Veteran and Military Family OutreachCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

All parishes need to be aware of both active and veteran military members and families in their midst and their unique needs. This course will allow students to become familiar with the differences and similarities between post-traumatic stress and moral injury. Awareness of Church teaching about military service and options of pastoral support for veteran and military families will be woven into contextual knowledge about the communal celebrations of the sacraments of healing.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Become familiar with military life.
  • Gain knowledge about the way the early church viewed military service and what Church teaches about military service today.
  • Be able to explain the differences and similarities between post-traumatic stress and moral injury.
  • Become familiar with what parishes can do to cooperate with returning veterans and military families and how the healing sacraments are integral for those returning home from war.

Course Materials

  • No books required. All readings are online.

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Military Life and the Challenge of Returning Home
    • Become familiar with an overview of military life.
    • Consider challenges military families face.
    • Reflect upon some of the struggles returning veterans and family may endure.
  • Week 2: Military Service and the Church
    • Consider the communal aspects of these OT rituals.
    • Reflect upon the New Testament Centurion’s prayer at Capernaum.
  • Week 3: PTSD and Moral Injury
    • Explore post traumatic stress and moral injury.
    • Become familiar with the importance of the social dimensions of healing.
  • Week 4: A Communal Search for Reconciliation
    • Explore the indelible marks of war.
    • Introduce the concept of bridging the military and civilian divide.
  • Week 5: Anointing of the Sick
    • Brief overview of the Rite of Anointing of the Sick.
    • An exploration of external and internal illness.
    • Renegotiation for Veterans and the Community.