Brother George Sauer

Brother George SauerBy Father Dan Dorsey

Brother George Sauer (formerly Brother Francis) took his First Oath at the age of 50. A native of San Antonio, Texas, he had a distinguished career in business for a number of major firms including Western Union, Electric Autolite Company and the United States Signal Corps.

But, at 48, he felt the call of the Holy Spirit to do more with his life. And so, in the spring of 1957, he inquired about membership in Glenmary, then a relatively new home mission group. His advanced age was considered by some to be an impediment. He would be an old man and almost twice the age of his confreres! At best, some thought, he could come to live with Glenmary in Cincinnati but not be granted full membership.

But when the Lord's call is persistent it will often overcome our human obstacles. Brother George wrote in May 1957: "Please remember that my only purpose in taking this action is to try and do what I believe is God's will, not only to serve him, but to save as many souls as I can, including my own."

Forty years later, Brother George reaffirmed his call to the home missions when he wrote how he wanted to be remembered: "As one who came to carry out the wishes of Jesus Christ and the founder of Glenmary, Father Bishop. As a brother who tried in some way to show my love and concern for others and to be as charitable as my human nature would allow." Brother George died Jan. 9, 2003, in Cincinnati.

Most of Brother George's 43 years as a home missioner were spent living and working at Glenmary's national headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

After his final profession in 1962, he served as supervisor of general services, purchasing agent, personnel director and cashier. He also spent three years assisting in Glenmary's mission in Sulphur Springs, Texas.

But no matter where his ministry took him, Brother George fulfilled the observation made by his novice director early on: "He's got the real Glenmary spirit."

He shared this Glenmary mission spirit with the hundreds of visitors who passed through Glenmary Headquarters and with the Glenmary novices who came to know him while living in Cincinnati. Many expressed their affection by asking him to read at their First Oath ceremonies.

Confined by advancing age, Brother George was an enthusiastic surfer of the Internet and a faithful e-mail correspondent until his eyesight failed a year ago. He also dedicated himself to praying for his fellow Glenmary missioners as well as for the many others on his prayer list.

In his final days he remarked to president Father Jerry Dorn: "I have no idea where I would be today if Glenmary had not accepted me and allowed me to use my talents to serve the poor of our country."

His only regret: that he couldn't remain even more useful to all those he remained so concerned about until the end.