The Reverend Christopher S. Butera hails from Pottsville, Pennsylvania where he commissioned in the U.S. Army after graduating from the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia in 2001 upon graduating from Pottsville Area High School in 1997. After commissioning he entered Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania while remaining in the US Army Reserve.
As a VMI Cadet Fr. Butera earned his Airborne Wings in 1999. While studying for the priesthood for the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania he was ordained a Transitional Deacon in 2006 and assigned to the Cathedral Church of Saint Catharine of Siena, Allentown, PA. In 2007 he was ordained a Catholic Priest by the Bishop of Allentown, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Edward P. Cullen, and subsequently assigned as the Parochial Vicar to Saint Thomas More Church also in Allentown. His various ministerial assignments for the Diocese of Allentown also include: the Office of Hispanic Affairs; Newman Center, Lehigh University; Berks County Prison; Chaplain to the Serra Club of Allentown, and Chaplain to Allentown Central Catholic High School.
In 2010 after completing three years of pastoral priestly service in his diocese, Fr. Butera went on active duty status in the United States Army and is a combat war veteran. Since then he has served as the Garrison Catholic Chaplain, Fort Rucker, AL and the United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Rucker, AL; the Warrant Officer Career College Chaplain, Fort Rucker, AL; the Field Artillery Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment Chaplain, Vilseck, Germany; the USAG Ansbach Garrison Catholic Chaplain, Ansbach, Germany; and the 3-158th (Assault) Aviation Regiment, 12 Combat Aviation Brigade Chaplain, Katterbach, Germany. He has deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 13-14. Upon returning to the Diocese of Allentown for pastoral ministry, Fr. Butera entered the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in April of 2016. Fr. Butera was assigned as the Squadron Chaplain to the 1/104th Cavalry Regiment, the Battalion Chaplain for the 728 Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, and is currently assigned as the Brigade Chaplain for the 213 Regional Support Group, headquarter in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Fr. Butera is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He earned a Master of Arts Degree in Moral Theology from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and a Master of Divinity Degree in Pastoral Theology also from Saint Charles. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Airborne School, Fort Benning, GA and the Chaplain Officer Basic Course, Fort Jackson, SC.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (1 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (1 OLC), Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, Overseas Service Tour Ribbon (with numeral 3), Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Army Parachutists Badge. He has also been awarded the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge (Gold). Fr. Butera has also earned both his Silver Spurs and Gold Spurs with the Field Artillery Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment.
Fr. Butera has been inducted into the Honorable Order of Saint Michael by U.S. Army Aviation and to the Honorary Squadron of the 2d Cavalry Regiment.
Fr. Butera holds professional memberships in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and the Military Officers Association of America.
Fr. Butera holds a Certified Catechists Certificate from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA and is a Fourth Degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
Currently, Fr. Butera continues to serve in his assignments as the Catholic Chaplain to Lehigh University and Director of the Newman Center, and Chaplain to Notre Dame High School, Easton.
Most recently Fr. Butera was also named by His Excellency, Bishop Alfred A. Schlert, as the Director of Seminarian Formation under the newly restructured Office of Vocations. In this position Fr. Butera will work to instill in the candidates for ordination a level of maturity, discipline, and holiness and provide the Bishop with a recommendation on each individual who petitions for ministries and orders. This appointment will become effective on 19 June 2018.