Catholic military chaplains
I finally received a packet from the Vocation’s Director of the Archdiocese for Military Services (AMS). It contained a couple brochures specific to Catholic chaplains, but mostly brochures from the Army, Air Force & Navy. I asked for the Marines, but I guess they’re considered part of the Navy. Anyways, there’s some interesting figures:
The AMS serves 375,000 Catholic soldiers — 520,000 family members — 204,000 in Reserves & National Guard — 29,000 Catholic patients in 172 Medical Centers — & 66,000 Catholics in government service overseas (in 134 countries).
- To meet all those needs, they have fewer than 350 full-time Catholic military chaplains with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines & Coast Guard.
- They have 480 priests serving part-time with Reserve forces & National Guard.
- The priests serving full-time are on loan from 142 dioceses and 44 religious communities.
As excited I am about the military, I also realize the needs and dynamics of serving soldiers can be extremely diferent from Miami pastoral ministry. I’d like to stay open to the possibility of a summer internship (in a theology year), but I don’t currently feel drawn into any permanent call. — I need to slow down and focus on the now.