Staff Member: Fr. Joe O'Brien
Fr. Joe O'Brien
“Holy Spirit is a welcoming, inclusive, prayerful community, where we celebrate and serve God and one another,” said Holy Spirit Church’s Fr. Joseph O’Brien, known to many as Fr. Joe. “We seek to learn more about our faith, growing in our closeness to God and participating in the larger community. Day to day, we live the life of the Church using the gifts and the grace that God has given us.”
With Holy Spirit since 2003, O’Brien is focused on faith and service, enabling the entire parish to witness faith in prayer and action. During his years at Holy Spirit, he has fostered a warm, friendly environment that enables the church and its community to share the Light of Christ.
“The message of Jesus is very liberating; he freed us from sin and death,” he said. “Can we leave behind those things that would hold us back? Let’s discern how God’s grace and love free us to become the people that God has called us to be. As a Church, we’re called to discern our gifts and consider how to use them in service of the community.”
Raised in Troy, NY, O’Brien is one of six children and counts 16 nieces and nephews in his family. He worked with Union Pacific and General Electric before being ordained in 1991 and, before coming to Holy Spirit, spent 12 years ministering in Warren County parishes. A believer in education, he has a BS and MBA from RPI, a Master’s in Divinity from Catholic University in Washington, DC, and a Doctorate in Ministry from the Graduate Theological Foundation. “Formation is life long and helps me to stay fresh and open to the movement of the Spirit in the world today,” he said. “Education makes me feel more alive to opportunities the Spirit provides.” (O’Brien is pastor to Holy Spirit school and church communities.)
O’Brien sees Holy Spirit Church and his role as a guide--as “walking with people of all ages, accompanying them in their faith journey and assisting them in discerning and developing their gifts to serve God and their neighbors--these are important parts of our parish’s ministry. There are so many opportunities for caring and involvement for us to consider. We say, ‘Love our neighbor.' What are we willing to do to make this happen?”