I picked this up from Breviarium Romanum.

I am including only one of the photos.  Be sure to visit them for a few more shots.

Go Navy Part III: Feast of Saint John the Apostle

The Reverend Charles Johnson, Navy chaplain, celebrates the liturgy of the Feast of Saint John the Apostle aboard the aircraft carrier USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71).

Note the Gesu Bambino placed near the altar crucifix.

A statue of Our Lady is placed to the left of the altar for the celebration of Holy Mass. A US Navy Sailor serves as acolyte.

Please visit again for more details about the origin of Father’s Roman vestments in a festive floral style on a white ground.

Larger Navy ships such as aircraft carriers usually have a dedicated chapel space which must be maintained as a “neutral”, or non-denominational, space when not in use by a particular religious group in order to better facilitate the beliefs of all.

The materials necessary for the celebration of the liturgy are stored away to be set up for each Holy Mass and then taken down again afterward.


I happily recall my visit to this carrier and meeting the fine Fr. Johnson.

Blessings upon him and thanks for his service and that of all good chaplains.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sacristy_rat says:

    This reminds me of my days in the Army(1997-2001), working and serving St Peter’s parish in Ft Irwin CA.
    We had 2 priests, Fr Ron Serban (Ch. Cpt.) and Fr Augustine Torm (Ch. Cpt). Both were different individuals for sure, but dedicated men of God and true servants of the Church, parishioners & country. We were under the charge of an Episcopal priest, Col. Eldridge, who was favorable to our endeavors as Catholics. He allowed us to erect Stations of the Cross in the Sanctuary of the “neutral Chapel” and Fr Serban to have a dedicated room set up for the reservation of the blessed sacrament.
    Fr Torm & I used to joke, “…let’s just wait till Ratzinger becomes pope! Ha!” like there was no way that would ever happen!
    I know Fr Serban is a priest in Santa Rosa diocese now, and I don’t know where Fr Torm is.

    -Good luck to both of them… God bless our service men.

  2. Antiquarian says:

    Great to see this. And while I hope all of us pray fervently for more vocations to the priesthood, I suggest adding a particular prayer for more chaplains. The chaplain corps is severely understaffed and while the demands on any priest are enormous, some of these fine men are carrying truly superhuman loads. The soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines whom they serve need their counsel, their prayers, and the sacraments so very much. God bless them all.

  3. Sacristy_rat says:

    When I was in there were 90 some priests for the entire Army.

  4. mcitl says:

    His Excellency the Most Reverend Timothy Broglio, ordinary of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, recently shared with me that he is currently most concerned about the Navy, for which service the number of active duty Catholic priests will drop below a total of 60 in 2009 for the first time in many years.

    Please keep his intentions and those of all in the military service in your prayers.

    Thank you.

  5. Jayna says:

    Next time I hear a priest say he’s not going to wear a certain set of vestments because they’re too girly, I’m sending him to this guy.

  6. Fr. Christensen says:

    Speaking of the Infant Jesus on the altar; can we do for the Novus Ordo? I have a perfect little Baby Jesus that would work wonderfully but am unsure if it is allowed. Anyone know?

  7. Etienne says:

    Fr. Johnson is a very fine priest. Keep up the good work. I look forward
    to seeing you in Chicago! (Thanks for the vestment)

  8. Susan says:


    This comment is belated, as I did not have access to the forum until recently.

    Regarding your post on the Sacrament of Confession: I suggest a regular Confessor . My Confessor is also my Spiritual Director. He knows the root cause of my sins as well as can choose a penance specifically those specific sins. He is also able to discern, in direction, if am prone to sinful actions in some area of my spiritual life.

    He also encourages confessing even the smallest of venial sins, which some confessor lable as slight imperfections.


  9. RBrown says:

    Fitting that it’s on the TR, who was a mover and a shaker. He is, as far as I know, the only recipient of both the Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize. The MoH was awarded posthumously a few years ago.

    BTW, TR, jr. also was awarded the MoH–for his actions at Normandy.

  10. Sam says:

    You have no idea how happy I was to see this brief article. As a PO2 in the U.S.N.R., I was concerned I would’ve have access to the TLM while aboard naval installations or ships. At least there’s one priest willing to say the Traditional Mass. Having just spent two months overseas at a naval installation, I was so turned off by the Novus Ordo Masses said there that I just stopped attending and said my rosary instead. I believe the military is a tremendous source of Catholics just waiting for the TLM to reawaken their faith. Keep up the excellent work!

  11. Ed the Roman says:

    This is doubly bad, because the Marines use Navy chaplains. All Marines are combatants, and the chaplains and medical personnel are Navy.

    Even twenty years ago, about the only thing a priest needed to join the Navy was a good physical and his ordinary’s permission. I knew a 59-year-old Maryknoller who was the oldest Lieutenant in the service.

    Protestant ministers wait on lists for years for an opening. Sigh.

  12. James M. Eide says:

    While stationed at Atsugi NAS Japan from 1987 thru 1990 we had a priest Fr. O’Kielty (sp?) that was our chaplain. Is there any chance he could be located, wherever he is assigned?

    Thank You and God Bless, Jim Eide Ocean Springs, MS

Comments are closed.