Brother Don

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Brother Don

A very good friend of mine died this last week. Brother Donald was a member of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and perhaps one of the most beautiful, gentle-souled people I have ever met. (Read Psalm 15 if you want to know Brother Don’s qualities and personal make-up.) I was blessed to call him friend. We shared many good times, as well as tears, faith, and friendship over the years. I looked to him for advice and counsel. I could always count on him to put things into perspective. In every aspect of living consecrated life he was an inspiration and a holy example. Together, rest assured, we would have made one great contestant on Jeopardy or Wheel of Fortune. As solo contestants we knew we had no chance, but together we knew we were unstoppable. He was crazy funny, in an unassuming way, and his heavy New York accent constantly cracked me up. I can’t believe I won’t hear his voice again. 

In my grief and tears I was struck by the second reading at Mass this weekend. It spoke to me and broke through my heartache. Paul, in his first letter to the Thessalonians said, “We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope” (1 Thes 4:13). Yes, in my sadness I must remember that Jesus died and rose, opening the Gates of Heaven. Yet, I am sure that my human sadness in losing my friend does not take away my belief in the promise of Eternal Life. Assuredly, grief is a part of death as is the consolation of knowing the dead will be raised. 

Faith is believing that Jesus’ resurrection really does have consequences for us and for Brother Don. We may not understand or know the details of how this plays out. But, we can be sure that just as “Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him all those who have fallen asleep” (1 Thes 4:14). Everyone of us has the hope of heaven!

Right now, I am caught in the paradox of death. I am in the pain of losing my friend while at the same time, I’m overjoyed at the idea of Brother Don having the full experience of the love of the Sacred Heart. All too much for my simple mind to comprehend!

Blessed be his memory. 

Sister Lisa and Brother Don walking the streets of Chicago while classmates at the Institute of Religious Formation at Catholic Theology Union.
Posted in Reflections, Sister Lisa MaurerTagged , , , ,


  1. Blessings Sr Lisa…yes Bro Don will be missed until we all meet at the Heavenly Banquet…

  2. Lisa, thanks for sharing your grief at the loss of your dear friend, Don. I pray that as the hours and days pass by in this time, that you will continue to surface many good memories of what your friendship meant–and still does mean as you now re-connect with Don from here to THERE. with much love and care, therese

  3. Thank you for your remembrance, Lisa. I was not aware of this. I enjoyed Don’s gentle and fun presence when the CTU sabbatical program aligned with yours in the fall of 2017. We have lost a few good souls from those Chicago days – Cathy Howard, OP (11/9/18) and Debbie Hintz (10/23/20).
    They are our angels now. – Janet

  4. Hugs and prayers for your loss!! Thanks so much for sharing your sorrow as well as the connection to the scriptures! Love you, Sr. Lisa!

  5. Yes Sr Lisa, Late Br Don was a great man and a gentle character. He was someone I would always run to for advise during our time together in the IRF program here at CTU. He will surely be missed. May his soul rest in peace.
    John A

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