The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Soldier, reporter, Catholic

posted by jmcgee

That sums up the unusual resume of Sgt. Neil McCabe. Boston’s diocesan newspaper The Pilot has more:

Pilot_11369.jpgWhile Sgt. Neil W. McCabe was prepared for the blazing temperatures and the dusty, dry conditions which are part of the arid desert climate in Iraq, deployment has brought him an unexpected challenge — the struggle to receive the sacraments.

McCabe, a Pilot reporter on active duty with the Army military leave, has gone from suburban Massachusetts, where it is easy to receive the sacraments, to Iraq, where attending Sunday Mass and receiving other sacraments has been a challenge at times.

Though sometimes travel and other obligations keep service members from participating in the sacraments, many times the problem is that there are simply too few priests to go around.

“As a Catholic soldier in Iraq, it’s very painful when you arrive at the chapel to realize that there is no priest because the priest is somewhere else,” said McCabe, speaking to The Pilot while home on leave in late September.

For McCabe, it’s quite a change from life in the Boston area, with its large Catholic population.

“I’ve never in my life had to deal with a situation where there are no priests. It’s something you hear about in missionary countries,” he said.

“It’s something you would read about in a history book,” he said.

Chaplains are responsible for meeting the spiritual needs of military personnel, ministering to those within and out of their own respective denominations. Catholic chaplains perform the same ministries that any priest does in serving his congregation, including saying Mass, hearing confessions, administering the anointing of the sick, and counseling.

McCabe said sometimes senior officers may lead liturgies of the word when a priest is not available. Other times, Catholic service members have to settle for attending Mass whenever they can, even if it is not Sunday.

Check out more at the link.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.