Sunday, March 22, 2009


Be flexible. Adapt. Overcome.

I heard these words often during Chaplain Initial Military Training and Chaplain Officer Basic Leadership Course. Leaders in the Army are supposed to be able to do this as a matter of course.

Here's an example:

Because of reallocation of resources over here Down Range, I'll soon be doing six Catholic Masses each weekend on Post (and given the title "Senior Priest" over here for a time) while one other priest does the other six Masses. (I know, I know. It should be "Senile Priest" but let's just not go there right now, OK?)

Neither of us will be saying Mass in the same place twice any weekend; two of my sites will be 12 and 13 kilometers, respectively, away from where I live. If I continue to say Mass every other weekend for the 'secret squirrels' (as I call them) at an 'undisclosed location', that will give me seven Masses those weekends.

I can safely say that there are no other Chaplains on Post who are doing six Sunday services each, every weekend.

At the moment, where I work we have one 'non-tactical vehicle' (NTV) for eight people; the other priest has been borrowing a vehicle that has no reverse gear.

Despite there being motor pools over here with literally hundreds of non-tactical vehicles just sitting around unused, the other priest and I have been told it's not possible to get us NTVs for us to use as we go about the work of taking care of Catholic (and other!) Soldiers.

The other priest and I are supposed to coordinate getting rides to these various Chapels for each of these twelve weekend Masses.

The hope has been expressed to us that we'll then just cut the number of Catholic services after this new configuration begins.

Interesting calculus....

Be flexible. Adapt. Overcome.


Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ
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