This week I am attending the Senior Leadership Symposium for all the chaplains of Captain-rank in the Navy and Marine Corps. We’ve been briefed by the Chief of Naval Operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy. We’re learning not just about world affairs and US defense strategy, but also how to better provide pastoral ministry to our sailors and Marines.
The Armed Forces are very short of Catholic chaplains. I am one of only six priests representing the Catholic Church at such an event, where 20 years ago there would have been around thirty. It’s a good way, though, to catch up with old friends — from all denominations — as most of us have served together in the Navy for more than 20 years.