|Father Jason Brooks (Photo by Michael Alexander).|
October 13, 2011. “I want each of the students to
know in their hearts that God loves them and has
given them a mission to accomplish here on earth.”
the main focus of Legionary priest Fr Jason Brooks, who
has recently begun working at Holy Spirit Prep in Atlanta
as a chaplain to 728 students in K-12. In his
new role, Fr Brooks is not only the school chaplain,
but also draws on his college football experience to serve
as one of Holy Spirit’s new assistant football coaches.
article posted in the Georgia Bulletin introduces Fr Brooks,
giving him the chance to share his goals, interests, and
a bit of personal history as well. Reprinted with permission.
New Holy Spirit Prep Chaplain Coaches As Well
Published: October 13, 2011
ATLANTA—A fan of fast cars,
a former DJ, a blues singer and now a spiritual
leader to more than 700 young people, the new chaplain
is now on campus at Holy Spirit Preparatory School.
of Milwaukee, Father Jason Brooks spent part of his college
days on the gridiron where he played NCAA Division III
football for the Ripon College Red Hawks and hosted a
weekly classic rock radio show. He was studying biology and
planning to become a teacher.
After his junior year in 1994,
he felt a call to the priesthood and entered the
Legionaries of Christ seminary. He was ordained a priest in
November 2004 and spent his first assignment in Chicago working
with the Lumen Institute—an organization of business executives. He would
give retreats for them and offer spiritual coaching.
Arriving at Holy
Spirit Prep this summer, the 38-year-old is now pacing the
sidelines as an assistant football coach, instructing the offensive and
defensive linemen, in addition to his main role.
Father Brooks’ ministry
as chaplain at the independent Catholic school extends to 728
students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Eighty-five percent of the
student body is Catholic.
His day might include celebrating Mass at
the Lower School, eating lunch with fifth- and sixth-graders and
offering first Friday Eucharistic adoration at the Upper School. While
continuing the school’s existing spiritual programs, he would like to
possibly add a pilgrimage to a Marian site and summer
He succeeds Legionary of Christ Father Paul Moreau who
is now a parochial vicar at St. Michael the Archangel
Church in Woodstock.
Father Brooks answered a few questions from The
Georgia Bulletin about his new role:
GB: How do you see
your job as a chaplain to the whole school, Catholics
and non-Catholics: convert young people to the Catholic faith or
help them on their own faith journey? Or a little
Father Brooks: My vocation is to be another Christ
and to accompany them on their pilgrimage through time on
their way to eternity. If they are not already Catholic
and feel inspired to join the Catholic Church, I will
certainly encourage them to do that.
GB: A question I often
asked in school was how a subject was going to
help me later in life. How do you hope to
make the Catholic faith relevant to young people’s lives?
I want each of the students to know in their
hearts that God loves them and has given them a
mission to accomplish here on earth. I want them to
know in their hearts that they belong to God and
that he wants what is best for them. I want
them to experience the joy of knowing, loving and serving
God. If they develop a personal relationship with Jesus through
daily prayer and the frequent reception of the sacraments, then
they will come to understand that their Catholic faith is
not just some part of their lives. They will realize
that Jesus is the only Way, the absolute Truth, and
GB: Many of the students are listening to the
music of artists like Beyonce, Drake, Lady Gaga and Lil
Wayne. Who were you listening to back in the day
when you were in high school?
Father Brooks: Run-DMC, Led Zeppelin,
Metallica, John Mellencamp, The Blues Brothers, Public Enemy, LL Cool
J, Styx. I realize that is quite a variety, but
I enjoyed all sorts of fun music. I wasn’t much
of a pop fan.
GB: What was the last movie you
saw? Book you read?
Father Brooks: I just saw “Raiders of
the Lost Ark” in somebody’s home theater. That was a
blast from the past. I haven’t finished it yet, but
I started reading “Heaven is for Real.” I highly recommend