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About Brotherhood of the Drohobych Seminary PDF Print E-mail

For many people the idea of a "brotherhood" represents a closed-in group of individuals who are organized around clearly limited ideas. A brotherhood unites all the members of this group into a single organism, which gives them the right to be called brothers. When a member goes outside the limits of permissible thinking he automatically terminates his right to have brotherhood with others who have remained true to the principles of the statutes of the brotherhood. It is not surprising that being in such a brotherhood means submission, self-criticism, doing whatever the ideal requires. In other words, you are my brother for as long as you share traits common to all brothers. A step to the left or to the right is simply unacceptable.

On the other hand, the Christian understanding of "brotherhood" is significantly different. Actually the Church itself, as the Mystical Body of Christ is a true brotherhood. Even the prayer "Our Father", which the Savior taught His disciples, itself reveals this great ecclesiological mystery. The recognition of God the Father, as our own Father and faith in this spiritual unity, puts us in a position not only of brotherhood among ourselves, but also of brotherhood with the Everlasting Only Begotten Son, who is Head of the Brotherhood. Here, unlike in a secular brotherhood, freedom of action is not restricted by anything. You remain a brother even while being free to choose a path that leads in an opposite direction.

However sinful, a brother is a brother who is sick and who needs the most of all the Brotherhood of the Church. Excommunication of a sinner is not a punitive act, done by healthy members of the Body of Christ, but it is a confirmation that our brother is weak and that he has put himself outside the community. Thus, we see that the Christian Brotherhood in its very roots has nothing in common with the groups of people, about which we spoke before. If in the first example, the unifying factor is a common idea, for which the members of the brotherhood live, in the second case, we are all united not by an object, but by the person of Christ and our faith in Him.

However, this faith emerges in the form of specific activity, that is the revelation of Christ's love in the world. With regard to this we have the very eloquent words of the Apostle James: "What does it profit, my brethren if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled”, without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead"(James 2:14-17). Understanding these words as a call to action, individual members of the Church have always joined together, with the blessing of their spiritual leader and under his guidance, in shared charitable activity in the name of Christ. Their aim has been to do for their needy neighbors what the world could not (or would not) do. This is a fraternity of Brotherhood, Church organizations within the Church and for the Church.

One such fraternity is the Brotherhood of "The Entry of the Mother of God into the Temple", which has been founded at the Drohobych Theological Seminary. Together with their spiritual father, the brothers gather for weekly prayer in the Church. The main criterion here is freedom in the Holy Spirit. Meeting and being in union with God in a close communication is a prerequisite for meeting other people in love. That is why prayer is so important for members of this community. The brothers go out into a world of people who perhaps are far from God, and these people need someone who is close to God. The outreach of the brothers through preaching is like Christ’s coming to His younger brothers, and not like a well-prepared student of theology lecturing to a clearly defined audience. As, God Himself points out "No one comes to the Father except through me" (Jn 14:6). Therefore, the fundamental mission of members of the seminary community is to witness to Christ and not to himself.