10-05-2017

Military chaplain granted the right to wear marine black beret

о._Андрій_Зелінський

On May 2, a few kilometers from the front the Marines fighting in the ATO were contesting the right to wear black berets. Together with the soldiers this right was contested by a military chaplain, Father Andriy Zelinskyy, who takes spiritual care of the Marines.

The guys who have been fighting over a year in the trenches of the Azov Sea, were tested on a 7 kilometers long obstacle course. Not all soldiers were allowed to testing, even if they had fought at the frontline for long. Only having conquered the entire course, young soldiers received a beret following which they returned to the frontline.

“Marines do not start with the statute or military equipment, neither they start with weapons or even with a single Marine,” said Father Andriy Zelinskyy. “First of all Marines are a spirit. It is the philosophy of life, the philosophy of a warrior, the philosophy of an undefeated, unconquerable, free and always faithful person.” This was reported by the Department of the Patriarchal Curia of the UGCC on pastoral care of defense and law enforcement agencies.

As Andriy Zelinskyy told RISU, the participants of tests were more than 100 people. The formal requirements for berets are: 1) 6 months’ service in the Marine Corps of Ukraine; 2) appropriate behavior; 3) commander’s decision; 4) passing the obstacle course and 5) taking the oath of Marines.

For reference: Fr Andriy Zelinskyy is a priest of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, a member of the religious congregation “Society of Jesus”, a military chaplain.

He was born on September 2, 1979 and received philosophical education in St. Basil College, Stamford, USA; theological education – at Pontificia Universita Gregoriana, Rome, Italy; education in political studies -  at the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy” in Kyiv. Key areas of research interests and areas of pastoral activity are as follows: Christian spirituality in the context of contemporary culture, ideology of national security and meeting the spiritual needs of military personnel.

Fr Andriy started his chaplain’s ministry among the soldiers in 2006 at the Military Academy in Lviv, and on June 2014 he was actively involved in providing spiritual support for Ukrainian military in the ATO area, exercising his ministry in the units of the Armed Forces near Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Pisky, Debaltseve and Mariupol, Donetsk region.

He is the author of the books titled “Sunflowers” and “By the Rivers of Babylon.”

www.risu.org.ua

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