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Turn to Jesus (Article)

The Faith of a Hurricane
Blinding Faith: How one religious vocation enlightened another

Father Jason Brooks" vocation story had a profound impact on Harry Begg.
Father Jason Brooks" vocation story had a profound impact on Harry Begg.

Eight years ago, a dapper young seminarian named Jason Brooks appeared with his family on EWTN’s Life on the Rock with Jeff Cavins.

At that same time, a dreary and depressed Harry Begg was squirming in his recliner. Drowning in his wealth, doctors had recently told Harry that he was losing his sight.

Glaucoma was inevitable: the slow process of keratoconus had finally taken its toll. His family life and his marriage were on the verge of failure as Harry turned to gambling to escape life’s accumulating misery.

One night, half asleep, Harry searched pitifully for the sports channel. Instead he stumbled upon a program called Life on the Rock. Harry confessed “at first I thought it was some prison story on life inside a prison, because of ‘the rock’…I turned up the sound … to listen to a young man, whose testimony would change my life,” Harry testified.

The testimony of a cheerful Brother Jason and his family became a profoundly personal experience for Harry; “I was touched by Jason Brooks and his family.” The young seminarian’s voice had nostalgic effect; Harry was transported back to his younger years, when he was a practicing Catholic in St. Benedict, Louisiana, listening to an elderly monk who reminded him: “what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet suffer the loss of his immortal soul.”

Brother Jason’s testimony had a lasting impression on Harry; “it was because of Jesus Christ speaking to me through Jason Brooks that I began from that day on, practicing my Roman Catholic faith.”

Now, years later, the recently ordained Father Jason Brooks begins his ministry in Chicago while in Louisiana, at age 58, Harry begins to reconstruct his home after Hurricane Katrina ravaged everything he owned. Throughout the nightmarish last year and a half, however, Harry continued to cling to his faith:

Hurricane Katrina swept away everything I had, [yet] it could never take away my Roman Catholic faith. I was displaced for over a year and a half, and after living in several different cities, and finding out first hand, just how it feels to be homeless and thirsty, I turned to Our Lord for comfort. I have recently returned to my home state of Louisiana, and just today, was able to get the use of a computer. You can guess who the first person I emailed was. Yes, it was Father Jason Brooks LC. I wanted him to know that I was ok, and that I was still grateful for his vocation.

Still thankful to Father Jason for his testimony 8 years ago, Harry continues to this day with a faith stronger than a hurricane, despite the fact that these two men have never seen each other, says Harry, “although we have never met, we can now resume our emailing each other.”

It was truly God’s design that placed this priest and this grateful revert together. Thanks to one seminarian’s fidelity, a once slouching Catholic now stands strong:

Father Jason Brooks, LC, did not save my home during hurricane Katrina, but he may have saved my immortal soul, by helping me realize that it was time to go back to practicing my Roman Catholic faith!



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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