Catholic Chaplain at Fort Bragg Nominated for Lumen Christi Award Father Lukasz Willenberg, CH (CAPT), USA, recognized for inspiring U.S. soldiers with commitment to spiritual life and physical fitness

Father Lukasz Willenberg, CH (CAPT), USA, one of 47 nominees for Catholic Extension’s 2018-19 Lumen Christi Award.

WASHINGTON, DC–Father Lukasz Willenberg, CH (CAPT), USA, a U.S. Army chaplain currently serving at Fort Bragg, NC, has been nominated for a 2018-19 Lumen Christi Award from Catholic Extension. Now in its 41st year, the Lumen Christi (Latin for “Light of Christ”) annually honors an individual or group working in one of America’s mission dioceses who demonstrates how the power of faith can transform lives and communities.

A native of Poland, Father Willenberg serves in the Army with endorsement and faculties from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). He was associate pastor at St. Luke’s Church in Barrington, RI, before beginning military service in 2013 followed by a 13-month deployment to Afghanistan. He was nominated for the Lumen Christi by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services. In his letter of nomination, Archbishop Broglio wrote: 

“Father Willenberg inspires military personnel and their families through his daily commitment to the spiritual life and physical fitness. While deployed to Bagram Air Base he flew by helicopter to multiple forward operating bases, bringing the healing sacraments to those in need. He also organized a shadow marathon, which coincided with the Boston marathon, one year after the 2013 bombing tragedy. Over 600 members of the Armed Forces ran the 26.2 miles with him.

“Currently serving at Fort Bragg, Father continues his commitment to the troops by participating in physical training with them every day. He beat a long-held record in the 12-mile foot march that completes an intense 10-day training course. Finishing seven minutes faster than the previous record holder, Father remains a humble servant. He reminds all that he meets of the importance of trusting in and relying upon the will of God. His ability to keep up with the troops fosters trust and inspires those on active duty to witness his love for them and Christ.”

Each of this year’s 47 nominees will receive a Catholic Extension grant of at least $1,000 with which to pursue their ministries. Finalists, to be chosen later this year, will each receive $10,000. The ultimate award recipient will receive $25,000 with another $25,000 going to the winner’s diocese.