Rev. Mr. Bill Appel ordained transitional deacon on track to become a new priest and military chaplain
Most Reverend Roger J. Foys, D.D., Bishop of Covington, KY ordains Deacon William A. Appel to the Transitional Diaconate.
COVINGTON, KENTUCKY—The Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) is celebrating the arrival of a bumper harvest of prospective new military chaplains with seven (7) diaconal and two (2) priestly ordinations scheduled this year.
The first of those came Saturday in Covington, Kentucky. In a Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Bishop Roger Joseph Foys, D.D., ordained Rev. Mr. Bill Appel a transitional deacon. Rev. Msgr. Frank Pugliese, Vicar General of the AMS, concelebrated the ordination Mass, representing His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services.
Rev. Mr. Appel, whose home diocese is Covington, is on track to become a Catholic priest and military chaplain with endorsement and faculties from the AMS. Deacon Appel is scheduled to be ordained to the priesthood in the Spring of 2014.
The bumper harvest is the fruit of ongoing efforts by the AMS Vocations Office to overcome a Catholic military chaplain shortage as aging chaplains reach the military’s mandatory retirement age of 62 faster than they can be replaced. Since 9/11, the active-duty roster has shrunk from more than 400 to fewer than 260. Currently, 25% of the military is Catholic, but Catholic priests make up only 8% of the chaplain corps.
To fill this shortage, the AMS, in cooperation with local bishops and religious communities, is using the “Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program” to support young men called to pursue priestly vocations, both in their home dioceses and in the military. Over the past four years, the number of seminarians, deacons and priests enrolled in the program has risen from seven (7) in 2008 to 48 this year. As many as five (5) more are expected to enter in the fall, and the AMS is processing applications of nine (9) others.
Young men interested in discerning a priestly vocation, and the vocation within a vocation to serve those who serve in the U.S. military, can find more information at www.milarch.org/vocations, or may contact Father Kerry Abbott, OFM Conv., AMS Vocations Director, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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, visitwww.milarch.org, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.