Living the call of presence

Living the call of presence

May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, is International Religious Brothers Day. To commemorate it, we profiled one of our own Dehonian brothers, Br. Brian Tompkins, SCJ, on the province website. Originally from the Canadian Region, Br. Brian, 62, has been a member of the US Province for several years. He lives and ministers at Sacred Heart at Monastery Lake in Franklin, WI.

When asked to describe his vocational call, Br. Brian reflected on the words of Mother Teresa: “Do small things with great love.”

“That’s what I feel that I am called to do, who I am called to be,” he said.

Br. Brian initially thought that he would pursue that call as a priest. “Basically, it was what I knew.” After professing his first vows in 2007 he went to St. Augustine Seminary in Toronto, where he earned his master’s degree in theology. But during that time, he realized that what he was truly called to was religious life, not necessarily ordained ministry.

What remain unchanged in his call was a desire to be present to others, especially the elderly. He thrived in CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) and in volunteer work at a large senior residence in suburban Toronto. In many ways, his ministry was similar to what he had been doing in a nearly 20-year career at a hair salon: simply being present to others.

In 2011 he professed his final vows as a Dehonian religious brother.

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