Boldly Speaking Hope
Br. Lawrence Stewart, C.S.C.
Forty years ago the primary ministry of the Midwest Province was the education of youth in high schools and colleges. During the past 40 years, we have sought new ways to bring hope to the people of God, not only by educating their minds and hearts, but also through ministries which comfort their minds, hearts, and spirits.
Some of our brothers continue teaching within schools, colleges, and special homes. A number of them are exemplary administrators and leaders who are heading institutions of mainly lay faculty and staff.
Many other brothers have undertaken new ministries and serve as nurses, case workers, counselors, lawyers in social agencies, pastoral care ministers, and managers of facilities for the hungry and homeless.
One new ministry we have undertaken together is Holy Cross Village at Notre Dame, which has imitated the successful concept of Br. William Geenan’s Senior Friendship Centers in Florida. Village residents live within an inter-generational community that is ministered to and assisted by generous brothers, including those who live in the Village and others who come over from Columba Hall.
Despite all these changes in where and how we minister, the lessons that I first learned from my parents continue to ring true in our life and work: “Example is the best teacher,” and “Actions speak louder than words.”
In my own life, I think back to the example and actions of Br. Gonzaga Day, C.S.C., who taught me at St. Edward in Lakewood, Ohio. He went on to serve as Mission Promoter, gathering and shipping goods to us missionaries overseas, and later began a ministry of helping people in rural Tennessee through the Seton Thrift Shop. Like Br. Gonzaga, through our example and action, we seek to speak boldly of the hope we have found in God, so that God might be known, loved, and served by all.
Br. Lawrence Stewart, C.S.C., is a member of the Midwest Province (Notre Dame, Indiana).