Br. Harry Prout, FMS

What gives you joy in living the vocation of a Brother today?

Each day I am blessed with so many opportunities that remind me why I am a Marist Brother. When a local resident of our largely disadvantaged area calls out with a wave, “Gooday Harry!” and either goes on their way or stops for a chat; A familiarity, sense of being appreciated, trusted and seen as a friend; When I can sit with a resident facing Court and waiting, helping break the tension and relieve the anxiety; When I can advocate for a resident seeking attention from the Office of Housing, or accompany someone to Centrelink, Police or Hospital. Offering hope and compassion; When I gather at Sunday Mass with like-minded Christians, share together our understandings of the day’s scripture, pray about issues that affect our neighbourhood, families and beyond, hear the responses of children from their kids liturgy, share Eucharist and a cup of tea and chat after. When I can share with another brother, listen to his experience of weekly visiting prisoners, visiting shut-ins and telling each other of latest thoughts on possible alleviation of injustice in our area.

As a Brother, how do you see yourself responding to the Gospel in the way of Mary?

The call of a Marist Brother is to respond to the Gospel in the way of Mary. I feel I can do this best when I am boldly and without reserve facing injustice, much of which is institutional, in an attempt to make sure the voices of the poor are heard. By standing next to the crucified of today letting them know they are not alone. When I am a being a parent presence to those whose lives have been damaged and disturbed, helping and encouraging them to allow their best selves to shine. I am following Mary’s spirit when by taking time alone to hear and know where and how God is leading me and us in ministry, personal life and community.

Brother Harry lives and works among disadvantaged families in the Exodus Community, West Heidelberg, Victoria.