Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


New Holy Spirit Prep chaplain coaches as well

By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | 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.

A native 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.

Father Jason Brooks, LC
Photo By Michael Alexander

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 mission trip.

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 of both?

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?

Father Brooks: 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 eternal Life.

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 it!