The US military has approved the awarding of a Silver Star to Father Aloysius Schmitt, a Catholic chaplain who was aboard the USS Oklahoma when it was struck and capsized during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. More than 400 Sailors perished. Chaplain (LTjg) Schmitt is reported to have helped several men through their only means of escape — a porthole — and when it appeared he might get stuck in the porthole, declined the opportunity to escape himself, allowing others to live.
The Oklahoma was righted in 1943, and Read more
Chaplain (1Lt) Brett Campbell recently became the US Air Force’s first (and only) Buddhist chaplain [emphasis added]:
The Iowa native who was raised Catholic discovered meditation and was introduced to Buddhism while at Iowa State University. He was attracted to the religion because it was more of a life philosophy and that he was frustrated with the mainstream church culture and system that was so susceptible to corruption.
After graduation, Campbell joined the Peace Corps and served in Mongolia where he said he began identifying as a Tibetan Buddhist.
That’s an interesting Read more
An interesting US Air Force story describes how US Air Force Chaplain (Maj) Chris Conklin is acting as an advisor to the Afghan Air Force Religious and Cultural Affairs office, a rough equivalent to their chaplaincy:
Chaplain (Maj.) Chris Conklin is the first air advisor charged with assisting the Afghan military’s religious and cultural affairs program with the mission of effective religious care and spiritual readiness for those who defend their nation.
Interestingly, the article makes a point to say their discussions aren’t religious in nature: Read more
Naval Support Activity Bethesda recently dedicated an “interfaith” room to support the religious activities of the troops who spend time in the many organizations hosted in the local area:
Some of the programs planned for the Interfaith Center are Monday Mass Catholic worship, “Worship on Wednesdays” Protestant service, Buddhist Worship and prayers, Muslim daily prayers, and Bible study groups, among other uses.
US Navy Chaplain (CAPT) Roosevelt Brown, the chief chaplain at the local Belvoir Community Hospital, specifically praised the decision to call it an “interfaith” room: Read more
In an interestingly timed piece, the US Air Force highlighted Catholic Chaplain (Capt) Emmanuel Enoh, who hails from Nigeria but was drawn to missionary work — and the US Air Force:
“The patient was suffering from her experiences in the Iraq war,” recalled Enoh. “She just wanted to talk about her experiences, so we spent the whole night talking. I couldn’t relate to her experiences, but by being there and letting her talk, it gave her comfort. That experience drew me to serve as a military chaplain.’”
The article seems to almost painfully go out of its way to qualify the service Chaplain Enoh provides: Read more
US Senators have again taken President Trump’s nominees to task for their (Christian) religious beliefs:
Amy Coney Barrett, a law professor at Notre Dame, was grilled by Democrats over how her Catholic beliefs might influence her decisions from the bench.
“When you read your speeches, the conclusion one draws is that the dogma lives loudly within you, and that’s of concern when you come to big issues that large numbers of people have fought for, for years in this country,” Sen. Feinstein said.
The Senators’ unjustified criticisms of Barrett’s religion has been noted even by the left-leaning Baptist Joint Committee, which published a reminder Read more
Timothy Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services and the sending endorser for Catholic chaplains, has expressed support for President Trump’s decision to ban transgenders from serving in the US military, but he explained that the pragmatic value of “military readiness” wasn’t the core issue [emphasis added]:
The President’s announcement…fail[s] to address the essence of the issue – the dignity of the human person.
The dignity of the human person is rooted in the fact that people are created in the image and likeness of God…A recent conference…noted that gender ideology undermines basic Christian anthropology by defining the person as a disembodied mind and Read more
The Stars and Stripes has an interesting write up on Saint Christopher’s Chapel, an open-air church built by the US Army during World War II:
The nondenominational Saint Christophers Chapel, built in 1943 by the Army’s 542nd Engineer Battalion, is the only structure remaining from when Rockhampton served as a springboard and training location for Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s World War II island-hopping campaign. The city hosted the 1st Cavalry Division and the 24th, 32nd and 41st infantry divisions on a half-dozen camps between 1942-44.
Somewhat interesting that journalist Marcus Fichtl makes a Read more