Resources for Parishes

When it comes to the veteran community, the mission for your parish should be three-fold:

  • Help veterans reestablish a relationship with Jesus Christ through purpose and connection,
  • Help veterans come together with other veterans, and
  • Invite your parish to learn about the veteran community, including the physically and spiritually wounded.

There are many things your parish can do to help assist and support the veterans in your community. We encourage praying for veterans, those serving and their families during and outside of your services. It’s incredibly valuable to create a safe space for veterans to talk through experiences and matters now that they are home. With that in mind, we recommend making steps like creating a drop-in lounge for veterans and others, creating circles of listening, or developing a ministry for veterans, with special attention to those coming home from the Reserves and National Guard.

Other ongoing help your parish can provide veterans includes assistance finding jobs and help navigating the VA medical system.

Sample Intercessions for the Universal Prayer

The following samples can be used as a model for preparing intercessions, and can be adopted according to need:

For those who have served in the military; for veterans and all military personnel, for those still in combat, for gratitude, safety, healing, and peace. We pray to the Lord.

For our Armed Forces; for the military personnel who have gone overseas, and for all who long for their safe return. We pray to the Lord.

For those engaged in military service; for those who combat war and violence daily, and risk their lives that our world may know peace. We pray to the Lord.

For families separated from their loved ones in the military; and for the strength they need to face this time of isolation and uncertainty. We pray to the Lord.

For the Church and all military chaplains, for preachers and counselors, and for all who bring guidance and support to our troops and their families. We pray to the Lord.

Blessings for those leaving for or returning from deployment

When parishioners are being deployed, consider a special blessing for them after the Prayer After Communion and before the final blessing. The following prayers may be used and adapted as needed:

O God, you led your servants Abraham and Sarah from their home and guarded them in all their wanderings. Guide this servant of yours, N. Be a refuge on the journey, shade in the heat, shelter in the storm, rest in weariness, protection in trouble, and a strong staff in danger. We give you thanks for him/her; bind us together now, even though we may be far apart. Grant this through Christ our Lord. (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers)

All-powerful and merciful God, you led the children of Israel on dry land, parting the waters of the sea; you guided the Magi to your Son by a star. Help these, our brothers and sisters and give them a safe journey. Under your protection let them reach their destination and come at last to the eternal haven of salvation, through Christ our Lord. (Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers)

May almighty God keep you from all harm and bless you with every good gift. Amen. May he set his word in your heart and fill you with lasting joy. Amen. May you walk in his ways, always knowing what is right and good. Amen. And may Almighty God bless you all... (Book of Blessings, Ch. 67)