Frontline Faith: Taking faith to the frontlines

Frontline Faith provides MP3 players loaded with Catholic material to U.S. troops. (Photo courtesy Frontline Faith)

By Carla Luna Smith
Correspondent

Also during the Turning Point event, Sgt. Carlos Meda discussed The Frontline Faith Project. Meda currently serves as the director of liturgical music at San José Parish in Austin, but he previously served in the 36th Infantry Division of the Texas Army National Guard in Iraq. It was while deployed that he discovered Frontline Faith.
An extension of Mary’s Touch, Frontline Faith is an outreach ministry that provides MP3 players to U.S. Armed Forces worldwide. For many who are deployed, it is considered “spiritual food for our warrior’s soul.” The players are distributed free of charge and are pre-loaded with more than seven hours of Catholic programming. Meda told the audience that when a box of the devices would arrive, they would be gone in minutes and that he truly considers his a God send.
“The player was so full of so many good things to listen to,” he said. “Flying over Baghdad and looking down knowing the player was under my headset gave me both comfort and strength.”
Meda is not alone. According to the project’s Cheri Lomonte, Frontline Faith’s offices are filled with correspondence that echoes his feelings.
“We have so many notebooks full of letters from soldiers and their families thanking us for the players,” Lomonte said. “They tell us that having a recorded Mass on the player is a real comfort and that it gets lonely out there, but the players allow them to know who shares their faith.”
Lomonte created Frontline Faith five years ago when she received a prayer request from a woman asking Mary’s Touch to put her son, who was deployed in the Middle East, on their prayer list. 
“There is such a need for our faith in the military, and I truly believe the Holy Spirit spoke to me through the idea of MP3 players,” she said.
The Archdiocese for the Military Services reports that in 2015 there were only 217 Catholic priests serving 1.8 million Catholic soldiers so having instant access to a portable player that contains a Catholic Mass, a spoken rosary, traditional Catholic prayers, various homilies, Bishop Sheen’s presentation to West Point cadets, Christian music, letters from children and stories by the military for the military is both encouraging and inspiring to the men and women serving our country. 
Military chaplains agree and have called the FF players their “best weapons,” and proudly say “Thank you for bringing our soldiers to God and God to our soldiers.”
As Meda testified, “Please help this project, it works.”
Since 2009, Frontline Faith has distributed nearly 50,000 players and relies 100 percent on donations. For information,
visit www.Marystouch.org.