• Faith Strengthens Soldier’s Battle with Rare Cancer

    FORT LEE, Va (4Sept2014). – Spc. Luis Rios is all about “that next big thing” – his vernacular for aggressively seeking challenges that feed his insatiable ambitions. In this case, he was leaving his job as a fine restaurant chef to join the Army as a food service specialist. “I was in Louisville (Kentucky) for four years and learned a lot, but I was ready to go somewhere else,” said the self-described “go getter” from Aurora, Mo. “I felt it would take longer if I had stayed in the (civilian) food industry. It was the perfect time to join the military.” That was 2013. The 24-year-old arrived here in May of that year and graduated Friday as a member of Tango Company, 266th Quartermaster Battalion. What took so long? The young Soldier was diagnosed with a rare cancer just a few days after his arrival, an ordeal that made tatters of his temperament, jeopardized his career plans and rattled his Christian faith. “The next big thing” for Rios was ridding his body of a baseball-sized mass of cancerous cells on his kidney and getting healthy. Facing the prospect of a complicated six-hour surgery, the Soldier held steadfast to his faith. … Continue reading

Word from Our Founder

If you are among today’s 1.8 million U.S. military personnel [236,500 officers; 1,139,100 enlisted; 12,700 cadets- midshipmen], then welcome home.

Military personnel- officers and enlisted, active duty and retired, from every branch of service- speak candidly of their quest to balance “the needs of the Army” (or Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Merchant Marines, Coast Guard) with the will of God.

Chaplains of many faiths, all of whom minister to Catholics in the military, have shared with me the challenge of working with an acquisition process in need of reform.

One spoke of his $250 quarterly budget for religious supplies while stationed at a major Marine Corps base. Another chaplain wrote of his frustration with the acquisitions process itself- requests for religious supplies travelling up and down the chain of command for more than a year, only to be denied the week he rotated out to his next assignment.

Providing an effective means to supply chaplains with military-specific Catholic resources is one reason Mission Capodanno was formed. Read More