Brother Ronald Specht, OSST, 80

“It’s this kindness,” Brother Ronald of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity and the Captives (The Trinitarians) says, “that keeps us old birds chirping and fluttering, far from just waiting for the undertaker.” He notes that the donors to the Retirement Fund for Religious “enabled us to continue in our lives until our final days. And for that, I am most grateful.”

Born in Chester, Pennsylvania, in 1943, as the third child of John and Mary Specht, he experienced a childhood brimming with familial warmth.

Despite societal shifts, Brother Ronald’s commitment to his calling never wavered. A visit to a seminary, triggered by a friend’s spiritual journey, opened doors to a world of religious commitment. And so, when the opportunity arose, Brother Ronald’s choice was clear.

Baptized as John but known in his religious life as Ronald Francis of the Resurrection, he entered religious life in 1964. He made his first profession of vows in 1966. This commitment began decades of service, including an invitation to collaborate in the Trinitarians’ Liberation Center for Persecuted Christians in Rome.

Brother Ronald’s journey led him from teaching at DeMatha High School to implementing social service initiatives in Louisiana. His tenure in New Orleans at Job Link, assisting people with disabilities, spanned 16 years, witnessing its growth from 11 clients to over 80 participants across two locations.

The pillars of his spiritual life? Trinitarian spirituality, the life and example of his teachers the Marianist Brothers and Priests, as well as the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia. Brother Ronald’s enduring devotion can be seen in his daily practices, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, the Prayer of Francis and the Practice of the Presence of God, testaments to his deep-seated faith.

His ministry history is filled with memorable moments, like meeting three Popes. He recently attended a pilgrimage gathering in Seville and Morocco, where the Trinitarians had bases for ransoming Christian captives. One unforgettable visit was to their ancient house in Seville, established in 1249.

Even in retirement, Brother Ronald’s energy remains undiminished. Today, he serves his community by taking care of mundane yet vital tasks: serving as community treasurer and secretary, shopping and cooking and ensuring the comfort and well-being of his brothers with whom he lives in community. He also moderates the parish’s program for folks 55 and over, TLC – The Lasting Connection, and the parish Environment committee.

For Brother Ronald, the key to a meaningful life is simple: be in love with life in all its aspects and dimensions, embrace each day as a gift, shun loneliness and boredom, be grateful always and cherish the gift of life.