What does it mean when we say ministry of presence?

Fr Damian Styles – 2nd from right

As a military chaplain I am often asked, “Padre what is your job description?” My response is often, “I work in the realm of ministry of presence.” So what is this that I talk about, for me it is the reality that I have the blessing to have the ability in my work to participate with those that serve our nation in activities and training that they under take. This will then often lead to a shared experience and a trusted link that then opens doors to people that might not normally have been opened. So for example, the picture attached, is of the Northern Territory 1 Brigade Chaplains, who had just all run the cross country like all the officers and soldiers that day. The Chaplain is part of the world in which they minister. Getting an insight into the struggles and opportunities that arise for people who wear the uniform. In this light then hopefully being a beacon of light, like Christ is the light of the world. The greatest asset the Army has is its people. Being able to walk beside people and minister to them as chaplain is an important role for building people up so that they can undertake the tasks they are called upon to do.