The following comes from a November 19 Catholic News Agency article:
Archbishop Timothy Broglio is begging for more priests for the Archdiocese of Military Services, saying that he soon may be “unable to provide Catholic priests for the military.”
During his address at the U.S. bishops’ general assembly in Baltimore, Archbishop Broglio of the Archdiocese of Military Services, which serves United States military personnel and their families all over the world, said that even though many dioceses across the country are stretched, military service members and their families must not be forgotten.
While one fourth of military personnel and their families – roughly 1 million people — are Catholic, there are only 217 priests in the Military Archdiocese to serve them, he said.
This poses a serious problem not only in regards to providing access to the sacraments, but also leaving young service men and women and their families vulnerable to proselytization by other religions.
“Some very well-organized groups eagerly present programs for youth ministry. They offer them as ecumenical, but they are generally based on a very Protestant or even a fundamentalist approach to faith,” he said.
Ironically, the Armed Forces is actually “the largest single source of vocations in this country” according to a 2015 CARA study. It found that six percent of newly ordained priests surveyed had prior military service, and 16 percent were children of active duty parents.