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Dept. of Chaplain and Pastoral Counseling News

Placing Impossible Standards on Ourselves

by Fr. George Morelli

Chaplain's Corner

Sometimes we set up unrealistic goals and objectives for ourselves that are impossible for us to attain. This does not mean that we should not aim high, that is: to work at achieving all we are capable of achieving. In fact, this is an important motivating factor in our lives. However, failure will follow if we strive to attain goals that are of themselves unrealistic based on a true assessment of our talents. Unrealistic goals are barriers to achievement and in the end serve to block motivation and frustrate hard work.

Kindness: the Key to Heaven and People

By Fr. George Morelli

Many have heard of “random acts of kindness,” but how many of us take it seriously enough to make kindness a priority in our lives?  St. Paul reminds us in Romans 11:22 that God's kindness returns to us, provided that we continue in his kindness. But some still resist.

Overcoming Anxiety, Need for Approval

By Fr. George Morelli

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We are partially responsible for creating a problem that need not be. For example we may encounter different life situations with the idea that it is a necessity to be loved or approved by significant people around us. If we don’t have this love or approval it is perceived as awful, terrible, the end of the world, and we respond with anxiety.

Pastoral Reflections on Suicide in the Military

V. Rev. Fr. George Morelli, Ph.D., A.B.P.N.

Among the military, suicide ranks as the “fourth leading manner of death for soldiers, exceeded only by hostile fire, accidents and illnesses,” according to figures released May 29, 2008 by the Department of Defense. And compared to previous estimates, “10 to 20 times as many soldiers have thought to harm themselves of attempted suicide.” (

From the Frontlines: A Letter from Chaplain Fr. Stephan Close


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.