Cardinal-designate Robert McElroy highlighted God’s love as the Good Shepherd as he ordained two men to the priesthood at St. Gabriel Church on June 24.
The two — Brad Easterbrooks, 37, and Guillermo “Memo” Hernandez, 30 — were joined by their families, friends, dozens of priests and members of the Catholic community who nearly filled the ornate church.
Before beginning his homily, Cardinal-designate McElroy pointed out that Archbishop Timothy Broglio, of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, was present, along with Auxiliary Bishops John Dolan and Ramón Bejarano.
“This is a unique moment in the history of our diocese,” the cardinal-designate said.
“Solomon seemed to teach us that the baby cannot be divided in two. But we have found a way,” he said as many chuckled.
He explained that Easterbrooks was serving in the Navy when he entered the seminary. Under a joint agreement, the diocese and the archdiocese shared in his formation and will share in his life as a priest.
He will first serve in the diocese, then serve the military with the archdiocese, and then return to the diocese.
“I welcome half of you Brad,” the cardinal-designate joked. “The archbishop will have to welcome the other half. But I welcome you entirely Memo, because you’re all ours!”
He noted the distinct paths that the two men took to say “yes” to the priesthood, then began his homily.
The first reading at the ordination was of the parable of the Good Shepherd (Ezekiel 34:11-16), who cares for his sheep, and seeks out and brings back to the flock the one that has strayed….
This summer, Father Easterbrooks will serve at Holy Trinity Parish in El Cajon and Father Hernandez at St. Jude Shrine of the West in San Diego. Both will return to Rome to finish their studies in the fall.
The above comes from a June 27 story in the Southern Cross.
Thanks be to God for another Catholic military chaplain. Catholics are disproportionately (over-)represented in our armed forces, but we still suffer from a shortage of chaplains. Pray also for those in law enforcement and the Fire service, where a shortage of Catholic chaplains also is the case. And, I’m sure Father’s service in San Diego will be appreciated, in a special way, with the significant presence of Navy and Marine families, including many veterans.
My son was a combat veteran during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Although he had stopped attending Mass on a regular basis, he assured us that his Faith was still there. One of his letters home described a Catholic Army Chaplain who made visits to their outpost once a month. It was there that this young Chaplain heard those soldiers’ confessions and offered Mass. Something profound happened because my son had a renewal of Faith, which followed him home, thank God. That Chaplain restored the love of the Eucharist in my son and others. Thank you for your observation, Deacon Craig.
Thank you for sharing that. Our nation is grateful for the service of your son and other men and women of our armed forces. The Archdiocese for the Military Services has many outstanding chaplains.
I’ll put in a plug for Fr Capodanno The Grunt Padre. An inspiring book of the same title. Recommended for men.