Meet the Friars

by Roxanne King

"The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry," wrote Robert Burns in his poem "To a Mouse." Br. Jason Patrick Moore, 40, can relate. Born in Denver and reared in Indian Hills, Br. Jason graduated from Mullen High School then earned a bachelor's degree in computer science and math from Regis University. He planned to work in the computer industry. But God had other plans. "I graduated in 2001 when the dot-com bubble burst," he recalled. "I ended up waiting tables and doing telemarketing and other things. Looking back, I think I was in a depression. I thought I had planned well, but it wasn't working out."

He got caught up in a party lifestyle and began playing practical jokes at nightclubs, a couple of which ended with him and a friend getting arrested in separate incidents. "I knew my life had to change," Br. Jason said. He took a job in maintenance for his childhood parish, Christ the King in Evergreen. Soon, he was helping with religious education and youth ministry. He went to several World Youth Days with the youth group as he had had strong experiences of the presence of the Holy Spirit while attending WYD events as a teen in 1993 in Denver and in 1997 in Paris.

Uncertain what to do, he turned to God. "I went to Eucharistic adoration and asked God what he wanted for my life," Br. Jason said. A long forgotten idea re-emerged – priesthood. The notion had first come when he attended WYD 1997 at age 18. That pilgrimage included visiting the birthplace of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. There he had a keen experience of the peace of God. Afterward, at confession, a priest asked if he had ever considered priesthood. Although intrigued, he wanted to experience more of life first. Gradually, the thought left him. Seeking God's will at adoration, it returned. “There was an unlocking in my mind and I was able to see that that was what I was searching for," he avowed. "It was a great time of peace." Originally drawn to diocesan priesthood by the influence of St. John Paul II at World Youth Days, he considered that as well as religious orders, including Franciscan groups. He also began paying off debts to free him to pursue a religious vocation.

"Fr. John Lager was the vocation director at the time and he talked to me," Br. Jason said, adding that he went to a vocation weekend and visited the Capuchins a few times. "I was impressed: they were down to earth, loved Jesus and led lives of service." From youth to the elderly, the homeless, incarcerated or sick, from parish ministry to foreign missions, "there you will find the Capuchin," Pope Pius XI once noted. In his own life, Br. Jason had crossed paths with friars in some of those ministries. "I felt very comfortable and at home with them," he said. "That's what led to my joining them [in 2011]."

His formation started in Denver and has taken him to Santa Ynez, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas. He professed solemn vows in 2017. Having completed his philosophy and three years of theology studies, in September he started a pastoral internship in jail and prison ministry. He hopes to be ordained to the diaconate next year. Priesthood ordination may follow after an additional year of studies.

For now, Br. Jason is happy to be back in Denver near his family, which includes his parents and two siblings, and he is enjoying ministering to the incarcerated.