WASHINGTON, D.C. – Approximately 2,250 Catholics gathered in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Pentecost Sunday for a 4:30 p.m. (EDST) Mass to honor the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces, particularly those who paid the ultimate price for American liberty.The 24th Annual Memorial Mass of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), which was attended by service members from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, opened with a posting of the colors and the singing of the National Anthem.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, was the principal celebrant and homilist. In the pulpit, Archbishop Broglio prayerfully remembered all U.S. veterans, service members, military chaplains, and their families, particularly the infirm and faithful departed:
“We are here primarily because men and women have repeatedly renounced their own interests, put their security at risk, and gone forth to defend our Nation, her friends, and the innocent all over. Let us give thanks and pray for those who have died in the service of our Country, those who still carry the wounds of their service in body and in mind, the families who have sacrificed while loved ones were far away or did not return, and those veterans who have succumbed on the final journey. So also we pray for all of those priests who have served the faithful of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and are listed in the worship aid. We also pray for those at the service of the federal Government outside our borders. May they be ambassadors of peace and justice…
“Pentecost and this memorial celebration are all about gifts given and shared. The gifts of the Spirit are the opposite of the awards and medals given by the military. The latter recognize service and jobs well done. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to be shared and to enable us to do great things. The power of the Spirit is overwhelming and can fill us up, but only if we open ourselves to Him. Then we can overcome the tyranny imposed by the flesh as St. Paul teaches. There are three dimensions of this gift: ability to witness to Christ, to grow from immaturity in the faith to a fullness, and to understand the events of our time and update our understanding of the word and work of Jesus in every era…
“In a society that often denies the existence of absolute truth, we can be intimidated in our quest to share that unique truth about the Lord and Savior of the universe. We might be tempted to remain silent. Pope Francis reminds us that “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. … indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.” (Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, n. 120.)
Go here to read the full text of Archbishop Broglio’s homily.
The Memorial Mass concluded with the sounding of Taps.
EWTN will televise the Memorial Mass in its entirety across North America on Memorial Day—Monday, May 28, 2018—at 11:30 a.m. (EDST).