By BR. JOSEPH ANOOP, FSP     11/2/2023

In a deeply moving ceremony held this summer, Brother Thomas Weldon solidified his lifelong commitment to the evangelical counsels within the congregation of the Brothers of St. Patrick. This ritual Mass of perpetual profession took place on Aug. 5 and was graced by the presence of the Most Reverend Thanh Thai Nguyen, the Auxiliary Bishop of Orange, who presided over the Mass. The vows of poverty, obedience and chastity were humbly received by Brother Peter Ryan, the Congregation Leader of the Brothers. A congregation including priests from neighboring parishes, Sisters, cherished family members and loyal
friends of Brother Thomas bore witness to this sacred occasion. The Brothers of St. Patrick have been an integral part of the Orange County community since they established their Novitiate here in 1955.

Throughout the decades, they have tirelessly contributed to the spiritual and educational fabric of the region. Their legacy in Orange County includes dedicated service in esteemed institutions such as Mater Dei High School, School of Our Lady in Santa Ana and St. Joseph School in Placentia. Brother Thomas Weldon, now a symbol of this rich tradition, currently ministers in the RCIA program at St. John the Baptist Church in Costa Mesa, further exemplifying the congregation’s unwavering commitment to faith and community.

John Weldon’s journey to becoming Brother Thomas was marked by profound personal growth and spiritual discernment. Born on Sept. 28, 1970, to parents Robert and Eileen, both now deceased, John had one sibling, Robert.

His formative years from 1984 to 1988 were primarily spent at St. Bernard High School in Playa Del Rey, California, a school initially established with the assistance of the Brothers in 1958. Their dedication to education was evident even when, in 1961, they answered the bishop’s call to staff another Catholic High School in Los Angeles.

John’s path towards embracing the Brothers’ calling began in 2012. Armed with a solid foundation of university qualifications, travel experience, a profound commitment to both his country and faith, extensive classroom experience and an earnest desire to discover God’s purpose for him, he entered their fold.

From 2012 to 2016, he resided at St. Patrick’s Novitiate while concurrently imparting knowledge in the classroom. His spiritual journey was guided by Brother Kevin Minihan. In 2016, John successfully completed his postulancy and subsequently embarked on a two-year novitiate, skillfully overseen by Brothers Aquinas Cassin and Philip Shepler in California, as well as Brother George Xavier in Bengaluru, India. It was during this transformative period that he assumed the name Thomas, symbolizing a profound spiritual transformation.

On Oct. 12, 2019, John made his First Profession, embracing the religious name Thomas. After four years of continued devotion and renewal of vows, he has now made his ultimate commitment through perpetual vows. Brother Thomas Weldon’s journey is not only a testament to his unwavering dedication but also a powerful symbol of the enduring legacy of the Brothers of St. Patrick. His story stands as an inspiration to all, reminding us of the enduring power of faith, commitment and the pursuit of a higher purpose in life.