APRIL 4, 2020


Please join us for the National Religious Brothers Symposium at Boston College.  This triennial event will bring together religious brothers and those who work with brothers in leadership, formation, vocations, and ministerial work to hold up and promote the vocation of the Catholic religious brother.

The Religious Brother Symposium is being postponed in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

All registrants will be contacted via email with details; refunds will be offered. Please contact your airline and the hotel regarding your reservations. We are very disappointed not to be able to gather in April, but our first responsibility is to you, to the members of your communities, and to the people with whom you minister. We do not want to compromise your or their health in any way.  Thank you for your understanding. If you have any questions, please contact Tom Southard, at tsouthard@cmsm.org.

Join us in Boston to learn, discuss, and celebrate the life and vocation of Catholic religious brothers.

We will start with a reception on Friday evening (and optional Friday excursion to Spencer Abbey). On Saturday, Br. Guy J. Consolmagno, SJ, director of the Vatican observatory will offer our keynote address, while the founder of the San Miguel Schools and Subprior of Newark Abbey share their insights as “Living Witnesses of the Prophetic Call.” Breakout sessions will focus on vocations/formation, prayer and communio, and mission and prophesy. The Symposium’s closing Mass will be celebrated by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, is director of the Vatican Observatory and president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation. Bro. Guy splits his time between the meteorite collection in Rome and the Vatican telescope in Arizona. Thanks to his Vatican connections, his work has sent him around the world several times to dozens of countries and every continent (including a meteorite hunting expedition to Antarctica). In this talk he will share some of those adventures, and reflect on the larger meaning of our common experience as brothers… not only what we do, but why we do it.

A native of Detroit, Br. Consolmagno graduated from U of D Jesuit High School, and earned undergraduate and masters’ degrees from MIT, and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science from the University of Arizona. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1989, and has worked at the Vatican Observatory since 1993.

Along with more than 200 scientific publications, he is the author of popular books including “Turn Left at Orion” (with Dan Davis), and “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial?” (with Paul Mueller, SJ). Pope Francis named Brother Consolmagno the director of the Vatican Observatory in September 2015.

Brother Lawrence Goyette, FSC, is Auxiliary Visitor for the Brothers of the Christian Schools, District of Eastern North America (DENA). A Brother for more than 50 years, he founded the San Miguel School educational model and movement in 1993 with the San Miguel School in Providence, RI and was executive director of the San Miguel Schools for more than 20 years.

His leadership and vision have created educational opportunities for the most vulnerable young men. Serving boys in 5th-8th grade who come from under-served populations, acceptance to the schools are need-based and 97% of the San Miguel Schools’ operating costs are provided by private charitable support, while families contribute an average tuition of $700 per year. The San Miguel model has been replicated throughout the Lasallian educational network at 11 ministries nationwide.

Br. Lawrence also has served as a full time consultant and assistant in founding the De La Salle Academy (a San Miguel School) in Concord, CA, and  as an advisor to the national Lasallian Volunteer program.

Brother Patrick Winbush, OSB, subprior and vocation director, Newark Abbey, is a native of Newark, NJ. He came to know the community through one of the monks who served in his home parish as a weekend assistant. From 2015- 2017, Br. Patrick was principal of St. Mary’s Elementary School. He also served in campus ministry for St. Benedict’s Prep. He currently is an instructor of religion, focusing mainly in the area of Christian morality and the Christian lifestyle and director of the Benedictine Volunteers. Outside the monastery, Br. Patrick chairs the Archdiocese of Newark’s Vocation Board for Religious Life and is a member of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus.


Schedule (click to download)

  • Friday: Optional bus trip to Spencer Abbey and welcome reception (at hotel)
  • Saturday: Registration opens at 8 a.m.; program begins at 9 a.m., followed by talks, breakout sessions, and reflection. Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston, will celebrate our closing Mass.
  • Sunday: Breakfast and conversation, 8:30 a.m., at the Symposium hotel


  • Symposium: $75, or $50 for students, brothers in formation, and brothers under 35 (includes the full program, lunch, and breaks)
  • Optional Friday excursion to Spencer Abbey: $45

Scholarships have been generously made available by the Society of Mary (Marianist Brothers). To apply, email Tom at tsouthard@cmsm.org with information on your situation.

Hotel: $139/night

  • The official hotel is the Newton Plaza-Boston.
  • The Symposium rate is $139/night, which includes breakfast and a room with either two queen beds or a king bed.
  • To make a reservation: Call the hotel at +1 617-969-3010 and use the code CMS, or make your reservation online.
  • The rate is available from April 2-7, 2020.

Planning on attending, but have questions about the Symposium? Contact Tom Southard, tsouthard@cmsm.org or 301-588-4030.

With thanks for their generous support