In honor of Mother’s Day this year, we spoke with a few of the incredible Mothers of the seminarians at the Pontifical College Josephinum. Susan Yakkel, Joan Brandimarti, and Rosalee Beal speak about their sons, Chris Yakkel, PJ Brandimarti, and Brian Beal.
Susan on why Chris will make a good priest:
Chris has always been a prayerful child. We recognized that early on as did many other people. I’ve always felt that the same qualities that make a good father or husband are the qualities that make a good priest. Chris is very thoughtful. He’s genuine. He is very good at listening and he always puts God first. It is really hard not to like Chris.
Susan on what the next few years look like for Chris:
He will spend a few years in the Columbus Diocese before serving as a chaplain with the US Military and then will return to Columbus. Chris hasn’t been assigned yet so it will be interesting to see what the future holds. The military has a huge need for priests so Chris will fill an important gap there although he will certainly miss Columbus as he considers it his home.
Susan on after Chris’ ordination on May 25:
We are planning on spending a week together in New York City and hopefully Chris can help celebrate a mass somewhere in New York. We would like to visit him wherever he is stationed with the military. We also look forward to having Chris involved when the family celebrates sacraments. Recently my daughter had a baby and Chris baptized his niece, which was really special.
Joan on why PJ will make a good priest:
As you can imagine, it is with awe that we prepare for PJ’s ordination.
The first time I thought he might be discerning it was when he was sixteen. He came back from the Boy Scout Jamboree and asked us if there was any other male who could carry on the Brandimarti name. That made me think that he was thinking of the diaconate or priesthood.
It was really when he moved to Columbus for work, that he really got engaged with the church. I can still remember the day we were visiting and he was filling out his application.
His dad and I talk with PJ weekly and only a couple weeks ago, after the call I looked at his dad and said, he is definitely ready. He knows what God is calling him to and is trying to become a good priest. WE have seen him grow so much in attitude and spiritually the past several years.
Joan on after PJ’s ordination on May 25:
After ordination I am looking forward to hearing about his first assignment and how he assimilates his learning into the REAL world. We also look forward to family events, wedding, baptisms etc. that we will be sharing with him.
I realize his ordination will change his father and me also. We will be marked in a special way to share the blessings we receive through this grace.
Rosalee on why Brian will make a good priest:
Brian is very down to earth and truly cares about people. His heart is totally dedicated to God and he always puts God first. He is humble and sincere. Brian thinks before he speaks and is gentle, but can take charge of challenging situations.
Rosalee on Brian being called to the priesthood and what she thinks of his later in life career change:
I have seen the calling in Brian for a long time. Through prayer, God gave me the insight that this was his path and that the Blessed Mother Mary was referring to Brian as, ‘her son.’ Brian has had other important callings though before his call to the seminary. He was in charge of Pro-Life for Mercer County, PA and also started Missionaries of Purity where he influenced many young lives. Through his work and talks, Brian urged young people to think about their eternal souls and the sacredness of life instead of just the day to day struggle. Then when my husband got sick, Brian administered to him day and night. He showed great compassion like Jesus did for the sick and suffering. My husband passed away in February and Brian grew so much during this experience that I know he is even more prepared now to help others who are going through a similar situation.
Rosalee on what she is looking forward to after Brian’s ordination and what she thinks of his homilies:
I look forward to seeing Brian say Mass and use the gifts that God gave him. Brian gives beautiful talks and makes you think about why you are here. He influences me to ask, ‘Why did God make me?’ and ‘Am I living each day for God?’ I told Brian that when he gives a homily, I hang on his every word. He said that I’m biased but I told him that I’m just being truthful.
Chris, PJ, and Brian will be ordained to the Priesthood on Saturday, May 25, 2019. Learn more details about the ordination here.