Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Since November 2012, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken up a national collection every three years on the Sunday preceding Veteran’s Day on behalf of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS). This year’s collection will be taken up in the Diocese of Trenton on the weekend of Nov. 5-6, and will be the fourth of its kind.

The AMS is the only U.S. diocese responsible for providing pastoral care and services to Catholics serving in the military or enrolled in a military academy. Covering all six branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, the services AMS provides extends to those undergoing treatment at any of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, or who work in civilian jobs for the federal government overseas – and for their families. Programs and services provided by AMS include evangelization and catechesis, sacramental records, Tribunal, vocations and veterans affairs.

As the AMS has no geographical boundaries like a traditional boundaries, receives no financial support from the U.S. military or government, nor does it have parishes or parish registries, the AMS relies completely on private donations for its operating budget of more than $9.3 million.

Additionally, for more than 30 years the AMS has run a Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program between AMS and cooperating dioceses and religious communities, which actively addresses the critical need for priests to serve as military chaplains.

With approval from a seminarian’s bishop or religious superior to enter the program, the education and formation costs are shared between AMS and the seminarian’s home diocese or religious order. The average cost for a co-sponsored seminarian is $25,000, or $125,000 over the five-year program. Once ordained, the priest serves three years in his home diocese or community before continuing in full-time military service for a minimum of five years. The AMS Co-Sponsored Seminarian Program addresses the current shortage of priests to serve in the military, and helps to recruit and train the next generation of priests to serve the Catholic Church.

For more information on AMS visit Those who cannot donate on the Diocese’s collection day in parishes can make donations directly online at, or checks can be mailed to: Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, P.O. Box 4469, Washington, D.C. 20017, ATTN: 2022 National Collection.