Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul

Military chaplains minister to the traumatized—but who ministers to them?

© USAF photo by Tech. Sgt Efren Lopez

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/27/17

From CNA, a timely and poignant reminder on this holiday weekend of remembrance:

As military veterans and victims of violence are treated for psychological trauma, the emotional wounds of missionaries and military chaplains might be overlooked, but are just as present. And with mass shootings, suicides, and acts of terrorism on the rise, more and more first responders like policemen, firemen, hospital workers, and clergy will “continually bear the brunt” of experiencing these horrors. That’s according to Monsignor Stephen Rosetti, a psychologist and former president of the St. Luke Institute, who spoke to CNA. “The priests are helping others, and the question is who helps them?” he asked. Monsignor Rosetti led the St. Luke Institute in Silver Spring, Md., an organization that provides psychological care for priests and religious in need of treatment for mental illness, addiction, and other disorders. Part of the institute’s ministry is helping military chaplains and missionaries who have served in war-torn areas, but also religious who have ministered to victims of trauma at home – amidst events like natural disasters and mass shootings. Military chaplains suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or other mental illnesses related to their ministry shared their struggles with the Washington Post last year. Repeatedly serving as a listening ear for the dark problems of soldiers, combined with experiencing the horror of battlefield combat and seeing the dead bodies of friends, can take its toll on a priest’s psyche. “Just about all” priests and religious returning from a war-torn areas will need “some sort of support,” Monsignor Rossetti noted, like a “detoxing” in their transition from a stressful environment to life back in the U.S. However, a few will require special attention, he said. These are cases where someone has experienced a particularly appalling atrocity or ongoing violence or stress, “almost too much for the human soul to bear.

Read more.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
2
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
3
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
4
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
5
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
peace
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More