Again this week in the interview segment of “Vatican Insider,” my guest is Rev. Brad Easterbrooks, a deacon at the North American College in Rome who will be ordained to the priesthood in June. Last week we looked at his pre-seminary years – work at a consulting firm and on political campaigns, law school, then the Navy and assignment as a lawyer for JAG (remember the TV show “JAG” – Judge Advocate General!).

This week we focus on Brad’s future – his June ordination and assignment to a parish in the San Diego diocese and the eventual dream of ministry as a military chaplain, serving in the military ordinariate, a “parish” that spans the globe.

The day Brad re-commissioned and was sworn in as a Navy Chaplain Candidate on the roof of the North American College overlooking St. Peter’s in September 2018:  

Meeting Pope Francis in 2019 while participating in a Vatican conference on military chaplaincy:

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POPE CHOOSES “PILGRIMS OF HOPE” AS MOTTO OF 2025 JUBILEE. Pope Francis sent a letter to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, as the Church begins preparations for the 2025 Jubilee year. In light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which left no country unscathed, Pope Francis wrote that he has chosen the motto “Pilgrims of Hope”, for the Jubilee. He notes that, “the Jubilee has always been an event of great spiritual, ecclesial, and social significance in the life of the Church.” He recalled that ever since the year 1300, which marked the first Holy Year, “God’s holy and faithful people has experienced this celebration as a special gift of grace, characterized by the forgiveness of sins and in particular by the indulgence, which is a full expression of the mercy of God.” Pope urges a prayerful preparation for 2025 Jubilee – Vatican New

POPE: MAY OUR LADY OF LOURDES OPEN OUR HEARTS TO ENCOUNTER. Pope Francis sent a video message to Catholics in Argentina who are celebrating the liturgical feast of Our Lady of Lourdes at a Shrine dedicated to her in El Challao, in the province of Mendoza. February 11 is the anniversary of the first apparition of the Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes, France. Thirty years ago, Saint John Paul II instituted the World Day of the Sick on this day of the solemnity of Our Lady of Lourdes to highlight the plight of the sick and to call the attention of health institutions, civil society and all believers, to those who take care of them. Pope: May Our Lady of Lourdes open our hearts to encounter – Vatican News

CARDINAL PETER TURKSON ON FRIDAY CELEBRATED MASS FOR 30TH WORLD DAY OF THE SICK: He presided over the celebration of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the XXX World Day of the Sick on the theme “Be merciful, as your Father is merciful”. The Day is celebrated in memory of the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lourdes who, the cardinal said in his homily, gave the world a “sign of God’s mercy that accompanies suffering humanity on its journey through life”…. “Letting oneself be attracted and guided by the logic of God’s mercy,” the cardinal observed, “means returning to the heart of Christian choice. By experiencing the Lord’s mercy one learns to have mercy. The cardinal was refering to the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah where God’s consolation is like that of a mother: “As a mother consoles her child, so will I console you”.  (Full story: Card. Turkson: Those who care for the sick lend their hands to God’s mercy – Vatican News