WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), will soon have a new Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. Father Jeffrey G. Laible, Ch, Col, USAF, a chaplain in the Illinois Air National Guard, will assume the new position in July. He succeeds Monsignor John J.M. Foster, J.C.D., who is returning to his home Diocese of Stockton, CA, following eight years of fruitful service to the AMS.
Reporting directly to His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, the Vicar General is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Archdiocese in its service to 1.8 million Catholics worldwide. A long and productive track record of service to God and country distinguishes Father Laible (pronounced “LI’-uh-blee”) for the position.
For more than 30 years he has ministered as a priest and pastor in parishes and Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Peoria, IL, where he is now pastor at the Logan County Catholic Community. Father Laible is currently the Spiritual Director for the Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage, sponsored by the AMS with the support of the Knights of Columbus.
Archbishop Broglio said, “I am deeply grateful to Father Laible for his willingness to accept a new ministry. He will bring with him years of experience in the Air National Guard and as the Spiritual Director for the annual US participation in the International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes. At the same time Bishop Daniel Jenky and his Coadjutor, Bishop Louis Tylka, are recognized for their generous release of Father Laible for the important ministry of Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.”
News of Father Laible’s appointment comes one day after the Feast of the Ascension. The timing was not lost on the Vicar General-elect. “In the Gospel of Mark for the Feast of the Ascension,” Father Laible remarked, “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature…’ I am grateful to Archbishop Broglio for his invitation to serve as Vicar General, and I pray for the grace to proclaim the gospel faithfully in the Archdiocese. Be assured of my prayers for each of you, especially through the intercession of Our Lady of Lourdes and Blessed Father Michael J. McGivney.”
Msgr. Foster commented, “I am delighted that Father Laible has accepted Archbishop Broglio’s invitation to serve as his next Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. My work with Father Laible these past years on the Warriors to Lourdes Pilgrimage confirms for me that he possesses the administrative skills and pastor’s heart to serve effectively the Christian faithful in the Archdiocese for the Military Services.”
Father Laible, son of the late Elwood “Bud” G. Laible and Virginia Marie (Tiezzi) Laible, was born on January 30, 1961, in Peoria, IL. He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary, St. Mary’s University, Winona, MN, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Human Services in 1983. He continued his studies for the priesthood at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, Archdiocese of St. Louis, MO, where he earned a Masters of Divinity in 1988. Father Laible was ordained on May 28, 1988, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of St. Mary, Peoria, IL.
In 1985 Father Laible entered the U.S. Air Force Chaplain Candidate Program. After ordination to the priesthood, he joined the Air Force Reserve in August of 1990; he was assigned as a chaplain at Scott Air Force Base, IL, and Little Rock Air Force Base, AR. From 1996 to 1999, he served as the Assistant Course Director for the USAF Chaplain Candidate Program.
Joining the Illinois Air National Guard (ANG), 183rd Wing, Springfield, IL, in 1999, Father Laible served in various assignments, including as Wing Chaplain and on the Illinois National Guard Joint Task Force. He was selected as the Air National Guard Assistant to the Command Chaplain, NORAD, and U.S. Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, CO, on September 1, 2018, and holds the rank of colonel.
Chaplain Laible deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, in 2004. He was assigned to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, on five separate tours from 2005 to 2011, providing the sacraments to the wounded, ill, and injured service members.
Father Laible’s military awards include Meritorious Service Medal with one device, Air Force Commendation Medal with three devices, Air Force Achievement Medal with two devices, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, National Defense Service Medial with one device, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border, Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with one device, Air Force Longevity Service with eight devices, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 2 ‘M’ Devices, Air Force Training Ribbon, Illinois Military Long and Honorable Service Medal with three devices, and the Illinois Military Attendance Medal with nine devices.