Brotherhood of Hope

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Brotherhood of Hope
AbbreviationB.H. [1]
Formation1980 [2]
Type Association of the faithful in the Catholic Church
Headquarters Boston, Massachusetts [3]

The Brotherhood of Hope (abbreviated B.H. [1] ) is an association of the faithful in the Catholic Church, composed primarily of religious brothers who serve in college campus ministry.


Early history

The association was founded in 1980 in Newark, New Jersey by Father Philip Merdinger, a Catholic priest from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, and five lay men who came together to consecrate themselves to God through private vows. [2] [4]

This new community had been formed by an association of charismatic Catholic families in New Jersey known as the People of Hope and from the inspiration of an ecumenical group of consecrated men in Michigan called the Servants of the Word. [4]

Their first apostolate was in New Jersey, serving students at Rutgers University. In 1995 they were invited by Cardinal Bernard Law to establish their headquarters in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston, with canonical approval in 1998. [4]


The Brotherhood of Hope serves Catholic campus ministries at Florida State University, University of Central Florida, Northeastern University, Rutgers University, and the University of Minnesota. [5] [6] [7] [8]

In December 2012, Father Robert W. Oliver, a member of the Brotherhood of Hope, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to the Promoter of Justice for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. [9] [10] In September 2014, Oliver was promoted by Pope Francis to be the first secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. [3] [11]

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  1. 1 2 Oliver, Richard (2012). "Post Nominal Initials for Religious Congregations of Men in the US". Conference of Major Superiors of Men. Archived from the original on 2014-12-28. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  2. 1 2 Donahue, Chris (10 November 2005). "Brotherly Love: Family, friends help order mark anniversary". The Catholic Spirit. Diocese of Metuchen. Archived from the original on 28 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  3. 1 2 Harris, Elise (10 September 2014). "Boston priest named secretary of Vatican commission to protect minors". Catholic News Agency . Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 "Brotherhood of Hope: Our Story",, August 2018.
  5. Floyd, Gregory (8 October 2010). "TV series features campus ministry, Brotherhood of Hope". The Pilot . Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  6. Williams, Christine M. (3 June 2012). "Hope for College Students in Boston". National Catholic Register . Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  7. Graves, James (26 September 2015). "On campus, brothers are professors of faith". OSV Newsweekly . Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  8. "Our Sixth Campus Ministry", Brotherhood of Hope news, August 31, 2018.
  9. Wangsness, Lisa (22 December 2012). "Boston priest gets new role in Vatican". Boston Globe . Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  10. Williams, Christine M. (3 January 2013). "The Vatican's New Point Man on Sexual Abuse". National Catholic Register . Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  11. Glatz, Carol (10 September 2014). "Pope appoints two U.S. priests to help tackle sexual abuse of minors". Catholic News Service . Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.

Further reading