Posts Tagged ‘US Marines’

Catholic military chaplains

July 29, 2007 4 comments

military Catholics @ MassI finally received a packet from the Vocation’s Director of the Archdiocese for Military Services (AMS).  It contained a couple brochures specific to Catholic chaplains, but mostly brochures from the Army, Air Force & Navy.  I asked for the Marines, but I guess they’re considered part of the Navy.  Anyways, there’s some interesting figures:military Catholics @ Mass

  • The AMS serves 375,000 Catholic soldiers — 520,000 family members — 204,000 in Reserves & National Guard — 29,000 Catholic patients in 172 Medical Centers — & 66,000 Catholics in government service overseas (in 134 countries).

  • Geographically, the AMS is the largest in the Church, trans-national without borders at 220 installations in 29 countries.

  • To meet all those needs, they have fewer than 350 full-time Catholic military chaplains with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines & Coast Guard.
  • They have 480 priests serving part-time with Reserve forces & National Guard.
  • The priests serving full-time are on loan from 142 dioceses and 44 religious communities.

Catholic miliary chaplainAs excited I am about the military, I also realize the needs and dynamics of serving soldiers can be extremely diferent from Miami pastoral ministry.  I’d like to stay open to the possibility of a summer internship (in a theology year), but I don’t currently feel drawn into any permanent call.  — I need to slow down and focus on the now.  

Memorial Day – Proud of US

US flagToday, Memorial Day, we remember the martyr patriots that make the United States the greatest country in the world.  I’m grateful to have been born, raised and living here.  I support this country in good times and in bad, unlike fickle Dolfans who jump ship at the sign of trouble.  I’m not ashamed to be called an American, even if we are hated by the world.  Even parody movies like Team America: World Police can’t deny the importance of the U.S. in the world.  Just look at today’s demonstrations in Venezuela when Chavez closed a TV news station because they spoke out against him.  Why the outcry?  That’s what you get when you elect a dictator.  The people like Chavez because he speaks out against Bush and the U.S., but then borrow our freedoms (of the press, in this case) when they open their eyes.  People in the U.S. have the right to support Chavez, hate Bush, call our troops “terrorist” & “baby killers,” blame US for world problems, and condemn the very country that grants the freedom to do so.  People are dying to come into this country, so remember you can leave anytime you’d like to your choice of socialist, communist or “benevolent dictatorships.”  The media criticized Pat Robertson for his assessment of Chavez, and now the U.S. will probably have to fix another mess the world has created (yet another reason to hate us). 

On Sunday, I learned of yet another parish youth now in Marines in Iraq.  I’m extremely grateful for soldiers’ sacrifice.  If medical conditions didn’t keep me out of the military, then I would be in Iraq myself.  God’s got a funny way of closing some doors to open others, I guess.  May God bless the troops, this country, and all those fighting for freedom worldwide.  — I’m praying for you all.