I find great meaning in being a brother and being in the classroom with the students .. This gives you a great sense of fulfilment and I thank God for this , each student is so unique and special in God ’ s eyes .
Asmall , bright room furnished with comfy sofas overlooks St . Patrick ’ s School ’ s parade square from the Brothers ’ residence . Over the gentle hum of air conditioning , I sat down to talk with Brother Nicholas Seet , a Lasallian brother for 29 years . He is also the only full-time brother-educator at St . Patrick ’ s .
As Lasallians , we see the brothers in their white cassocks in SJI , sometimes even in our classrooms . How did they become religious brothers ? When did they decide that this was the life for them ? For Brother Nicholas , it was as early as his primary school days . ‘ From a very young age , probably 8 or 10 , when I was in St . Michael ’ s Primary School , the thought had come to my mind about being a brother or a priest . So the thought has been there throughout my growing years . But at that time , I did not know if I wanted to be a brother or a priest , all I felt was a great attraction to this kind of life .’
From St . Michael ’ s Primary School ( now St . Joseph ’ s Institution Junior ), Brother Nicholas proceeded to SJI and subsequently Catholic Junior College . Throughout his education , he had encountered many brothers who made an impact on him . “ These brothers and their presence in the school reminded me of warmth and kept religion in my mind . It also brought into my mind questions like : What is the meaning of life ? What ’ s life all about ?”
Brother Nicholas , soon found out just what he was called to do . ‘ As I grew older , and saw all the brothers who were there from when I was in
primary school to junior college , I thought I would like to be able to minister to young people . As a priest , you minister to people of all ages . As a brother , they are still young when you ’ re with them . I think young people are very energetic , open , and they have all sorts of ideas and I think that ’ s something wonderful , and I really thank God for this vocation .’
But what is the role of a brother-educator in these young men ’ s lives ? Brother Nicholas likes to think of his role as akin to an older sibling . “ Because , we are called brothers , I see myself as an elder brother to our students whether or not they are Christians . And if they can become good ,