As a Catholic and a man raised in the institutions of the U.S. military, I have always discerned a possible vocation to the military chaplaincy. Initially, the discernment took place out of a sense of duty that all men of the faith should seek, but eventually, a profound love of Our Lord Jesus Christ and a complete dedication of the self to the salvation of mankind superseded the previous source of calling.
Spending over a year on the high seas, with the complete absence of a Catholic priest, reminded me of the grave importance of the military chaplaincy’s existence and the clerical membership growth of the Archdiocese of Military Services. I have witnessed firsthand the level of despair and personal confusion sailors experience every day while out at sea without the light of Christ. The lack of the sacraments, especially Holy Mass and the sacrament of reconciliation, leads the soul of a sailor on an inevitable path of decay, atrophy, and ultimate surrender to the works of the devil.
This unfortunate experience convinced me recently to answer the call to the priesthood, here and now, without any conditions or mental reservation. I was ready to abandon an illustrious and noble career in the naval profession to seek man’s highest calling. My application to the local diocese began, and I was on route to be a co-sponsored seminarian with the Archdiocese of Military Services. But I soon faced a dilemma, felt by many of the faithful of the younger generation, that would eventually prevent me from pursuing the military chaplaincy: I fell in love with the traditional Latin Mass.