I made an early morning trip to Dublin Airport this week to accompany Brother Joseph as he returned to his native Ghana.
He was with us in Ireland for almost five years studying for a degree in theology and psychology at All Hallows College and a further course in formation at Loreto House in Dublin.
Brother Joseph made his Final Profession in Ghana last summer. His new ministry will be to act as Director of Novices for the Presentation Brothers in West Africa.
As I was returning from the airport to the Brothers' house in Dublin I thought of how study and personal formation is a part of our lives as Brothers.
Sometimes men who enquire about a religious vocation are intimidated when they hear about the study and intellectual formation.
For instance, I'm doing a two-year course in spiritual direction at the moment. Yes, it takes a lot of my time, especially at weekends, but I know I'll benefit from it and, hopefully, the people to whom I minister will benefit too. Similarly, Brother Joseph's course in formation in Dublin will stand to him as he works with our novices in Ghana.
A degree in theology is a basic requirement for a religious brother - it's an essential part of the formation process.
If you'd like to learn more about the procedure for becoming a Brothers, get in touch at vocation@PresentationBrothers.org