian and Vietnamese.

The Commission will meet again in February 2019 to conclude the present phase of its work and to prepare its report and its proposals for the general chapter.


Vivian Boland OP