Lourdes PMI 2023 – The participation of the Apostolat Militaire International

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From May 11 to 15, the AMI president and his two vice presidents took part in the 63rd military pilgrimage to Lourdes. They followed the NL national, International and AMI program. 

The traditional gathering of AMI friends was hosted by the Austrian delegation in a very hospitable manner, for which we thank them. During the gathering attention was paid to, among other things, the CMC app by means of folder material and a card specially printed for this pilgrimage with, among other things, the QR code to the app stores.

9,000 of these cards were also distributed at the end of the international opening celebration at the Basilica by 25 young military cadets who volunteered from the NL delegation. 

A nice gesture towards AMI came from a Dutch lady who participates in the PMI for many years. 

She took the initiative to renovate the AMI Flagholder, including goldplating the top, spending 250€ which she offered as a gift. She handed over the flag-holder and AMI flag at a short ceremony to the AMI president.


In advance to the PMI the AMI Presidium had offered all participating countries to give short presentations about AMI and CMC app. Only a few countries responded positively. Next year we have to see how we can improve that. Some countries indicated that their program was already too full to fit this in. In the end, Italy, Austria and the United Kingdom offered space for a presentation. Unfortunately, this did not work out with Italy for agenda reasons. The presentations to Austria and Great Britain were given by the AMI president and Michel Remery, of the organization Tweeting with God. They proceeded in a very positive interactive atmosphere.


Even more important were the consultations that the AMI president had with various authorities. For example, the Ukrainian version of the CMC app was finally approved by the Ukrainian patriarch. Our AMI president heard this during a conversation he had with the Ukraine vice minister of defense and the bishop which was confirmed by mail to Ft Remery. Therefore the Ukrainian translation of the CMC app is formally launched thanks to a generous donation by an international Catholic fund.

Matthieu Borsboom also met many military bishops during a joint conference with about 100 attendees (ambassadors, defence attachees). There Michel Remery on invitation by Bishop de Romanet gave an introduction on Artificial Intelligence/information warfare in the Ukrainian war. Matthieu delivered a speech on AMI and use of the CMC app, also delivering QR cards to all participants in person. 


US archbishop Broglio confirmed green light for the establishment of the new lay organization CMA-US. Great news on which the AMI-EC worked hard behind the screens. The new organisation will attend the AMI conference in Mechelen. The AMI president also informed the new head of the delegation of the Knights of Columbus, of this milestone.


Agreements were made with the French bishop Antoine de Romanet about formally inviting an AMI delegation to the PMI2024. He complimented AMI on the theme of the London AMI conference 2022 on Moral Injury. Matthieu told him after our conference at a university a Moral Injury centre was established. Bishop De Romanet is now organising a French military conference on Modal Injury understanding the importance of the topic AND the relevance for military chaplains to play an important role in Moral Injury prevention and healing. 


Discussions have been held with the Irish delegation on how they could become a full or associated member of AMI. Father Hanrahan, the Irish chief army chaplain, has promised to come to Mechelen for the conference in any case.


On sunday evening we attended a concert hosted by the German delegation. There Matthieu met Military Bishop Overbeck, and in entourage also the president of GKS, Uli Schaeffer and also Gereon Gräf, chairman of the “Katholikenrates” (GKS counterpart). Both organizations stated that they will send a delegate to Mechelen coming September.

Finally it is worthwhile telling that the Netherlands where responsible for a very successful Marial light procession,which was the last event under the guidance of Frank Marcus, who gave over his chairmanship of NL PMI after 16years. He was awarded the Military Ordinariate commemorative coin during a ceremony by the Dutch Military Bishop de Jong. Next PMI he will have even more time for AMI matters  🙂 . 

All in all a very rewarding Pelgrimage for AMI, for the Nations and all military attending. 

Hail, Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with thee.