Our brother, Fr. Stephan Close, the U.S. Air Force chaplain stationed at the airbase in Ramstein, Germany, shares with us the following observations of his very special and grace-filled ministry:
"Your Grace, one of the joys of my ministry here at 'the Ramstein of my repentance' is to serve the wounded. Rarely do I have the blessed obligation to honor the dead, which I offer with as much dignity as my humanity can muster. It is such a blessing to be at worship with the wounded faithful who look to the icons with eyes which cannot see and offer a candle though they remain in physical darkness, their hand guided by fellow warrior. They faithfully follow a Divine Liturgy (and wait patiently through a sermon) in a language they do not understand but whose form helps them recall worship and remind them of truth which warms their hearts though far away from home. They walk towards the chalice though one shoe has no foot in it. They bow down although they cannot rise without the support of their brother. They make the sign of the cross with a hand scarred and tortured by flame. Such are the saints you have sent me to serve.