Nabe Native: Former Monk Leads AIDS Battle

Jean-Luc Cotto is the executive director of AIDS Volunteers of Lexington, Kentucky. He's also a native of Brooklyn Heights.  His parents — both doctors — immigrated to the the neighborhood from Puerto Rico.

Cotto, who spent time in a monastery, is profiled today in the Lexington Herald-Leader: For Jean-Luc Cotto, executive director of AIDS Volunteers of Lexington, the Gregorian chanting that softly echoes through his North Limestone office is not just fashionable background music. It's part of the soundtrack to his life.

For seven years, Cotto lived the enlightened but stringent life of a monk of the Order of Saint Benedict. He found the experience deeply rewarding but challenging Ð particularly matters like the vow of silence.

"Because I am an extrovert," he explains, "they put me in a position that most of the monks shied away from. I was greeting and dealing with guests, students and tourists. … I'd catch them off-guard by bragging that my robe was Versace.

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