Thursday, July 27, 2006

Fargo Vicar General returns to parish life after serving one year as a chaplain in Iraq . . . and a Bronze Star

After a year of service as an Army National Guard battalion chaplain in Iraq, Msgr. Brian Donahue begins a new type of duty June 28 when he becomes pastor of St. Benedict parish in Horace and St. Maurice parish in Kindred. In addition to his responsibilities as pastor, Msgr. Donahue will serve as vicar general for the Diocese of Fargo, with special ministry as supervisor of the Office of Communications, liaison to the media and diocesan spokesman.

In June 2004, as the 3-133 Field Artillery Battalion out of El Paso, Texas, prepared for service in Iraq, they submitted a request to the National Guard in Washington, D.C., for a Catholic chaplain because a large number of their members were Catholic. At the time, there were only four Catholic chaplains in the United States who had not deployed, two of whom were not eligible to deploy with a battalion due to rank.

Msgr. Donahue was in his office at the Diocese of Fargo Pastoral Center when he received the phone call requesting his assistance. Just the day before, “all indications were I was not going to deploy anywhere,” said Msgr. Donahue, who was serving as vicar general, vicar for clergy and moderator of the curia for the diocese. “When I received the phone call, it came completely out of the blue. I remember when I hung up the phone the thought that went through my mind was, ‘Now it begins.’” Click here to read the rest of the story.

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