A Catholic military chaplain serves God and Country, but how to know if you are called to wear both collar and colors? That’s the question for 27 young men gathered in Menlo Park this weekend to explore the “vocation within a vocation.” Those who discern a call may soon enter seminary to become priests and eventually, officers in the U.S. Armed Forces, Serving Those Who Serve, helping ease a shortage of Catholic chaplains on active duty.

The Most Reverend Timothy Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, is hosting the March 21-24 discernment retreat for prospective chaplain candidates at St. Patrick’s Seminary. Father Aidan Logan, acting vocations director of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, and his soon-to-be successor, Father Marcel Taillon, are directing the four-day retreat for those discerning the call. Father Taillon assumes the position on April 15.

The retreatants include 20 men already associated with the military, and seven civilians. Most have expressed interest in a particular branch of service. Ten are considering the Army; nine, the Air Force, which provides chaplains for the Space Force; and two, the Navy, which provides chaplains for the Marines and the Coast Guard….

The annual discernment retreats come as the Archdiocese toils to relieve a shortage of active-duty Catholic U.S. Military chaplains — over the past 25 years alone, the active-duty roster has shrunk from more than 400 to fewer than 200. Currently, 25% of the Military is Catholic, but Catholic priests make up only about seven percent of the chaplain corps….

From the Archdiocese for Military Services