Will take office July 1 pending announcement of permanent replacement for Father Kerry Abbott, OFM Conv.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Father John Kaul, CAPT, CHC, USN (Ret), has been named interim Vocations Director of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS). Father Kaul will assume the position on July 1, 2013, replacing Father Kerry Abbott, OFM Conv., who announced his retirement earlier this year. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, will name a permanent replacement sometime in the next few months.
Father Kaul, of Kingsland, Ga., is a 26-year veteran of the United States Navy Chaplain Corps. He will continue to serve the AMS in his current position as Contract Priest Coordinator, facilitating endorsement and faculties for priests to work under contract with the military on a non-active-duty basis, helping relieve an acute shortage of Catholic military chaplains. While Catholics compose 25% of the military, only 8% of the chaplain corps is Catholic.
Taking on additional duties as interim Vocations Director, Father Kaul will expand his efforts to address this shortage, counseling and supporting men who are in the process of discerning if they are called to the priesthood and military chaplaincy as well as those already in formation to become priests and chaplains.
Father Kaul said:
“I am honored indeed that Archbishop Broglio has entrusted me with the care and maintenance of the wonderful legacy Father Kerry Abbott is leaving in the AMS Vocations Office, and look forward to and advancing his enormous contribution to the future of priestly ministry in the armed services.”
Those interested in pursuing the “vocation within a vocation” of military chaplaincy may contact Father Kaul firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 719-3600.
The AMS was created as an independent archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1985 as the only Catholic jurisdiction responsible for endorsing and granting faculties for priests to serve as chaplains in the U.S. military and VA Medical Centers.
AMS-endorsed priests serve at more than 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries, making the AMS the nation’s only global archdiocese. AMS-endorsed chaplains also serve at 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the U.S.
The AMS service population also includes American Catholic civilians working for the federal government in 134 countries, but currently, due to limited resources, the AMS cannot adequately serve this population.
Worldwide, an estimated 1.8 million Catholics depend on the AMS to meet their spiritual and sacramental needs.
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, visit www.milarch.org, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.