Austrian Military Ordinariate - Werner, Christian, Military Bishop
Welcome Letter to AMI General Assembly
It is a great pleasure for me to welcome all the delegates to this year’s annual general assembly of the „Apostolat Militaire International” (AMI). It is an honour for me and the whole military diocese that this conference is taking place in Austria, namely in St. Georgen am Längsee in Carinthia.
We are pleased to be able to host this general assembly at a time when the armed forces and the military chaplaincy are confronted with important challenges such as the growing number of deployments abroad within NATO or EU crisis interventions. Furthermore, the military chaplaincy has to deal with the decrease in commitment to traditional Christianity among our soldiers.
Under these circumstances, AMI is of utmost significance to and in the armed forces throughout Europe and beyond. AMI as an apostolate of laymen and -women can and does make an important contribution to spreading ethical standards within the armed forces and to strengthening Christian values among soldiers. I am convinced that this general assembly will see many fruitful discussions about these and other essential topics.
Not without pride, I am able to say that Austrian representatives have always been and, hopefully, will always be highly committed to AMI’s work and aims. Given this long tradition of dedication of Austrians, I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to the organizing team in Carinthia and their strong commitment.
It is not without reason that St. Georgen will host this year’s AMI general assembly. The conference venue was in former times one of the most ancient Austrian monasteries, founded more than 1000 years ago. St. Georgen gives therefore a significant example for the long Christian tradition in this Austrian province. I hope that you will be able to get to know the beauty and variety of Carinthia’s culture and nature, and that you will enjoy discovering this land, its history, its tradition, and its inhabitants.
For several months, many people on the international and Austrian level have worked to put together an exciting and focused agenda. I am sure that we can look forward to an insightful and rewarding exchange.
With my best wishes and God’s blessings,