Ministry Program Launched in Armed Services

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, MAY 26, 2005 ( The Knights of Columbus has pledged $1 million in support of a new program sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, called «Catholics Seeking Christ.»

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The new peer-to-peer ministry program will reach out to young Catholics who are coping with the stress of combat, the horrors of war, or simply being far from home for the first time.

It will also help Catholic soldiers separated from their families, and encourage vocations to the Catholic chaplaincy.

Currently, 28% of active duty military personnel are Catholic, but only 8% of military chaplains are Catholic. The Knights of Columbus grant will be provided over a five-year period.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said: «We regard it as one of our highest and most important priorities to provide help and support our soldiers, sailors and airmen, and to Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, who is entrusted with their spiritual welfare.»

Recently, the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s fraternal benefit society, also developed and printed a rugged spiral-bound Catholic Handbook of prayers and religious instruction for military personnel, sized to fit in the pockets of combat uniforms.

A quarter-million copies already have been distributed. A Spanish-language edition is in preparation.

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