Chief of Chaplain Service at Hines VA Hospital celebrates Papal Honors and honorary title of “monsignor”
HINES, ILLINOIS – A celebration at the Hines VA chapel on Thursday, June 21st, 2012 marked the concession of Papal honors to Rev. Msgr. James E. Burnett, Chief of Chaplain Service at Hines VA Hospital and President of the National Conference of VA Catholic Chaplains (NCVACC). During a solemn Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated at the Hines VA site, Msgr. Burnett was formally recognized as a “prelate of honor,” a distinction that carries the honorary title “monsignor.”
Pope Benedict XVI granted the honor in response to a request from His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services. The Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) endorses and grants faculties to Catholic VA chaplains. Archbishop Broglio served as principal celebrant for the Mass.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Martin Amos, D.C., Bishop of Davenport, Iowa, home diocese of Msgr. Burnett, concelebrated the Mass.
The Papal honors are in recognition of Msgr. Burnett’s service as a chaplain at Hines, where he has delivered pastoral care for almost fifteen years, as well as his achievements throughout the VA medical system as president of NCVACC, an organization that serves some 320 Catholic priests in various salaried positions. During his six years as president, NCVACC tripled in size and Msgr. Burnett and the conference board developed new performance standards and a new code of ethics.
Msgr. Burnett himself chose the location for the investiture Mass. Msgr. Burnett said:
“I am truly humbled and honored to receive these Papal Honors. As a Veteran of the Air Force, I feel privileged to work with and for our nation’s heroes. It was only appropriate to have the celebration where so many of them receive healing. I can’t think of a more rewarding job.”