'I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in my life' says Brother Joshua Warshak
Nov 6, 2019
Brother Joshua Warshak, a member of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity, realized a call to religious life through “an idea that God never let me forget about,” he said.
“I started looking at priests and thinking this is what I would like to do with my life,” he said.
Toward the end of high school, Brother Josh announced to his parents that he wanted to be a priest, and his dad encouraged him to attend college first, with a degree in something that wasn’t philosophy or theology.
While attending the University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg, Texas for a degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance, Brother Josh became more active in his home parish – he joined the Knights of Columbus with his father, taught RCIA classes for three years, and was a co-teacher for a CCD class for high school seniors.
“If I wasn’t at home or in class, I was at the parish,” Brother Josh said.
The idea of the priesthood came back, but after speaking with a vocations director he realized it didn’t sound like what God was calling him to. Brother Josh then began looking at religious communities online, learning about different orders and their charisms. Using a VISION Vocation Network online vocations match program that pairs users with religious orders, Brother Josh said he was presented with the Benedictines, the Trinitarians and the Franciscans.
“I knew I wasn’t called to the monastic life,” he said, which allowed him to eliminate the Benedictines and further look into to the Trinitarians and Franciscans.
During the Holy Triduum in 2009, Brother Josh attended a Trinitarian Come and See week with five other men.
“It was a marvelous experience, I saw a community of men who were deeply connected to one another who were not only in ministry or in vows, but they had a strong sense of fraternity among one another,” he said.
Brother Josh then spent eight years in San Antonio at the Oblate School of Theology. For his internship year, Brother Josh was sent to DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he has spent the past three years.
“I fell in love with it,” Brother Josh said. “It’s a vocation within a vocation, as a campus minister and teacher.”
As campus minister, Brother Josh is the director of liturgy and retreats. His work is to also incorporate the “cornerstone of Catholic social thought – human dignity, honoring human dignity in ourselves and in others,” he said.
Some highlighted events that Brother Josh coordinates with the students are retreats for juniors and seniors. He also teaches the DeMatha Way class, a freshman introductory course that teaches the young men what the school expects of them.
“I try to foster a culture of accompaniment with students,” Brother Josh said. “I do my best to get away from my office and go spend time in the lunch room, out walking in the halls, just being visible to the students.”
In this ministry, he said, he has found his life’s calling.
“I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in my life,” Brother Josh said. “Giving over the control of my life to God and to the (Trinitarian) order with the fervent hope that it’s the Holy Spirit is guiding the order, I have been to some amazing places, got to see amazing things – ministry in India, Rome, different parts of Mexico, up and down the East Coast. It is a gift because this is what God created me to do. And that’s the hope, right?”
Brother Josh said the community of Trinitarian brothers has been a support to him throughout the years.
“When we are discerning what God has planned for us, it’s where we feel that this is my purpose,” he said. “It hasn’t always been easy, but being in community, living in community with my other Trinitarian brothers helps make those thorns a little bit easier to bear – because they’ve been through it.”
Brother Josh made a solemn profession of vows into the Order of the Most Holy Trinity before the students of DeMatha Catholic High School on Sept. 27. Several of Brother Josh’s Trinitarian brothers and the order's minister provincial, Father Albert Anuszewski, also attended the Mass.
“It is a great and glorious day for the DeMatha and Trinitarian family,” Father Anuszewski said. “Great is the mystery and meaning between these vows. They are an act of love with a God who first loved us.”
Along with the other Trinitarian brothers in their community, he expressed to Brother Josh thanksgiving for his humble “yes” to God’s call.
“We pledge to stand by you in your process of lifelong conversion,” Father Anuszewski said.
Brother Josh is scheduled to be ordained a deacon in January and a priest in June.
When speaking about his vocation to the priesthood and to religious life, Brother Josh said, “I can only echo the words of Saint John Paul II, ‘Do not be afraid.’ It’s not an easy life, but it’s a life well worth the effort and personal sacrifice, and there’s a lot of joy from living in community, from living a common apostolate and from having a charism-centered life… If this is where God is calling you, don’t waste time. Don’t deprive the Church of the best years of your life.”
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