Brother Lawrence Hogan was a man of great influence and a man of even greater kindness. In the rooms he was just Larry. To those who knew him he was the kind of guy that Robert Ludlum modeled his lead characters after. But unlike the dashing, Ludlumesque heroes, Larry’s stories were true.
Without Brother Lawrence’s powers of political persuasion for example, the Franciscan Renewal Center would still be a getaway for those with something to hide. It would still be a resort owned by underworld figures.
And because of Larry I learned to mingle with the Rich and Famous. And because of Larry I now have stories to tell and ideas to sell.
And because of Larry and others like him I can do what I do without a drink in my hand.
But perhaps the most important thing that my friend ever taught me was how to be a man.
When he was in his early seventies it was decided by Church Superiors that he was no longer useful and that it was time to enter a nursing home.
I helped him to dispose of what few material goods he still had; in his late forties he had already given his millions to The Church, resigned his post with the United States Diplomatic Corps and entered into service as a Franciscan Friar. His Windsor knot was replaced by a Brotherly Bolo tie, his Washington D. C. black striped suit by a large brown bag and a rope around his middle.
Larry planned every detail of his transition from being needed to not; when I finally delivered him curbside to the Catholic Institution that was to become responsible for his care he was greeted with the pomp and propriety one would expect for a Bishop or better.
Life as he knew it ended for Brother Lawrence the moment he passed through the portal of his new home.
Within days Brother Lawrence Hogan lost his mind.
Within days Brother Lawrence Hogan lost his life.
As one of Brother Hogan’s Heroes what did I learn from his last lesson?
When those around me start regarding me as a service committment perhaps it is time to re-evaluate.
Am I serving others or myself?
Am I at peace with myself?