About TRC

Chaplain OJ serves Veterans with the Veterans Health Administration in Maryland. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1989, serving as an Army Chaplain at Ft. Campbell KY, Mannheim Germany, Ft. Leonard Wood MO, Ft. Drum NY, Ft. Lewis WA, Honduras, S.A., and Ft. Gordon GA, before moving into clinical chaplaincy work. He is married to a wonderful wife, Jane, and they have five children and three grandchildren. He is a huge New England sports fan, having grown up watching the “Big Bad Bruins”, witnessing the Red Sox break the “curse of the bambino”, and delighting in the Patriot’s dynasty. He loves a wide variety of music, spends way too much money on books, is happy to live in a place where there are four seasons, and is a video gamer (especially WWI and WWII shooters). Calvin is his favorite dead theologian, Eugene Peterson is his favorite spiritual coach, Handel his favorite composer, Luciano Pavarotti his favorite male tenor opera singer, Cecilia Bartoli his favorite mezzo-soprano female opera singer, James Taylor his favorite folk singer, and Michael Card his favorite Christian artist. Boston is his favorite city, and biking his favorite form of exercise. He would love to spend more time writing short novels and dreams of having a log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains someday. His heart has been captured by the beauty of God in Jesus Christ and considers himself a post-evangelical disciple seeking a Jesus-shaped life.

Chaplains are ordained clergy who typically serve in ministry outside the parish setting or local synagogue. They are often found serving people within other organizations such as the military, a university campus, prisons, and even in governmental assemblies such as the Senate.

It all began with the legend of St. Martin of Tours a soldier in the Roman army and stationed in Gaul (modern-day France). He experienced a vision, which became the most-repeated story about his life. The myth tells of the day Martin was approaching the gates of the city of Amiens, where he came upon a scantily clad beggar. Without hesitation Martin cut his military cloak in half wrapping it over the man.

That night, Martin dreamed of Jesus wearing the half-cloak he had given away. He heard Jesus say to the angels: “Martin, who is still but a catechumen, clothed me with this robe.”[1] The other half of the cloak which Martin kept became the famous relic preserved in the oratory of the Merovingian kings of the Franks at the Marmoutier Abbey near Tours.[2] The myth continues into the Middle Ages when this same relic of St. Martin’s sacred cloak was carried by a king into battle and used as a “cappa” upon which oaths were sworn. The cloak was officially recognized in the royal treasury in 679, when it was conserved at the palladium of Luzarches, a royal villa that was later ceded to the monks of Saint-Denis by Charlemagne in the late 700’s . It was referred to as the Cappa Sancti Martini [3]

It was determined that the cloak be cared for by a priest at the reliquary which was called a cappellanu, and ultimately all priests who served the military were called cappellani. The French translation is chaplains, from which the English word chaplain is taken from.[4]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Translated by Alexander Roberts. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 11. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1894.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3501.htm&gt;. p.157.
  2. http://www.academia.edu/11873810/SAINTS_and_MARTYRS_of_the_EARLY_CHURCH, p.230.
  3. Sulpitius Severus, Life of St Martin of Tours (St Shenouda Monastery: 2013), 68.
  4. United States of the Army: Office of the Chief of Chaplains, United States Army Chaplaincy, (Ulan Press: 2012), 16.
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