The Reverend Mr. Timothy G. Mergen was ordained a transitional deacon on Thursday, Oct. 3 in Rome, Italy. He hopes eventually to serve as a Catholic chaplain in the United States Air Force. His home diocese is Madison, Wisconsin. May God bless our promised priests.
Today, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), launched a new podcast called Catholic Military Life. The podcast, featuring recorded audio conversations with chaplains and others involved with pastoral care to those who serve, will appear in regular episodes on the AMS website, its Facebook page, and external sites such as SoundCloud and PodOmatic.
Two auxiliary bishops talk about their very different experiences jumping out of airplanes with fellow paratroopers. A retired Air Force chaplain shares how he negotiated with fellow officers to address secular influences threatening the free exercise of faith at the Air Force Academy. An Army National Guard chaplain spellbinds the listener with his account of bringing the sacraments to wounded G.I.’s getting medical treatment at a field hospital in Iraq. A religious writer spins yarns from his book on a Catholic Civil War chaplain who served the Confederates. All are subjects of early editions, each exploring a different perspective on Catholic Military Life.
The Military Council of Catholic Women (MCCW) has been awarded a $13,000 grant from the Koch Foundation. The grant will be used to train military-affiliated women in evangelization and leader development.
“This is the wonderful outcome of two year’s planning, preparing, and praying with intentional perseverance,” MCCW President Michelle Nash said. “God is great and has made very apparent how MCCW will move forward in leadership development and disciple discernment.”
The funds from MCCW’s first-ever grant will be put to use hosting a training event for women from each of the six globe-spanning regions served by the organization. Participants will become familiar with the many resources offered by MCCW so that they can take those tools back to their communities, and regions, as evangelists and trainers.
Though the main focus of this project is the training of new evangelists, it stands to have a far-reaching effect on the critical network of women’s ministry programs in Catholic military chapels around the world. By equipping women with the tools they need to start, lead, and grow women’s ministry programs, MCCW is reinforcing the structure to which many military women look for support, friendship, and faith formation.
“When military families move, the chapel is the first place many women go to find the support they need,” MCCW Vice President Muffy Patterson said, “and while many military communities have vibrant women’s ministry offerings, many more chapel communities are still without strong faith formation programs. Our goal is to equip our evangelists to eventually reach out to every military community around the world.”