Msgr. Aaron Brodeski
This weekend we celebrate the wonderful feast of Pentecost! Pentecost is both the celebration of the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit and the celebration of the birth of the Church. Both of these realities are intimately tied together.
With the coming of the Holy Spirit everything changed for the apostles and other disciples. The Holy Spirit changed these timid and confused disciples into confident witnesses to the Gospel. In many ways, I wish we could all have witnessed to very manifest changes that took place in the lives of those who received the Holy Spirit on that first Pentecost. In fact, I’m sure they themselves were quite surprised, as well as overjoyed, as they saw the effects of the Holy Spirit take root in their lives. Suddenly they were filled with the manifold Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Allow me to summarize these wonderful gifts that we are all called to receive.
Fear of the Lord: with this gift the Christian becomes keenly aware of anything that may hurt his/her relationship with God. There is a holy “fear” of hurting this relationship and grace is given to avoid these things at all cost.
Wisdom: With this gift the Christian is given a special grace to “ponder divine realities” in his/her speculative reason. We are able to see the big picture and know how best to be an instrument of peace and harmony in our world.
Understanding: This is the ability to have a supernatural assurance of the matters of faith. Life makes sense. We can make sense of the deeper parts of revelation, make sense of suffering and understand those things that tempt us to doubt. With this gift we come to see how everything in life can work for good in accordance with God’s plan.
Knowledge: With this gift the Christian knows, more in the practical intellect, what God’s will is in this or that situation. We know how to live, how to discern God’s will and what decision to make in our daily life. It also enables us to learn from our past mistakes.
Counsel: With this gift the Christian sees him/herself as a link in a chain which makes up the entire Church. God uses each one of us to help and support one another on our journey. We know what to say and how to act so as to do our part to build up one another.
Fortitude: Simply put, it is a firmness of mind and spirit to do good and avoid evil. It’s a sort of Christian courage. The Gospel will call all of us to a radical life of love. Fortitude gives us the strength we need to follow through.
Piety: This gift enables us to first reverence and love God, but also to see the dignity of one another and reverence each other as children of God.
It’s clear that all of these gifts require a special grace of God to live. But when they are lived, it is also clear that God will not only transform our lives, He will also continue to build up the Body of Christ, the Church, through us!
Msgr. Aaron Brodeski
Msgr. Aaron Brodeski
I was born and raised in Rockford, IL of Ray and Sharon Brodeski, have two brothers, three sisters, fifteen nieces and nephews. All of them are currently living in Rockford.
I attended Holy Family Grade School, Boylan High School, Rock Valley Community College, Franciscan University in Steubenville, Northern Illinois University and Mt. St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsberg, MD.
I was ordained a priest May 16, 1998 after which I served for two years at St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake. From there I spent eight years in the Vocation Office for the Diocese of Rockford. During my time as Vocation Director I assisted in a variety of parishes and was pastor of St. Patrick, Amboy, Administrator of St. Patrick, Maytown, St. Mary, Walton and St. Flannen, Harmon. After that I served as pastor of St. Mary, Byron until December, 2008 at which time I was assigned to St. Mary, Woodstock and St. Patrick, Hartland as pastor. In 2009 I was also assigned as Spiritual Director of Marian Central Catholic High School, Woodstock. In February 2013 I was assigned pastor of Holy Cross, Batavia.
Some of my favorite pastimes include hunting and fishing! I am an avid Green Bay Packers fan despite the flack I take for that from many :-)
Fr. Timothy Draper
I was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois in 1986. I am the second of three children. Since the age of six, I have considered a calling to Christ's holy priesthood. Through God's grace, the example of many holy priests, and the prayers and support of family and friends, this prayerful consideration grew more intense as I attended junior high and high school in Stillman Valley, Illinois. Particularly influential in my discernment was my attending our diocesan vocation camps and World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada in 2002. At World Youth Day, Blessed John Paul II encouraged all of us to trust in Christ, and, for those considering a possible calling to the priesthood or consecrated life, to be not afraid, as he put it, "to follow Christ on the royal road of the Cross!" These words of our late Holy Father were a great encouragement to me and remain with me to this day. Toward the end of my high school years, I began daily to attend Mass and daily to spend an hour in prayer and adoration before Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. The strength that I received through the Holy Eucharist gave me the final "push" to enter seminary in the fall of 2004 at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward, Nebraska. In the spring of 2008, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, and, in the fall of 2008, began my first year of theological studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis. After completing my third year of theological studies, I was ordained to the sacred diaconate on May 21, 2011 by the Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran. In May of 2012, I completed my theological studies, earning the degrees of Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology. On May 19, 2012, I was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ by the Most Reverend David J. Malloy. I am very happy to serve at Holy Cross Catholic Church and to teach theology part-time at Aurora Catholic Central High School. I ask that you please remember me in your prayers, and please be assured of my prayers for all of you as well.