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Jeremy
06-24-2008, 01:31 PM
Priest's marching orders: Recruit from troops (http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/wayoflife/06/24/priest.recruits.troops.ap/index.html)

METHUEN, Massachusetts (AP) -- The Rev. John McLaughlin never served in the military, but he's faced unexpected, violent death in the way troops do.


People who confront death "eventually start thinking about helping people in life," said John McLaughlin.

Decades ago, McLaughlin lay bleeding on a Boston street after being stabbed from behind. The prayer-filled moments that followed, when McLaughlin believed he might die, changed his life and ultimately led him to God.

Now, in a newly created job, he'll be trying to recruit military personnel to the Roman Catholic priesthood.

He believes that service members, who confront death as part of their jobs, could have a similar openness to religious service.

"You start realizing how fragile life is," McLaughlin said. "And when people start thinking in those terms, they eventually start thinking about helping people in life."

This month, McLaughlin left his parish north of Boston and became the first-ever national vocations director at the Archdiocese of the Military in Washington. McLaughlin will travel the country, speaking to troops about following a commitment to their country with commitment to their faith.

The clergy shortage in the Catholic church is well documented, and officials see the military as potentially rich ground to find future priests and nuns.

Besides having faced questions of life and death, military men and women tend to have traits necessary for religious life, including self-discipline and a willingness to sacrifice, said Monsignor James Dixon of the Archdiocese of the Military.

Church officials estimate 11 percent of seminary students during the last three years served in the military or had a parent who served. The archdiocese has long reached out to service members, but never had the money to hire someone dedicated to that job, Dixon said.

"We finally got to the point where we think it's become an absolute necessity," he said.

Army chaplain Paul Hurley, who attended seminary with McLaughlin in the early 1990s, advocated for his friend to get the job without McLaughlin's knowledge.

Hurley said McLaughlin has an authenticity and a knack for getting young people to talk about what's important to them. Those characteristics are crucial when someone is deciding if life as a priest or nun is right, he said.

"He's got that special touch," Hurley said. "He finds a way of connecting with people where they're at."

McLaughlin's casual manner went with his unbuttoned clerical collar during a recent interview in his former office at Saint Monica's Church in Methuen. A solid build reflects his past as wrestler at Boston College and successful high school coach in his native Woburn.

McLaughlin, 50, the oldest of four brothers, said his first major encounter with God came when he was stabbed in the liver at age 20 while walking near Boston's Faneuil Hall marketplace. He and his brother were jumped without provocation, he said. As he lay on the street, McLaughlin prayed for forgiveness, and for his family.

"Even when I faced the worst hardship I turned to God," McLaughlin said.

His commitment to the priesthood came more than a decade later, after experiencing an overwhelming peace during visits to the village of Medjugorje, in the former Yugoslavia, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared.

"I thought, this is what God wants me to do, is to tell people about that and bring that peace of God to them," he said.

McLaughlin was initially hesitant to take the new vocations post, telling Dixon that he was comfortable at Saint Monica's.

O'Brien replied that "there's a lot of men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq that were pretty comfortable, too," McLaughlin said. "That little guilt trip made me think about things."

McLaughlin believes he'll be helping both the church and the troops in his new job. If he succeeds in recruiting more priests to dioceses, he said, those dioceses may be more likely to allow their priests to serve in the military, where the priest shortage is particularly acute.

In the Army, for instance, there are just 100 priests to serve more than 105,000 Catholic soldiers, said Chaplain Ran Dolinger, a spokesman at the Army's office of Chief of Chaplains.

Dolinger said he welcomed the church's move to create McLaughlin's job, adding he knows some people who leave the military for religious life will never return but that others will become the chaplains the military sorely needs.

If that happens, Hurley said, McLaughlin "is going to make a tremendous difference in the lives of some pretty heroic people."

McLaughlin said he wants to be sure troops are serious about religious life, and not just fulfilling the rash, fearful deals some might make with God if they return safely from battle.

"The hope is that they'll think about it, talk to me about it, and then at the end of their (military) commitment, that's when they'll make the decisions," he said.

The job will require extensive travel to bases around the country to build relationships with the chaplains in closest touch with those considering a call to the Catholic church. Retreats and correspondence with interested troops will follow.

But many plans for the new job are still largely uncharted, McLaughlin said, adding he knows the challenges of drawing people to the priesthood in the modern day remain huge.

"All I know is that if I show them I enjoy the priesthood and believe in it, if God wants it to happen, it will happen," he said

Mosca
06-24-2008, 02:02 PM
Yeah, I saw that as well. More power to him. I think he'll run into some problems with the celibacy thing, and of course the women are out, at least as far as priesthood is concerned.

It's hard to tell from the article itself, but there is no government sanction of this. The Archdiocese of the Military is part of the Catholic Church, and Rev. McLaughlin can welcome whomever he wants to his meetings, just like I can if I were so inclined.

TroysBadDawg
06-24-2008, 02:14 PM
Funny in the Maronite Catholic Church the Priests can marry, but not in the Roman Catholic Church. They are both under the Pope, but each have their own specific rules.

Jeremy
06-24-2008, 03:05 PM
Yeah, I saw that as well. More power to him. I think he'll run into some problems with the celibacy thing, and of course the women are out, at least as far as priesthood is concerned.

It's hard to tell from the article itself, but there is no government sanction of this. The Archdiocese of the Military is part of the Catholic Church, and Rev. McLaughlin can welcome whomever he wants to his meetings, just like I can if I were so inclined.

I think he'll have some success, but I don't see this being very effective.

Preacher
06-24-2008, 06:36 PM
Yeah, I saw that as well. More power to him. I think he'll run into some problems with the celibacy thing, and of course the women are out, at least as far as priesthood is concerned.

It's hard to tell from the article itself, but there is no government sanction of this. The Archdiocese of the Military is part of the Catholic Church, and Rev. McLaughlin can welcome whomever he wants to his meetings, just like I can if I were so inclined.


:rofl:

Thank goodness I am protestant!!!

Hammer Of The GODS
06-24-2008, 08:49 PM
" The clergy shortage in the Catholic church is well documented, and officials see the military as potentially rich ground to find future priests and nuns.
"

The catholic church is hitting the panic button! They are losing all thier priests to another club called NAMBLA! :puke:

Speaking as prior military and someone who has been shot at and thought I was going to die, I LOST religion when I was at war. I now see organized religion the same way I see Santa Clause! Just another story to make people "be good for goodness sake" Oh ya better watch out ya better not cry..........sorry I digress....

Anyway when you see the horrible images of war it's hard to believe that the god that is spoken of so fondly at church would let these atrocities go on. Not to mention all the other vile crap in this world.... see also the catholic pediphiles I mean priests!

Preacher
06-24-2008, 09:42 PM
" The clergy shortage in the Catholic church is well documented, and officials see the military as potentially rich ground to find future priests and nuns.
"

The catholic church is hitting the panic button! They are losing all thier priests to another club called NAMBLA! :puke:

Speaking as prior military and someone who has been shot at and thought I was going to die, I LOST religion when I was at war. I now see organized religion the same way I see Santa Clause! Just another story to make people "be good for goodness sake" Oh ya better watch out ya better not cry..........sorry I digress....

Anyway when you see the horrible images of war it's hard to believe that the god that is spoken of so fondly at church would let these atrocities go on. Not to mention all the other vile crap in this world.... see also the catholic pediphiles I mean priests!


I can understand that view....

Maybe I can suggest a slightly altered way of viewing it?

What you saw wasn't proof that God doesn't exist, rather, it was proof of what happens when people focus on themselves rather than God. After all, there are consequences to actions... and war sometimes is the ultimate consequence to action.

Hammer Of The GODS
06-24-2008, 10:46 PM
I can understand that view....

Maybe I can suggest a slightly altered way of viewing it?

What you saw wasn't proof that God doesn't exist, rather, it was proof of what happens when people focus on themselves rather than God. After all, there are consequences to actions... and war sometimes is the ultimate consequence to action.


Problem with that statement is that if you ask my nieghbors and co-workers who is the one guy they can turn to for help, they will tell you to see me! I do not need the fear of hell or the wrath of god to keep me on the right path. So to say that if I don't focus on god that I can't possibly be a good person is an assumption that unfortunately I have to deal with everytime I meet someone new and they find out I don't "believe". At least until they get to know me and then there eyes are opened. If there is a higher power(and I believe there is, just not the bibles version) he/she/it has left us to our own devises and we are subject to our own wrath!

Preacher
06-24-2008, 10:56 PM
Problem with that statement is that if you ask my nieghbors and co-workers who is the one guy they can turn to for help, they will tell you to see me! I do not need the fear of hell or the wrath of god to keep me on the right path. So to say that if I don't focus on god that I can't possibly be a good person is an assumption that unfortunately I have to deal with everytime I meet someone new and they find out I don't "believe". At least until they get to know me and then there eyes are opened. If there is a higher power(and I believe there is, just not the bibles version) he/she/it has left us to our own devises and we are subject to our own wrath!

OK..

So you believe God exists... just not the Western Idea of God? Is that right?

(I take these discussions very serious as you can imagine from my SN... so I am not trying to "set you up" or "back you into a corner" I am genuinely interested in your answers...)

BTW...

Believing in God isn't what makes you a "good person"

I am not interested in a "good person" per se, because anyone and everyone can define that to their own ideals.

Mosca
06-24-2008, 11:05 PM
I'll vouch for Preacher's genuine curiosity. HOTGs, Preach really just wants to know. He is as curious about how someone can not believe as you probably are about how someone can.

Preacher
06-24-2008, 11:08 PM
I'll vouch for Preacher's genuine curiosity. HOTGs, Preach really just wants to know. He is as curious about how someone can not believe as you probably are about how someone can.

Thanks Mosca...

I've missed ya around here.

Mosca
06-24-2008, 11:21 PM
Thanks Mosca...

I've missed ya around here.

I spent the last 8 days in Mouseville FL. It was hot, but fun. Buncha atheist dogs down there; they canceled the Sunday mass at the Polynesian, much to the dismay of Mrs Mosca. And word has it they're gay friendly!

Hehe...

Seriously, anyone who hasn't been on the ride "Soarin'" is really missing something. It is truly amazing. The first 10 seconds, where you are a thousand feet over the Golden Gate Bridge... you have to experience it. Unbelievable.

Hammer Of The GODS
06-25-2008, 09:28 PM
OK..
So you believe God exists... just not the Western Idea of God? Is that right?


I wouldn't say that. I don't believe in anyones idea of god. The universe is much to big to begin to fathom the possibilities of a documented creator i.e. the written texts of all orginized religion. All that junk was written before man even new the earth revolved aroud the sun. Anyway, as much as I like to discuss religion or the lack thereof, I would go blind and my hands would seize up on me typing out the conversation that I've had a million times with the "believers". I do appreciate and respect your curiosity but based on my experience on this subject, I don't really think typing it all here does it justice. Besides like I said I type with one finger and it just took me 5 minutes to type out this reply! :chuckle:

Preacher
06-26-2008, 02:51 AM
I wouldn't say that. I don't believe in anyones idea of god. The universe is much to big to begin to fathom the possibilities of a documented creator i.e. the written texts of all orginized religion. All that junk was written before man even new the earth revolved aroud the sun. Anyway, as much as I like to discuss religion or the lack thereof, I would go blind and my hands would seize up on me typing out the conversation that I've had a million times with the "believers". I do appreciate and respect your curiosity but based on my experience on this subject, I don't really think typing it all here does it justice. Besides like I said I type with one finger and it just took me 5 minutes to type out this reply! :chuckle:

:laughing:

No problem.

I have a better idea... Why don't I give you a link to a previous thread so that if you want, you can read how I have answered some of the "common" and not-so-common questions....


The link is...

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=19061&highlight=faith

Hammer Of The GODS
06-26-2008, 01:27 PM
:laughing:

No problem.

I have a better idea... Why don't I give you a link to a previous thread so that if you want, you can read how I have answered some of the "common" and not-so-common questions....


The link is...

http://forums.steelersfever.com/showthread.php?t=19061&highlight=faith

Fair enough! I'll take a look.

Hammer Of The GODS
06-26-2008, 03:47 PM
Wow.......... sorry I missed that thread in live time. Excellant points on both sides. But...... I still come back to my way of thinking which is that ALL of those arguements both for and against are based on something someone else has taught and told you. Nothing that I've been taught or told about religion and faith can be viewed as tangible! As simple as that may seem, that's how I live my life when it comes to why I'm here and where will I go when I die. What is, is, and what will be will be. I find my life much more enriched and enlightened since I've let go of all those religious beliefs.
I will comment on one point that I think Tony was trying to make. That how can something as old as the writings of the bible not be true if they have stood the test of time and remain so popular? My answer is this...... It is human nature to be curious. We explore every aspect of our environment and reach as far into space as technology will allow because we want to "know"! Even with all the technological advances we have made, we still do not know for SURE that there is a heaven or hell. It is to hard for people to go through life not knowing if this is it. Is this all we get? No afterlife? It's too hard for most! Even harder I'm sure for the people who lived in the early ages of history. Therefore something as appealing as an afterlife with streets of gold looks better than blinking into nothingness!
On the other side of the coin. Humans NEED guidance! They need to be told what's right and wrong and that there are rewards and consequences for both. If given to thier devices, humans can be terrible creatures. With that statement let me say that without religion, mankind would have not survived this long.

I mean no disrespect to any "believer", but I choose to live in the "reality" that I wake up to everyday. Until I see some "tangible" proof otherwise, I will go about my life trying to be the best human being I can.

PS. If there is a God and I meet him after this life I will be sure to thank him for making me part of the STEELER NATION! :tt03:

stlrtruck
06-26-2008, 04:16 PM
Until I see some "tangible" proof otherwise, I will go about my life trying to be the best human being I can.


I'm not trying to start an argument but I'm just curious as to what you describe as "tangible"?

Is Jesus' life on earth something you would consider tangible? Is the documentation of His miracles tangible?

I truly am curious to see how you define tangible and if you mean something in the "here and now" or at any point in history?

Hammer Of The GODS
06-26-2008, 05:07 PM
I'm not trying to start an argument but I'm just curious as to what you describe as "tangible"?

Basically the dictionary version of the word. Something I'm able to touch,see, smell, taste etc.

Is Jesus' life on earth something you would consider tangible? Is the documentation of His miracles tangible?

NO. Documentation? That's equivalent to me writing down that I watched my neighbor jump off his roof and fly, then sticking it in a box and burying it for the next generation to find. By the logic of "faith" you would have to believe that it happened even if YOU didn't see it.

I truly am curious to see how you define tangible and if you mean something in the "here and now" or at any point in history?

Before you or someone else throws the weak arguement at me that I learned math from a book or that I learned of WWII by reading books and watching movies, that those must be just "stories" as well. All events that took place throughout history that I don't have "personal" knowlege of can be proven one way or another, except the miracles of Jesus. In the history of mankind he/jesus is the only human to die and come back to life. I'm sorry, a story that unbelievable needs to be substantiated with some proof. What proof you say? Well, what the hell is he waiting for? Why not come back now? Why don't we see ANY true modern day miracles. REAL miracles, not a "man lives after falling off a 3 story building". That is luck! A true miracle would be man lives after falling into a vat of molten steel (something which all the luck in the world could'nt save you from). I'm not trying to be a jerk, but it's always the same arguement from people who believe. Everything you say to me about religion is based on stories written by peolple who didn't know that the earth revolved around the sun, or that there were big ass lizards(dinosaurs) roaming the planet before we got here! It's all conjecture!

Show me tangible proof! I am not trying to prove to you that it didn't happen the way the bible says. I'm just trying to figure out why believers NEED to prove that it did! Why must I subscribe to writtings of the bible? Is it to justify them? :hunch:

stlrtruck
06-27-2008, 08:31 AM
Before you or someone else throws the weak arguement at me that I learned math from a book or that I learned of WWII by reading books and watching movies, that those must be just "stories" as well. All events that took place throughout history that I don't have "personal" knowlege of can be proven one way or another, except the miracles of Jesus. In the history of mankind he/jesus is the only human to die and come back to life. I'm sorry, a story that unbelievable needs to be substantiated with some proof. What proof you say? Well, what the hell is he waiting for? Why not come back now? Why don't we see ANY true modern day miracles. REAL miracles, not a "man lives after falling off a 3 story building". That is luck! A true miracle would be man lives after falling into a vat of molten steel (something which all the luck in the world could'nt save you from). I'm not trying to be a jerk, but it's always the same arguement from people who believe. Everything you say to me about religion is based on stories written by peolple who didn't know that the earth revolved around the sun, or that there were big ass lizards(dinosaurs) roaming the planet before we got here! It's all conjecture!

Show me tangible proof! I am not trying to prove to you that it didn't happen the way the bible says. I'm just trying to figure out why believers NEED to prove that it did! Why must I subscribe to writtings of the bible? Is it to justify them? :hunch:

I completely understand what your saying. I wanted a clear definition of what you were asking and you delivered.

As for the last statement about proving it did happen, I've come a long way since my youth as a Christian and I can tell you that I no longer need to prove it happened I only need to do two things...continue to have faith that it did and tell others that it did. I can't make anyone believe it happened or change their mind. To hate someone or disassociate with them because of that would definitely not be what Christ commands us to do. I don't think God needs to justify his words in the bible, I believe they are there to help us, because as humans we are flawed. And as I said in another thread, it's not my job to determine or judge who is going to heaven or hell and my sins are just as great as the person next to me.

Anyway, I appreciate your candidness here. You've given me some things to chew on and ask God about - like how to do you show tangible proof and what personal examples can I give that a non-believer couldn't say, "Well that was just luck"? Thanks for that, I like it when others challenge me and make me grow in my faith.

Preacher
06-27-2008, 06:33 PM
Before you or someone else throws the weak arguement at me that I learned math from a book or that I learned of WWII by reading books and watching movies, that those must be just "stories" as well. All events that took place throughout history that I don't have "personal" knowlege of can be proven one way or another, except the miracles of Jesus. In the history of mankind he/jesus is the only human to die and come back to life. I'm sorry, a story that unbelievable needs to be substantiated with some proof. What proof you say? Well, what the hell is he waiting for? Why not come back now? Why don't we see ANY true modern day miracles. REAL miracles, not a "man lives after falling off a 3 story building". That is luck! A true miracle would be man lives after falling into a vat of molten steel (something which all the luck in the world could'nt save you from). I'm not trying to be a jerk, but it's always the same arguement from people who believe. Everything you say to me about religion is based on stories written by peolple who didn't know that the earth revolved around the sun, or that there were big ass lizards(dinosaurs) roaming the planet before we got here! It's all conjecture!

Show me tangible proof! I am not trying to prove to you that it didn't happen the way the bible says. I'm just trying to figure out why believers NEED to prove that it did! Why must I subscribe to writtings of the bible? Is it to justify them? :hunch:

In short...

It is a choice to believe or not to believe. Either choice, again, is a step of faith. You have faith that heaven and hell don't exist as the bible describes it. I have faith it does.

At its core... there is no system that isn't based on faith... even science.

What? Science? Yep. Science has a belief that all that exists can be empirically known. That is a step of faith as there is no tangible proof to back that argument.

So what do you choose to put your faith in? empiricism or a system of cultic belief?

I choose a cultic belief known as christianity, where Jesus is God, died, buried, and resurrected on the third day, going forth to prepare a place for us in heaven, and will return for us.

Whats your faith?

_______________

BTW...

did you read the WHOLE thread? :jawdrop:

that in itself is impressive for that one... it even made MY eyes cross... :chuckle:

Hawk Believer
06-27-2008, 07:38 PM
.

Science has a belief that all that exists can be empirically known.

I disagree.
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is at odds with that statement. Anything that has been observed has been effected by the observer, so we as scientists can never be assured of the true nature of any given particle in the universe.

Preacher
06-27-2008, 08:41 PM
I disagree.
Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is at odds with that statement. Anything that has been observed has been effected by the observer, so we as scientists can never be assured of the true nature of any given particle in the universe.

That works great in principle.

But when scientific concepts are taught, they are taught as absolute fact.

Short and quick..

Evolution is taught as absolute fact of science. However, it is faith that says they have understood the model correctly, instead of their being a God that put humanity on earth with these similarities.

It is faith that Darwin was correct in co-opting the synthesis-antithesis model of Hegel/Kant/Fichte. Funny, two other major disciplines picked up on the same theory... Economics (Marx/Engles) and Theology (Religiongeschichteschule). In both of those disciplines, the underlying philosophical theories have been discarded... especially in theology.

My only point is that at in the end... it is still a step of faith to trust what science produces... to trust that it produces answers that are absolute...or at least better than theology, just as it is a step of faith to trust theology over science for the answers.