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Bro. Irenaeus (Maria) | by Province of Saint Joseph
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Bro. Irenaeus (Maria)

Shane - Ohio, studied at Virginia Tech (clerical brother candidate)


I was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised 30 minutes south east of the city on 2-1/2 acres surrounded by cornfields and forests. As the youngest, I would often adventure off with my 2 older brothers, while my sister, the oldest, did more civilized things. My parents taught elementary in the public school system, and chose to send us to public schools and CCD. As a family, we attended Mass weekly, and our mother would pray with us before we went to sleep. Our parents loved us, and gave themselves to us financially and emotionally, always emphasizing academics, athletics, work ethic and faith.


Though I was raised Catholic from my youth, it wasn't until my later years of high school that I discovered the Catechism. Learning the teachings of the Catholic Church and her intelligence moved me to live the Faith more fully. The summer of 2004 I volunteered as a counselor at the Diocese of Columbus's Catholic Youth Summer Camp. During confession on the last night of camp, I could hear God calling me to be His priest. This happened two weeks before the start of my freshman year at Virginia Tech's School of Architecture + Design; I went to school, delaying my discernment.


After completing my Bachelor and Master of Architecture at Virginia Tech, I designed churches for two years at an architecture firm in Arlington, Virginia. While working for a few years, I was also in a relationship with a fantastic woman. When we began to consider marriage, we could see God was leading me to a different vocation. Though it took several years and countless reasons, I'm pursuing the call thanks to the writing of Dante and St. Augustine, the preaching of Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen and Fr. Robert Barron, and the generosity and love of my brother Joseph and Fr. Michael Kelly, priest for the Arlington Diocese.


I discovered the Dominicans during Tenebrae of 2012, and I considered the life after meeting with the vocation directors of Arlington and Columbus. Living near the Dominican House of Studies has afforded me the chance to pray, eat and converse with the brothers. I find the balance of contemplative and apostolic life, the charism of study, the reverence of the liturgy and the fraternal community all things that could lead to a happy life fulfilled by giving people knowledge of salvation.

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Taken on August 8, 2013