Br. Doug Walsh, FMS
What gives you joy in living the vocation of a Brother today?
After all these years I still find amazing joy in my vocation as a Marist Brother. I put this down to the fact that I have always been around young committed people. Saint Marcellin called us to work with youth and in particular those in the greatest need. Not only to work with them but to make Jesus loved and known.
From my early years as a Brother I had a faith community around me. This is still true but now my Faith Community has extended to our Young Marists. It is so rewarding seeing them living the Gospel in the way of Mary. They are the key people to our mission for the young. All I need to do as a Brother is be a presence to them and mentor them. When they go out on ministry they are well formed. This enables them to be authentic. My greatest joy is when they minister to the poor in our society.
As a Brother, how do you see yourself responding to the Gospel in the way of Mary?
I often wondered why I was called to be a Marist Brother. In my early years I modelled myself on my father (strong educator - discipline). However I joined a group of men who were both strong and gentle. Mary was Marcellin’s model and She became my model. It was that gentle side of me that I allowed to grow in my adult life. That brought me the wonderful gifts of generosity and compassion.
The parables in the Gospel have become my favourite reflection pieces. I often find myself interpreting the parables as if Christ was living in today’s world. I am often asked to talk about caring for the homeless and recounting stories from the streets. This is a Gospel way of sharing my ministry. Mum was my first Mary figure, and I find myself, like her, always thinking of others. I now respond to the Gospel with a Marial focus and live out my life accordingly. I now know why I am a Marist.
Brother Doug is based in Fitzroy in the heart of Melbourne. For over 55 years Doug has been in ‘first gear’ doing non-stop ministry with students and young people at risk. His current ministries include vocations presentations, Remar Youth Ministry and connecting young adults with the marginalised though the Vinnie’s Soup Van. A life-time member of the Collingwood Football Club, Br Doug was also a co-founder of the Bagong Barrio Education Found.