Father Dan Brandt Honoring #HeroPriests

Father Dan Brandt (Archdiocese of Chicago '99), Chicago Police Chaplain, Parish of the Resurrection

Submitted by: Joanne Mullen, RN

Fr. Daniel Brandt, Director of the Chicago Police Chaplains Ministry (CPCM) is frequently recognized throughout Chicago. His reach and willingness to serve encompass a dual pastoral ministry…the secular and the sacred.

His lead by example style is valued by the Chicago Police Department (CPD)’s 12,000 officers, 6,000 retired officers, and family members, as well as his faith communities within the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Not only during this stressful time of pandemic and civil unrest when our cities have taken on the characteristics of urban battlefields, Fr. Brandt’s compassion fills a desperate need. A gift, not only to his parishioners, but also, to those in uniform, who willing face potential danger as they attempt to provide safety for the citizens of Chicago.

Please take a moment to view the two interviews below given by Fr Brandt that provide insight into his responsibilities and his willingness to serve, whenever and wherever needed.

You will no doubt be touched, as I am, by his drive, his sincerity and his commitment to the Chicago Police Department, as well as to his Parish of the Resurrection community.

Chicago Priest (April, 2015)

• Policing the Faithful | An Interview with Fr. Dan Brandt | Vocare (Shalom TV) – July, 2019

As he explains his daily CPCM routine throughout the city of Chicago, you immediately realize that this is not a 9-5, Monday through Friday management role, but rather an “all in” call to action at any hour, for any situation.

As the daughter of a Boston Police Officer killed in the line of duty, I can easily recognize that Fr. Brandt has been “deputized by God”! His active witness is a strong reminder to me to do what I can, whenever I can.

One of Mundelein Seminary’s own (ordained in May, 1999), Fr. Dan Brandt has contributed a lifetime of service to the Archdiocese of Chicago, highlighted by a twenty-year affiliation with the Chicago Police Chaplains Ministry and a nine-year term as their director, as well as his pastoral roles as parish pastor, associate priest and Pro Life advocate. A visit to the Chicago Police Chaplains Ministry (CPCM) website (www.chicagopcm.org) will give you a clear perspective of the pastoral services that Fr. Brandt and his ecumenical CPCM chaplain colleagues offer to the active and retired men and women of the Chicago Police Department and their families.

As the website states, CPCM services provide crisis management, a caring Church presence, and immediate, around-the-clock response to critical incidents involving CPD personnel. Pastoral care includes visits to sick and injured officers and family members, counseling and referral to those depressed, weary, and dejected, and supporting the survivors of officers killed in the line of duty. Their mission statement is simple and direct… “Your partner has your back, but we’ve got your soul.”

Recently in response to the ongoing violent protests and direct attacks again CPD officers from 2019 to the present, Fr. Brandt was asked to share his observations and perspective on Relevant Radio’s “A Closer Look” with Sheila Liaugminas. At the beginning of the interview, he apologized that he needed to be brief. He was on his way to a local Emergency Department to minister to two, critically-injured CPD officers and their families. He mentioned that frequently he has done the same for many injured officers.

Last May, you may remember the Rosary Walk, “There’s Hope for the Broken” that captured the attention of the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. Fr. Brandt helped to organize the event and joined with thousands, who walked the streets of downtown Chicago united in prayer for ProLife and a city in turmoil. (https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-broken-mary-statue-kevin-matthews-20190530-story.html)

Fr. Brandt’s quote sent two important messages. “The city’s crime makes it evident that too many people have a lack of respect for life. This walk can bring a lot of comfort and peace to a lot of broken people," Brandt said. "The city needs a renewed respect for life."

Again, he recognized the value of the media to convey a message of peace for Chicago and the critical mission that the CPD carries out daily. As the Irish are fond of saying…”There are no strangers, only friends you have yet to meet.”

I hope to meet Fr. Brandt one day…a “down-to-earth,” everyday hero bringing Christ to a troubled world. I am grateful that our paths have crossed! Look no further, Fr. Dan Brandt meets and exceeds your criteria for the 2020 In Service of One Another Catholic Humanitarian Award, don’t you agree?

Thank you for recognizing not only those who are part of your “Heroes” selection, but all priests across the U.S. whose names we may never know, but whose energy and sense of mission is unmatched.

Portland, Maine