Category Archives: Chaplaincy

Learning from Chaplain Kapaun

About 70 years ago (25 June 1950) the conflict in Korea began as North Korean forces invaded the south. One of the first American units to arrive in Korea was the 8th Cavalry, and one of their chaplains was Emil Kapaun. Here’s a little bit of his story and an encouragement to follow his example.

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The Chaplain’s Job During the Mexican Border War

It is interesting how this chaplain, in 1915, was searching for the best way to do his job while struggling with some of the things that chaplains still struggle with today. It is an interesting look into the life of a chaplain from early last century, deployed with his soldiers.

The Chaplain’s Job

by John M. Thomas

“Tent Talk (International Film)”

“I did not hold a regimental church. The army has a bugle call for ‘church,’ plaintive, soft, and very beautiful, and some chaplains console themselves for handful audiences by imaginations of mysterious influences supposed to proceed from the mere sounding of the church I wanted something more tangible. So I had a motor truck driven into a company street every Sunday evening and the entire regiment assembled in regular formation before it…

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Continue reading this story at The Chaplain’s Job

Why is Memorial Day Important?

As a nation who cherishes its freedom, Memorial Day should be one of the most significant of holidays as we honor those who have fallen in defense of the freedoms we cherish. Here is a brief video with a summary of the history of Memorial Day and an encouragement to remember those who died for our freedom.

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It Could Be Worse… (Part 2)

It may be difficult not gathering for worship together during the COVID-19 pandemic, but just think, you could be gathering for worship in a barn … away from home … using a portable pump organ … in a combat zone!

The caption to this U.S. Army photograph dated 1944 reads:

Artillerymen attached to an Armored Unit attend Protestant Services held in a barn near France.

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U.S. Army Signal Corps Photo, ETO-HQ-44-17550 (TCK Archives)

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It Could Be Worse…

It may be difficult not gathering for worship together during the COVID-19 pandemic, but just think, you could be gathering for worship outside … in the snow … in the cold … in Alaska!

The caption to this U.S. Army photograph dated 31 January 1955 reads:

Time Out for Worship at Camp

Using a Jeep as improvised altar, Chaplain (Maj.) Joseph M. Mollner, chaplain of the 53d Infantry, celebrates Roman Catholic mass during Exercise Snowbird. Troops of the 53d have established base camp near Caswell, Alaska, and they will act as ‘aggressor’ forces during second phase of the maneuvers.

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Photo by PVT Vial, Fort Richardson, Alaska, 31 Jan 1955 (TCK Archives).

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Not COVID-19, but Combat, Disrupted Worship Services in Vietnam

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many chaplains today have been shuffling their routines and procedures to produce video devotionals and online worship services for their parishioners to receive religious support while many who are deployed shuffle their schedules to accommodate military operations. Here is a press photo, taken 4 April 1966, of Army Chaplain Curtis Bowers with such an experience. The caption reads:

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Chaplain Curtis Bowers of Lancaster, Pa., sometimes has to change his schedule of services. Protestant services for the U.S. 101st Reconnaissance Platoon, the ‘Screaming Eagles,’ were held last week on Monday near Tuy Hoa, South Viet Nam, because the men had fought all day Sunday.

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AP Photo, 4 April 1966, Chaplain Curtis Bowers (TCK Archives)

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Presidents Day Reminder

For Presidents Day, remembering George Washington and his chaplain. Washington was arguably the President who most supported military chaplaincy, being instrumental in Congress approving chaplains for the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

“The Chaplain at Valley Forge (artist: William A. Smith). History records that our first commander-in-chief was a man of sincere religious faith. He depended heavily upon the chaplains of the Continental Army for their spiritual and moral leadership. Israel Evans was sometimes referred to as ‘General George Washington’s Chaplain.’ He led the Army in prayers at Valley Forge. Before a battle, he usually prayed that the Lord of Hosts would lead the Army to victory, if that be according to Divine Will; if not, he begged God to stand neutral and let ‘flesh and blood’ decide the issue”

The Five Chaplains of the SS Mallory

7 February 1943 proved to be one of the deadliest days of combat for Army chaplains during World War Two. The U.S. Army Chaplain Corps reported the following chaplain deaths occurred on that day: Chaplain (1LT) Horace E. Gravely, Chaplain (1LT) James M. Liston, Chaplain (CPT) Ernest W. MacDonald, Chaplain (1LT) Valmore G. Savignac, and Chaplain (CPT) David H. Youngdahl. These five chaplains all died in the attack on the S.S. Henry R. Mallory while being transported through the North Atlantic to their next wartime assignments.

Before departing on the Mallory many, if not all, of the chaplains who would be traveling together got to know each other, as well as the four famous chaplains who would later die when the U.S.A.T. Dorchester was sunk just a few days before the Mallory experienced the same fate.

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Continue reading this brief history of the U.S.S. Henry R. Mallory and the chaplains who ministered and died on her (3349 more words)…

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Coming soon to The Chaplain Kit…

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Christmas Time in Baghdad

“Christmas Time in Baghdad” Written and performed by John Proctor, an Army Chaplain Assistant who has served in Iraq as well as a number of other overseas locations. Christmas Time in Baghdad is a “true account from Christmas 2003 which was celebrated in Baghdad, Iraq with the 82nd Airborne.” The 2nd verse begins, “The Chaplain preached the Gospel..”

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