For God and Country Retreat

Ten priests walk the opening procession for Mass at the “For God and Country” Retreat for prospective new military chaplains in Washington, DC, on June 25, 2019.

The AMS held its fourth all-expenses-paid discernment retreat for priests who are already incardinated in a U.S. diocese or religious order and currently engaged in pastoral service, but who may sense a further call to military chaplaincy. The retreat, called “For God and Country: a Call to Serve Those Who Serve,” was held June 24-28, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

During the four-day gathering, AMS clergy, staff, and chaplains joined Archbishop Broglio in giving the priests a realistic picture of what it is like to be a military chaplain and how to become one.

This retreat and the four earlier retreats of this type held by the AMS are meant to help relieve a chronic shortage of Catholic U.S. Military chaplains, whose ranks are dwindling due to attrition: aging chaplains are reaching military retirement faster than they can be replaced. Currently, some 205 priests are on active duty, fewer than half the number serving at the time of 9/11.