News and Press

Information and Announcements About The Diocese

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.

  • Wednesday, March 17: 7-8:30 p.m., “Relics of the Passion” presented by Deacon Soileau; cost is $10.00.
  • Friday, March 26 – Sunday, March 28 (Palm Sunday weekend): Our Lady Queen of Heaven Women’s Lenten Silent Retreat presented by Sister Camille Martinez, SEC. The theme of retreat will be “Spot of Grace.” To register or for more information, contact Andrea Blanchard at 337-474-1788 or 337-794-9679. Private rooms only at $225 for the weekend. Scholarships available upon request for those in need of assistance. 
  • Friday, April 9 – Sunday, April 11: “The Most Holy Eucharist”, a silent preached retreat presented by Deacon Soileau; cost is $150; only single rooms available. 
  • Wednesday, May 12: 7-8:30 p.m., “A Woman Clothed with the Sun” presented by Deacon Soileau; cost is $10.00.
  • Friday, May 14 – Sunday, May 16: “Apostleship”, a Men’s Silent Preached Retreat presented by Father Andy DeRouen; cost is $170.00; only single rooms available.
  • Eucharistic Adoration/Divine Mercy for Adults: 7 p.m. every Tuesday, Assumption Chapel at Saint Charles Center; presided by Deacon Soileau.
  • Eucharistic Youth Adoration: 7 p.m. every Thursday, Assumption Chapel at Saint Charles Center; presided by Father Andy DeRouen.

Diocesan Youth Ministry events
The following events for teenagers are sponsored by the Diocese of Lake Charles Youth Ministry:

  • Candlelight Youth Mass: 7 p.m. every Monday at Saint Charles Center, 2151 Sam Houston Jones Parkway, Moss Bluff
  • P3 (Pizza, Prayer & Penance): 7-8:30 p.m., first Thursday of every month at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church, 1109 Cypress Street, Sulphur
  • Gal Pal & Guy Talk: Monday, March 22, following the 7 p.m. weekly candlelight Mass, Saint Charles Center, 2151 Sam Houston Jones Parkway, Moss Bluff
  • Coffee with Clergy: 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, Camp Karol in Moss Bluff, 1087 Bozo Road
  • High School Game Night: 5-7 p.m. Sunday, April 18, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Kinder
  • Chips and Dip after-school hang-out and more: 3:45-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, Camp Karol in Moss Bluff, 1087 Bozo Road 

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.

For more information or to RSVP, call 337-564-0030, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

To register and receive the Zoom link, visit https://gradapply.xula.edu/register/IBCSInfoSession. For questions about the webinar, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 504-520-7487. For more information on IBCS, visit https://xula.edu/ibcs.

‘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. 

All marriage prep days are held on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with an hour lunch beginning at 11:00 a.m. The courses will be held via Zoom until further notice. For more information, contact: Beth Buller, Office of Family Life, at 337-888-6026; or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

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.

For more information on the Institute and classes, visit https://www.xula.edu/ibcs. Questions may be directed to Dana Lockett at 504-520-7691 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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.

For questions on the application process, contact the Office of Graduate Programs at 504-520-7487 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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. 

For more information or to RSVP, call 337-564-0030 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

(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
Chairman applauds legislation honoring contributions of Catholic schools
WASHINGTON — Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ of Oakland, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education applauded Representative Darin LaHood (IL-18) and Senator Pat Toomey (PA) for introducing H. Res. 66 and S. Res. 33, “Supporting the Contributions of Catholic Schools.” 
 
Bishop Barber stated:
 
“Catholic schools are a unique gift to the nation. We honor the dignity of every child through an integral formation that includes academic excellence, but with an equal focus on heart, mind, and soul. This is a preparation not only for college and career, but for heaven itself. This commitment was on full display in the past year as Catholic schools excelled during the COVID pandemic. Amidst this national crisis, Catholic schools rapidly transitioned to online learning in the spring of 2020, and our Catholic school leaders worked all summer to prepare buildings for in-person learning. In the fall of 2020, eighty percent of Catholic schools offered some degree of in-person learning.”
 
Catholic social teaching instills a love of community and country with graduates contributing to civil society at all levels, most notably among our nation’s leaders, including at the highest levels of government and public service.
 
The bipartisan resolution in the House and Senate, highlights the following:
 
Whereas the theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2021 is “Catholic Schools: Learn. Faith. Excellence. Service.” and reflects Catholic schools’ purpose to form students to be good citizens of the world, love God and neighbor, and enrich society with the leaven of the gospel and by example of faith: Now, therefore, be it
 
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
 
...supports the dedication of Catholic schools, students, parents, and teachers across the United States toward academic excellence, and supports the key role they play in promoting and ensuring a brighter, stronger future for the Nation.
 
According to the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA), Catholic school student enrollment for the school year 2020-21 is almost 1,650,000 in over 6,000 schools including 22 percent of students from racial minority backgrounds, 18.1 percent from Hispanic heritage, and 24.5 percent from non-Catholic families. The COVID pandemic has had a devastating impact on Catholic schools with over 200 schools permanently closing in 2020.
 
The full text of the House Resolution is available here.
 

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.”

February 3, 2021
USCCB domestic chairman expresses support for protecting environment
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed executive orders during his first week in office addressing climate change and the care for our common home. Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, expressed support for several of the new administration’s environmental priorities:
 
“In his encyclical Laudato Si’, Pope Francis presented Christians and all peoples with an integral ecology oriented towards the common good, drawing on the longstanding tradition of Catholic social teaching and rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He warned us of the danger of a ‘green rhetoric’ that often coexists with economic privilege and comfort, emphasizing the need to ‘hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.’
 
“President Biden’s environmental executive orders resonate deeply with an integral ecology that listens to the ‘least of these’ (Mt 25:40). Not only do they recommit our nation to robust and integrated climate mitigation policies, but also emphasize other environmental realities that deserve greater attention:
  • Climate adaptation and resilience
  • Just transition and revitalization of communities reliant on the energy industry
  • Environmental justice
  • Clean air, clean water and the conservation of lands, ecosystems, and agriculture
  • Economic growth, clean infrastructure, and opportunities for workers
  • Commitment to the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol and to protecting the Amazon rainforest. 
“The swift action to restore regulations for which the USCCB previously advocated—including fuel emissions standards, hazardous air pollutants and the integrity of National Environmental Policy Act — speak of a commitment to restoring public health and the common home.”
 
February 3, 2021
Bishop chairmen express support for additional COVID-relief package
WASHINGTON — Following proposals and discussions from the Biden Administration and members of Congress regarding a new COVID-relief package, several bishop chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote to all members of Congress in support of an additional package.
 
The bishops, representing issue areas under the purview of the committees they chair within the Conference thanked the lawmakers for their efforts on relief measures in 2020, and proposed priorities for a new package this year given the continuing crises and challenges related to the COVID pandemic. 
 
The bishops wrote: “We especially encourage you to consider how additional COVID relief should promote the dignity and value of all human life and protect poor and vulnerable people who are most at risk.”
 
The bishops urged lawmakers to consider the following priorities:
  • Hunger and Nutrition
  • Housing Assistance
  • Catholic and Non-Public Schools
  • Pathway to Citizenship and Work Authorization
  • Testing, Vaccinations, and Treatment for All
  • Health Care
  • Employment and Income Support
  • Access to Stimulus Payments
  • International Response
  • State and Local Governments
  • Safety in Prisons, Jails, and Detention Centers
  • Racial Justice
  • Charitable Sector
A copy of the full letter to Congress can be found here.
 
February 3, 2021
Migration chairman welcomes actions to rebuild immigration system
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Joe Biden issued three migration-related Executive Orders related to removing barriers and restoring due process in the legal immigration system. The actions include orders to: (1) address root causes of migration from Central America and expand opportunities for legal migration; (2) create a task force to reunify families separated during the prior administration; and (3) ​strengthen integration and inclusion efforts for new Americans. Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:
 
“We welcome these Executive Orders on migration, which will help to ensure that immigrants and refugees are treated humanely and in accordance with their God-given dignity. Actions implemented by the prior administration on these issues have directly impacted and harmed immigrants’ and refugees’ lives, in many cases needlessly instilling fear and creating or perpetuating family separation. The Catholic Church teaches that each person is created in the image and likeness of God and that we must uphold the inherent dignity of each person. As a society, we must remain consistent in our openness and treatment of all persons, regardless of whether they were born in the United States or immigrated here. We know that changes will take time but applaud President Biden’s commitment to prioritize assisting our immigrant and refugee brothers and sisters. We also offer our assistance and cooperation on these urgent matters of human life and dignity.”
 

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:

  • On average, responding religious report that they were 19 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life. 
  • The average age of responding religious of the Profession Class of 2019 is 38. Half of the responding religious are age 34 or younger. The youngest is 24 and the oldest is 71.
  • Seven in ten (71%) responding religious report their primary race or ethnicity as Caucasian, European American, or white. One in ten (13%) identifies as Asian/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian. Fewer than one in ten identifies as African/African American/black (7%) and one in twenty (5%) identifies as Hispanic/Latino(a).
  • Three-fourths of responding religious (76%) were born in the United States. Of those born outside the United States, the most common country of origin is Vietnam. 
  • On average, the respondents who were born outside the United States were 24 years old when they first came to the United States and lived here for 13 years before perpetual profession. 
  • Nine in ten (89%) responding religious report that someone encouraged them to consider a vocation to religious life. Respondents are less likely to report that they received encouragement from their family members than from parish priests, friends, or from a religious sister or brother.
  • Three-fourths (74%) of the Profession Class of 2020 have more than one sibling. A quarter (25%) has one brother or sister. A third (35%) report having two or three siblings. Two-fifths (39%) have four or more siblings.
  • Three quarters of the respondents (75%) are from families where both parents are Catholic. Just over four in five (84%) have been Catholic since birth. Among the 16% of respondents who became Catholic later in life, the average age at which they entered the Church was 20 years old.
  • Nearly half of the responding religious (45%) attended a Catholic elementary school, which is higher than that for all Catholic adults in the United States (16%).  These respondents are also more likely than other U.S. Catholics to have attended a Catholic high school (38 of responding religious, compared to 8% of U.S. adult Catholics) and much more likely to have attended a Catholic college (38% of responding religious, compared to 5% of U.S. adult Catholics).
January 22, 2021
Response to Biden's statement on anniversary of Roe v. Wade
WASHINGTON — In a statement today, President Biden and Vice President Harris marked the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which overturned all limiting restrictions on abortion across the nation, calling the decision an advancement of women’s rights and health. Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities responded:
 
“It is deeply disturbing and tragic that any President would praise and commit to codifying a Supreme Court ruling that denies unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life under the euphemistic disguise of a health service. I take this opportunity to remind all Catholics that the Catechism states, ‘Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.’ Public officials are responsible for not only their personal beliefs, but also the effects of their public actions. Roe’s elevation of abortion to the status of a protected right and its elimination of state restrictions paved the way for the violent deaths of more than 62 million innocent unborn children and for countless women who experience the heartache of loss, abandonment, and violence.
 
“We strongly urge the President to reject abortion and promote life-affirming aid to women and communities in need.”
 
January 22, 2021
Bishop chairmen express concerns with Biden's executive order 
WASHINGTON — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J., of Oakland, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education; Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; and Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, issued a statement responding to President Biden’s executive order of January 20 that addressed last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision, Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga.
 
Their joint statement follows:
 
“Every person has a right to gainful employment, education, and basic human services free of unjust discrimination. That right should be protected. The Supreme Court’s Bostock decision, however, needlessly ignored the integrity of God’s creation of the two complementary sexes, male and female, with reasoning that treated them as devoid of meaning.
 
“Wednesday’s executive order on ‘sex’ discrimination exceeds the Court’s decision. It threatens to infringe the rights of people who recognize the truth of sexual difference or who uphold the institution of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman. This may manifest in mandates that, for example, erode health care conscience rights or needed and time-honored sex-specific spaces and activities. In addition, the Court had taken care to note that Bostock did not address its clear implications for religious freedom. Yesterday’s executive order exercises no such caution.
 
“We are very grateful for the new administration’s actions on immigration and the climate, as well as for another executive order, ‘On Advancing Racial Equity,’ which is nobly aimed at identifying and remedying racism and its impact on society and in government. It is unfortunate that the goal of racial equality is partially conflated with the imposition of new attitudes and false theories on human sexuality which can produce social harms.
 
“We share the goal of ending unjust discrimination and supporting the dignity of every human, and we therefore regret the misguided approach of Wednesday’s order addressing Bostock.”
 
January 21, 2021
USCCB leaders welcome call for legislation on immigration reform
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, President Joe Biden issued a Memorandum preserving and fortifying the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The DACA program was implemented in 2012 and has enabled approximately 800,000 young people, who paid a fee and submitted to a background check, the opportunity to work legally, access educational opportunities and not fear deportation. It has been estimated that DACA recipients on average contribute over $42 billion annually to the U.S. economy. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration issued the following statement:
 
“We welcome the announcement preserving and fortifying DACA. For years, DACA youth have been enriching our country. They are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes and communities. They and their families deserve certainty, compassion, generosity, and justice.
 
“We applaud President Biden’s restoration of the DACA program, and we also strongly encourage him and the U.S. Congress to immediately enact legislation that provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Permanent legislative protection that overcomes partisanship and puts the human dignity and future of Dreamers first is long overdue.
 
“Protection for Dreamers should only be the first step in the systematic reform of our outdated immigration laws. Now is the time to move forward in a bipartisan manner to fix our broken immigration system.
 
“We also welcome the President’s efforts to immediately produce an immigration reform bill and look forward to reviewing it. We continue to call for immigration reform which provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers and the undocumented, upholds family-based immigration, honors due process and the rule of law, recognizes the contributions of workers, protects the vulnerable fleeing persecution, and addresses the root causes of migration.
 
“We stand ready to work with President Biden and his Administration, as well as the U.S. Congress on this urgent matter of human life and dignity.”  
 
January 21, 2021
Catholic leaders express hope with Biden’s decision to rejoin Paris Agreement
WASHINGTON — Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, respective chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace, and Sean L. Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, have released the following joint statement:
 
“President Joseph R. Biden announced yesterday that the United States will rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change. It is our hope that the United States will not only seize this challenge to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, called for by the U.S. bishops in 2017, but also become the global climate leader by implementing successful policies that both preserve the environment and promote economic development through innovation, investment and enterprise.
 
“On the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, Pope Francis called for ‘a culture of care, which places human dignity and the common good at the center.’ The environment and human beings everywhere, especially the poor and vulnerable, stand to benefit from the care of our common home. For this reason, we urge the United States to do more to help poorer nations adapt to the changes in climate that cannot be prevented. 
 
“The Second Vatican Council asserted that ‘nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in’ the hearts of Christians. Climate change is a genuine human concern that affects all peoples, and the decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement is an important step in the path of care for the environment and respect for the human family.”
 

January 20, 2021
Statement from USCCB president on the inauguration of Biden 

My prayers are with our new President and his family today.
 
I am praying that God grant him wisdom and courage to lead this great nation and that God help him to meet the tests of these times, to heal the wounds caused by this pandemic, to ease our intense political and cultural divisions, and to bring people together with renewed dedication to America’s founding purposes, to be one nation under God committed to liberty and equality for all.
 
Catholic bishops are not partisan players in our nation’s politics. We are pastors responsible for the souls of millions of Americans and we are advocates for the needs of all our neighbors. In every community across the country, Catholic parishes, schools, hospitals, and ministries form an essential culture of compassion and care, serving women, children, and the elderly, the poor and sick, the imprisoned, the migrant, and the marginalized, no matter what their race or religion.
 
When we speak on issues in American public life, we try to guide consciences, and we offer principles.  These principles are rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the social teachings of his Church. Jesus Christ revealed God’s plan of love for creation and revealed the truth about the human person, who is created in God’s image, endowed with God-given dignity, rights and responsibilities, and called to a transcendent destiny.
 
Based on these truths, which are reflected in the Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, the bishops and Catholic faithful carry out Christ’s commandment to love God and love our neighbors by working for an America that protects human dignity, expands equality and opportunities for every person, and is open-hearted towards the suffering and weak.
 
For many years now, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has tried to help Catholics and others of good will in their reflections on political issues through a publication we call Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The most recent edition addresses a wide range of concerns. Among them: abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, immigration, racism, poverty, care for the environment, criminal justice reform, economic development, and international peace.
 
On these and other issues, our duty to love and our moral principles lead us to prudential judgments and positions that do not align neatly with the political categories of left or right or the platforms of our two major political parties. We work with every President and every Congress. On some issues we find ourselves more on the side of Democrats, while on others we find ourselves standing with Republicans. Our priorities are never partisan. We are Catholics first, seeking only to follow Jesus Christ faithfully and to advance his vision for human fraternity and community.
 
I look forward to working with President Biden and his administration, and the new Congress. As with every administration, there will be areas where we agree and work closely together and areas where we will have principled disagreement and strong opposition.
 
Working with President Biden will be unique, however, as he is our first president in 60 years to profess the Catholic faith. In a time of growing and aggressive secularism in American culture, when religious believers face many challenges, it will be refreshing to engage with a President who clearly understands, in a deep and personal way, the importance of religious faith and institutions. Mr. Biden’s piety and personal story, his moving witness to how his faith has brought him solace in times of darkness and tragedy, his longstanding commitment to the Gospel’s priority for the poor — all of this I find hopeful and inspiring.
 
At the same time, as pastors, the nation’s bishops are given the duty of proclaiming the Gospel in all its truth and power, in season and out of season, even when that teaching is inconvenient or when the Gospel’s truths run contrary to the directions of the wider society and culture. So, I must point out that our new President has pledged to pursue certain policies that would advance moral evils and threaten human life and dignity, most seriously in the areas of abortion, contraception, marriage, and gender. Of deep concern is the liberty of the Church and the freedom of believers to live according to their consciences.
 
Our commitments on issues of human sexuality and the family, as with our commitments in every other area — such as abolishing the death penalty or seeking a health care system and economy that truly serves the human person — are guided by Christ’s great commandment to love and to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable.
 
For the nation’s bishops, the continued injustice of abortion remains the “preeminent priority.” Preeminent does not mean “only.” We have deep concerns about many threats to human life and dignity in our society. But as Pope Francis teaches, we cannot stay silent when nearly a million unborn lives are being cast aside in our country year after year through abortion.
 
Abortion is a direct attack on life that also wounds the woman and undermines the family. It is not only a private matter, it raises troubling and fundamental questions of fraternity, solidarity, and inclusion in the human community. It is also a matter of social justice. We cannot ignore the reality that abortion rates are much higher among the poor and minorities, and that the procedure is regularly used to eliminate children who would be born with disabilities.
 
Rather than impose further expansions of abortion and contraception, as he has promised, I am hopeful that the new President and his administration will work with the Church and others of good will. My hope is that we can begin a dialogue to address the complicated cultural and economic factors that are driving abortion and discouraging families. My hope, too, is that we can work together to finally put in place a coherent family policy in this country, one that acknowledges the crucial importance of strong marriages and parenting to the well-being of children and the stability of communities. If the President, with full respect for the Church’s religious freedom, were to engage in this conversation, it would go a long way toward restoring the civil balance and healing our country’s needs.
 
President Biden’s call for national healing and unity is welcome on all levels. It is urgently needed as we confront the trauma in our country caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the social isolation that has only worsened the intense and long-simmering divisions among our fellow citizens.
 
As believers, we understand that healing is a gift that we can only receive from the hand of God. We know, too, that real reconciliation requires patient listening to those who disagree with us and a willingness to forgive and move beyond desires for reprisal. Christian love calls us to love our enemies and bless those who oppose us, and to treat others with the same compassion that we want for ourselves. 
 
We are all under the watchful eye of God, who alone knows and can judge the intentions of our hearts. I pray that God will give our new President, and all of us, the grace to seek the common good with all sincerity.
 
I entrust all our hopes and anxieties in this new moment to the tender heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ and the patroness of this exceptional nation. 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.
 
Most Reverend José H. Gomez
Archbishop of Los Angeles,
President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
 

 

 

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.[1] 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.’” [2]

“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.” 

 

St. Louis Catholic High School is in search of a full-time or part-time teacher for Geometry. The teacher will be responsible for planning and implementing lessons that meet the Louisiana state standards along with assessing students’ knowledge of the curriculum. Candidates should possess knowledge of instructional methods appropriate for the courses and be familiar with computers and Microsoft programs. Please email resumes to Mia Touchet, principal at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; and Emily Pettaway, Dean of Academics at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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