Catholic Military Chaplains Launch Series of Convocations Focusing on “Priestly Resiliency”

Archbishop Broglio convenes first of four annual gatherings for chaplains “serving those who serve” around the world

Archbishop Timothy Broglio with Catholic U.S. military chaplains at Aug. 20-23, 2013 convocation in San Diego, Calif.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio with Catholic U.S. military chaplains at Aug. 20-23, 2013 convocation in San Diego, Calif.

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – More than 50 Catholic military chaplains gathered in San Diego last week for the first of four annual convocations to be held across the nation and in Rome over the next two months under the direction of His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services. The four-day gathering at the Admiral Kidd Catering and Conference Center on San Diego Bay was a period of prayer and reflection, dialogue, face-to-face meetings with Archbishop Broglio and informative presentations from guest speakers, clergy and staff members of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS). The chaplains will draw on their convocation experience, learning and inspiration to hone their vocational and pastoral attention as they embark on another year of priestly service to the men, women and families in the U.S. armed forces.

The principal focus of the convocation was “priestly resiliency;” specifically, how priests serving in the military can exercise adaptability to changing circumstances as they move from post to post while remaining attached to the teachings, life example and person of Jesus Christ. The theme centered around a talk and discussions led by His Excellency, the Most ReverendEdward J. Burns, Bishop of Juneau, Alaska and former Executive Director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Archbishop Broglio said:

“I place an immense value on these gatherings, because they offer the priests and me an opportunity to meet as a group, pray together, and discuss issues of interest. Bishop Burns offered rich presentations on finding our resiliency in the Lord and engaged the priests in a vibrant dialogue.”

The schedule also included a briefing on the archdiocese’s new faith formation program, Forming Disciples for the New Evangelization: Archdiocesan Religion Curriculum Guide, by AMS Faith Formation Director Jose Amaya; a discussion on selected issues in Canon Law by the AMS Judicial Vicar, Monsignor Thomas Olszyk; an update on current happenings within the archdiocese by the new AMS Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Monsignor John J.M. Foster; and a presentation on Lectio Divina by presenters from the American Bible Society—Father Alejandro Lopez-Cardinale, the Rev. Dr. John Edgar Caterson and Mario J. Paredes. The gathered priests celebrated daily Mass and joined in Morning and Evening Prayer throughout the course of the Aug. 20-23 convocation.

The gathering in San Diego was the first of four AMS convocations scheduled through late October across the U.S. and in Rome. By holding the convocation in four separate locations, the archdiocese cuts the distance and travel expense for chaplains based around the world to attend. Chaplains who did not attend the San Diego convocation will be able to attend one of those scheduled for Sept. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.; Sept. 23-27 in San Antonio, Texas; or Oct. 21-25 in Rome. Archbishop Broglio will attend and direct each convocation.

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 priests 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, the only official Web site for Catholics in the military and for the Cause of Father Vincent Capodanno, MM.