Father Bradley Zamora Honoring #HeroPriests

Father Brad Zamora '14 (Archdiocese of Chicago), Director of Worship and International Students Chairperson and Instructor, Department of Liturgy and Music, University of Saint Mary of the Lake

Submitted by: Kimberly Anderson

Father Brad’s chosen response to the pandemic was a daily online musical reflection posted on YouTube, which became a part of my daily routine for 75 days during the initial period of this COVID-19 crisis, as well as a three-day online “Shelter From the Storm” retreat, with Father Matt O'Donnell.

Even before the beginning of this pandemic, I‘ve had the distinct pleasure, as a USML refectory employee, of serving him. On some of my best, and yes, some of my not-so-positive days, he was always there to brighten up my day with a smile, a bit of laughter, and a few encouraging words; enough to continue reminding me that God loves me, no matter what.

I have also been blessed to have Father Brad as our weekend presider at my parish of St. Paul the Apostle, in Gurnee, Ill.

I can honestly say that he is the best homilist I have ever witnessed! He gives nothing less than his heart and soul in every homily. As God speaks through him, I often feel as though he is talking to me personally. Having listened to his words, I can always walk away with confidence, knowing that I have truly learned how to be a better disciple of Christ, a better version of myself.

It is through Father Brad’s musical reflections and retreat, within some of the most challenging days of my life, that I have realized the need to share my gift of writing and humor with my coworkers, who have also been challenged with the devastating effects of this COVID-19 illness.

Because he has answered and responded to his call from Jesus, so reverently and unselfishly, above and beyond the call of duty as a priest, Father Brad brought joy and purpose to many lives, such as my own--a reminder of why I am a Catholic and why I need to keep Jesus as the center of my life.