Dean of Identity | Mr Charles Brauer
The ‘other’ in ‘Brother’
“Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” These are the words we will listen to as we give thanks for a Terrace education and another term together as a Terrace Family. Furthermore, these words will frame our exploration into the concept of being a ‘brother’ to one another.
If you have ever had the chance to walk alongside a Christian Brother you will have a close encounter with - compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Many of us who were taught by Christian Brothers would have many stories of how the Brothers were gentle, kind, humble and patient. It is not by coincidence that these virtues are not isolated to a few Christian Brothers, rather, they are personified by countless Christian Brothers. These virtues were brought to life because Christian Brothers responded to a call to serve others.
Day one as a Christian Brother begins with these words:
“I consecrate myself to you, to procure your glory as far as lies in me, or what you require from me. I beg now to become a member of the Congregation of Christian Brothers of the Christian Schools of Ireland, founded under the protection of Jesus and his mother, Mary; and I promise that I will remain forever, in order to teach boys in any school to which I may be sent to my Superiors and to perform any other duties which may be assigned to me by them. I promise and vow that, with the Grace of God, I will observe them faithfully.”
These are the very words of the late and legendary Terrace Old Boy Br Vic Larkin, as he made his vows of becoming a Christian Brother in 1955 – a promise he enacted each and every day in a manner to be revered. For those of us baptised – I wonder where that candle got to – our parents engaged with a vow, a promise, of being people of Good News. People committed to serving others.
Regulalry, we remind our young men of Terrace of their baptism, their vow, when we share the Good News of Terrace stories on the noticeboard, on social media platforms and in this very newsletter. In each of these Good News stories and in every associated photograph, there is always one common feature – people. There is always one common story – others.
Whilst being brother and sister to one another, let us not lose sight of the ‘other’ in ‘brother’.