Interested in veterans’ affairs in light of his parents’ status as military veterans, Father Stephen J. Brandow desired to help military service members in a religious and medical capacity. Receiving a Bachelor of Arts in social work from Northwestern University in 1985, he went on to serve as a social worker at Woodview Regional Hospital in Pineville, Louisiana, and a medical clerk for the Alexandria VA Healthcare System. From there, Father Brandow lent his time to religious services and attended the Notre Dame Seminary Graduate School of Theology, where he earned a Master of Divinity in 1996. He was ordained to the ministry by the Catholic Church the same year.
Following his entrance into the ministry, Father Brandow served as an associate pastor at St. Rita Parish in Alexandria, Louisiana, between 1996 and 1997 and at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Tioga, Louisiana, between 1997 and 2000. Since departing from the latter parish, Father Brandow has thrived as a clinical chaplain at the Alexandria VA Healthcare System. Outside of his primary efforts, he has also been a committee member of the Continuing Formation of Clergy since 1996. In previous years, he was a chaplain for the Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Central Louisiana State Hospital, affiliated with the Louisiana State Department of Health. Additionally, he is a past secretary for the Diocese of Alexandria.
Adjacent to his professional duties, Father Brandow has maintained affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, having served on the community advisory board with their Louisiana Purchase Council since 2003 and their National Catholic Committee on Scouting since 1997. As a testament to his success, Father Brandow was bestowed with the Bronze Pelican Award in 2003 from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, having also earned the 2002 Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award from the Boy Scouts of America. Moreover, Father Brandow sat on the board of directors of the Council of Central Louisiana, affiliated with the Girl Scouts of the United States of America.
Looking forward, Father Brandow intends to receive a certification in Catholic ethics from the National Center for Catholic Ethics (also known as the National Catholic Bioethics Center). He was highlighted in numerous editions of both Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.