Father Pat O’Brien, USAF Veteran & Chaplain

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Father Pat’s introduction to himself in his own words: “People like to ask, where are you from, I respond, what year, not being flip, but to shorten the answer. I was born in New York, just outside the city to parents from Brooklyn and Queens. I am the oldest of three. My dad entered the US Air Force shortly after I was born and my sister, two years younger, was born at the Air Force Academy. After two years there, my dad was given the choice of a year alone in Vietnam or three years with his family in France. So, off to France we went. My dad was a JAG (Lawyer) and was sent to help “give” the base over to the French as they were withdrawing from NATO. We lived in a 8’x40’ trailer part of that time. I started preschool in France and before first grade am in England. So, you can see the challenge with where I am from. I have lived numerous places including four countries and on both coasts and many heartland states.

When I decided to enter the Seminary, another long story, I decided to study for the Archdiocese of Denver and when asked if I wanted to go to the seminary in California, just south of San Francisco or Missouri, I chose MO because I had never been there. Well, that was a shock. Nodaway County is the home of Conception Seminary College. I learned that the Benedictines are not known for locating near civilization and Conception is a perfect example. When I asked where the nearest city was, the answer was Maryville, 17 miles away and was a town under 20,000 people at the time. They didn’t understand that I meant a real city. That was an adventure, but in the long run it was the right place for me to be.

I graduated and continued at St. Thomas in Denver which is closed now, but run by the Vincentians. I graduated in May of 1989. I was ordained a Deacon on April 23, 1988 and a Priest on July 8, 1989. So, I now have consolidated my moving to Northern Colorado and lived manly on front range but did get some time in the mountains. I took a leave of absence, got a real estate license and ended up being a sales manager and commercial division leader at a RE/MAX office. For the next few years, our Archbishop had asked me to keep my license to assist the diocese in their real estate needs.  Returning from my leave, I was living outside of San Antonio and Archbishop Gustavo was gracious enough to do the work needed to have me incardinated here. That was over a three-year process where he had me helping at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Selma, which was an amazing and grace filled experience. The paperwork finally came in, I now know why Rome is the eternal city, and I was incardinated on Feb 2, 2016. I spent the next months until I came here at The Church of the Holy Spirit, another amazing experience.

I have served in the US Air Force Reserves as a Chaplain Candidate and Chaplain.  During my leave, I was a liaison officer for the USAF Academy. I was on city council and mayor pro tem in Cibolo, a chamber of commerce board chairman and most recently the President of the Randolph Air Power Community Council. I have volunteered at the Rodeo as an announcer and with the youth connection program. I love to read, cycle and work in the Church.

My sister and brother are both married and living in Northern Virginia. My brother-in-law is a permanent Deacon at the parish my family helped form in the 70’s. We moved from there with my parents to return in the late 80’s. My sister runs a few home-based businesses and my brother is a corporate coach/consultant for a national company in the IT field. I have one niece and two nephews and they are amazing kids!

I have heard that if you love your job you never have to work a day in your life. I get up excited for each day and the opportunities it brings.”

 

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