On June 1, this year’s new priests for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will be ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop José H. Gomez at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels after years of formation at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo.
They will be sent forth to evangelize in a sprawling metropolis where so many yearn for answers to the deepest questions of their lives — answers that these men have personally found in Jesus Christ and his Church.
Each day this week, we’ll be introducing you to a new soon-to-be Father. Los Angeles, meet your new priests!
The path to the priesthood typically takes a lot of prayer, study, service work — and in the case of Brian Humphrey, hours in the recording studio.
“When I was working in the music business there would be a glimpse of something that would sort of satisfy my intense longing, this passion, this drive I had for life,” explained 38-year-old Humphrey, who worked in music production for 15 years.
Humphrey grew up in a suburb outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Catholic school through high school. Soon after he moved to LA in hopes of starting a career in the music business. For the next 15 years, he worked as an engineer and producer with an array of artists ranging from Prince, Bon Jovi, and even Jay-Z and Beyonce.
During a period of three years living in Connecticut to work on a series of albums, he experienced a time of interior struggle.
“I started to realize that I couldn’t carry all this weight and I couldn’t do all this work by myself and I needed God in my life,” recalled Humphrey.
Living away from home, Humphrey left the Catholic faith for nearly a decade, going to church only on Christmas or Easter. But the seeds of his faith planted by his family, which includes two uncles who are a priest and a deacon, were still there.
“My parents always had to do that dance with me. They had to say, ‘Brian, you know there’s a church right down the street from you.’ Or they had to decide to not say something because they knew it would push me away.”
It was during a time of crisis in his life that Humphrey recognized he needed help and chose to turn to God.
“So I turned to him and he was there.”
“I thought that I could find what my heart was longing for in music because there’s something transcendent being revealed there,” said Humphrey.
“And it just wasn’t enough. I was hungry ... I was longing for more. And when I was introduced to Jesus in the Eucharist and to the Word of God — reading the Scriptures — I started to actually experience that satisfaction that I was made for.”
When he decided to pursue the priesthood, Humphrey chose to enter the seminary in Los Angeles — rather than back home — with the example of one of the apostles in mind.
“I think about people like St. Paul who went to the big cities to evangelize,” Humphrey told Angelus.
“He knew that if he could be a light in that dark place, that he could affect great change where there’s a lot of hurt and a lot of pain. People are really suffering. And if I could even just be present to one person in such a big town then I know that that will have effects that go beyond me.”
Pablo Kay is the editor of Angelus.
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