New Collegiate Program: Living the Good Life

St. Joseph House, Holy Cross CollegeWhat’s life as a Holy Cross brother really like? Thanks to the new Collegiate Program at St. Joseph Discernment House, three young men are answering that question. The program invites young men to share in community life, even though they aren’t actively considering a vocation.

“One of the interesting things about the Collegiate Program is that it allows you to get involved in the program without a big commitment,” explains Paul Gilsdorf, a junior at Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, with a double major in business and psychology. “To join seems like a huge step. As a collegian, I can enjoy the daily life of a student, and then come here and experience this life without making a commitment.”

Collegians who reside at St. Joseph Discernment House live in community, sharing daily tasks such as cooking and cleaning, as well as praying together and interacting frequently with Brothers of Holy Cross. Through the new program, these young men find time to step away from the chaos of college life, nurture their spirits and deepen their faith, according to Austin Brooks, a senior psychology major. “Living in community helps me to not feel stressed,” he says, as Paul adds, “Living here has taught me patience, to live in silence and appreciate the community of other people. It gives me time to take my breath.”

Neither Paul nor Austin are currently considering religious life, but both agree that the Collegiate Program could persuade other young men to discern a vocation. “It could open the door to a lot of youth coming into the program,” says Paul, who plans to work in investment banking and hopes to be a father someday.

Austin has applied to graduate programs in psychology and wants to work with developmentally delayed children. He believes the lessons he has learned at St. Joseph’s Discernment House about the value of a calm lifestyle will inform his work, and also inspire others to seek vocations. “Here, we get the experience what it actually means to be part of the Brothers of Holy Cross,” he says. “You can get the experience and choose to commit, but you don’t have to.”