Mailbag: Armed Guardians Sodality

Hello Ann,

Hope this finds you well.

In light of the recent events and your wonderful piece on running TOWARDS the gunfire (Hard Truths About Civilian Combat Tactics) I thought you would appreciate something we got started in our small, rural parish. Myself and a few other men serve our parish as Armed Guardians. Each Guardian carries a 9mm and a spare mag properly concealed so we blend in perfectly. Before Holy Mass (and other parish events) we arrive early to “sweep” the church, parish hall and property. We then stand vigilant, yet welcoming, at the front steps of our church as folks arrive. Once Holy Mass starts, we take our seats with our families but locate ourselves in deliberate pews so as to remain most effective should something happen. We also take turns as to which one remains at the back of the church by the LOCKED door. When Holy Mass is over, the Guardian posted in the back is first to unlock the door and step outside to continue monitoring the area. All of this is done very discretely so nothing we do creates a distraction. It really is a wonderful ministry that each of us considers an honor to serve even though most of the parishioners have no idea what is actually taking place.

This security endeavor is spreading across the entire diocese and each Armed Guardian is commissioned by our bishop to serve in this role. We receive advance tactical training each year and must continually pass weapon proficiency tests. We have photo ID credentials that state we have authority to carry a firearm in every one of the churches and schools in the entire diocese. Specifically, our parish priest and deacon even make sure we have an ample supply of training ammo to stay sharp. Since I ranch for a living, I open carry every day. And with the number of varmints, wild hogs and coyotes I encounter, I have become even more confident of my accuracy and speed. Consequently, this ministry is such a natural fit.

Very possibly, the Armed Guardian Ministry in our Diocese is kept confidential, so I won’t mention which one it is. But our Bishop has told me personally he’s 100% behind it.

As always, Ann, thanks so much for what you do for all of us.


Bruce Jenner is a man. And furthermore I consider that islam must be destroyed.