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In October of 1990, Father Justin Brady of the Diocese of Boise, Idaho, was a senior enjoying his last year at Bishop Kelly. He was barely giving thought to his future after high school, and the priesthood wasn’t even on his radar. He describes his faith at that time as environmental. He was Catholic in name, and only because everyone around him was Catholic. But all that was about to change. On a retreat weekend at Bishop Kelly, Father Justin had a change of heart. That retreat with friends turned into a youth prayer group. Youth prayer group turned into a year spent with the traveling Catholic Ministry REACH, and from there his path led to the Seminary at Mount Angel. Now, 25 years later, Father Justin sees the world through a lens of maturity, freedom, and joy. “I’m still the same person who loves the outdoors, has a crazy sense of humor … but my vocation has made me a more authentic version of myself. God took the things that were good in me before and magnified them.” Father Justin loves being a priest. He’s clear that it’s more than just a job, more than just an opportunity to help people. “This vocation is a gift. It was given freely to me. I can’t buy it, or even own it. It is truly a gift from God.” He feels very honored and blessed to be part of every important moment in people’s lives. Birth, marriage, conversion, confession, and of course death. “Because people trust in God and extend that trust to me, I’m able to see in a very intimate and mysterious way how God loves his people. It’s perfect love. Equal, constant and unconditional.” Father Justin is the pastor of Our Lady of the Snows in Sun Valley, Idaho, and St. Charles Borromeo in Hailey, Idaho. When he talks about his parishioners he speaks of being like a father, and also a son. But most of all he speaks of reflecting God’s love. “I want to love like God loves. And God loves us even when we’ve been a mess.” That’s not easy to do, even for a priest. But Father Justin clearly strives to love not sentimentally, but sacramentally. “Godly love is poured out, lavished on us,” he says with a smile.

Along with Diocese of Boise, Idaho, Vocation Director, Fr. Caleb Vogel, Fr. Brady is co-host of Collar Talk on Salt and Light Radio. You can listen to their episodes here.

"When we walk without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord." -Pope Francis