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Knights of Columbus volunteers sending rugged prayer books to military personnel

Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdioceses for the Military Services blesses copies of the prayer book “Armed With the Faith” on Nov. 9, 2021 in Washington. D.C. / Courtesy of the Archdiocese for the Military Services

Washington D.C., Nov 10, 2021 / 13:53 pm (CNA).

Volunteers and some military members in the Knights of Columbus delivered the first of 100,000 copies of a prayer book’s new edition for military personnel to the Edwin Cardinal O’Brien Pastoral Center in Washington, D.C., home base for the Archdiocese for the Military Services on Nov. 9.

The prayer book, “Armed with the Faith: A Catholic Handbook for Military Personnel,” is the sixth edition of the book, which a Knight of Columbus spokeswoman says “is a valuable resource of prayers and moral teaching that nourishes faith and helps to form conscience.”

The prayer books, which were blessed by Bishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services (AMS), will be distributed to active-duty military personnel serving the United States across the world. 

Broglio said in a Nov. 10 press release that he was grateful to his brother Knights who “actively contribute to the spiritual growth and welfare of the men and women in uniform and their families.”

The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Catholic fraternal organization, with more than two million members in 16,000 councils worldwide. 

The latest edition of “Armed with the Faith: A Catholic Handbook for Military Personnel,” is designed to hold up in arduous conditions, “with features including waterproof and tear-resistant stock, and plastic binders that enable the turning of pages without a sound.”. Courtesy of the Archdiocese for the Military Services

The prayer books are not only made for spiritual warfare but for physical endurance, as well. 

The press release said the books are “designed to hold up in arduous conditions, with features including waterproof and tear-resistant stock, and plastic binders that enable the turning of pages without a sound.”

The new edition includes an introduction from Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly, who served in the Navy for 24 years. 

“Throughout my military career, my fellow soldiers and I were strengthened and comforted by a daily commitment to prayer, as we asked for God’s intercession to protect our nation and help us preserve our freedoms,” Kelly said in a prepared statement.

“It’s my hope that today’s active-duty military personnel will find the Armed with the Faith Catholic prayer book their indispensable resource for reflection and prayer,” he said.

Kelly served many different roles during his time “on land and sea, on active duty and reserve status.” Serving as a Judge Advocate General (JAG), his expertise was in international and operational law. He also served as the Commanding Officer of the international law unit at the U.S. Naval War College.

In addition to serving on the staff of the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Kelly was the Staff Judge Advocate for Amphibious Squadron Two during his time aboard the Navy ship, the USS Guam.

Retiring from the JAG Corps Reserve in 2016, Kelly earned three Navy Achievement Medals, five Navy Commendation Medals, and the Meritorious Service Medal.

Broglio said that Kelly “continues a great tradition of patriotic service to our country, both as a retired Naval Officer and now from New Haven,” where the Knights of Columbus is based.

A “home edition” of the prayer book is available and published by the Knights of Columbus Catholic Information Service. The “home edition” is for non-active-duty personnel, including military families, veterans, members of  Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) units, and students at U.S. military service academies.

The Knights also released an “Armed with the Faith” documentary in March on YouTube. The documentary, “Armed with the Faith: The Knights of Columbus and the Military,” highlights the military service of Knights throughout the history of the United States. 

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