Military Chaplain Inspires Young Cadet to Teach the Faith

An article at CatholicPhilly has an interesting story about the small things that can have a big impact on a young military troop’s walk of faith.

Miguel Melendez was cadet at the US Coast Guard Academy when he saw the example of other Catholic cadets:

One of the Catholic cadets stood up at lunch and announced that a group of students would pray the rosary every Monday.

The announcement piqued Miguel Melendez’s interest.

“I was like, ‘I want to do that, I want to meet these people and pray even though I hadn’t been in the habit of it growing up,’” Melendez told Catholic News Service.

Melendez’s pull to faith was assisted by Catholic Chaplain Chaplain Steve Rock — who also gave Melendez some other important advice:

he told Father Rock that he wanted to drop out of the academy to become a priest.

Father Rock convinced him to finish his degree and mandatory service first.

A few years later, Melendez was given an opportunity for more schooling — and more service in the Coast Guard. Father Rock again provided the advice that would shape his choice:

“You know, Miguel, if you don’t become a priest now, you never will,” Father Rock told him.

Melendez attended seminary at Theological College in Washington and was ordained in the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, June 3.

Timothy Broglio, the Catholic Archbishop for the Military Services, noted that military chaplains have the unique opportunity to encourage their congregations to Christian service.

As Melendez’s story shows, something as simple as announcing a Bible study can prove a pivotal moment in the spiritual life for a young Airmen, Soldier, Sailor or Marine — or Coastie.

When was the last time you hosted a Bible study or prayer group in your unit?