In a world of contrasts and complexities, some individuals seamlessly bridge seemingly disparate worlds, embodying the duality of purpose. Brian Reedy, S.J., whose life journey weaves the threads of science and theology, military service, and spiritual devotion, is one such individual. His story is a testament to the power of finding harmony in what may appear to be conflicting domains.
Father Reedy’s origins are firmly rooted in the sun-soaked streets of Southern California, but life’s winding path led him to explore far beyond his hometown of Anaheim. His academic journey began with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and theology at East Texas Baptist University, a hint of his early fascination with the empirical and the divine. The tension between science and faith was never far from his thoughts; while his scientific pursuits were taking flight, they appeared to clash with his spiritual convictions.
However, there was no denying his calling. At the age of 10, during a summer camp trip, a divine revelation pursued him relentlessly until he surrendered, saying “yes” to a life of devotion. Although he didn’t know he would go into the Jesuit priesthood right away, his devotion and dedication were something that he recognized growing up. This pivotal moment led to a path he felt destined to follow, eventually bringing him to the ranks of the Jesuit priesthood.
Father Reedy’s journey took an unexpected turn when he was commissioned as a lieutenant junior grade in the U.S. Navy. Balancing the roles of a Navy officer and a Jesuit priest might seem to conflict, but for Father Reedy, it’s a harmonious alliance. He explains, “I see them as two full-time jobs, but they are a non-contradictory pairing, each enriching the other. It’s like a harmonious symphony.”
In the digital age, Father Reedy, a clinical assistant professor of philosophy at LMU, quickly engages with a broader audience through social media. His approach is as serene as his presence. He uses these platforms to promote rationality, love, and discussions about truth, beauty, and goodness. His online persona extends to platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, which he also uses for family connections.
Father Reedy’s experiences with the Jesuits have been a global odyssey, opening his mind to many cultures and perspectives. Father Reedy, who took his final vows Sept. 10, 2023, believes God’s presence is within every human being, and listening is the key to understanding and connecting with others. This open-minded approach has become the foundation of his work as a professor.
His background in the Navy offers a unique perspective in academia. Father Reedy, who has earned an Army Commendation Medal, a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a Humanitarian Service Medal, as well as various unit commendations for his efforts during his most recent deployment, has his classes delve into the ethics of the U.S. military, informed by his firsthand experiences. He said, “Stoicism is a philosophy that promotes peace and resilience — qualities essential both in the military and academia.” He also noted that he will teach this course to the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon, further establishing his involvement and passion for applying his knowledge to his teaching.
After years of perpetual motion due to military deployments and academic pursuits, Father Reedy finds himself with a more permanent address at Loyola Marymount University. The transition to a settled life has its challenges, but it offers a sense of stability and continuity, a home base that he can return to after deployments and assignments. Notable roles include serving as a Catholic priest and chaplain at locations such as Cristo Rey Jesuit Prep in Houston, where he also taught chemistry and engineering. Additionally, he completed a mobilization to Djibouti, Africa, serving as the Catholic Chaplain at Camp Lemonnier and supporting various operations in the region.
In Father Reedy, we see a man who transcends boundaries and defies the limitations of labels. A scientist and a priest, a Navy officer, and a philosopher, his journey embodies the unity of seemingly opposing worlds. It is a testament to the idea that life’s wealthiest tapestries are woven from diverse and contrasting threads, and his story inspires and enlightens, challenging everyone to embrace the complexity of our journeys. He said, “The secret to spiritual and practical success is to focus your energies exclusively on things upon which you have true influence – your attitude being primary.”