On Thursday, May 19th, Br. Richard Horwell, O.P., graduated from the nursing program at St. Louis University. The event marked the successful completion of a rather intense year of studies and clinical work, everything from pediatrics to hospice. Not only did Br. Richard complete the necessary course work for his program, he excelled at it, graduating with honors.
Some may wonder why a Dominican student brother was studying nursing--just as they may wonder why I am going to be studying Writing and Publishing at DePaul University this fall. Like me, Br. Richard is a cooperator brother, so in discernment with his student master and provincial, along with the Holy Spirit, he was able to see that he could contribute to and support his Dominican community best by using the skills he has in healthcare. By being a nurse, he will not only get to care for the physical needs of his patients, but their spiritual needs, as well.
I lived with Br. Richard this past year, and I can testify to his dedication and hard work. Even if he was sick, Br. Richard did his best to study and complete his assignments. I was even a patient of his toward the end of the semester, when I came down with a nasty stomach virus. His bedside manner was truly consoling, as I could rely on his no-nonsense advice. I also observed what life Br. Richard's studies gave to the community. Just the novelty of it all was enough to add flavor to the conversations at meals and recreation. Doing something different, going someplace new in ministry, can breathe new air into a religious community, and give them fresh ideas about how to spread and apply the Gospel message.
I wish Nurse Horwell, OP, all the best as he continues his healthcare ministry.
Br. Paul, OP