Q. 1. Why are some priests called Chaplains?
A. 1. First of all, it is necessary to understand the meaning of the word Chaplain. The Webster Dictionary defines a Chaplain as:
A. An ecclesiastic who has a chapel, or who performs religious service in a chapel.
B. A clergyman who is officially attached to the army or navy, to some public institution, or to a family or court, for the purpose of performing divine service.
Therefore, it is to be understood that a chaplain, who is a priest in good standing with the Catholic Church, provides spiritual and pastoral needs. Depending on his appointment, it may involve assistance with the spiritual needs of patients, families and staff.
Catholic Chaplains are found in a number of Catholic social fields in Society, namely:
• in colleges;
• in convents;
• in hospitals;
• in large corporations;
• to a Knights of Columbus Chapter;
• in the military;
• in the prisons;
• in retirement centers;
• in Scout troops;
• on ships;
• at youth camps; and
• assigned to Chapels.
Normally, during their appointments as Chaplains, because of the special needs of the particular group to which they must minister, these priests are not involved in any other capacity in their Diocese.