Chapels continue to be very popular

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By: E3161 Victoria Edwards (RMC 2003)

The Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) St-Raphael Roman Catholic chapel and Saint Martin Protestant chapels continue to be very popular with weekly attendance of Officer cadets, personnel as well as their families at Sunday worship slightly higher than in past years. The Catholic and Protestant communities normally meet for Sunday services from 1030-1130. In addition both chapels have a weekly ecumenical prayer time (Taize style) each Wednesday at noon.

A sacred space for non-Christian religious traditions was created within the St-Raphael Chapel located on the third floor of the North Annex of Yeo Hall. The Muslim community normally meets for prayers in the sacred space throughout the week from 1230 hrs to 1530 hrs. The Muslim community holds their Friday prayer (Jumu’a) in the sacred space at 12h00. The chaplains teamed with the college to do whatever was necessary to accommodate them and make their stay at RMC more pleasant. For example, during the month of Ramadan, the college provides Muslim students with food they can consume after sunset.

They also have a library with books on a variety of subjects in Arabic, English and French, which are intended to be used by people of all faith and Muslims alike. Given that most peacekeeping operations are overseas, as future officers in the Canadian Forces, RMC students must be well educated about different religions.

In `Religion in the Canadian Military: Adapting to an Increasingly Pluralistic Society,` Joanne Benham Rennick writes, `Public rituals, such as Remembrance Day services, are to be as inclusive as possible and, in recent events, such as the ceremony of the Consecration of the Colours at the Royal Military College in Kingston, the Chaplain General invited members of the Buddhist, Hindu, First Nations, Jewish, and Muslim communities to participate as guests (DND, 2001a, 2007b; Gorniak, 2001)`. She goes on to explain `At the Royal Military College in Kingston, chaplains have responded to growing numbers of Muslim personnel by installing a curtain in the Christian chapel to create a Muslim prayer room. Further, the base chaplain arranged for the installation of footbaths in the washrooms to facilitate ablutions.` (Benham Rennick, 2006).

You can learn more about the RMC Catholic, Protestant and to non-christian community by clicking on the links on this page. You will discover other times and places where we celebrate our faith, express our hope and extend charity.