Page 1



“Father Capodanno Window” located in the MCB Quantico Chapel Story on page 34

Dear Friends of the Archdiocese for the Military Services,


he summer respite is upon us. Baseball games, sun, sand, mountains, crowded roads, and busy airports fill the days. At the archdiocesan headquarters things slow down a little bit, but planning for the fall does keep the staff busy. It is also time to send off another issue of Salute.


n the last day of June the Archdiocese held a special round table on young adult ministry. It was a moment of grace when some representatives of the largest age group served by the AMS gathered with men and women engaged in the field of young adult ministry. Some boasted many years of experience and others were more recently involved in the field. Many ideas were exchanged and I felt enriched at the end of the day. It is hoped that some of the insights will improve the ministry to that portion of the People of God.


his issue of the AMS quarterly publication will recount the pastoral visits made by the Bishops and me over the Easter Season. The focus in the month of August will be World Youth Day to which already at least 140 participants from the AMS have already registered. All of us are eager to hear what the Successor of St. Peter will have to tell us. He will certainly invite us to a deeper commitment to live our faith.


ver the Labor Day weekend at least four new seminarians will participate in the annual co-sponsored seminarian “get away�. Everyone is looking forward to welcoming these young men who will one day serve the men and women in uniform. They represent a great sign of hope for future ministry in the Archdiocese.


n behalf of all of those to whom the Archdiocese for the Military Services ministers, I give special thanks to the faithful of those archdioceses and dioceses where special collections have been taken up to defray the operational costs of the AMS and those associated with the education of seminarians. Those efforts were once again very successful.


njoy the following pages of Salute, as I wish you an abundance of summer rest and that tranquility so important for our busy lives. Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio Archbishop

2 summer / 2011 /


table of contents 4 A Statement from the Archbishop on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

6 A Full Spring...God’s grace has been abundant! Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio

10 Bishops “On the Move”

Bishop Joseph W. Estabrook

14 Tracking the AMS Bishops...get your Atlas! Bishop Richard B. Higgins

18 How many Confirmation Masses have you had? Bishop Neal J. Buckon

20 “Second Dog Down!”

Bishop F. Richard Spencer

26 17th Annual Memorial Mass 34 Marine Corps Foundation Honors Heroic Vietnam War Priest Father Vincent R. Capodanno

36 Pieces of Faith in the Heart on the Battlefields can be like an ugly piece of a jigsaw puzzle

44 Catholics Minister to Veterans, Serving with Chaplains of Many Faiths 52 Leaders Gather To Encourage Young Adult Ministry Young Adult Roundtable

The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA publishes SALUTE for the nation’s Bishops, active and retired military chaplains, and financial supporters of the Archdiocese.



ADDRESS CHANGES AND NEW SUBSCRIPTIONS: Please send title, name, address, and phone number to: or call: 202-719-3600 or write: Development Office, Archdiocese for

the Military Services, P.O. Box 4469, Washington, D.C. 20017-0469 Feedback, letters to the editor, & advertising inquiries: Website: ON THE COVER: Window dedicated in memory of Father Vincent R. Capodanno


“Father Capodanno Window” located in the MCB Quantico Chapel Story on page 34





A Statement from Archb


4 summer / 2011 /

ishop Timothy P. Broglio

summer / 2011 /


A Full Spring... God’s grace has been abundant! By ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY P. BROGLIO



he dog days of summer allow you and me to be a bit more reflective. As I look back, I cannot help but recognize that it has been a full spring and God’s grace has been abundant!

6 summer / 2011 /


ou read in the last issue of Salute about the central event of the first half of 2011, the ordination of the Most Reverend Neal J. Buckon to service as an Auxiliary Bishop. Even winter cooperated by providing a sunny day for the sacred gift of the fullness of the Priesthood. The weekend before the ordination found me at the third Emerald Coast Military Catholic Youth Conference near Eglin Air Force Base in Destin, Florida. The young military dependents were so enthusiastic about this time of spirituality, community, and a celebration of faith. Particularly impressive was the panel of young men and women who spoke about their experience during a parent’s deployment. War makes children grow up faster. The panel of teenagers offered wise counsel to their peers about what to expect during a deployment. It was a good reminder that war does not only affect the combatants or those in the war zone. From Bishop Buckon’s ordination until June 30th I spent 78 of the 128 days in that period on the road! West Point, the Coast Guard Academy, Patuxent River Naval Station, Fort Bragg, the Submarine Base at Groton, the VA Medical Centers in the New York City area, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Fort Campbell, Great Lakes Naval Station, and Scott Air Force Base were some of the domestic stops, which afforded opportunities to greet the Catholic Communities, celebrate Confirmation, and meet the commanding officers in most instances. Two exceptional international visits marked the period, as well. In March I set out for Rome, a city to which I return eagerly. For nineteen years it was my permanent address! While there I made my first


visit to Camp Darby in Livorno. The small Catholic community reserved a warm welcome for me. A deacon and seminarians from the North American College make the quick trip up to that seaport twice a month. It holds a special place in the heart of American Catholics, because St. Elizabeth Ann Seton encountered a lived Catholic faith there and was received into the Church as a result. It was a joyful moment as we celebrated Mass together and then gathered afterwards. Of course, they made certain not only that we were well-fed at the reception, but also gave the seminarians and me sandwiches for the train. Reaching out to the smaller communities is an important part of the pastoral ministry exercised by this global Archdiocese. (continued on page 8) summer / 2011 /


A Full Spring... God’s grace has been abundant!

(continued from page 7)

The days in Italy were a prelude for Central and Eastern Europe. That represents the National Prayer Breakfast at the Army an authentic challenge for the chaplains. Garrison in Kaiserslautern, Germany. It was Those languages are less accessible to many my second experience with a prayer break- of us. However, a smile and a blessing were fast and the event was well-organized. Of always welcomed. Father David Kirk course, it began early so as to allow anyone (Toledo) was an excellent guide. who so desired to attend On Ash Wednesday before reporting to work. evening I celebrated Mass The Garrison Chaplain, with the Catholic commuThe Superintendent LTC David Snyder went nity of Wiesbaden. It was of the Air Force out of his way to ensure good to begin the disciAcademy also invited me to preach a successful event. He pline of Lent with a chapel at the Baccalaureate was assisted by another filled with faithful people. Masses for the Protestant Chaplain, Maj. Fathers Edgar Villanueva graduating class. Everett Franklin and and Victor Lanuevo made It was a pleasure to Father Cecil Corneille certain that no detail was do so. These young men and women (diocese of St. Thomas in the left to chance! were doolies or firstVirgin Islands). This German visit year students when After the event there began very early on MonI first visited the was a briefing by the day morning with a flight Academy in Garrison Commander, before dawn from Rome to January, 2008 LTC Hutchinson and Frankfurt. At Ramstein daily Mass. Then the two Air Force Base I was able Protestant Chaplains accompanied me to to join Bishop Spencer, my Vicar for Europe the Cathedral in Speyer. We also visited the and Asia, and a good number of the chapJewish baths there. That excavation and lains stationed in Germany and Belgium for restoration are relatively new and so repre- their quarterly day of recollection. It was sented something I had never seen before. good to have that privileged time with them It was a full day, but a very enjoyable one! and to celebrate Mass together with a sizeAsh Wednesday dawned with a visit to able group of faithful. and Mass at the Army Hospital at Landstuhl. The second international visit was As always, it is a privilege to greet both the to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Diocesan patients and the men and women who serve Administrator of the Military Diocese there them. Landstuhl is where most of those had invited me to participate in the annual wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan arrive before meeting of the chaplains. Since 2007 the being transferred to the States or their native country has been without a Bishop for the lands. As more forces from the coalition military and police forces. Consequently, countries are now more actively engaged, Monsignor Candia, the Administrator, was the hospital had many more patients from anxious to have some support from the bish-

8 summer / 2011 /


ops of other military dioceses. It was good to spend time with them. There are many fine young priests engaged in this ministry. The organization is also quite different from ours. However, I must say that there is an advantage to the U.S. system, where the Government is not so interested in the appointment of bishops! Another high point of the spring visitation cycle was the visit to Carlisle Barracks, home of the Army War College. Father Gregory D’Emma made certain that the visit was interesting and complete. Not only were the meetings and exchanges with the officials of the War College enlightening, but the tours and the museum rounded out the time in Pennsylvania. The thriving Catholic community had prepared some youngsters for confirmation and the members of the Catholic Council also made time for a pleasant exchange of ideas. Father Dwight Schlaline, the only diocesan priest ordained by me, is stationed nearby and it was good to see him again. I began Holy Week at Joint Base San Antonio (Fort Sam Houston joined with Lackland, and Randolph Air Force Bases), celebrated Holy Thursday at Fort Knox, Good Friday at the Navy Yard and Joint Base Fort Myer-Henderson Hall, and the Easter Vigil

and Easter Sunday at the Naval Academy. Scintillating was the week at the Air Force National Security Forum in Alabama. The format and the topics examined offered many opportunities to exchange views and look at issues from a variety of angles. Father David Fitz-Patrick (Washington, DC) was a gracious host and made certain that I also saw the shrines of the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, Alabama. The Superintendent of the Air Force Academy also invited me to preach at the Baccalaureate Masses for the graduating class. It was a pleasure to do so. These young men and women were “doolies” or first-year cadets when I first visited the Academy in January, 2008. It was good to send them off to active duty with an invitation to live their faith to the fullest! Now a few other pastoral visitations, another prayer breakfast, and diverse events filled up the spring calendar. Our neighbors on Michigan Avenue invited me to ordain four Dominican priests at the end of May. The celebration was beautiful and it is always a privilege to hand on what the Lord has given to me. Indeed it was a full spring and the fall is already approaching. There will be more to tell in the next Salute. ✞ summer / 2011 /



he title of this article, ‘Bishops on the Move’ is a curious one since, given the chance, I would probably opt to stay at home more often. Last year I spent 260 days on the road. The bishops of the Archdiocese for the Military Services are called to continually connect with God’s people serving our country and especially with our priest-chaplains. These visitations continually move me through encounters of real meaning and purpose.


t is sometimes unsettling to be on the receiving end of the respect and deference paid to a bishop. It’s essential to remember that the focus of that respect is really on the “One” being represented. It is Jesus Christ himself that our people really want to touch and feel a response from as much as possible. It takes a daily conversion and challenge to strive for that quality described in Mark 3:4 where Jesus called the Apostles, “to be with him.” From these personal encounters ‘with him’ Jesus sent them out as the disciples to communicate the reality of the “One” people are really seeking. The Risen Christ must be

10 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

an event each of us experiences personally in our lives.


he first thing Jesus said when he turned to address John and Andrew, the two disciples following him in John 1:37-39, was phrased in the form of a question, “What are you looking for?” Jesus always listened. He started first with the human questions people have and not with the answers he thought they should hear. So to be a ‘Bishop on the Move’ is first to be the reality of the Risen Lord asking his people, “What is it that you are looking for?”



e often speak of Catholic Tradition. Sadly, some only stand on tradition as a historical platform. Tradition is persuasive and compelling when we embody it as the present and lived experience that it is. The Church makes a distinction between tradition (of human origin) and the “living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit”, called Tradition, which is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, “the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes.” (DV 8:1) “What are you looking for?” Tradition is a continuation of that question through the ages. It’s lived in the present moment and has been lived throughout history too. To be rooted in Tradition means to be one with the Saints such as Irenaeus, Ignatius, Augustine, and Francis. Each in their own way posed that same question, “What are you looking for?” and responded to it as Christ would.


ince the last SALUTE was published I have been privileged to represent the Archdiocese at the Navy Memorial in Washington, DC for the annual “Blessing of the Fleet.” Seven large vials of water were brought to the Memorial from the seven seas on which our Sailors and Marines deploy. After the blessing, the waters were released by a Navy Color Guard to mingle with the water of the Memorial’s fountain, symbolizing our hope of God bringing and keeping us together under his care. Before the ceremony I had traversed the gathering crowd and asked many of them about their concerns and why they came. I then tried to articulate these concerns in the ceremony. It is indeed a powerfully symbolic ceremony that captures some of the deepest feelings our people have about the nature of what we do in the Sea Services and how we feel about the young people who serve us and carry out its mission. (continued on page12) summer / 2011 /




ater in May, again representing the Archdiocese and also the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity,

on which I serve, I was again honored to Celebrate Mass for Mariners and Sea Going Sailors at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC. In my homily I used the image of Noah’s ark sailing as a “rescue operation” on a sea of chaos (To’Hoo), an image I borrowed from Father Robert Barron, founder of the Word on Fire Catholic Ministries web site and blog. It was a fitting image for our Maritime Community who sail the seas often as unknown and unappreciated people. Daily they experience the isolation of a lonely lifestyle on the seas of chaos that exist today. They rarely see a priest but hang on to their faith as much as possible

12 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

and often use that faith as a bridge to many other peoples they meet from diverse cultures. Bringing the presence of the Risen Christ to them at the celebration by reminding them of the question Jesus asks “What are you looking for?” and being able to respond to their need in some tangible way was tremendously enriching and immensely important to me.


he Mariners are those civilians who sail on merchant ships transporting the goods we need at home. If we were to clean out our houses of all the things that they brought to us we would have many empty rooms. This community also includes fishing fleets, the rescue services at home and abroad, and those who carry out the services of docks and harbors. Many of them are sometimes in danger as targets of pirates and of other random acts of violence. Their long

Bishops “On the Move” absences from home involve difficult sacrifices in their family life. Hundreds of these Mariners were present at the Mass as well as those who support them in the Apostleship of the Sea Ministry. Monsignor John FitzGerald from Baltimore, a former distinguished Navy chaplain, joined me as a concelebrant. He is one of the great leaders in the Apostleship Ministry. The Apostleship is an outreach of Christian hospitality and support through various kinds of life-skills training for these dedicated people. The Apostleship is always looking for support and assistance.


he celebrations of Confirmations and the pastoral visitations at our military installations remain powerful encounters of the sacrifice and dedication of our people and priests. My visit at Fort Hood in Texas was particularly meaningful. Fort Hood has had a large number of soldiers deploy who have been killed or wounded. They are dealing with the pain they still feel from the tragedies of the recent past. They are extremely grateful for the quick response of the Archdiocese in those dark days and in our continuing tangible support of them now. Despite these challenges there remains an everpresent reality of positive attitudes and faithfulness of the people. At the end of Mass I was presented a surprise gift: a Stetson Cavalry Hat, a rare honor, and real Cavalry boots that actually fit. I told them from now on when celebrating Confirmation in Texas—they will replace my Mitre.

(continued from page 12)


f special note was an ROTC commissioning ceremony at Santa Clara University in California where a senior enlisted and father of a young graduate swore in his daughter as a newly commissioned Army Lieutenant. I told her that after taking the oath she must remember to salute first so her father could return the salute and not hug him and say, “thank you daddy.” You never know!


ishops on the Move” tries to capture how our pastoral visitations are always exciting, adventurous and full of discovery, even though we would sometimes rather stay at home. They are exciting precisely because so much of what we do is making Jesus present and alive to his people. As Jesus did, we plant ourselves in the midst of God’s people, experiencing their needs and expectations, and ask them his question, “What are you looking for?” and then try to respond as best we can being ever mindful of attempting to answer the way Jesus would.


ven though I’d sometimes rather stay at home, and even though I am the one who decides when and where I need to go, it is in fact always God himself who has already planned these secret and surprising destinations for us bishops. He has his own purpose in mind for each visit. It certainly is a road less traveled, so to speak, but then- that is what makes all the difference. ✞ summer / 2011 /



Tracking the AMS Bishops... get your Atlas!


eography was one of my favorite subjects while I was a student in St. Mel’s College, Longford (Ireland), though I must admit we did not spend that much time studying the map of the United States of America. Well, over the past seven years I have been to every state in the Union and enjoyed every minute. So, for those of you who like to track the AMS bishops it is time to get the atlas! Since the last issue of “Salute” I have been to Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, South and North Dakota, Maryland (live there), Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Washington State and Utah! Tired yet?


t all began with a trip to Georgia. Easter was really late this year, perhaps the latest it will be for many years and one of the challenges at Fort Benning, Georgia was the timing of the Easter Vigil, the highlight of the liturgical year. It has always been a pastoral challenge to convince the faithful that participating in the celebration of the Easter Vigil should be the central act of their observation of the memorial of Christ’s resurrection. But it is an annual struggle for the pastors of military communities, given the length of

14 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

the ceremonies and an official sunset of 8:30 pm! Father Ed Ohm and I held off as long as we could so the lighting of the Paschal Fire could have the dramatic impact intended by the Light of Christ. The faithful were undeterred by the lateness or duration of the event and participated in record numbers. Father Ed was pleased.


ather Tom Fey is the contract priest at Robins Air Force Base. The wing chaplain at Robins prior to his retirement from the Air Force, Father Tom


“Q” lit up again and again as the lightning struck, followed almost immediately by multiple, deafening peals of thunder. This was the storm that killed over 150 people in Joplin, Missouri the day before. Father Justin Monaghan, pastor of St. Mary’s and a contemporary from the Irish College in Rome escaped with his life by oving on to the combined crouching in his bathtub while his rectory installations of Fort Stewart and disappeared. Hunter Army Airfield I ran into Fathers Peter Uhde and Patrick Van rom Fort Gordon, Georgia it was on Dorme. This sprawling complex boasts one to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, of the new “Mega Chapels” in the Army home to the co-located chaplain inventory…utilitarian and very neutral, schools and a joint Confirmation cereas is required by regulations. Midweek mony with the good folks from Shaw Air Confirmations are always evening events Force Base. Father Ed Kelley and several followed by a light reception and an early of the priest-students from the chaplain morning departure for the next engage- schools concelebrated. Once again, a conment. The pastoral visitation schedule had tingent of Knights of Columbus provided me either ahead of, or just behind the honors and added to the solemnity of the killer storm of 2011. Fort Gordon’s Con- occasion. Next stop was Charleston AFB firmation was scheduled for 6:30 pm as the and a pastoral visit with Father John Bosco front approached. The storm hit at 5:00 Ikemah, a Nigerian Dominican who is the am the following morning precisely as the contract priest for this community. forecasters had predicted. The room in the (continued on page 16) provides exceptional care to the community at Robins and the pastoral visit to this installation was a delight. A pleasant surprise was to discover Chaplain Ken Harp had just arrived as the wing chaplain. Chaplain Harp had worked with me at the Air Force Academy back in 2000-2001.



summer / 2011 /


Tracking the AMS Bishops...get your Atlas!





he storm that ripped through the Ohio Valley did not spare Camp Lejeune, the next stop on the schedule. It destroyed the homes of several of the faithful from the Marine Corps installation. Father Jose Bautista-Rojas is the pastor of this dynamic and young community and the recently-arrived Father Tom O’Flanagan cares for the Marine Expeditionary Force stationed at the Camp.

esponding to a request for assistance from the Diocese of Richmond, I celebrated Confirmation with the civilian communities of the Church of the Resurrection in Portsmouth, St. Bede’s in Williamsburg and St. Mary’s of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk before returning to the DC area and heading out to Dover Air Force Base to visit Father Tim Hirten’s community. It was a brief stay in DC before I was off to the Midwest to Fort Leavenworth (Father Lee Yoakam), McConnell AFB (Father John Hotze), Fort Riley (Father Orlando Fuller), Whiteman AFB (Father Bill Bartoul) and Fort Leonard Wood (Father Carl Subler). A brief respite back in DC and it was off to the Dakotas to cover Ellsworth and Grand Forks Air Force Bases where I was hosted by Fathers David Reinhart and Eugene Theisen. An added bonus to this trip was a delightful visit in Rapid City with Father Bill Zandri, the Chaplain of the Year for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Father Bill cares for our veterans at the old Fort Meade, just outside Sturgis, South Dakota.

16 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

(continued from page 15)

eturning from the whirlwind trip to the Dakotas it was time to visit Father Larry Smith, a veteran Jesuit who pastors the community at Hanscom AFB, just west of Boston. Enroute to Boston I stopped to visit Monsignor Carlo Montecalvo, a long-time friend and fellow retired Air Force chaplain who is pastor of Our Lady of Grace in Johnston, Rhode Island. Monsignor Carlo is a most gracious host and, as I would expect, is renowned in the community! was looking forward to a reduced schedule in June so I could get back to caring for the 270 plus priest-chaplains in the Department of Veterans Affairs, but it was not to be! I dashed out to Phoenix for a reunion of the 36th Fighter Wing from Bitburg, Germany. Those wonderful folks are ageing and I am in denial! I must confess it was a delightful few days with many of those who called me “Father Dick” years ago and whose lives touched and changed mine. Before returning to DC I did manage a visit with Father David Reinders at the Tucson VA and Father Matt Crehan at the Phoenix VA.


llow me to finish this with one of those events of a lifetime….it was an unusual “crew” that assembled for the 9:00 am Mass at the West Haven VA Medical Center on the 17th Sunday of Ordinary time…Father Cosmas Archibong, the chaplain at West Haven, veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Cold War and several hospital staff. Among the gathering were Gary

Thomas, the Grand Knight of Council #1 of the Knights of Columbus and some of his colleagues who volunteer their services at the VA every week. But most intriguing was a charming blind lady named Carol who worked her way to the front of the chapel. She did not seem unduly upset that she could not locate her usual chair. It had been taken for the bishop who was visiting that day! For the most part we sang on key as we began Mass with hymn #757 and all progressed as you would expect until we sat for the readings. It was then that I noticed Carol stepping forward to proclaim the Word. With her Braille Lectionary firmly in hand she told us the story of Solomon! I listened intently and marveled at this extraordinary lady who has been proclaiming

the Word since 1983. Later I discovered that the Blind Center on the 6th floor is named after her husband, George Gillespie, who lost his eyesight in World War II. As I headed west on I-80 later that day I reflected on the extraordinary gift I had received on what otherwise might have been a routine Sunday!


t would be an understatement to say these past few months were quiet or uneventful! Through it all I am conscious of your prayerful support in my ministry. I am continuously inspired by the veterans, dedicated priests, CCD teachers, teens and devoted parents who live and profess the gospel daily. It is indeed humbling and I am privileged to serve you. ✞

They are going back to School! his summer two of our employees are heading for college campuses. The Vocations Director (Father John McLaughlin) will return to the Archdiocese of Boston and take on his new role as the College Chaplain at Boston University. His successor is Father Kerry Abbott. (Meet Father Kerry on FATHER JOHN MCLAUGHLIN WILLIAM "BILL" KIRST page 30 “Miracles!”) The Chief Advancement Officer (Bill Kirst)is retiring from the AMS and has accepted a full time professorship at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. His successor is Dawn Marie Jones. We thank them for their service to the Archdiocese and wish both of them success on campus! ✞


summer / 2011 /


“How many Confirmation Masses have you had?” By BISHOP NEAL BUCKON



frequently asked question is, “How many Confirmation Masses have you had?” The answer at the time of writing this article is 19. Confirmation Masses have taken place between New Orleans, Louisiana in the East and Honolulu, Hawaii in the West. They were celebrated in our Military Chapels as far South as Corpus Christi, Texas, and as far North as Fairbanks, Alaska. Every Confirmation Mass is a unique, grace-filled celebration for the confirmandi, their families, and the Catholic communities. The Holy Spirit is certainly active in our Archdiocese as it sanctifies the members of our chapel communities; and strengthens them to live the Catholic faith with witness to Jesus Christ.

18 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


very Confirmation Mass takes place during a pastoral visit to the Installation’s Catholic community and its clergy. It is a joy for me to visit the Faithful who love God, love their Church, and love their Country. I am also inspired by the selfless service and mettle of our Catholic Chaplains and contract priests. Their ministry L-R CHAPLAIN STEPHEN HICKS, CHAPLAIN FRANK FOLEY, enables our service members to be FATHER PATRICK P. COYLE USN-RETIRED, BISHOP NEAL BUCKON, blessed with God’s love and grace each MONSIGNOR JAMES KOLP, FATHER GERALD VIDAD, CHAPLAIN ROBERT KEENER and every day. made the journey. Let us all continue to pray In addition to the pastoral visits, I also for our Wounded Warriors and their families. had the opportunity to represent the Finally, Matt Carpenter, Grand Knight Archdiocese for the Military Services in the of the Knights of Columbus Harry G. 53rd International Military Pilgrimage to Johansing Council #4482 invited me to Lourdes, France. According to the organizers the US Marine Corps Base at 29 Palms, in Paris, 11,854 pilgrims from 31 nations California to celebrate a Golden Jubilee. participated this year. The U.S. Armed On June 25th, 2011, the Council hosted a Forces Service Members from Europe were dinner celebration to honor Retired Navy the majority in the USA contingent. Chaplain, Father Patrick P. Coyle, on the However, the North American Volunteers occasion of the 50th anniversary of his for Lourdes (NAVL) organized a group of ordination to the priesthood. Father Coyle about 100 pilgrims from the continental first accepted a commission in the U.S. Navy United States. Included in this group were in 1966. He served in the Active Component approximately 50 Wounded Warriors and and in the Naval Reserves. He retired from their family members; 6 Priests; a retired the Navy after 20+ years of dedicated and Army physician; retirees; veterans; and faithful service tending to the spiritual needs youthful volunteers from the Franciscan of the thousands of sailors, marines, and University of Steubenville, Ohio. family members that he met during the Lourdes has been a site for healing for course of his military career. the past 153 years. There are currently 68 The following morning on the Feast of official and documented miracles that have Corpus Christi Father Coyle was joined taken place there. Some of our Wounded by Navy Chaplains: Father Frank Foley, Warriors and Veterans made the pilgrimage Father Steven Hicks, and Father Robert in search for a healing: physical, spiritual, Keener; as well as Monsignor James Kolp emotional; or the grace to cope with their of Youngstown, Ohio, and me for the affliction. I pray that the spiritual blessings celebration of the Eucharist. The Knights of and graces promised to the pilgrims are still Columbus provided an Honor Guard for being made manifest in the lives of those who (continued on page 29) summer / 2011 /


“Second Dog Down!” Three Battlefield Experiences during Active Duty Deployment – Iraq – Lent 2011 By BISHOP F. RICHARD SPENCER




here are many uncomfortable moments on any battlefield for our Service personnel. One of those is being stuck in a vehicle convoy queue at a U.S. Military gate trying to exit when the alarm is given:“Second Dog Down”. A distinctive and quiet fear floats in the air among your traveling companions as the vehicle engines are quickly turned off, personnel exit their vehicles, and move quickly to a harden shelter.


omb-sniffing dogs are used in numerous ways, especially on battlefields, one of which is to identify the presence of explosive materials in vehicles and/or on persons trying to enter our military compounds. When a dog “alerts” they sit down. Now sometimes the dog may just be tired from the long hours and/or dehydrated from the prolonged heat....a reasonable response. So a second dog is always made available to

20 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

verify the response of the first. If, and when, the second dog sits in the same space/area, you are almost 100 percent sure you have a “hot situation” unfolding. My experience with “Second Dog Down” was during my recent Lenten deployment to Iraq while attempting to exit the Green Zone. Our vehicle was the third vehicle from the gate search location. From our professional training and following the sound leadership given

by the NCO Chaplain assistant, we moved in an orderly fashion with deliberate haste to a hardened shelter for protection while EOD responded to defuse the situation. Meanwhile, in the bunker, I did a quick inventory and realized that I had a fairly significant crowd of Catholics huddled together. I then began to celebrate the third form of the Rite of Reconciliation with General Absolution. During this particular ministry in Iraq, my fourth as an Army Chaplain and my second deployment as a Bishop, there were also a second and a third significant opportunity to utilize the third form of the Rite of Reconciliation. FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT 10 APRIL 2011, COB BASRAH, IRAQ:


“ NCOMING, INCOMING, INCOMING”: As the electronic siren and voice alarm were sounding, my final words during distribution of Holy Communion: “Eat, Drink...THE MASS IS QUICKLY ENDED... MOVE TO THE BUNKER, NOW!” As the alarm went off – about 60 people in the chapel hit the floor very quickly (I was impressed) – covering heads, plugging the ears and opening their mouths to allow pressure to escape from the blast. We remained on the floor while I gave General Absolution. About two minutes later we then smartly moved outside in the bunkers near the Chapel. Unfortunately, two soldiers in nearby sleeping quarters were killed in this incident. GOOD FRIDAY, 22 APRIL 11, IRAQ:


ine minutes into the Liturgy of Good Friday: “INCOMING, INCOMING, INCOMING” the electronic voice kept repeating over and over again. The “alarm”

continued repeating these words as long as the radar systems detected rockets in the air. So, we assumed the “duck and cover” position (I under the altar table…again face down, ears plugged with fingers and mouths open to release the pressures from the blasts). Finally (after about a good 4-6 minute silent pause, which to some may have felt like an eternity) the next announcement came telling us to move quickly to the nearest bunker. We stood – I quickly gave General Absolution. Then dismissing the crowd, I watched as about 70 folks moved deliberately in an orderly fashion to the concrete bunkers outside. I then proceeded to the Blessed Sacrament room and took the ciborium with me to the bunker. In the bunker, we continued the Readings, prayed the Lord's Prayer and I distributed Holy Communion to the people in both bunkers. Then another 25 minutes later, the “All clear” was announced and we moved back into the wooden chapel for the Veneration of the Cross and dismissal. The results of the multiple “Incoming Rockets”: once again our sleeping areas were hit and two American GI’s were killed. Sad day as we commemorated the “Good” of this Good Friday. Summary: None of us “know the day nor the hour” of our deaths. Always and in all ways we must be prepared sacramentally to meet our Lord and Savior. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is the most powerful healing and restorative gift that brings peace (and even tears of joy) to many of our brave men and women who wear our Nation’s uniform on the battlefields. Our Priests, who serve as Chaplains in the Armed Services, are agents of this peace as they boldly and courageously serve the Pastoral ministry of our men and women of the Armed Forces. None of us should wait until “Second Dog Down” alarm is given before we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation.✞ summer / 2011 /




n what has become something of a yearly tradition, a barbecue was put together recently for over 300 wounded soldiers and their families by the wonderful collaborative effort of the Order of Malta with the Johanniter Order at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


t was a beautiful day with nice weather. One cannot describe the extent of the appreciation of the wounded troops. They were so thankful for our outreaching effort. It helps in their healing process to know that so many people care for them and are doing something about it. Wounded individuals would ask the volunteers if we were coming back the next day. Even the volunteers from the Order said that serving in such an event impacted them tremendously. As a group, I am very appreciative of the impact we have made to help our wounded and their families by showing Christ's love to them. I was also appreciative that we were able to bring food to bed-ridden patients in the hospital wards. To the delight of the children, clowns and craft-making provided them much laughter and joy. Seeing the extent of, at least, the visible injuries puts things in perspective. Apart from the non-visible injuries (which are often the worst kind), I could not keep track of the endless number of servicemen with missing body parts as well as seeing other traumatic injuries. Still, their resilience amazes me. They are indeed true heroes! It is indeed an honor to serve. Nothing comes closer to the heart of God than to help hurting people. We look forward at ways to serve repeatedly in the future. ✞ Peter Guen KH (Knight of Honor) Johanniter Order

22 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

From the Chancellor By DEACON MICHAEL YAKIR


ell, next week it is finally over. My son and his wife fly into Dulles. My daughter-in-law will be newly-discharged after seven years, two deployments and being blown up for a total of five times. Last March a 107mm rocket hit her MRAP and blew the entire windshield off the vehicle. If you have ever seen those vehicles you know that it would take quite a force to do that. And the rocket did not even explode. Apparently the Taliban were too close when they fired off the rocket and it did not have enough flight time to arm itself. She told me, the day after it happened, that the people in her company told her that no one wants to ride with her because she is bad luck; she was the only one in the company who was hit twice on this deployment. I told her if it was me that I would want to ride with her because she is obviously blessed; hit twice and walked away both times, albeit to a helicopter to be medivaced, but still…


am tempted to tell you about other incidents that I know of, the ones they saw, but I will not. Suffice it to say that when they were on their way back to Germany we were on pins and needles until we saw and heard them on “Skype”. After that call I sat in my chair, said a prayer of thanksgiving, and cried for a half hour. All the pain is not over yet. When Pat and Judy arrive at Dulles they will be able to hold their daughter for the first time in 16 months. I can only imagine

how that reunion will go. Auria was only six months old when they left her with us. We got to experience firsthand her first steps, her first words. It has been fun watching Auria grow, developing her own personality. She even knows how to use my iPad better than my wife. They saw the same things via pictures and videos that I posted on “Facebook” for them, but it is not the same. Even now, when we all visit on “Skype”, mom and dad have tears in their eyes when they say goodbye to their daughter. (continued on page 24) summer / 2011 /


From the Chancellor

(continued from page 23)


e are going to take Pat and a day of rest and then back to Dulles so Judy back to Ohio for a couple they can see Judy’s mom and prepare for of days. As we grow up we take the next stage of their lives. That is going a lot of things for granted, not the least of to be the most painful part of this whole which is our faith and our health. I imag- venture; giving up our granddaughter. ine that after this last year I know this time has Pat and Judy are cured of been coming for 16 that ailment. But if you live months but what I know Things have in Ohio you take somein my head will not changed a lot thing else for granted; the make it any easier on my since my time best amusement park in the heart. I told my wife that in the Air Force country, Cedar Point. Pat Pat and Judy can have over forty years went there almost every Auria back for one week ago. One of year when he was growing then they have to send the biggest up and now he wants his her back. My wife differences is wife to experience it. Once warned me that I had that there are you have been to Cedar better watch what I say fewer people Point, every other amuseas they may take me up doing much ment park is a disappointon that offer. Of course more work. ment. No kidding. So we they will not, but just in are going to travel back to case, we are immediately Ohio just to go to Cedar Point. I am not hopping on the Harley and taking a trip sure how many of the roller coasters I will on Skyline Drive and part of the Blue get on, my wife already warned me that Ridge Parkway before we both have to get I am too old, but I am going to try and back to work again. sneak on a couple. My favorite is the The last sixteen months have been, Millennium Force. The first hill is over let us say, interesting. The emotional three hundred feet tall and goes so fast rollercoaster was nothing like the tallest your cheeks get pushed back. And that and fastest ride at Cedar Point. The fast one is neither the tallest nor the fastest! heartbeat when the phone awakens you The rest of the time I will probably be in at 0300. The passage of weeks between the kiddy area watching Auria on the phone calls; the stories of Judy’s near small rides or at the petting farm feeding a misses and Pat’s Afghani trainees who were goat. Hoorah! actually Taliban in disguise; watching After Cedar Point we are going to Auria take her first steps, listening to her have an open house at our home near say her first words. Her morning hugs, her Mansfield. Family and friends from all goodnight kisses, her calling me Pa Pa over are going to visit and welcome home when trying to say grandpa. The highest Pat and Judy. Then back to D.C. where of highs and nearly the lowest of lows. they will see me in action at the Basilica, I would not trade it for anything.

24 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


But I do not ever want to go through it again! position here at the AMS. Things have changed a lot since my time in the Air do not know how we did it. But then Force over forty years ago. One of the again I do. A long time ago when my biggest differences is that there are fewer kids were teenagers and they knew people doing much more work. I was everything, I contemplated sparing the deployed once but today stories of three world of their antics but a fellow deacon and four deployments and more are who had raised his kids told me that he commonplace. said a daily prayer to the Blessed Virgin I was single when I deployed. No everyday consecrating his family to her responsibilities back home and I did not protection. So I started doing that and understand what my mom and dad were I immediately noticed something was going through. I do now. I hope that I do happening. I say that prayer every day to not have to go through this again. this day and there is no doubt in my mind This last year has taught me a lot that she wrapped Pat and Judy in her arms about what many of you are going through and gave Susan and me the grace and or have gone through and my ministry will strength to endure. But I still do not ever never be the same. I pray for you every day. want to go through this again! From the bottom of my heart I thank you I have always had a great deal of all for what you do for this country. ✞ respect for the men and women in the PAX military and that is why I accepted my Deacon Mike


summer / 2011 /


17th Annual Memorial Mass By DEACON MICHAEL YAKIR


wo great loves in my life beyond my family are my faith and my country. It is a unique moment in my life when I can combine my love of God and country into one event. Such an event was the AMS Memorial Mass broadcast Memorial Day, 2011 on EWTN.


26 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /



s I think about the Memorial Mass I am overwhelmed with a variety of emotions. I think about the men and women from the “Greatest Generation” who gave their lives during World War II to stop evil from taking over the world. I swell with pride thinking about my father, uncles and father-in-law who served during that same time and passed on to me the love that I have for our country and who taught me that freedom is not free. I think about the men and women who served along with me during the Vietnam War, many of whom have their names engraved on a wall at the National Mall not far from here. I give thanks that my son and his wife both returned from Afghanistan and arrived in Germany in one piece just two weeks earlier and I had tears in my eyes as I thought about how proud I am of them. I prayed for the safe return of all who are still there. As I walked down the main aisle of the largest church in America, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and kissed the altar along with Archbishop Broglio, I was overcome with a sense of awe for being able to assist the Archbishop in this church while at the same time humbled; who am I to kiss the altar on which the greatest sacrifice will be offered. Shortly after arriving at the Bishop’s throne the color guard, comprised of

members from each branch of service, carried the colors down the main aisle stopping directly in front of the sanctuary. Immediately the Basilica echoed with the voices of hundreds of people showing their pride in the United States by singing the National Anthem. At the anthem’s conclusion the colors were retired and Archbishop Broglio began the liturgy. Here we are; Archbishop, bishops, active duty and retired chaplains, deacons, and every rank of the military from E-1 to flag officers. All of us are here to share our common faith. All equal in the eyes of our God. All of us sharing a common bond of love of God and love of country and all remembering the sacrifices of the past and present that allow us to freely and safely gather in this space. At the conclusion of Mass, prior to the recessional, a bugler played Taps from the choir loft at the back of the church. I get a chill up my spine and tears in my eyes every time I hear those 24 notes. This time was no exception. Those are just some of the emotions I felt and a few of the things I observed on that day. If you were there I imagine that your experience was similar. It was an honor for me to participate in this celebration and I continue to pray every day for the safety of the men and women and their families who are at this very moment sacrificing so that we all can enjoy the fruits of living in a free country. ✞ summer / 2011 /




have been working with contract priests for over seven months now and I find this world fascinating. We are seeing a rapidly evolving era of uniformed priests being replaced by civilian contract and GS (General Schedule) priests. And this is not because the services want to downsize their priest-chaplain numbers. It is the reality of fewer and fewer priests being accessed on active duty.


y September 30th, the Army will have 90 active duty priests. They have 11 retired/ recalled priests and 5 contract priests. They also have been in harm’s way. The Navy will have 68 priests on active duty. By comparison, when I started on active duty in the Navy in 1988 there were 220 active duty priests. They have 7 retired/ retained priests and 33 contract priests. The Air Force will have 60 active duty priests. They have no retired/retained priests, 14 GS priests, and 6 contract priests. When you realize that approximately 27% of the men FATHER JAMES JOSLYN and women serving in the military are Catholic, you begin to understand the serious problem the AMS and our Catholic service members are facing. Currently 58 installations are being served by full-time contract or GS priests. Most of these installations are in CONUS (the Continental United States) but some of them are overseas, most notably Japan. As the demand for uniform priests continues in Iraq and Afghanistan, the chapels back home are being staffed with contractors. Many of these contract priests are former or retired military. Some are reservists who serve full time as civilian contractors. Others are civilian priests with years of service as priests but little or no background in the military world. I have visited contract priests in Norfolk, VA, San Diego, CA, and Jacksonville, FL. They are a vital part of the AMS mission. While their military chaplain counterparts are deployed, they provide a continuity of pastoral service to CONUS-based military members and their families as well as the families of those who are deployed in the War against Terrorism. It is critically important to be with our troops in harm’s way, and it is equally important that we take care of their families at home. We frequently hear from deployed troops asking if their families have a priest serving their needs. Having contract priests in place gives those heroes peace of mind knowing that someone is taking care of their families. If you, or some priest you know, would be a good candidate for a contract or GS position, please contact me at 202.719.3617 or The AMS does not write or own the contracts/GS positions, but I will connect a priest with the installations with openings. I will walk them through the rather complicated process of applying to be a government contractor. ✞

28 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

Father Ralph Wiatrowski fondly remembers Father David Silva, VA Chaplain


ather David Silva, at the age of 85 was an extraordinary retired priest. I call him extraordinary for a number of reasons, one of which was that after World War II began, he enlisted in the Army and was a 19 year-old soldier when he landed on the Normandy beach on D-Day in 1944. He won several medals for his bravery. He was listed in the credits of the movie “The Longest Day,” as one of the soldiers who was consulted for the making of the film. Not too long after he returned from the War, he entered the seminary and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Cleveland in 1954. He never spoke much about his wartime experiences except to his buddies from the Army whom he enjoyed seeing at various reunions. Father Silva was a very soft-spoken and energetic priest who was a kind and gentle man and positively touched the lives of many over the years. One of the many reasons I enjoy being a priest is the association the priesthood gives with so many good, extraordinary caring people who also have the long view, like God. ✞


“How many Confirmation Masses have you had?” the Mass. The Mass and celebration were reminders of the loyal support of the numerous Knights of Columbus Councils and the many steadfast Knights that currently serve and have served our Country. The jubilee of a retired chaplain provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the great

(continued from page 19)

gift of the priesthood; and to thank our retired chaplains for their priceless ministry while they wore the uniform. We are especially grateful to our retired chaplains who like Father Patrick Coyle continue to be a blessing to the military community after they have retired from the Service. ✞ summer / 2011 /





o you believe in Miracles? I know that I do.We know that the English word “miracle” derives from the Latin words “miraculum”, and from “mirari”, or in English, “to wonder”. Miracles are wonders performed by supernatural power as signs of some special mission or gift, and explicitly ascribed to God. We can all recount an event or reality in our lives that seem to be or are miraculous.

30 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


ather John McLaughlin, my wonderfilled predecessor as Director of Vocations for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), while not the purveyor of miracles certainly cooperated with the Holy Spirit in fostering the work of vocation discernment in the life of our Archdiocese and beyond; in the lives of countless hundreds of women and men many of whom are now studying in seminaries, professing religious vows and being ordained deacons and priests for service to their dioceses, our military service members, military families and the wider AMS family.


ith the unyielding support of our own Archbishop Timothy Broglio, other bishops, religious superiors, chaplains, vocation directors, rectors, benefactors and the entire AMS staff and family, it seems miraculous to me to realize that when Father McLaughlin was “loaned” to the AMS by His Eminence Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston three years ago the AMS had but three men in the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program!


hen Archbishop Broglio invited my Minister Provincial to “loan” me to the AMS as Father McLaughlin’s successor, he handed me a “portfolio” that includes 30 seminarians, several recently ordained deacons and priests (all from the AMS Co-Sponsored Seminarian and/or military chaplain candidacy programs), dozens of inquirers who are women and men seeking to follow God’s voice to live sacramental lives of priesthood, religious life or marriage. From 3 to 30+ in 3 years; I do believe in miracles!


t is with not a little wonder (and trepidation) that I undertake this invitation from Archbishop Broglio, building upon the firm foundation provided by God, with these gifts from God, these priestly and religious vocations, to assist these “precious souls” to hear, listen and respond to the voice of God in their lives; perhaps to ministry in the disparate fields of our AMS vineyard.


am almost overwhelmed at times by the realization of “miracles” in my own life. It was US Air Force priest-chaplains who helped me to hear, listen and follow the voice of God in my own life; to first “come home” to the Church (I was raised an Air Force “brat” in a loving, faith-filled Southern Baptist home by wonderful parents) when I was an enlisted Airman First Class Air Traffic Controller at RAF Mildenhall, England in 1976, and then much later to request permission to become an Air Force Reserve Chaplain while a priest-student studying canon law at the Lateran University in Rome in 1992.


elieve me, neither vocation reality was part of my plan. My life-long dream had been to know the stability of a “home town” (not part of a military kid’s experience), a family and legal career. While I had become aware at a young age that God had something in mind for me, I knew what I wanted and thought if I delayed long enough, He would give up and leave me alone. He did not and simply turned up the “volume” until He had my attention. I know now that He used many wonder-filled (and patient) persons, places and events to help me see His miracles and (continued on page32) summer / 2011 /




t is miraculous to me that a Southern Baptist kid, born to two of the most wonderful parents a man could pray for, an Air Force brat, Airman Basic, who experienced most of his life outside of the United States, could now look back on almost twenty-five years as a Conventual Franciscan, twenty-four years of military service to God and the Nation, twenty-one years a priest and twenty as a military chaplain without overwhelming gratitude to God for placing women and men in my life who were my “vocation directors”.


n his Apostolic Exhortation, “Pastores Dabo Vobis”, Blessed Pope John Paul II writes, “Each Christian vocation comes from God and is God’s gift. However, it is never bestowed outside or independently of the Church. Instead it always comes about in the Church and through the Church…” (PDV 35)

32 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

desire for my life. I finally and willingly gave in, and while I have known much happiness in my life (as I have sadness, holding the hands of dying, wounded or ill Marines in Afghanistan, Soldiers in Iraq, Airmen in Pakistan, Sailors and countless civilians in myriad other places around the world), I have never known the peace and joy I know as a priest. Happiness and sadness are emotions and transitory; joy is a state of being (which includes happiness and sadness) but only known in and through God.

(continued from page 31)

I am almost overwhelmed at times by the realization of “miracles” in my own life.


t is my fervent prayer as I accept Archbishop Broglio’s gracious invitation to assist him in caring for his flock as the AMS Director of Vocations, inheriting as I do the incredible ministry of Father McLaughlin, that I never forget that it is God who has given the gifts, and continues to gently and patiently call men to priestly service and sacrifice, women and men to religious life and marriage, all ordered to give glory to God through the care of our sisters and brothers and the upbuilding of His Kingdom.


s I begin this new chapter of service in my life, may God who blesses us with so many gifts, particularly those of priestly and religious vocations, empower all of us to encourage our brothers and sisters to hear, listen and respond faithfully to the voice of God. May Mary, the Mother of God, to which my Franciscan religious community is consecrated, on whose feast day I was born (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), and who I know led me to her Son, continue to bless, guide and protect our Church, Nation and military servicemen and women. ✞


Necrology of priests ADDITIONS TO THE








Reverend John J. Geegan

June 13, 1994

Boston, MA

Navy Navy Navy Navy Navy

Reverend John F. Lincoln Reverend Lawrence F. Keefe Reverend Frederick J. Murray Reverend Paul L. Toland Reverend Gerard T. McMahon

May 28, 1987 March 2, 1993 June 22, 2004 September 30, 2005 March 3, 2008

Boston, MA Boston, MA Boston, MA Boston, MA Boston, MA

Air Force

Reverend John A. Doonan

June 19, 2002

Boston, MA









Reverend Joseph H. Manning January 26, 2010 Formerly listed Air Force / death date correction



Boston, MA

Air Force

Reverend Francis J. Crowley Formerly listed VA

March 8, 2008

Boston, MA


Reverend Leonard A. Duffy Formerly listed Army

October 19, 2000

Boston, MA


Reverend Gerard J. McGann Formerly listed Air Force

March 3, 2008

Boston, MA


Reverend James E. Cronin Death date correction

May 16, 1995

Boston, MA


Reverend Robert M. Connor Death date correction

September 5, 2002

Boston, MA


Reverend Thomas E. MacLeod October 20, 2002 Formerly lised without Branch

Boston, MA


Reverend Daniel J. Kennedy Formerly listed without Branch

January 27, 2008

Boston, MA


Reverend Charles J. McCoy Formerly listed without Branch

November 30, 2009

Boston, MA

* Additions & Omissions from the Diocese of Boston

summer / 2011 /


Marine Corps Foundation Honors Heroic Vietnam War Priest By MARIANNE MEDLIN


Triangle, Va., May 20, 2011 / 02:35 am (CNA).


ervant of God Father Vincent Capodanno, a chaplain who was killed in action while protecting U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War, was honored with a permanent tribute at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

34 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


he Marines who served with Chaplain Capodanno remember him as the Chaplain who went wherever his Marines needed his comfort and guidance, no matter the personal danger,” said Lt. General Ron Christmas, president of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. “From the foxholes to the front lines, Chaplain Capodanno was there.” The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation dedicated the “Sacrifice Window” in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on May 11 to honor the late priest. Each window in the chapel is titled with a word that describes the ethos of the Marine Corps. The private ceremony in Triangle, Virginia remembered Chaplain Capodanno for his support of Marines in combat and his recognition as the only chaplain to receive the Medal of Honor for service in the corps. Foundation members said they established the permanent tribute in Chaplain Capodanno’s name in “recognition of his dedicated service to Marines and the ultimate sacrifice he made.” Father Capodanno was born on Staten Island in New York City to Italian immigrant parents. In 1957 he was ordained a Catholic priest by Cardinal Francis Spellman, Archbishop of New York and Vicar of the U.S. Military Ordinariate. He entered the Maryknoll religious order [sic] and served as a missionary in Taiwan and Hong Kong from 1958 to 1965. Having successfully petitioned his Maryknoll superiors to release him to serve as a U.S. Navy chaplain, he arrived in Vietnam during Holy Week of 1966.

The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation dedicated the “SACRIFICE WINDOW” in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel at the National Museum of the Marine Corps on May 11 to honor the late priest.

Holding the rank of Lieutenant, Father Capodanno participated in seven combat operations. He became known for putting the well-being of Marines above his personal safety, moving among those wounded and dying on the battlefield in order to provide medical aid, comfort, and Last Rites. During Operation Swift on September 4, 1967, Father Capodanno was injured by an exploding mortar round which caused multiple injuries on his arms and legs and severed part of his right hand. Fred Smith, head of FedEx Corporation, who served with Father Capodanno, recalled during the May 11 ceremony how the chaplain nearly lost his hand to shrapnel as he tended to the wounded, but refused care so that medical supplies could go to his injured Marines. The priest directed Marines to help the wounded and continued to move about the battlefield, encouraging them with his words and example. As he sought to administer aid to one particular Marine, he placed his own body between the wounded man and an enemy machine gunner and was killed. In 2006, the Catholic Church declared Father Capodanno a Servant of God, which is the first step towards being officially recognized as a saint. ✞

copyright © cna

reprinted with permission from cna

summer / 2011 /


By STAFF SGT. RYAN SMITH Reprinted with permission from DVIDS (Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System)

Pieces of Faith in the Heart, on the Battlefields FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM II, Nimroz Province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan


ometimes life can be like an ugly piece of a jigsaw puzzle. When we place our lives into the hands of God, God can take them and put them into a bigger picture to make something beautiful.” PHOTO COURTESY OF LT. CMDR. JOHN BURNETTE


36 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /



avy Reserve Lt. Cmdr. John Burnette, a Catholic chaplain for Regional Command Southwest, has been helping military members for the past 10 years to understand the Catholic faith and its applications on the battlefield. With the help of the Navy Chaplain Corps, he is doing his best to support service members here. [Father] Burnette, who is originally from Tallahassee, Fla., joined the Navy Chaplain Corps many years after four years of active duty service in the Air Force as an enlisted Airman. “I experienced during my time in the Air Force the value of chaplains,” said [Father] Burnette. “Then during my trips to Haiti and Panama, I interacted with other military personnel and chaplains. An Army chaplain issued an invite for Catholic priests. I thought about it, prayed about it, and asked my bishop, and then in 2001, I was released for service in the Navy.” Being a Navy reservist, [Father] Burnette served time as a priest in the Diocese of Springfield, Ill., and was on call for duty abroad. His travels have taken him to Bahrain and Japan, including a combat

tour at sea aboard the USS Harry S. Truman during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 20042005. Now he is taking care of the men and women of Task Force Leatherneck. On a daily basis, Marines and sailors are sometimes living in less than suitable conditions and subjecting themselves to all the horrors that come with fighting a war. But even in the worst circumstances, [Father] Burnette is there alongside them to keep their faith strong and close to God, despite the chaos that surrounds them. “As long as our country is asking men and women to go to a foreign country and put their lives on the line and defend liberty, I think it’s crucial that priests for the Catholics are sent with them to make sure they receive the sacraments, they’re grounded in their faith, and they get what they need spiritually. I wouldn’t do it otherwise,” said Navy Cmdr. Christopher Fronk, the 2nd Marine Division chaplain with Task Force Leatherneck. Serving alongside the Marines in areas throughout the battle space imparts a unique perspective to the chaplains working to provide the spiritual guidance needed in a time of war. (continued on page 38) summer / 2011 /


Pieces of Faith in the Heart, on the Battlefields

(continued from page 37)

n a real sense it’s invigorating,” said ing them. Also, I see their interactions [Father] Burnette. “I get to move where with the local children and the way they the Marines are serving, out to the react to them.” “On patrols, the kids take Marines by forward operating bases, patrol bases and on the hand like a big convoys—the Marines brother,” added [Faand sailors are always ther] Burnette. “The welcoming. Because of kids walk down the air travel, I can get streets with them. stuck in different areas The Marines enjoy it for additional days, but too. They know how it always works out. It to do their duty but never fails, because of their hearts are as big the extra time, I always as houses.” get at least one or two Even though the Marines who now feel chaplains travel conmore comfortable, and tinuously through the want to talk about area of operations, what is bothering some units aren’t as them: marriage, career, fortunate to have one challenges back home. on staff. “I hear so many “An Army unit out hopes and dreams— west hadn’t had a hopes for the future FATHER BURNNETTE PREACHING THE GOSPEL. priest for months, so and dreams about (Regional Command where they want to go and what they want to be,” [Father] Southwest) supported them,” said [Father] Burnette added. “They talk about varying Burnette. “The Italians are in charge of the topics like faith, college and (the Marine battle space. The U.S. Army is in charge of Enlisted Commissioning Program) and logistics. While I was there, I celebrated wanting to go become officers and lead.” Mass for the Italian soldiers following the Overall, [Father] Burnette relates his death of an Italian Army lieutenant killed experiences to a saying: “No better friend, in action. Their commander translated for me and read the scripture readings. He No worse enemy.” “There’s a sign in Sangin by the water even translated the homily for me. “The Mass is universal. They were able that says it all,” said [Father] Burnette, referring to the saying. “The Marines have to answer in Italian and follow along a sense of duty like no other. I see up close despite the language barrier. It was an the ‘no better friend’ side when they work honor for me to help their soldiers find with Afghans, (Afghan Uniformed Police) some closure,” added [Father] Burnette. The deployed environment can take its and (Afghan National Army). I see them toll on those serving, and often service like friends, working together and teach-


38 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

members’ grasp on faith is a solid foundation they can seek guidance from in an otherwise very unpredictable and dangerous environment. “I was with Battalion Landing Team 3/8 when they got here,” said [Father] Burnette. “I was pulled back to Leatherneck by God’s grace and met the commanding officer and their chaplain. They invited me to come out and be with the Marines. They brought me out on a convoy. I got there late at night and one of the first questions from a young Marine was ‘Are we going to have Mass?’ “Eight Marines attended Mass that night,” continued [Father] Burnette. One Marine who had been in combat operations before had one concern, his wife and two children. The underlying thought during our conversation went unspoken, ‘What will happen if I die?’ “I got up that night and went out to see the Marines before they were inserted into the combat zone,” said [Father] Burnette. “For most of these Marines it was their first time in combat. Seeing their resolve and sense of mission, they knew they are part of something bigger.” The pressures of combat take their toll on Marines serving in the region. [Father] Burnette uses his shared understanding of the situation to help service members deal with issues here and at home. “I have perspective and insight into what military personnel are experiencing,” said [Father] Burnette. “It’s easier for me to listen because of our shared experiences.” According to [Father] Burnette, there are two primary issues Marines seek counsel for: relationships at home and value of the mission.

“The number one issue Marines come to me with is relationship problems at home,” said [Father] Burnette. “In spite of issues, they do their duty, but problems at home are big distractions. The second issue revolves around the questions, ‘Will people recognize the value of what I’m doing here?’ and ‘Do they appreciate what we are doing risking our lives?’ I tell them the people back home really appreciate what you do. The people from my last parish told me before I left to make sure I pass on their appreciation for the troops.” Rather than looking to faith for answers, for some, the comfort and advice of faith can be all one needs to navigate the rough roads of combat. “When I was out at Forward Operating Base Edi, I was called back to Musa Qala after a unit had suffered some casualties during a patrol,” said [Father] Burnette. “I was asked to assist the Marines through the troubled times. “Following the patrol, we gathered in the chow hall. The Marines took turns telling stories of the staff sergeant who died and of the other casualties. I told them I would come at this from a Christian perspective, and to deal with grief you can have gratitude for his life and what he brought to the team. Then they need to step back and gain perspective.” The larger picture can be hard to see here. As each tiny piece of the puzzle is revealed, details are made more evident of where one fits in the grand scheme. Overall, it leads to one passing thought from [Father] Burnette. “We don’t always see where those ugly pieces go, but God can make them fit.” ✞ summer / 2011 /


From Battlefield to Altar Armed Services Are Fertile Ground for Priestly Vocations By JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND, Register Senior Editor NRC Reprinted with permission National Catholic Register




In 1981, Stuart Swetland graduated with top honors from the U.S. Naval Academy, earning a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. His long-term dream to serve his country was realized when he was commissioned as a Navy officer. He went on to serve on frigates and destroyers.

oday, he’s Monsignor Stuart Swetland, a Catholic priest and the Flynn Professor of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. Though Monsignor Swetland’s trajectory from military warrior to spiritual warrior might raise some eyebrows, it’s a well-worn path to the priesthood. Annually, about 10% of priestly vocations are men drawn from the ranks of active-duty military, with another sizable portion of recruits raised in military families. Now that number is getting a boost as the Archdiocese for the Military Services

40 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

completes the first three years of its new vocations initiative specifically designed to encourage and foster priestly vocations in all the services. The AMS not only aspires to increase the shockingly low number of military chaplains, but also to draw these recruits into dioceses throughout the United States. The brainchild of Archbishop Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore, who previously led the Archdiocese for the Military Services, the program received seed money from members of the Order of Malta and has gradually gained traction under the leadership of Archbishop Timothy Broglio,

who succeeded Archbishop O’Brien in 2008. Since the AMS’ first vocations director, Father John McLaughlin — a late vocation on loan from the Archdiocese of Boston — hit the road in the summer of 2008, about 40 young men have signed up. Some participate in the “co-sponsorship” program, in which the AMS and the recruit’s home diocese share seminary formation and educational expenses and then establish a period of service at home and as a military chaplain. Others enter religious orders or apply to a regular diocesan vocations program. “The Diocese of Arlington, VA has the most co-sponsored seminarians, and others include Baltimore, MD, Monterey, CA, Peoria, IL, Austin, TX and several other dioceses in Texas,” reported Father McLaughlin, who will finish his three-year appointment in June and will be replaced by Conventual Franciscan Father Kerry Abbott. Father McLaughlin did not serve in the military, though his father was a Marine. A graduate of Boston College and a top wrestler, he worked in real estate and coached high-school wrestling on the side, winning state championships. Over time, he began to reassess his own career plans and entered the seminary. Over the past three years, Father McLaughlin has signed up recruits from every military service but the Coast Guard and landed graduates from West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy. He has met young men whose faith was ignited or solidified as they fought on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan and grappled with the enduring questions of human existence: Why am I here? What is my mission on earth? Why was I saved when others were taken?

The Missile Didn’t Explode


ne of Father McLaughlin’s recruits tells the story of flying a helicopter mission in Iraq, and surviving a hit from a missile. After landing, he saw that the missile was embedded in his aircraft and never exploded. Throughout that period, he had been discerning his vocation to the priesthood and looked for some guidepost. Perhaps the missile that never exploded was a sign from God. “These kids fascinate me with their stories and desire to know and love God. I’m surprised that some of these young men didn’t even come from Catholic families. They were searching for God and went to a conversion program on their own,” said Father McLaughlin. Father Brett Brannen, who is author of To Save a Thousand Souls: A Guide for Discerning a Vocation to Diocesan Priesthood and is serving his sixth year as vice rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary — where a number of seminarians in the AMS cosponsorship program are enrolled — recalls a similar story from his own seminary days. “Men see and experience terrible things in war, and one fellow seminarian told me he was in a foxhole between two friends,” he said. “They were killed, and he survived. For a long time he wondered why he had been saved.” Thomas Gallagher, who will complete his second year at Mount St. Mary’s, is a co-sponsored seminarian: His expenses are shared by the AMS and the Diocese of Arlington, VA. He has not served in the military, but came from a military family and participated in the Marines’ Platoon Leader (continued on page 42) summer / 2011 /


From Battlefield to Altar Armed Services Are Fertile Ground for Priestly Vocations (continued from page 41)

Class program, which allows college-student participants to be eligible to apply for a commission as an officer and a flight school slot after graduation. While studying at George Mason University in Virginia, his involvement with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) led him to reconsider his plans with the Marines. “During a FOCUS conference, I realized I was living my faith with a divided heart,” he recalled. He went on a discernment retreat with the Diocese of Arlington and “realized that I wanted the flight contract in the Marines too much. I was praying about going to seminary, and for the first time, I was excited about that path.” Father Brannen underscored the point that young men who grow up in military families are prepared to accept the sacrifices that come with a priestly vocation. “A military family has to pick up and move where they are assigned and where they are needed. That’s the priesthood: It requires a willingness to lay down your life,” said Father Brannen, who noted that the student body of the U.S. Naval Academy is more than 50% Catholic. “It’s an ordered life,” he observed. “Many priests do not obey their bishop, and then they wonder why they aren’t flourishing. Military families understand this. They realize that the whole is more important than the parts, and that’s the priesthood. When I say, ‘I have plans,’ Jesus has his plans and I have to change mine.”

A Sense of Service


one of this surprises Msgr. Swetland, who expresses some frustration that many bishops resist giving up a single priest to serve as a military chaplain. According to the AMS, at one time “the rule of thumb...was that every diocese endeavor to give 1% of their priests to serve as military chaplains,” he said. “Some dioceses have been able to do more in this regard than others.” Msgr. Swetland contends that the Church will reap a great harvest by increasing support for the military chaplain program and notes that his own vocation was fostered by gifted chaplains who nurtured the mutually compatible values that inspire both military service and a priestly vocation. “There’s an old adage in Thomistic philosophy: that ‘grace builds on nature.’ Many people who serve in the military have the natural virtues necessary for success in religious life or the priesthood. They must be self-disciplined, courageous, willing to work as a member of a unit,” said Msgr. Swetland, who has served as the vice president for Catholic Identity and mission at Mount St. Mary’s University and director of homiletics and pre-theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary. “Men who enter the military do so out of a sense of service — a willingness to lay down their life for others and to give the gift of self,” he said, “and that’s what you need for the priesthood.” ✞

Joan Frawley Desmond, a member of the Order of Malta, has been a supporter of the AMS VOCATIONS PROGRAM.

42 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


Early Sunday Morning Mass At Marine Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS)



fficer Candidates (455) formed up and marched into a large tent, typically used for military classroom training. Instead, they fall into “pews” and face an altar composed of ammo cans. This is the Officer Candidates first taste of Catholicism in the military. Who better to welcome them, but their Archbishop, Timothy Broglio?


hroughout OCS, these men and women will be trained in a variety of military issues to include marching, rifle work, land navigation and the art of leading Marines. Throughout their 10 weeks of training, their Catholic Chaplain will provide the necessary spiritual guidance. They will come to realize that most “field” Masses will take place in the most peculiar places: on top of MRE boxes (Meals Ready to Eat), the back of a Humvee, or in a makeshift “Chapel” that more closely resembles a childhood clubhouse than a traditional Catholic Church. These rare moments with their Chaplain will be moments of respite to ease anxiety and to receive the Blessed Sacrament– strengthening them to continue in their duties. ✞ The Candidates were truly blessed to have Archbishop Broglio say Mass for them and to welcome them into his military flock. summer / 2011 /


Catholics minister to veterans, serving with chaplains of many faiths By BETH GRIFFIN, Catholic News Service — Reprinted with permission of CNS



atholics who minister to our nation's military veterans help aging soldiers heal from past wars and support men and women trying to resume civilian life after multiple tours of duty in distant outposts.


hey work alongside chaplains of many faiths, in multidisciplinary teams that treat the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wounds of people whose relationship with God may have been severely challenged by the sights of war. Through it all, they strive to bring Christ into the world through their words, deeds and actions, “as imperfect as they are,” according to Voluntas Dei Father Andrew Sioleti. He is the chief of the chaplain service and supervisor of chaplain training for the Department of Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System. Father Sioleti is responsible for 15 fulland part-time chaplains who serve patients at two veterans' hospitals in Manhattan and

44 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

Brooklyn, a long-term care facility in Queens and three clinics in Staten Island, Brooklyn and Manhattan. They also visit homebound veterans. In 2010, the chaplains provided individual spiritual counseling to more than 6,100 people and reached 7,700 others through spirituality and worship groups. Among the more than 50,000 patients served each year by the New York Harbor Healthcare System, Father Sioleti said the largest group is Vietnam-era veterans. There also are veterans of the Korean conflict and the Second World War. He said the fastest-growing and most diverse group is returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are seeking help with substance abuse and mental health issues, Father Sioleti said in an interview with Catholic News Service.



“There are younger folks, in their 20s and early 30s, who served two and three tours and there are folks in their 40s, who joined the Reserves and ended up on active duty. We see parents bringing in their adult children as patients and we have veterans coming in for treatment with little children in tow. The staff is getting used to accommodating 5-year-olds,” he said. “There is a misperception that chaplains run around anointing patients and praying with them,” Father Sioleti said. “Even if they ever existed, those days are gone.” Because of privacy rules and legal challenges by anti-religious groups, he said, veterans must consent to a chaplain’s visit and specifically request to receive sacraments. “We respect each person’s spirituality and religious experience. There is a big push

in the government to recognize veterans' fundamental rights to request any spiritual or religious rituals.” Father Sioleti said chaplains counsel and can conduct religious services, but do not proselytize. When he celebrates daily Mass at noon in the hospital’s nondenominational chapel, volunteers install a large wooden crucifix and set the altar. The faithful in actual attendance are a fraction of those participating via closed-circuit television from patient rooms. The priest supervises a multifaith Clinical Pastoral Education training program he said blends psychology and religion and is the only one established at a veteran’s hospital in New York. Participants include Catholic seminarians in summer sessions and year long residents preparing for fulltime healthcare chaplaincy. He said recent (continued on page 46) summer / 2011 /


Catholics minister to veterans, serving with chaplains of many faiths

(continued from page 45)

graduates came from Catholic, Jewish, the same. Not everyone comes home Episcopal, Muslim, Quaker, Lutheran, with problems, but all look at life a little Unitarian Universalist and United Meth- differently.” Sister Mitchell said she has changed in odist traditions. The program is one of 20 at VA facili- the year since she transferred from a similar ties and is accredited by the Association job in a civilian hospital to the veterans’ for Clinical Pastoral health care system. “I know Education. Father Sioleti I’m different and the expesaid its purpose is to train rience itself has been the Catholic chaplains in the military and chaplains to minister to education—just walking in at veterans’ facilities people of “all spiritualities every day and seeing the are required to be and religious backgrounds.” sign over the door. It reads, priests, according Mercy Sister Maureen ‘The price of freedom is to the Archdiocese for Mitchell, the program’s evident here’,” she said. the Military Services. director, said: “The trainFather Ivan Tykhovytch The archdiocese is ing is multifaith, but is a full-time pastor at Holy responsible for pastoral ministry we want everyone to be Ghost Ukrainian Catholic and spiritual services deeply rooted in their own Church in Brooklyn and to those in the U.S. tradition.” part-time veterans’ chaplain Armed Forces in “We train students to whose experience as an 29 countries and do spiritual assessments on Army chaplain on active patients in patients to understand duty in Iraq helps him relate 153 Veterans’ Affairs what their journey has to the men and women Medical Centers been. Many of our veterans he counsels. (During an were raised in religions 18-month deployment in Iraq, with traditional talk of a loving God,” she he was the only Catholic chaplain for the told CNS. ‘War challenges that image of First Marine Division, then served the 82nd God and we help our students to understand Airborne in Ramadi and also ministered to the veteran’s journey and be willing to listen coalition forces from Ukraine, who were pleasto reasons why someone has given up their antly surprised to find a chaplain of their rite.) tradition or may be searching.” He said the returning soldiers are Sister Mitchell said pastoral care to comfortable, feel safe and can be themselves veterans requires understanding “veteran in a veterans’ facility, knowing they won't culture and the culture of war,” with their be judged or stereotyped. attendant high rates of post-traumatic stress Catholic chaplains in the military and disorder, suicide, alcoholism and substance at veterans’ facilities are required to be abuse. “It’s not so much different as more priests, according to the Archdiocese intense,” she said. for the Military Services. The archdiocese “You can’t go to war and come home is responsible for pastoral ministry and

46 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

spiritual services to those in the U.S. Armed Forces in 29 countries and patients in 153 Veterans’ Affairs Medical Centers. According to John Schlageter, archdiocesan general counsel, there are 232 active duty military chaplain priests and approximately 300 full- and part-time chaplain priests serving in veterans’ facilities. Father Sioleti was born in Italy and ordained as a Conventual Franciscan in his mother’s hometown in Greece. While studying in the U.S. and serving in a New Jersey parish, he was drawn to explore ministry in a secular institute, which includes priests and married couples. In 2000, he transferred to Voluntas Dei, a pontifical institute based in Quebec. Before he joined the VA in 2001, he held a similar position at the now-closed Cabrini Hospital in Manhattan. Father Sioleti said it is satisfying to

“empower, educate and guide chaplains to minister more effectively and care for the spiritual needs of our veterans.” He sees the benefits of religion and spirituality to veterans' healing. In an ideal world, he said, his administrative duties would allow more time for visits with veterans. Jose Garcia was an Army sergeant in World War II and Korea. Now 90 years old and bedridden, he looks forward to seeing a VA chaplain in the Brooklyn home he shares with his daughter, Frances. She said, “It gives him a high spirit to be with the chaplain, make confession and receive Communion. Our local parish is up to its neck with elderly people and has no one to send to him.” ✞ copyright © 2011 catholic news service

Save the Dates 20-23 October: 2011 MCCW-European Conference Schoenstatt, Germany 8 November:

ANNUAL AMS BENEFIT Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, VA

Reflections on a Hero:

The Bravest Man By LAWRENCE P. GRAYSON 1





rs. O’Callahan, “your son is the bravest man I ever saw.” What went through this mother’s mind as she listened to Captain Leslie Gehres, commander of the USS Franklin, when 393 men on board were cited for valor in a single day’s battle? Her son did not fit the stereotypical image of a hero. He was more scholarly than athletic, more likely pictured in front of a classroom than in the midst of a combat zone. But, a hero he was.

48 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


oseph Timothy O’Callahan was born on May 14, 1905, in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Upon graduating from high school, he joined the Jesuits and was ordained in 1934. For the next six years, he taught mathematics, physics and philosophy at several of the Order’s colleges. In August 1940, with war raging in Europe, Father O’Callahan enlisted in the Naval Reserve Chaplains Corps. Several assignments followed before he reported on March 2, 1945 to the aircraft carrier USS Franklin, to serve as chaplain to its 3,200 men. The ship was part of a task force whose mission was to track down the Japanese fleet and destroy it. On March 18, with the U.S. ships about 100 miles from Japan, American planes took off in waves beginning at first light. Their role was to engage and destroy the Japanese air power, and then locate the enemy vessels which were scattered throughout inland waters. Before each flight, Father O’Callahan visited the various pilot ready rooms, praying with the men and giving them general absolution. The U.S. pilots dominated the skies, but did not locate the enemy ships until just before dark. The strike against them would have to wait until the next morning.

The Fateful Day


arch 19 began as the day before. The first wave of planes left the carrier at 5:30 AM. Shortly afterwards, as the second wave was being readied, with full tanks of fuel and loads of rockets and bombs, a Japanese plane

evaded the American air cover. It flew over the Franklin releasing a bomb that penetrated the flight and gallery decks and exploded on the hangar. Within seconds, gasoline ignited and a wave of searing flame raced down the three football-field length of the hangar, gaining impetus as it proceeded from exploding planes. Some 800 men were dead. Father O’Callahan retrieved a vial of holy oil, used to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, and his helmet marked with a large white cross. He then made his way through passages filled with flames and smoke to the open area above. On the hangar deck, bombs, shells and rockets, engulfed in a mass of flames, were exploding at a rate of about one per minute, creating a steady rain of debris and fragments. Father continued upward to the flight deck. Here nearly 90 percent of the 1,000-foot apron was aflame. The clear portion was full of burned, mangled, bleeding bodies. He spent a few moments with each of those who were alive, praying, absolving, anointing. Explosions tore apart the steam lines and the boilers shut down. By 9:30 AM, the ship was powerless and listing. Twenty minutes later, a rear service magazine of five-inch shells exploded, raining debris onto the deck. The fury brought disorganization. Key officers were dead, and many chiefs, if alive, were dispersed or trapped. Flames, explosions and noxious smoke smeared faces and uniforms making it almost impossible to recognize anyone from a distance. One thing stood out, however, the white cross on the chaplain’s helmet. It had the power to inspire. (continued on page 50) summer / 2011 /


Reflections on a Hero: The Bravest Man

(continued from page 49)

receded, six loose, but live, thousandpound bombs were discovered. The chaplain was there encouraging the men he priest seemed to be everywhere as a hose crew worked to cool the bombs he was needed. Depleted hose so others could defuse them. crews required help. Father rallied a group of men to join him on the hoses. When the fire marshal entered portions of the ship filled with searing, suffocating hat evening, the engineers were smoke looking for breather masks, the able to return to their stations, priest was with him. When a live, thouand by 9 AM on the 20th, the sand-pound bomb was spotted rolling USS Franklin was moving under its own dangerously on the listing deck, the power. Burial parties were formed to take chaplain stood by for moral support while care of the hundreds of dead. All day a team defused it; then he mustered a and night, the priest and the Protestant group of men to drop it overboard. When chaplain held a brief prayer service for the fires were pushed back from the each man as he was assigned to the forward gun turret and its ready-ammusea. On April 3, one month after it left, nition magazine, hundreds of five-inch the ship entered Pearl Harbor. For his shells stored there had to be jettisoned courageous acts, Father O’Callahan was before they exploded. Father O’Callahan awarded the Medal of Honor, the first had men form a chain, taking his turn in chaplain since the Civil War to be so the line, to pass the hot shells from the honored. magazine to the edge of the ship where Released from active duty in Novemthey were dumped. He then joined a ber 1946, Father O’Callahan returned crew to flood a lower-deck magazine to Holy Cross College as a professor of whose ammunition could not be easily philosophy. He died in Worcester on unloaded. March 18, 1964, the eve of the nineWhen the fires on the hangar deck teenth aniversary of his heroic acts. ✞ began to subside, Father led a hose crew through a smoke-filled, dark passage to The author is a director of the Maryland State Council, Knights of Columbus. the area. On the flight deck, as the fires

Selfless Action


Returning to Normal


On March 18, with the U.S. ships about 100 miles from Japan, American planes took off in waves beginning at first light. Their role was to engage and destroy the Japanese air power, and then locate the enemy vessels which were scattered throughout inland waters. Before each flight, Father O’Callahan visited the various pilot ready rooms, praying with the men and giving them general absolution.

50 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


Priest included in Veterans History Project By VIRGINIA RANSBOTTOM, Tribune Staff Writer Photo and Article Reprinted with permission from The Tribune



inety-four-year-old Father Roman Schaefer served as a military chaplain in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. His dedicated service was documented by U.S. Representative Joseph Donnelly for the Veterans History Project and is headed to The Library of Congress. The Veterans History Project interview was the eighth in a series of interviews with a veteran in each of the 12 counties in Indiana’s Second Congressional District.


ltogether, Father Schaefer served 25 years as an Air Force chaplain, administering to the spiritual needs of soldiers and families from 1944 to 1969. Father Schaefer viewed his continued

service as his responsibility for freedom and said no matter what war was being fought, the soldiers all had the same concerns. Duty to their country and duty to their families, he said. (continued on page 60) summer / 2011 /


Leaders Gather To Encourage Young Adult Ministry



— JUNE 29-30, 2011, WASHINGTON, DC: —


he roundtable began with a presentation by Amy McEntee who serves as the Assistant Director of Evangelization and Catechesis in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Amy provided a survey overview of the book “Souls in Transition”: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults written by Christian Smith and Patricia Snell. Amy is also the Board Chair of the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association.

52 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


ather Jesus Navarrete, USAF, a priest-chaplain at Eielson AFB, Fairbanks, Alaska followed with a presentation of the pastoral needs of young adults serving in the military. Father highlighted the transition stressors and challenges particular to military life. An explanation of visitations and pastoral diagnosis reminded participants of the importance of being present and planting seeds that can begin with a simple question such as “Where do you find peace?” Father’s presentation started with viewing a DVD that included interviews of young adults on base regarding their thoughts about the Church.

life of the Church. The outcomes will continue to be discerned in order to develop multiple resources and strategies to reach out to the over 300,000 Catholic young adults serving in the military today.


ne important area of discussion focused on the need for Catholic Faith Communities to articulate answers to basic questions such as: “Why go to Church?” and “Why get married in the Church?” This emphasis came from the lack of religious knowledge among young adults and the increase in popularity of destination weddings. Research indicates that young adults are not necessarily against the Church but rather very few people have ever bothered to ollowing these two presentations invite them or talk to them about why the active duty young adults were Church matters. invited to share their reactions and ou can help by keeping young responses. Each gave a real life account adult ministry in your prayers. of the gifts and challenges among Take the time to invite young the various branches of service. This provided an important context for adults and to listen to the many gifts that beginning to think about reaching out they have to offer the Church. The milito young adults in their lived experiences tary often provides sponsors to those who have just moved to a new military instalof serving in the military. lation. Your Catholic Faith Community he remainder of the gathering can provide Catholic faith mentors that focused on brainstorming effec- encourage discipleship and leadership in tive ideas to encourage Catholic your communities. Get started now by young adults to encounter Jesus Christ reaching out beyond yourself and invite a and to be involved in the Sacramental young adult to Church. ✞




for more young adult information from mark t. moitoza, d. min. please visit

summer / 2011 /



Local Siblings to Serve as Missionaries — DAYTON, OH, JUNE 12, 2011 —


mber Rose and Chris Yakkel grew up in a military family, moving homes and schools every few years. This year however, Amber Rose and Chris will be moving for another purpose. The two siblings (24 and 22 years old) are about to embark on a mission for Christ, serving over 60,000 young people across the country. They have committed a year of their lives to serve as missionaries with NET Ministries (an organization whose mission is to challenge young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church).


mber Rose, who served as a missionary with NET last year, will be serving this year on Mission Staff as a supervisor for two NET teams. “It was through last year’s service with NET that I learned that when I open my heart wide enough for the Lord to enter and dwell, others enter with Him. Now in my heart dwell countless individuals who shape the way I live and love. I’m looking forward to continuing this commitment to service and opening my heart to

54 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

our God and His people,” explained Amber Rose. Chris will be joining NET as a first-year missionary and had this to say: “With the help of my family, high school campus ministry, and my involvement in numerous faith-based ministries at college, I feel that I have been equipped to take on anything in life because I know that God was, is, and will be forever at my side. By serving on NET, I hope to help teens gain that same understanding so they too can go out and

Media Contacts: Alison Duffy, 651.450.6833, Amber Rose and Chris Yakkel, 808.497.2067

feel confident in taking on the world. More importantly I want to help each teen I serve develop an even deeper relationship with God.” Amber Rose and Chris just moved to Xenia, Ohio after their father’s retirement from the United States Air Force. Both were active members of St. Mary’s Church and Catholic Campus Ministry in Oxford, Ohio while they attended Miami University. Each team member and Mission Staff member is asked to raise $4,200 to support their work as missionaries. That means Amber Rose and Chris will need to raise a total of $8,400. They know this amount can be daunting, but they are up for the challenge and have faith in the generosity

of God’s people. If you would like to join Amber Rose and Chris’ partnership team, you can donate online by going to After you choose your gift type you can select “Team Member Support” using the drop down menu under Designation, and in the Comments block add “In Support of Chris Yakkel and Amber Rose Yakkel (MS1112).” NET Ministries is a registered 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. If you are unable to help financially, please consider pledging to pray for NET and the many young people they will reach in the coming year. NET accepts new applicants every year. Contact for more information on applying. ✞

About NET Ministries, Inc. (national evangelization teams):


ET Ministries is an international Catholic youth ministry that is committed to challenging young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, NET offers training in youth evangelization and leads over 1,000 retreats annually. Each year, 120 young adults are sent out in teams across the United States to conduct retreats for Catholic teens. The ten NET teams share their faith with 60,000 youth nationally. Drama, music, games, small group discussions, and large group presentations are all used to present the gospel in a dynamic way. To learn more about NET Ministries, follow us on Twitter or Facebook, call us at 651.450.6833, or visit

summer / 2011 /


Father Thomas Keane, former Air Force chaplain and Quincy pastor By FATHER ROBERT M. O’GRADY

Reprinted with Permission of The Pilot (WWW.PILOTCATHOLICNEWS.COM)


ou would probably not forget meeting Father Tom Keane. He would be best described as an extrovert. He was warm, engaging, witty, ready with a joke or a story which, you could guess, no matter how many times he had told it he could bring up a great laugh as if it were the first telling, or hearing.

56 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /


homas F. Keane was born in Boston's Dorchester section on April 2, 1930 a son of the late Thomas and Mary (Lydon) Keane. He was predeceased by his brother, Father Alfred Keane, Maryknoll missionary; and a sister Mary Anne Tripp. The surviving sibling is Judith Keane of Dorchester. The family lived in St. Mark Parish and following elementary and secondary school, Thomas entered the archdiocesan seminaries and on completion of seminary studies, Auxiliary Bishop Eric MacKenzie ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Name Church, West Roxbury. Among those ordained with him on that Feb. 2 was Father George Emerson, another son of St. Mark Parish, who will also serve as the homilist at Father Keane’s Funeral Mass. Following his ordination he was assigned as an assistant at two archdiocesan parishes: St. Anthony of Padua, Allston (1956-1965) and St. Boniface, Quincy (1965-1966). During his years at Allston he saw a parish produce a rush of vocations to the priesthood; among the sons of the Allston parish who grew up there while Father Keane was assigned is one of the concelebrants of the Funeral Mass, Msgr. George Carlson, pastor of Holy Name parish. In September 1966 he was released for service in the Chaplains Corps of the United States Air Force and served for the next 20 years on bases both in the US and overseas. He retired from the Air Force in 1986 with the rank of colonel. He returned to parish ministry as a parochial vicar serving in familiar surroundings at St. Ann in Boston’s Neponset section, which shares a border with his home parish. In January 1987 Cardinal Law named

him pastor at another St. Ann Parish in Quincy’s Wollaston section just a few stops on the Red Line from the Neponset parish. After two terms and approaching 70 years of age he retired to the family home in Milton in October 1999. Although retired from administrative duties he readily made himself available to assist at two parishes in Quincy: St. Mary and St. Joseph; and also at St. Elizabeth in Milton. In August 2001 he entered Regina Cleri, the archdiocesan home for retired priests, where he died on June 4. His Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Ann Church, Quincy with South Regional Bishop John Dooher as the principal celebrant. In addition to Msgr. Carlson and Father Emerson, others indicating their intention to concelebrate Father Keane’s Funeral Mass were archdiocesan vicar general and fellow Air Force Chaplain, Father Richard Erikson; archdiocesan vicar for parish life and leadership, Father Thomas Foley; Msgr. John McDonough, retired Air Force Chief of Chaplains; several fellow priests from Regina Cleri Msgr. James Tierney; Fathers James McCune; Gerard Brennan; and Lawrence Wetterholm. Father Richard McCue, formerly of the archdiocese and now a priest of the diocese of Charlotte, a long time friend of Father Keane as well as Father Raymond Steen, OMI; Father Vincent Doolan, St. Joseph Quincy; and Father John Ronaghan, present pastor of St. Ann Quincy were also to be concelebrants. ✞ Father Keane will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors in August.

summer / 2011 /


Monsignor Donald L. Rutherford named 23rd Chief of Army Chaplains By ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY P. BROGLIO


n the context of a very familial and touching ceremony at the Memorial Chapel of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall broadcast to his mother via a web camera, Monsignor Donald L. Rutherford pinned on his second star and took the oath to become the 23rd Chief of Chaplains for the United States Army. The soaring temperatures taxed the air conditioning systems of the chapel complex.


ecently installed General Martin E. Dempsey, Chief of Staff of the Army, set the tone with his friendly manner, his attention to the web camera, and the tenor of his remarks. “He is Irish, Catholic, and been deployed; so I guess he will be fine�, quipped the General at one point. One could not help but sense that even if the Army is huge (over 815,000 people in uniform), the men at the top care about people and are serious in their desire to serve. Monsignor Rutherford, the only Catholic among the six Chiefs and Deputy Chiefs of the Chaplain Corps of the Armed Forces, was accompanied at the

58 s u m m e r / 2 0 1 1 /

celebration by his immediate family; his predecessor, Chaplain (MGEN) Douglas Carver and his wife; his new Deputy, Chaplain (BGEN) Bailey; Chaplain (MGEN) Cecil Richardson, Chief of Chaplains of the Air Force; and Chaplain (RADM) Gregory Horne, Deputy Chief of Chaplains for Reserve Affairs of the Navy, and Father (BGEN) Patrick Dolan of the Kentucky National Guard. The AMS Delegation was led by Archbishop Broglio and included Auxiliary Bishops Richard Higgins, Joseph Estabrook, and F. Richard Spencer, Monsignor Thomas Olszyk, Fathers Kerry Abbott and James Joslyn, Deacon Michael Yakir, and a large number of Catholic chaplains.


“‘Our past informs our future.’ Those are the words of God,” said Monsignor Rutherford in his prepared remarks. “We are a profession of religious spiritual leaders.” He also thanked his family for their presence and support. His niece and nephew pinned the new two-stars on his shirt after the agile almost 56 year old general fell to his knees. Rabbi (COL) Jacob Z. Goldstein gave the invocation and Father (COL) Gregory D’Emma concluded the ceremony with words of benediction. A priest of the diocese of Albany, whose first pastor was present for the ceremony, Monsignor Rutherford was born in Kinderhook, New York and ordained a priest in 1981 by the Most Reverend Bishop Howard Hubbard. Before his active duty time, he served as Associate Pastor of St. Gabriel Parish in Schenectady, chaplain at the Albany Medical Center, and parochial Vicar of St. Mary Parish in Oneota. His Army career began at the State University of New York when he joined the ROTC program. He was released for service as an active-duty chaplain in 1990.

The Archdiocese for the Military Services is deeply grateful to the Diocese of Albany for her generosity. Dennis Yusko in an article for the Times Union of Albany observed that some 1,654 of the 2,700 Army chaplains are activated and provide “guidance to soldiers, many of whom have deployed to combat zones multiple times in the last ten years”. There is no question that Monsignor Rutherford takes command at a very challenging time in our Nation’s history. The burden of the longest period of war in US history, the high incidence of suicide, and the budget crush will all stretch Monsignor Rutherford’s many talents. Much is indeed asked of him. General Dempsey stated: “We have awfully high expectations of you, and I am absolutely confident that you will not only live up to those expectations, but exceed them.” The new Chief of Chaplains has a vast experience in the field. His assignments include serving as the Command Chaplain, United States Army Europe and 7th Army, Heidelberg, Germany; Command (continued on page 61) summer / 2011 /



Priest included in VeteransHistory Project (continued from page 51)


ather Schaefer was ordained a Catholic priest in 1942 by Archbishop Gregory Murray. When he was not ministering to soldiers in war, he was ministering to their families and to the soldiers who returned home. He visited with five different popes: Popes Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II. He also took soldiers on many occasions to see Therese Neumann the Bavarian stigmatist, Mother Teresa of Calcutta and holy Masses celebrated by St. Padre Pio. Father Schaefer also served under many different titles, including Air Force corporal; national chaplain of Veterans of Foreign Wars; European Tour chaplain director; and Reverend. After three wars and 68 years of dedicated

ministry and service to God, Father Schaefer was honored by the Marshall County Veterans Services in February on his 94th birthday. Originally from Minnesota, Father Schaefer moved to the Catherine Kasper Home after ministering across the globe. The move took him to the campus of Ancilla College where his sibling, Sister Sharon, served as a Poor Handmaid of Jesus Christ. Sister Sharon passed away last year. Father Schaefer’s interview gave a permanent record in history to his dedicated service to God, country and family. Marshall County is proud of everything you have done for your country and proud to have you living in the community as well, Donnelly said. Thank you for your service. ✞

Serving Those Who


Help us bring the sacraments and pastoral services to more than 1.5 million Catholics in the military, their families and veterans in VA Medical Centers.

CFC 10046

Designate when you make your pledge


Monsignor Donald L. Rutherford named 23rd Chief of Army Chaplains (continued from page 59)

Chaplain, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Command Chaplain, Multi-National Corps Iraq, Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq; XVIII Airborne Corps Chaplain, Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Installation Staff Chaplain, United States Army War College and Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; Community Chaplain and the 235th Base Support Chaplain, Ansbach, Germany; Division Staff Chaplain, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Stewart, Georgia; Senior Chaplain Recruiter, Office of the Chief of Chaplains, Washington, D.C.; and Deputy Division Chaplain and Division Artillery Chaplain,

82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Upon ordination, Chaplain Rutherford served in the Army Reserve with the 364th General Hospital until 1990 when he entered active duty. I have always found him responsive when I have asked him for information, to address a problem, or to facilitate meeting some need for the faithful I serve. Monsignor Rutherford’s decorations include: the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Bronze Star, Humanitarian Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal and the parachutist’s badge among others. ✞

Planning for the Future – Together with the Archdiocese

AMS Planned Giving Planning and preparation are inherent characteristics of those who have served in the military. The AMS has prepared a Catholic Estate and Personal Planning Workbook that helps individuals or families to properly plan estate and personal affairs. You may request a free copy of the workbook: EMAIL: PHONE: 202.719.3622 summer / 2011 /

6 49

Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

Annual Benefit November 8, 2011 7:00pm Reception Army Navy Country Club | Arlington 1700 Army Navy Drive | Arlington, VA 22202 rsvp: contact: | 202.719.3622

Archdiocese for the Military Services

tour of duty brick campaign RESERVE YOUR BRICKS TODAY! TO SHOW YOUR MESSAGE OF SUPPORT TO veterans, military members, their families, and chaplains. Your commemorative brick will join the thousands of others in adding that “personal touch” to the pathways of our new chancery building in Washington, DC. Order your bricks online at: or complete and return the form below. Each paver includes 18 characters per line (space included) and up to 4 lines per brick.





joined the Chaplain Corps when the Vietnam War broke out “Ibecause I think I’m needed here as are many more chaplains. I’m glad to help in the way I can. ” [ Father Vincent R. Capodanno ]

“Serving Those Who Serve”

P.O. Box 4469 Washington, DC 20017-0469

Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

Profile for Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

Salute Summer 2011  

The Summer 2011 edition of Salute

Salute Summer 2011  

The Summer 2011 edition of Salute