Francis Sean Whitty attended Brother Rice High School in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada where he met the Christian Brothers for the first time. He was so impressed with the Brothers who taught him that he made a decision to join the Congregation in September, 1966 in Lakewood, New Jersey. After finishing his novitiate in West Park he was one of the first group of student Brothers to return to Newfoundland to finish his academic training.
He graduated in 1969 with a B.A (B. Ed) in French and Religious Education and was assigned to teach at St. Bonaventure’s School. For the past forty years Sean has been teacher, administrator and counsellor in many of the Brothers’ schools across Canada. He has earned Masters’ degrees in Religious Education (St. Michael’s College, Colchester, VT ), Pastoral Studies (Loyola University, Chicago, IL ) and School Counselling (University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – all of which have found expression in his various ministries over the years.
In 2005 Brother Sean had the privilege of being a member of the first international Brothers’ community at Mt. Sion in Waterford, Ireland, the founding house of the Christian and Presentation Brothers and the resting place of Blessed Edmund Rice. While at Mt. Sion he conducted high school retreats, introduced the Kairos retreat program to local high schools, and encouraged the practice of Taize Prayer in the Blessed Edmund Rice Chapel. His work continues to bear fruit for the local people and the many international visitors to this Edmund Rice Heritage site.
Since his return to North America in 2010, Sean is serving as Chair of Province Life and Renewal, organizing yearly summer retreats for Brothers in various parts of the US and Canada. He also has compiled prayer services and spiritual book reviews for the Brothers’ communities to help Brothers grow spiritually and prayerfully.
Brother Sean now lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is one of three brothers who share their home and life with lay volunteers – young women and men, recently graduated from college, who have decided to dedicate one or two years to serving the poor while living in an intentional gospel based community.