Meet Our New Vocation Director- Brother Nicholas "Nick" Romeo
Meet Brother Nicholas “Nick” Romeo, the new Vocation Director for Our Lady of the Angels Province. He is originally from Baltimore, Maryland. During his free time, Brother Nick enjoys hiking and reading. His favorite books are The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and the Confessions of Saint Augustine. He also enjoys going to the theatre and character study films. During dinner with friends, he enjoys red wine or a dark beer, and a tasty cigar along with some music. Some of his favorite movies include Little Miss Sunshine, Revolutionary Road, and An American Tail. He loves to binge watch The Office, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, and West World. He enjoys music by The Beatles, Cage the Elephant, and Vampire Weekend.
Brother Nick has been around Franciscans for much of his life. There were Franciscan sisters who ministered at his grade school. Franciscan friars went to his parish, St. Clement Mary Hofbauer in Rosedale, when he was in the third grade. He remembers that the friars were very real, earthy men. They were approachable, happy, and enjoyed visiting the school. Brother Nick attended Archbishop Curley High School and shared that, “It actually took me a little bit to grasp that the friars there and the friars at Clement’s were the same. It clicked when my Freshman Religion teacher showed up at the parish one Sunday to give a homily. Blew my mind.” Over the course of his four years at Curley, he came to know the friars on a deeper level. He knew them in a classroom setting, but also outside the teaching environment, where they were approachable and fascinatingly authentic men.
When Brother Nick was a Junior, he started considering what he wanted to do with his life. He went online and requested information about becoming a friar, mostly to say that he had done it, since many people told him he would make a good one. Brother Nick recalled, “That plan backfired on two levels. First, when I actually took real time to think about the Franciscans and their values, I understood they were speaking my language and shared my emerging perception of the world and what was important in it. Second, the vocation director at the time had his office in the basement of Curley. And he knew me! I had only interacted with him maybe once or twice, in an offhand kind of way, but he knew who I was. That suggested to me that the friars had talked about me with one another, which was simultaneously unsettling and profoundly affirming.” He then started the conversation and was invited to participate in a service week in Philadelphia in the summer after Junior year. The service week was a group of guys from both Curley and St. Francis High School in Buffalo, who attended daily Mass, prayed some Divine Office, shared dinner, served in one of the poorest parts of the city, and destroyed one another at RISK. “Liturgy…Mission…Fraternity. I was hooked.” Brother Nick started the application process at the beginning of Senior Year. “Sixteen years later, following this path has made me happy. Not always ‘giggle giggle, tee hee’ happy, but really happy,” he reflected.
Brother Nick attended La Salle University and Our Lady of the Lake University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with his BA in Religious Studies. He was a Campus Minister and Religion Teacher at Saint Francis High School from 2009 to 2018. In 2016, Brother Nick completed his Master’s degree in Education at Boston College. After the friars’ Chapter in 2018, he become a Theology Instructor at Curley.
Brother Nick has ministered to young men for eleven years, which is about a third of his life. He has walked alongside many of those guys, who are now older than he was when he met them. Brother Nick likes working with young men trying to figure out their path and learning to notice how God is working in their life. “If joining us in fraternity is where the Spirit is calling you, if that’s what will bring you authentic and abiding happiness, awesome! It’s the Spirit who should be the one directing your vocation, not me.”
If you are interested in the Franciscan life or need someone to journey alongside you, contact Brother Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @realbromeo