February 25, 2021
Always conscious of a prevailing sense of gratitude to Almighty God, I wish to thank all of you who have offered your prayers for my recovery from COVID and reached out with generous assistance.
Information and Announcements About The Diocese
February 25, 2021
Always conscious of a prevailing sense of gratitude to Almighty God, I wish to thank all of you who have offered your prayers for my recovery from COVID and reached out with generous assistance.
Upcoming events in the Diocese of Lake Charles:
Bishop’s Bible study classes canceled for March
Bible study classes hosted by Bishop Glen John Provost have been canceled for the month of March. The bishop tested positive for COVID-19 and is recuperating. The men’s Bible session was scheduled for March 5, and the ladies' Bible teaching was scheduled for March 3. An update will be announced later for the remaining classes in April and May. Please keep Bishop Provost in your prayers for full recovery.
Lenten missions planned around the Diocese
Several church parishes in the Diocese of Lake Charles have announced plans for their upcoming Lenten missions.
• Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 95 Bilbo Street, Lake Charles: “The Sacrament of Penance: Crafting the Soul for Glory,” presented by Father D.B. Thompson, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, March 8-9. Father Thompson will answer the questions: What is sin? What is its divine remedy? What are some practical tips on how to make a good Confession?
• Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 920 South Broadway Street, Jennings: 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, March 10-12; theme: “Be Open to God and Receive His Blessings.” Wednesday’s topic — “I Am a Unique Person in this World”; Thursday’s topic — “Purpose of my Being Here on this Earth”; and Friday’s topic — “My Destination as a Christian.”
• Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, 3939 Lake Street, Lake Charles: 6:30 p.m. nightly, Monday-Wednesday, March 1-3, presented by Father Whitney Miller; reservations required and priority given to registered OLQH parishioners. The theme of Father Miller’s talks will be "Seasons, Cycles and Spiritual Lessons Learned ... So What Really Matters?”
• St. Henry Catholic Church, 1021 Eighth Avenue, Lake Charles: “The Mass: God’s Solution to the World’s Problems,” presented by Father Sam Orsot, 6:30 p.m. nightly, Monday-Wednesday, March 1-3, livestreaming available on St. Henry Facebook page. Also: Spanish Lenten Mission — “How Do We Praise God in the Liturgy?” presented by Father Bernardo Torres, LC; 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26; and 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27.
• St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 7120 Highway 14 East, Bell City: 6:30 p.m., Monday-Wednesday, March 1-3; presented by the Very Rev. Ruben J. Buller, Vicar General; theme: “While the World Changes the Cross Remains.”
• St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, 2500 Enterprise Boulevard, Lake Charles: Lenten Prayer Clinic — Sunday-Tuesday, March 7-9, presented by Father Nathan Long, Father John Joseph Bourque, CJC; and Community of Jesus Crucified lay members; topics: What is Prayer? How to Meditate. Getting More Out of the Rosary. Getting More out of Mass and Holy Communion. Dryness and Distractions in Prayer. Times each night are 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. March 7 preceded by confession at 4 p.m.; and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 8-9 preceded by confession at 5 p.m. both nights.
• St. Paul Catholic Church, 1100 St. Mary Street, Elton: 7 p.m. nightly, Sunday-Tuesday, March 7-9, presented by Deacon Brian Soileau, Director of Saint Charles Center/Camp Karol. Deacon Soileau will share his conversion through Eucharistic Adoration. From singer/ entertainer and correctional officer to deacon. Come hear his testimony to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
Saint Charles Center events and retreats
MOSS BLUFF — Deacon Brian Soileau, director of Saint Charles Center, 2151 Sam Houston Jones Parkway, announces upcoming talks and retreats. Capacity for all events is limited to 36 guests, and COVID-19 precautions will be in place. To register, call 337-855-1232.
Diocesan Youth Ministry events
The following events for teenagers are sponsored by the Diocese of Lake Charles Youth Ministry:
Day of Prayer for single women planned March 13
LAKE CHARLES — A Day of Prayer and Discussion for Single Women will begin with Holy Mass at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, March 13, at the convent for the Religious Sisters of Mercy, 1414 Martha Street. Breakfast will be served following Mass.
The discussion/conferences, led by the Religious Sisters, will begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by lunch at noon. A service/work project at 1:00 p.m. is optional for those attending.
The day is open to all unmarried women, ages 18-39, who want to deepen their capacity to hear and respond to God’s voice as He leads them on their daily pilgrimage of faith, hope and charity.
Master of Theology Program focus of IBCS webinar
The Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS), in conjunction with Xavier University's Office of Graduate Programs (OGP), will host an Information Webinar on its Master of Theology Program, 5-7 p.m. Monday, March 1. The webinar will provide an opportunity to meet faculty and staff, learn about the program and curriculum, review admissions process, and have questions answered.
‘Together for Life’ 2021 schedule
“Together for Life,” the marriage preparation day hosted by the Office of Family Life, announces remaining dates of classes for 2021: March 13, April 17, and May 22.
Institute for Black Catholics Studies planned online June 27-July 16
NEW ORLEANS — The 42nd session of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS), a graduate theology program and school of pastoral ministry that meets each summer, will convene Sunday, June 27 through Friday, July 16, 2021, at Xavier University of Louisiana. The theme is “Holy Spirt, Breathe on Me!”
Due to the public health emergency presented by COVID-19, this year’s session — classes and Community Life — will be conducted for a second year online, according to Dr. Kathleen Dorsey Bellow, director of the Institute. The virtual format will offer an opportunity for first-timers to get a taste of the Institute life at Xavier without having to make the trip to New Orleans.
The IBCS staff consists of Program Specialist Dana Lockett and Bellow, along with Dr. C. Vanessa White, Associate Director for the Master of Theology (Th.M.) Degree Program; and Dr. Eva Lumas, S.S.S., Associate Director for Continuing Education & Enrichment (C&E) Programs.
The Th.M. program forms students for theologically and culturally competent service as ordained, religious or lay ecclesial ministers in the Black community and church.
C&E programs provide lifelong learning and spiritual formation for pastoral leaders, clergy, religious, administrators, teachers and others who minister with Black communities or serve in multi-cultural settings.
To access the 2021 IBCS applications, visit https://gradapply.xula.edu/apply. New degree students select First-time users to create an account; current degree students select Readmit Students in Graduate Programs. All C&E students select Institute for Black Catholic Studies Continuing Education Program.
Cor ad Cor ministry meets monthly
Cor ad Cor, a ministry open to all unmarried women ages 18-39, meets the first Thursday from 5-8 p.m. at St. Hubert Convent, 1414 Martha Street in Lake Charles. The monthly gathering is led by the Religious Sisters of Mercy and is for women who want to deepen their capacity to hear and respond to God’s voice as He leads them on their daily pilgrimage of faith, hope and charity.
The evening begins at 5:10 p.m. with a Holy Hour, followed by dinner and discussion at 6:15 p.m., then Scripture reading and discussion, end ending at 7:45 p.m. with night prayer.
The title, “Cor ad Cor,” is a shortened version of “Cor ad Cor Loquitur,” a Latin phrase meaning “Heart speaks to Heart,” which comes from a letter written by St. Francis de Sales to one of his spiritual directees.
(USCCB News Archives can be accessed at www.usccb.org/news/)
February 23, 2021
Bishop chairmen: Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith
WASHINGTON — Five committee chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote a letter to members of Congress opposing the recent reintroduction of the Equality Act (H.R. 5), which is scheduled to be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives this week. The bishops warned of the threats posed by the proposed legislation to both people of faith and of no faith, with respect to mandates impacting charities and their beneficiaries in need, health care and other conscience rights, taxpayer funding of abortion, freedom of speech, women’s sports and sex-specific facilities, and more. Their letter explained:
“[E]very person is made in the image of God and should be treated accordingly, with respect and compassion. This commitment is reflected in the Church’s charitable service to all people, without regard to race, religion, or any other characteristic. It means we need to honor every person’s right to gainful employment free of unjust discrimination or harassment, and to the basic goods that they need to live and thrive. It also means that people of differing beliefs should be respected.”
Furthermore, the bishop chairmen asserted, “The [Equality Act] represents the imposition by Congress of novel and divisive viewpoints regarding ‘gender’ on individuals and organizations. This includes dismissing sexual difference and falsely presenting ‘gender’ as only a social construct. As Pope Francis has reflected, however, ‘“biological sex and the socio-cultural role of sex (gender) can be distinguished but not separated.” … It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.’ Tragically, this Act can also be construed to include an abortion mandate, a violation of precious rights to life and conscience.”
“Rather than affirm human dignity in ways that meaningfully exceed existing practical protections, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith,” they concluded.
The letter was jointly signed by Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J., of Oakland, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Cardinal Timothy M. Dolanof New York, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty; Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
The letter is available at https://www.usccb.org/resources/Letter_to_Congress_on_Equality_Act_Feb_23_2021.
February 19, 2021
USCCB urges prayer, support for all during extreme winter storms
WASHINGTON — Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urges prayer and support for all those who have died and been injured in the recent winter storms, and encourages hope and generous support at the beginning of the Lenten season.
Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:
"I join my brother bishops in praying for all those who have died and been injured in the recent winter storms. We pray especially for those without power and heat and for first responders who are offering assistance to those with urgent needs. In our Lenten almsgiving, let us find concrete ways to help our brothers and sisters. I entrust those who are suffering to the Immaculate Heart of our Blessed Mother Mary. May she grant them all comfort and peace.”
Donations can be made to Catholic Charities USA at www.CCUSA.online/weather.
February 15, 2021
Pope Francis names new auxiliary bishop of San Antonio
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Gary W. Janak as auxiliary bishop of San Antonio. Bishop-elect Janak is a priest of the Diocese of Victoria and currently serves as rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory and vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of Victoria. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on February 15, 2021 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Father Janak was born March 22, 1962 in El Campo, Texas. He graduated from Palacios High School in 1980 and attended Wharton Junior College and the University of Texas, Austin (1980-1982) and received a Bachelor of Arts in history from The College of Santa Fe in New Mexico (1982-1983). He received a Master of Divinity from Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas (1983-1988) and a Licentiate in Canon Law (JCL) from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (1993-1995). He received a Master of Education in counseling from University of Houston-Victoria in Victoria, Texas (1995-1997) and is a Licensed Professional Counselor for the State of Texas (2000 to present). He attended Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Victoria on May 14, 1988.
Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory, Victoria, Texas (1988-1990); priest in residence at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Victoria, Texas (1990-1994); pastor at St. Joseph Church, Yoakum, Texas (1994-2003); pastor at St. Philip the Apostle Church, El Campo, Texas (2003-2013); and parochial administrator, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Nada, Texas, and St. John Nepomucene Church, New Taiton, Texas (2005-2006). Father Janak has also served as chancellor for the Diocese of Victoria since 2012, and as rector of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Victory since 2013. From April to June 2015, he served as diocesan administrator, and since 2015 has been vicar general for the Diocese of Victoria.
Other assignments include: defender of the bond for the appellate court of the dioceses of Texas (1993); director of the diocesan permanent diaconate program (1990-1995); vocations director and director of seminarians (1990-1996). From 2004 to 2016, he served as diocesan co-coordinator of pastoral care and outreach, and vicar forane of the El Campo deanery from 2007 to 2013.
Bishop-elect Janak’s ministry also includes serving as a judge and advocate for the marriage tribunal of the Diocese of Victoria since 1988; membership on the Diocesan Review Board since 2002; the diocesan College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, and the Priest Personnel Board since 2007; and the Diocesan Finance Board since 2012. He is fluent in both English and Spanish.
The Archdiocese of San Antonio is comprised of 23,180 square miles in the state of Texas and has a total population of 3,038,857 of which 1,216,499 are Catholic. Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS is the current archbishop of San Antonio.
February 5, 2021
National Marriage Week USA to be Celebrated February 7-14
WASHINGTON — Each year, National Marriage Week USA and World Marriage Day provide an opportunity for the Catholic Church to focus on building a culture of life and love that begins with supporting and promoting marriage and the family. This year, National Marriage Week USA will be celebrated February 7-14 and World Marriage Day which is commemorated on the second Sunday of February will be celebrated on Sunday, February 14.
The theme for this year’s celebration of National Marriage Week, “To Have, To Hold, To Honor,” was announced by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth. The theme was chosen to highlight how married couples live and renew their wedding promises daily in the building up of the domestic Church in their homes, particularly as many couples and families have spent more time at home together this year.
Among the resources provided to dioceses for National Marriage Week are a preaching aid for priests, bulletin insert or flyer for parish bulletins, prayer intentions, and a seven-day at-home marriage retreat for married couples, available in English and Spanish. These resources are available for download at ForYourMarriage.org/celebrate-national-marriage-week/.
This year’s retreat features reflections on aspects of married life rooted in Sacred Scripture and the promises couples made to each other before God on their wedding day. The retreat, which runs from Feb. 7-14, offers married couples an opportunity to pray and reflect about their marriage in God’s plan.
Two events will be live-streamed on the USCCB’s Facebook page: a rosary led by Archbishop Cordileone for married and engaged couples on Wednesday, February 10 at 1:00 p.m. CT; and a conversation about Saint Joseph as a model of fatherhood and spousal love on Friday, February 12 at 1:00 p.m. CT.
The USCCB offers resources to the faithful for the promotion and defense of marriage as a lifelong union of one man and one woman through its dedicated websites ForYourMarriage.org, PorTuMatrimonio.org, and MarriageUniqueForAReason.org.
National Marriage Week USA, launched in 2010, is part of an international event seeking to mobilize individuals, organizations, and businesses in a common purpose to strengthen marriage in communities and influence the culture. For information and resources, visit: NationalMarriageWeekUSA.org. World Marriage Day was started in 1983 by Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
February 5, 2021
Day of Prayer for victims of human trafficking to be observed Feb. 8
WASHINGTON — The International Day of Prayer and Awareness against Human Trafficking will be observed on February 8. Designated by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development as a time of remembrance for victims and survivors of labor and sex trafficking, the annual observance coincides with the feast of St. Josephine Bakhita.
St. Bakhita, born around 1869 in Sudan, was kidnapped and sold into slavery, and trafficked to Italy. Pope John Paul II canonized St. Josephine Bakhita in 2000, highlighting that in this saint, “we find a shining advocate of genuine emancipation.” Today, human trafficking is pervasive throughout the world, and no one is immune to its evils or its impact, including in our country’s fifty states. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (UCCCB) Committee on Migration released the following statement regarding the Church’s commitment to raising awareness of and eradicating human trafficking:
“Let us reflect upon our responsibilities as individuals and as a Church to make the well-being and protection of victims of human trafficking a priority. We are called by our Holy Father to take a firm stance against this terrible violation of the dignity of the human person and to do everything in our power to eradicate it.”
January 29, 2021
Pro-life chairman responds to White House action to rescind Title X Rule
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Biden released a statement announcing his intention to rescind the current regulation governing the Title X family planning program. The current regulation follows federal law by explaining that abortion cannot be part of a Title X family planning program either by using the same office space, sharing financing, or mandating referrals for abortion. The following statement was issued by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities:
“Although the Catholic Bishops have grave concerns about government promotion of contraceptives, we have long supported efforts to ensure that the provision and promotion of abortion is kept physically and financially out of the pre-pregnancy family planning services provided through the Title X program. Abortion takes the life of an already-conceived and growing child, and most Americans agree that abortion should not be used as a method of family planning or as a ‘back up’ for failed family planning.
“Title X, therefore, draws a bright line between abortion and family planning. In addition to the program explicitly prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortion, its authors further emphasized this intent by stating that, ‘the funds authorized under this legislation [shall] be used only to support preventive family planning services, population research, infertility services, and other related medical, informational, and educational activities.’ By rescinding this rule, the Administration will be forcing abortion into a pre-pregnancy program specifically designed to exclude abortion; a move which is immoral, impractical, and may also be unlawful.”
January 28, 2021
Bishops decry executive order that promotes abortion overseas
WASHINGTON — Today, President Joe Biden signed an executive order allowing U.S. taxpayer funds to be sent to organizations that both promote and provide abortions in developing countries. The policy which he overturned, known as both the Mexico City and the Promoting Life in Global Health policy, had separated abortion from family planning activities and ensured U.S. taxpayer dollars only went to organizations that agreed to provide health services in a way that respected the dignity of all persons.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, and chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, responded:
“It is grievous that one of President Biden’s first official acts actively promotes the destruction of human lives in developing nations. This Executive Order is antithetical to reason, violates human dignity, and is incompatible with Catholic teaching. We and our brother bishops strongly oppose this action. We urge the President to use his office for good, prioritizing the most vulnerable, including unborn children. As the largest non-government health care provider in the world, the Catholic Church stands ready to work with him and his administration to promote global women’s health in a manner that furthers integral human development, safeguarding innate human rights and the dignity of every human life, beginning in the womb. To serve our brothers and sisters with respect, it is imperative that care begin with ensuring that the unborn are free from violence, recognizing every person as a child of God. We hope the new administration will work with us to meet these significant needs.”
January 26, 2021
World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life to be celebrated Feb. 2
WASHINGTON — The Catholic Church will hold its annual celebration of the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life on February 2, 2021 and in parishes over the weekend of February 6-7. This event is a special time for individual parishes and the greater Church to celebrate the gift of consecrated life and pray for men and women discerning a consecrated vocation.
Instituted by St. Pope John Paul II in 1997, World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life is celebrated in conjunction with the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, also known as Candlemas Day, which commemorates through the blessing and lighting of candles that Christ is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples.
Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations invites the faithful to renew their gratitude to Christ for the gift of consecrated life. “The faithful witness of religious and other consecrated men and women living out their vocation is powerful. By their prayers and apostolates, those in consecrated life provide for us an example of Christ’s merciful love, and especially during these uncertain and difficult times, they point us to the reality that Christ is our ultimate goal.”
As it does every year, the CCLV Committee commissioned the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) to conduct a survey of the religious Profession Class of 2020. The survey polled women and men religious who professed perpetual vows in 2020 in a religious congregation, province, or monastery based in the United States. CARA received a response from 549 of 747 major superiors for an overall response rate of 73% among religious institutes. Of the 172 identified men and women religious who professed perpetual vows in 2020, 55 sisters and nuns and 57 brothers and priests responded to the survey for an overall response rate of 65%.
Some of the major findings of the report are:
January 20, 2021
Statement from USCCB president on the inauguration of Biden
January 16, 2021
Cardinal Timothy Dolan reflects on importance of religious freedom
WASHINGTON — On January 16, the United States celebrates Religious Freedom Day. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, has issued a statement:
“The right to religious freedom is rooted in the dignity of the human person, who has a duty to seek the truth. Yet our country is riven by political and cultural factionalism, where competing groups seek not truth but rather mere power. Appeals to objective truth are treated as attempts to oppress. Narrative and spin are the weapons of choice.
“Recent popes have rejected this cynical view. Truth, not power, is the basis of our law and politics, even in a pluralistic society. In his recent encyclical, Fratelli tutti, Pope Francis says, ‘If society is to have a future, it must respect the truth of our human dignity and submit to that truth.’ And he adds, ‘In a pluralistic society, dialogue is the best way to realize what ought always to be affirmed and respected apart from any ephemeral consensus.’
“Religious freedom opens up space for that dialogue by allowing communities to live in accordance with their convictions and thus contribute to the larger society. When that space for dialogue is constricted, the broader society suffers.
“On this National Religious Freedom Day, may American Catholics and all people of good will commit themselves to nurturing our country’s great legacy of religious liberty for all.”
January 16, 2021
USCCB chairman urges peace ahead of presidential inauguration
WASHINGTON — Following the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and reports of an FBI bulletin warning of “armed protests” in state capitals and Washington, DC, in the coming week, including groups urging participants to “storm” state capitols and other government buildings and threatening “a huge uprising,” as well as reports of threats against lawmakers and their families, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged peace.
The full statement is as follows:
“Like Pope Francis, after viewing the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, I was ‘astonished’: a violent attack on a peaceful political process at the heart of our democracy, bombs placed at political party headquarters, the murder of a police officer and others dead and injured, symbols of racial hatred, calls to execute politicians, a gallows and a noose. There were those present who misappropriated Christian symbols as well. There must be accountability for these actions.
“As a Christian, I must say to anyone considering further violence: you are being led astray by a voice that is not from God. St. Paul gave us a reliable test of what is from God and what is not.
. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal 5:22-23).
“Please look into your heart. Look at the images of the events on January 6. Look at the messages that accompanied them on social media. Look at the symbols of racial hatred in the crowd. If you supported this, or are considering further actions in the coming week, ask: is what I intend the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Are my intentions expressions of love for others, including those I may consider enemies? Are they reflections of joy? Will they lead to peace? Do they exhibit patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control? The violence of January 6, and the many voices that urged it on, including some political leaders, were the opposite of these things.
“St. Paul names what is opposed to the Spirit: “…hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions…” (Gal. 5:20). Do not listen to those sowing hatred, anger, and divisions! They lead you away from God. Though sometimes masked in deceit or seemingly demanded by fear, for your sake and the sake of others, do not mistake empty promises for the love and peace that come only from God.”
January 15, 2021
Statement for Observance of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
For much of the past year, America has been reckoning with the legacy of slavery and the persistence of racial injustice in our country. Sadly, it is still true that the “color of our skin” often matters more in our society than the “content of our character,” as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., said a half-century ago.
This year as we commemorate the legacy of this great American, we remember especially Rev. King’s belief in nonviolence and the power of love.
As we witnessed in the violence in our cities last summer and in the violence that broke out again last week at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., our country has become too angry, too bitter, and too divided.
And as we confront our deep divisions, we face the same choices that Rev. King and the civil rights movement faced. For us, too, the question is how will we struggle against the injustices in our society, what means will we use?
In 1958, Rev. King wrote: “Along the way of life, someone must have the sense enough and the morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.” This is the challenge for every one of us who believes in the promise of America and seeks to renew the soul of this great nation.
In the spirit of Rev. King, we must meet the forces of hate and ignorance with the power of love. We must learn again the wisdom of the Gospel and love our enemies and bless those who oppose us. In this moment, Rev. King would counsel everyone in public life to seek reconciliation and reject the easy temptation to reprisals and recrimination.
We do not love those who oppose us because they are loveable, or even likable, Rev. King once said. We love them because God loves them. And by our love, we seek their conversion and friendship, not their humiliation. This is our Christian duty in this moment — to be healers and peacemakers, to overcome evil and lies, not by more of the same, but with words of truth and works of love.
We ask our Blessed Mother Mary, the Queen of Peace, to guide us in this moment of transition and uncertainty in our country. May she help us to keep believing in the power of love.
January 15, 2021
Bishop chairman issues urgent call to extend New START Treaty
WASHINGTON — Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement on the New START Treaty.
Bishop Malloy’s full statement follows:
“As the nation looks to the transition of power and a new president, we must not lose sight of the fact that New START, the last treaty limiting the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, is slated to expire on February 5.
“Extending the New START is essential to maintaining limits on the most dangerous nuclear weapons and is an existing means for needed progress toward nuclear disarmament, as mandated by Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 2020, Archbishop José Gomez, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminded us of the ongoing nuclear threat. Months earlier, the Conference’s Committee on International Justice and Peace reaffirmed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), especially its call for nuclear powers to “work in good faith for the end of the nuclear arms race by seeking nuclear disarmament…‘under strict and effective international control.’” 
“January 22 also marks the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entering into force. The Holy See’s ratification of this treaty is a powerful reminder of the Catholic Church’s commitment to eliminate the nuclear threat.
“I renew our call to extend the New START Treaty, for a full five years, and urge President-elect Biden to make negotiations for nuclear disarmament a top priority.”
January 11, 2021
Bishops call on Congress to abolish federal death penalty
WASHINGTON — With three more federal executions scheduled in January, two bishop chairmen call on the current Administration to stop, and for the new Congress and incoming Administration to abolish the death penalty in federal law. Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement:
“Following a year where the federal government, for the first time, executed more people than all fifty states combined, there are three more federal executions scheduled this week. We renew our constant call to President Trump and Acting Attorney General Rosen: stop these executions.
“It is long past time to abolish the death penalty from our state and federal laws, and we call on the new Congress and President-Elect Biden to make this a priority. One vehicle to accomplish this in federal law is the Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act (S. 2390 and H.R. 4052 in the 116th Congress). In addition, we ask President-Elect Biden to declare a moratorium on federal executions and to commute current federal death sentences to terms of imprisonment.
“The terrible loss suffered by victims’ families must be considered as well. We encourage lawmakers to redirect the energy and resources that currently go towards executions to provide compassionate and professional assistance to the families of victims.
“Every person is created in the image and likeness of God, and we encourage everyone to work to rid the death penalty from our state and federal laws and to develop greater appreciation for the sacred dignity of every human life.”
Archbishop Coakley and Archbishop Naumann wrote to all members of Congress asking to abolish the federal death penalty in a letter here.
January 6, 2021
U.S. Bishop's president condemns violent protests at U.S. Capitol
WASHINGTON — Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement in response to today’s violence in the United States Capitol:
“I join people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol. This is not who we are as Americans. I am praying for members of Congress and Capitol staff and for the police and all those working to restore order and public safety.
“The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of this great nation. In this troubling moment, we must recommit ourselves to the values and principles of our democracy and come together as one nation under God. I entrust all of us to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May she guide us in the ways of peace, and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.”
The Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops has initiated a "Call to Action" in regard to The Equality Act, a bill currently being debated in the United States Congress, that discriminates AGAINST Life and People of Faith. The LCCB asks that you tell the Congress to OPPOSE it.
The Diocese of Lake Charles is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees by reason of race, age, sex, handicap or national origin.