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BISHOPS VOTE ON ETHICAL AND RELIGIOUS DIRECTIVES FOR CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE SERVICES, REVISIONS TO THE CHARTER FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

FORT LAUDERDALE — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) approved several action items today at their Spring General Assembly taking place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 13-14.

The full body of bishops voted to approve the revised Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People by a vote of 185-5-1. The revisions are a culmination of work by the USCCB Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, the National Review Board, the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, General Counsel, and the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. The revisions seek to build upon the work of dioceses in the United States to prevent the sexual abuse of minors, and to provide outreach and healing to victims/survivors of abuse.

The bishops also voted to approve the formal statement Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters by a two-thirds majority vote of 187-2-2. The pastoral response provides a framework that dioceses and parishes can use as guidelines to create or integrate into their own pastoral plans addressing the pastoral ministry to and among Asian and Pacific Island (API) Catholics in the United States. The vote will now allow for publication and implementation of Encountering Christ in Harmony by the bishops’ Cultural Diversity Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs. The committee will begin distributing the pastoral response widely throughout Catholic dioceses of the United States.

The Latin Church members today also approved by a two-thirds majority vote of 177-4-2 in favor of the ICEL Gray Book translation of the 2014‐2016 Roman Missal and Liturgy of the Hours Supplement for use in the dioceses of the United States. The Latin Church members of the USCCB also voted 175-6-2 in favor of the ICEL Gray Book translation of the Liturgy of the Hours: Proper of Time for use in the dioceses of the United States. The vote required two-thirds of the Latin Church members with subsequent confirmation by the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.

The bishops also approved by majority vote, the revised text of Part Six of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services by a vote of 183-2-2. The vote will implement modifications to Part Six of the Ethical and Religious Directors for Catholic Health Care Services regarding collaborating with non-Catholic partners.

The bishops also authorized the production of two new and additional elements: (1) a short letter to inspire prayer and action regarding public life and (2) a short video and other secondary resources—to complement, rather than to replace, the existing Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship document and to apply the teaching of Pope Francis to our day. The authorization passed with a simple majority vote of 144-41-2.

June 13, 2018
BISHOPS HEAR UPDATES ON V NATIONAL ENCUENTRO, SHARE THE JOURNEY CAMPAIGN, SYNOD ON YOUNG PEOPLE AND WORLD YOUTH DAY

FORT LAUDERDALE — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), gathering June 13-14 in Fort Lauderdale, for their annual Spring General Assembly heard reports today on a variety of topics including updates on the V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry and the Share the Journey campaign. The full body of bishops also heard presentations on the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, as well as World Youth Day taking place in 2019.

Bishop Nelson Pérez of Cleveland, Chairman of the USCCB's Cultural Diversity Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, offered the bishops an update on the V National Encuentro, that will take place September 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas.

Under the theme of “Missionaries Disciples, Witnesses of God's Love”, the V Encuentro will seek to establish ways in which the Catholic Church can respond to the Hispanic presence in parishes and promote the New Evangelization. It is also an opportunity to listen carefully to the needs, challenges and aspirations faced by the Hispanic population in everyday life.

In his presentation, Bishop Pérez recognized all who have been supporting and participating in the process of the V Encuentro over the past 18 months. The process has led to the celebration of 145 Diocesan Encuentros, as well as Encuentros in 14 episcopal regions, with the participation of over 100 bishops and more than 5,500 regional delegates. The Bishops’ initiative has motivated unprecedented levels of engagement and already born much fruit in thousands of parishes, ecclesial movements and other Catholic organizations and institutions across the U.S.

Bishop Pérez also noted that more than 2,800 delegates and over 100 bishops are expected to attend the V National Encuentro gathering. The Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, along with Dr. Guzmán Carriquiry, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America at the Vatican, will be in attendance. Bishop Juan Espinoza, General Secretary of CELAM (the Latin American Council of Episcopal Conferences), as well as representatives of more than 100 U.S. Catholic organizations are also anticipated to participate.

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of USCCB Committee on Migration; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, of Oklahoma City, representing Catholic Relief Services; and Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, Episcopal Liaison of Catholic Charities USA, offered the U.S. Bishops an update on Share the Journey, a campaign launched by Pope Francis on September 27, 2017.

Share the Journey is a two-year, global campaign to build empathy and awareness on the plight of migrants and refugees through encounters and education. The campaign is managed by Caritas Internationalis and implemented by other Caritas members around the world. The first year of the campaign saw the launch of a new website in support of the campaign, more than 200 media stories and millions of impressions on social media sites.

Highlights of the second year of the campaign will include a virtual pilgrimage which will encourage people in their communities to walk a combined 24,900 miles, equivalent to one trip around the earth, as they share the journey with their brothers and sisters in need. Dioceses, parishes, universities, and schools will be asked to pray, walk, and bear public witness to our solidarity with migrants and refugees. Catholic leaders are encouraged to work in partnership with both interfaith and ecumenical groups.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R. Archbishop of Newark, Archbishop Charles Chaput O.F.M.Cap., of Philadelphia, and Bishop Frank Caggiano, of Bridgeport, also reported on the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, including sending young adult delegates to the March 2018 Pre-Synod Gathering in Rome. The bishops also heard about plans for the international and stateside celebrations of World Youth Day in Panamá and across the USA in January 2019, as well as the visit of the WYD Cross and Marian Icon to several locations across the United States in August 2018.

The bishops also heard from the three young adult delegates from the Pre-Synod Gathering in Rome: Ms. Katie Prejean McGrady of Lake Charles, Louisiana; Mr. Nicholas López of Dallas, Texas; and Br. Javier Hansen, FSC, of the Lasallian Christian Brothers originally from northern California. The young adults shared their experience interacting with other young people from around the world at the Pre-Synod and meeting with Pope Francis. They also gave highlights from the Pre-Synod Summary Document on the needs and hopes of youth and young adults in the twenty-first century.  
 
June 13, 2018
PRESIDENT OF U.S. BISHOPS CONFERENCE APPOINTS THREE NEW MEMBERS OF NATIONAL REVIEW BOARD  

FT. LAUDERDALE — Three new members have been appointed to serve on the National Review Board (NRB) by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The NRB advises the bishops’ committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection at the USCCB. The NRB was established by the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People, which the bishops adopted in 2002.

As Cardinal DiNardo said in a letter sent to all newly appointed members, “The National Review Board plays a vital role as a consultative body assisting me and the bishops in ensuring the complete implementation and accountability of the Charter… The whole Church, especially the laity, at both the diocesan and national levels, needs to be engaged in maintaining safe environments in the Church for children and young people.”

The three new NRB members include those with expertise in law, victim advocacy and child protection and they are as follows:

Ms. Stacie LeBlanc is the Executive Director of the New Orleans Children’s Advocacy Center and the Director of the Audrey Hepburn Children at Risk Evaluation (CARE) Center of Children’s Hospital in New Orleans. She began her career as a child abuse prosecutor and is the former chief of the Felony Child Abuse Division in Louisiana. LeBlanc obtained a master’s degree in Early Childhood Development and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University New Orleans. She designed two educational programs, Teens, Sex and the Law, and Painless Parenting, and has trained an average of 8,000 people annually on these and other mandatory reporting programs. To battle child abuse, LeBlanc developed a social media campaign, Dear Parents, and launched No Hit Zones at Children’s Hospital and its subsidiaries to raise awareness of the harms of corporal punishment, which is the most prevalent risk factor for child physical abuse. She has been recognized for 11 successful legislative amendments and named the Champion for Children for Policy and Legislation by Prevent Child Abuse Louisiana.  She has received a Victims and Citizens Against Crime Lifetime Achievement Award, the FBI Directors and Community Leadership Award, Outstanding Prosecutor Award, recognition as Catholic Graduate of the Year and City Business’ Health Care Hero Award. LeBlanc is currently the President of the Louisiana Alliance of Children’s Advocacy Centers and the Vice President of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC).

Ms. Theresa Simak is an Assistant State Attorney in the 4th Judicial Circuit of Florida. She has been with the State Attorney’s Office since 2003 and was made a Division Chief in 2009. Simak
has spent most of her career focused on the prosecution of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence offenses. She is active in the community of Jacksonville and serves as chair of the University of Florida Child Protection Team Community Advisory Council and serves on their Operations Advisory Council. Simak currently serves on the State Forensic Interview Protocol Task Force to help develop a standardized protocol for forensic interviews of children suspected of having been abused. She also works closely with the sexual assault and domestic violence centers in Northeast Florida to include Hubbard House, Quigley House and the Women’s Center of Jacksonville. Simak received the Mayor’s Judicial Victim Advocate Award for outstanding service to victims in 2014 and received the State Attorney’s Office Distinguished Service Award for dedication and outstanding performance in 2015. Simak is married, and she and her husband have three children.

Ms. Jan Slattery served as the Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth in the Archdiocese of Chicago from 2003-2015. Previously she was the Director of Ministry in Higher Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago. Prior to working in the Archdiocese, Slattery was an administrator at Loyola University Chicago. She has been a consultant for various religious denominations on child abuse prevention and has been a frequent presenter on child abuse prevention. She gave a presentation on pornography at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 2012 and is co-author of Conversations, a program that addresses loneliness and life issues in diocesan priesthood. She was a member of the USCCB Higher Education Committee and Chairperson of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators.  While Director of the Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, she partnered with the Children’s’ Advocacy Center in Chicago and Prevent Child Abuse America to further awareness of child abuse.  Slattery currently serves on the Review Board for three religious communities. She has an MA in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Loyola University Chicago.  

Details regarding the National Review Board, its functions and other members can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/about/child-and-youth-protection/the-national-review-board.cfm

 
June 13, 2018
A STATEMENT FROM DANIEL CARDINAL DINARDO,
ARCHBISHOP GALVESTON-HOUSTON AND PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS

FORT LAUDERDALE -  “At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General’s recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life.

Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration’s zero tolerance policy.  Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma.  Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral.”
 
June 13, 2018
POPE FRANCIS NAMES REV. MSGR. GERALD L. VINCKE AS BISHOP OF SALINA  

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Gerald L. Vincke as Bishop of Salina, Kansas. Monsignor Vincke is a priest of the Diocese of Lansing, MI, and currently serves as pastor of Holy Family Parish, Grand Blanc, Michigan.

The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Monsignor Vincke was born July 9, 1964 in Saginaw, Michigan, ninth of ten children. He holds an associate degree in Journalism (1985) from Ferris State College in Big Rapids, MI. Monsignor Vincke also holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations/Advertising from Ferris State College (1986). Monsignor Vincke also studied Philosophy at Thomas More College in Crestview, KY, 1986, and Theology at Athenaeum Seminary in Cincinnati, OH. In 1999, Rev. Msgr. Vincke received a Master of Divinity from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, MI.

Rev. Msgr. Vincke was ordained a priest on June 12, 1999 in the Diocese of Lansing.

In 2001-2002 Msgr. Vincke attended Creighton University, Omaha, NE, (Spirituality Courses). April 2012, he attended a course on Exorcism at the Congregation for the Clergy, Rome. In 2015,  he studied at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome (STL, Spirituality).

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Anne Arbor (1999-2001); director, Bethany House Youth Retreat Center, Lansing (2001-2004); director of seminarians/vocation director, Diocese of Lansing (2003-2010); weekend ministry, St. Thomas Parish, East Lansing (2005-2010); chairman, Formation Department (for priest, deacons, laity and seminarians) at Diocese of Lansing (2006-2010); spiritual director, Pontifical North American College, Rome (2010-2015); pastor, Holy Family Parish, Grand Blanc, Michigan, 2015 to present.

Currently, Monsignor Vincke also serves on the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors. In 2012, he was named Chaplain to his Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI. He was appointed a Missionary of Mercy by Pope Francis in 2016.

The Diocese of Salina is comprised of 26,685 square miles in the state of Kansas and has a total population of 337,072 of which 44,369 or 13 percent are Catholic.
 
June 8, 2018
NEW AUXILIARY BISHOPS FOR ROCKVILLE CENTRE AND WASHINGTON
 
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Richard G. Henning as Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre and Rev. Msgr. Michael Fisher as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington.

Monsignor Henning is a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and currently serves as Rector of Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, NY, and Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the Ongoing Formation of Clergy. Monsignor Fisher is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and currently serves as Secretary for Ministerial Leadership and Vicar for Clergy.

The appointments were publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Rev. Msgr. Richard G. Henning was born October 17, 1964 in Rockville Centre, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History (1986) and a Master of Arts in History (1988) from St. John University, New York.  He attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, and was ordained a priest on May 30, 1992 at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. He received a licentiate in Biblical Theology in 2000 from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and a licentiate in Biblical Theology in 2007 from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, in Rome.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at St. Peter of Alcantara Church, Port Washington, New York, 1992-1997. He was assigned to graduate studies from 1997 to 2002. During this time, he served as weekend, summer and vacation help in a number of parishes including Our Lady of Miraculous Medal, Wyandanch, NY; Cathedral of St. Thomas More, Arlington, VA and; St. Patrick Parish in Washington, DC.

Msgr. Henning served as Associate Professor of Sacred Scripture, Immaculate Conception Seminary, 2002-2007; Full Professor of Sacred Scripture, Immaculate Conception Seminary, 2007-2012; and was the Formation Adviser at Immaculate Conception Seminary, from 2002-2012. Monsignor Henning also serves as a weekend assistant, St. Patrick Church, Bay Shore, NY, 2002-present. He also was weekend assistant (Spanish Language), St. Mary Church, Roslyn, NY, 2002-2016; weekend assistant (Spanish Language) at St. Matthew Church, Dix Hills, NY. Since July 2015 to present, Rev. Msgr. Henning has been an Administrator at Our Lady of the Magnificat, Ocean Beach, Fire Island, NY. He has also received Papal Honors of Chaplain to His Holiness (2008) and Knight of the Holy Sepulcher (2012).

Currently he is a Consultor and a Trustee at St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie, NY; adjunct professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY; and Episcopal Vicar, Central Vicariate of Rockville Centre.

Rev. Msgr. Michael Fisher was born March 3, 1958, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained a priest on June 23, 1990, in the Archdiocese of Washington. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting (1985) from University of Maryland, College Park and M. Div., and M.A., in Church History from Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD (1990).   

Assignments after ordination include: Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart Parish in La Plata, MD, (1990-1995); Pastor, Sacred Heart in Hillcrest Heights, from 1995-1999. Msgr. Fisher was then Pastor of St. John Neumann Parish in Gaithersburg (1999-2005). From 2005-2006, he was Vicar General (residing in St. Mark Parish, Hyattsville, MD). Since 2006 to present, he has served as Vicar for Clergy and Secretary for Ministerial Leadership for the Archdiocese.

In 2005, Msgr. Fisher was named Chaplain of His Holiness, with title of Monsignor.  He has been a member of Priest Retirement Board, Priest Council, College of Consultors Diaconate Review Board, Deacons Council, Formation Board, Continuing Formation Board, Priest Convocation Board and Chairman of the Clergy Personnel Board.

In 2006, Msgr. Fisher was Ecclesiastical Consultor to members of the Foundation Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice. Since 2016, he has also served on the Redemptoris Mater Seminary Pastoral Council.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is comprised of 1,198 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 2,889,841 of which 1,524,639 or 52 percent, are Catholic. Bishop John O. Barres, is the current bishop of Rockville Centre.

The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles in the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles Counties in Maryland. It has a total population of 2,980,005 of which 655,601 or 22 percent, are Catholic. Donald Cardinal Wuerl, is the current Archbishop of Washington.  

June 6, 2018
U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE SPRING GENERAL ASSEMBLY, JUNE 13-14
 
WASHINGTON —The 2018 Spring General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) being held in Fort Lauderdale, will be live streamed on the Internet, June 13-14, 2018. The livestream will be available at:  www.usccb.org/meetings. News releases, texts of addresses, presentations and other materials will also be posted on this page as they become available.  

Follow live conversation on Twitter with #USCCB18. Press conferences will also be streamed live on Facebook and Twitter.

Media outlets interested in taking the meeting’s satellite feed may request coordinates by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The live stream and satellite feed is expected to run from 8:45am (assembly starting time) to 5pm on Wednesday, June 13. On Thursday, June 14, the satellite feed will run from 8:45am to 2:00pm.
 
During the assembly, the full body of bishops will address a variety of topics including ethical and religious directives for Catholic healthcare services, a pastoral response to Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in the US, and the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment as well as the V National Encuentro.
 
Bishop Robert J. McManus, Chairman of the Committee on Doctrine's Subcommittee on Health Care, will discuss proposed revisions to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services regarding collaboration with non-Catholic entities in the provision of health care services. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, will give a brief update on activities of the Committee, including the committee's promotion of Serving Others in God's Love: Religious Freedom Week
 
Items for discussion and votes will also include proposed revisions for the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  Discussion and votes will also be proposed regarding new translations of various components of the Liturgy of the Hours including certain antiphons and intercessions. This will be one of several votes due to occur for this project over the next few years. Translations of the Liturgy of the Hours Grail Psalms have already been approved for U.S. dioceses.    

June 6, 2018  
WINNER OF 2018 CCHD CARDINAL BERNARDIN NEW LEADERSHIP AWARD NAMED

WASHINGTON — Fr. Matthew O’Donnell has been named as the winner of the 2018 Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). CCHD is the anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  Fr. O’Donnell will be honored at a reception Wednesday, June 13, during the bishops’ annual Spring General Assembly in Ft. Lauderdale.

Fr. O’Donnell is the pastor of St. Columbanus Parish in the Park Manor neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. In this role, he has helped the parish food pantry become the one of the city’s largest, implemented efforts to address the systemic causes of poverty, created a new parish Community Service Center that offers GED prep, employment readiness, and career counseling; and, with the help of a CCHD grant, is opening a café to provide job training and hospitality. Fr. O’Donnell also works to counter neighborhood violence through parish efforts to console loved ones and lead prayers for peace after local shootings, and by regularly hosting events at the parish that bring together community members and law enforcement officers.

“At St. Columbanus, Fr. Matt O’Donnell has built a living example of Pope Francis’ vision of a field hospital church that exists to serve humankind and spread the Gospel of a loving God. By his caring presence, his limitless energy for good works and his compassionate ministry, he has made St. Columbanus a beacon of hope in its community and an example of faith in action far beyond its borders,” said Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago.

Each year, the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award honors a Catholic between the age of 18 and 40 who demonstrates leadership in fighting poverty and injustice in the United States through community-based solutions. It is named for the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who served as archbishop of Chicago from 1982 till his death in 1996. He served as the first general secretary of the U.S. bishops from 1968-1972 and as third president of the U.S. bishops from 1974-1977.

More information about the award is available online: www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/cardinal-bernardin-new-leadership-award.cfm.

Fr. O’Donnell’s remarks will be available at www.togoforth.org on June 13 following the award reception.

If you would like a photo image of Fr. O’Donnell, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

June 5, 2018
WORLD YOUTH DAY CROSS AND ICON TO TRAVEL AROUND UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON — The official World Youth Day (WYD) Cross and Marian Icon, entrusted to the youth and young adults of the world by St. John Paul II in 1984, will make a multi-city tour of the United States in August 2018, the first time in twenty-five years such a coordinated journey has occurred.

The USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), in particular its World Youth Day USA (WYDUSA) initiative, is coordinating the national tour.

The Cross and Icon will travel across the country from Sunday, August 19 to Monday, August 27, 2018. The five stops along its U.S. journey will include, in order: Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; Houston, Texas; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles, California.  

Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., Metropolitan Archbishop of Panama and host of the next international World Youth Day gathering in January 2019, extended the Latin American tour of the WYD symbols to include the United States.

Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport and WYD Episcopal Liaison for the USCCB, said, “We are grateful for this opportunity to host these incredible and unifying symbols in our country.  I hope that young people and young adults will have an encounter with Christ and his mother Mary through the Cross and Icon, just as many have during World Youth Day. This summer tour is also very timely because August 2018 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the last time the pilgrim cross made a journey across the United States in advance of WYD 1993 in Denver.”   

The Cross has traveled around the globe since 1984, when St. John Paul II gave it to young people. It has been part of every World Youth Day celebration beginning with the first official WYD event in Rome in 1986. In 2002, the Cross came to Ground Zero in New York City for a brief visit to bring comfort to the nation’s young people in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2003, St. John Paul II presented the world’s youth and young adults with a Marian Icon, under the title of Salus Populi Romani, which has accompanied the WYD Cross for the past fifteen years.

The USCCB is coordinating efforts with local dioceses, institutions, and pastoral leaders in each of the five hosting locations. More information about the nationwide journey of the WYD symbols will be released, as details are known, on the USCCB’s World Youth Day website, www.wydusa.org and social media channels (@wydusa).

June 4, 2018
USCCB CHAIRMEN APPLAUD SUPREME COURT’S RESPECT FOR RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN MASTERPIECE CAKESHOP DECISION

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involves a Christian baker named Jack Phillips who declined in 2012 to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. State officials sought to compel Phillips to create such cakes under Colorado’s public accommodations law. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following joint statement:

“Today’s decision confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs, but instead should be respected by government officials. This extends to creative professionals, such as Jack Phillips, who seek to serve the Lord in every aspect of their daily lives. In a pluralistic society like ours, true tolerance allows people with different viewpoints to be free to live out their beliefs, even if those beliefs are unpopular with the government.”

The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Masterpiece Cakeshop, which can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/16-111-tsac-USCCB.pdf.

June 4, 2018
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NAMED OF THE SECRETARIAT OF EVANGELIZATION AND CATECHESIS FOR USCCB

WASHINGTON — David Spesia has been appointed as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB Secretary General, made the appointment, which will take effect July 2, 2018.

Since 2010, Dr. Spesia has served as Secretary of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Joliet. Prior to his most currently role, he was principal of St. Joseph Catholic School in Joliet from 2007-2010. From 1998-2007, he served as a Theology teacher and department chair at the Joliet Catholic Academy and additionally served as Managing Editor for Communio: International Catholic Review for five years. Throughout each role, Dr. Spesia has demonstrated a firm understanding of and deep personal commitment to evangelization. He has also overseen numerous programs and personnel along with inspiring students in his witness to the beauty of the Church and its teachings.

“Dr. Spesia brings to the Conference a wealth of both academic knowledge and lived experience in the realms of missionary discipleship, collaborate leadership, and evangelization,” said Msgr. Bransfield. “I am grateful to him for accepting this important position in service to the bishops and to the Conference.”

David Spesia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 1988. He earned his Master of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago—Divinity School in 1991. He also earned a Master of Arts in Education in 2005, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership in June 2008, and a doctorate of education in August 2016, all from the University of St. Francis.

For more information on the USCCB Secretariat of Evangelization and Catechesis, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/evangelization-and-catechesis/.

June 1, 2018
U.S. BISHOPS’ MIGRATION CHAIRMAN URGES ADMINISTRATION TO KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER

WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security has recently acknowledged implementation of the policy of separating families arriving at the U.S./Mexico Border. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response:

“Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. ‘Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.’ (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.

Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically-proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting:  a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families.

My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns.  Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity.  Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system.”

June 1, 2018
USCCB RELEASES REPORT ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released their 2017 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The 2017 report for audit year July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017, states that 654 adults came forward with 695 allegations. Compared to 2015 and 2016, the number of allegations has decreased significantly due to fewer bankruptcy proceedings and statute of limitations changes. Also, it notes that 1,702 victim/survivors received ongoing support. All dioceses and eparchies that received an allegation of sexual abuse during the 2017 audit year reported them to the appropriate civil authorities.

The report also notes the ongoing work of the Church in continuing the call to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults. In 2017, over 2.5 million background checks were conducted on Church clerics, employees, and volunteers. Over 2.5 million adults and 4.1 million children have also been trained on how to identify the warning signs of abuse and how to report those signs.

Twenty-four new allegations came from minors. As of June 30, 2017, six were substantiated and the clergy were removed from ministry. These allegations came from three different dioceses.  Four of the six allegations were against the same priest. Eight allegations were unsubstantiated as of June 30, 2017. Three were categorized as “unable to be proven” and investigations were still in process for five of the allegations as of June 30, 2017.  

Regarding Charter Compliance, the report noted the following:

    Two eparchies and one diocese did not participate in the audit this year.
    191 dioceses were found compliant with the Charter.
    All diocese/eparchies participating in the 133 data collection audits were found compliant with the data collection process.
    Of the sixty-one dioceses/eparchies participating in the on-site audits, all were found compliant except for three eparchies.
    All three eparchies were found non-compliant with Article 2 for the 2017 audit period.
    One eparchy was also found non-compliant with Articles 12 and 13.

The Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People continues to emphasize that the audit and the maintaining zero-tolerance policies are two important tools in the Church’s broader program of creating a culture of protection and healing that exceeds the requirements of the Charter.

This is the fifteenth such report since 2002 when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, making a promise to protect and a pledge to heal.  

June 1, 2018
THE MOST REVEREND MILAN LACH, NAMED BISHOP OF THE RUTHENIAN EPARCHY OF PARMA

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed as Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma, the Most Reverend Milan Lach, SJ, who up until now served as apostolic administrator of the Eparchy.


The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma is the Catholic eparchy governing most Ruthenian Catholics in the mid-western United States. It is headquartered in Parma, Ohio.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, June 1, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Lach, 44, was born in Kežmarok, Slovakia in 1973. In 1992, he was admitted to the Greek-catholic seminary in Prešov and in 1995 entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Trnava, Slovakia. He continued his studies at Trnava University and also studied at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he obtained a master's degree from the Eastern Church Sciences and later, a doctorate degree. In 2009, he began working at the Center of Spirituality East – West of Michal Lacko in Košice, Slovakia.

He was ordained a deacon of the Society of Jesus on November 11, 2000 and was ordained a priest on July 1, 2001. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine on April 19, 2013. He was ordained as auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine, June 1, 2013.  On June 24, 2017, Pope Francis named Bishop Lach as apostolic administrator of the sede vacante (vacant see) of the Epharcy of Parma for the Ruthenians.

The Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians was erected February 21, 1969. Currently, the Eparchy of Parma encompasses the geographical area of Ohio (except the eastern border counties), Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Byzantine Catholics living in those states are members of the local Church of Parma.

May 21, 2018
CATHOLIC DIOCESES CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN $58.7 MILLION TO RECOVERY EFFORTS IN THE WAKE OF 2017 HURRICANES AND MEXICO EARTHQUAKES

WASHINGTON — In response to the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and earthquakes in Mexico, Catholics across the United States have contributed nearly $59 million to relief and recovery efforts. Initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), special collections and funds were launched last year to support humanitarian relief efforts as well as to provide pastoral services and financial support to rebuild facilities in dioceses impacted by these disasters.

“The devastation wrought by last year’s unprecedented disasters continues to impact the lives of our brothers and sisters in the United States, across the Caribbean, and in Mexico. We are profoundly grateful to the dioceses that took up special collections or made donations,” said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections “The support of parishioners is an act of charity and a reflection of love for neighbor. We ask for continued prayers of support for the people affected by these historic natural disasters.”

As of mid-May 2018, US dioceses have remitted the following amounts for relief efforts:

Hurricane Harvey – $37.2 Million

Hurricane Irma – $12.8 Million

Hurricane Maria – $6.1 Million

Mexico Earthquakes – $3.5 Million

Humanitarian relief and recovery efforts are being provided by Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CCUSA is receiving 50% of Hurricane Harvey funds and 30% of both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria funds; CRS is receiving 20% of Hurricane Irma funds. Initial funding from the special collections supported immediate needs such as food, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Long-term disaster recovery is currently underway. CCUSA recently distributed $13.5 million to nine Catholic Charities agencies in Texas and Louisiana where Hurricane Harvey affected countless people.

In response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, CRS worked with Caritas Havana in Cuba to provide roofing and mattresses to affected families. In the British Virgin Islands, CRS, Caritas Antilles and the British Red Cross set up a joint cash program to help 740 families buy essential items. In Dominica, CRS and Caritas Antilles distributed 750 hygiene kits, 1,590 tarps, 920 buckets and 660 water filters to more than 600 families in four communities in the hardest-hit southeastern region. In the Dominican Republic, CRS partners provided 1,970 families with vouchers for food, hygiene and living supplies, and 330 families with hygiene kits. Teams also worked with the local health ministry to raise awareness about health and hygiene, particularly the danger of waterborne diseases and other health risks.

Two Mexico earthquakes days apart killed nearly 500 people in September 2017 and destroyed homes, infrastructure and utilities, CRS, Caritas Mexico and local partners constructed transitional shelters and distributed 2,859 tarps to vulnerable families. They set up communal cooking facilities to ensure daily hot meals and provided living supplies, including kitchen sets and locally made clay ovens. CRS and its partners also arranged counseling for 1,040 children and young people dealing with grief, distress and trauma from the earthquakes. Moving forward, CRS will train people to build back better using disaster-resilient construction techniques, and to maintain their shelters. In four communities, community-based disaster response teams are being trained in first aid. This outreach was done through CRS’s direct fundraising efforts.

The USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions is managing the US Church share of Hurricane Harvey (50%), Hurricane Irma (30%) and Hurricane Maria (55%) funds. The Subcommittee has awarded $14 million in Hurricane Harvey grants, and $3 million in Hurricane Irma grants to assist with Church repairs to parishes and schools in dioceses impacted by the hurricanes. Requests from dioceses for Hurricane Maria support will be considered at the Subcommittee’s June 14 meeting.

The USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America is managing the Caribbean Church share of Hurricane Irma (20%) and Hurricane Maria (15%) funds, as well as all contributions to the Mexico Earthquakes fund.

Distributions to the responding organizations will continue to be made as funds are received.

May 21, 2018
THE CONFRATERNITY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE APPROVES $46,729 IN GRANTS TO “FOSTER PRACTICAL RESPONSES” TO BIBLICAL LITERACY
 
WASHINGTON — This spring, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) awarded grants in the amount of $46,729 for three projects that support the goals of the CCD to promote Catholic biblical literacy and Catholic biblical interpretation.

The CCD works with the Catholic Biblical Association (CBA) to offer these grants accepting applications only from the CBA, including the organization itself, its designees, and its full and associate members. In fidelity to Dei Verbum, the CBA’s purpose is to promote scholarly study in Scripture and related fields by meetings of the association, publications, and support to those engaged in such studies.

Bishop Robert J. Brennan, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre and Member of the CCD-CBA Liaison Committee, commented, “It is heartening to see the renewed interest in Biblical literacy at every level of formation and Church life. I am glad that the CCD-CBA grants will foster practical responses to this interest.”

Funding for these grants comes from the royalties received from the publication of the New American Bible and its derivative works which the CCD develops, publishes, promotes, and distributes.

The three projects sponsored by the CCD are as follows:

$10,000 to Dr. Timothy Carmody (Professor, Graduate Program Director, Spring Hill College, St. Mobile, Alabama) for the development and teaching of three courses in Biblical Studies of first year deacon candidates of the Diocese of Jackson, MS. The three courses will provide an Introduction to Biblical Studies and Revelation as well as in-depth studies of the Prophets, and the synoptic Gospels.

$12,679 to Dr. Mahri Leonard-Fleckman (Assistant Professor, Providence College, Rhode Island) for a two-month stay in Israel to facilitate work at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem and on an archaeological dig to develop a book on how the Bible and archaeological evidence might together provide a better understanding of both the ancient society and the biblical text.

$24,050 to Dr. Rafael Ramirez (Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of Dallas, Neuhoff School of Ministry, Texas) for the funding of one scholarship for the MTS/Biblical Studies program at the University of Dallas Neuhoff School of Ministry. Upon graduation, the scholarship recipient will teach in the Escuela Catolica Biblica.

May 18, 2018
U.S. BISHOPS’ CHAIRMEN APPLAUD KANSAS AND OKLAHOMA FOR ENACTING LAWS THAT KEEP KIDS FIRST IN FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION SERVICES
 
WASHINGTON — By enacting laws protecting the conscience rights of adoption and foster care providers, “Kansas and Oklahoma are keeping kids first,” said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The governors of Kansas and Oklahoma on May 18 and May 11, respectively, signed legislation ensuring that faith-based adoption and foster care providers can provide these services in accordance with their deeply held religious beliefs or moral convictions.
 
The three USCCB chairmen stated the following:

“Kansas and Oklahoma are keeping kids first by allowing all capable adoption and foster care providers to serve children in need. The opioid crisis has caused a large increase in the number of children entering the foster care system. We need more, not fewer, agencies to serve children who need loving homes.”
 
At least nine states have now passed similar laws, including Virginia, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and now Kansas and Oklahoma. These laws do not exclude any providers or prohibit anyone from adopting but merely ensure the inclusion of faith-based providers.

At the federal level, the USCCB supports the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881 / S. 811), which protects child welfare providers from being discriminated against by federal or state government entities due to the providers’ religious beliefs or moral convictions.

May 18, 2018
PRESIDENT OF U.S. BISHOPS CONFERENCE RESPONDS TO SANTA FE HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTING

HOUSTON — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement in the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting:

“Our community and our local church joins an ever-growing list of those impacted by the evil of gun violence. I extend my heartfelt prayers, along with my brother bishops, for all of those who have died, their families and friends, those who were injured, and for our local community. Sadly, I must yet again point out the obvious brokenness in our culture and society, such that children who went to school this morning to learn and teachers who went to inspire them will not come home. We as a nation must, here and now, say definitively: no more death! Our Lord is the Lord of life. May He be with us in our sorrow and show us how to honor the precious gift of life and live in peace.”

May 18, 2018
CHAIR OF USCCB INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE SAYS “VIOLENCE IS NOT THE ANSWER” TO CONFLICT BETWEEN ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS

WASHINGTON — In response to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the ongoing violence between Israelis and Palestinians, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, Chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, stated the following:

“The violence in Gaza that has led to the deaths of 60 Palestinians and injuries of more than 2,000 is deeply troubling. Recognizing Israel’s right to self-defense, it is difficult to justify the death of protestors.

The protests by Palestinians are fueled by desperation due to the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. I pray for all those who have been killed or injured and for their families who are suffering.

I join with Pope Francis who on Easter prayed, ‘We beseech fruits of reconciliation for the Holy Land, also experiencing in these days the wounds of ongoing conflict that do not spare the defenseless.’

Prospects are dimming for a two-state solution in which a viable and independent Palestine exists in peace with a secure Israel, with Jerusalem as a shared capital. Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem was a provocative and unhelpful step in the pursuit of peace.

Understanding that violence is not the answer, I join with all people of good will in praying for a peaceful resolution to this long-standing conflict.”

May 14, 2018
NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SECRETARIAT OF LAITY, MARRIAGE, FAMILY LIFE AND YOUTH

WASHINGTON — Dominic Lombardi has been appointed as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based in Washington, D.C., the secretariat assists the bishops in advancing the vocation and mission of the lay faithful, married couples, families, lay ecclesial ministers, and young people.

Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB General Secretary, made the appointment, which will take effect June 11, 2018.

“Dominic brings a wealth of academic knowledge and lived experience in the realms of family life, youth ministry, personal formation, and Church teaching to the Conference” said Msgr. Brian Bransfield. “In his work, he has accompanied the faithful on both an individual basis and as families. I am grateful for his acceptance of this important role in service to the bishops and the Conference.”

Since July 2015, Mr. Lombardi has served as Secretary and Director for the Secretariat for Catholic Life and Evangelization in the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. From 2012-2017, he has also served as the Director for Adult and Graduate Recruitment, Services, and Partnerships for Neumann University in Aston, Pennsylvania. He has previously worked as the Director of the Office for Adult Faith Formation and Evangelization at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as the Associate Director of Adult Religious Education in the Diocese of Camden, and was Director of Adult Religious Formation in the Archdiocese of Washington.

He has taught theology at several universities since 1994 and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Mr. Lombardi graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History at the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1980. He earned his Master of Arts in Moral Theology from Saint Charles Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania in 1990 and his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family Studies in Washington, D.C., in 1994. He is married and has six children.   

For more information on the USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/laity-marriage-family-life-and-youth/index.cfm.

May 11, 2018
BISHOPS TO DISCUSS ETHICAL AND RELIGIOUS DIRECTIVES FOR CATHOLIC HEALTH CARE, HEAR UPDATE ON NATIONAL V ENCUENTRO AT JUNE GENERAL ASSEMBLY 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for their annual Spring General Assembly, June 13-14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. During the assembly, the full body of bishops will address a variety of topics including ethical and religious directives for Catholic healthcare services, a pastoral response to Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in the US, and the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. 

Bishop Nelson Pérez of Cleveland, chairman of the USCCB’s Cultural Diversity Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs, will offer the bishops an update on the V Encuentro, as dioceses conclude their regional Encuentro meetings and prepare to attend the national event, September 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas. Thus far, the V Encuentro process has engaged hundreds of thousands of Latino Catholics during local and regionally held Encuentro events across the U.S. Approximately 3000 diocesan delegates are expected to represent them at the National V Encuentro gathering.

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Cultural Diversity’s African American Affairs Chair and Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, is also expected to provide a brief update to the General Assembly on the Pastoral Letter on Racism and report on the activities of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.  

Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration will offer an update on the Share the Journey Campaign and its implementation in the United States.

Bishop Robert J. McManus, Chairman of the Committee on Doctrine’s Subcommittee on Health Care, will discuss proposed revisions to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services regarding collaboration with non-Catholic entities in the provision of health care services.   

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, will give a brief update on activities of the Committee, including the committee’s promotion of Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week.   

Items for discussion and votes will include proposed revisions for the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and a discussion and vote on the statement Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters.

Discussion and votes will also be proposed regarding new translations of various components of the Liturgy of the Hours including certain antiphons and intercessions. This will be one of several votes due to occur for this project over the next few years. Translations of the Liturgy of the Hours Grail Psalms have already been approved for U.S. dioceses.    

Added discussion and votes will occur regarding supplementary materials for the Roman Missal and the Liturgy of the Hours for the feast days of Saints John Paul II, John XXIII, and Mary Magdalene.

A joint presentation will be made to the body of bishops on the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, taking place in October. They will also present on World Youth Day taking place January 2019. 
 
May 8, 2018
BISHOP JOHN M. QUINN OF WINONA TO SERVE AS CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE ON CATHOLIC EDUCATION

WASHINGTON — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Bishop John M. Quinn to serve as Chair of the USCCB’s Committee on Catholic Education. The appointment was made following the resignation of Bishop George Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, previous chair of the committee, after his diagnosis with a form of acute Leukemia.

“Our most heartfelt prayers are with Bishop Murry and his loved ones,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “We ask all people of faith to join us in praying for his full recovery.  I am grateful to Bishop Quinn for his dedication and commitment to now lead the work of the Committee on Catholic Education.”

Bishop Quinn will serve as chair of the committee for the remainder of Bishop Murry’s term. Bishop Quinn currently serves as a consultant member of the Committee on Catholic Education.  He has been a member of the Committee on Catholic Education since 2012 and served as Chair of the Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service from 2012 to 2017.

John M. Quinn was born December 17, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan. He was ordained a priest on March 17, 1972, an Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit on August 12, 2003, and Bishop of Winona-Rochester on December 11, 2008. Bishop Quinn holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; a Master of Divinity from St. John’s Provincial Seminary, Plymouth; a master’s degree in religious studies and master’s degree in systematic theology from the University of Detroit/Mercy; and an honorary doctorate of education from Saint Mary’s University in Winona.

May 7, 2018
USCCB ANNOUNCES PUBLISHING OF 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF BLESSED PAUL VI’S HUMANAE VITAE

WASHINGTON — In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Birth), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is making available a special 50th anniversary edition that includes reflections from succeeding popes on the prophetic teaching that honors the spiritual and sensory elements found in conjugal love.

Recognizing the fullness of the marital union as total, faithful, and exclusive, the encyclical proclaims the path of grace and true happiness for married couples under the abiding yoke of Christ. Originally published in 1968, Blessed Paul VI’s letter promotes the whole human person in the context of marital love that respects both the spiritual and physical dimensions of man and woman. Considering the human person as a whole, it also presents the practical social implications if the document’s conclusions—based on the full respect of the totality of persons—are ignored.

This 50th anniversary edition includes the full encyclical, with excerpts from Blessed Paul VI’s successors affirming the teachings of Humanae Vitae. Also included are selections from the 1968 US Catholic bishops’ statement, Human Life in Our Day.

The 50th anniversary edition of Humanae Vitae can be ordered online at  http://store.usccb.org/humanae-vitae-50th-anniversary-edition-p/7-596.htm.

Additional books and resources pertaining to marriage and family life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Vatican, ministry and more can be found by visiting the USCCB’s online bookstore at https://store.usccb.org/

May 7, 2018
BISHOP GEORGE V. MURRY, SJ, STEPS DOWN: BISHOP SHELTON J. FABRE OF HOUMA-THIBODAUX TO SERVE AS CHAIR OF
THE AD HOC COMMITTEE AGAINST RACISM


WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux to serve as Chair of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. The appointment was made following the resignation of Bishop George Murry, S.J., of Youngstown, previous Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee, after his diagnosis with a form of acute Leukemia.

“Our most heartfelt prayers are with Bishop Murry and his loved ones,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “We ask all people of faith to join us in praying for his full recovery.  I am grateful to Bishop Fabre for his dedication and commitment to now lead the work of the Ad Hoc Committee.”

Bishop Fabre will serve as Chair of the committee for the remainder of Bishop Murry’s term. Bishop Fabre currently serves as Chair of the USCCB Subcommittee on African American Affairs.  He has been a member of that committee since 2010 and a member of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church since 2013.

Shelton J. Fabre was born October 25, 1963 in New Roads, Louisiana. He was ordained a priest on August 5, 1989, an Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans on February 28, 2007, and Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux on September 23, 2013. Bishop Fabre is a 4th Degree Knight of St. Peter Claver and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018
USCCB LOOKS FORWARD TO WORKING WITH WHITE HOUSE FAITH AND OPPORTUNITY INITIATIVE
 
WASHINGTON – Yesterday, on the National Day of Prayer, President Trump signed an Executive Order announcing the establishment of the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

Jonathan Reyes, Ph.D., USCCB Assistant General Secretary for Integral Human Development, stated the following:

“We look forward to working with the White House on its Faith and Opportunity Initiative.  Overcoming poverty and challenging other social problems like the opioid crisis takes all hands-on deck.  The faith community has collaborated with government partners in this country at the federal, state, and local levels for a very long time.  We pray that we will continue to have the freedom and the space to serve the least of these, as the Gospel mandates.”

April 27, 2018
BISHOP CHAIRMEN, ECUMENICAL AND INTERFAITH LEADERS STRONGLY SUPPORT LEGISLATION KEEPING KIDS FIRST IN ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE
 
WASHINGTON — At the start of National Foster Care Month, three bishop chairmen, faith leaders, and numerous nonprofit organizations sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady urging the committee to give a high priority to the enactment of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881) this year.

The Inclusion Act protects child welfare providers from being discriminated against by federal or state government entities due to the providers’ religious beliefs or moral convictions.
 
The letter states that “keeping kids first involves protecting the birth mother’s choice to place the child with the family she feels is best,” and it quotes a birth mother who chose to work with a Christian adoption agency “because their values match mine.”
 
The letter continues: “At a time when the opioid crisis is driving more children into foster care and adoption, we need all available agencies to assist with placing vulnerable children in stable homes.  Faith-based agencies in particular excel at recruiting good families who can provide stability for children in crisis; that excellence is propelled by both the faith-driven mission of these agencies as well as their connections to houses of worship where they can recruit prospective foster and adoptive parents.”
 
Signatories from Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities USA, Buckner International, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and many other organizations concerned about the freedom of adoption and foster care providers to serve children in need of loving homes joined Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, in signing the letter.
 
A link to the letter can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Support-for-the-Child-Welfare-Provider-Inclusion-Act-of-2017-HR-1881.pdf.
 
A backgrounder is available at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Backgrounder-Inclusion-Act-2017.pdf.


April 27, 2018
USCCB RELIGIOUS LIBERTY CHAIRMAN ANNOUNCES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WEEK FROM JUNE 22-29
 

WASHINGTON—Catholics across the United States are encouraged to pray and act in support of religious liberty at home and abroad during Serving Others in God’s Love: Religious Freedom Week 2018, which begins on June 22, the Feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher, and ends on June 29, the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.



The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, states: “Religious freedom allows the space for people of faith to serve others in God’s love in ministries like education, adoption and foster care, health care, and migration and refugee services. We encourage people of faith to reflect on the importance of religious freedom so that we might have the space to carry out our mission of service and mercy, and we invite everyone to pray for our brothers and sisters who face intense persecution in other parts of the world.”

April 25, 2018
USCCB COMMITTEE ON MIGRATION CHAIRMAN ENDORSES USA ACT

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe Vásquez, of Austin Texas, announces support for H.R. 4796, the “Uniting and Securing America” (USA) Act of 2018 as it is currently written. The USA Act is a bipartisan bill that offers a path to citizenship to Dreamers and augments existing border security technology at the U.S./Mexico border.

“We are hopeful our support of the current version of the USA Act, and our continued support of the Dream Act, will encourage Congress to act now and find a humane legislative solution for Dreamers,” noted Bishop Vásquez.

The USA Act would provide qualifying Dreamers with protection from deportation, as well as a path to citizenship. Additionally, the USA Act of 2018 would augment border security at the U.S./Mexico border, in part through deployment of new technology; increase the number of immigration judges and Board of Immigration Appeals staff attorneys; and seek to address root causes and prevent future irregular migration from Central America.

On the need for immediate action, Bishop Vásquez stated: “Every day, my brother bishops and I witness directly the constant anxiety of Dreamer youth and their families, and that experience of urgency moves us to press Congress for an immediate and durable solution to this problem.”

For more information, including Bishop Vásquez’s letter to the House of Representatives in support of the USA Act, see https://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/daca-resource-page/.


April 20, 2018
ORDINATION CLASS OF 2018: CARA REPORT GIVES REASONS FOR HOPE AND AREAS FOR GROWTH

WASHINGTON — According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate's (CARA) annual survey, in the Ordination Class of 2018, almost all responding ordinands reported being baptized Catholic as an infant (90 percent). Among those who became Catholic later in life, the average age of conversion was 26. Four in five responding ordinands (83 percent) report that both their parents were Catholic when they were children. One in three (35 percent) has or had a relative who is a priest or religious.

The total number of potential ordinands for the class of 2018, 430, is a lower number from 590 in 2017.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, of Newark, Chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, found that the data gives reason for hope as well as provides areas for future growth.

“Although the overall number of ordinations to the Priesthood is lower this year, the information gathered from this survey and the generosity of those to be ordained continues to inform the important work of vocations ministry for the future. It is essential that we continue to make the conscious effort to encourage young men to be open to hearing God’s call in their life and assist them in the discernment process.”

Father Ralph B. O’Donnell, Executive Director of the Secretariat, cited the significance of encouraging vocations awareness: “One of the most encouraging statistics to see in this study is that 86 percent of those to be ordained to the priesthood this year were encouraged to do so by someone in their life (most frequently a parish priest, friend or another parishioner). A similar percentage was reported in February in the most recent survey of those solemnly professed. This fact should enliven in the faithful a resolve to actively encourage the young people that they encounter to consider to what vocation God is calling them and to be generous in their response.”

The Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate gathered the data for “The Class of 2018: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood.” CARA collects the data annually for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. Approximately 78 percent of the 430 potential ordinands reported to CARA. These 334 respondents include 252 ordinands to the diocesan priesthood and 78 ordinands to the religious priesthood.

Among the survey’s major findings:
    •    The majority of responding ordinands are Caucasian (seven in ten) and were born in the United States (three in four). One in four is foreign-born. By comparison, since 1999, on average each year, 30 percent of responding ordinands were foreign-born.
    •    The four most common countries of birth among the foreign-born are Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Colombia. On average, foreign-born responding ordinands came to live in the United States 12 years ago at the age of 23.

    •    On average, responding ordinands first considered priesthood when they were 17 years old. Responding ordinands were scheduled for ordination on average 18 years later (at the age of 35). Since 1999, the average age of responding ordinands has fluctuated only slightly each year, from an average of 36 in 1999 to the current average age of 35.
    •    Between 39 and 47 percent of all responding ordinands attended a Catholic school for at least some part of their schooling. Half of responding ordinands (51 percent) participated in a religious education program in their parish for seven years, on average.

    •    Nearly half of responding ordinands (45 percent) report that they completed a college or university undergraduate degree before entering the seminary. The most common fields of study are social science, theology or philosophy, business, or liberal arts.

    •    Two in three responding ordinands (64 percent) reported full-time work experience prior to entering the seminary. One in twenty responding ordinands served in the U.S. Armed Forces themselves. About one in eight responding ordinands (13 percent) reported that one or both parents had a military career in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    •    Almost all responding ordinands reported being baptized Catholic as an infant (90 percent). Among those who became Catholic later in life, the average age of conversion was 26. Four in five responding ordinands (83 percent) report that both their parents were Catholic when they were children. One in three (35 percent) has or had a relative who is a priest or religious.

    •    Regarding participation in parish ministries before entering the seminary, nearly three fourths of responding ordinands (74 percent) served as altar servers before entering the seminary. Nearly three in five (57 percent) served as lectors. Around half served as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (46 percent). One in three served as catechists (38 percent), in campus ministry or youth ministry (35 percent), or as confirmation sponsors/godfathers (31 percent).

    •    In regard to participation in vocation programs before entering the seminary, half of responding ordinands (46 percent) reported participating in “Come and See” weekends at the seminary or the religious institute/society.

    •    Nearly nine in ten responding ordinands (86 percent) reported being encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life (most frequently, a parish priest, friend, or another parishioner). Responding ordinands indicate that, on average, four individuals encouraged their vocation.

    •    One-half of responding ordinands (51 percent) indicated that they were discouraged from considering the priesthood by one or more persons. Most often, this person was a friend/classmate or a family member (other than parents).

The full report can be found online: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/ordination-class/class-of-2018/ordination-class-of-2018.cfm.

April 18, 2018
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!”















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