WITNESSES TO COMPASSION SERIES: A Silent Service: Brother José Aguilar Barradas

Subtitle: 
Witnessing to Compassion: A Series on the Vocation of Cooperator Brothers in the Order.
Picture: 
Brother José Aguilar Barradas
Body: 

The vocation of the Cooperator brothers in the Order remains a vital part of our preaching mission. In a bid to promote this Vocation, we will be featuring the works of different Cooperator brothers from different parts of the world. We invite you to follow this series on the website of the Order (www.op.org) and on IDI.

This month, we are featuring:

A Silent Service: Brother José Aguilar Barradas

Brother Jose is the third of 10 children of a very Christian peasant family. He was born on the 19th of March 1918 at Alto Lucero, in the State of Veracruz in Mexico. He spent his childhood working in the fields picking coffee, beans and sugar cane ….. He was affected by the Mexican revolution of 1910 due to religious persecution, when he was only eight years old. Once completed, in his youth he met a young enthusiastic called  Marcialito who encouraged him to be a part of the Catholic Action, where he served for a long time and even became the President.

Advised by Marcialito, in 1964, he asked to enter the Order of Preachers as Cooperator Brother. He did his novitiate in the Apostolic School of Saint Dominic in Tultenango in the State of Mexico. After his profession, he served the province of Santiago in Mexico in different houses, teaching catechism to children and working in the sacristy. One of his main tasks, over the past 25 years, was to accompany by his work and his prayer the formators and the brothers in formation to the house of theological studies. Many events of the convent were beautified through the poetry he was writing when he barely knew how to write. They demonstrated the depth of his experience of consecration to God.

This is a man who has a special love for the Holy Rosary. He spent a lot of time in its creation, distribution and diffusion ... a few years ago, he even proposed to build a chapel to Our Lady of the Rosary. He came to realise it in a beautiful place called Alto Lucero, helped by the donations and charity of the faithful, in favour of his project and who wanted to be associated to it.

Now that he is elderly, he spends a lot of time in his beloved chapel, to recite the mysteries of the holy Rosary, in silence or aloud, accompanied by chant or the music of his harmonica. I have witnessed this as I had the chance to visit him and to keep him company. In this holy place, he receives, he listens and he shares the little he has, to help those who look for him and respond to their needs.

His simplicity, his joy, his frankness are proof that the Dominican religious life is worth living. In talking with people, some ask me: How does fr. José, 97 years old, remain kneeling for several hours before the Holy Sacrament? ... And I think of all the Coorperator Brothers who have in this way spent all their religious life in silence, dedicated to the service of their brothers on the inside and outside of the convent ... without making the slightest noise.

Fr. Martín Olvera Escamilla OP

 

(15 October 2015)