On Friday, Fr. Estevan Wetzel was sworn in as a chaplain for the Army National Guard at St. John Paul II High School in Avondale, Ariz., where he currently serves as chaplain at the school. As the school year draws to a close, Fr. Wetzel will head to Fort Jackson, S.C., for three months of basic training.

Moved by the suffering of a serviceman who was dealing with the loss of two fellow soldiers to suicide, Fr. Wetzel wondered who would minister to those serving in the military. “It requires a priest that is up to the task and has the requirements,” he said.

A desire began to grow as he pondered his ministry and accompanied police and fire departments on ride-a-longs.

When sharing these thoughts with Msgr. Peter Bui, vicar for priests, he was informed that the current chaplain, Fr. Craig Friedley, for the Army National Guard was retiring. Fr. Friedley administered the oath at the event.

“It was a door that unexpectedly opened and corresponded to my desires,” said Fr. Wetzel.

After basic training this summer, Fr. Wetzel will serve for a few days every two months.

“It’s an exciting adventure I feel called to, but really have no idea what it will look like yet.”