Called home: Profile of Brother Brian Poulin, F.M.S.

Brian Poulin fell away from the church for 13 years. He had always been interested in the same things that religious orders care about: education, international cultures, helping the poor, and after he returned to the church with renewed faith, he began wondering about religious life. Soon he experienced another kind of homecoming when he was called to the Marist Brothers’ way of life. In a surprising twist of fate—or perhaps providence—he entered the same community that had once attracted his own grandfather to its novitiate for a short period.

Brother Brian Poulin, F.M.S.

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What is your current ministry?

I teach religion to freshmen and sophomores at Mount Saint Michael Academy in the Bronx, and I am one of the primary coordinators for our campus ministry efforts.

What’s your favorite part of ministry?

I greatly enjoy seeing our boys gradually mature into young men. I feel lucky to be able to help bring the gospel to life for young men who face all kinds of difficulties.

Your favorite way to pray?

My general preference is for quiet prayer. Seat me on a rock on top of a wooded mountain ridge with only God for company, and I am quite content. I also enjoy occasional shared prayer and exposing my students to assorted prayer experiences.

What do you do for fun?

Cooking, eating, language study. I am also a bit of a dilettante with music.

What is the best part of living in community?

Living with other men who are committed to both communal and individual prayer, enjoying each other’s company, and serving as mentors in mission.

Most fun you’ve had with your community?

One Friday at the end of a demanding week, we sat down to pray the psalms and prayers of the Office. The language of some of it (“They surrounded me, the snares of death, with the anguish of the tomb”) was so maudlin yet so close to our experience that one of the men started to laugh. Then we all did, and I laughed until I cried. But we still finished our prayers.

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