St. Cecilia is first in archdiocese to start ministry for vets
By Deacon Alan Christy
Special to The Witness
AMES — In early 2015, my wife, Mary, and I received an invitation to attend a seminar in Des Moines given by the president and the executive director of Military Outreach USA. The purpose of the seminar was to outline the need for a national network of churches to help our veterans. Currently veterans are committing suicide at a rate of more than 20 per day. In fact, more veterans have died by suicide since 9/11 than all the combat deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The most logical way to develop a network capable of helping all the veterans was to look to local churches, since almost every city and village across the United States has at least one. Upon our return I asked our pastor, Father Jim Secora of Saint Cecilia Catholic Church in Ames, if we would be amenable to becoming a Military Caring Church. And so we began.