Kentucky National Guard chaplain promoted to brigadier general
By: 1st Sgt. John W. Kibler, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
FRANKFORT, Ky., (Jan. 8, 2011) — For more than 40 years, Rev. Patrick J. Dolan has served as pastor for two parishes and tended to the spiritual needs of those in the rural areas of Casey County, Ky. If that wasn’t enough, for the last 25 years he has served his country and the spiritual needs of Soldiers around the world.
On Jan.8, Dolan was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony at the Boone National Guard Center, Frankfort, Ky.
With his new rank, the Kentucky National Guardsman becomes the first Roman Catholic Priest assigned as Army National Guard Assistant to the Chief of Chaplains for the United States Army.
Though the new position is a great honor, the general isn’t without some regrets.
“I feel I’m sacrificing my duties and time to both the people of Casey County and to the Soldiers of the Guard,” he said, “but I feel I can really assist the Soldiers in the Guard in my new position.”
In that position, Dolan will work as the chief advisor to the chief of chaplains on matters relating to the National Guard. He’s not giving up his work with his two rural parishes in Central Kentucky and intends to be there every Sunday. During the week though, he will attend conferences and conduct business for the Chief of Chaplains.
Aside from the dozens of Soldiers that attended the promotion ceremony, several friends and colleagues drove through the snow of a Kentucky winter to attend. Among them was the Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, the Archbishop of Louisville.
“We are extremely proud of Father Pat Dolan,” he said. “His involvement with the Army and the National Guard has been so typical of the unselfish way he has served others in the name of Christ.”
His call to both duties has been extensive. He was ordained a priest in 1978 and commissioned as an Army chaplain in 1986. He transferred to the Kentucky National Guard in 1992 and has been busy since. Dolan has deployed to Iraq four times and has served on missions to Ecuador, Egypt, Germany, Korea, Kuwait, Panama and Saudi Arabia.
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