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.