Brotherhood of Hope Blazes the Way of College Evangelization

The Boston-based brothers draw their charism from 2 Corinthians 12: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

Seven members of the Brotherhood of Hope professed or renewed their temporary vows in a July 31 ceremony: Brother Joseph McBride, Brother Brennan Robinson, Brother Brandt Haglund, Brother Matthew Warnez, Brother Austin Riordan, Brother Martin Buganski and Brother Patrick Stucker.
Seven members of the Brotherhood of Hope professed or renewed their temporary vows in a July 31 ceremony: Brother Joseph McBride, Brother Brennan Robinson, Brother Brandt Haglund, Brother Matthew Warnez, Brother Austin Riordan, Brother Martin Buganski and Brother Patrick Stucker. (photo: Courtesy of Brotherhood of Hope)

The Brotherhood of Hope, a community of Catholic brothers who evangelize students on five secular college campuses in four states, says that seven men professed their temporary vows at a Mass held earlier this year at St. Basil’s Salvatorian Center in Methuen, Massachusetts.

Two of the men, Brother Joseph McBride and Brother Brennan Robinson, professed their first temporary vows, thereby helping to increase the total number of brothers by 50% over the past six years, from 18 to 27 men.

“We are truly blessed to have all of these outstanding men seeking and following the Lord’s call for them to blaze the way to renew the Church,” said Brother Ken Apuzzo, General Superior of the Brotherhood of Hope. “We are overjoyed with our brothers’ desire to evangelize college students at a critical time in the lives of young people and to transform them into lifelong disciples of Christ.”

For their first assignments this fall, Brother Joseph will begin serving at the Catholic Center HUB at Northeastern University, while Brother Brennan will join the Brotherhood’s Rutgers University campus outreach. Their step to becoming brothers followed a year of novitiate where both men prayed, studied and discerned their vocations while receiving formation during their year of “spiritual boot camp.”

The Brotherhood of Hope, which was founded in 1980 in New Jersey and is based in Boston under the supervision of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, has 20 perpetually professed brothers (the last two in January 2021) and two dozen men in various stages of formation.

The charism of the Brotherhood is “the all-sufficiency of Christ,” which is expressed through the life and mission of each brother. The Brotherhood’s formation process takes at least seven years. The novitiate year is the most intensive component and the only period of full-time formation. Brothers typically profess temporary vows for five years before professing perpetual vows. They also serve in the Brotherhood’s campus ministries during this period of formation.


Community of Catholic Brothers

The Brotherhood of Hope is a community of Catholic brothers who live together, pray together and serve together, under the inspiration of their founding charism that Jesus Christ is all-sufficient. Their primary mission is to evangelize students on secular college campuses. They are “blazing the way” for this generation to renew the Church on five U.S. campuses:

  • Northeastern University (Boston, Massachusetts)
  • Rutgers University (New Brunswick, New Jersey)
  • Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida)
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida)
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Their work on campus is in response to the Church’s call to share the Good News with the spiritually poor. They lead young women and men to a deep conversion to Jesus Christ and his Church. They build evangelistic communities of vibrant faith and train students to influence their peers, the Church and society.

Their devotion to the “all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 12:9) informs every aspect of their life together: “Jesus alone is enough for us.” They live as celibate brothers because they believe that their consecration to Jesus is enough to fulfill the heart’s deepest desires. Likewise, they are brother-evangelists because Christ alone can satisfy the lost. The Anchor of Hope (Hebrews 6:19) is their symbol because only he can give lasting hope to people.

Pope Francis conferred on Catholics the lay ministries of catechist and lector at a Mass for the Sunday of the Word of God on Jan. 23.

Pope Francis: The Word of God Rekindles Hope

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the fourth-annual Sunday of the Word of God, during which he, for the first time, formally conferred upon lay Catholics the ministries of lector and catechist.