Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Jesuit Military Chaplain Heads to the Middle East

Jesuit Father Mark McGregorOregon Province Jesuit Father Mark McGregor departed for the Middle East in late July as an Air Force chaplain. While Fr. McGregor cannot disclose his posting, spiritually, he knows just where he is.

“It’s easy to think the military is a bunch of macho guys who want to grab a gun and go off and kill people,” Fr. McGregor said before leaving for his assignment. “But there are so many thoughtful people. They genuinely want to defend the country and help people. They recognize a bigger responsibility. My question always is, who is standing to help them?”

Fr. McGregor will spend six months in his first overseas assignment. He’ll likely serve at a Mideast air base, offering counsel, comfort and education to all, plus sacraments to Catholics.

A longtime teacher, Fr. McGregor heard of the need for Catholic chaplains and was intrigued. Through discernment, his desire to become a chaplain emerged. Until leaving for the Middle East, he was posted for a year at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

“It can sometimes be an intense ministry. Something can happen rather quickly. Here, you work right in the moment with the person in front of you,” he said.

“War should never be a popular thing,” Fr. McGregor said. “There is always a spiritual cost to war. A lot of people have a weight on them surrounding family. But when you’re a chaplain, they believe in your role to help them.”

Read more about Fr. McGregor at the Oregon Catholic Sentinel.

Jesuit Middle East Expert on Egypt’s Revolution

Jesuit Father Drew ChristiansenShare

Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, editor-in-chief of America magazine and former director of the U.S. bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, said that the success of a nonviolent revolution in Egypt is one of “multiple signs of spring in the North African winter.”

Fr. Christiansen, an expert on the Middle East, was keynote speaker at the Diocese of Arlington’s annual peace symposium on Feb. 12.

“I think it’s wonderful that Egypt was a nonviolent revolution. It was so unexpected. For 18 days in a country of 80 million people, how do you get that to happen?” Christiansen asked. “Those that preached that nonviolence wasn’t to be found in the Muslim world have been proved wrong again.”

As for what’s next for Egypt, he said it will be a waiting game, with the hope that the country will end up with a responsible democratic government.

Christiansen also focused his talk on religious freedom in other Middle Eastern countries and the role the United States is playing and has played. For more on Christiansen’s talk, visit Catholic News Service.

Jesuit Middle East Expert on Egypt's Revolution

Jesuit Father Drew ChristiansenShare

Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, editor-in-chief of America magazine and former director of the U.S. bishops’ Office of International Justice and Peace, said that the success of a nonviolent revolution in Egypt is one of “multiple signs of spring in the North African winter.”

Fr. Christiansen, an expert on the Middle East, was keynote speaker at the Diocese of Arlington’s annual peace symposium on Feb. 12.

“I think it’s wonderful that Egypt was a nonviolent revolution. It was so unexpected. For 18 days in a country of 80 million people, how do you get that to happen?” Christiansen asked. “Those that preached that nonviolence wasn’t to be found in the Muslim world have been proved wrong again.”

As for what’s next for Egypt, he said it will be a waiting game, with the hope that the country will end up with a responsible democratic government.

Christiansen also focused his talk on religious freedom in other Middle Eastern countries and the role the United States is playing and has played. For more on Christiansen’s talk, visit Catholic News Service.