Pope Francis has conferred the title of Honorary Chaplain of His Holiness upon Father John Kaul, who will now be addressed with the honorific of “Monsignor.”
Msgr. Kaul was ordained for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1975 and spent much of his ministry serving as a chaplain for the United States Navy. Archbishop Timothy Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services (AMS), nominated Msgr. Kaul for this papal honor.
In announcing the news, Archbishop Broglio said, “I am delighted that Pope Francis has numbered Msgr. Kaul among his Honorary Chaplains. It is a way to recognize his devoted ministry, among other services, as a Navy chaplain, priest at Kings Bay, Delegate for Contract Priests, and acting AMS Vocations Director. Msgr. Kaul also contributed immensely to the Canonical Process in the Cause of Canonization for the Servant of God, Father Vincent Capodanno, and serves on the Board of Directors for the corporation of the Archdiocese. He has always said ‘yes’ to the needs of this global ‘local’ Church.”
Archbishop Vigneron added, “It brings me great joy to see Msgr. Kaul’s decades of ministry to the men and women of our armed services honored by our Holy Father. As we approach Veteran’s Day, a day when we honor all those who selflessly served to protect our country, it is a great blessing to have a military chaplain and son of the Archdiocese of Detroit recognized in such a special manner.”
Following his ordination to the priesthood, Msgr. Kaul served at Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn, and St. Joan of Arc Parish, St. Clair Shores. He began his service in the United States Navy in 1982. During his 26 years in the Navy, his tours of duty included serving aboard the USS John F. Kennedy during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm and at a number of naval bases in the United States and abroad. A full list of his tours is available from the Archdiocese for Military Services.
In accepting the honor, Msgr. Kaul said, “I am so very humbled and grateful for the generous kindness of Pope Francis, Archbishop Broglio, and Archbishop Vigneron in recognizing my 35 years of ministry to the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, the government and the Military Archdiocese, and the Archdiocese of Detroit. The Lord’s gracious goodness has overwhelmed me yet again and I am so very appreciative of those who encouraged and mentored me through those years—cardinals, archbishops, senior officers—in this wonderful vocation and ministry which has been the joy of my life.”
Since his retirement from military service in 2018, Msgr. Kaul has resided in the Archdiocese of Detroit where he has made himself available to assist our parishes. In addition, he is currently a member of the Archdiocese for Military Services Board of Governors and of the Tribunal for the Cause of Canonization of Servant of God Fr. Vincent Capodanno, a Navy chaplain killed in Vietnam.
Please join us in offering prayers of thanksgiving for the many years of faithful service which Msgr. Kaul has given to our armed forces and the people of the Archdiocese of Detroit.