September 28 October 2: International Military Apostolate Conference
65 high ranking officers from 15 countries participated in International Military Apostolate (IMA) conference held at Combat Training Centre of the Lithuanian Armed Forces in Nemenčinė, close to Vilnius. Participants represented Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Germany, Great Britain, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain and Vatican. The opening Mass was celebrated by Military Ordinary of Lithuanian Armed Forces, Bishop. Eugenijus Bartulis. Welcome addresses were given by Commander of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Major General Vladas Tutkus, President of the International Military Apostolate, Brigadier General Miguel Alonso Baquer (Spain) and the Chief Chaplain of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Colonel Juozas Gražulis. Keynot report was presented by the Secretary of Pontifical Lay Council, Bishop Josef Clemens. He referred to two important Church documents, Apostolicam Actuositatem, and Christifideles Laici, as having special importance for International Military Apostolate. Bishop Clemens, former secretary of Cardinal Ratzinger, also transmitted blessing and regards from Pope Benedict XVI.
The forum of military chaplains elected Colonel Reinhardt Kloss new President of IMA. The international Conference was concluded with the Mass, celebrated by apostolic nuncio Archbishop Peter Stephan Zurbriggen in St. Ignatius military ordinariate church in Vilnius.
International Military Apostolate marks the 40th anniversary of its foundation in 2005. The Organisation was founded in Spain in 1965. The aim of the organisation is to solve issues of Christian life in military, provide insights and recommendations to authorities of NATO and governments of the world.
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