Br. Pat Douglas, SJ (Wisconsin Province)
Special Studies: Creighton University; Vocation Promoter
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Entered the Jesuits: August 21, 2004
Education: Creighton Preparatory High School; B.A., Social Work and Sociology, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN.
Interests: Reading, running marathons, napping, and bad ‘80s music.
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God calls a different type of man to be a brother, but He calls each one, all the same.
“I feel like it’s kind of forgotten,” says Pat Douglas, SJ. “I think there are many people who don’t feel a call to the priesthood, but feel a strong religious vocation. It’s another way to serve God that is no less.”
Douglas, who took vows in August 2006, is that rare member of the Society of Jesus who chooses not to follow Jesus through His priesthood. In the entire Wisconsin province, there are 13 brothers. Of the roughly 19,000 Jesuits worldwide,
less than 2,000 are brothers.
“…there is no one way to serve God”
“The main thing is, I want to help people realize there is no one way to serve God,” Douglas says. “You can serve God as a married person. Or as a single person. Or as a priest or as a brother. To have that as your focus is to serve God.
Quite simply God calls a different type of man to be a brother. Pat Douglas is one such man.
“The Jesuits? It was who I knew. I was taught by them. Their spirituality clicked with me. Finding God in all things. That was easy,” he said. “But I was never really feeling the call to married life. But I was also not at all into the priesthood, especially the diocesan priesthood.”
“The novitiate is the same for a brother novice as a priest,” Douglas confirms. “The formation gets different with where I’m at now. We go to all the same places as scholastics do. But instead of so much philosophy and theology, I’ll get a concentration in something. I’ll do some philosophy and theology for background, but I’m after a pastoral counseling degree and an MA in social work. I see myself doing maybe
more high school ministry and counseling.”
The bottom line, says Br. Mike Wilmot, 48 years a Jesuit, is that “this is a great time in the Society’s history to be a Jesuit and a brother. It’s a great time. The Society is really going places in our world,” he said. “The challenge for Pat is to find Christ in whatever he does, in whoever he deals with, lives with; in his prayer life. The possibilities in education and, therefore in ministry, have enlarged. A brother can do anything that he has the talent for, the calling for, and the need of the Society and Church for. All those have to come together. The opportunities for a young brother are limitless. The opportunities for ministry are limitless.”
“There is a certain freedom,” Douglas said. “Brothers can go wherever and serve whenever and wherever they’re needed. We can fly under the radar and just go serve God. There’s definitely an availability and freedom there. I can focus on bringing people to God in my works. Brothers I knew would never be hitting people over the head preaching. But by their works, you could really tell what motivated them. They were living their faith and showing it through their work.”