I served 8 years as a naval medical officer and I agree that, in the military, the term chaplain has been restricted to ministers who are officers. On Friday, I retired from 25 years medical practice at large multispecialty clinic which merged with a Catholic hospital system. The hospital chaplains have never suggested that they could provide the sacraments but provide other types of services like communion calls, spiritual visits, etc. That doesn’t make them any less chaplains. None of them in my experience have been clergy. Some were religious, many were lay folks trained according to the standards listed at that web site. Barring some catastrophe, I will be ordained to the permanent diaconate after 6 years of formation this November. Being a physician and probably clergy, I have already been asked to involve myself in clinical-pastoral issues for the diocese, parishes, and hospitals. But I have no interest in the chaplaincy training. The MD goes well with all those functions already.
Congratulations on your impending ordination! We’ve had excellent experiences with permanent deacons (and with Sisters, too). I’m sure your experience and training up to this point covers everything that would be useful in hospital work as a deacon, if that is how you are asked to serve.
**Barring some catastrophe, I will be ordained to the permanent diaconate after 6 years of formation this November.**
May God bless you and your wife as your approach the permanent diaconate.
We has a newly ordained permanent deacon come and talk to our Serra club.