BATAVIA – Monsignor Aaron Brodeski, the new pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church, in Batavia, got to know his congregation better last month as the master of ceremonies and auctioneer for the church's sixth annual fundraising gala.
His congregation also got to hear his singing voice. As part of the event, he belted out the song "Sweet Holy Cross" to the tune of the famed Neil Diamond song, "Sweet Caroline."
Brodeski, 43, grew up in Rockford. He started at Holy Cross on Feb, 25, replacing Monsignor Daniel Deutsch, who left the parish after 12 years to become the vicar for clergy and vocations for the Diocese of Rockford.
Before coming to Holy Cross, Brodeski was the pastor at St. Mary Catholic Church in Woodstock and diocesan vocation director.
Reporter Eric Schelkopf had the chance to talk to Brodeski about how is settling in.
Are you getting to know the members of Holy Cross? Little by little, I'm learning names and faces. It's a very easy parish to get to know. It's a very friendly parish.
What do you like about being a pastor? I love getting involved in people's lives in a very sacred way. I am very privileged to be there in the most special moments in their lives. My favorite part is just being an important part of people's lives and their spiritual development.
How was the fundraising gala?
That was a blast. We had fun with that. And we raised about $100,000.
Do you have any hobbies? I love fishing, fishing for trout or walleye fishing. It's challenging, and it's fun to be out in the middle of nowhere. I also love hunting for deer. That's also very peaceful, sitting in the middle of the forest.
I understand you're a fan of the Green Bay Packers. Rockford is about 40 percent Packers fans. My dad is a big Packers fan. I love the Bears fans. They make life fun. It's fun in the parish to have those rivalries.