8 • Call 1.800.348.4732 Almost since birth, Marianist Brother Mark Motz has been around Marianists. When he was a few weeks old, his mother took him to see his Uncle Greg [Evans], a former Marianist, and they visited Our Lady of Lourdes grotto at Mount Saint John in Dayton, Ohio. “He held me over the fish pond at the grotto,” says Mark, “and my mom was like, ‘You better not drop him!’” It was an auspicious moment. Now, at age 29, Brother Mark is the new national vocation director for the Marianists, which means essentially he is the first point of contact for anyone considering joining the order. It’s a huge job, but one for which he has prepared for his whole life. “As natural as putting on our shoes” Brother Mark was born and raised in Cincinnati where the Church played a big role in his upbring- ing. At 8 a.m. every Sunday, Brother Mark’s family would go to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, where they’d sit in the same seats, in the same pew. “My mom never forced us to go to church, it’s just what we did,” he says. “It was as natural as putting on our shoes.” During the liturgy, the Motz children were expected to actively participate. One Sunday, Brother Mark, his older brother and younger sister attended Mass four times because they hadn’t paid attention, hadn’t sung or hadn’t responded during the Mass. He jokes about the story now, but for Brother Mark, it taught him that full engagement in prayer and worship is important. It also laid the foundation for his future vocation. “I learned that in order to listen to God’s call, you need to intentionally participate in the life of the Church,” he says. When he got to Archbishop Moeller High School, a Marianist-sponsored school in Cincinnati, “I thought more seriously about becoming a brother,” he says. Although, according to his mother, at age 4, he’d once tugged on a priest’s vestments and told him, “I want your job.” Brother Mark attended University of Dayton where he majored in religious stud- ies and was involved in campus ministry. During the first semester of his senior year, he officially became a Lay Marianist, “and that’s when I knew I wanted to continue this life in a more intentional way,” he says. Upon graduating from college in 2010, Brother Mark became an aspirant, the first step in becoming a Marianist. His initial plan was to just “try it out for a year.” That was seven years ago. Brother Mark professed his first vows in May 2013. MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE As national vocation director, Marianist Brother Mark Motz aims to attract millennials to Mary’s mission by showing up where they are — online, at coffee shops and on the road. By Alex Z. Salinas Brother Mark Motz, SM ALL PHOTOS: ROBIN JERSTAD