NABV Convention 2022 Message :Greetings to my Fellow NABV MembersAnd a special greeting for our new members. You will find that this is an extraordinary and unusual group. Members share many experiences in life, and that builds friendships and helps us to work together to help our fellow veterans, our organizations, and of course, our country.
I am sorry I could not make the convention this year. I was really looking forward to it – I have been at our conventions, and New Orleans certainly used to be one of my favorite cities. But I recently finished my service as Chaplain of the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and while I await word of a new assignment, the diocese asked if I could fill in for a parish priest who is finishing a degree in Washington. Of course, I said yes – but this new obligation meant I was no longer free to travel.
I have received permission from my Jesuit Provincial to explore a possible new posting with the military vicariate. Catholic chaplains in the military currently only fill 28% of the needed positions – and since a Chaplain serves all religions, the widespread need is even greater. There is also a possibility that I might be able to serve the diocese here in Fort Wayne/South Bend.
So at the moment my future is uncertain. I am delighted that I am able to serve the NABV even remotely, and I continue as National Chaplain for the Catholic War Veterans as well. You remain in my prayers, whether I have had the chance to meet you or not, and if I can ever be of service to you in any way, please do not hesitate to contact me. Email is the most secure, and I am more apt to receive your message efficiently than a phone call or the U.S. mail.
Thank you for your service. Whether you have recently left the service or mustered outyears ago, you were an important part in the growth and security of our country, and as an active veteran, you continue to fill an important role today. The place of the veteran in public discussion has never been more important, and I encourage to get and stay involved in both local and national organizations. Let your voice be heard – whatever side of an issue you support, whatever your point of view, you have not just earned the right to speak out, you have the responsibility to continue your role in protecting our country as best you can.
May God bless you all. May God bless the NABV and the NFB and certainly, may God continue to bless the United States of America.
Father John R. Sheehan, SJ