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The Texas Women’s Project

By First Lady Mary Evans

Vol. 4, 2016-2017

Mary Evans2

The Texas Women’s Project continues its proud support of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS) for the upcoming two years. The funds raised by us during the next two years will go the U.S. Archdiocese of Military Services for the “Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program”. This scholarship program helps fund the education of seminarians preparing to become Catholic Chaplains in the United States Armed Forces.

We are proud to assist in providing the means to sponsor a new generation of much needed Catholic Chaplains to minister to our military service members and their families.

Thank You for your generous support!

Mary Evans

First Lady

Let Your Light Shine

Some facts about the Archdiocese for the Military Services:

Established by Pope John Paul II in 1985, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS), is the only U.S. diocese responsible for the pastoral care of:

men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard)

men and women enrolled at a U.S. Military Academy (U.S Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy)

men and women treated as a patient at any of the 153 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers
men and women working for the federal government beyond U.S. borders

Including families of those listed above, AMS priests and deacons serve approximately 1.8 million Catholics who hail from 50 states and U.S. territories. All U.S. dioceses (all dioceses in Texas) have faithful served by the AMS.

Programs and services vital to the AMS mission, “Serving Those Who Serve,” include Evangelization and Catechesis, Veterans Affairs, Sacramental Records, Tribunal, Vocations, and the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program.

The Office of Evangelization supports military Catholic faith community leaders with digital tools, on-site training, and suitable pastoral ministry resources to assist military personnel and their families on the move.

The AMS is the sole endorser of Catholic priests to serve in 153 Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Guam. AMS priests provide daily availability of the Mass and the sacraments of penance and anointing of the sick; they provide pastoral support and counseling to veteran patients, their families, and the staff who care for them.

The Office of Sacramental Records maintains almost 4 million records of sacraments celebrated on US. Military installations and Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers since 1920 at the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center in Washington, D.C. The AMS has no parishes or parish registries, which starkly contrasts the model of traditional diocesan parishes.

The Tribunal functions as a court for the Archdiocese, working mainly with cases for possible nullity of marriage, also handling canonical questions for the priests, deacons, and the faithful of the AMS.

The AMS Office of Vocations informs and supports men exploring a priestly vocation with a focus on the military chaplaincy. An annual vocations survey found that in 2018 4% of newly ordained priests had previous military experience and approximately 13% came from military families; this makes the AMS the largest single source of priestly vocations in the USA.

The Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program is a partnership between the AMS and cooperating U.S. dioceses and religious communities. Currently partnered with 29 U.S. dioceses, the AMS has 41 co-sponsored seminarians studying in 18 seminaries.

Formation expenses are shared equally between the AMS and the home diocese; the average AMS annual cost per seminarian is $18,000; $90,000 over five years. Once the new priest is ordained and has completed three (3) years of pastoral service in his diocese or community, he is then eligible to serve on active-duty as a military chaplain for the next five years.
Since 2008, 26 priests have been ordained through the AMS Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program; 13 are currently serving one of the three required years of pastoral service is his diocese or community and will then be eligible serve active-duty.

The number of co-sponsored seminarians is expected to increase this fall with eight men in the process of completing Co-Sponsored Agreements, and an additional eight men in various stages of processing; six who currently serve in the military.

Unlike any other U.S. diocese, the AMS is uniquely positioned through its Vocations and Co-Sponsored Seminarian Programs to provide priests for the Church and for the U.S. Military Chaplaincy.

The AMS does not receive any funding from the U.S. Military or the U.S. Government in support of the programs mentioned; it relies solely on the generosity of the Catholic community and private donations to meet its annual operating budget of $8 million.

The annual average cost to the AMS per co-sponsored seminarian is $18,000; $90,000 over five years. The expected cost of the Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program is expected to exceed $4 million over the next five years alone.

To learn more about the AMS Vocations and Co-Sponsored Seminarian Programs, visit www.milarch.org/vocations

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