A Humble Life ~ Bro. Kilian Harrington, SDS
A native of Antigo, Wisconsin, Bro. Kilian Harrington, SDS, became a Salvatorian candidate in 1947 and made his first profession of vows in September 1951.
Bro. Kilian was influenced by a parish priest in his hometown who steered him toward the Salvatorians to pursue a vocation: initially, as a seminarian and ultimately, as a brother. He celebrated his 70th jubilee this past September. “I had a special inclination to work with people, to be a good worker and to lead by example,” said Bro. Kilian. “Fr. Jordan’s faith in sending missionaries impressed me as well as his deep concern to make Jesus known to everyone. It was important to me to imitate the early Salvatorian life of poverty.”
Following his profession, he began to serve our Salvatorian community as a farmer, a gardener, and an orchard grower, those ministries totaling more than 30 years. Bro. Kilian moved to Minnesota in 1985 to begin service at a Camphill Village, an international movement with beginnings in Scotland in 1939, in response to a question that arose regarding what would happen to children with cognitive disabilities when they reached adulthood. The Sauk Center location of Camphill Village opened in 1980 as an agricultural community for adults with cognitive challenges.
He worked as a mentor in agriculture for a few years before taking a position as the manager for a homeless shelter in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, from 1988- 1990. He returned to the gardens at Camphill in the early 90s and worked until his retirement in 1998.
He continued to live at Camphill Village until 2019 when Minnesota’s cold and harsh snowy winters became too much for him, and he came home to Wisconsin. Bro. Kilian now lives with his Salvatorian Family at Alexian Village in Milwaukee. “Salvatorians are inclusive,” he said. “I am grateful to have witnessed the beatification of our Founder, and that now we have an intercessor in heaven to pray for us.”
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