Brother Joseph Juliano, president of San Miguel School in Camden, NJ, professed his final vows October 30. Approximately 170 people gathered for the ceremony and Mass at La Salle University in Philadelphia, including Brothers and many others who have been influential in Bro. Joe’s life. He called it an emotional and very powerful day.
Brother Dennis Malloy, Visitor for the District of Eastern North America, conducted the Rite of Profession. The final vows include association for the service of the poor through education, chastity, poverty, obedience, and stability in the Institute, which a Brother promises to keep for the rest of his life.
Bro. Joe first met the Brothers while attending La Salle College High School in Wyndmoor, PA and kept in touch while studying at Johnson and Wales University. He initially wanted to become a chef, but decided instead to go into food service education. Brothers encouraged him teach at De La Salle Vocational School and De La Salle in Towne. After two years of exploring life as a Brother by living at Jeremy House in Philadelphia, Brother Joe stepped away for five years, but continued to work in education. “I just wanted to see if the grass was really greener on the other side of the fence—as they say—and it wasn’t,” he recalled.
His parents encouraged him to join the Brothers again by pointing out how happy he was with them. Bro. Joe told his parents he wanted to go back when he took them out to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.
In 2001, the Brothers welcomed him back. He served at Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh in the years surrounding his Novitiate and became president of San Miguel three years ago. This journey is not one Bro. Joe would have imagined taking years ago. “To say back in high school that I was going to be a president of a middle school for the economically challenged, I would have said, I would have been the next Emeril Lagasse,” he said.
While the journey wasn’t expected, Bro. Joe is happy this was his path because, as he puts it, “It feels right.”
Bro. Joe (center) with his San Miguel Camden Community