Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
In November 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a triennial National Collection for the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS). Our Archdiocese will hold the national collection for the AMS the weekend of November 9-10.
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 AMS 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 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.
The generosity of the Catholic community is appreciated and will continue to be essential for some time to meet the needs of those who are engaged in the US conflicts around the world. The AMS receives no funding from the U.S. Government or U.S. Military in support of its effort to provide pastoral care and services to the AMS faithful spread across the globe and who face constant transition and uncertainty.
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.
Please consider helping those who serve us in the military services when your parish takes up this collection this weekend. To learn more about the mission and ministry of the AMS, visit www.milarch.org
Sincerely yours in our Lord,
Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D.
Archbishop of Louisville