Pair forms core teams and leader trainings to share the Catholic faith
WASHINGTON, D.C.—United States military families move extensively, transferring from one base to the other. Their mobile lifestyle can make it hard for teenagers to plant roots of faith. Now, Catholics have a new support system through establishment of a partnership between the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) and the Catholic youth ministry organization Life Teen.
The new partnership aims to promote Catholic ministry in and around military communities through initiatives including a series of youth gatherings planned throughout the U.S. and Europe in years to come. Goals are:
- To form Catholic leaders and volunteers (core teams) for encouraging the entire faith community at each location to become involved in Catholic youth ministry.
- To provide an achievable and flexible approach for military Catholic faith communities to take responsibility for comprehensive Catholic youth ministry.
- To promote regional, national, and international trainings, conferences, and camps inspiring military-connected leaders and youth to grow in the Catholic faith.
Specifically, the new partnership will provide organizational, structural and inspirational support for Catholic priests and military leaders who serve military-connected youth and families. Among other things, the new support network will help them effectively implement the comprehensive approach to Catholic youth ministry articulated in the 1997 US Bishops’ document:Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry.
Marlo Dowdy, Life Teen’s Military Coordinator will collaborate with the AMS to further the goals of the partnership. Ms. Dowdy grew up in a military-connected family, has implemented Life Teen at U.S. Army Posts in Germany, and currently facilitates trainings for developing Catholic Youth Ministry in the military. Ms. Dowdy was instrumental in creating a new Life Teen resource titled, In The Trenches: Catholic Youth Ministry in Military Settings. This book includes a forward by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services. The volume contains detailed chapters to support this particular outreach ministry.
Archbishop Broglio said:
“For over ten years the Archdiocese has intentionally supported comprehensive Catholic youth ministry in the military. This partnership concretizes even more that desire with a renewed emphasis that reminds each community of the importance of encouraging young Catholics to live as disciples. It is clear that as a faith community we must do more for youth, our future and our hope.”
Dr. Mark Moitoza, AMS Vice Chancellor for Evangelization said:
“This is an exciting development for young people during the Year of Faith. Baptized Catholics are encouraged to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ nourished through the Sacraments, Sacred Scripture, and the Traditions of the Church. Life Teen currently exists at over 20 U.S. military installations around the world. Core teams in these military Catholic faith communities are doing much to help young Catholics in mobile military families find a home in the Church and a place to share their gifts as they grow in faith.”
Randy Raus, President of Life Teen played a leading role the development of the new partnership. His advocacy encouraged prayerful discernment on the part of the Life Teen board to find how they effectively engage and support Catholic Youth Ministry throughout the military.
Plans are currently underway to promote the planned Catholic youth gatherings in the United States and Europe. Details will be posted on the website of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, www.milarch.org.
The AMS and Life Teen are both active members of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM), a traditional supporter of implementing effective Catholic youth ministry in the military.
About Life Teen:
Life Teen is a Catholic youth ministry organization and movement originating in the United States and active internationally. Inspired by Pope John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelization, Life Teen believes that Eucharist-based ministry has the power to transform teens, transform parishes, and transform culture. Youth are the key to this new springtime in the Church.
Life Teen is known primarily for its parish-based Life Teen program for high school teenagers and is implemented by over 1,600 Catholic parishes in 26 countries around the world. In 2003, “seeing the need for dynamic middle school ministry,” Life Teen launched the Edge program for middle school youth which is now used by over 1,000 parishes in 10 countries. More than 140,000 high-school-age Catholics across the country attend Life Teen each week. Life Teen also hosts summer camps for teens, large youth conferences and trains over 3000 Catholic youth leaders and priests annually.
The Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) was created as an independent archdiocese by Pope John Paul II in 1985 as the only Catholic jurisdiction responsible for endorsing and granting faculties for priests to serve as chaplains in the U.S. military and VA Medical Centers.
AMS-endorsed priests serve at more than 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries, making the AMS the nation’s only global archdiocese. AMS-endorsed priests also serve at 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the U.S.
The AMS service population also includes American Catholic civilians working for the federal government in 134 countries, but currently, due to limited resources, the AMS cannot adequately serve this population.
Worldwide, an estimated 1.8 million Catholics depend on the AMS to meet their spiritual and sacramental needs.
For more information on the Archdiocese for the Military Services, visit www.milarch.org, the only official website for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, MM
Contact: Taylor Henry