Special to The PREVIEW
The Rev. Canon Carl Andrews will be the guest preacher and the officiant of Holy Communion at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church this Sunday, Aug. 25, at the 8 and 10 a.m. services.
Canon Andrews serves as second in command to Bishop Robert O’Neill, 10th Episcopal bishop of Colorado, working from the diocesan office to help oversee the workings of the church’s headquarters. His military chaplain background makes him particularly good at what he does.
“He keeps us organized and all marching in the right direction,” says Bishop O’Neill.
When Canon Carl and his wife, Lynne, made a visit to Pagosa Springs last year, Fr. Doug Neel, rector of St. Patrick’s, wasted no time in introducing the Canon to his favorite fly fishing streams.
“Carl was so impressed with the beauty of Pagosa Springs and the amazing fishing opportunities surrounding our town, he decided to make this his vacation destination this year. As a kindness to me, he also offered to preach and celebrate communion at St. Patrick’s on Sunday. I seldom have a Sunday when I don’t need to prepare a sermon, so this is a very special gift for me and for the congregation. He has a wonderful sense of humor and a deep faith. He brings the poignancy of his military background and his service to our country to his understanding of God’s grace and love,” said Neel.
Following in the footsteps of his American father who flew Spitfires for the British during the World War II, Carl, upon graduation in 1970 from Colorado State University, was commissioned a lieutenant and trained as a weapons officer in the United States Air Force. His first duty station was Phan Rang with follow-on to DaNang, Vietnam. During his time in Vietnam, he wrestled with his calling to the priesthood and was ordained a priest in 1977. Carl returned to Colorado as a curate to St. Timothy’s Littleton and ultimately to the Western Slope of Colorado as a mission priest. During his five years in Craig, Colo., Carl responded to a call to become an active duty Air Force chaplain.
His assignments have included Colorado, Thailand, Montana, Australia, Philippines, California, Illinois, Pentagon, Germany and Texas. Like many service members, he has spent short tours in Turkey, France, Spain, Iceland, Azores, Bosnia, Korea, Afghanistan, Italy, Norway, Holland and Belgium. During his time in the Philippines, Carl assisted in the orchestration of humanitarian relief efforts for thousands of destitute Filipinos during the aftermath of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Additionally, while on duty at the Pentagon on 9/11,he was actively involved in the recovery of the wounded and the directing of worldwide Chaplain Corps functions for 96 hours.
The zenith of Carl’s military ministry was his assignment as command chaplain to all USAF personnel serving in Europe. While assigned at Ramstein, Germany, he also served as an intensive care chaplain at Landstuhl Hospital, ministering to wounded returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. His personal high point of this career in the Air Force was his assignment as senior chaplain, where Carl authored the spiritual fitness program for the over 5,000 basic military training recruits attending chapel each weekend, providing them a spiritual foundation and ensuring the USAF fourth Tiedown of Spirituality.
“I am delighted to welcome Canon Carl Andrews to our church as our guest preacher and celebrant,” said Fr. Doug. “It is always a treat to have him here in Pagosa and to allow him to see the wonderful work that is being done in our parish. I know our parishioners and guests will be inspired by his message and leadership.”
St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church is located at 225 S. Pagosa Blvd. Two services are offered during the summer months — at 8 and 10 a.m. Visitors and those seeking a church home are always welcome.
For more information, call 731-5801.