On Sunday, Nov. 3, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, visited Air Base 101 in Niamey, Niger. Archbishop Broglio traveled first to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and then to Niamey in support of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international charity of the Catholic Church in the United States whose Board of Trustees has many bishops from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). In Niger, CRS is funding local children’s education, hygiene programs, and refugees arriving from Libya or internally displaced.
Archbishop Broglio said, “I’m here with CRS to make a visit of solidarity to the two local Catholic Bishops in Niger. I was happy to visit the Catholic Community at Air Base 101, celebrate Sunday Mass with them, and to visit Father Ryan Boyle, Ch., Maj., USAF, the Catholic chaplain. It is always a privilege to visit the men and women serving our country, especially in deployed locations.”
During his visit to Air Base 101, Archbishop Broglio met with the Commander of the 768th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron (EABS), Lieutenant Colonel Derick Cooper and was invited by the Commander of the Bilateral Mission in Support of the Republic of Niger, Italian Army Brigadier General Claudio Dei, to bless a monument for fallen Italian soldiers in preparation for the 100th Anniversary of the Italian Armed Forces on November 4.
After the ceremony, the Archbishop celebrated a Sunday Mass for all personnel at Air Base 101. Following Mass, Italian Army Corporal Antonio Tassone said, “To have the opportunity for Mass with the Archbishop was a blessing while being deployed here in Niger.”
Upon conclusion of the visit, Master Sergeant Larry Wright, the 768 EABS First Sergeant, said, “We very much appreciate Archbishop Broglio coming out to visit our Airmen. His presence was a breath of fresh air and will not be forgotten!” Archbishop Broglio will continue his work with CRS in Niamey for the remainder of the week.