Military News

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Bishop visit strengthens Incirlik's spiritual resiliency

by Senior Airman Michael Battles
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3/3/2015 - INICRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey  -- Being stationed overseas away from family, friends and the comforts of home can take a toll on Airmen and their families', which is why Incirlik Air Base provides the needed resources to ensure the overall resiliency of Team Incirlik.

In support of Incirik's spiritual resiliency needs, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for the military services, U.S., Rev. Richard Spencer, visited the 39th Air Base Wing to conduct a Catholic Mass and confirm eight Incirlik dependents, Feb. 24.

According to Ch. (Capt.) Bedemoore Udechukwu, 39th ABW chaplain, the eight dependents have been preparing over the last year to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation from Spencer.

"The purpose of this visit is to spiritually empower the candidates in their spiritual journey," Udechukwu said. "When a candidate is confirmed, they are empowered to be more active in ministering to others and their community, to bring the joy of the gospel to everyone."

Spencer explained that this event was next step in the candidate's spiritual development.

"Tonight was an opportunity for these young adults to make a public witness to their decision to be followers of the Christian message of the gospels," Spencer said. "Confirmation is the moment in which a young adult will stand before the community to say 'yes' I am making a mature decision to become a full member of the Roman Catholic Church."

Additionally, Udechukwu said that his visit was important to the spiritual fitness of Incirlik.

"Spiritual fitness is a vital component of combat readiness," Udechukwu said. "It enhances the quality of life of our Airmen and their families. Therefore, spiritual fitness helps to shape a sustainable future for Team Incirlik, our community and NATO friends."

Along with holding Mass, Spencer also visited Incirlik as a church relicensing official for 39th ABW's Catholic chaplain Udechukwu. Each year, chaplains must be relicensed by the church in order to continue their ministry. This is Spencer's fifth time to Incirlik as the licensing official.

The one-day base visit, which also included a chapel staff and family meet and greet and an office call with base leadership, concluded with a celebration reception for the candidates.

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