Loyola Marymount University is now connected in a significant way to the effort to beat back the COVID-19 pandemic: Brian Reedy, S.J., a visiting assistant professor of philosophy and theological studies, has been assigned for a three-month mission as chaplain for the fleet of destroyers in the Pacific based out of San Diego. He is relieving the chaplain who has been assigned to the USNS Mercy docked in San Pedro.
“When I announced to my students that I was going to serve on the ‘front lines’ of our response to the pandemic, they were excited and encouraged,” said Father Reedy. “While my 90 students remain my primary apostolic focus through the end of the semester, I’m happy that the Jesuit Community and the university provide me with enough flexibility to also provide for the needs of the 1,600 sailors of DESRON-21, who, in these difficult times, are currently absent their chaplain due to his serving on the hospital ship serving Los Angeles.”
In this position from April 6 through June, Lt. Reedy will provide all chaplain support for the DESRON-21, which is the fleet of five destroyers that form part of Carrier Strike Group 3. The aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is normally the centerpiece of the Group 3, but it is currently under renovation. In addition, Father Reedy will provide Roman Catholic ministry to all the ships berthed in San Diego.
Father Reedy will complete his three courses online this semester during this chaplaincy and he expects to return to campus in July 1, when he will follow the quarantine protocols in place at that time.