After spending almost 20 years as the Catholic chaplain at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, the Rev. John A. Jamnicky will be heading up the effort as part of a new position he accepted with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, D.C., reported the Chicago Sun Times.
"There have been some Protestant denominations that minister to truckers," the 55-year-old priest told the paper, "But the Catholic Church has not really been involved in it, almost non-existent."
Jamnicky, a Chicago native, told the paper, "People [at such places] don't really have an opportunity to participate" in regular parish life.
He says he envisions outposts at select truckstops where local priests set regular hours for mass and other sacraments, such as confession.
Lisa Mullings, a vice president at truckstop association NATSO, told the Sun Times that roadside religious services for truckers and other travelers are becoming more widespread. A recent survey found at least 100 travel plazas with some form of ministry.