Become a Lay Pastoral Associate

Chaplain Rohan Curnow
Chaplain Rohan Curnow

Within the Military Diocese non-ordained men and women, as endorsed ministers of religion, will fully share the pastoral charge of the bishop, in collaboration with the priests and deacons in all matters except those that by their very nature or by ecclesiastical law require Holy Orders.

Pastoral Ministers will be designated as a military chaplain, with no differential in military status or function from other chaplains in the ADF. Whilst the ideal is that they should be posted within a region with other priest and deacon chaplains as part of a team, pastoral ministers may sometimes be the sole Catholic chaplain and will need to be able to operate with a high degree of independence. In such situations the bishop may provide them with various additional faculties to provide the necessary religious, spiritual and pastoral care.

As a Military Chaplain you will be responsible for the spiritual ministry and pastoral support to all Defence Force men and women and their families in a range of challenging environments. As a Chaplain you will be endorsed by the Catholic Military Bishop as a lay ministry of religion. You will remain faithful to your own traditions, whilst working in an ecumenical team with other chaplains. Chaplains must be team players, willing to deploy and able to sustain themselves in the operational environment.

If you are not in the Australian Defence Force but have experience in a parish pastoral ministry, hospital or institutional chaplain seeking a ministry position that offers satisfaction, excitement and a challenge, or are a serving member of the Australian Defence Force then you may wish to consider a career as a Military Chaplain in the Navy, Army or Air Force.


  • Must be Roman Catholic (both males and females may apply).
  • Minimum three year Degree in Theology (or equivalent), with at least two years full time (or equivalent) pastoral experience as a parish pastoral associate, hospital or institutional chaplain.
  • Must be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • Able to commit to full-time or part-time service.
  • Able to meet the requirements to be a Commissioned Officer

Serving Members:
May request in-service sponsorship under In-Service training scheme for the appointment of Chaplains. Further advice can be obtained through your relevant Service Chaplain Department or branch.

To find out more please contact:
Monsignor Peter O’Keefe AM
The Chancery
30 White Cres
Mobile: 0428 888 302 Email: