U.S. military members find faith, spiritual boost in pilgrimage to Lourdes

A retired member of the U.S. Armed Forces talked with other pilgrims in Lourdes, France, May 17. About 200 people including staff and volunteers, participated in the pilgrimage, sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services and the Knights of Columbus.

Active and retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces said they were deeply moved by their experiences as part of the annual Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage May 15-22 during the 60th annual International Military Pilgrimage to the Marian shrine in France.

"It's a great spiritual boost. It's like having a reunion," said Father Mark C. Bristol, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy ordained to the priesthood in 2016. "You're meeting with guys who have served in similar areas and have had similar experiences. It feels wonderful to be here."

Philippine Christian leaders join to help rebuild Muslim-majority city

Residents who returned from evacuation centers walked past a bullet-ridden house Oct. 29 believed to have been used by pro-Islamic State militant group leaders in Marawi, Philippines.

Christian leaders in Philippines have banded together to help rebuild Marawi, a Muslim-majority city in southern Philippines damaged by five months of occupation by terrorists.

Veterans Day | Serving in the military, serving the Church

U.S. Army Spec. Joe Holdren talked about his uniform to Jama Budke’s class at St. John Catholic School in Beloit, Kan.

SALINA, Kan. — Service is important to those in the U.S. military. As Veterans Day Nov. 11 neared, The Register, newspaper of the Diocese of Salina, talked with some clergy members who were in the armed forces before turning to serve the Church.

Father Richard Daise, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Colby, Kan., said the U.S. Army might sound like an odd career choice for a veterinarian, but he spent nearly 28 years serving the country as a veterinarian.

"Essentially I was drafted and forgot to get out," he quipped.

Military chaplain shares blessings serving troops

From left, Msgr. (Lt. Col.) Michael Butler, Staff Sgt. Kristina Stanley and Master Sgt. Terry Medley, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing chapel staff, reviewed the visitor log at the Wings of Hope chapel annex earlier this year at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan. The annex offers a place for service members to relax and pick up some free religious material, toiletries or snacks.

Where in the world is Msgr. Michael Butler?

That's a question often asked about the archdiocesan priest and lieutenant colonel serving as a chaplain with the 131st Fighter Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard.

Msgr. Butler has served as a military chaplain for nearly all of his priesthood. Just one year after his ordination in 1989, he was given permission by then-Archbishop John L. May to join the 131st Fighter Wing, which at the time was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. He served in that role part-time, while also serving in the archdiocesan Office of Vocations.

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