Tonight: The Hermit Will Be Televised!

So I have some terrific announcements this morning:

Tonight at 8pm Eastern my friend Brother Rex Anthony Norris will be the guest for the hour on EWTN’s “Journey Home” program.  He’ll be talking about not only how he came into the Church, but also about his life as a Franciscan hermit.  I hope you’ll tune in to watch, or catch the re-air or archived video when they appear.

Oh and for those of you watching the game tonight, it doesn’t start until 9:10pm Eastern: therefore you have plenty of time to watch Brother Rex, and still get your snack and beverage array ready in time for tip-off.

Regular readers know that recently Kevin Lowry, Jon Marc Grodi, and yours truly founded the Friends of Little Portion Hermitage.  We’re trying to establish a permanent hermitage for Brother Rex and his successor hermits up in the Diocese of Portland, Maine.  You may already have bookmarked the FLPH site, where Brother Rex posts brief spiritual reflections daily, and will gladly take your personal prayer requests.  And if you haven’t already done so, please follow us on Twitter or “Like” our Facebook page, because we’re about to add some new materials I think you’ll appreciate as much as we do.

So beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, April 8th, and continuing every Tuesday and Thursday for the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring guest posts on the FLPH site from some very gracious, generous friends in Catholic media: people whom you probably already read, watch, or listen to on a regular basis.  They want to help us draw greater attention to this project, so we can get a permanent hermitage established.  They’re also speaking to the value of the life of intense prayer that Brother Rex and others in the eremitic life are living out in the life of the Church.

The Catechism explains that since hermits spend so much of their time every day alone in prayer, they’re really powerful prayer warriors for all of us.  “Hidden from the eyes of men, the life of the hermit is a silent preaching of the Lord, to whom he has surrendered his life simply because he is everything to him. Here is a particular call to find in the desert, in the thick of spiritual battle, the glory of the Crucified One,” Catechism of the Catholic Church, #921.

I hope you’ll be watching tonight to see and hear why Brother Rex is such a terrific guy, and in the weeks ahead, that you’ll check out some of the great guest posts we’re going to have to help out this effort!

Franciscan Hermit Brother Rex Anthony Norris

Franciscan Hermit Brother Rex Anthony Norris

Home for a Hermit: Announcing “Friends of Little Portion Hermitage”

I’m honored to announce that I’m now serving on the board of directors for a new charitable organization, Friends of Little Portion Hermitage or “FLPH” for short.  A few months ago, Kevin Lowry and Jon Marc Grodi from The Coming Home Network International approached me about setting up a non-profit, with the goal of establishing a permanent hermitage for Franciscan hermit Brother Rex Anthony Norris, and whoever eventually succeeds him in the eremitic life in the Diocese of Portland, Maine.  Brother Rex is a blogger and prayer warrior who may already be known to some of my readers; if you do not know of him yet, you soon will.

In his blog post below which you can also read on his site, Kevin lays out who Brother Rex is, what he does, and our goals for establishing a permanent hermitage.  There are also links at the end of the post to interviews with Brother Rex, so you can read some of his own words as he describes his spiritual journey, and why he chose to become a hermit.  I can say from personal experience that over the past few years, Brother Rex has been an outstanding source of inspiration and encouragement for me personally, through his prayers, his good humor, and his encouragement.

On Monday, April 7th, Brother Rex will appear as a guest on “The Journey Home” on EWTN, sharing his conversion story, why he chose to live the life of a hermit, and what his life as a hermit entails.  FLPH will follow up on this appearance through social media, beginning with an exciting collaborative project which will include a number of individuals likely well-known to those of you in the Catholic world.  In the meantime, please visit and bookmark our site, LittlePortionHermitage.org, both to see Brother Rex’ regular blog posts, and to keep up to date with what he and FLPH are up to.

I am honored and deeply humbled to have been asked to be a part of FLPH.  Anyone who loves Church history knows that down the centuries, it has been ordinary Christians like you and me who have looked after the very basic, temporal needs of those in the eremitic life.  We may not all be called to follow the exact path that Brother Rex is on, but everyone is called upon to draw into closer union with God, through prayer and self-denial.  The life of the hermit is a profound imitation of the life of Christ, and one which is worthy of our support.

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Home for a Hermit

March 17, 2014

by Kevin Lowry

Br Rex This is Brother Rex Anthony Norris, or Br. Rex for short. He’s a hermit.

Yes, a real, live hermit.

So what does a hermit do? Well, suffice it to say that what is referred to as the eremitic life is a vocation, and has to do with what the Church calls assiduous prayer.

He prays. A lot.

Br. Rex is something of a walking contradiction. You might reasonably think that a hermit experiences some level of solitude as part of his (or her) vocation (yes, there are women hermits too). And you would be correct.

What doesn’t show up on paper, though, is that the guy is a total crack up. He’s hysterically funny, with a tremendous sense of humor and thoroughly infectious laugh. Simultaneously, he’s a deeply committed prayer warrior, who spends countless hours in intercessory prayer and takes his vocation extremely seriously.

You definitely want to be on this guy’s prayer list.

In knowing Br. Rex for the past couple years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called when things were rough, knowing he would take my prayer requests to his daily Holy Hour and hold them before our Lord. In fact, my debt of gratitude became so great, that a couple friends (the esteemed Jon Marc Grodi and Billy Newton) and I started a non-profit organization called Friends of Little Portion Hermitage to “support the worship of God, the eremitic life, Christ-centered solitude, contemplative silence, intercessory prayer and the spiritual works of mercy.”

Br Rex 1

Our vision is very much in line with the above: “Through the generosity of our donors, Friends of Little Portion Hermitage seeks to provide for the temporal needs of Little Portion Hermitage and the hermit who resides there. We believe consecrated life to be essential to the spiritual well-being of the Body of Christ, most especially the witness of those in consecrated life whose lives give first place to prayer for the glory of God, the good of the Church and the salvation of the world.”

So here’s where you come in. Br. Rex was lamenting to me the other day that he hasn’t received many prayer requests through the website we set up, littleportionhermitage.org – and that’s an opportunity.

At the same time, Friends of Little Portion Hermitage would like to purchase a modest hermitage for Br. Rex and his successors. Thankfully, he lives in a part of Maine where land and buildings are inexpensive, but we still need at least $50,000 to make things livable – even for a hermit.

Would you help us? Please stop by littleportionhermitage.org and send Br. Rex your prayer requests. It will make him happy, and these intentions will be treated with the utmost respect and confidence.

Also, if you can afford to make a donation towards the home for a hermit project, we would appreciate it ever so much. Let’s keep Br. Rex in prayer – and facilitate his prayers for us. Thank you for your support!

Special note: We’re happy to announce that Br. Rex will be appearing on EWTN’s The Journey Home program on Monday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m. EST. Hear the story of Br. Rex’s conversion to Christ and His Church!

For more information on Br. Rex, please see:

http://chnetwork.org/2014/02/interview-with-brother-rex/ and

http://gratefulconvert.com/hangin-with-a-hermit/