The Development Office strives to raise and generate the necessary funds to financially support the mission of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA
The AMS worldwide mission is to provide for the spiritual, sacramental and pastoral care of the 1.8 million Catholics serving in the armed forces, their family members, students at the Military Academies, patients in VA medical centers and US governmental personnel serving abroad. It is the only agency responsible for endorsing and granting faculties to Catholic chaplains and deacons in service to those populations. Archbishop Timothy Broglio is the Ordinary of the Archdiocese and Bishop Richard Higgins, Bishop Richard Spencer, Bishop Neal Buckon, and Bishop Robert Coyle are the four Auxiliaries. In support of the mission, they spend 65% of their time on pastoral visits to over 220 military locations in 29 countries and 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the United States.
Unique Need for Financial Support
Unlike a typical diocese the AMS has no territorial borders. Its mission is worldwide and it supports the military members and their families wherever they are assigned or deployed. Also, there are no parishes which provide a weekly source of funds to support the Archdiocese. Solicitation of funds on military installations is severely limited by government mandate.
Another unique requirement for the AMS is to maintain faithfully and provide Sacramental Records (baptisms, confirmations, marriages) for anybody receiving the sacraments at a military installation. The AMS stores over 2.5 million records and receives over 10,000 requests for copies of records each year.
The AMS is a church entity. It is not a part of the Armed Forces and is not funded by the federal government. It is a “home” mission diocese that depends entirely on financial support from individual donors including personal donations from its military and VA chaplains, gifts from military communities, gifts from dioceses, charitable bequests, and grants.
The military chaplains are members of the Armed Forces and, as such, are paid by the government. The AMS must pay all the considerable travel costs for its clergy to visit military installations around the world. They do not travel on military aircraft. The AMS receives very limited support from certain US dioceses and foundations that support Catholic causes.
Donations support key AMS pastoral responsibilities
Seminarian Co-Sponsorship – Sharing the costs (50%) of a seminary education with US dioceses for men aspiring to become military chaplains.
Vocation Discernment – Identifying and assisting members of the military who are interested in exploring their call to priestly service and religious life by conducting regular personal visits and retreats for them each year.
Catholics Seeking Christ – Fostering, through small groups, peer-to-peer ministry and evangelization among 18-29 year olds in the military seeking to support and deepen their Catholic faith.
Youth/Young Adults – Providing resources to effectively meet the pastoral needs of military-connected youth and young adults dealing with issues such as multiple deployments, frequent transitions, and a desire to find their home in the Catholic faith.
VA Chaplaincy – Recruiting, endorsing and supervising more than 275 full, part- time, and contract Catholic priests who minister to veterans, but also visiting those centers and offer comfort to those who have served our country from the “greatest generation to the latest generation.”
Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program
With more than 250,000 Catholics between the ages of 18 and 29 on active duty, the U.S. military provides the Church with a tremendous pool of potential priestly vocations. These military members have chosen a vocation that demands sacrifice, self-discipline, obedience, and valor – all fundamental attributes for the priesthood or religious life. In the same way that all dioceses have an obligation to assist young men in the discernment of a vocation to the priesthood, the Archdiocese for the Military Services does her part in inviting and prayerfully guiding those in the military so that they are equipped to decide if they will enter a seminary for a US diocese or religious order.
In 2008, the AMS initiated a long-term program to recruit priestly vocations from the military for the benefit of US dioceses, religious orders and the armed forces. As part of the program the AMS has made a contractual commitment with US dioceses to fund 50% of the cost of the five years of seminarian education ($25,000 per year). In return, the candidate and diocese agree that, once ordained and having served in a parish for three years, the priest will commit to serve as a military chaplain in the Armed Forces for three years or more. There are 30 co-sponsored seminarians in the program from 22 US dioceses and studying in 16 seminaries.
Tax deductible donation
The AMS is a registered 501 c 3 not for profit organization under the rules of the IRS, and all donations are fully tax deductible.
Ways to Give
Development Office (202) 719-3622
Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA
P.O. Box 4469
Washington, DC 20017-0469