CV NEWS FEED // The Archdiocese of Denver will host a special memorial mass for veterans and active-duty military veterans next week, hoping to invite them back to the faith and help them heal from the wounds of war.
The Archdiocese of Denver announced that the special mass, named “In God We Trust”, will take place on September 16, 2023. Before the mass, veterans may receive the sacrament of confession and speak with a professional counselor.
The annual memorial mass, a tradition that began in 2019, is held outdoors at the Colorado Freedom Memorial. This outdoor war memorial was created after local veteran Rick Crandall wanted a monument to honor veterans.
“These soldiers did what they were asked, but in some cases, they were asked to do things that they had been told their whole life not to do,” Crandall said. “In most cases, they were 18 or 19 years old, and they are still afraid God won’t forgive them. We hope this Mass can be the first step back into the Church.”
Soon after the memorial’s creation, Crandall reached out to veteran Deacon Joe Donohoe to see if the Catholic Church would be interested in helping to provide services for veterans.
Donohoe leapt at the invitation and set to work creating an annual mass for veterans centered on healing and inviting them back to the Church.
“We want to take a hand and walk with them and let them know they are not only needed, but wanted and loved by the Lord,” Donohoe said. “For the names on the wall, the battle took their lives so we could be free and worship God freely, but some are still fighting a battle.”
“We wanted to build a ministry that helps vets,” Donohoe continued. “We want to let them know that no sin, no life event, in the eyes of God, cannot be forgiven.”
In years past, many deacons, priests and lay people have attended the mass to support the veterans. Through this event, the Archdiocese hopes to connect veterans with the local Catholic community so they can receive continued support and education from area Catholics.