– by Don DeSmith

I have been a lifelong committed brother in the Servants of the Word for 35 years, and people sometimes ask me, “Why are you still here?” A simple, possibly glib, answer would be that the brothers have not kicked me out yet, in spite of my many idiosyncrasies. But let me give you three, more serious reasons.

The first is the love of God, and by that I mean first and foremost God’s love for me, which I have experienced and still do every day. This mercy and steadfastness of his requires a response of love. The Bible is clear that living single is a gift and if you have it, you should take advantage of it. So this is why I chose this life, as the best way I knew to respond to God’s love.

Secondly, because it is a great life: it involves prayer, normally at least three times a day. We also live it in common with other men, in groups of 6 to 12, and I find it a great privilege to live with men like Dick LaCroix or Ted Kennedy. And we engage in mission; even I who have spent 30 of my 35 years in software development, am part of the common mission of the Servants of the Word, whether it’s the youth work Dave Quintana does or the community building of Ken Noecker, we all engage in a common call.

Thirdly, I am still here because of the encouragement of a great cloud of witnesses, the people around me who live a Christian culture of faithfulness: there are couples present here who have been married for 35, 55 or in my parents’ case, 66½ years, and they encourage me to also stay faithful to my vocation. So I am grateful to the Lord and his faithfulness to us over 45 years, and to the many inside and outside the brotherhood who have encouraged me to remain faithful in turn.


Adapted from Living Bulwark, December/January 2016, used with permission. © The Servants of the Word