A Passionist vocation includes those who answer God’s call to become a Passionist Brother. Our brothers lead a vowed life of prayer, community and ministry, engaging in a wide range of services and ministries. Some brothers work with their hands as tradesmen, cooks or landscapers, while others work in art, medicine, social services or academics. Many do both!
Meet our Passionist Brothers in Holy Cross Province.
Brother John Monzyk, C.P.
In my early discernment with the Passionists, I felt called to academics and teaching as a priest. However, as my formation progressed, I became more aware of the ministry of brother and came to see it as more compatible with my desire to serve in the classroom or science lab.
For over thirty years, I have thoroughly enjoyed my life of teaching and tutoring in the fields of science, math, chemistry and physics. My commitments as a teacher blended well with my religious life. The Passionists have spoiled me, and I have never looked back.
Now, as the leader of a community of our senior Passionists, I am still a teacher at heart but committed to caring for our men and offering them a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for them to spend their senior years. If I had to do it over again, I would!
Brother John is a member of Sacred Heart Community in Louisville, Kentucky.
Br. Raymond Sanchez, C.P.
I have known of the brother’s vocation since childhood. The Passionist Community has been instrumental in my growth and development as a person and as a Catholic. For this, I am indebted.
A wonderful part of my ministry as a brother was learning to cook and practicing this skill. It was my privilege to be taught by highly experienced and excellent brother-cooks. Subsequently, our Provincial allowed me to return to school for a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, followed by a Master of Theological Studies in Ministry. The Passionists enabled my education, and I remain grateful.
Working for twenty years with incarcerated detainees has been a highlight of my vocation, as well as a challenge. As the chaplain for the Cook County Department of Corrections in Chicago, where, on any given day, sixteen jails housed 11,000 detainees, I found myself in an overtly anti-Catholic environment. Even though I was subjected to disrespect and insulting remarks, I regard it as a good experience, as I could be of service and bring Christ to men in need.
Brother Raymond is a member of St. Paul of the Cross Community in Detroit, Michigan.
Brother Carl Hund, C.P.
I can honestly say that my sixty years of life as a Passionist Brother have been exciting, challenging, full of change and spiritually life-giving. Seldom has there been a dull moment.
Consecrated life is all about “brotherhood,” which may be news to many of our lay friends who often live with the mistaken belief that all religious men are priests. Priesthood, while very important, is only one of many functions within most men’s religious orders. Simply put, all religious are ordinary men and women. They, individually and collectively, have committed themselves to embody a charism passed down by their founders that emphasizes some aspect of the life of Jesus Christ that reveals the love of God our Father for us.
Sixty years ago, I took a special vow as a Passionist Brother to promote the love of God as revealed through his Son, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I give thanks to God for the thousands of lives I have affected over these years, and I look forward with anticipation to the continued fraternity with my fellow Passionist Brothers and lay friends who have so generously supported me in my endeavors.
Brother Carl is a member of Christ the King Community in Citrus Heights, California.
Brother Kurt Wernert, CP
Having attended an Xaverian Brothers high school in Louisville, Kentucky, I was aware of the ministry of brothers from my earliest days. However, I first began studies for ministry as a diocesan priest, until I visited the Passionist Community in Chicago, Illinois, and immediately felt welcomed and at home.
Attracted to the Passionist way of life and seeing the example of men living the core of that life, I chose to serve as a brother. It is a choice that requires effort and work, but it is one of service — first exampled to me by my mother, who served as a nurse — and prayer, which continues to challenge and enrich me.
After years in retreat ministry, I was invited to serve our senior Passionists in health care, assuring their well-being, good health and safety. I am blessed and affirmed in this work, and feel I contribute significantly and positively to the individual lives of our priests and brothers of Sacred Heart Community and The Passionists of Holy Cross Province.
Brother Kurt is a member of Sacred Heart Community in Louisville, Kentucky.
I was born in Los Angeles, attended my first retreat in high school, and, after secular work and military service, I was accepted and professed vows to the Passionists. Since 1980, I have lived in community as a lay brother, and in my service to Mater Dolorosa Passionist Retreat Center and its retreatants, I put my God-given gifts to use.
From our Passionist Constitutions: “Our involvement in the apostolic flows directly from our life in community.” Hospitality motivates me to welcome guests on retreats and perform services to make their retreat experience beneficial. The mechanical aptitude I inherited in my youth helps me perform the maintenance of the facility. And along the way, I relate with people and experience challenges with my work.
Brother John is a member of Mater Dolorosa Community in Sierra Madre, California.