US Military Archbishop Notes Challenges of Family Ministry

Church Focuses Spotlight on Family Issues

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Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the US Archdiocese for the Military Services spoke with Vatican Radio last week as he was in Rome leading a group of military chaplains in days of prayer, reflection and formation.

The archbishop told Vatican Radio that ministry to families is one of the key areas of the archdiocese’s apostolate.

He explained that the pastoral care of families, which will be the theme of the 2014 synod of bishops, is also a major focus of the Military Archdiocese, which cares not only for service members, but for their spouses and dependents, as well. «Certainly the family is a very important area for the work of the archdiocese for military services,” he said. «It is also the area that has been most affected by the recent wars in which the United States has been involved.” 

Archbishop Broglio also discussed with the Radio the concerns of the Church in the United States regarding the poor, suffering and disadvantaged at home and around the world.

He said that the recently arrived US ambassador to the Holy See, Kenneth Hackett, who headed Catholic Relief Services for many years, is an exemplar of the Church’s commitment to works of charity. 

“In a certain sense,” he explained, “[Ambassador Hackett] incarnates the image of our charity on an international level.” 

Regarding the upcoming World Meeting of Families, to be hosted in Philadelphia in 2015, he said, «I am sure that the United States and her bishops will do everything possible to make certain that the welcome is worthy of the importance of the event.” 

The last World Meeting of Families was held in Milan, Italy, in 2012. As many as 350,000 people took part in three days of events. On the closing day, more than 1 million people gathered to take part in Mass offered by Pope Benedict XVI.

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