Runners hope to raise $55,000 to support pastoral service to Catholics in the Military and VA Medical Centers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Sunday, October 25, a team of more than 40 runners from 18 different states and the District of Columbia will compete in the 40th Annual Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) and 10K race to raise money for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). The runners include Catholic military chaplains, seminarians, priests, AMS staff, and friends of the archdiocese. They hope to raise $55,000 for the AMS—money that will support vocations, religious education, and other programs and services essential to keep Catholic servicemen and women, their families, and veterans in VA Medical Centers vitally connected to their faith.
This year, Team AMS will include among its ranks Father Arnel Ranada, CH (CPT), USA, currently stationed with AMS endorsement and faculties at Fort Bragg, N.C. It will be only his second marathon. “Running is not my passion,” Father Ranada admits, adding, “I just started last year.” He says he joined the team not only as a challenge to himself “to do something different,” but to support the practice of the Catholic faith in the U.S. Military. “I consider this a way to help Team AMS raise money and promote vocations to the priesthood,” he says. “Knowing that I’m running for a cause–for the AMS–is a huge inspiration for my Catholic military community and those considering priesthood as their vocation.”
Father Ranada has been taking the challenge seriously. “I’ve been running and going to the gym everyday. I’m also eating the right food and taking 7-8 hours of sleep. I keep my spirits high and pray that I can accomplish my goal as well as the AMS’s mission on this event.” He says the period of training and sacrifice has been not unlike the practice of abstinence during Lent. “Both physical and mind conditioning are helping me to be more attentive to my prayer,” he says, “and that keeps me spiritually motivated everyday.”
There are three ways to support Father Ranada and the other Team AMS runners. The first is by praying for the runners now during their final week of preparation and on race day. The second is by cheering on the runners along the race course through the scenic thoroughfares of the nation’s capital beginning in Arlington, Va. at 7:40 a.m. (EDST) on Sunday, October 25. For participants and spectators alike, the annual race has proven to be an exciting event, and runners find that crowd support goes a long way, especially toward the end of the race. Finally, you may financially sponsor a runner or make a general donation to help Team AMS reach the $55,000 fundraising goal.
To make a donation to Team AMS, visit www.milarch.org/TeamAMS2015.