HomeNewsArticle Display

On the Road: Chaplain's journey to higher calling

Click Here

Capt. Emmanuel Enoh, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Catholic chaplain, reads a prayer from the Missal. The Missal is a liturgical book containing all instructions and texts necessary for the celebration of Mass throughout the year. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Eric M. Sharman)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) -- (This feature is part of the "Through Airmen's Eyes" series on AF.mil. These stories focus on a single Airman, highlighting their Air Force story.)

In Abak, Nigeria, Dec. 8, 1974, a mother, nine-months pregnant, feels that her baby is ready to arrive. The duration of the journey to the hospital is longer than her new child can wait. She gives birth to her fourth child, on the side of the road.

“So, I’ve always been on the road,” laughed Capt. Emmanuel Enoh, 386th Air Expeditionary Wing Catholic chaplain. “I was the one who was always going somewhere, like when I went away to boarding school, or left the country for college and again for missionary work. I was born on the road, and I’ve been traveling it all my life.”

Raised in Nigeria, his hometown was frequently a host for Irish-Catholic missionaries, from whom Enoh took inspiration. From a young age, he was fascinated with their devotion and the great risks they took on their missions. He studied them at the Catholic boarding school he attended as a child.

“I was fascinated with what they did, even going back to the 1700s,” said Enoh. “They would cross the seas; many of them dying on the voyage, and more contracting malaria when they arrived in Africa. I wondered what inspired them. What was their secret that in the face of death, they were not deterred?”

This curiosity led him into missionary work. He joined a hometown missionary group and entered the priesthood in Owensboro, Kentucky, after completing his master of divinity degree.

Enoh’s first assignment as a priest was to the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, thirty minutes from Fort Campbell, Kentucky. It was there that Enoh had his first experience with the military through a nearby mental health facility. He received a call, saying that a post-traumatic stress disorder patient needed to talk to a priest.

“The patient was suffering from her experiences in the Iraq war,” recalled Enoh. “She just wanted to talk about her experiences, so we spent the whole night talking. I couldn’t relate to her experiences, but by being there and letting her talk, it gave her comfort. That experience drew me to serve as a military chaplain.’”

He entered the Air Force Reserve as an individual mobilization augmentee, assigned to the 42nd Air Base Wing, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. After a year of reserve duty, he came on to active-duty and was reassigned to the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB, Oklahoma. Enoh’s service has given him a broader perspective on the differences between serving his parish and serving his country. He understands that while he is still a Catholic priest conducting the services associated with that role, his duties are to serve all Airmen, regardless of faith.

“The person who needs help isn’t necessarily Christian, or Muslim or any religion,” explained Enoh. “They might just need another person to listen, or show them direction. It’s about being there for the Airmen, not necessarily giving them my perspective as a Catholic priest.”

As an Airman, Enoh has embraced the Comprehensive Airman Fitness model, comprised of a multitude of targeted programs and activities, as well as resiliency skills taught to enable Airmen to make sound choices. The CAF model stresses the importance of mental, physical, social and spiritual fitness as a means of creating resilient Airmen capable of winning the nation’s wars.

“The four pillars of the CAF model are like magic,” said Enoh. “If you put that into practice, life will be easier. For the most part we’ve listened to it so much that sometimes you tune it out, but it is something I believe in. Chaplains are in the business of taking care of people, but you first have to take care of yourself.”

Through the use of the CAF pillars, Enoh has been able to tend to his own needs. By taking care of himself, he has been able to affirm that his ministry, his dedication, and the journey on his road, have been able to make a difference.

“I’m always asking myself if I gave my all, and if I really helped that person,” said Enoh. “A few times I’ve run into someone who came to me for help and been told, ‘thank you chaplain for being there for me’. That changes my life every time I hear it.”

Engage

Twitter
#DYK @AirMobilityCmd has approximately 110,000 total force personnel, providing rapid global mobility...right effec… https://t.co/OM6oIhSofG
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: The 378th Expeditionary Logisitcs Readiness Squadron perform a hydrostatic test on fuel hoses at @378_aew . What is a hydros…
Twitter
CMSgt Bass installed as the Air Force’s 19th Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force. @cmsaf_official #AimHigh https://t.co/DN38IdsXhu
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: .@cmsaf_official has the passion, the skills, and the strength of character we need to lead us…to face head-on the demand…
Twitter
Lt Gen David Allvin nominated to become Air Force Vice Chief of Staff https://t.co/JST6kf0H4g
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: The #Strikers of @AFGlobalStrike congratulation CMSgt Kaleth O. Wright on his retirement, and welcome @cmsaf_official C…
Twitter
RT @SpaceForceCSO: Congrats to CMSgt Joanne Bass, @usairforce CMSAF #19! Mollie & I are looking forward to working with you & Rahn in suppo…
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA at 9:30AM EDT.… https://t.co/uUYv7TgMeb
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: #Airmen load up a C-130J Super Hercules before heading to #Bulgaria for Thracian Fall 2020. The @usairforce trains with B…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Airmen and Soldiers from the @CTNationalGuard delivered 21,000 cases of water from @fema to towns throughout the state in…
Twitter
RT @usairforce: “I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Official #ReadyAF
Twitter
Join us for the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force transition ceremony LIVE from @Andrews_JBA TOMORROW at 9:30AM ED… https://t.co/ok6km7nFoS
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Teammates, Let me start with 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏𝒌 𝒚𝒐𝒖. https://t.co/xU6U3QuZV7
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Engaging through listening sessions, senior leaders are hearing directly from #Airmen and #SpaceProfessionals on diversi…
Twitter
RT @PACAF: JUST IN: Three #B2 Spirits from @Whiteman_AFB deployed to Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia in support of #BTF missions. @IND
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: The #Airmen at @Creech_AFB make a global impact 24/7. The RPAs they operate provide vital intelligence and strike capabi…
Twitter
"I'm confident that our Air Force can continue to be the most dominant and respected Air Force in the world." -… https://t.co/PZQzLUGBxz
Twitter
Tactical Air Control Party Airmen assigned to @INGuardsman participate in close air support training. TACPs provide… https://t.co/BcyiAmfFmV
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: The @140Wg became the first ANG unit to successfully execute an agile combat employment exercise while at @Buckley_AFB. T…
Twitter
“I’m a dental tech who became Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force...be dreamers – dream big.” - @CSMAF_Officialhttps://t.co/AKSjyQNq4s
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,267,248
Follow Us