Welcome to the Diocese of Lake Charles

(USCCB News Archives can be accessed at www.usccb.org/news/)

(For interesting commentary on Catholic issues go to http://usccbmedia.blogspot.com/)

MIGUEL GUILARTE NAMED MANAGER OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS FOR U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

WASHINGTON — Miguel Guilarte has been named manager of the Office of Public Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Mr. Guilarte previously worked as a reporter and editor for eighteen years at El Tiempo Latino, a Spanish-language weekly newspaper published in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Founded in 1991, it was acquired by The Washington Post in 2004 and then by El Planeta Media in 2016.
 
While at El Tiempo Latino, Guilarte covered sports, community, politics, education, cultural and health content. He has received multiple awards for his feature stories and article series from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Miguel has also written for Major League Soccer.

“Miguel offers an impressive background as a bilingual communications professional who will support the USCCB Office of Public Affairs in expanding our Spanish media outreach, social media content and bilingual communications strategy on behalf of the bishops,” said Judy Keane, Director of USCCB Public Affairs.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Santa Maria University, Caracas, Venezuela, and resides in the DC area. Miguel began his new role at the USCCB on April 9.
 
The Office of Public Affairs represents the Catholic Bishops of the United States to the media and the media to the bishops. Responsibilities of the office include preparing and distributing statements and other resources for the media, arranging for interviews with bishops and staff of the USCCB, organizing press conferences, responding to media queries and credentialing media for coverage of such events as the bishops' annual meetings. For more information about the USCCB Office of Public Affairs, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/public-affairs/index.cfm.



April 16, 2018
CATHOLIC HOME MISSIONS COLLECTION TO BE HELD APRIL 28-29; GRANTS SUPPORT ESSENTIAL PASTORAL PROGRAMS




WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) annual Catholic Home Missions Appeal will be held in parishes across the country over the weekend of April 28-29.  The Catholic Home Missions (CHM) grants assist dioceses and eparchies that would otherwise struggle due to difficult geography, impoverished populations, and limited resources. CHM funding supports essential pastoral programs, including religious education and youth ministry, priestly and religious formation, prison ministry, and lay ministry training.

“Too many of our brothers and sisters in the United States do not have access to even the most basic pastoral resources,” said Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, Archbishop of Anchorage and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. “As members of the Body of Christ we are called to help our neighbors and build the faith. Your generosity to the Catholic Home Missions Appeal has made the Church in the United States stronger.”



The Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions oversees the Catholic Home Missions Appeal as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The Subcommittee’s grants are funded by donations to the annual collection.  In 2017, the Subcommittee approved over $9.4 million in grants to assist 83 dioceses and eparchies for 2018.



Currently, there are 83 dioceses and eparchies that qualify for support from the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Mission – over 40 percent of all US dioceses. Home mission dioceses are located across the United States, including the Deep South, Appalachia, and the Rocky Mountains, as well as in US territories in the Caribbean and the far-away Pacific.



More information about the collection can be found at www.usccb.org/home-missions.

April 16, 2018
POPE FRANCIS APPOINTS APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATOR OF THE UKRAINIAN ARCHEPARCHY OF PHILADELPHIA

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia and appoints Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy of the same Archeparchy as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia until the appointment of the new Archeparch.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington on April 16, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
 
Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy, now Apostolic Administrator sede vacante, was born October 1, 1975 in Lviv, Ukraine. He pursued seminary studies at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest in December of 2001 by Archbishop Stefan Soroka at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia.
 
Bishop Rabiy holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy (1999) and a licentiate in Canon Law (2008) from Catholic University of America; and a Master of Divinity degree (2002), from the Dominican House of Studies, in Washington D.C.
 
After ordination, Rabiy held pastoral assignments at St. Michael the Archangel parish, Hillsborough, New Jersey, and at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2002-2005. Other assignments after ordination include: pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Reading, 2008-present; coordinator, Sexual Abuse Prevention and Youth Protection Office, 2008-2015; member, Administrative Board, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, 2008-2017; vicar general, 2009-present; vice-chancellor, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial College of Consultors, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial Presbyteral Council, 2011-2017.
 
On August 8, 2017, Pope Francis named Father Andriy Rabiy as auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.
 
Archbishop Stefan Soroka was born on November 13, 1951 in Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, Canada. He received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work (1973) and a Masters in Social Work (1978) from the University of Manitoba.  His seminary formation was undertaken at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, D.C. At the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1978) and a Doctorate in Social Work in 1985.  
 
He was ordained a priest on June 13, 1982, for the Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Winnipeg at Saints Vladimir and Olga Cathedral.
 
Assignments after priestly ordination included: assistant priest, Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Winnipeg, 1984-1986; parish priest, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption, Portage la Prairie, Canada, 1986-1987; parish priest, St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg, 1987-1995; chaplain, St. Josaphat Council, Knights of Columbus, 1986-1989; chaplain, St Anne Council, Knights of Columbus, 1987-1995; chaplain, National Executive, Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada, 1989-1992; vocations director, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985-2000; state chaplain, Knights of Columbus, Manitoba State Council, 1989-1992; judge, Archeparchial Marriage Tribunal, 1984-1993; vice-chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985-1994; chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994-1996; econom, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994-1998.
 
On March 29, 1996 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg and was ordained to the episcopate on June 13, 1996. He then also served as: chairman, Asset Protection Group Insurance Corporation for Western and Northern Canada Dioceses/Eparchies, 1998-2000; chaplain, Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada, 1998-2000; and editor, Progress Ukrainian Catholic News, 1996-2000. 

On November 29, 2000 he was appointed Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and was installed on February 29, 2001.
 
At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he served as: member of the Committee for Aid to Home Missions, 2010-present; member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, 2001-present; member of the Committee on Relations between Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches, November 2003-2010; member of Task Force on Content and Flow of General Meeting, June 2003; and member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, 2002-2009.
The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia includes the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and parts of eastern Pennsylvania. It has a total Catholic population of 12,846.
 
April 11, 2016
BISHOPS’ MIGRATION CHAIRMAN SUPPORTS SOUTHERN BORDER BISHOPS CONCERNS OVER NATIONAL GUARD DEPLOYMENT AT U.S./MEXICO BORDER

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Catholic Bishops of the southern border issued a statement on April 6, 2018, regarding their deep concern over the Administration’s decision to deploy the National Guard  at the U.S./Mexico border. Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, today issued the following statement in support of the Southern Border Bishops and in response to the Administration’s recent actions:

“On behalf of the USCCB Committee on Migration, I fully affirm the concerns voiced by the U.S. Bishops of the southern border regarding the presence of the National Guard at the U.S./Mexico border. Current law entitles those fleeing persecution and arriving in our country to due-process as their claims are reviewed. As the border bishops state: ‘Seeking refuge from persecution and violence in search of a peaceful life for oneself and one’s family is not a crime.’ Our faith calls us to respond with compassion to those who suffer and seek safe haven; we ask our government to do the same as it seeks to safely and humanely secure the border.”

April 9, 2018
PRESIDENT OF USCCB WELCOMES POPE'S APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION ON HOLINESS IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is welcoming the release of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and Be Glad), subtitled “On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World.” In his statement, Cardinal DiNardo expresses his deep gratitude to the Holy Father for the exhortation and the call for each Christian to “acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be.”

In the introduction to the exhortation, the Pope emphasizes that the goal of his exhortation is to “repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”
An apostolic exhortation is considered the second-highest form of papal teaching after an encyclical letter. Since his election, Pope Francis has issued two other exhortations: “Evangelii Gaudium” (Joy of the Gospel) in 2013 and “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) in 2016.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement on “Gaudete et Exsultate” follows:

“I want to personally express my deep gratitude to the Holy Father for his powerful, straightforward words in Gaudete et Exsultate. In this exhortation, Pope Francis is very clear – he is doing his duty as the Vicar of Christ, by strongly urging each and every Christian to freely, and without any qualifications, acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be – that is ‘to be holy, as He is holy’ (1 Pet 1:15). The mission entrusted to each of us in the waters of baptism was simple – by God’s grace and power, we are called to become saints.

‘Do not be afraid of holiness (no. 32).’ These words of the Holy Father jumped out at me when I first read them. In a way, each one of us has a fear of striving for holiness – a fear that we would be mocked, ignored, or even hated by others because we would stand out. Yet that is what the Lord has called each and every person to! Pope Francis calls us out: A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for ‘this is the will of God, your sanctification (I Thess 4:3) (no. 19).’

The Holy Father describes how holiness comes through the daily struggles each of us face. In the ordinary course of each day, the Pope reminds us, ‘We need to recognize and combat our aggressive and selfish inclinations, and not let them take root’ (no. 114). Yet, he says, this ‘battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives’ (no. 158).
 
One paragraph in particular points out the continuing need we have for civility in all our interactions, especially in the media. ‘Christians too,’ the Holy Father writes, ‘can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication.’ This can be true even in Catholic media (no. 115). Even in our heated disagreements with one another, we always need to remember that it is God who judges, not man (James 4:12).’
 
In the light of Easter joy, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, I encourage every Christian to rekindle their baptismal call to be holy by reading this wonderful exhortation by Pope Francis, especially the beautiful section on the Beatitudes. Through an exploration of the Beatitudes, and by offering examples of how to live out our call to holiness in everyday life, the Holy Father has given us a wonderful tool for renewing our love for God and for each other.”
 
The USCCB has made the exhortation available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/rejoice-and-be-glad-p/7-599.htm.

The Vatican has also posted the exhortation online at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html.

April 5, 2018
POPE FRANCIS NAMES NEW AUXILIARY BISHOP OF LOS ANGELES

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Monsignor Marc V. Trudeau as a new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on April 5, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

A native of Los Angeles, Msgr. Trudeau was born May 20, 1957 in Hollywood, CA. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California. He also attended the University of Southern California School of Dentistry (1981-1985) before entering St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo for Philosophy and Theological studies (1986-1991).
 
He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on August 6, 1991.

Assignments after ordination included: associate pastor, St. James the Less Church, La Crescenta (1991-1995); associate pastor/administrator pro tempore, St. Philip the Apostle Church, Pasadena (1995-2001); pastor, St. Pius X Church in Santa Fe Springs (2001-2004); priest secretary to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony (2004-2010); pastor, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Church, Lomita (2010-2013). He joined the faculty at St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo as vice rector and assistant director of pastoral formation in 2013. He was named rector of St. John’s Seminary in 2014-present.
 
From 1993-1999, he also served as a member of the Council of Priests, Archdiocesan Catholic Center, Los Angeles.
 
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is comprised of 8,636 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 11,519,517 of which 4,031,831 or 35 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop José H. Gomez is the current Archbishop of Los Angeles. 

April 4, 2018
U.S. BISHOPS CHAIRMEN GRATEFUL FOR PRE-SYNOD ON YOUNG PEOPLE, THE FAITH, AND VOCATIONAL DISCERNMENT
 
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Chairmen for the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations and the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have expressed gratitude for the openness and honesty of the young adults who participated as delegates to the Pre-Synodal Meeting in anticipation of this October’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

On March 19-25, 2018, over 300 young adults, representing episcopal conferences, ecclesial movements, apostolates, and religious and educational institutions, came together for a pre-synodal gathering convened by Pope Francis to discuss the experiences, challenges, and hopes of their generation. At the conclusion of the gathering, on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018, the participants presented a summary document of insights and recommendations to Pope Francis. This document will be utilized, along with episcopal conference consultations and online feedback from young people, in the development of the Instrumentum Laboris that will guide the October Synod.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, commented on the release of the document, saying, “It is inspiring to hear such a great desire on the part of young adults for active participation and involvement in the Church, and a deep desire to grow in their faith. I look forward to accompanying them on their vocational journey.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, also said, “I am grateful that the delegates engaged in a robust dialogue and offered honest feedback for the bishops to consider in light of the upcoming Synod. I am particularly happy that the young adults are ready to work with the Church on better engaging their peers, especially those who have disconnected from the practice of the faith.”
 
The complete Pre-Synodal Document can be found online at the Vatican Synod website at: www.synod2018.va/content/synod2018/en/news/final-document-from-the-pre-synodal-meeting.html

The USCCB sent three young adult representatives to the Pre-Synodal Meeting: Br. Javier Hansen, FSC of the Lasallian Christian Brothers; Mr. Nick López of the University of Dallas; and Mrs. Katie Prejean McGrady of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mr. López also gave a ten-minute presentation on the state of youth and young adults in the Americas before the Holy Father and the Synod delegates. In addition, other delegates from the United States, nominated by their respective movements and institutions, included: Mr. Christian Huebner, seminarian from the Archdiocese of Washington; Rev. Nathaniel Johnson from the YOUTH 2000 movement; Ms. Nicole Perone from the Archdiocese of Hartford; Mr. Christopher Russo from the Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic; Sr. Marie Faustina Paige Wolniakowski, RSM, from the Sisters of Mercy in Alma, Michigan; and Ms. Cherise Klekar and Ms. Briana Santiago, in formation with the Apostles of the Interior Life.
 
The official USCCB web page for the Synod is www.usccb.org/synod-2018.

April 3, 2018
USCCB AND BASILICA OF THE NATIONAL SHRINE JOIN IN REMEMBERING DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. WITH CHURCH BELL TOLLS

WASHINGTON — On April 4 at 7:05 p.m. (EDT), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will join  in solidarity with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by tolling the Shrine’s bells 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King lived on earth.

At that time, the USCCB and the Shrine will join with numerous other churches and schools across the nation tolling bells in homage to Dr. King’s legacy and his many contributions including the principle of non-violent resistance. The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism.
 
April 4h also marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  The bells in honor of his life will initially ring first at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and The King Center, located in Atlanta, at 6:01 p.m. (CDT). Bells will then chime in the City of Memphis at 6:03 p.m. (CDT), and then nationally at 6:05 p.m. (CDT), and internationally at 6:07 p.m. (CDT).
  
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will also broadcast the tolling of the bells live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usccb/.

The King Center has also planned a series of events to mark this historic year with the theme MLK50 Forward: Together We win with Love for Humanity. For more information on The King Center’s events please visit www.MLK50Forward.org.

April 3, 2018
POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF BISHOP THOMAS CURRY OF LOS ANGELES

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Thomas John Curry as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for reasons of age. He has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.

The resignation was publicized in Washington, April 3, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Curry was born January 17, 1943, in Ireland. He attended All Hallows Seminary in Dublin and graduated from University College in Dublin with a bachelor’s degree in History in 1963. In 1973, he received a master’s degree in History at Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles, and went on to receive a Ph.D. in History from Claremont Graduate School in 1983.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 18, 1967, at All Hallows in Dublin, Ireland, for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Assignments after ordination included: associate pastor, St. Bernadine, Woodland Hills, CA, 1967-1970; teacher, St. Pius X High School, Downey, CA, 1970-1975; graduate studies, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA, 1975-1978; teacher, St. Paul High School, Santa Fe Springs, CA, 1978-1979; director, Office of Continuing Education for Clergy, Los Angeles, 1976-1985; vicar for clergy, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 1985-1990; director, Secretariat for Church Ministerial Services, Los Angeles, 1991-1994. During this time, he was bestowed the papal honor of the titles Chaplain to His Holiness, 1984, and Prelate of Honor, 1988

On February 8, 1994, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope John Paul II and was ordained to the episcopate on March 19, 1994 for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.

Bishop Curry was a former chair of the Committee for Catholic Education at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
 
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is comprised of 8,636 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 11,519,517 of which 4,031,831 or 35 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop José H. Gomez is the current Archbishop of Los Angeles.

April 3, 2018
CARDINAL DANIEL N. DINARDO, PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS RELEASES EASTER MESSAGE FOCUSING ON EASTER’S SIMPLE JOY
 
WASHINGTON — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the simple joy of the Resurrection.

Full statement follows:
 
“Jesus lives. This is the simple message of Easter. And because Jesus lives — so does hope, so does love, and so do we. Although Christ knew the pain of the Cross and the isolation of the tomb, His Death and Resurrection gives us the joy of the Resurrection and the gift of eternal life.
 
Today, Christ offers us that gift of life and joy. How we chose to live that life, however, is up to us. Do we always treat one another as sisters and brothers in the eyes of God? Can we look beyond the distractions and despair of our own suffering to the hope of the world to come? Jesus endured the pain and isolation to show us the path to life.
 
So much of today’s culture tempts us to see one another as different, dividing us into ever more polarized camps. But, Jesus walked the Way of the Cross for everyone. Everyone is in need of His love, and everyone is offered His love. 
 
This Easter morning, let us acknowledge the gift of life Christ has given us.  Let us look into the empty tomb and proclaim with joy, proclaim with all our hearts and with our lives —  that Jesus lives!
 
May God bless you. Happy Easter!”

Maarch 28, 2018
CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES WILL WELCOME THOUSANDS OF NEW CATHOLICS AT EASTER VIGIL MASSES

WASHINGTON — Dioceses across the country will be welcoming thousands of people into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil liturgy on the evening of March 31.  As the culmination of the Easter Triduum, the vigil celebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. While people can become Catholic at any time of the year, the Easter Vigil is a particularly appropriate moment for adult catechumens to be baptized and for already-baptized Christians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

About 85 of the nearly 200 dioceses across the nation have reported their numbers of catechumens and candidates for full communion to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based on these numbers, more than 30,000 people are expected to be welcomed into the Church at Easter Vigil Masses this Saturday. For example, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest diocese in the United States, will welcome 1,700 catechumens and 1,127 candidates.  Among them will be catechumen Tina Robinson. Raised in a Baptist church, Tina eventually started attending a non-denominational church. After she married a cradle Catholic, she prayed to God for guidance. A few days later, Tina received an invitation to attend St. Bernard’s Parish on their front door. “That was my calling” says Tina.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco will welcome 173 catechumens and 169 candidates. Among them will be Tina Wok, who had been a nominal member of a non-Christian religion and Kent Iglehart, who is also preparing for entry into the Catholic Church after his wife, Jacqueline, inspired his conversion. The Diocese of San Diego will welcome a combined 1,091 catechumens and candidates. Among them will be Karrie Johnson.  After regular attendance in a Christian church for a number of years, Karrie felt that God might be guiding her toward the Catholic Church. Open to the possibility, she attended Mass for the first time and had the “profound feeling” that she was truly home.

Catechumens, who have never been baptized, will receive Baptism, Confirmation and first Communion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil.  Candidates, who have already been baptized in another Christian tradition, will enter the Church through a profession of faith and reception of Confirmation and the Eucharist. 
 
The Archdiocese of New York will welcome 400 catechumens and 468 candidates, while the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will welcome 1,536 catechumens and 618 candidates. Other archdioceses and dioceses report numbers as follows: Atlanta: 708 catechumens, 1,280 candidates; Charleston: 155 catechumens, 337 candidates; Dallas: 1,139 catechumens, 300 candidates; Fort Worth: 489 catechumens and candidates; Corpus Christi: 126 catechumens, 46 candidates; Tyler: 50 catechumens, 142 candidates; Charlotte: 214 catechumens, 401 candidates; Venice in Florida: 193 catechumens, 205 candidates; St. Petersburg, Florida: 350 catechumens; Richmond: 348 catechumens; Baton Rouge: 154 catechumens, 194 candidates; Lake Charles: 80 catechumens, 93 candidates; Louisville: 200 catechumens, 247 candidates; Lafayette, Louisiana: 50 catechumens, 97 candidates; Shreveport: 39 catechumens, 74 candidates; Lexington: 104 catechumens, 97 candidates; Mobile: 86 catechumens, 187 candidates; Savannah: 95 catechumens, 220 candidates; Pensacola- Tallahassee: 140 catechumens, 126 catechumens; Covington, Kentucky: 78 catechumens, 111 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Seattle reports 664 catechumens and 429 candidates. Other numbers from the western part of the U.S. include: Las Vegas: 148 catechumens, 189 candidates; Salt Lake City: 225 catechumens, 98 candidates; Yakima: 151 catechumens, 37 candidates; Oakland: 174 catechumens, 382 candidates; Fresno: 527 catechumens, 322 candidates; Reno: 57 catechumens, 171 candidates; Pueblo: 76 catechumens, 43 candidates; and the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles with 17 catechumens and candidates. Honolulu is also welcoming 208 catechumens, 41 candidates.

Newark will be welcoming 416 catechumens, 657 candidates; Metuchen, New Jersey: 121 catechumens, 141 candidates; Buffalo: 296 catechumens and candidates; Rochester: 91 catechumens, 176 candidates; Paterson: 119 catechumens; Portland, Maine: 71 catechumens, 62 candidates; Albany: 44 catechumens, 84 candidates; Bridgeport: 46 catechumens, 189 candidates; Hartford: 59 catechumens, 55 candidates; Manchester: 71 catechumens, 95 candidates; Springfield, Massachusetts: 43 catechumens, 76 candidates; Worcester: 107 catechumens, 42 candidates; Fall River: 27 catechumens, 81 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia reports: 254 catechumens, 236 candidates; Pittsburgh: 144 catechumens, 309 candidates; Harrisburg: 125 catechumens; Greensburg: 49 catechumens, 65 candidates; the Archdiocese of Washington: 576 catechumens, 237 candidates. Others include: Arlington: 198 catechumens, 461 candidates; Cleveland: 215 catechumens, 248 candidates; Youngstown: 97 catechumens, 145 candidates; Columbus: 200 catechumens, 265 candidates;  Wilmington: 81 catechumens; 82 candidates; Green Bay: 101 catechumens and candidates; Fort Wayne-South Bend: 165 catechumens, 184 candidates; Springfield, Illinois: 109 catechumens, 165 candidates; Evansville: 63 catechumens, 110 candidates; Belleville: 55 catechumens, 94 candidates; Des Moines: 98 catechumens, 146 candidates; Jefferson City: 100 catechumens, 127 candidates; Owensboro: 53 catechumens, 156 candidates; Saginaw: 89 catechumens, 63 candidates; Madison; 31 catechumens, 70 candidates; Altoona-Johnstown: 45 catechumens, 52 candidates; La Crosse: 24 catechumens, 61 candidates.

Other dioceses report the following numbers: Saint Paul and Minneapolis: 228 catechumens, 386 candidates; Grand Rapids: 160 catechumens, 210 candidates; Oklahoma City: 239 catechumens, 327 candidates; Kansas City, Kansas: 150 catechumens, 250 candidates; Wichita: 154 catechumens, 206 candidates;  Dodge City: 120 catechumens and candidates; Dubuque: 72 catechumens; 120 candidates; Bismarck: 46 catechumens, 111 candidates; Fargo: 19 catechumens, 62 candidates; Sioux City: 21 catechumens, 55 candidates; Gary: 72 catechumens and candidates.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage will also be welcoming 36 catechumens and 32 candidates.  The additional dioceses have also reported the following numbers:  St. Cloud: 13 catechumens, 43 candidates; New Ulm, Minnesota: 5 catechumens, 46 candidates; Duluth: 16 catechumens, 49 candidates; and Great Falls-Billings: 15 catechumens, 14 candidates.

March 28, 2018
USCCB ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE STATEMENT ON THE LIFE AND WORK OF REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Administrative Committee serves as the Board of Trustees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Committee's full statement follows:



“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:13). April 4th marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. On this day, as we reflect on his life and work, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing all we can to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us. What are we being asked to do for the sake of our brother or sister who still suffers under the weight of racism? Where could God use our efforts to help change the hearts of those who harbor racist thoughts or engage in racist actions?



This anniversary gives us an important moment to draw inspiration from the way in which Dr. King remained undeterred in his principle of non-violent resistance, even in the face of years of ridicule, threats and violence for the cause of justice. Dr. King came to Memphis to support underpaid and exploited African-American sanitation workers, and arrived on a plane that was under a bomb threat. He felt God had called him to solidarity with his brothers and sisters in need. In his final speech on the night before he died, Dr. King openly referenced the many threats against him, and made clear that he would love a long life. But more important to him, he said, was his desire to simply do the will of God.



Our faith urges us to be courageous, to risk something of ourselves, in defending the dignity of our neighbor who is made in the image of God. Pope Francis reminds us often that we must never sit on the sidelines in the face of great evil or extreme need, even when danger surrounds us. St. Paul proclaims that: “We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body” (2 Cor. 47-10). We can best honor Dr. Martin Luther King and preserve his legacy by boldly asking God—today and always—to deepen our own commitment to follow His will wherever it leads in the cause of promoting justice.”

March 28, 2018
POPE FRANCIS NAMES NEW AUXILIARY BISHOP OF SAN FRANCISCO  

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Father Robert F. Christian, OP, as the new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on March 28, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
 
Father Christian was born December 2, 1948 in San Francisco.  He entered the Order of Preachers at St. Albert Priory in Oakland in 1970 and made his Solemn Profession as a Dominican in 1974.
 
He was ordained a priest in Oakland on June 4, 1976.
 
Father Christian has a B.A. in English from the University of Santa Clara (1970) and a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Albert College, Oakland (1973).  In 1977, he received a Master of Divinity degree from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Oakland.  In 1981, he earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome.  In 1984, he earned his doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) also from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).  

Assignments after ordination included: teacher at Dominican College in San Rafael (1976-1979); conventual lector (parochial ministry) at Blessed Sacrament in Seattle and Director of the Newman Center at the University of Washington (1984-1985); Professor (Sacraments and Ecclesiology) at the Angelicum, Rome (1985-1997); Socius and Vicar, Western Dominican Province, acting administrator during absence of Provincial, and lecturer in theology at the Graduate Theological Union (1997-1999); vice dean and professor at the Angelicum (1999-2014); delegate to provincial chapters (years 1981, 1983, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011); Socius to Provincial Chapter (1983, 1999); Sabbatical (2014-2015); Master of Students, Western Dominican Province (2015-present).

Other appointments include: Peritus at the 1990 Synod of Bishops on Priestly Formation; Prior of the 75-member resident community of friars at the Angelicum; member of Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission; Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (2013-present). 

The Archdiocese of San Francisco comprises 1,016 square miles. It has a total population of 1,776,095 people of which 441,736 or 25 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is the current Archbishop of San Francisco.

March 27, 2018
U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CHAIRMAN AND CATHOLIC LEADERS DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT HISTORICALLY LOW REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT



WASHINGTON — Yesterday, Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State urging dialogue on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

Halfway through this fiscal year, the U.S. federal government has welcomed approximately 9,600 refugees, fewer than 25% of the refugees allowed for this year by the 2018 Presidential Determination. For Fiscal Year 2018, the Presidential Determination was set at 45,000 refugees, marking the lowest number since the Refugee Act of 1980 was created.

In part of the letter, Bishop Vásquez explained, “The current level of refugee arrivals leaves thousands of vulnerable people in harm’s way and searching for protection.” He continued, “Most often they are at-risk women and children who are too vulnerable to remain in the region and/or in situations too dangerous for them to wait in the host country until the conflict at home has ended.” Bishop Vásquez further stated, “As Christians, our concerns for refugees is integral to our life of faith.” He concluded, “In this spirit, we urge the Administration to renew a bipartisan commitment to resettlement for refugees, including religious minorities.”
 
The full letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can be found here: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Refugee-Letter-to-DHS-Sec-Nielsen.pdf.

Additionally, over 1600 Catholic organizations, women and men religious and lay leaders, also voiced their concern over the state of the USRAP. That letter can be found here: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Letter26March2018inclSigners2.pdf .

Maarch 22, 2018
U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CHAIRMEN DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED BY CONGRESS’ FAILURE TO ENACT THE CONSCIENCE PROTECTION ACT

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, reacted with deep disappointment to the news that a very modest but critical piece of legislation—the Conscience Protection Act—was not included in the 2018 appropriations bill just released by Congress.

The full statement follows:

“The failure of Congress to include the Conscience Protection Act in the 2018 omnibus appropriations bill is deeply disappointing. The CPA is an extraordinarily modest bill that proposes almost no change to existing conscience protection laws on abortion—laws that receive wide public and bi-partisan support. The CPA simply proposes to provide victims of discrimination with the ability to defend their rights in court to help ensure that no one is forced to participate in abortion. Those inside and outside of Congress who worked to defeat the CPA have placed themselves squarely into the category of extremists who insist that all Americans must be forced to participate in the violent act of abortion. We call on Congress not to give up until this critical legislation is enacted.”

March 20, 2018
CHAIRMAN OF BISHOPS’ PRO-LIFE COMMITTEE ISSUES STATEMENT SUPPORTING PRO-LIFE PREGNANCY CENTERS  
  
WASHINGTON — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement praising the work of pro-life pregnancy centers on the occasion of oral arguments being heard today by the U.S. Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra.

Cardinal Dolan’s full statement follows:  
 
“Pro-life pregnancy care centers embody everything that is right and good in our nation: generosity, compassion and love that is offered to support both mother and child. But rather than applauding and encouraging the selfless and life-affirming work of these centers, some governments want to force them to provide free advertising for the violent act of abortion in direct violation of their pro-life convictions and the First Amendment. The United States Supreme Court cannot let this happen. We pray that the Court will do the right thing and uphold our fundamental right to free speech when it decides this case.”
 
The USCCB and several other groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court supporting the pro-life pregnancy centers in this important free speech case. The other groups are the California Catholic Conference, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Christian Legal Society and Agudath Israel of America.  The full text of the brief is available online: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/NIFLA-Amicus-2018-01-13F.pdf

March 14, 2018
U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE CHAIRMEN URGE SUPPORT FOR THE ‘FIRST AMENDMENT DEFENSE ACT’

WASHINGTON — Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, gave their strong support for the First Amendment Defense Act, which was recently introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in the U.S. Senate:

“We welcome and applaud the recent reintroduction of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). The USCCB has been vocal in support of the legislation since its inception. FADA is a modest and important measure that protects the rights of faith-based organizations and people of all faiths and of no faith who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. For example, in a pluralistic society, faith-based charitable agencies, and schools should not be excluded from participation in public life by loss of licenses, accreditation, or tax-exempt status because they hold reasonable views on marriage that differ from the federal government’s view.
 
The leadership of the Catholic Church will continue to promote and protect the natural truth of marriage as foundational to the common good. The Church will also continue to stand for the ability of all to exercise their religious beliefs and moral convictions in public life without fear of government discrimination.
 
We are pleased to support the First Amendment Defense Act, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation.”
 
The letter of support for the First Amendment Defense Act is available at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Ltr-to-Sen-Lee-FADA-2018.pdf.

March 13, 2018
PRESIDENT OF BISHOPS CONFERENCE JOINS OTHER U.S. CHURCH LEADERS IN EXPRESSING STRONG CONCERN OVER ISRAEL’S PLAN TO TAX CHURCH-OWNED REAL ESTATE

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), joins other leaders from the U.S. Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA), and Armenian Churches in urging Israel to not confiscate church lands or tax church properties.  In the joint letter addressed to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, the Church leaders express deep concern that the measure would “…jeopardize the very survival of the Christian community in the Holy Land.” A second letter has been sent by the US signatories to all the heads of churches in the Holy Land pledging to continue to press the Israeli government on their behalf.

The full statement to the Prime Minister and the Mayor of Jerusalem follows:
 
“As heads of churches and communions in the United States, we write to express our strong concern about recent legal proposals and tax plans that would severely inhibit the work of the churches in and around Jerusalem. If enacted, these measures would have the effect of creating a situation that jeopardizes the very survival of the Christian community in the Holy Land.
 
We have expressed to the Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem, in the enclosed letter, our firm solidarity with them during this crisis, including by strong advocacy before our own government.
 
We know of the myriad of activities in which the churches there are engaged, such as education, health care and pilgrimages, and we recognize that they are integral to the churches’ mission and of major benefit to the Jerusalem community beyond the churches.

We ask that you end measures that disrupt the Status Quo. We have pledged to the church leaders in Jerusalem our unwavering support for all peaceful and lawful measures they may pursue to ensure the preservation and flourishing of the Christian community now and in the future.”

The full letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mayor Nir Barkat can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/upload/Letter-of-concern-about-recent-legal-proposals-and-tax-plans-affecting-churches-13-March-2018.pdf

The full letter to the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/ecumenical-and-interreligious/upload/Letter-to-heads-of-churches-at-the-Holy-Sepulchre-13-March-2018.pdf
 
March 13, 2018
U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS' ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE OFFER CONGRATULATIONS TO POPE FRANCIS
 
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today marking the fifth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis. The Administrative Committee is comprised of USCCB's officers, committee chairmen and other bishops representing every region of the United States

Full statement follows:
 
“Most Holy Father:


The members of the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, now gathered in ordinary session on the 13th day of March 2018, take this opportunity to express our filial affection on the fifth anniversary of your election to the Chair of St. Peter. 



May the Lord bless you with His grace as you confirm all the brothers and sisters in unity and shepherd us in charity.”


March 6, 2018
CHAIRMEN CALL FAITHFUL TO PRAYER AND ACTION URGING CONGRESS TO ENACT THE CONSCIENCE PROTECTION ACT
 
WASHINGTON – Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty urge the faithful to flood Congress with emails and calls asking for enactment of the Conscience Protection Act as part of the 2018 funding bill and to pray for this outcome. Congress is currently considering whether to include the Conscience Protection Act in must-pass government funding legislation, and a decision on the Conscience Protection Act’s inclusion will be made prior to March 23, 2018.
 
The joint statement follows:
 
“Increasing and fierce attacks on conscience rights regarding abortion cry out for an immediate remedy. Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participating in abortions or leaving health care altogether. Churches and pro-life Americans are being forced to provide coverage for elective abortions—including late-term abortions—in their health care plans. Opponents and supporters of abortion should be able to agree that no one should be forced to participate in abortion. Congress must remedy this problem by enacting the Conscience Protection Act now as part of the FY 2018 funding bill.
 
We call on all the faithful to pray and to act by emailing and calling Congress in the coming week especially on Monday, March 12 with the message that enacting the Conscience Protection Act is urgently needed to protect Americans from being forced to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life. Your calls and emails to your Members of Congress really do make a difference, so please act now to protect conscience rights!”
 
Members of Congress can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking to be connected with your representative or senator.  Or you can email and call your Members of Congress quickly and easily at https://www.humanlifeaction.org/take-action?vvsrc=/campaigns/49865/respond.
 
The USCCB has also created a video available on its YouTube channel and Facebook.com/USCCB.
 
For additional information and videos featuring nurses who were forced by their employers to choose between their jobs and participating in abortions go to www.usccb.org/conscience

March 5, 2018
DOMESTIC JUSTICE AND EDUCATION CHAIRMEN URGE CONCRETE ACTIONS TO ADDRESS SCOURGE OF GUN VIOLENCE

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of the tragic attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, Ohio, Chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, urged national leaders to finally come together and address the crisis of gun violence in a comprehensive way.

The full statement follows:



“Once again, we are confronted with grave evil, the murder of our dear children and those who teach them. Our prayers continue for those who have died, and those suffering with injuries and unimaginable grief. We also continue our decades-long advocacy for common-sense gun measures as part of a comprehensive approach to the reduction of violence in society and the protection of life. 
 
Specifically, this moment calls for an honest and practical dialogue around a series of concrete proposals—not partisanship and overheated rhetoric. The idea of arming teachers seems to raise more concerns than it addresses. Setting a more appropriate minimum age for gun ownership, requiring universal background checks (as the bishops have long advocated), and banning ‘bump stocks’ are concepts that appear to offer more promise. We must explore ways to curb violent images and experiences with which we inundate our youth, and ensure that law enforcement have the necessary tools and incentives to identify troubled individuals and get them help.
 

Most people with mental illness will never commit a violent act, but mental illness has been a significant factor in some of these horrific attacks. We must look to increase resources and seek earlier interventions.
 

For many years, the USCCB has supported a federal ban on assault weapons, limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons and ammunition magazines, further criminalizing gun trafficking, certain limitations on the purchase of handguns, and safety measures such as locks that prevent children and anyone other than the owner from using guns without permission.

The advocacy by survivors of the Parkland shooting—and young people throughout our nation—is a stark reminder that guns pose an enormous danger to the innocent when they fall into the wrong hands. The voices of these advocates should ring in our ears as they describe the peaceful future to which they aspire. We must always remember what is at stake as we take actions to safeguard our communities and honor human life. In the words of St. John, ‘let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth’ (1 Jn. 3:18).”

February 28, 2018
ANNUAL CATHOLIC RELIEF SERVICES COLLECTION TO BE HELD ON MARCH 11

WASHINGTON — The annual Catholic Relief Services Collection will be held in many dioceses across the country on Laetare Sunday, March 11.

The Catholic Relief Services Collection supports Catholic organizations that carry out international relief and solidarity efforts. Programs include relief and resettlement for victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters; development projects to improve living conditions for the poor; legal and support services for poor immigrants; peace and reconciliation work for people suffering from violence; and advocacy on behalf of the powerless.

“Christ is standing at the door of our hearts, knocking, seeking relief from pain and suffering around the world. He comes to us bearing the disguise of vulnerable immigrants and refugees, the poor and marginalized, the sick and lonely. The Catholic Relief Services Collection is an opportunity to respond and comfort Christ as we see him in our brothers and sisters,” said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on National Collections. “This collection represents our community of faith at work in the world, saving souls and improving lives.”

Entities within the USCCB that receive support include the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the Department of Justice Peace and Human Development, and the  Department of Migration and Refugee Services. Other Catholic organizations that receive funds are Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., and the Holy Father’s Relief Fund. The USCCB Administrative Committee is responsible for grant-making from this national collection.

More information about The Catholic Relief Services Collection is available at www.usccb.org/catholic-relief. Resources for the collection can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-relief/collection.


February 28, 2018 
POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF BISHOP JOSEPH PEPE OF LAS VEGAS; NAMES BISHOP GEORGE THOMAS AS SUCCESSOR  

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph A. Pepe, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Las Vegas, Nevada, and has named Bishop George L. Thomas as his successor, up until now the Bishop of Helena, Montana.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, February 28, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. 

Bishop George Thomas was born on May 19, 1950 in Anaconda, Montana.  He received his B.A. degree in literature from Carroll College in 1972 and entered St. Thomas Seminary, in Bothell, Washington, as a student for the Archdiocese of Seattle, where he earned a master of divinity degree. In 1981, he entered graduate school at the University of Washington where he earned a master’s degree in counseling and community mental health (1983). In 1986 he earned a doctor of philosophy degree with an area of specialty in Pacific Northwest mission history.

He was ordained to the priesthood May 22, 1976, at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Parish assignments included: associate pastor at Holy Family Parish, Kirkland, and St. James Cathedral in Seattle; parish administrator at Sacred Heart Parish in Bellevue, and at Holy Innocents Mission in Duvall; Catholic chaplain to the King County Jail and Seattle City Jail for 12 years; chairman of the Board of Directors for Catholic Community Services for 10 years; and chaplain to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Seattle.

In 1987, he was appointed chancellor and vicar general, positions he held for 17 years. Following the death of Archbishop Thomas Murphy in 1997, Father Thomas was elected administrator for the Archdiocese of Seattle until the appointment of Archbishop Alexander J. Brunett, who re-appointed Father Thomas as vicar general.

George Thomas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle by Pope John Paul II on Nov. 19, 1999 and was ordained Bishop on Jan. 28, 2000. He continued his service as Vicar General and as chairman of the Board of Directors for Catholic Community Services and the Archdiocesan Housing Authority. On March 23, 2004, he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Helena, and was installed at the Cathedral of St. Helena on June 4, 2004.

Joseph Anthony Pepe was born in Philadelphia on June 18, 1942. In 1960, he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and received his Doctorate in Canon Law from Rome's Pontifical University of Saint Thomas in 1976.
  
He was ordained a priest on May 16, 1970. Assignments after ordination included: Assistant Pastor at Our Lady of Loreta Parish; faculty member at Cardinal O'Hara High School, Springfield; Defender of the Bond, Metropolitan Tribunal, Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1976, and Prosynodal Judge in 1977; ten years later, he was appointed Vice Chancellor and in 1990 was named Chancellor of the Archdiocese. During his tenure in the Chancery, he served as Vice Promoter for the Cause of Blessed Katharine Drexel. From 1982 through 1987, Father Pepe was a member of the faculty of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he taught Canon law.

 
 
In May 1991, Monsignor Pepe was named Honorary Prelate of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II. Upon special request of the Archbishop of Santa Fe, Monsignor Pepe went to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1993 to assist as Judicial Vicar. In 1998, he was appointed Chancellor, Moderator of the Curia, and Vicar for Priests for the Archdiocese. 
 
He was named by Pope John Paul II as the second bishop of the Diocese of Las Vegas on April 6, 2001 and was ordained and installed on May 31, 2001.
   
Bishop Pepe is a member of the Board of Directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc., Hispanic Affairs. In addition, Bishop Pepe also serves on the following boards and committees: Board of Trustees for The Catholic University of America; member of the University’s Student Life Committee; board member of the International Dominican Foundation and Sanctuary of Culture Foundation; member of the Executive Committee of the Papal Foundation; member of Advisors for the Cause for the Beatification of Archbishop Fulton Sheen; and member of the Advisory Board for Priests for Life.

The Diocese of Las Vegas is comprised of 39,683 square miles in the state of Nevada and has a total population of 1.95 million of which 643,900 or 32 percent, are Catholic. 

February 27, 2018
BISHOPS’ MIGRATION CHAIRMAN URGES IMMEDIATE “HUMANE SOLUTION” FOR DREAMERS  


WASHINGTON — On February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court declined the government’s request to hear its “appeal before judgment” on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) cases. Accordingly, the lower court injunctions in the California and New York, DACA cases remain in effect nationally and DACA renewals remain available to those who currently have DACA status.

In response to the Supreme Court decision, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the Committee on Migration, stated:



“Monday’s Supreme Court decision does not reduce the urgency of finding an immediate legislative solution for Dreamers, people who were brought to the United States as children and have known only our country as their home. The anxiety and uncertainty that Dreamers and their families face remain unabated. Monday was our National Call-in Day for Dreamers, when thousands of Catholics urged their leaders in Congress to protect Dreamers. These faithful took action because they recognize that protecting these young people from deportation is an issue of human life and dignity, and that a legislative solution is necessary to make that protection durable. My brother Bishops and I continue to call upon Congress to work towards a bipartisan and humane solution as soon as possible.”

February 23, 2018
NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY FOR THE PROTECTION OF DREAMERS, FEB. 26


WASHINGTON — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with USCCB vice-president, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration, have issued a call to U.S. Catholics and people of good will across the nation to take part in a “Call-in-Day” on February 26 for the Protection of Dreamers.

With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty. 

Therefore, the bishops are asking individuals to contact their Members of Congress to urge them to:
 
    •    Protect Dreamers from deportation
    •    To provide them a path to citizenship
    •    And, to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process
 
To take part in the Call-In-Day to Protect Dreamers, please contact your Members of Congress by calling 855-589-5698 and visiting https://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/daca-resource-page/ (English and Spanish downloads are available).
 
The USCCB has also created a series of videos available on its YouTube channel and Facebook.com/USCCB.
 
For more information on how you can further support Dreamers, please visit  
https://justiceforimmigrants.org/ and https://www.sharejourney.org/.

February 21, 2018
U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS CHAIRMAN OF ECUMENICAL AND INTERRELIGIOUS AFFAIRS OFFERS CONDOLENCES ON THE DEATH OF THE REV. BILLY GRAHAM

WASHINGTON — His Excellency, Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement on receiving the news of the Rev. Billy Graham’s death:

“Headlines today will describe Billy Graham as the preacher to millions and the advisor of presidents but first and foremost, he was a man of deep Christian faith. Committed to the Gospel, his personal witness and preaching of Jesus Christ touched the hearts of Americans spanning many generations. 

In a particular way, Catholics feel the loss of one of the greatest pastors of our time. His ecumenical approach in ministry helped to forge bonds of friendship and understanding between Catholics and Protestants. He reminded us that what we had in common in Christ was greater than what divided us.
 
We pray for God to comfort his family and we join Christians throughout the nation and the world who pray today with blessed assurance, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master!’” (Matt 25:23)

February 20, 2018
POPE FRANCIS NAMES AUXILIARY BISHOP OF THE MILITARY SERVICES AS AUXILIARY BISHOP OF ROCKVILLE CENTRE

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has transferred Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Coyle of the Archdiocese for the Military Services to the office of auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on February 20, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
 
Bishop Coyle was born on September 23, 1964 in Brooklyn, New York. He received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Fordham University in 1986, and he attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York, earning a master of divinity degree and master of arts degree in theology in 1991.
 
He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rockville Centre on May 25, 1991, by Bishop John R. McGann at St. Agnes Cathedral.
 
Bishop Coyle was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 3, 1988 and served 24.5 years on Active and Reserve Duty before his retirement from the Naval Reserve on January 1, 2013. As a Navy Reserve Chaplain, Fr. Coyle served as Associate Pastor at St. Dominic Church in Oyster Bay, NY (1991-1996) and St. Patrick’s Church in Glen Cove, NY (1996-1999). He served as a Navy Reserve Chaplain from 1991-1999, and on Active Duty from 1999-2009. He was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa, Japan, from 1999-2000, during which time he was promoted to Lieutenant. He deployed to the Middle East (2000-2001) and served in Operation Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2002-2003). In 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Commander, U.S. Navy. From 2007 to 2009, he served on the USS Dwight D. EISENHOWER (CVN69) Aircraft Carrier and deployed to the Middle East in 2009 for Operation Enduring Freedom. In 2008, he was named by Pope Benedict XVI a Chaplain to His Holiness, a recognition that carried the honorary title of Monsignor.
 
On February 11, 2013, Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Coyle auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services. His episcopal ordination took place in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, DC, on the Feast of Saint Mark, April 25, 2013.
 
The Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, comprises 1,198 square miles. It has a total population of 2,889,841 people of which 1,524,639, or 53 percent, are Catholic. Bishop John O. Barres is currently the fifth bishop of Rockville Centre.

February 20, 2018
USCCB PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, AND MIGRATION CHAIR ANNOUNCE NATIONAL CALL-IN DAY FOR DREAMERS

WASHINGTON — Late last week, the Senate failed to achieve the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate on legislation to provide relief to Dreamers.  Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB President; Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice President; and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, together issued the following statement:

“We are deeply disappointed that the Senate was not able to come together in a bipartisan manner to secure legislative protection for the Dreamers.  With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty.

“We are also announcing a National Catholic Call-In Day to Protect Dreamers. This coming weekend, we will be asking the faithful across the nation to call their Members of Congress next Monday, February 26, to protect Dreamers from deportation, to provide them a path to citizenship, and to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process.
 
“Our faith compels us to stand with the vulnerable, including our immigrant brothers and sisters.  We have done so continually, but we must show our support and solidarity now in a special way.  Now is the time for action.”

February 14, 2018
BISHOP CONFERENCE PRESIDENT REACTION TO SHOOTING AT FLORIDA HIGH SCHOOL

WASHINGTON — Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing.

The full statement is as follows:

“We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy of God comfort the grieving families and sustain the wounded in their healing.  Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence.  Our hope is in the Lord, as he promised after his resurrection, ‘behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age’ (Mt. 28:20).”

February 14, 2018
PRESIDENT OF BISHOPS CONFERENCE ENCOURAGES CATHOLICS TO JOIN POPE FRANCIS IN A DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING FOR PEACE
 
WASHINGTON — The President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, is encouraging Catholics across the nation to join with Pope Francis on Friday, February 23, for a special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace. The day of prayer and fasting will focus on continued conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and other areas of the world.

Reflecting on the suffering caused by violent conflict, Pope Francis said, “Our heavenly Father always listens to His children who cry to Him in sorrow and anguish, who ‘heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds’ (Psalm 147:3). I make a heartfelt appeal so that we also listen to this cry and, each one of us in his/her own conscience before God, ask ourselves, ‘What can I do for peace?’”

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has called us to observe a special day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace on Friday, February 23, as Lent begins, with a particular concern for the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
 
Tragically, violent conflict rages in both nations.  South Sudan won its independence in 2011 only to find itself a victim to corruption and a bloody civil war.  In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the government fails to honor the constitution as the Catholic Church courageously promotes a peaceful resolution of the conflict between the ruling and opposition parties. In both countries, innocent families suffer.

Let us answer the Holy Father’s call to pray and fast for peace, especially for the Church and peoples of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And let us turn our fasting into almsgiving and support the work of Catholic Relief Services in both countries.
 
May God bless South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and our world with peace.”

To learn more about the special Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace and for additional resources on how Catholics can respond, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/day-of-prayer-and-fasting-for-peace.cfm.

February 13, 2018
FEDERAL BUDGET SHOULD BUILD TOWARD COMMON GOOD, SAY U.S. BISHOPS CHAIRMEN
 
WASHINGTON — After the Trump Administration released its federal budget proposal, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, and the Most Reverend Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed deep concerns about many of the priorities outlined in the blueprint, and called on Congress to “ensure a budget for our country that honors our obligations to build toward the common good.”

The full statement follows:
 
“The federal budget is a moral document, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has consistently urged our national leaders to consider important principles when deciding how to steward the finite resources entrusted to it by the American people. Budget decisions ought to be guided by moral criteria that safeguard human life and dignity, give central importance to ‘the least of these,’ and promote the well-being of workers and families who struggle to live in dignity. Our nation must never seek to balance the budget on the backs of the poor at home and abroad.
 
Yesterday, President Trump unveiled a budget plan, ‘Efficient, Effective, Accountable: An American Budget,’ that again calls for deep cuts to vital parts of government, including underfunding programs that serve the poor, diplomacy, and environmental stewardship. At the same time, the plan calls for increases in immigration enforcement spending and further increases in military spending, including on nuclear weapons. Prohibiting certain abortion providers from receiving federal funds and providing increased resources to combat opioid addiction is commendable. However, we urge Congress—and every American—to evaluate the Administration’s budget blueprint in light of its impacts on those most in need, and work to ensure a budget for our country that honors our obligations to build toward the common good.”

February 9, 2018
U.S. BISHOPS CHAIRMEN COMMEND PROVISIONS IN BUDGET ACT ENSURING HOUSES OF WORSHIP CAN APPLY FOR FEDERAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE

WASHINGTON – This morning, the Bipartisan Budget Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.  The bill includes the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act, which codifies fair and equal treatment for houses of worship damaged in natural disasters by enabling them to seek assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, praised Congress for including disaster relief fairness provisions in the Act:

“When hurricanes and other natural disasters strike, houses of worship are on the front lines of rebuilding efforts.  Churches, synagogues, and mosques are vital to their communities, and they, like other important community institutions, need help recovering from the impacts of natural disasters.  We applaud Congress for including provisions in the Budget Act that direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make disaster relief assistance available to houses of worship on the same terms as other nonprofit entities.  These provisions ensure that houses of worship are treated fairly.  That’s good not only for houses of worship but for the communities that depend on them.”

Links to letters of support for the Federal Disaster Assistance Nonprofit Fairness Act can be found here: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Letter-of-Support-to-House-for-Federal-Disaster-Assistance-Nonprofit-Fairness-Act-of-2017.pdf

A backgrounder is available at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Federal-Disaster-Assistance-Nonprofit-Fairness-Act-2017-Fact-Sheet.pdf     

February 9, 2018
BISHOPS’ PRO-LIFE CHAIRMAN PRAISES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOR EXPANDED MEXICO CITY POLICY

WASHINGTON – Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, thanked and praised the Trump Administration following release of its six-month report showing early signs of successful implementation of an expanded Mexico City Policy aptly renamed Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance.

“As Chairman of the United States Bishops’ Committee, I again applaud this Administration for restoring our foreign assistance to its rightful goals of promoting health and human rights. Abortion undermines basic human rights, certainly for the child, and it also can wound the mother emotionally and physically. U.S. tax dollars have no business going to organizations that are unwilling to pursue health outcomes for every person and instead insist on promoting and imposing their abortion ideology on women and children. The six-month report just released by the Trump Administration provides early evidence that the vast majority of NGOs—729 out of 733—are willing and able to comply with this policy and that compliance does not appear to undermine delivery of appropriate health services.”
 
February 7, 2018
USCCB LAUNCHES NEW MOBILE RESPONSIVE FORYOURMARRIAGE.ORG WEBSITE 

WASHINGTON—In conjunction with the start of National Marriage Week USA, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is pleased to announce the launch of a new mobile responsive ForYourMarriage.org website on February 7, 2018.

Originally launched in 2007, ForYourMarriage.org is an initiative of the USCCB that began as the communications component of the National Pastoral Initiative for Marriage. It continues to play a key role in advancing the USCCB’s priority on marriage and family.
 
Thanks to a grant received from the Catholic Communications Campaign, the new website, developed in collaboration with Crosby Communications and Marketing, includes updated content, graphics, and a new section dedicated to marriage and family ministry leaders.
 
“I hope this new platform will reach many more people with the message of God’s plan for marriage and be a source of support to husbands and wives at every stage of their vocational journey,” said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap, of Philadelphia, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
 
ForYourMarriage.org offers numerous resources on the meaning and beauty of marriage in God’s plan and provides support to couples at every stage of their journey. There are sections dedicated to dating, marriage preparation, mixed marriages, parenting and family, natural family planning, the stages of marriage, among others. A marriage resource section offers daily marriage tips, marriage help and support links, and solutions to common challenges. Finally, questions specific to planning a Catholic wedding as well as related Church documents and teachings are available on the website.
 
Along with these resources, the website features couples who write about their real-life experiences as engaged, newlyweds, or seasoned couples with weekly blog posts. Feature articles include book reviews, reports on current events and research related to marriage, and recent teachings about marriage and family life from the Holy Father.
 
Other websites hosted by the USCCB and dedicated to promoting marriage include PorTuMatrimonio.org and MarriageUniqueForAReason.org.

February 6, 2018
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO BE OBSERVED FEBRUARY 8

WASHINGTON — The International Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking will be observed on February 8. Designated by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General as a time of remembrance for victims and survivors of forced labor and commercial sex trafficking, the day coincides with the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita.

With an estimated over 25 million women, children, and men trapped in modern-day slavery, February 8th offers an opportunity to educate communities of faith about the prevalence of trafficking and to pray for its victims, who are often “hidden in plain sight”. Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, notes “through prayer we grow in solidarity with those that have suffered this affront to human dignity. We demonstrate to survivors that they are not alone.”

In honor of this important day, the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services, the Archdiocese of Washington, the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, and Trinity Washington University will host an Inter-Religious Prayer Service to remember victims and survivors of human trafficking, and to reflect on how we can unite against modern-day slavery. The service will take place on February 8th at 6:30 PM at the Chapel of Trinity University (125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC). To rsvp  for an evening of prayer with representatives from the world’s major religions, see Inter-Religious Service.

For help in hosting an awareness event or prayer service locally, visit Become a Shepherd for downloadable resources.

February 5, 2018
COLLECTION FOR CHURCH IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE TAKES PLACE ON ASH WEDNESDAY

WASHINGTON — The annual collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe will be held in most parishes on Ash Wednesday, February 14.
The collection supports pastoral, evangelization, and construction projects, as well as educational scholarships in Central and Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. Other areas of funding include lay and religious formation, poverty outreach, and communications.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe awarded over $9.1 million in grants last year for 318 projects in support of the Church in formerly communist countries of the region.

“For decades, our brothers and sisters in Central and Eastern Europe faced a test of faith as they suffered religious and political persecution under oppressive regimes,” said Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago and chairman of the Subcommittee. “We rely on US Catholics’ generosity to this collection to support these communities as they rebuild their faith and continue to be modern witnesses of the Gospel message.”

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information about the collection and what it supports can be found at www.usccb.org/ccee. Shareable resources to promote it can be found at www.usccb.org/ccee/collection.

February 5, 2018
POPE FRANCIS NAMES NEW AUXILIARY BISHOP OF ATLANTA
 
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Father Joel Konzen, S.M, as a new auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia. Father Konzen is a member of the Society of Mary (Marists) and currently serves as the principal of Marist School in Atlanta.  
 
The appointment was publicized in Washington on February 5, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
 
Joel Konzen was born on November 6, 1950, in Oak Harbor, Ohio, in the Diocese of Toledo. He attended St Meinrad College, Indiana, from 1968-1972, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. At Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans he earned a master’s degree in Divinity (1972-1974), and at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., he earned a master’s degree in Systematic Theology in 1978 and a master’s degree in Educational Administration in 1991.
 
In 1974, at Notre Dame, he entered the Society of Mary novitiate (Washington, DC) and took first vows as a Marist in 1975. He was ordained a priest in 1979 in New Orleans.
 
Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar, St. Edmond Parish, Lafayette, LA, 1979-1980; director of Admissions & Financial Aid, Marist School, Atlanta, GA, 1980-1982; principal, Marist School, Atlanta, GA, 1982-1988; president, Marist School, Atlanta, GA, 1988-1989; Vicar Provincial, Marist Center, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992; president/principal, St. Michael’s Academy, Austin, TX, 1992-1997; vicar provincial, Marist Center, Washington, D.C., 1997-1999; principal, Marist School, Atlanta, GA, 1999-present. Fr. Konzen received the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Catholic Secondary Schools Department Educational Excellence Award in 2015.
 
The Archdiocese of Atlanta, GA, comprises 21,445 square miles. It has a total population of 7,256,925 people of which 1,050,000, or 14 percent, are Catholic.

February 1, 2019
POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF BISHOP FRANCIS J. CHRISTIAN OF MANCHESTER
 
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Francis Joseph Christian, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Manchester, for reasons of age. He has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.



Bishop Christian’s retirement was publicized in Washington, February 1, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
 
Francis J. Christian was born October 8, 1942 in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He attended St. Anselm College, Manchester, St. Paul Seminary, Ottawa, and the American College in Louvain, Belgium, earning his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy in 1964, his master’s degree in Theology in 1968, and a doctoral degree in Religious Studies with a specialization in Moral Theology in 1975.
 
He was ordained a priest by Bishop Ernest J. Primeau, the sixth bishop of Manchester, for the Diocese of Manchester on June 29, 1968, at St. Patrick Church, Jaffrey, NH.
 
Assignments after ordination include: assistant pastor, Our Lady of Mercy, Merrimack, 1968-1971; assistant pastor, St. Joseph Cathedral, Manchester, 1971-1972; post graduate student, Louvain, Ph.D. in Moral Theology, 1972-1975; Vice Chancellor, Diocese of Manchester, 1975-1977; Chancellor, Diocese of Manchester, 1977-1986; Secretary for Administrative/Canonical Affairs, 1986-1996. In 1986, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Christian a prelate of honor, which includes the title "Monsignor.”
 
On April 2, 1996, Pope John Paul II appointed then-Monsignor Francis Christian as Auxiliary Bishop of Manchester and Titular Bishop of Quincy. He was ordained a bishop on May 14, 1996 at St. Joseph Cathedral by Bishop Leo E. O'Neil.
 
The Diocese of Manchester comprises 9,305 square miles. It has a total population of 1,334,795 people of which 254,594, or 19 percent, are Catholic.













DOLC Campaign
Support The Diocese
Event Registration
Vatican YouTube Videos
Catholic TV

Together For Life