Colorado chaplain’s common-sense faith
Monsignor Robert Jaeger loves serving Legatus’ Colorado Springs Chapter . . .
Monsignor Robert Jaeger
Colorado Springs Chapter
Ordained in 1990 at the age of 39, Monsignor Robert Jaeger became a priest after working in the secular world for a decade. He is currently pastor of St. Paul’s Parish in Colorado Springs (where he had served as an associate pastor after ordination) and vicar general and master of ceremonies for the Colorado Springs diocese. Previously, he served as vicar for clergy, pastor of Annunciation and St. Joseph parishes in Leadville, and pastor of St. Peter Parish in Monument.
Tell us about your call to the priesthood.
Prior to priesthood, I worked 10 years for the State of Nevada in the adult parole and probation department. I had an older brother who was a priest in Illinois and always had a good connection with priests and bishops. They were always very encouraging to me to become a priest. I thought about it for a long time and made some efforts earlier on in life — but not very sincere — attempting to be a priest. Ultimately, I went to seminary at 35 and felt I needed to be honest with God and answer the call on his terms, not mine.
What have you found to be the most fulfilling aspect of your priesthood?
I’m really big into Catholic education. There’s a Catholic school here in my parish. Catholic education is an opportunity to build a strong faith foundation in young people. It’s a great gift and a great way to learn more about your own faith and put it into action every day.
How did you become acquainted with Legatus?
Primarily through working for the diocese and through the previous chaplain, Fr. Mark Pranaitis. When he was transferred to Chicago, I said I would volunteer to be the chaplain. There happen to be a lot of people from my parish who belong to Legatus and we keep inviting more and more.
What impact has Legatus had on your diocese?
It has provided the opportunity to get better educated about who the Lord is and what He has done for all of us. It’s bringing a message to business people that it’s OK to be a person of faith — and that they need to bring the message of faith to businesses. It has built a nice little subset community that is actively promoting the faith life through what they do on a day-to-day basis.
You have a vocation, of course. Any avocations?
I enjoy traveling. I’ve been afforded that opportunity through the Church and have gone with the bishop on pilgrimages to Rome. I also play a little golf. I like scramble matches because I’m not a good long-ball driver, but I can chip and putt.
Are there any lessons you’ve learned as a priest that are especially apt for business leaders?
You have to be honest in all relationships and that’s what God asks of all of us. I’m a straight shooter. You can’t say, “I’m a good, strong Catholic only on Sundays.” You have to be a good, strong Catholic every day. I ask people all the time, “How do people know we’re Catholic?” They know by our demeanor, what we say, how we respond to things and how we treat people. I come from a pretty common background and try to make faith as practical as it can be. How do you live that in your business? Does your handshake, your word mean anything? That’s what faith is about.
Are there any devotions you recommend to Legates?
I enjoy praying the rosary and I think that’s very important. I have a devotion to St. Jude. I prayed to him and had others pray to him, too, before I went to seminary.