Father Brad Reed uses a unique style of preaching for the students of Nativity Catholic School.

In January of 2021, Father Brad Reed joined Nativity Catholic Church to serve the members of the congregation and lead the young students at Nativity Catholic School to devoted relationships with God.

Reed, who was ordained in 2016, aims to engage the school of young Catholics and make his services interactive, which he does through jokes, riddles and questions. He includes parodies of well-known songs, such as Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” to catch his congregation’s attention and make his messages memorable.

“My message is a little bit simpler and more direct with the kids, and it involves more real-life, concrete examples than it does in a regular Sunday Mass when I’m preaching to a diverse group,” Reed said about the Wednesday morning church services for the students.

Reed makes himself available to teach religion classes, specifically about the sacraments, during school hours. He has talked specifically to the second grade class to calm their nerves ahead of their first reconciliation and communion in May. Nativity is his third assignment since being ordained to the priesthood, but he had the opportunity to teach religion classes at his prior parishes and has extended that experience to Nativity’s classrooms.

“I believe that Christ didn’t become a human being to teach us how to become God, he taught us how to truly be human, and so I have a very earthy and humble incarnational spirituality,” said Reed.

Reed aims to be an approachable role model for the students at Nativity because he wants to show them that God, too, is approachable. His mission and influence don’t just extend to those sitting in the pews for Mass each day, as Reed is active around campus, attending student athletic events and even hosting a fantasy football league among the staff.

He attended Nativity’s annual Burying of the “Alleluia” this year as well and applauded the tradition, saying the reminder has helped him remember not to say the word during the season of Lent. He also said that he was also struck by the parish’s genuine devotion and reverence and explained that it drew him to Nativity.

“I’m super grateful to be a part of such a wonderful, supportive, faithful, diverse community. I think [Nativity’s] diversity is what really means the most to me,” said Reed. “Despite the different [demographics], they all seem to get along and it just meshes well, … its inspiring.”

For more information on Nativity Catholic Church and for Mass dates and times, visit its website at nativitycatholicchurch.org.

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Lily Belcher is a writer for The Osprey Observer and Christian Voice Monthly. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey since completing her internship. Lily plans to attend the University of South Florida and major in Communications while writing for The Oracle.