Archbishop Broglio Confirms Sons and Daughters of U.S. Military Personnel in Mass at National Shrine

Calls on those receiving confirmation to share their gifts to build the body of Christ

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fifty-two (52) young men and women, all sons and daughters of United States Military personnel stationed throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, were confirmed Saturday by His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services. Archbishop Broglio celebrated the confirmations in a 4 p.m. (EDST) Mass at the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

The young men and women, who have spent the past year in study and preparation for the final sacrament of initiation as adult members of the Catholic Church, belong to families stationed at five area military bases, including Fort George G. Meade, Fort Detrick, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Naval Support Activity – South Potomac, and Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling.

During his homily, Archbishop Broglio called on the initiates to consider the meaning of the first reading, Acts 4:32-35, in which the early Christian community was described as “of one heart and mind.

Archbishop Brolgio said:

“We are united in our Faith. We are also united in the sharing of the gifts that we have received. There is no one in this Crypt Church this evening who has not been endowed by almighty God with specific gifts, and those gifts are given not so we can pat ourselves on the back and say how good we are, and not given like the medals on a military uniform so that others can admire and perhaps be inspired to do likewise; they are given so that we can make use of what we have received so we can build the body of Christ, to form the body of Christ—to serve as pieces of the mosaic that form the Christian community and thus help everyone achieve that goal that we heard so eloquently described in that first reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

“And so today, you receive the gifts of the fullness of the Spirit so that you will have all the rights and privileges of adult members of the Catholic community, but with those rights and privileges come the corresponding duties and responsibilities, so that you too take your place and occupy your role in building up the body of Christ.”

In place of a material gift for Archbishop Broglio, the five bases joined together and waged a food collection drive for “So Others Might Eat”(SOME) in his honor.SOME is a local interfaith, community-based organization that helps the poor and homeless in the D.C. area. It serves over 1,000 meals daily and offers comprehensive programs that help to relieve suffering and give a sense of dignity to those in need. SOME was founded in 1970 by Father Horace McKenna, S.J. and other priests, ministers and lay persons.The goal of the drive was to collect enough nonperishable food and toiletry items to equal or exceed the combined weight of those attending confirmation classes from each base. The month-long effort collected a total of 5,953 pounds.

Catholic Religious Education Coordinator Lynn Wolfkill said: “We were thrilled to honor the Archbishop and also provide a community service opportunity for our confirmation students by allowing them the opportunity to make a big impact in the lives of those in need in our local area.”