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Uncle Sam attracts more (Catholic) military chaplains ^ | 2011-12 academic year, | Catholic News Service

Posted on 10/12/2011 2:20:26 PM PDT by Salvation

Uncle Sam attracts more military chaplains
By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services is reporting an increase in the number of seminarians who want to become military chaplains.

For the 2011-12 academic year, there are 31 co-sponsored and military-affiliated seminarians. Last year there were 23; in 2009-10 there were 12 and the previous year only three.

In the Arlington Diocese, five seminarians are co-sponsored by the military archdiocese, including Jason Burchell, third theology; Jim Hinkle, second theology; Chris Christensen, second theology; Steven Walker, second theology; and Thomas Gallagher, first theology. Father Luke Dundon, who was ordained in June, is also co-sponsored.

Co-sponsorship means that a diocesan bishop agrees to accept the seminarian who will participate in the chaplain candidacy program of one of the branches of the U.S. armed forces. The bishop agrees to release him for service as a military chaplain after three years of pastoral experience as a priest in his diocese. When the priest leaves military service, he returns to the diocese.

Conventual Franciscan Father Kerry Abbott, director of vocations for the military archdiocese, called the increase one of the “untold stories” of spiritual blessings. He said Catholic seminaries in the United States and the Pontifical North American College in Rome are straining to accommodate the influx of seminarians, and many seminaries have converted guest rooms to seminarian quarters.

The outlook for future vocations is just as bright, he said. The archdiocese is currently processing hundreds of inquiries from prospective military chaplains. Father Abbott expects anywhere from five to 10 more to enter seminaries next year, with still more to come in years to follow.

The timing could not be better. The U.S. armed forces have seen a steady decline in Catholic military chaplains over the past 10 years as priests reach the military retirement age of 62. Their numbers are down from more than 400 active in 2001 to 274 this year.

Father Abbott attributes the increase to the support of bishops and successful recruiting over the past three years.

The growing influx of new co-sponsored seminarians poses an increased cost for the military archdiocese, which pays for half of the five-year education. The archdiocese splits tuition and related costs evenly with each diocese where the co-sponsored seminarian is educated and ordained. In just three years, the archdiocese’s annual seminary bill has climbed from less than $40,000 to more than $350,000.

The Knights of Columbus recently announced a new Venerable Father McGivney Military Chaplain Scholarship that will provide $200,000 a year over the next five years. The archdiocese is now in search of additional funding sources to make up the difference.

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; chaplains; romancatholic
Just an article I came across after my weekend with the Serra Club hosting the Archbishop of the Military Services and five chaplains and one seminarian headed for the military after his three-year co-sponsorship with his diocese.
1 posted on 10/12/2011 2:20:38 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Salvation

Well, that will cut down on the gay marriages the military just gave the okay for.

2 posted on 10/12/2011 2:26:24 PM PDT by al_c (
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To: All

3 posted on 10/12/2011 2:28:34 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: al_c
From your lips to God's ears!

Uncle Sam attracts more (Catholic) military chaplains
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Over 2,000 Evangelical, Orthodox Chaplains Join Catholics in Opposing Pentagon on Same-Sex Marriage

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4 posted on 10/12/2011 2:35:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Good pay and great retirement. Might be better off economically than a parish priest.

5 posted on 10/12/2011 2:37:29 PM PDT by Bringbackthedraft (CAIN 2012, AMERICA ,LETS GET BACK TO "BUSINESS"!)
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To: al_c
Well, that will cut down on the gay marriages the military just gave the okay for.

Until the Pentagon decides that all chaplains have to play footsie with the faggots.

The Catholic chaplains won't be the only ones resigning their commissions ...

6 posted on 10/12/2011 2:38:32 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Oh, they are already freely testing faith and kindness of Christians out there. Imagine that, a rapist asking you if you would have a problem with gays...

7 posted on 10/12/2011 4:05:23 PM PDT by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
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