Posted by John, UST junior, Biology and Catholic Studies
The first time I learned about the Catholic Men’s House was in the spring of my freshman year in college. That spring, I started going to Morning Prayer and Mass with the men of the houses. The following semester, I joined. Coming into the house, I knew it was demanded that I not simply be a resident there, but that I become a brother to my fellow men and that I strive to become a better man through living out my Catholic faith.
This task is neither a simple one, nor one that anyone can fully attain during his residence in the men’s house. Yet the men’s house is, in my opinion, a perfect place to start. Its stress on brotherhood, prayer, charity, and study is ideal for young men at this point in their lives, especially in a culture that flees from true masculinity.
The experience and values I have gained from living in the Catholic Men’s House will stay with me for the rest of my life. My faith was already a central part of my life prior to joining the houses; but in the past two years I have seen my faith grow more than ever before. The change was subtle. There was no dramatic moment. Rather, it was the rule of life I lived every day and the fostering of virtues through brotherly formation that has produced this positive change. While the lifelong task of striving for holiness is difficult, the day-in day-out rule of life we live doesn’t ask for much. We get up early every morning to pray Morning Prayer and attend Mass. I never used to go to Mass every day and now I find myself longing to do so. The daily devotions, the weekly lectures given by Fr. Keating or Dr. Boyle, or even just spending a evening with my brothers have profoundly changed my spiritual life and strengthened it in a way no other formation could.
It seems that the years in college are the most crucial and quickest years of one’s life. While I will be saddened to leave the men’s house, it is a joy to allow other young men to similarly benefit from its fellowship and formation.