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More than a word of comfort

LCC chaplain sets ramp ceremony precedent

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

LCC pastor and full-time military chaplain, Rev. (Captain) Jason Kouri

Valcartier, QC As Canada mourns the loss of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, military chaplains are called upon to provide comfort and counselling to grieving family members. In June, Lutheran Church–Canada chaplain, Captain Jason Kouri was assigned to provide pastoral care to the family of Cpl. Martin Dubé. He was involved in the initial notification of the death, provided the homily before a filled church including many VIPs at the funeral in Valcartier, and assisted at the ceremonies held at CFB Trenton when the body was brought home.

In Trenton, Pastor Kouri had a time of prayer before the ramp ceremony. Colonels, generals, the minister of defence and the Governor General were present. Pastor Kouri took the initiative to share the Gospel with the bereaved and the VIPs. His Trinitarian invocation, prayers and Christ-centred preaching applied to the situation was appreciated, and Governor General Michaëlle Jean specifically expressed her appreciation for his initiative. She addressed Padre Kouri (one does not normally address her Excellency directly), requesting that his superiors be asked to repeat this devotional time when possible at Trenton whenever one of Canada’s fallen soldiers is brought home. The Governor General apparently expressed the desire that other chaplains offer the same kind of care.

Due to his faithful service and testimony, Padre Kouri may be partly responsible for a new practice of ministry to the families of Canada’s fallen soldiers.

Lutheran Church–Canada currently has three full-time and ten reserve chaplains serving Canada’s Armed Forces and their families across the country.

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