A Flash of Their History
Founded in Turin (Italy) by St. Joseph B. Cottolengo in 1833, the Cottolengo Brothers worked in numerous ‘Little Houses of Divine Providence” scattered throughout Italy. In 1973 they came to Kenya and went also to India and Ecuador to witness their faith through the charism of St Cottolengo.
In order to complete the service to the poor housed in the Little House of the Divine Providence, Canon Joseph Cottolengo, inspired by the Holy Spirit founded the Congregation of Lay Brothers. They like all the children of Cottolengo are called to live the spirit of “Caritas Christi Urget Nos” (2 Cor 5:14). In the mind of the Founder, brothers had “to teach the poor and popular class”. The calling to serve Jesus in the poor, especially the mentally challenged, the sick and the elderly, is realised every day beginning from the community life. Apart from Italy, we are also present in India, Ecuador and Kenya.
Our story of service to the poorest here in Kenya began at Tuuru, and later Chaaria in Meru Diocese. Our service here are mainly in the Hospital, the Disabled persons’ Home, and some pastoral activities in the parish.
Being called to live close to the poor, we learn how to become like little children above all in the simplicity of life, joyful service and fraternal life. A Cottolengo brother learns to live in a spirit of abandonment to the Divine Providence, a path lived in a heroic manner by the Bl. Luigi Bordino. We are called to be “brothers” to all, especially among ourselves and to those most in need.
These Christian and human virtues are cultivated for the service of the sick, the aged, the disabled, the terminally sick, abandoned children and young people, and victims of new forms of poverty like drug addicts.
4. Religious Profession
Would you like to join us?
If you feel the desire to serve God as a lay brother in the Cottolengo family, we are welcoming you to join us.
The stages of your formation will include: one year for aspirancy, one year for postulancy, two years of novitiate, followed by the religious profession of the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. After the profession, the young brother will continue to serve the poor and live his formation in order to arrive at final profession. For those who join before undertaking any professional preparation in college/university, this period will be used for studies too in order to prepare to serve the poor.
If you are a catholic young man below 25 years, who feel called to consecrate yourself to God in a life of service, we welcome you. We expect you to have a sufficient human and Christian maturity and a deep desire to grow together with others in the service of the poor.
Contact the Vocation Director Cottolengo Brothers
Location and Contact information
The Vocation Director
P. O. Box 1426