Brett B. McLaughlin, S.J., 35, lived in western Massachusetts, Tennessee and Rochester, New York, while growing up. He first started thinking about a vocation to the priesthood way back in eighth grade and credits vibrant parishes and priests who were role models as some of his early influencers. After graduating from high school in 2000, McLaughlin met the Jesuits at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he became active in campus ministry and, because of a class in Christology, began appreciating the Gospels in a whole new way. During the summer between his junior and senior year, he worked at a Jesuit parish in Connecticut, another confirming step as he continued to discern his vocation. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science, McLaughlin fulfilled his ROTC commitment and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force before serving with a small intelligence unit in Southern England. The desire for a vocation was so strong that McLaughlin asked to be released from his commitment early, and when that was granted in 2006, he joined the Jesuits. As a novice, he worked as a chaplain at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and studied Spanish in Bolivia. Missioned next to Fordham University in the Bronx, New York, McLaughlin earned a master’s degree in philosophy in 2011 while working with the RCIA program at Fordham and at St. Barnabas Hospital. At Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine, he taught theology while assisting with the Model U.N. Club and the track and cross-country teams. Missioned next to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, he earned a Master of Divinity degree as well as a Master of Theology while working as a deacon with the young adult group at St. Ignatius Parish in San Francisco. After ordination, McLaughlin will be missioned to St. Ignatius Loyola Parish in New York City and hopes to continue his studies in Christology. His first Masses as a priest will take place at the College of the Holy Cross and, a week later, at St. Joseph Church in Portland, Maine. (USA Northeast Province)
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Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House
Our Lady of the Oaks Retreat House, located in Grand Coteau, La., has provided a beautiful setting for retreats since 1938.