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Tuesday December 13th, 2016 @ 10:33am

Lieutenant Commander Michael Lambeth

Name Michael James Lambeth

Position Chaplain

Rank Lieutenant Commander


Character Information

Gender Male
Species Human
Age 46

Physical Appearance

Height 6’3” (1.9 m)
Weight 220 lbs (99.7 kg)
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Green
Physical Description Tall and lean, Father Michael Lambeth has something of an aristocratic appearance at first glance. His brown hair is cut short, with his face cleanshaven – even his eyebrows are somewhat thin. He’s healthy physically, and keeps himself very fit – his muscle is generally lean muscle, though.

Family

Spouse None
Children None
Father William Lambeth, Professor of History at the University of Chicago
Mother Anna Lambeth, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Chicago
Brother(s) James Lambeth – Electrical engineer, Earth Power Authority; Patrick Lambeth – Professor of Interstellar Relations, Georgetown University
Sister(s) Megan Lambeth – Assistant UFP Attorney assigned to Bajor, UFP Department of Justice; Sarah Lambeth – Pediatrician, private practice, Earth
Other Family All four grandparents are alive, and there are numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Personality & Traits

General Overview Father Michael Lambeth, SJ, is someone with a somewhat aristocratic bearing. While he’s usually friendly, he tends to keep something of a detachment – not letting many people into his closest confidence.
Spoken Languages Federation Standard, Latin (Ecclesiastical), Greek (Koine and Modern), Vulcan, Spanish, German, French, Hebrew, Italian. Rapidly learning Romulan and Klingon.
Ambitions Officially, a Jesuit has no ambitions beyond serving the People of God. Unofficially, Lambeth has been trained for the episcopate and is rumored to be on track for an episcopal appointment, but seems eager to avoid that for a while yet.
Hobbies & Interests Beyond the strictly theological interests, Father Lambeth is an avid gamer (particularly of tabletop roleplaying games), he reads voraciously, and he cooks – American and Italian, primarily, but he’s also decent at German cuisine too. He also still practices Parkour and assorted martial arts to keep fit, leading to a nickname when he was a chaplain at Starfleet Academy – “Father Swings-Like-Monkey”

Personal History

Personal History Born in Chicago, Earth to parents who were both academics (Mom is a physicist working on fairly run-of-the-mill research in batteries – still an important area of research even with sarium krellide power sources – while Dad is a historian focusing on World War III and the Eugenics Wars) at the refounded University of Chicago, Mike Lambeth was about the last kid you’d have expected to become a priest. Sure, he grew up Catholic in the urban neighborhoods of Chicago, and he’d served as an altar boy from when he was 8 to when he turned 12…But he’d quit that when he entered seventh grade. All in all, if you knew him as a teenager, you’d probably describe him as a typical teenage boy – far more interested in girls, sports, and occasionally running amok with his friends (he’d become noted for his ability as an urban explorer and parkour practitioner – leading to an ability to show up in the weirdest places, cause trouble, and then disappear again) than in religion. Academically, he was a bright boy, graduating high school as salutatorian and by the time he turned 18 already speaking four languages fluently (English was his native tongue, but he also spoke German, French, and Spanish), but that posed a problem for him – what to do next? He wound up going to the Jesuit-run University of San Francisco, which is roughly when things started to change.

Not immediately, though. First came freshman year of college, which was spent figuring out where to focus academically (a psychology major won a coin toss, with the theology major he’d been also pondering being taken as a double major) and socially (he wound up joining the rugby team). College was easy, though – he wound up graduating with a 3.9 GPA – only a math course from hell stopped him from getting a 4.0. Along the way, though, came a tug he’d never expected to feel – a calling to the priesthood, sparked by a few of his professors who’d happened to be priests. It didn’t take immediately, though: He was determined not to be a priest…Until one night, just before graduation, where he found himself wandering the streets of San Francisco in a haze. The usual cycle of college life had left him feeling empty and unfulfilled at best, and he was at a loss for what to do with himself. He’d considered going back to his off-campus apartment and getting drunk, when he looked up from his feet and found himself at the church of St. Francis Xavier, a newly-established parish in the by-then largely-Hispanic Mission District.

Slipping into the church, he began to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, when his eyes landed on an image of a scene from St. Ignatius Loyola’s life, where he was said to have given up his sword to an angel. According to Lambeth, that’s when it clicked: God had, finally, broken out the “big knobby club”, so to speak, and wasn’t just whispering a call to the priesthood, he was shoving the 22-year-old to it.

What followed was a blur. He’d done discernment weekends with several orders (as well as diocesan vocations programs), so it wasn’t hard to reach the vocations director for the local Jesuit province and explain his situation. To his surprise, the vocations director told him to hold off – to take the admissions tests for graduate school that he’d been planning to take, and generally take six months and think about it. If in six months he was still set on it, they’d look at combining graduate school in psychology with a novitiate in the Society of Jesus.

Six months didn’t change a thing; it just made him feel even hungrier for it. Finally, he had a purpose in life. Fortunately, the vocations director and the Provincial agreed, and he entered the novitiate in January 2369. Novitiate was a rough period for Mike, but he perservered and made his first vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience in January 2371. The year that followed saw him sent to Fordham University in New York for First Studies, which was followed by undertaking graduate school in psychology at Boston College, while at the same time serving as a history teacher at St. Peter Claver High School in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood.
Within 3 years, his graduate coursework would be done, as would his teaching assignment, and he’d begin theology studies at Boston College’s theology school and seminary along with a new job lecturing in psychology at BC, and, as if that wasn’t enough, working on his PhD dissertation in psychology, which covered the treatment of pediatric patients with post-traumatic stress disorder using the holodeck. All in all, where ordinary people would spend 40 hours a week on their professional life? He was doing 60, which might explain why of the 20 men who entered the novitiate with him in 2369, only 10 had made it this far (though he was also a workaholic, which helped account for it – the rest of the guys focused on their theology studies instead of trying to also do a PhD at the same time, leaving them with a lot more time!), though all would eventually persevere to ordination.

Two years later, then, he was ordained to the transitional diaconate and began working as an extern at St. Maximilian Kolbe parish in the suburbs of Boston for the year, while finishing up his dissertation and his seminary studies. On June 29, 2377, then, he was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus, successfully defending his dissertation and being awarded both his PhD and MDiv a week later. The next year would be spent doing a supervised psychology internship out of Loyola University (in Chicago) working with PTSD victims and putting his research into use on both pediatric and adult patients, while at the same time serving as parochial vicar (basically an assistant priest to the pastor of the parish) at St. Francis Xavier parish in suburban Lake County, where he learned the ropes of being an actual priest – “without training wheels” as he put it once. After a year, then, his internship was complete and for once he was able to focus on being a priest, as he’d originally intended. He also maintained a psychology practice working with local hospitals, but he focused on his work as a priest – administering the Sacraments and leading the faithful.
That’d last for a year, then, before his academic record got him sent to another parish – this time in Rome, where he would be assigned as a parochial vicar at the St. Robert Bellarmine parish in one of Rome’s many small neighborhoods, while simultaneously completing a Doctorate in Sacred Theology (or STD, to use the Latin initials) in pastoral theology, where he applied himself to distinctly modern theological questions. All in all, though, compared to his PhD, it wasn’t nearly as rough, and he was able to enjoy being a priest outside of North America for three years. It was at the end of it, though, that he got a call that would change his life.
Back when he was an undergraduate, one of Mike Lambeth’s closest friends was a woman named Sarah Fowler, a history major he’d dated on and off throughout college until what he, and her, and his other friends, referred to as the “Night of the Club”; fortunately for his vocation, she was among his biggest supporters in his pursuing it, particularly during the more frustrating parts of his formation. Well, it turned out that Sarah had had a big knobby club moment of her own, in her case prompting her to join Starfleet through Officer Candidate School shortly after graduation. She had served in the Dominion War as a Tactical officer and was now a Lieutenant working at Starfleet Command on a staff tour. She called Mike on a bright day in June, after settling in to her new assignment at Starfleet Command, and they began discussing the paths their lives had taken – she had been married for four years (Father Mike, as he was by then, had celebrated the nuptial Mass) and had a kid on the way, while Father Mike was finding himself unsatisfied with the nature of parish life on Earth. He’d considered applying to be reassigned to a mission on a colony world or elsewhere off Earth, but that was when Sarah presented an offer. Starfleet had, at the insistence of the Bajorans since they formally joined the UFP in 2378, reconsidered its previous stance on religious exercise among the Fleet and had begun officially providing for chaplains, initially on starbases and at planetside commands. Starfleet, to be blunt, needed Catholic chaplains badly – both to recruit other priests as chaplains and to serve as chaplains themselves. In a way, it’d be writing the book on how to do chaplaincy in Starfleet. Would Father Mike consider applying to the Society of Jesus for permission to enter Starfleet as a chaplain?

The answer? A definite maybe. Father Lambeth had been notified in previous days that he would be assigned as pastor of a parish in San Francisco, and he knew the Society wouldn’t deviate from that – the current pastor was elderly and needed a replacement soon. But he kept considering it over the next two years.

Father Mike Lambeth was, all things being equal, a good pastor, well-suited to both the practical and administrative tasks the post entailed. But a Jesuit’s reason for being was to go where the need was greatest, and after two years, San Francisco was not where the need was greatest. It was with that in mind that he approached his Superior in the Society with a request that he be allowed to apply for a chaplain’s commission in Starfleet – the need for chaplains was not only still present, it had grown since Sarah Fowler had talked to him during his time in Rome. To his surprise, after a few weeks approval came, though it had to be granted by the Jesuit headquarters in Rome, and he embarked on the process of preparing for accession into Starfleet as a chaplain candidate. In June 2386, then, he began Officer Development School. It was rough getting used to a military lifestyle, but he adapted, graduating 16 weeks later as a Lieutenant and being posted to 12 weeks of training before finally being posted to Starbase 375 as a chaplain – the first the starbase had ever had.

It was interesting, being a Starfleet chaplain. For the first time in his ministry, he was separated from the community of other priests (particularly other Jesuits) – it necessitated different habits from a community existence, being the only priest available. It was fortunate that, while Father Mike was a decidedly orthodox priest, he was also practical – because the theory and doctrine of faith sometimes had to confront some decidedly novel questions on the borders of the Federation. This would continue through his service as a chaplain as he rose through the ranks, serving at Starbase 74 along the Klingon border, and then as a chaplain for a battalion of Starfleet Academy cadets. Finally, in December 2391, he was informed by Starfleet of his promotion to Lieutenant Commander and his assignment as the chaplain of a new vessel – the USS Jerusalem – from 1 January 2392.

Service Record

Service Record Educational qualifications:
BA, Psychology and BA, Theology, University of San Francisco
MDiv, Boston College
PhD in Clinical Psychology, Boston College
STD (Sacra Theologicae Doctorae, Doctorate of Sacred Theology), Pontifical Gregorian University

Starfleet Career Summary:
Date of rank: 1 January 2392
Branch of service: Chaplains Corps

Assignment timeline:
June 2386 – Accessions into Starfleet as Chaplain Candidate, Officer Development School
September 2386 – Commissioned as Lieutenant, Starfleet, in the Chaplains’ Corps, assigned Chaplain Basic Course, San Francisco, Earth
December 2386 – Graduates Chaplain Basic Course as honor graduate, assigned Starbase 375 as Chaplain
December 2388 – Assigned Starbase 74 as Chaplain
December 2390 – Assigned as Chaplain, Second Battalion of First Regiment, Starfleet Corps of Cadets, Starfleet Academy, San Francisco
December 2391 – Assigned as Chaplain, USS Jerusalem, from 1 January 2392

Notable comments from previous fitness reports:

“Chaplain Lieutenant Lambeth has proved exemplary as an officer and a ‘man of the cloth’ during his service aboard Starbase 375. Whether it be counseling distressed crewmembers, organizing rites for the crew killed by the Angelian Oil Slick, helping new enlisted personnel and new officers adapt to life in Starfleet, or in being the ethical guide of the Command Team, he has made himself indispensable to the operations of this command.” – Commodore Nicholas Burns, CO Starbase 375

“Chaplain Lieutenant Lambeth may be a priest, but I would almost consider him a wizard, if such a description weren’t liable to get me challenged to a duel with squirt guns at 10 paces. With singular determination, he has worked to adapt to the starbase’s mission of maintaining military-to-military relations with the Klingon Defense Forces, while continuing his ordinary work as a chaplain and priest. This included not merely being an able diplomat and organizer in helping to arrange the visit of the Klingon Defense Forces regional commander after the death of our Chief Diplomatic Officer in a transporter accident, but in helping adapt the Song of Roland for a Klingon audience on no notice – from the original French, despite not knowing a word of Klingon at the beginning of the project. He’s still not completely fluent in Klingon, but the mere attempt merits note, as does the KDF’s appreciation of his work. They may not be sold on the notion of a chaplain (or indeed of religion entirely), but we are!” – Commodore Peter Arnault, CO Starbase 74

“Chaplain Lieutenant Lambeth has been a rock-steady guide and mentor to the Cadets of the Second Battalion during his two years as their chaplain. Ministering to cadets of all faiths and no faith, he’s proven himself an able guide in the ethical and moral complexities of Academy life, and set his young flock up for success in their Starfleet careers, through both times good and unbelievably bad. Without any reservation I recommend to Starfleet Command that the good of the Fleet requires this officer’s promotion to the next grade at the soonest opportunity.” – Commodore Anjar k’Kethi, Commandant of Cadets, Starfleet Academy