I recently completed a questionnaire about myself. One of the questions was: What would be the title of your biography?  I responded “Big Brother, Little Brother, Always A Brother.” This does indeed capture my life story in a title.

This past March marked 41 years since I became a big brother. I have always loved being a big brother. There is a sense of responsibility, protection and purpose in this role. I am a big brother to three siblings and I do not take this role lightly, just ask any of them. There have been times where fulfilled my role well and other times I didn’t step up to the plate to guide well or defend their name the way I should have. Still I remained a big brother.

Being a big brother can also leave one in a vulnerable state. In several situations all eyes can easily turn to you to have answers and the right words. I know that this didn’t always pan out well for me, but I tried to hold the delicate position of big brother with dignity, especially the dignity of the sibling. I have had to ask for clarification and forgiveness from my siblings and they have (for the most part) readily given it. Growing up my interests were very different from my two brothers and my protective instincts for my baby sister still run pretty high. It was in being relationship with these three that I first learned about the depths of my strength, the ways that worked for me, the power of love, the need to own up to wrongs, the joy of community, the safety of heart strings being pulled, the honesty in fighting words, the importance in letting go of grudges and the value of God-given gifts shared. It is in the gift of being a big brother that prepared me for being a little brother.

So how does one who is a big brother become a little brother? Well in my case it happened when I joined the Order of Friars Minor or Franciscans. The word Friars is based on a translation of the French word Frère which means brother While minor obviously means lesser or little. When one joins the Franciscans, they become a lesser or little brother. I am ever grateful for my three siblings, because of them I have been able to embrace this role as little brother. Being a lesser or little brother has new demands and challenges. In the 5 years I have been a Friar I have learned about lesser/little in a variety of ways from board games to chores, from community discussions to meals. Being little is about surrender and trust; knowing that my lowliness is engulfed in God’s grandeur of love. Being little means that I strive for brotherhood with the Friars I live with and the whole of our order. Differences do arise and perspectives do vary but being a Friar calls me first and foremost to be brother. Being a lesser brother doesn’t mean I am a doormat; it does however mean I must look beyond my view and see the view of the one I stand side by side with as a brother. Being a lesser brother continually calls me to reflect on what I have, what I offer, how I build community, what I need and don’t need and how this calls me beyond myself and the safety of our fraternity. Being a little brother challenges me to always be a brother.

By always being a brother, I must look with eyes that don’t see projected images or media-given stereotypes. I must see the person before me created in the image and likeness of God. I must be willing to embrace the other and acknowledge and celebrate their value. I must be willing to walk along side and listen in good times and in bad, in joys and sorrows. I must be willing to be vulnerable; trusting and surrendering into God so as to be a space for the siblings of the world to encounter Divine Love.

Always a brother began those 41 years ago when I very excitedly welcomed my brother, it grew a bit more when the second brother joined us and we were a perfect trio of uniqueness. When my sister came into the picture my brother skills were stepped up a notch. Over the years I have been blessed with amazing people in my life and some pretty amazing friends who have been as close to me as siblings. Over the years I have been blessed with amazing people in my life and some pretty amazing friends who have been as close to me as siblings. There is a small group of men I’m thinking of who have expanded my comprehension about brotherly love and there is a small group of women who have established themselves as sisters in my life. I am in awe by lessons learned and the risks I have taken to be a brother because of my blood siblings and these friend siblings.

As I reflect on the journey and consider the lives of families I have been invited into and the families I have ministered with the word brother takes on a greater depth again. The tables I have sat around being part of the family, the children I have seen grow into young adults and the pains and rejoicing I have been honored to hold are the gifts this dimension of brotherhood has offered. My role of big brother has expanded and now it comes with the lessons of being a little brother.

As I consider how my life has shifted, grown and has been challenged since I accepted the call of being a Friar Minor, brotherhood continues to expand and open me up to listening to God’s grand designs. My life as a Franciscan is never dull and it has its challenges however it always seems to bring the perspective of brother into view very quickly. It is from the journey of life so far that I choose again on this Religious Brothers Day (May 1) to commit myself as a Big Brother, Little Brother, Always a Brother. It is with a grateful and awe-filled heart that I say thank you to those who have helped shape me as a brother.

 

Non-ordained Religious Brothers from all walks of life and religious communities the world over do so many different tasks and share their gifts with communities, families and churches in unique ways. I humbly ask you to pray for us today on May 1 that we may continue to respond well in being a brother for the people of God.

 

 

Facebook
Twitter
Email

About the author

Friar Michael Perras, OFM was born and raised in Saskatchewan, the oldest of four. In a small rural community with plenty of extended family nearby he learned about service and community while growing up in his parent’s grocery store. Friar Michael appreciates quiet moments of prayer to begin the day. He also enjoys tinkering in the chapel, Christmas, learning from the lives of the saints, being creative in the kitchen, a good run, a good song, setting a good table for celebrations, and lingering meals with conversation. One of his greatest joys is being an uncle and a godfather. Prior to joining the Franciscans, he served in several communities as a Youth Minister and Pastoral Assistant. Friar Michael holds certificates in youth ministry, lay ministry, liturgical studies, and spiritual direction along with a Bachelor of Theology degree. Solemnly professed friar since August 2019. He is a non-ordained Franciscan brother currently ministering as part of the retreat team at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre.

Last updated: November 22, 2021

This Privacy Policy describes Our policies and procedures on the collection, use and disclosure of Your information when You use the Service and tells You about Your privacy rights and how the law protects You.

We use Your Personal data to provide and improve the Service. By using the Service, You agree to the collection and use of information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Interpretation and Definitions

Interpretation

The words of which the initial letter is capitalized have meanings defined under the following conditions. The following definitions shall have the same meaning regardless of whether they appear in singular or in plural.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Privacy Policy:

  • Account means a unique account created for You to access our Service or parts of our Service.
  • Company (referred to as either “the Company”, “We”, “Us” or “Our” in this Agreement) refers to Franciscans of Canada, 5870 Boulevard Rosemont.
  • Cookies are small files that are placed on Your computer, mobile device or any other device by a website, containing the details of Your browsing history on that website among its many uses.
  • Country refers to: Quebec, Canada
  • Device means any device that can access the Service such as a computer, a cellphone or a digital tablet.
  • Personal Data is any information that relates to an identified or identifiable individual.
  • Service refers to the Website.
  • Service Provider means any natural or legal person who processes the data on behalf of the Company. It refers to third-party companies or individuals employed by the Company to facilitate the Service, to provide the Service on behalf of the Company, to perform services related to the Service or to assist the Company in analyzing how the Service is used.
  • Usage Data refers to data collected automatically, either generated by the use of the Service or from the Service infrastructure itself (for example, the duration of a page visit).
  • Website refers to Franciscans of Canada, accessible from https://www.franciscanfriars.ca/
  • You means the individual accessing or using the Service, or the company, or other legal entity on behalf of which such individual is accessing or using the Service, as applicable.

Collecting and Using Your Personal Data

Types of Data Collected

Personal Data

While using Our Service, We may ask You to provide Us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify You. Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:

  • Email address
  • First name and last name
  • Phone number
  • Address, State, Province, ZIP/Postal code, City
  • Usage Data

Usage Data

Usage Data is collected automatically when using the Service.

Usage Data may include information such as Your Device’s Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that You visit, the time and date of Your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

When You access the Service by or through a mobile device, We may collect certain information automatically, including, but not limited to, the type of mobile device You use, Your mobile device unique ID, the IP address of Your mobile device, Your mobile operating system, the type of mobile Internet browser You use, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.

We may also collect information that Your browser sends whenever You visit our Service or when You access the Service by or through a mobile device.

Tracking Technologies and Cookies

We use Cookies and similar tracking technologies to track the activity on Our Service and store certain information. Tracking technologies used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze Our Service. The technologies We use may include:

  • Cookies or Browser Cookies. A cookie is a small file placed on Your Device. You can instruct Your browser to refuse all Cookies or to indicate when a Cookie is being sent. However, if You do not accept Cookies, You may not be able to use some parts of our Service. Unless you have adjusted Your browser setting so that it will refuse Cookies, our Service may use Cookies.
  • Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Service may use local stored objects (or Flash Cookies) to collect and store information about Your preferences or Your activity on our Service. Flash Cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as those used for Browser Cookies. For more information on how You can delete Flash Cookies, please read “Where can I change the settings for disabling, or deleting local shared objects?” available at https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/disable-local-shared-objects-flash.html#main_Where_can_I_change_the_settings_for_disabling__or_deleting_local_shared_objects_
  • Web Beacons. Certain sections of our Service and our emails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that permit the Company, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an email and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of a certain section and verifying system and server integrity).

Cookies can be “Persistent” or “Session” Cookies. Persistent Cookies remain on Your personal computer or mobile device when You go offline, while Session Cookies are deleted as soon as You close Your web browser. You can learn more about cookies here: Cookies by TermsFeed Generator.

We use both Session and Persistent Cookies for the purposes set out below:

  • Necessary / Essential Cookies

    Type: Session Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies are essential to provide You with services available through the Website and to enable You to use some of its features. They help to authenticate users and prevent fraudulent use of user accounts. Without these Cookies, the services that You have asked for cannot be provided, and We only use these Cookies to provide You with those services.

  • Cookies Policy / Notice Acceptance Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies identify if users have accepted the use of cookies on the Website.

  • Functionality Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Us

    Purpose: These Cookies allow us to remember choices You make when You use the Website, such as remembering your login details or language preference. The purpose of these Cookies is to provide You with a more personal experience and to avoid You having to re-enter your preferences every time You use the Website.

  • Tracking and Performance Cookies

    Type: Persistent Cookies

    Administered by: Third-Parties

    Purpose: These Cookies are used to track information about traffic to the Website and how users use the Website. The information gathered via these Cookies may directly or indirectly identify you as an individual visitor. This is because the information collected is typically linked to a pseudonymous identifier associated with the device you use to access the Website. We may also use these Cookies to test new pages, features or new functionality of the Website to see how our users react to them.

For more information about the cookies we use and your choices regarding cookies, please visit our Cookies Policy or the Cookies section of our Privacy Policy.

Use of Your Personal Data

The Company may use Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • To provide and maintain our Service, including to monitor the usage of our Service.
  • To manage Your Account: to manage Your registration as a user of the Service. The Personal Data You provide can give You access to different functionalities of the Service that are available to You as a registered user.
  • For the performance of a contract: the development, compliance and undertaking of the purchase contract for the products, items or services You have purchased or of any other contract with Us through the Service.
  • To contact You: To contact You by email, telephone calls, SMS, or other equivalent forms of electronic communication, such as a mobile application’s push notifications regarding updates or informative communications related to the functionalities, products or contracted services, including the security updates, when necessary or reasonable for their implementation.
  • To provide You with news, special offers and general information about other goods, services and events which we offer that are similar to those that you have already purchased or enquired about unless You have opted not to receive such information.
  • To manage Your requests: To attend and manage Your requests to Us.
  • For business transfers: We may use Your information to evaluate or conduct a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of Our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which Personal Data held by Us about our Service users is among the assets transferred.
  • For other purposes: We may use Your information for other purposes, such as data analysis, identifying usage trends, determining the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns and to evaluate and improve our Service, products, services, marketing and your experience.

We may share Your personal information in the following situations:

  • With Service Providers: We may share Your personal information with Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service, to contact You.
  • For business transfers: We may share or transfer Your personal information in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of Company assets, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of Our business to another company.
  • With Affiliates: We may share Your information with Our affiliates, in which case we will require those affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. Affiliates include Our parent company and any other subsidiaries, joint venture partners or other companies that We control or that are under common control with Us.
  • With business partners: We may share Your information with Our business partners to offer You certain products, services or promotions.
  • With other users: when You share personal information or otherwise interact in the public areas with other users, such information may be viewed by all users and may be publicly distributed outside.
  • With Your consent: We may disclose Your personal information for any other purpose with Your consent.

Retention of Your Personal Data

The Company will retain Your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our Service, or We are legally obligated to retain this data for longer time periods.

Transfer of Your Personal Data

Your information, including Personal Data, is processed at the Company’s operating offices and in any other places where the parties involved in the processing are located. It means that this information may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of Your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from Your jurisdiction.

Your consent to this Privacy Policy followed by Your submission of such information represents Your agreement to that transfer.

The Company will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that Your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy and no transfer of Your Personal Data will take place to an organization or a country unless there are adequate controls in place including the security of Your data and other personal information.

Disclosure of Your Personal Data

Business Transactions

If the Company is involved in a merger, acquisition or asset sale, Your Personal Data may be transferred. We will provide notice before Your Personal Data is transferred and becomes subject to a different Privacy Policy.

Law enforcement

Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency).

Other legal requirements

The Company may disclose Your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:

  • Comply with a legal obligation
  • Protect and defend the rights or property of the Company
  • Prevent or investigate possible wrongdoing in connection with the Service
  • Protect the personal safety of Users of the Service or the public
  • Protect against legal liability

Security of Your Personal Data

The security of Your Personal Data is important to Us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While We strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect Your Personal Data, We cannot guarantee its absolute security.

Detailed Information on the Processing of Your Personal Data

The Service Providers We use may have access to Your Personal Data. These third-party vendors collect, store, use, process and transfer information about Your activity on Our Service in accordance with their Privacy Policies.

Analytics

We may use third-party Service providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service.

  • Google Analytics

    Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google uses the data collected to track and monitor the use of our Service. This data is shared with other Google services. Google may use the collected data to contextualize and personalize the ads of its own advertising network.

    You can opt-out of having made your activity on the Service available to Google Analytics by installing the Google Analytics opt-out browser add-on. The add-on prevents the Google Analytics JavaScript (ga.js, analytics.js and dc.js) from sharing information with Google Analytics about visits activity.

    For more information on the privacy practices of Google, please visit the Google Privacy & Terms web page: https://policies.google.com/privacy

Email Marketing

We may use Your Personal Data to contact You with newsletters, marketing or promotional materials and other information that may be of interest to You. You may opt-out of receiving any, or all, of these communications from Us by following the unsubscribe link or instructions provided in any email We send or by contacting Us.

We may use Email Marketing Service Providers to manage and send emails to You.

  • Mailchimp

    Mailchimp is an email marketing sending service provided by The Rocket Science Group LLC.

    For more information on the privacy practices of Mailchimp, please visit their Privacy policy: https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy/

Usage, Performance and Miscellaneous

We may use third-party Service Providers to provide better improvement of our Service.

  • Invisible reCAPTCHA

    We use an invisible captcha service named reCAPTCHA. reCAPTCHA is operated by Google.

    The reCAPTCHA service may collect information from You and from Your Device for security purposes.

    The information gathered by reCAPTCHA is held in accordance with the Privacy Policy of Google: https://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/privacy/

Children’s Privacy

Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 13. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13. If You are a parent or guardian and You are aware that Your child has provided Us with Personal Data, please contact Us. If We become aware that We have collected Personal Data from anyone under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, We take steps to remove that information from Our servers.

If We need to rely on consent as a legal basis for processing Your information and Your country requires consent from a parent, We may require Your parent’s consent before We collect and use that information.

Links to Other Websites

Our Service may contain links to other websites that are not operated by Us. If You click on a third party link, You will be directed to that third party’s site. We strongly advise You to review the Privacy Policy of every site You visit.

We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We may update Our Privacy Policy from time to time. We will notify You of any changes by posting the new Privacy Policy on this page.

We will let You know via email and/or a prominent notice on Our Service, prior to the change becoming effective and update the “Last updated” date at the top of this Privacy Policy.

You are advised to review this Privacy Policy periodically for any changes. Changes to this Privacy Policy are effective when they are posted on this page.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, You can contact us:

Contact Michael Perras, OFM

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to receive our newsletter (published up to four times a year).

* Required field
 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.