Year of Faith Initiatives Encouraged for Catholics in U.S. Military and VA Medical Centers

AMS offers gatherings, resources and suggestions for faith communities to deepen knowledge

WASHINGTON, D.C. – With the “Year of Faith” beginning on Thursday, the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS) is encouraging Catholics in the United States military and VA Medical Centers to take meaningful advantage of the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the Faith. Pope Benedict XVI has declared the Year of Faith from October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, a period marking the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Catholics are asked to observe the occasion by studying the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism.

To facilitate reflection and rediscovery of the Faith, the AMS is encouraging Catholic military chaplains, active duty personnel, hospitalized veterans, and their families to participate in some archdiocesan initiatives especially developed for the Year of Faith. Those initiatives include gatherings, resources, and suggestions for Catholic Faith Communities.

Gatherings will include:

  • A Pilgrimage for Priests to the Holy Land.
  • The International Military Pilgrimage in Lourdes, France in May, 2013.
  • World Youth Day in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in July, 2013.
  • Ministry leader trainings at the Los Angeles RE Congress in February 2013, and the Baltimore Mid-Atlantic Congress in March 2013.

Resources include:

  • A soon-to-be-launched free application for mobile devices facilitating access to the documents of the Second Vatican Council and theCatechism of the Catholic Church and showing how the Church demonstrates its concern for the pastoral needs of those who defend their countries and promote freedom. Launch details about this free app will be posted on the AMS website, www.milarch.org.
  • A special Year of Faith section of the AMS website, highlighting resources, pilgrimages, prayers, and ongoing news. Visitwww.milarch.org/YearofFaith to keep informed throughout the year.

Suggestions for Catholic Faith Communities at military installations, VA Medical centers and other locations within AMS jurisdiction include:

  • Join the Military Download of the Month Club to receive nine free mp3 Catholic presentations from Lighthouse Catholic Media, allowing individuals to grow in faith in a non-gathered setting. A sign-up package will be delivered to each community. Learn more about these resources and the promotion packet at www.milarch.org/MDMCkit.
  • Compete against other communities in online quizzes about the Catholic Faith through CatholicQuiz.com. Each month the installations with the highest scores will be highlighted on the AMS website. Quizzes provide direct links to answers in the Bible or theCatechism. Some installations are using this resource to create live Catholic game shows and ‘Stump the Priest’ sessions by asking questions and finding out who knows the answers. Visit www.milarch.org/CatholicQuiz to learn more.
  • Subscribe to Young Adult Ministry in a Box—a toolkit, developed by Catholic young adult ministry leaders around the country, offering planning resources, outreach initiatives, ministry mentors, and new ideas every week. Find step-by-step strategies, planning guides, and liturgical resources that speak to the particular pastoral needs of young adults, such as Ash Wednesday. Learn more and subscribe at http://www.youngadultministryinabox.com.
  • Watch the 10-part film series, Catholicism: a Journey to the Heart of the Faith, copies of which Word on Fire Ministries donated to military installations throughout the AMS last February. In this amazing series Father Robert Barron poses this challenging statement, “If Jesus is who he says he is, then that demands a response.” Visit www.milarch.org/yofcatholicism for information about the series and take home reflection sheets created for the military.

Dr. Mark Moitoza, AMS Vice-Chancellor for Evangelization, said:

“The Year of Faith, as the Holy Father states in his Porta Fidei, will provide a time for reflection and rediscovery of the faith. A particular focus on the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church serve as the foundation to learn about the Catholic Faith. Through study, prayer, reflection, and action, all Catholics are being invited, once again, to be active participants in the New Evangelization. The archdiocese offers resources, prayers, and pilgrimages throughout the year for those who serve far from home, and the new app the archdiocese is launching will serve as a free digital resource putting the tools of faith into the hands of those who serve the United States while assigned across the globe.”

 

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The 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 chaplains serve at more than 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries, making the AMS the nation’s only global archdiocese. AMS-endorsed chaplains 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 Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, M.M.