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Operation Fiat: A "Come and See" Evening

Young Men Pray with Marianists

More than 50 young men from Chaminade High School and Kellenberg Memorial High School got a glimpse of the Brothers’ daily life Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017.  Operation Fiat, a “come and see” evening with the Brothers of the Province of Meribah, included evening prayer, a personal and thoughtful vocation reflection from one of the Marianists, and dinner at Kellenberg Memorial.


Operation Fiat began with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Evening Prayer.  It’s a routine the Brothers follow each day.  Bro. Patrick Sarsfield, S.M., who has taught at both schools since graduating from Chaminade in 1986, shared the story of discernment to his own religious vocation.


“Looking back, I suppose my parents took my faith very seriously,” Bro. Patrick said.  “But, I wasn’t thinking about a religious vocation in the early days of high school.”

That started to change when Bro. Patrick’s father brought him and his brother to monthly benediction St. Aloysius Parish in Great Neck.  “My parents were quiet about their faith,” he recalled, “but this was a chance for dad to share his faith with us.  It made a serious impression on me.”


A vocation still lingered in Bro. Patrick’s mind, albeit on the “back burner.”  Then, he found himself spending more time around the Marianist Brothers at Chaminade – working with them after school and on weekends.  The Brothers took notice – and one of them asked Patrick, a high-school junior at the time, if he considered religious life.


“I didn’t know if I had a calling,” he thought.  “What if God wasn’t calling me?  What would I tell people?  I was so afraid of getting it wrong.  I prayed for signs from God – I remember looking out the window of my room and asking God to make the street light turn off.  Nothing happened.  Would it have helped me make a decision?”


Bro. Patrick’s father offered words of encouragement.  “Don’t let fear of failure prevent you from trying something,” he remembered.  “If you think God is calling you, do it.  It would be worse to have missed out on what God was calling you to do than to never have done it at all.”


Bro. Patrick entered the Chaminade Marianist Community after high school and professed his final vows in 1991.


At Operation Fiat, Bro. Patrick encouraged young men to seek counsel if similar questions are on their minds.  “The world needs good men as loving husbands and fathers.  But, God is calling people to something else.  Are you dodging the question?  I know I was.  But, a vocation is not about you.  It is about what God wants for you.  He wants you to be happy – happy in the fullest sense of the word.  The only way to do that is to be what God wants us to be.  He is leading you to Himself.”


The Province of Meribah holds Operation Fiat is held twice a year.  Any interested young men are invited and encouraged to attend the next event on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at Chaminade.

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