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“How can I not respond with the gift of my life?”

 Perpetual Profession of Br Justin Golding, fms.

In one of the first major events for the newly created Marist Brothers’ Province of Australia, Lismore-based Brother Justin Golding, fms, made his perpetual profession in the Chapel of his Alma Mater, St Gregory’s College at Campbelltown on 2nd March, 2013.

On hand to witness the joyful liturgy of final profession were students, staff and families from Trinity Catholic College Lismore, where Br Justin has been teaching for the past five years. Fr Paul McDonald was one of the concelebrants at the Mass.

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After professing his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience and receiving his Marist crucifix, Br Justin spoke to the congregation of the positive influence of the Brothers while a student at school: “It was the beginning of an amazing journey that has led me to this very day. A journey where I have encountered numerous Brothers who have inspired me and encouraged me to consider their life as my own.”

Brother Jeffrey Crowe, fms, Marist Provincial, took the opportunity to recall the significance of the vocation of the Religious Brother in the life of the Church: “The word ‘Brother’ is precious to us and to our identity.  It describes not only our relationships within our Marist communities but to people generally, especially to the young people who are at the centre of our mission.”

Contrary to the popular-held belief of Religious Life being a counter cultural choice, Brother Justin shared an alternative perspective through the lens of faith: “When you look at this through my eyes, it seems a very ordinary and normal thing to do … not counter cultural at all. God has spoken and touched my heart. How can I not respond with the gift of my life? As I stand before you today, I can't imagine living my life any other way.”

At the end of the Eucharist, Brother Justin’s parents, Ken and Jenny Golding, were affiliated to the Marist Brothers’ Province of Australia.

Br Greg McDonald, fms, Director of Vocations, said there has been a healthy increase in the number of young men from across the country showing an interest in the Marist Brothers' vocation. "A number of enquirers are attracted to our way of living Religious Life. The word 'Brother' not only describes our vocation in the Church, but best expresses our fraternal relationships in Community and with those we serve, especially the young people who are at the centre of our mission."

Australia is one of 79 countries around the world where the Marist Brothers are involved with the formation of young people, providing education, evangelisation and welfare support to the most needy.

 To find out more about the Marist Brothers’ vocation and ministries with young people, contact Br Greg McDonald, fms: greg.mcdonald@marists.org.au