Brother Bernard LoCoco, FSC, President of the School of Applied Theology in Berkeley 1999–2008, President of Christian Brothers University 1973–1980, Retreats, Workshops, and Spiritual Advisor
More than six decades into life as a Lasallian, the connection with God is stronger than ever for Brother Bernard LoCoco. Like a pilgrim on the path toward enlightenment, his days in semi-retirement are spent leading retreats/workshops, giving spiritual direction and prayer.
“It’s important,” he says, “because I know that’s the foundation for my vocation and the foundation for my ministry.”
Brother Bernard grew up in Chicago with a large extended family in which,“Faith was a very, very important part of my childhood. Faith, family and work were the three values in our house,” he remembers.
All three values came into play as he entered a Christian Brothers High School and faced the death of his father, freshman year.
“We had a grocery store and my mother really needed me, so I helped, learning and running the business. I grew up dating—the normal things of high school—but having this [added] responsibility. And I really got to know my mother because I was with her every day and that was a great blessing because she was a woman of great wisdom.”
Running a store prepared Brother Bernard for the 55 years that he served in administration as a Brother. He was the Principal of two high schools, the president of Christian Brothers University, provincial of the St. Louis District and the director of two sabbatical programs—one in Santa Fe and the other in Berkeley.
Now in his early 80’s, and having beaten back a bout with cancer at 75, he has no problem slowing down a bit.
“I find not having all that responsibility is really good,” he says. With a master of arts in counseling and certification as a spiritual director, Brother Bernard has more time for monthly sessions with his spiritual directees, as well as work with his own spiritual director. Some golf and other leisure activities also play an important role in living a balanced life.
And he says it allows him to explore the two key questions that brought him to the Brothers in the first place.
“How am I experiencing God and how is he calling me. It has to do with a deepening of my spiritual relationship with God.”