The Year of the Brother is a celebration that gives people a chance to get to know the Holy Cross Brothers better. The community is encouraged to reflect on their lives, works, and contributions. In February, Brother Richard and Brother Guy were featured at Convocation and in the school newspaper. This month, the focus is on Brother Ken Kane.
“I was first attracted to Holy Cross while a student at St. Ed’s in the 1950s,” says Brother Ken, “not by the black robes worn by this pre- Vatican II group, not by the religion classes, not by the various kinds of preaching about Catholic stuff, but by the spirit of the men.”
“As one of more active students in school at the time,” Brother Ken continues, “I saw how the brothers lived and acted from a closer vantage point than many, how they cared about one another and kidded each other, but supported each other too, just like a strong committed family does.”
Brother Ken would like to widen the scope of March by talking about all eight Brothers and Father John. He sees them as a unified group at Gilmour that serves the community in action and in prayer. He says, “The Brothers and Father John gather once a week for prayer in the gatehouse (Holy Cross House), which is the main local residence for the religious men on the campus.”
Referencing Aristotle’s idea, “We are what we repeatedly do,” Brother Ken shares that the Brothers at Gilmour have been “doing” Holy Cross for a long while. In fact, he notes that together they have a combined 500 years of Holy Cross living.
To really appreciate life in Holy Cross, Brother Ken cites the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross. In particular, he finds Constitution Five to be significant. In part, Constitution Five reads: “We want to live our vows in such a way that our lives will call into question the fascinations of our world: pleasure, wealth, and power.” Brother Ken notes how pleasure, wealth and power are not depicted by Constitution Five as bad things, but as “fascinations” that require careful thought.
During Convocation, Brother Ken elaborated on his life as a Brother by sharing several reflections. He also played “Serenade of the Doll” by Claude Debussy. Originally, he wanted to play the piano for the students in celebration of the Holy Cross community. “I hadn’t played in front of the students before, so I wanted to make the most of the opportunity.”
Given the recent shootings at Chardon, Brother Ken decided to include the Chardon community in his piano dedication. “We have all experienced in the last few days,” he said, “the sudden deaths of three young boys in Chardon. Their families and communities are hurting, and these young kids will never get the chances we get.” Brother Ken leaves one question to ponder: “Does this fit somehow into notion that ‘pleasure, wealth and power’ in the end, are not the really important treasures in life?”
Brothers of Holy Cross will continue to be recognized in the coming months to round out the Year of the Brother. Next month, Brother Ed Fox and Father John Blazek will be honored.