Photo Information

Justin Grabowski is anointed during his confirmation in the chapel aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., April 16. Being anointed signifies that the Catholic who is confirmed must always be ready to profess his faith openly and will practice it fearlessly.

Photo by Pfc. Brendan Roethel

Serving those who serve

30 Apr 2013 | Pfc. Brendan Roethel

The Chaplain Corps of the Navy consists of ordained clergy who are commis­sioned naval officers. Their mission is to promote the spiritual, religious, moral, and personal well-being of the members of the Navy and Marine Corps.

Navy Chaplains come from a variety of religious backgrounds; chaplains can be Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, and Buddhist. Chaplains are assisted by Navy en­listed personnel in the Re­ligious Programs Specialist rating.

The mission of the Chap­lain Corps is to provide reli­gious ministry and support for service members, fa­cilitate for all religious be­liefs, care for all Marines, sailors and their families and advise commanders to assure the free exercise of religion, said Navy Cmdr. Dean Hoelz, the base com­mand chaplain for Marine Corps Air Station Beau­fort.

Chaplains offer an array of special religious events to those they serve aside from church services in­cluding confirmations, first holy communions, bap­tisms memorial services and funerals and mar­riages. Chaplains also offer marriage counseling, crisis counseling, alcohol and drug counseling, Christian education, Bible studies, and in home visits.

It’s expected for chap­lains to be out of the office and communicating with the service members, said Hoelz. This is when chap­lains go into people’s work areas to see and learn about what they do, and give the Marines and sail­ors an opportunity to com­municate with chaplains so they can ask questions, get advice or discuss their is­sues or how their day has been going.

“I’ve done the physical fitness test with Marines and ate at the chow hall with service members as a way to open up commu­nication with them and dis­cuss whatever might be go­ing on in their lives,” said Hoelz. “People will not see me, if they don’t see me seeing them.”

Chaplains offer more than just church services they offer various opportu­nities to receive religious education and offer dis­creet counseling to assure that service members and their families are doing well.

To contact a chaplain call 228-7775.