INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), is celebrating the priestly ordination of a prospective new Catholic U.S. Air Force chaplain. Father Vincent (Vinny) Gillmore, 2d Lt, USAFR, was ordained a priest on Saturday, June 1, in Indianapolis, IN. Father Gillmore, a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, hopes to go on active duty with AMS endorsement and faculties once he completes three years of pastoral service in his home Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Archbishop Charles C. Thompson ordained the new priest at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral through the laying of hands and the prayer of consecration invoking the Holy Spirit. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, concelebrated the 10:00 a.m. ordination Mass.
Among those in attendance were Father Gillmore’s parents, Mr. David and Mrs. Sandra Gillmore, his grandmother, Ms. Esther Doyle, and eight of his eleven brothers and sisters. (One brother, Indiana National Guard Specialist and combat medic Benjamin Gillmore, could not make it because he was preparing to deploy to Kuwait.)
Father Gillmore completed his priestly formation at St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, where he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Catholic Philosophical Studies and a Master of Divinity Degree. He celebrated his first Mass at Saint Monica Catholic Church in Indianapolis at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 2. The new priest will commence full-time ministry as the Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood, IN, while continuing to serve in the Air Force Reserve and preparing to go on active duty as a chaplain.
“Toward the beginning of the ordination Mass,” Father Gillmore said, “my mom – apparently reading my thoughts – whispered to me: ‘The whole universe is here!’ I thought, What could be more true and more exciting?! And now, to take on this new role in the Mass? One day, I might have adequate words to describe it.”
Father Gillmore’s ordination is good news for the Air Force, which, like other branches of the U.S. Military, is coping with a shortage of Catholic chaplains due to attrition: priests are retiring from active duty faster than they can be replaced. Right now, the Air Force has only 55 priests on active duty, serving some 80,000 Catholic Airmen and women. That’s approximately one priest for every 1,450 Catholics spread thin across bases worldwide, not counting their families.
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 the Vocations Director, Father Aidan Logan, O.C.S.O., by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.