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Brother Chris Patiño, F.S.C.

Brother Chris Patiño, F.S.C. has been director of vocation ministry for the De La Salle Christian Brothers, District of San Francisco New Orleans for three years. In addition he is the West Coast member area co-coordinator for NRVC. 

How does your community divide up roles for vocation ministry?

Our current vocation team is comprised of five members (four brothers and one laywoman). Given that we are accompanying and supporting 21 ministries and 17 brothers’ communities, the four brothers on the vocation team split up the schools and communities by geography. This allows us to more directly support schools in fostering a culture of vocation, provide a brother’s presence when needed, and maintain regular communication. It also allows us to assist our brothers’ communities in local vocation ministry efforts.

The layperson on the team is responsible for youth ministry programming at the district level, and so we are able to mutually support youth and vocation ministry efforts so that there is integration of these formative efforts. The team meets monthly and is able to discuss efforts to promote a culture of vocation within all of our schools. Finally, in terms of discerners, while the director of vocation ministry is the one primarily responsible for their accompaniment, this is also done collaboratively and in a way that encourages the participation of all brothers and those engaged in vocation ministry at the local level, i.e., campus ministers, teachers, etc.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful to you? 

Membership in NRVC has been a great gift. The professional development resources and programs provide great support and encourage our own ongoing ministerial development. The quality programming and resources help vocation directors/teams stay engaged with wider vocation ministry efforts in the church, encourage collaboration, and provide the necessary data that helps one discern how to best respond to those discerning a religious vocation.

What approaches have you used in vocation ministry lately that you have been excited about?

 The use of technology has been very exciting. We recently embarked on a “docu-series” that involves filming the vocation stories of various brothers and sharing them via YouTube. This has been well received by many audiences and gives young people and others a glimpse into religious life as a De La Salle Christian Brother.

I also appreciate our emphasis on accompanying discerners to professionally and pastorally help them discern their call.

Lastly, being able to bring young adults together for discernment opportunities is very encouraging and I think a great gift to the church.

What’s a fun fact about you that you’d like to share?

 I am a big Los Angeles Dodgers fan!

What do you find challenging and what do you find rewarding in vocation work?

I would describe the challenge and rewarding aspect as the same: It takes time! It is very rewarding to be able to accompany someone on their vocational journey and yet it can be challenging because it means it is a long-term commitment. Sometimes this commitment will lead a person toward a vocation with us and sometimes (many times) it will help them discover their vocation is elsewhere. Yet I have often been much at peace with whatever discerners decide and grateful to have been part of their discernment.

Contact Brother Chris at brochrisfsc@dlsi.



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