New pastor at St. Joseph’s

Father Brooks Beaulaurier stands in front of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waterville Aug. 3. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

 

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Waterville has a new priest. Father Brooks Beaulaurier, otherwise known as Father Brooks, took on the pastorate of the church beginning July 21.

He is also serving Holy Angels in Coulee City and St. Henry’s in Grand Coulee. Beaulaurier is living at the rectory next to St. Joseph’s Church.

A native of Yakima and a lifelong Catholic, Beaulaurier was ordained a priest in 2008. He refers to his priesthood as being his “third career and first vocation.” Beaulaurier started out in law enforcement receiving a degree in this field from Washington State University and going on to serve in law enforcement in the Air Force and then with municipal government.

He then worked in the insurance industry until 2002 when, after some years of thought and prayer, he decided to enroll in seminary study. At that point he wasn’t yet sure that priesthood was his calling, but he believed that initial study in this direction was the best way to find out.

After several years of study, he was sure that the priesthood was the right direction for him.

“It became very clear to me that this is where I belong,” Beaulaurier said.

During his years of study at Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon, Beaulaurier served an internship in chaplaincy at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

He describes this time as very formative for him because it helped him to learn how to accompany people in their pain.

“It’s a taste of what priesthood demands of men,” Beaulaurier said.

Beaulaurier most recently served as pastor for six years in Cle Elum and Roslyn.

Asked how he envisions his priesthood in Waterville, Beaulaurier said that as a priest he has a vision to serve people in the parish community, both Catholics and non-Catholics.

Beaulaurier described himself as an extrovert who enjoys being out and about among people and who often takes initiative to introduce himself.

He is hoping to keep open dialogue with other churches and to work together as Christians, especially on issues surrounding needs of the community.

Beaulaurier sees one of the big challenges of his new position being the distance between the various parishes he serves. Currently he serves Mass at St. Henry’s at 5 p.m. Saturdays and 8 a.m. Sundays. Then he heads to Waterville for the 11 a.m. Mass. He returns east for a 5 p.m. Sunday Mass at Holy Angels. The churches are working on adjusting their Mass times to make travel easier.