Defence force armed with new prayerbook

For the first time since World War II, members of Australia's navy, army and air force have a new prayerbook which has just been published by the Catholic lay organisation, the Knights of the Southern Cross.

The Catholic Prayerbook for the Australian Defence Force will be issued to all Catholic ADF members as they enter the forces, the Australian Catholic Defence Diocese has announced.

The book has been designed especially to fit into the pockets of Australian uniforms and is durable, with pages that can be wiped clean of mud, dirt or water.

Ten thousand copies of the prayerbook together with a set of Rosary bead have been provided for the Defence Diocese by the Knights of the Southern Cross (KSC), an order of Catholic men committed to promoting the Christian way of life.

The Military Bishop, Bishop Max Davis, launched the prayerbook at the Royal Military College, Duntroon in Canberra on Sunday, with the Supreme Knight, Mr David Huppatz.

Bishop Davis said the prayerbook is similar to one used by the US military, but had been designed to meet Australian needs.

"This is a wonderful initiative and will be a great source of comfort and support to ADF (defence) personnel as they go about their duties, particularly for those serving overseas in dangerous and difficult areas," he said.

"This is especially important at the present time when so many of our serving men and women are scattered throughout the world in relatively small groups and without the presence of a Catholic Chaplain to provide them with Mass and the Sacraments."

He said apart from traditional Catholic prayers and the order of the Mass, the prayerbook contains prayers designed specifically for Australian troops.

The Catholic Military Ordinariate is the Catholic Diocese of the Australian Defence Force which has been charged with the pastoral care of the 20,000 uniformed members of Australia's navy, army and air force, their families and of the civilians employed by the Department of Defence.

New Catholic prayer book launched for Australian military personnel (Catholic Military Ordinariate, Media Release, 25/9/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
The Australian Catholic Defence Diocese
Bishop Max Davis, Bishop for the Catholic Military Ordinariate
Knights of the Southern Cross

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26 Sep 2006