Posted by Br Gary Wison
on 12 July 2021
Nabeel, a young Pakistani man, had a career choice a few years ago, when at La Salle Urdu High School in the vibrant city of Faisalabad. He decided to explore the possibility of becoming a De La Salle Brother. Currently, he is on a life-journey, as he is a 'novice Brother' in the Brothers' community at Gujranwala, out of Lahore.
The Brothers worldwide have always invited young men to think about, and test out, becoming one of their fraternity. In Pakistan, it was formalised in 1984 when a training house was opened, called St. Miguel Aspirancy. (Miguel was a 19th century Ecuadorian Brother, canonised by the Catholic Church, and renowned for his work in "formation" (pre-service training) for aspiring Brothers). Each year about fifteen older teenagers in Miguel House study for their final secondary schooling, and then in a university college for a first degree in humanities or sciences. If they succeed, and have solid religious motivations, they ask to become a novice Brother. They engage in a year's community learning, and taking on the heart, mind and spirit of the Brothers' "vocation" (calling by God).
Nabeel was asked some questions by our Communications Office:
Q. Provide an introduction Life before coming a Brother, school, family etc.
I was studying in the La Salle Campus 2 Faisalabad. After my matric. I decided to join the Brothers. I am youngest in my family, with four brothers, all married. I shared my desire with my family. They said yes - happily for me - to join the La Salle Brothers. When I was in the school, I saw the Brothers and I was inspired by the Brothers, so that was the moment when this desire came in my heart to join the Brothers.
Q. Where did your Lasallian connection begin?
This connection begins when I was in the hostel (St. Miguel Aspirancy House). I used to go to the Brothers' house chapel, to pray and attend Holy Mass everyday with them. One day, after the holy Mass, I saw two Brothers walking together, and I decided I wanted to be like them. This was the (definite) moment when I decided to join the Brothers' life.
Q. So far, what has been your favourite moment as a Brother?
So far, as a Brother, I have had many favourite moments. I always enjoy the company of the Brothers. I always enjoy our community prayers, and I enjoy how we Brother always help one another. But the most favourite moment is last year when I received my Holy Habit (the white robe, signalizing a La Salle Brother).
Q. What is your role at the moment? And what does that involve?
Right at this moment I am 28 years old, and a novice Brother. After 2 months I will make my first vows. I am happy with my virtual novitiate program; every day I am learning a lot. (The Novitiate is 'virtual', in that other Asian Novices are based in the Philippines, and the two Pakistani Novices have regular zoom sessions with the base).
Q. What advice would you give to someone thinking of becoming a Brother?
My advice to others is it's cool to be a Brother. The Brother vocation is really a unique vocation, and our mission as Brother it's totally the work of God. If we say yes to God, then we will get many blessings and gifts from God.
Q. Are there any goals you'd like to achieve over the next 6 months or the year, in your role?
I specially want to continue my academic study and at the same time I am ready to work in the school to help our Brothers, our teachers and students. I want to know God, and to make deeper my relationship with Him.
Q. Who is the biggest influence on your life at the moment?
Well, there number of people but the most important or biggest is God, and our Founder and Father Saint John Baptist de LaSalle. Then, the Brothers from Pakistan and from Australia because so far, I am able to meet with Brothers of two countries. When I look at them, I want to be like them, to serve others, and to a be good and faithful Brother with my responsibilities. As well, it is a unique time to enjoy my prayer life and all the time feel his holy presence.
Q. If you had to give advice to your younger self, what would you say?
I would like to say always keep patient. Trust in God, always be faithful, and try to know what is God's will for you, and just follow that, because I believe God has always plans for us.
(Explanatory notes, not in Nabeel's answers, are given in brackets)