Sunday, November 6 is the National Collection for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), whose mission is “Serving Those Who Serve.”
I served for 11 years as a military priest-chaplain with the 193rd Special Operations Wing in Harrisburg and went on two different deployments and many other missions. I saw first-hand the important role that the Catholic chaplain plays in the lives of our men and women in uniform:
- Stationed at Landstuhl Hospital in Germany during the height of our military operations in Iran and Afghanistan, I was privileged to provide the Sacraments to our injured service members and to minister to the medical and other personnel who care for them.
- Stationed in the Middle East from 2019-2020, I was able to be a presence for our men and women away from home. I celebrated the Sacraments and brought people into the Church. I offered a pastoral presence and a visible reminder of the Holy One to everyone—whether Catholic or not.
Your support of the AMS provides vital pastoral and support services to our Catholic chaplains in every part of the world, on every military installation, in U.S. embassies and other State Department facilities.
This weekend’s triennial collection, approved by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will help meet costs necessary to provide spiritual programs and services to our service members. Please consider giving generously to this worthy cause. If you are unable to give today, you can still donate online through the Archdiocese of the Military Services website, www.milarch.org. As Veterans Day approaches, there is no better way to care for the wounded, honor the fallen, and continue the mission of Serving Those Who Serve.
(Father John Bateman is pastor of St. Patrick Parish in York, Director of the Diocese’s Deacon Formation Program, and a Canonical Consultant in the Diocesan Tribunal.)
By Father John Bateman, Special to The Witness