May God bless you!
In 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a special triennial collection for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), and the first collection was conducted in 2013. This year, the recommended date for the collection is November 5-6, 2016.
This Archdiocese for the Military Services was established by Saint John Paul II in 1985 to provide the Catholic Church’s full range of pastoral ministries to those in the United States Armed Forces, which includes those men and women who serve in our own territory at Fort Knox. The mission of the Archdiocese is to “serve those who serve” by providing the same pastoral care and services as any other Catholic diocese to Catholics serving in the United States Armed Forces, enrolled in U.S. Military Academies, undergoing treatment at any of the 153 Department of Veterans Affairs’ Medical Centers in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Guam, working in civilian jobs for the federal government beyond U.S. borders, and the families of these populations. This Archdiocese is responsible for more than 1.8 million men, women, and children.
Programs and services vital to the unique mission and ministry of the Archdiocese include vocations, evangelization and catechesis, sacramental records, the Tribunal, and veterans’ affairs. The work to cooperate with God’s call to invite men to the priesthood is an especially critical need as our nation and Church continue to depend on this generation of future priests to relieve a chronic shortage of Catholic chaplains in the military.
With an annual operating budget of more than $6.8 million, the Archdiocese for the Military Services receives no funding from the military or the government in support of the programs outlined above and relies solely on private donors. This includes the cost of maintaining an archive of more than 3 million sacramental records, a tribunal to adjudicate marriage annulments and other issues of canon law, and religious education and faith-formation programs.
Please consider helping those who serve us in the military services when your parish takes up this collection this weekend or at another time. To learn more about the mission and ministry of the AMS, visit www.milarch.org/nationalcollection.com.
Sincerely yours in our Lord,
Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville