In 2009, Father O’Malley earned his doctorate in ecclesiastical history from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, upon successful defense of his dissertation, “An History of the Development of Catholic Military Chaplaincy in the United States of America: 1775-1991.” Father O’Malley also has a keen interest in manuscripts and document form, and has pursued this interest at the Center of Manuscript Studies at the University of London. Since Fall 2009, Father O’Malley has served on the faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology as a member of the Department of Church History and the formation faculty.
Father O’Malley provides a preview of his April 21 presentation: “The institution of military chaplaincy as constituted in the United States simultaneously serves the interest of both Church and State. For over 200 years, a government-sponsored chaplaincy has enabled the State to ensure the free exercise of religion for military personnel and has provided an establishment through which the Catholic Church is able minster to the Catholic faithful of the Armed Forces. While the history of U.S. -sponsored military chaplaincy and the Church’s military apostolate is layered in government-issued regulations and Vatican-dispatched decrees, at the heart of both can be found a simple shared desire to provide shepherds for soldiers –who in time of battle might seek the consolation of faith.”
The Archbishop Gerety Fund for Ecclesiastical History was established by the Most Reverend Peter Leo Gerety, Archbishop Emeritus of Newark, to advance studies in ecclesiastical history, especially the history of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Among its various activities, the Fund sponsors lectures each year at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology.