By Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem.
On Sunday, October 8, 2017, I ran my third Chicago Marathon. What was unique to this Chicago Marathon for me is that my brother, Fr. Michael Brennan, O. Praem., ran it with me. 2017 marked the 40th Anniversary of the Chicago Marathon, and it just so happened that Fr. Mike was turning 40, too! A nice celebration to bring in four decades of life.
We not only raced in the marathon, but also ran with a group from a parish at which we both ministered during our 2016-2017 academic year. Old St. Pat’s has a running group, “The Crossroads Runners,” which we helped raise $3,000, collectively, for charities associated with the parish:
- North Lawndale Kinship Initiative
- Harmony Hope & Healing
- Career Transitions Center
- Horizons for Youth
While “Old Man” Fr. Mike was probably excited just to finish the race (just kidding—he did really well for a 40-year-old, finishing in 4:31.39!), I was excited to exceed my goal of completing the marathon in three hours flat: I was able to finish the marathon in 2:58.29, allowing me to qualify for the Boston Marathon … something to which I assume all runners hope to aspire.
In many ways, running is like the ascetic life we live in common as Brothers in Norbert …
—Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem.
I am thankful for all of the support I have received from friends, family, friends of St. Norbert Abbey, and those who helped me achieve my fundraising goal. As Fr. Mike can attest, the summer was filled with a lot of early mornings trying to sneak in our long-runs before Morning Prayer, but it was all worth it in crossing the finish line.
In many ways, running is like the ascetic life we live in common as Brothers in Norbert; my hope is that the life I lead in community with my brothers at the abbey will lead me and others “in one mind and one heart” to the finish line of eternity with God.
Frater Jordan Neeck, O. Praem., and Frater Johnathan Turba, O. Praem., are co-hosts of St. Norbert Abbey’s biweekly podcast, Canons on the Run. Inspiration for the podcast title was conceived from the idea that not only are hosts Frater Neeck and Frater Turba Canons Regular but also runners (marathon runners for that matter), journeying together, as are we all, “running the race” that God has set before us.
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