For more than 10 years, Veterans at the Hines VA Hospital have benefitted from the spiritual guidance, experience, kindness and overall generosity of spirit displayed by Father James Burnett, Chief of the hospital’s Chaplain Service. This week, Burnett was recognized for his hard work and dedication with a special honor bestowed upon him by Pope Benedict XVI. As a Prelates of Honor, he will now be known as Monsignor Burnett, a very significant honor within the Catholic Church.
Monsignor Burnett was nominated for this honor by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). This is the first time that the Archdiocese has requested Papal Honors (Monsignor) for a VA Chaplain. The recent Papal Announcement is in recognition of his work within the VA System as the President of NCVACC (The National Conference of VA Catholic Chaplains), the organization that serves the 320 Catholic Priests in various salaried positions within the VA System. Monsignor Burnett held the title of President of this organization for six years. In that period the membership in NCVACC tripled in size and Monsignor Burnett and the NCVACC Board and also brought into existence new Standards and a new Code of Ethics for the organization.
“I am truly humbled and honored to receive this Papal Appointment,” said Monsignor Burnett. “As a Veteran of the Air Force, I feel privileged to work with and for our nation’s heroes. I can’t think of a more rewarding job.”
There will be a special Mass sometime in the future celebrating this incredible honor.