De La Salle Hall
Influenced by the cultural and church turbulence of the sixties, I was a young Brother who subtly rebelled on the outside but was afraid of his shadow on the inside. The challenging wisdom, uncritical understanding and gentle nurturing of my formators encouraged me to open up. A similar kind of mentoring continued with other Brothers along the way which enabled me to continue discovering my uniqueness and to trust the inner stirrings. Those in authority also supported God’s mysterious courtship.
You might say that my story as brother has been a “vocation within a vocation” as I have been led to ministries outside of the mainstream. After three years in the classroom — “paying my dues” as the generation of the times would put it — I moved into student retreat work and then on to various levels of initial formation for nearly twenty-five years, here and in Africa. Presently, I’m loving care taking of our elders. On the sidelines, for two summers I directed a youth program in a low income housing project in the Norfolk area, was a Jesuit Volunteer on the St. Francis Indian Mission in South Dakota for a semester, and have been a spiritual director over the years.
The vocation of Brother is seen as pointless albeit unnatural to some. But for me it has been a lifesaver, a serendipitous ride, a balm. The ups and downs of what I have chosen, or what has chosen me, far outweigh what I may have missed along the way.
Recently initiated into the ranks of a “senior brother”, I can look back with gratitude for my vocation and to the many Brothers who have and continue to bless my life as Brother. Whoever could have purposed this journey other than God?
As the Community Director for De La Salle Hall in Lincroft, NJ for the past six years, Brother Jules “Bud” Knight has been diligent in making the facility that provides the care and comfort to our aging Brothers a place of joy and vibrancy. Known as a deeply spiritual man with a sense of humor and humility, Brother Bud eschews his administrative status to forge a deep, personal connection with both residents and staff.
Brother Charles Lackes and Brother John McMahon describe Br. Bud as a man inspired and motivated by his pastoral sensitivity and rapport with people, and fueled by the skills he developed during prior assignments including Director of the Adamstown Christian Brothers Retreat, legacy Baltimore District Director of Aspirants, and Director of Novices at the De La Salle Novitiate in Nairobi, Kenya. Brother Bud meets with staff, from other Brothers and nurses to volunteers and kitchen workers almost daily to improve living conditions, and celebrates staff arrivals or departures with prayer. As executor of wills, Bud works closely with residents to respect their wishes. Bud also makes sure each birthday, rather than combining many of them by month, is individually recognized with balloons and cake. He even has an eye for décor, gladly tending to plants in the hall and on the grounds as well as cleaning and maintaining the lounge fish tank to brighten the atmosphere. “He brings the place alive,” said Brother John.