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. 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.
A serious athlete, Father Willenberg has run many marathons and organizes them among the troops he serves. A year after running the fateful 2013 Boston Marathon, he executed a marathon at Bagram with more than 600 service members. In 2016, he held a marathon for 1,400 at Fort Bragg. Additionally, he provides comfort and healing sacraments to those deployed under life-threatening conditions. Daily, his ministry encompasses counseling, suicide prevention and preparations to transition back to civilian life. “As chaplains we are challenged to be the best the Army offers in measures of spiritual resiliency, physical fitness, mental toughness, technical proficiency and moral character and to make the faith attractive to those we serve,” he said.