MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- Archbishop of Military Services Timothy Broglio stopped by Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bahrain Jan. 9 to visit with Sailors on ships, hold religious services, including the Holy Sacrament of Confirmation, and to speak with the public affairs office about his role in the wider Navy community.
As Archbishop, Broglio is charged with the pastoral care for Catholics in all five branches of the military, their families, as well as all Catholics in the veterans’ hospitals throughout United States and its territories.
Additionally, Broglio is charged with the pastoral care of any Catholic who works for the U.S. federal government outside of the United States.
When asked what the overarching goals of the Chaplain Corps were, Broglio emphasized that support and confidentiality were key.
“One goal is to assure the first amendment rights of the men and women and the families in the military. And then secondly, and also very important, is to ensure the health and spiritual welfare of those who serve our country and to be there in situations, not only in crisis, but also in the everyday activities to be a part of the military family and to ensure that the people know that there is someone there that they can go to and in that regard, confidentiality is extremely important,” he said. “And that’s one of the things that’s guaranteed to a chaplain. He or she never has to reveal who comes to see them or why and that’s something that’s very precious, I think, in our military installations; especially so far away from home.”
Broglio also discussed how NSA Bahrain specifically works to support Sailors.
“At least from my impression, and I’ve visited Bahrain probably at least eight, if not more times in the 11 years that I’ve been the Archbishop for Military Services, I think the Chaplain Corps is particularly important in a place like this because it is remote,” he said. “Some of the years that I was here, families were not with the Sailors and so that creates an additional tension, an additional burden and the chaplain doesn’t substitute for the family, but he is someone who is there and someone that you can talk to in a situation where you are removed from your everyday contacts and your normal possibility to react. So I think the chaplain is very important in that situation because there isn’t that much in the same realm outside the gates as there would be say, in an installation on CONUS.”
Lt. Cmdr. Joseph Reardon, NSA Bahrain’s command chaplain, was delighted to have Broglio on base and described the visit as a gift.
“It’s always a special gift when you have a shepherd of the church come to visit his congregation, especially to dispense a beautiful sacrament; in this case, the sacrament of confirmation. Just having that fullness of the Holy Spirit come into the souls, the hearts and the minds of these young people who are on this journey with Christ,” Reardon said.
For more news from Naval Support Activity Bahrain, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsabahrain/.