marianist.com/donate • 15 Help our vocation ministry. Vocation ministry is crucial to the Marianists’ mission of bringing Jesus into the world by following the example of Mary. We invite you to assist our vocation ministry by providing financial support. There are monthly giving clubs and other options from which to choose. To donate, use the enclosed envelope or go to marianist.com/donate. For more information, contact Brother Alex Tuss, SM, at 937.222.4641, ext. 3003, or alex.tuss@marianistmission.org. Growing in faith is a lifelong journey. But the path forward isn’t always clear. Believers cobble together information and inspiration in search of God’s direction. This often means turning to others for guidance — resourceful companions who listen and offer helpful suggestions about their Christian pilgrimages. Marianist Brother Andrew Kosmowski, librarian at the Marian Library of the International Marian Research Institute at University of Dayton, in Dayton, Ohio, is one of those trail guides. His ministry is assisting researchers, scholars and fellow pilgrims. Along the way, he is finding his own answers, too. “I help people find what they are seeking,” Brother Andrew says. He is especially gratified when people use the library’s extensive reference and archival materials to inform and enrich their faith. Brother Andrew’s ministry began in earnest after he completed a master’s degree from University of Missouri’s library science program in 2014. That same year he joined the staff at the Marian Library, where he’s been busy with digital and web- page enhancements and expanding outreach via social media. “It’s important that these media are accessible and provide answers to people’s questions,” he says. What’s in a name? Brother Andrew’s call to a life of service with the Marianists began in Alexander, New York. Born the middle son of three boys, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1993 and received the Vigil Honor of the Order of the Arrow in 1995. At 17, it was a high point in his young life, as the honor is given to only a small number of Scouts. The whole experience was very moving, he recalls. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from Bradford College in Massachusetts in 2000, he served as a staff person for Nature’s Classroom, an environmental education program in Connecticut. It was during this period that he started thinking about religious life. But it wasn’t until Mass one Sunday when he picked up a “Vision Vocation Guide” — a directory of religious orders — and started thumbing through the pages, when it all began to fall in place. The Marianists, in particular, stood out. “The Marianists’ name drew me,” he says, remembering that his grandmother had carried his confirmation photo in a Marianist missal. “She prayed for me, as did many other people. I’m sure their prayers influenced my path.” As he explored the Marianists, he attended a “live-in weekend” experience with a Marianist community in Dayton. “The members treated one another with dignity, both as priests and brothers,” he says. “I felt at home.” Surprising twists and turns Since professing first vows in 2006 and final vows in 2010, Brother Andrew has learned that living in community with fellow Marianists can be challenging. “Leaving and entering each community brings change,” he says, and some surprises along the way. A program called 2016 Horizons for young Marianists deepened and integrated his calling. “It was good to reflect on our lives as Marianists, both individually and as a society,” he says. “My Marianist life has brought out gifts I didn’t know that I had,” says Brother Andrew. “I was recently invited to a spiritual direction training program and am exploring other creative outlets.” His work at the library challenges him in new ways, too. “For social media, I search for compelling photos to use, and I often dis- cern, ‘Does this post reflect my own interest, or that of the library?’” He also considers what to discard and what to keep in the library’s massive collection of Marian items, which includes 1,500 medals, 3,000 crèches, and two rare book collections totaling more than 1,000 volumes. Nearly 100 languages are represented in the print collection. “Recently, I was asked to find a version of the Hail Mary in Laotian,” he says. “While we didn’t find it in print, we did find an audio recording. It’s great to be able to help people and learn more about Mary while doing so.” Whether spiritual guide, companion or journeyman, BrotherAndrew trusts that the path will be revealed. “Looking back on my own formation, I see now how the pieces have fallen into place,” he says. As a librarian, his work connects centuries-old wisdom with con- temporary seekers through modern-day media. “It’s very rewarding to encourage others in their faith,” Brother Andrew says, “no matter how the message gets through.” ■ Maria Rodgers O’Rourke is a freelance writer from St. Louis. TRAIL GUIDE THE JOURNEY for PHOTO: ANDY SNOW By Maria Rodgers O’Rourke “My Marianist life has brought out gifts I didn’t know that I had.” – Brother Andrew Kosmowski, SM