Feb. 23, 2022

Grace Under Fire - Spirituality In The Trenches

Matt Domyancic, the Tactical Chaplain, offers his modern spiritual approach to help police officers and firefighters who are "in the trenches".


In this episode, David and Stacy speak with Matt Domyancic, The Tactical Chaplain, about how to enjoy a career that provides deeper meaning to your spiritual life. Matt will share some strategies for transitioning from a responder career while staying highly connected with the job and the mission.  We’ll also learn what a Patrol Chaplain is.

Matt is a medically retired police officer who volunteers as a chaplain and peer support for police agencies in Los Angeles. Matt believes all first responders can have careers that provide deeper meaning and add richness to their spiritual lives if approached in the right manner. He worked patrol, Peer Support, SWAT, and was a full-time police academy instructor. 

Matt speaks about the hurdles of the emergency services professions, especially in a culture with macho attitudes, and the reluctance to seek help or to practice self care. He also talks about how being a cop be an opportunity to learn about psychology, ministry and humanity. He shares his vision for creating retreats combining Warrior Alpha-Male activities like tactical shooting with stress management, and finding meaning in suffering and adversity.

Matt’s definition of spirituality is the living out of your most important values and beliefs. He sees spirituality as a police officer to be how you relate to your community and humanity. Who more than cops are involved in the nitty-gritty of a community? He views spirituality as how you relate to your higher power, and as part of the framework for how you continue to find meaning and purpose through change, loss, adversity and suffering, which is inevitably coming to everybody, and which cops are immersed in.    Who more than cops, whether they say they’re spiritual or not, understands the highs and lows of the things that human beings are going through, because they’re immersed in that stuff all the time. Matt has seen some of the most hard-nosed cops turn out to be some of the most empathetic and compassionate people, helping somebody cope after a rape or a murder. He saw this as a cop, and now he sees it as a chaplain. 

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