While in Ottawa recently I was delighted to come across a copy of the other Canadian Anglican newspaper, The Anglican Planet, and discovered this profile on the next Chaplain General of the Canadian Forces (and thus my next boss), Padre Karl McLean, who like myself is an Anglican priest. Here’s the article in full.
Anglican named top military chaplain
Monday, April 26, 2010 at 02:10PM
By Sue Careless
An Anglican priest has been appointed Chaplain General of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced the selection of Padre Karl McLean as the next Canadian Forces Chaplain General. Colonel McLean will be promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General and assume command of the Chaplain Branch later this year, succeeding Brigadier-General David C. Kettle, who is retiring.
“Chaplains provide the men and women of our Canadian Forces with the moral and spiritual support that they require in their service to the nation,” said MacKay. “Padre McLean brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will give him unique insight in this crucial leadership role.”
There are 65,000 Canadians serving fulltime in the Regular Forces and another 25,000 serving part-time in the Reserves. Many chaplains, representing a variety of faiths and denominations, minister to them.
Col. McLean was deployed as a Brigade Chaplain in Bosnia-Herzegovina and served as the Senior NATO Chaplain with the Stabilization Force in the capital of Sarajevo. He has been the Chief Instructor at the Canadian Forces Chaplain School and the Command Chaplain for both the Army and the Air Force.
Col. McLean has previously served in the Office of the Chaplain General as the Director of Chaplain Administration Education and Training; the Director of Chaplain Operations; and, most recently, the Chief of Staff.
The Chaplain General heads the multi-faith Chaplain Branch and advises the Chief of the Defence Staff and the Chief of Military Personnel on matters related to the moral and spiritual well-being of personnel and their families in all aspects of their lives. He or she serves a two-year term and is responsible for recruiting, training and managing the ministry of chaplains within the CF. The position alternates between Protestant and Roman Catholic.
“Karl is a person of deep prayer and spiritual integrity, who actively and constantly practices the art of spiritual discernment as understood in the Great Tradition of the Church,” said Padre Lt. Col. Canon Gary Thorne. Thorne is a Reserve Chaplain of twenty-one years and has served as Canon Reservist on the Chapter of the Anglican Military Ordinariate for ten years.
He said McLean “seeks Christ in the ancient wisdom of the Church and has an abiding and keen great interest in biblical hermeneutics.” Thorne knows him as an avid outdoors person who enjoys hunting and fishing but also as a “critical thinker” and an “empathetic listener, a man of great compassion” who, Thorne believes, will “care deeply for the chaplains of the Canadian Forces.”
McLean attended Dalhousie University, University of Waterloo, Regent College and Vancouver School of Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood in Christ Church Cathedral, Fredericton and has served as Curate at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Saint John and as Rector of the Parish of Shediac, both in New Brunswick. For the past six years Col. McLean has been a member of the Council of General Synod.