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Military veterans to be honored at annual In God We Trust Mass

The Archdiocese of Denver wants to embrace active-duty military and veterans with a special tribute Mass Saturday, Sept. 17, that is meant to invite them back to their faith.

The “In God We Trust” event for military and their families is designed to start a path to healing and reconnection with the Church through confession and counseling services provided on-site, followed by an outdoor Mass celebration with Bishop Jorge H. Rodriguez.

The Office of the Diaconate, which is supported through the Archbishop’s Catholic Appeal, dedicates this annual Mass to help military who have lost hope and stepped away from their faith because of war trauma.

“These veterans have gone to war zones and have left behind fellow warriors, and they have served for purposes that feel unresolved,” said Deacon Tim Hathaway, a Marine Corp veteran of more than 30 years. “Some come home with deep spiritual wounds, and they don’t see their faith in action in our world.”

The “In God We Trust” event begins at 11 a.m. at the Colorado Freedom Memorial in Aurora and honors the men and women who dedicated their lives fighting for justice and liberty, and especially our freedom to worship God. Many veterans suffer when readjusting to civilian life.

“We are trying to reach veterans who have stepped away from their faith because of what they have seen during their time in the military,” said Amy Vigil, diaconate coordinator.

Mass will start at 11 a.m. on the blessed grounds of the memorial. Priests will be available for confessions prior to Mass. Counselors also will be provided by the Catholic clinical care organization, St. Raphael Counseling. The U.S. Air Force Academy Catholic Cadet Choir will provide music with a lunch and social hour to follow Mass.

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Participants at the Mass will be given a “challenge coin.” Named for challenge coins that are part of the military tradition, these “In God We Trust” challenge coins are meant to be given away to someone who seems to be struggling. The recipient is encouraged to take the coin to their nearest parish priest who has been prepared to provide faith support and counsel.

“The challenge is in the coin itself,” Hathaway said. “It’s meant to be given away to encourage someone in trouble to come back to God.”

What: “In God We Trust” outdoor Mass
When: 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022
Where: Colorado Freedom Memorial. 765 Telluride St., Aurora

Families and friends of all faiths are welcome to start their road to healing. Attendees are urged to bring their own chairs and/or blankets. For more information, visit archden.org/veterans. To support ministries like this, and more than 40 others, visit archden.org/GiveToday.

Amy Bryer Brumley
Amy Bryer Brumley
Amy is the Mission Advancement Communications Manager for the Archdiocese of Denver.

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