August 4, 2014
Dear Mr. Rohr,
Recently a good friend of mine forwarded to me a link to your blog and suggested I open it which I did. There I found a letter from Fr. Ephren Adversario. I was intrigued by the letter and decided to ask some questions. I learned that Fr. Ephren has been subjected to an attack (or attacks) on his integrity. Learning this I decided to write in support of Ephren.
Fr. Adversario and I were chaplains and officers together at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. From the day I met him we became good friends. We served together at a very large military base during very difficult and challenging times. I learned very quickly that Fr. Ephren was everything a chaplain should be. He was completely unselfish with his talents and his time and was highly respected by the troops and commanders alike. He was, and is, an outstanding priest and was an outstanding officer. I was very disappointed to learn that he had to leave the Air Force for compelling family reasons. He was the kind of priest and chaplain that is most effective in the military. He was also very highly respected by all segments of the Catholic Chapel community. This was a community that included military members and their families, civilian contractors, civilian teachers and even some retirees. Balancing an effective ministry to such a diverse community demanded maturity, balance and integrity and Fr. Ephren had an abundance of all. I envied his ability to function so successfully and to balance the diverse demands of the base. An effective Air Force chaplain must be a good officer, a dedicated, solid priest and a man of integrity. He must be capable of effectively serving the Catholic community as well as the wider military community. Fr. Ephren was all of these.
I have missed having regular contact with Ephren. I know that after our assignments together ended that he went on to serve with distinction in the middle east. One has to actually have served in a high-stress combat zone to appreciate the unique demands and the constant stress. Fr. Ephren served the troops and served his country with the highest degree of distinction and integrity. Anyone, from layperson to archbishop who questions his integrity would do well to ask himself or herself if they could walk the path he has walked and come even close to doing so with a fraction of the dedication and integrity.
Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.