New book, “The Journey of an Inner-City Servant,” Highlights Br. Alfred J. Smith’s Ministries as a Vincentian Brother

Brother Al as he is called by his community, has written a book called “The Journey of an Inner-City Servant,” a 65-year faith memoir full of stories from his childhood, church, ministries, and life as a Vincentian Brother in the inner-city.

Read The Journey of an Inner-City Servant here.


During a Miraculous Medal Solemn Novena in 1954, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Brother Al asked Our Blessed Lady to give him a sign regarding his desire to be a missionary. Before the close of the Novena, it became clear to him that God was calling him to be a Brother in the Congregation of the Mission.

In 1955, he entered the Congregation of the Mission: Vincentians of the Eastern Province and has spent sixty-five years of his life in ministry exercising various roles at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in the Germantown community of Philadelphia as a Religious Brother. “I just celebrated my eighty-seventh birthday. I’ve had a wonderful life. I have had many reasons to celebrate God’s amazing grace. Because I have had such a rich experience, I want young men to know the value of being a Vincentian Brother”

Brother Al has dedicated his book to all the Religious Brothers in the United States and around the world in recognition to their service to God, Community, and the needs of the poor and needy.

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