Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Heroic Priest

"Foley is one of 14 Catholic priests serving in Afghanistan and spends much of his time traveling around the country to visit soldiers at forward operating bases and smaller combat outposts. He also handles nine Masses on weekends including a Mass in Spanish.

"You have to remember it may be your fourth or fifth Mass of the day but to them it's their first Mass, and to some out in the field it may be their first Mass in four or five weeks. For some it may be their last Mass," Foley said.

Among Foley's duties is visiting patients and staff at the hospital at Bagram as well as mortuary affairs. He frequently is called at all hours to go to the hospital to comfort a wounded soldier from his battalion or a service member who is Catholic; he performs the Catholic ritual of anointing of the sick as well as comforts the fallen soldier's buddies.

"It's very somber, very respectful - there's a love for that fallen comrade," said Foley, adding that he's inspired by the attitude of wounded troops.

"You'd be so impressed with the soldiers. When they come in (to the hospital), their first question is, 'How are my battle buddies?' And the second question is, 'When can I get back out there?' It's a pretty inspiring place to be'."

Whole article here.


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