ALHAMBRA, CA. – How to discern God’s voice in everyday life? That was the question explored by thirty United States Military members and spouses in a three-day Military Young Adult Retreat held over the weekend in Alhambra, CA. The participants, who came from all five branches of the armed forces, gathered at the Retreat House of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles for the three-day retreat, which was sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). Serving as Retreat Master was Father Brian Klingele (pictured), Ch, Capt, USAF, of Creech Air Force Base (AFB) in Nevada. His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, was represented by AMS Auxiliary Bishop Joseph L. Coffey, Episcopal Vicar for Veterans Affairs.
The retreat gave participants time for prayer, a practical look at discernment, and how we are called to discern and follow God’s will. The schedule included talks, small group discussions, quiet time for reflection, and access to the Sacrament of Penance and Eucharistic adoration. Among participants were fifteen marines, five sailors, four airmen, two soldiers, a coastguardsman, and three military spouses. They came from nearly a dozen U.S. Military installations across the West, including Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, CA; the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, CA; Creech AFB, NV; Gowen Field, ID; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; Luke AFB, AZ; U.S. Coast Guard Station Valdez, AK; Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) Kaneohe Bay, HI; Kings Bay, GA; Naval Base San Diego, CA; and Naval Station Everett, WA.
The retreat organizer, AMS Associate Director of Young Adult Ministry Casey Bustamante said the retreat accomplished its purpose. “The retreat was a spiritually enriching experience for all,” she said. “Several of the retreatants said the retreat was the first they had been to as a participant in quite awhile. Some had not even attended a retreat since their confirmation retreat as teenagers. What seemed to be the most fruitful was the interaction among all the retreatants. Since everyone was coming from different locations, it was crucial to have the opportunity to share what one’s experience of military life was like in their respective lives. The retreatants shared similar struggles of striving to live lives as Catholics in the military, but they left renewed by the encouragement of knowing they are not alone and the hope that God is at work in their everyday life.”
Anyone interested in making a future Military Young Adult Retreat may contact Ms. Bustamante at YoungAdultMinistry@milarch.org.