Archbishop to spend holy season with servicemen and women in Middle East
WASHINGTON, D.C. – His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services (AMS), invites people everywhere to remember and pray for U.S. military personnel, veterans and their families as the world celebrates Christmas.
Archbishop Broglio said:
“The traditions surrounding our annual celebration of the Savior’s birth fill us with joy and a deep longing for that peace announced by the angels. The birth of absolute Goodness, the Incarnation of the Son of God, reminds men and women that we are all brothers and sisters, children of God our heavenly Father.
“For the men and women in uniform who serve our country at home and abroad, holiday time is special, but my heart goes out to those who are deployed far from home and the warmth of their families. Indeed these valiant men and women bend under the weight of combat and the tension provoked by an elusive enemy. They are anxious about their future and they are far from their loved ones. The long and frequent deployments to the Middle East take their toll on everyone: the military, families, and our long-suffering chaplains who care for our brothers and sisters both during deployments and afterward.
“This particular archdiocese without territorial boundaries also looks back and remembers those who have served in previous wars and are now cared for in the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and Clinics.
“I boldly beg you to pray for our servicemen and women, veterans and all their families. Christmas is the occasion when we remember the Gift of the Father to us. Each of us tries to respond by giving something we have received to those in need. Those who serve our country in uniform need and deserve our prayers.”
Archbishop Broglio will spend Christmas with U.S. military personnel stationed in Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan and possibly also in the Persian Gulf aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. AMS auxiliary bishops will spend Christmas at other locations. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Bishop Richard B. Higgins, Episcopal Vicar for Veterans Affairs, will remain in the nation’s capital to celebrate Christmas at the installations of the Military District of Washington and at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. His Excellency, the Most Reverend F. Richard Spencer, Episcopal Vicar for Europe and Asia, will bring the joyful news of the Savior’s birth to those in Afghanistan. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Neal James Buckon, Episcopal Vicar for the West Coast, will celebrate these holy days with soldiers and their families at Fort Stewart, Georgia—home of the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. .
As the nation’s only archdiocese without geographical boundaries, the Archdiocese for the Military Services endorses priests for on-site ministry at more than 200 locations throughout the country and around the world to Catholics and their families in the U.S. armed forces, VA Medical Centers and overseas civilian posts. Worldwide, an estimated 1.5 million Catholics depend on these priests to serve their spiritual and sacramental needs.
The AMS receives no government funding and has no parishes to support the archdiocese with weekly collections. The AMS depends entirely on grants and donations for survival.
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, visit http://www.milarch.org, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.