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The Florida Catholic

Scriptures speak about heart and soul

Fr. Brian Campbell at Legatus

JUPITER  |  Father Brian Campbell, pastor of St. John of the Cross Parish in Vero Beach, got to the heart of the matter in his June 18, 2024, talk to the Jupiter-Palm Beach chapter of Legatus, an organization for Catholic business executives and their spouses, at Jupiter Country Club. 

Asked to speak in the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary on “The Meaning of ‘Communion’ with the Heart of Jesus,” he related how the word “heart” is used in the Bible more than 1,000 times in a variety of contexts. People in biblical times had an understanding of the physical organ, Father Campbell said.

“They might not have understood it as well as we do today with our ability and with modern sciences, but they understood that it was a necessary, vital organ of the body. You can feel it, you can hear it,” he said, recalling how, in John’s Gospel, the beloved disciple rested his head on the heart of Jesus.

“The other meaning of the word heart in the Scriptures has to do with the soul,” Father Campbell said. “It’s like the heart is the seat of the conscience, the seat of the soul, the seat also of our emotions.” Thus, today we speak of loving someone “with all of our heart” and wearing your “heart on your sleeve.”

“Now God says in the Scriptures that he knows our hearts, that he discerns our thoughts, that he is able to dissect between the very depths of our thinking and our soul and our heart. It’s very interesting as we read about this in the Scriptures that God also purifies our hearts,” he said.

Father Campbell, who loves teaching about Scripture, holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Palm Beach in 2009. In January 2020, he was assigned as parochial administrator of St. John of the Cross, then named pastor in April 2021.

As one of the “Sunday Word” column writers for the Florida Catholic, Father Campbell was recognized June 21 by the Catholic Media Association with a second-place award for best regular column on Scripture.

In the spirit of Eucharistic revival, Father Campbell encouraged the Legatus members to advocate for special times of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in their parishes. Every Friday after morning Mass at St. John of the Cross, he said, the Real Presence of Jesus is exposed on the altar until Benediction at 6 p.m.

“Just opening the doors, having the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, has been a big, big deal for us at St. John of the Cross,” Father Campbell said. “Spending time with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is really a great way to grow in our Eucharistic faith.”

Legatus meets monthly to pray the rosary, celebrate Mass and listen to a dinner presentation by a Catholic speaker. Members receive spiritual and professional support at chapter and national meetings, retreats, webinars, pilgrimages and special gatherings, and fellowship among other Catholics. To apply for membership in Legatus, applicants must be a Catholic in good standing; holding the top position at a qualifying company, subsidiary or division (chairman, president, CEO, managing director, division head, owner); with at least 40 employees or a payroll of $1.5 million; and revenue of at least $9 million, or $2 million for financial or commission-based client services. Potential members can apply on the website or contact the Jupiter-Palm Beach chapter at