Catholic Catechists in U.S. Military to Gather in Baltimore for Mid-Atlantic Congress Archbishop Broglio to give talk at appreciation dinner on Friday evening at headquarters of Catholic Relief Services

Archbishop Timothy Broglio speaks at the annual Mid-Atlantic Congress on Feb. 5, 2016, in Baltimore, Md.

BALTIMORE—Sixty-one religious educators and members of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), will be among Catholic lay leaders gathering in Baltimore, Md., this weekend for three days of training, discussion, and prayer at the 6th Annual Mid-Atlantic Congress (MAC) – Forming Catholic Leaders for Faith-filled Service. The Congress, co-sponsored by the Association of Catholic Publishers and the Archdiocese of Baltimore, gives diocesan and parish staff and volunteers an opportunity to explore temporal challenges facing Catholic leaders in the areas of management, finances, human resources, and planning. The Congress will take place at the Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt St. More than 1400 are registered to participate.

The AMS group, consisting of catechists and others from United States military installations throughout the United States, will focus on ways to develop catechetical leadership in faith formation programs for military families. On Friday evening, Feb. 17, at an appreciation dinner supported by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Equal Exchange Co-op, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, will address the importance of catechetical formation today. The gathering will take place at CRS headquarters, 228 W. Lexington St., from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. (EST) starting with a Solidarity Pilgrimage followed by Mass before dinner.

The Thursday-to-Saturday schedule is otherwise filled with showcases, breakout sessions, speeches and exhibits as well as the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Throughout the Congress, the AMS exhibit booth will feature an exhibit on Vietnam War hero and U.S. Navy Chaplain Father Vincent R. Capodanno, M.M., Servant of God.

This year, the Mid-Atlantic Congress is organized around the theme, “Blessed as Living Witnesses.” Mr. Jose Amaya, AMS Director of Faith Formation, said:

“The theme of the Mid-Atlantic Congress challenges us to be a living witness sharing the blessings we have received from God. In this spirit of living witnesses, the Archdiocese led by Archbishop Broglio will gather at the onset of the Congress to consider the four-year process of the National Fifth Encounter on Hispanic Ministry and how the Archdiocese can better respond to the Hispanic presence in the military. In addition to the workshops and the exhibit, the military catechists and leaders will have a memorable time together walking on a pilgrimage in solidarity with those on the peripheries, Mass with their Chief Shepherd, and learning about some of the cultures and needs of people around the world through meal and conversation. My prayer is that more installations will participate in these conferences in 2018.”

The AMS group includes representatives of Catholic Relief Services, the Equal Exchange Co-op, and lay leaders from the following military installations: Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aliamanu Military Reservation (AMR), Altus Air Force Base (AFB), Dover Air Force Base, Fort Meade, Fort Sill, and Joint Base Andrews. Special guests include Father Richard Poole from Dover AFB, Father Matthias Rendon from Fort Meade, and Capt. and Mrs. Donald B. Campbell of the Father Capodanno Guild.

AMS events and activities include the following:

National Fifth Encuentro Archdiocesan Team Training
Presenter: Mr. Javier Bustamante, Executive Director, Cultural Diversity and Outreach for the Archdiocese of Washington
Location: Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt St.
Date: Thursday, Feb. 16
Time: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 noon

Forming Families for Living the Catholic Faith
Presenters: Ms. Cindy Cline, Coordinator of Religious Education at Fort Sill; Ms. Lorrie Dyer, Certified Coordinator of Religious Education at Altus AFB; and Mr. Amaya.
Location: Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt St.
Date: Friday, Feb. 17
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m. (EST)

Receiving Baptized Non-Catholics into the Catholic Church: the Rite and Its Canonical Requirements
Presenter: Msgr. John J.M. Foster, J.C.D., Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia
Location: Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt St.
Date: Friday, Feb. 17
Time: 3:00-4:00 p.m. (EST)

AMS Leadership Appreciation Dinner
Speaker: His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA.
Location: Catholic Relief Services, 228 W. Lexington St.
Date: Friday, Feb. 17
Time: 6:50 p.m. (EST)

Spanish Language Panel Discussion on Catequesis Familiar
Panelist: Mr. Amaya
Location: Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt St.
Date: Saturday, Feb. 18
Time: 3:00-4:00 p.m. (EST)

Exhibit on Father Vincent R. Capodanno
Exhibitors: Capt. Donald and Mrs. Anne Marie Campbell of the Father Capodanno Guild
Location: Hilton Baltimore, 401 West Pratt St.
Date: Feb. 16-18

In Los Angeles next week, a similar congress will be held for dioceses mainly in the western United States. The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, sponsored by the Office of Religious Education of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, will be held Feb. 23 to 26 in Anaheim, Calif. Although the AMS will not hold a Leadership Appreciation Dinner on the west coast, the Archdiocese is encouraging Catholic catechists serving U.S. Military populations in the western part of the country to attend. For more information, go here.