CNA: Project sends spiritual relief to the frontlines

Below are excerpts of an article from the CNA website about a project that aims to bring faith based material to U.S. troops on the frontline who may not have regular access to a chaplain or religious service.

“For more than two years, the Frontline Faith Project has worked to send MP3 players with Catholic content to U.S. troops, who may not be have regular access to a chaplain or religious services.

“The whole idea was to bring the Catholic Church to those troops who don’t have a chaplain available to them,” said Cheri Lomonte, founder of the Frontline Faith Project.

The project was initially founded in response to a shortage of Catholic chaplains in the military. Working as the co-host of Mary’s Touch radio program, Lomonte received a prayer request for a listener’s son who had been in Afghanistan for nine months without seeing a Catholic chaplain.

“I had to do something about this,” she told CNA in an Oct. 31 interview, adding that she “knew right then it was the Holy Spirit.”

She began to look for material and ask for permission to use it. She eventually assembled more than seven hours of material, including a presentation that Archbishop Fulton Sheen gave at West Point, an examination of conscience, a recording of a Mass celebrated by Military Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio and a recitation of the Rosary.

The MP3 player also includes Church music, children reading letters that they wrote to members of the armed forces and inspiring military stories.

Soon, she said, Protestant chaplains were calling her to request a non-denominational Christian version. The result was a second set of recordings, with talks, stories, songs, reflections and letters, but without distinctively Catholic features such as the Mass and Rosary.

Since 2010, the Frontline Faith Project has sent out some 30,000 MP3 players, and Lomonte said they are “just getting started.”

Lomonte does not charge to send the players to the troops but instead collects money through online fundraising at the Frontline Faith Project website.”

By Michelle Bauman

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