2013 AMI activity

This post is also available in: English Nederlands Italiano Deutsch Français Español

DECEMBER 2013 and beyond


DECEMBER 2013 – Marry Christmas and Happy New Year

“This small table-altar I bought some years ago, when times still were better, in Syria.
The Presidency of AMI wish you all
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
May just peace be possible for Syria and so many other countries!

And, working already for 2015:
Feliz Navidad y todo lo mejor para el año 2014!”

Norbert Sinn, President of AMI, December 2013



Dear friends of AMI!

As you know from our last conference in Slovenia we have decided to start a social project to collect money for the construction of a “Military Chapel” in Gambia.

Our friend from Gambia, Fr Joseph Carl Gomez, asked AMI for a helping hand. The estimated costs are about 800.000 dalasi, that’s about 18.000 Euro. The Austrian Association of Catholic Soldiers (AKS) has already initiated a successful fund-raising campaign. I hope that until our AMI General Assembly 2014 in Slovakia other AMI members and associated countries will support our project too. At the end of next year we will transfer the donations to our friends in Gambia.

With all the best
God bless you



The military chaplaincy started on 9th June 2010 with the enlistment of Rev. Fr. Joseph Carl Gomez as military chaplain. The idea was born out a happy coincidence when both the army and the diocese of Banjul were thinking of how to supply the spiritual need of the Christian soldiers in particular and the entire Gambia armed Forces in general. Consequently when the issue came up at our Presbyterian meeting, I offered myself for the task. I operated as a civilian on August 15 2011 when I did my basic infantry training which ended in November.


So far so good there is no conductive place for us to use as a prayer ground. We currently hold prayer services and masses in mess halls amidst all forms of distractions. On the other hand, the Muslims have their mosques in all the camps. It will be good to mention however that the mosques were neither built by the army nor by the state. They were sponsored and built by some Islamic agents. The Muslims form the majority and its obvious that they have mosques in every corner. Our therefore is to have a chapel in one of the camps to started with. We have already secured a site in the 1stInfantry Bn (Yundum) and have got approval to build a chapel for Christians anytime we can. The statistics for the Christian soldiers is Six Hundred. Despite the dominance by Muslims, we are recognized and we all coexist and correlate very well and respect each other’s religious values.



download the letter



Understanding Gaudium et Spes and Pacem in Terris as they apply today in Military Service and for AMI



In loving memory of our AMI friend and delegate Rev Fr (Maj) Charles Patrick Assai who died August 8 2013. We shall remember Father Assai during our next conference and in our prayers.

Attached you will find a letter of the passing away of Father Assai.



AMI’s president visited on August, 16 Marianka, one of the most famous places of Pilgrimage of Slovakia, situated at the slopes of the lower Carpathian Mountains. Unfortunately Military Bishop Frantisek Rabek was absent, but it was possible to leave a message for him there. It was brethren Tomasz Prajsendanc from Poland who took the message for him.



In August 2013 the President of AMI and his spouse Ida had their 40th wedding anniversary. They celebrated it together with family, friends of AMI and the Association of Catholic Soldiers of the Austrian Armed Forces.


JULY 2013 – INVITATION and PROGRAM from our UPCOMING ASSEMBLY is now online

We are very much obliged and thankful to our Slovenian friends hosting and preparing the annual AMI General Assembly 2013.

In particular, we would like to thank the representatives of our host country Vicar General Monsignore Dr. Jože Plut and Military Chaplain Milan Pregelj for all their preparatory work and theit wonderful support.

For the second time in the history of AMI the AMI General Assembly and Conference will take place in Slovenia at the St. Joseph Spiritual Center in Celje from 08 to 13 September 2013

The proposed themes of the 2013 conference Slovenia will be:

New understanding/explanation of Vaticanum II.

1. Analyses of Gaudium et Spes by Mgr. Werner Freistetter as an introduction on the theme of 2013.
2. How to understand Gaudium et Spes 50 years after Vaticanum II.
3. Year of Faith and the 50th Birthday of Pacem in Terris.
4. Worth fighting for our values, questions of Just Peace

Invitation AMI Conference
Invitation Mgr. Stres
Program General Assembly 2013



In accordance with the international AMI friendship and cooperation AMI Vice President and Liaison Officer Colonel Michael JEDLIČKA had the honour to sing with his choir in England and Slovakia.

The invitation for a choir performance was offered by two Military Bishops – His Excellency Bishop Richard Moth and His Excellency Bishop František Rábek. It was a wonderful experience to provide the musical contribution of the holy Mass with the Mass B flat Major from the Austrian composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel at the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. George in Aldershot, Hampshire , England and at the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in Bratislava, Slovakia. The A Capella Choir Weinviertel from Austria and Colonel Michael JEDLIČKA are very grateful for this impressive experience.



Almost fifty years ago AMI was founded in Santiago di Compostela in northwestern Spain. Therefore AMI has the intention to go back to the roots, by organizing the 2015 conference in Spain and Santiago.

The weekend of June 22-24, 2013 brought the first preparatory meeting for the 50th anniversary of AMI with the Arzobispado Castrense.

In fact we met old friends, and during our meetings with H.E. Monsignore Juan del Rio Martin, Ordinario Militar de Espana, the Minister of Defence, H.E. Don Pedro Morenés y Alvarez de Eulate we received quite a lot of understanding, friendship and the strong will to support our idea.

Beside our talks with many responsibles of the Ministry of Defence we were invited to assist the holy mess in one of the garrison’s churches and had, together with Don Lorenzo a holy mess on Monday noon.

Further talks will be necessary in the upcoming year and we hope that Spain will take part already in this year’s conference in Celje/Slovenia to contribute in our goals and to look, how Slovenia is organizing our conference.

for the pictures follow the link to our Madrid gallery



More than 10.500 soldiers, coming from 39 nations, assisted the 55th International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes from 22nd to 26th may, 2013.
It was a meeting of young and elder soldiers and many injured or handicaped military persons came for prayer at the cave of St. Bernadette, too.
Many of the friends of AMI worldwide were present and used the time for prayer, friend – and comradship and renewing old relationships.
AMI used the opportunity to get into contact again with our partners from Africa , America, Asia and Europe. Saturday afternoon the president informed about aims and work of AMI for strengthening Christian values in the Armed Forces during a symposium, organised by the military bishop of France, His Excellency Luc Ravel. AMI follows the endeavour to find new members and friends during this pilgrimage.

For the complete pictures follow this link to our Lourdes Picture gallery.



From 5 to 6 April, 2013 a preparatory meeting for this year’s AMI-conference took place in Celje/Slovenia. It will take place at St. Josefs House in Celje/Slovenia. Meanwhile the program is more or less complete, conference rooms and accomodation are defined.


MARCH 2013 – HAPPY EASTER to all our members, friends and associates


MARCH 2013 – AMI Executive Council – Working Visit to the Vatican

The Executive Council of the Apostolat Militaire International (AMI) led by Major General Norbert Sinn completed a working visit to Rome. On the agenda were following topics:

A meeting in the Vatican Secretariat of State in the Section for Relations with States (also known as the Second Section). The Secretary of State (Latin “secretariatus status”) is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the government of the Roman Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of Vatican City and the Holy See. The Secretariat is divided into two sections, the Section for General Affairs and the Section for Relations with States, known as the First Section and Second Section, respectively. The Vatican is very interested in the activities of the AMI and welcomes an international military presence of the Catholic lay apostolate. The AMI team had a very fruitful conversation with the interlocutor of the Vatican Secretariat of State Dotoressa Fermina Alvarez Alonso.

A meeting at the Council of the Central Office for Pastoral Coordination of Military Ordinariates, at the Congregation of Bishops, Vatican. The Congregation for Bishops (Latin: “congregatio per episcopis”) is a central authority in the Roman Catholic Church and responsible for all matters relating to bishops. The intermediary of the Ecclesiastical Assistant of AMI, Episcopal Vicar Monsignore Dr. Werner Freistetter, has contributed to have an enlightening conversation with Padre Giulio Cerchietti. AMI seeks to establish contacts with other countries by cooperating with other military lay organisations working in the cause of peace and supporting the work of the Catholic chaplaincy in their armed forces.

Preparation-meeting of the AMI annual general assembly in Slovenia.

Visiting the Austrian military attaché in Italy, Brigadier Wolfgang Bäck.


FEBRUARY 2013 – MMI Supporters’ Weekend

AMI has been invited to attend a conference of the Military Ministries International (MMI). According to the motto “Travelling together- are we really all in Jesus Christ?” the so called “2013 MMI Supporters’ Weekend” was held at Windmill Farm, Oxfordshire on 2-3 March 2013. The supporters weekend is helping Christians in the military to make a difference throughout many of the worlds trouble spots.

The attending AMI-team with our President Major General Norbert Sinn, his wife Ida, Secretary General Nelleke Swinkels van de Vorst and Colonel Michael Jedlička was deeply impressed about the excellent organisation of this meeting , about the warm hospitality and especially about the strong and assured Christian faith of our MMI sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ.

Major General Sinn thoroughly acqainted the participants with AMI and the International Catholic lay apostolate. The discussion that followed was very fruitful and full of mutual understanding.

Information about MMI:

MMI exists to see the kingdom of God established and growing in the armed forces of the world. MMI seeks to achieve its mission though facilitating conferences, seminars, retreats, symposiums, training events and the like at local, national, regional and international level throughout the regions MMI operates in: Africa, Europe South Asia and The Middle East. MMI supports these activities and builds and maintains relationships with individual Christians through correspondence and communication and by regular visits to Christians in the armed forces in these regions. By serving Christians and chaplaincies in the military worldwide MMI is helping many of todays military Christians be a force for good at an international level. That is why the motto is “Building Disciples – Sh

tions about MMI: http://www.m-m-i.org.uk/).

lecture of our president at the supporters weekend
presentation of our president at the supporters weekend


JANUARY 2013 – The WORKING PERIOD of the AMI-PRESIDENCY TEAM started at 10. JANUARY 2013 in Cologne/Germany

LTC Preuss from GERMANY and CLC Mia Devriese from BELGIUM have volunteered to take over responsibilities as the new AMI-auditors. During the meeting of the AMI Executive Council in Cologne they made the cash audit together with our AMI – treasurer Adjudant ret. Herman Vriesema for the financial affairs of AMI during the year 2012.

The AMI Executive Council used time for intensive talks on the preparation of the next AMI General Assembly in Slovenia and on the statutes of AMI to revise them as suggested by the Pontifical Council of the Laity.

The theme of the next AMI Conference will be:

New understanding/explanation of Vaticanum II.”

  1. Analyses of Gaudium et Spes by Mgr. Werner Freistetter as an introduction on the theme of 2013.

  2. How to understand Gaudium et Spes 50 years after Vaticanum II.

  3. Year of Faith and the 50th Birthday of Pacem in Terris.

  4. Worth fighting for our values, questions of Just Peace

The AMI Executive Council consisting of AMI- President Major General Mag. Norbert Sinn, his wife Ida, the 1. AMI- Vice-President and Liaison Officer Colonel Michael Jedlička and the AMI- Secretary General Nelleke Swinkels – van de Vorst, the auditors-team and the new President of the Austrian association of Catholic soldiers Brigadier Martin Jawurek have been invited to join the Holy Mass on the occasion of the World Day of Peaceat 10. JANUARY 2013 in the Cathedral of Cologne. It was a wonderful and touching experience to celebrate Holy Mass with the main celebrantArchbishop Joachim Cardinal Meisner and the 1500 German and International soldiers. Following the service it was an honour for the AMI-members to take part at the reception, hosted by the German community of Catholic soldiers (GKS) and the German Defence Minister Dr. Thomas de Maiziére.