After the recent Fort Hood, Texas shooting 2April 2014, Catholic related resources such as Fulton Sheen's Wartime Prayer Books, Lighthouse Catholic Media audio CDs, Catholic devotional magazine subscriptions, and other supplies were shipped to the Catholic Coordinator and chaplain responsible for providing spiritual sustenance for the twelve base-wide chapels on one of the largest U.S. military installations in the world.
Initial shipment of supplies arrives at the office of the Catholic Coordinator at Fort Hood. Quarterly shipments of 1000 of every item offered through the Free To Chaplains Program has been requested.
FRONT ROYAL, VA (Catholic Online) - "The request came in for 1000 of every item offered through Mission Capodanno's Free to Chaplains Program, plus an additional 600 subscriptions to Word Among Us magazine," explains founder and director Judy Lynn McCloskey. "To manage that large an order, it was agreed to send 300 of every item in four shipments- yielding a net of 1200 each item."
The first shipment arrived and was nearly depleted before Easter, April 20th.
"The need for quarterly shipments of 1000 of everything was quickly made apparent," said McCloskey.
Chaplains, like all members in the military, are subject to time consuming acquisitions processes which at times can operate at glacial speed. The two most common issues chaplains face in obtaining supplies are: 1) the acquisition process takes far too long to be responsive to the pastoral needs and 2) miniscule quarterly budgets do not come close to meeting the needs of their military flock.
This results in chaplains needing to subsidize purchasing materials out of pocket, or through organizations like Mission Capodanno.
"Right now, there are two Catholic communities within military installations requesting large quarterly shipments- Fort Hood, Texas, and Luke Air Force Base, Arizona," states Mission Capodanno's Administrative Assistant, Claire Bott.
With the drawdown from Iraq and Afghanistan, the perception is that these materials are no longer in demand. The reality is otherwise, explains Mrs. Bott: "the demand remains high with no signs of slowing down. In fact, it appears there will be an increase of demand in the very near future."
Currently, there are approximately 1.8 million U.S. military personnel: 236,500 officers; 1,139,100 enlisted; 12,700 cadets and midshipmen. Roughly 25% of all military personnel identify themselves as Catholic, and only 8% of those serving in the Chaplain Corps are Catholic priests. The differential creates logistically problematic scenarios wherein one Catholic chaplain is responsible for an area approximately the size of South Carolina.
Given the shortage of chaplains, the arduous acquisitions process, and lack of adequate funding, Mission Capodanno [and its allies: the Fulton Sheen Foundation, Lighthouse Catholic Media, Our Sunday Visitor, Word Among Us, Ranger Rosaries and others] becomes mission essential to the ministry of military chaplains.
"Chaplains are appreciative of the supplies provided by Mission Capodanno, especially when provided promptly," said Judy McCloskey. "Feedback from the chaplains remains positive, stating how quickly the supplies disappeared into the hands of grateful military personnel."
"Mission Capodanno's continued support of these chaplains is made possible through the financial generosity from donors," added Donor Relations Representative, Mrs. Meghan Buckner. "And more donors are needed."
To learn more, visit www.MissionCapodanno.org.
To become a sponsor, visit https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/MissionCapodanno/OnlineDonation.html.
To request materials, from the homepage, click the upper tab marked Resources, then Free to Chaplains or Catholic Care Packages.
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