Magazine article Anglican Journal

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus

Article excerpt

"INEVER THOUGHT of myself as a military kind of guy," confesses Major Doug Friesen, the Formation Chaplain in Esquimalt, B.C. He first joined the military chaplaincy in 1986 after his term ended as the priest at St. Peter's Anglican in Brockville, Ont. He had signed up for a pastoral education program but was having second thoughts.

Then a military chaplain friend asked him if he'd like to jump out of an airplane.

"I was young and fit and 29 years old," says Friesen. "I said, 'That sounds like fun!'"

He signed up for a six-year contract and never looked back. Today he oversees 10 chaplains of different denominations working in the navy. (Friesen's wife, Jeanine, is also an Anglican priest and just joined up as a chaplain.)

During the first Gulf War, Friesen was sent to Doha, Qatar, where he served fighter pilots flying CF-18 army jets. Talking to a fighter pilot who was dropping bombs was extremely challenging, says Friesen. The pilot was Anglican and very troubled by the moral implications of what he was doing.

"Who knew we were going to have to use this training?" asks Friesen. "I don't think a lot of us thought we were actually going to see combat situations." But chaplains go wherever there is a need. …

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