The Ministry of Presence and Operational Stress


  • Joanne Rennick University of Waterloo/Wilfred Laurier


This paper examines how with adjustments in training and authority, chaplains in the Canadian Forces could become an important first-line of defence against operational stress by being available through their Ministry of Presence to soldiers dealing stresses in theatre.Because their role is non-stigmatised and they have an established rapport, it is more likely that soldiers on tour who are away from the normal supports of home and family would approach padres for help dealing with stress and trauma.In addition to more specific training for this role, chaplains who become the first line of treatment for soldiers facing stress will need to become better equipped in the area of self-care lest they also succumb to operational stress themselves.Finally, the role of religion in the lives of soldiers must be studied in order to see how chaplains might help soldiers deal with stress.

Author Biography

Joanne Rennick, University of Waterloo/Wilfred Laurier

Joanne Benham Rennick is a doctoral student in the University of Waterloo/Wilfrid Laurier joint PhD program in Religious Studies.Her focus of study is religion in the military, particularly as it relates to peacekeeping.