Br. Michael Herry, FMS
What gives you joy in living the vocation of a Brother today?
Recently, I attended as camp with 90 Year 11 students from Marist schools together with their teachers, other Brothers and a fine group of young Marist leaders. What a great weekend it was! I felt I was greatly privileged, even as I took a back seat, to listen to these young students as they shared their life-stories, their concerns and joys, and how their faith as young Catholics was all part of the mix.
I reflected as I drove home how lucky I was to be part of the weekend and able to share some of my own story with these students. What they took out of what I said, I will never know, but I do know this … it was good to be with them. I’m not often directly involved with students on camps these days. Most of my time and ministry as a Brother involves music, something I’ve always loved and which continues to engage and inspire me, exploring ways how music can lead us to God and deepen our faith. I always believe that when a beautiful melody is wedded to, say, the words of Jesus in scripture, then by sharing in that music and song, we walk on very holy ground, just as Moses did in the desert at the burning bush. Music opens us to mystery, to beauty, to God!
Finally, living my life in community along with a group of seven other men, of whom I’m the youngest is both a challenge and also a joy - even after 50 years of religious life! We learn a lot about ourselves, living and sharing life with others, and this is what religious life offers us as Brothers, and if we try to live it honestly and generously, it is a life of deep satisfaction and joy. I’m still working at it, and feel it’s keeping me very much alive.
Brother Michael Herry is an accomplished liturgical musician and song writer. He is involved in full-time ministry, both in parishes and within the Australian Marist Community.