What is Brotherhood?
Brotherhood is an option in which you take the vows (also called Evangelical counsels) of chastity, poverty and obedience, just like a religious sister. Religious brotherhood is a life of community-living, working and praying together in a community of brothers. There are different congregations with different charisms that you can join to become a brother.
The difference between Brothers and Priests is that brothers do not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and therefore, don’t serve by providing the sacraments. In other words, they don’t become priests – they don’t celebrate Mass, provide confessions, conduct weddings, etc.
Types of Brothers
Similar to religious sisters, there are also primarily two types of Brothers: Contemplative Monks and Active Brothers. For a good understanding of brotherhood, visit this site on Religious Brotherhood. This is a US-based website and so it may not accurately reflect the Indian situation. However, it gives a good understanding of the options, lifestyle and ministry of Brothers.
Some congregations present in India with the option of brotherhood are:
- (Irish) Christian Brothers
- De La Salle Brothers
- Holy Cross Brothers
- Patrician Brothers
- Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel
- Brothers of the Sacred Heart – International, India
- Missionaries of Charity – Active and Contemplative
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