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Final Results of the General Assembly and Annual Conference of Apostolat Militaire International in Split, Croatia, October 14-19, 2018
We serve Catholic. “Expanding circles”
The themes were “Expanding circles” and “Reconciliation”.
Sixty (60) members, delegates and friends of AMI coming from 15 different nations on4 continents took part at the 53rd AMI Conference and General Assembly in Split, Croatia, hosted in a perfect way by H.E. Jure Bogdan, Archbishop and his staff of the Military Ordinariate of Croatia.
During the conference, the theme of Reconciliation and all the aspects discussed in the recently published document regarding the vision of the AMI in the four year period 2018 – 2021 called “AMI Vision paper 2018-2021: expanding circles”, were examined.
The theme “reconciliation” was approached through the five levels and perspectives of military life, starting with the most internal circle: personal level, family/friends, unit level/chaplaincy/defence perspective, national level and multinational level. All these levels impact military life and its culture of commemoration and the religious dimension of the reconciliation with God. Examples of such reconciliation included (1) two cadets who presented their personal struggle to face God as they left seminary studies for military life, (2) a tool for reconciling returning military with their families, (3) stories from chaplains who were recently deployed on how to reconcile within their military units—including the sacrament of reconciliation, (4) senior Croatian military describing reconciliation with their neighbouring nations after their achievement of independence, and (5) messages for the hierarchy on the action of God’s grace in all steps of this process of reconciliation.
The conference participants confirmed the dual approach of the AMI vision paper. on the one hand in a pastoral sense placing the individual soldier at the centre of the AMI efforts and on the other hand reinforce the strategic level by advising the holy see, Catholic NGOs and other multinational organizations.
Additionally, and in accord with a recent document received from the Dicastery of laity, family and life, our conference underpinned the importance of the guidelines given by pope Francis as regards the protection of minors and the victims of sexual abuse and supports the pope’s reinforcements measures.
In order to deepen the topics covered in the “AMI vision paper” we discussed these in the following working groups: strategic advice, strategic communication, structuring AMI/quarterly discussion and the mobile AMI application (“tweeting with god” as a reference).
Results and abundant suggestions emerged from everyone according to a shared and collegial approach in the real tradition of AMI.
The first working group, strategic advice, agreed on the AMI vision paper and defined some focus points: intensify our relationships with the main stakeholders; increase the number of bi-lateral contacts to parallel agencies; to assign dedicated strategic advisors.
The second working group reviewed the draft of the strategic communication plan, drew up a four year action plan and formulated specific themes to work on for the coming period. For example activities focussed on young soldiers coming to the yearly Lourdes pilgrimage, sharing information about national activities and developing the AMI app.
The third working group, working on the structuring of AMI, renewed the importance of the associations of lay Catholic soldiers within each Military Ordinariate and gave even more prominence and emphasis both to the young soldiers coming to the international military pilgrimage in Lourdes – the main event for military catholic community worldwide – and to relationships with various UN organizations and NGOs. Concerning quarterly discussions, all agreed to stimulate a growth in faith through the support of specific group discussions using social media that can develop a vision on certain topics.
Concerning the AMI app the fourth working group succeeded in making an overall design of the mobile AMI app this will be specified with more details in the coming months with the intent to launch it at next years conference.
Overall we experienced an active, lively and fruitfull conference which provided insights in the complex theme of reconciliation and will activate AMI in delivering effects all in the spirit of our good faith.
More information can be obtained by the AMI Secretary General.
Documents and results of AMI Conference 2018 in Split are available here.