Hand-over, take-over Executive Committee in Rome
From Monday 11 till Friday 15 December the old and the new Executive Committee of AMI were gathered in Rome, to say farewell to many institutions and persons in the Vatican, and to introduce the newly elected ExeCom consistent of Vice admiral (ret) Matthieu Borsboom, president, Capt RNLN (ret) Frank Marcus, vice-president
BGen (ret) Father Patrick Dolan, ecclesiastical Assistant AMI and Colonel Domenico D’Ortenzi, secretary general.
Meetings and brainstorm
Tuesday morning we started with a meeting of the old and new ExeCom. Opinions were exchanged and lots of questions of the new ExeCom could be answered. Afterwards thenew team started working with a brainstorm about the new Vision paper with the goals and themes of AMI 2018-2021.
Pontifical Counsel for Culture and the Forum of Catholic Inspired NGO’s
Tuesday afternoon we met H.E. Cardinal Ravasi and his Secretary Melchor Sanchez de Toca Y Alameda of the Pontifical Council for Culture. It was a very cooperative meeting and Cardinal Ravasi offered to collaborate with AMI in the future.
Later on we visited the “Forum of Catholic Inspired NGO’s”, gathered in Rome for the third time. We assisted together with the members of the Forum the Holy Mass, celebrated by H.E. Cardinal Parolin, to whom we could talk after the Holy Mass and introduce the new team.
Cardinal Parolin emphasized the importance of the work of AMI, because it is unique as a lay organisation within the Catholic Church. Vice admiral Matthieu Borsboom promised the Cardinal to present within 3 or 4 months a vision document in which AMI truly wants to position itself in close proximity to the soldier, help foster an intercultural dialogue, and promote awareness among soldiers that they are (1) one family, which is loved, (2) one community, that is building (peace), and that they are (3) one church spreading the Gospel—and that they are doing all of this even at the ultimate sacrifice of their lives.
Wednesday morning we had a meeting with Archbishop Santo Marcianò who is very committed and we were invited to assist Holy Mass in the Santa Caterina, church of the Military ordinariate. It was a special celebration for the men and women serving in the Italian Coast guard.
Later that day we spoke to Padre Julio Cerchietti from the office for the coordination of Military ordinariates, asking for what from his point of view could be useful to work on for AMI.
On Thursday we had a lot of meetings scheduled. We started at the State Secretariat were we talked to Dottoressa Fermina Alvarez and Assessor for General Affairs Mons. Paolo Borgia, introducing the new ExeCom and speaking about the future work of AMI. The new president Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom talked about the vision document the new ExeCom is going to draw up in the upcoming 3 to 4 months.
Later the day AMI met in Trastevere at the Dicastery for Human Development, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, and had the opportunity to shake hands with the head of the Dicastery Cardinal Turkson. One can state, that Archbishop Tomasi became a real friend of AMI. We know him already from the first Forum of Catholic Inspired NGO’s in 2010. He worked with the UN in Geneva and recognizes quite clear the importance of our military expertise.
The last meeting, this Thursday, at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life was also a successful one. We met the new Secretary Fr. Awi Mello and again an old friend, Dottore Philip Milligan.
For the old ExeCom it was time to say goodbye. The new one is going to work out new ideas in the vision paper and has the intention of lifting AMI to a new level.