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As Memorial Day approaches, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of ­Boston are asking parishioners to remember and pray for the priests who serve as military chaplains.

“Our nation is blessed to have priest chaplains continuing the longstanding tradition of serving the men and women of our military,” O’Malley said in a statement. “Recognizing the great need for chaplains, the Archdiocese of Boston is proud to be able to provide priests for this important ministry. . . . This Memorial Day we pray for all those serving in the armed forces and, in particular, remem­ber those who have given their lives for our country and our freedom.”


More than 300 priests from the archdiocese have served as military chaplains since World War II, according to the archdiocese. Currently, 12 priests from the Boston Archdiocese are in ­active service as military chaplains. Chaplains are on call 24 hours a day to provide counsel or ­deliver sacraments, the archdiocese said.

To honor military chaplains and increase awareness of the ministry, the Catholic Appeal team of the archdiocese produced a video tribute, narrated by two military chaplains.

“For a chaplain, there is the opportunity for union with Christ that is unique and which does not happen outside military service,” the Rev. Michael B. Medas, a chaplain for the Air National Guard, said in a statement. “St. Augustine called it the vocation to charity, because as a service member, you put your life in the generous service of others.”

Colin A. Young can
be reached at