Xaverian Brothers elect new leader

The Baltimore-based Xaverian Brothers have elected Brother Lawrence Harvey, C.F.X., to serve as the new general superior of the worldwide religious community, known formally as the Congregation of the Brothers of St. Francis Xavier.
Brother Lawrence, a Massachusetts native who entered the Xaverians in 1979, was named general superior during his religious order’s 26th General Chapter held July 23-29 in Bruges, Belgium. He succeeds Brother Arthur Caliman, C.F.X.
The General Chapter occurs every six years, setting the priorities and electing leaders for the coming years. Brother James Kelly, C.F.X., president of Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, was elected to serve as a member of the order’s new General Council – which includes brothers from the United States, Congo and Kenya. Brother Daniel Skala, C.F.X., of Massachusetts was elected vicar general.
In an e-mail interview with The Catholic Review while still in Belgium, Brother Lawrence said attracting more men to the Xaverians will be among his priorities as general superior. There are currently more than 265 Xaverian Brothers serving in Belgium, Bolivia, Congo, England, Haiti, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico and the United States. More than 150 brothers live in the United States, working mainly in educational ministries.
Brother Lawrence noted that recruitment of new members varies widely among the countries Xaverians serve, with Congo and Kenya standing as the two big sources of vocations.
Xaverians have been studying ways of attracting new members, as well as developing more bonds with lay people who work with Xaverians. For many years, the order has run a volunteer program for young people to serve the poor in Haiti, he said.
“I believe that our way of life, that of a religious brother in service to the mission of Jesus, is an attractive option for young men today who are trying to live spiritual lives and are looking for supportive communities where they can also be of service to others,” Brother Lawrence said.
Other priorities will include deepening his order’s sense of mission and service – especially to the poor and marginalized, developing Xaverian community life, furthering collaboration with lay people, enhancing the international character of the order and ensuring solid religious formation of young brothers in training, Brother Lawrence said.
Brother Lawrence is a former Catholic school teacher and principal. In 1997 he was appointed to serve as the director of sponsorship for the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools in Baltimore and to serve as secretary to the General Council. He was later elected to the General Council and was chosen as vicar general in 2003.
Established in Belgium in 1839 by Theodore James Ryken, the Xaverian Brothers came to the United States in 1854. There are 12 Xaverian-sponsored secondary schools in the United States, including Mount St. Joseph. The Xaverians are also one of the religious communities that sponsor Mother Seton Academy in Baltimore.
The Xaverians relocated their generalate, or international headquarters, to Baltimore in 1995.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.