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After two years of the pandemic, on 28 February and 1 March, the Executive Committee of the Apostolat Militaire International (AMI) returned to Rome for its annual meetings with the Holy See.
In particular, the following meetings took place:
– Cardinal Parolin, Secretary of State of the Holy See;
– Rev. Father Awi Mello, Secretary of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life;
– Sister Alessandra Smerilli, Secretary of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development;
– the Officials of the Secretariat of State, Ms Fermina Alvarez and Monsignor Joseph Grech;
– Father Giulio Cerchietti, Congregation for Bishops – Central Office for Military Ordinariates.
On these occasions, the AMI Executive Committee presented the main initiatives carried out by AMI since 2020 during the pandemic using the modalities of videoconferences, video calls and document sharing via email:
– London Declaration: a document of intent was published (2021) in which the concept of ‘Just Peace’ and Catholic social teaching were highlighted from a military perspective. This document, which is very timely especially in view of recent events on the international scene, follows two earlier documents published, the AMI Conference in Rome in 2000 and the AMI Conference in Berlin in 2010;
– App for smart-phone called “Catholic Military Connect”: although the App is completed and its launch was scheduled for 1 March, due to recent events in Ukraine, the official launch of the App has been postponed to the coming months;
– World Meeting of Families (WMOF) in Rome in June 2022: AMI will be present with its own members even through the member nations of our organization;
– Via Crucis – Way of the Cross: on Good Friday 15 April 2022, AMI will present its Way of the Cross through a video with the 15 Stations of the Cross read by military personnel and military chaplains from all AMI member nations;
– International Military Pilgrimage to Lourdes May 2022: as usual, AMI will be present in Lourdes and it will be an opportunity both to spread the Christian message of AMI from a military perspective and to share and download the new App “Catholic Military Connect“;
– AMI Conference 2022 in London: the Conference and 57th General Assembly of the AMI has been confirmed to take place in London thanks to the hospitality of the Catholic Military Ordinary Monsignor Paul Mason, which will be held from 21 to 26 August 2022 with the theme “Leadership, example, care and witness. The challenges of the Catholic soldier”;
– Synodal Process: AMI has recently drafted a document entitled “The Synodal Process in Military Ordinariates and the Commitment of the International Military Apostolate” which emphasises listening according to a process based on specific readings of Bible texts suitable for military personnel; listening to the life experiences of military personnel and the role of faith in such events (with a reference to the document AMI good practice in the formation of Catholic military laity); following the shared reading of events related to war and peace as well as the involvement of the military sphere in such events; and lastly, the search for links between faith and military service that can give inspiration to other military personnel to become new Catholics or for a rediscovery of faith in military service through greater involvement. Furthermore, AMI Executive Committee discussed the role of AMI in Holy See’s synodal process and how to contribute through the national Bishop conferences or via the member nations Military Ordinariates;
– Statement on Ukraine: during the days of meetings with the Holy See, the Apostolat Militaire International published a statement strongly condemning the war in Ukraine expressing great sorrow and strong compassion with the Ukrainian people. We hope and pray that the violence and human suffering will end soon.