Brandon is a very special young man who just started his journey in my religious community, the Pallottine Fathers and Brothers. Our community conducts St. Jude Shrine. Pallottines are called to be apostles of Christ, like St. Jude. As one of our seminarians, Brandon will be studying for ordination to the priesthood. Someday, we hope and pray, he may be assigned to serve at the Shrine. We are so blessed to have him join us! And I know that it has been through your prayers – through your great generosity – that he found us and desires to give his life to the Lord as a Pallottine priest. Thank you for your important role in Brandon’s response to God’s call!
It’s not every day that I meet a young man like Brandon. Not only does he burn with a desire to serve the Lord as a Pallottine priest, but he wants to serve additionally as a military chaplain! He is currently a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve. He knows and understands the unique needs of military personnel and is offering himself to them as a source of hope, peace and security.
For many years, I served as a military chaplain in the United States Air Force Reserve. I was stationed at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey. My ministry was pastoral – working with the deployment of the troops – ministering to them and their families.
As a military chaplain, I found that when young men and women leave their homes and are uprooted from family and friends, their entire support system changes dramatically. Often their faith is their only source of security and hope. Many new servicemen and women feel spiritually destitute and abandoned. They need just as much spiritual care as physical care.
Before I started this letter I double-checked some of the statistics regarding military chaplains. Twenty-five percent of those currently serving in the military are Catholic. Yet only 8 percent of the chaplains are Catholic. That means there are huge Catholic congregations, and that’s one reason why Brandon’s commitment is important – to God and to country.
I ask you to please pray for Brandon as he begins life as a Pallottine seminarian.
I also ask that you support us by making sure we have the financial resources for Brandon’s education, room and board, books, and the tools he needs to become a good Pallottine priest and serve as a military chaplain to our troops. Your gift – no matter the size – will support our seminarian formation program.
At age 26, Brandon has his sights set on being the best Pallottine priest and officer he can be for his fellow Catholics and for the military brothers and sisters he serves as an Army Officer. I believe he will fulfill his goals. And I believe and trust that with your prayers Brandon will experience the joy of service as a Pallottine priest and as a military chaplain.
Pope Francis continually reminds us about our responsibility to serve one another, especially those with little hope. In response to his vocational call from the Lord, Brandon will be doing exactly that – heeding Pope Francis’ words and living them out in ministries among those in need of hope and security!
We rely on your financial support to help Brandon have what he needs to be a strong Pallottine priest and a good and faithful servant of God in the military. Your gift – whatever is right for you today – is a source of consolation to all Pallottine priests and brothers in missions in all corners of the world, because it helps us minister where the needs are greatest – filling the world with Christ’s love and bringing hope where there is none.
Wishing you the hope of St. Jude,
Fr. Peter Sticco, S.A.C.
P.S. Your gift today will help support Brandon and his studies in the seminary. Please be as generous as possible and please send your prayer requests so they may be remembered in the prayers and novenas at our Shrine.