Below is a note from St. Jude's Fr. O'Brien...
Through my eight years of seminary, I have found that deep down everyone asks the same fundamental questions. As a priest of only three weeks, I know it is expected that I be a bit ambitious, so I want to answer these questions right away: Cubs, Steelers, Blues, Bulls, and Mizzou. With the deep, burning question of my sports allegiance out of the way, I can move onto the other deep question. I like to cycle, golf, swim, play baseball and yard games, and just spend time sharing life with the people I care about. Finally, yes I am old enough to be a priest. Just so y’all know who I am, I want to share a bit about who I am and how I got here.
I grew up in the suburbs of St. Louis with my parents and two younger sisters. We moved over to Bloomington as I was finishing up junior high, and I went to Normal Community High School. While I was in high school, I met an amazing group of peers who not only went to Church like I did, but also allowed their faith to change the way they lived. The way that they lived showed me that there was something more I wanted from life. I began to tag along with them to daily Mass, bible studies, and adoration. As I fell in love with God, my childhood desire for service was reignited within me. What was different then, however, was that I understood that what everyone wants deep down is a relationship with God. That is what God created us for, and having seen this, I knew that my desire was leading me right into the heart of the priesthood. Deep down, I longed to be able to bring God to humanity and humanity to God.
As I embark now on this mission here at St. Jude, I can say that this desire has only grown. I am excited to get to know all of you, and to be a priest for you. Know that I have been praying for all of you everyday and will continue to do so during our time together. Please pray for me, and if ever there is something you need let Fr. Henehan or myself know. We are priests for love of God and love of you.