THE SHOES OF THE FISHERMAN – requiescat in pacem fr. Charles Brandt
Swans in flight – photo by Fr. Charles Brandt
Sunday morning close to 6 A.M. Pacific Standard Time, the soul of our friend and brother, Frater Charles A.E. Brandt, departed from this earth. Words that are barely adequate now to express my feelings, are from a book I recently read. This is how I will always recall dear Charles:
Yesterday I met a whole man. It is a rare experience, but always an illuminating and ennobling one. It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment, or the courage, to pay the price. . . . One has to abandon altogether the search for security, and reach out to the risk of living with both arms. One has to embrace the world like a lover, and yet demand no easy return of love. One has to accept pain as a condition of existence. One has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing. One needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to the total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.
Excerpt from The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West
photo by Grant Callegari
frater Charles A.E. Brandt
born Feb.19, 1923 (kansas City, MO) ~ died Oct.25, 2020 (Courtenay, B.C.)
“The human community and the natural world must move forward into the future as a single sacred community or we will perish in the desert. Only the sense of the sacred can save us.” fr. Charles Brandt
A unique interview with Charles, all about his life, can be found
entitled A Single Sacred Community, and
published by the Thomas Merton Center in 2016.
Or, for a different condensed version of this interview (with photos)
try this link – Our lives, Well lived: Charles Brandt at 94.
Charles at his hermitage in the forest, maybe a decade ago – photo by Nick Didlick
Charles lived a life of contemplative prayer as a hermit priest. He was also well loved and active in the larger community, with-in and with-out a diverse circle of his friends and affiliates. You may like to to watch a beautiful 4 minute 2012 U-Tube of Charles speaking alongside a Comox Valley river about The Sacred Commons, where he gives a Tribute to Aldo Leopold.
Here is the link:
While you listen you may get a sense of the kind of person Charles was. In his humble way, he would have liked this: a tribute with-in a tribute.
Or, this wonderful 3 minute Shaw TV report from 2010 has a beautiful glimpse of Charles at his hermitage, on Oyster River. In a nutshell it reviews how he came to be there, and his basic ecological and faith orientation. Fr. Charles also explains his book binding and art conservation laboratory. Here is the link and I am certain that you will find it uplifting.
On behalf of us all, with deepest gratitude for Fr. Charles
and his example of love and care for the earth, and for one another
photo by B. Thomas Witzel – October 24, 2020
“There are no goodbyes. Wherever you’ll be, you’ll be in my heart.”