WASHINGTON, DC – Nineteen Catholic U.S. Military families based in Europe will participate in an Aug. 17-19 Catholic Family Retreat sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), at the Schoenstatt Retreat Center in Vallendar, Germany. The weekend retreat is timed in anticipation of the Aug. 21-26 World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland.
Under the theme “Let’s Talk Family, Let’s Be Family,” the Catholic Family Retreat will bring the 19 families—104 participants in all—from U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force installations in Germany and Italy together for a series of discussion sessions, prayer, a walking rosary, and Holy Mass. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, will take part.
The Catholic Family Retreat was organized by the AMS Office of Evangelization. Vice-Chancellor Mark Moitoza, Th.D., D. Min., is overseeing planning and logistics. Dr. Moitoza said:
“The AMS Family Retreat affords a space for busy military families to take time to pray together. Frequent moves and trainings place many demands on family life. The stress of continually planning ahead can overlook the gift of the past or even the present moment, too. In Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) the Holy Father speaks about the perceived tension between family life now and the call to live the Gospel more fully. Pope Francis encourages families to trust in God over time to cooperate with His grace, which bridges that tension, recognizing growth over time. Thanks to donors of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, families will be able to gather, pray, share, and celebrate at the beautiful Schoenstatt Retreat Center.”
The Catholic Family Retreat starts with a Friday night welcome and prayer session and ends with lunch following a late Sunday morning Mass. Just two days later, the World Meeting of Families will draw thousands of families from all over the world to Ireland. Pope Francis will participate. The AMS will be represented by the Most Rev. Richard B. Higgins, Archbishop Broglio’s Episcopal Vicar for Veterans Affairs.