News & Press

May 24, 2012 - Archdiocese Honors Military Chaplains

Cardinal Asks All To Pray For Military Chaplains And All Who Serve In Our Armed Forces

Braintree, MA – This Memorial Day, as our nation salutes the courageous men and women of our armed forces, the Archdiocese of Boston is celebrating and offering thanksgiving for the priests from our Archdiocese who serve alongside our troops as military Chaplains.

The Archdiocese of Boston is one of two leading U.S. dioceses providing priests for military service. Since WWII, more than 300 of Boston’s priests have served as military Chaplains, with twelve Boston priests currently in active service, including seven fulltime. Military Chaplains are on call 24-hours a day to deliver the Sacraments, provide counsel, or simply offer a listening ear to thousands of U.S. troops.

“Our nation is blessed to have priest Chaplains continuing the long-standing tradition of serving the men and women of our military,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley.  "Recognizing the great need for Chaplains, the Archdiocese of Boston is proud to be able to provide priests for this important ministry.  In times of war and peace, the military relies on the pastoral care and supportive presence of our priest Chaplains.  This Memorial Day we pray for all those serving in the armed forces and in particular remember those who have given their lives for our country and our freedom.  May God grant them eternal rest and peace."

The Catholic Appeal team for the Archdiocese produced a video tribute to honor our military Chaplains and spread awareness of this special ministry. The video is narrated by two priests of the Archdiocese of Boston, Reverend Richard M. Erikson, Ph.D., Brigadier General, USAFR, and Reverend Michael B. Medas, Chaplain, Major, Air National Guard.  The video is available at www.bostoncatholic.org.  To learn more about the Catholic Appeal please visit www.bostoncatholicappeal.org.   

Fr. Erikson said, “The Archdiocese of Boston has been blessed through the years with archbishops who have been deeply committed to the pastoral care of our troops and priests who have served courageously as military Chaplains. On this Memorial Day, as always, we thank God for the priests who currently serve military women, men, and families, and we commend to the Lord the souls of all deceased military Chaplains.”

“The role of the military Chaplain is consistent with the role of the priest in everyday parish life,” said Fr. Medas. “That is to be a visible sign of the holy; having God there in the visible presence of the Chaplain. It makes our faith come alive to know that God is with us no matter what. For a Chaplain, there is the opportunity for union with Christ that is unique and which does not happen outside military service. St. Augustine called it the vocation to charity, because as a service member, you put your life in the generous service of others.”

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 288 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit   www.BostonCatholic.org .

*Media wanting to speak with Fr. Erikson and/or Fr. Medas should contact:
Terry Donilon
tdonilon@rcab.org
617-746-5775