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The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Approves $46,729 in Grants to “Foster Practical Responses” to Biblical Literacy

WASHINGTON—This spring, the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) awarded grants in the amount of $46,729 for three projects that support the goals of the CCD to promote Catholic biblical literacy and Catholic biblical interpretation.

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

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

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

The three projects sponsored by the CCD are as follows:

  • $10,000 to Dr. Timothy Carmody (Professor, Graduate Program Director, Spring Hill College, St. Mobile, Alabama) for the development and teaching of three courses in Biblical Studies of first year deacon candidates of the Diocese of Jackson, MS. The three courses will provide an Introduction to Biblical Studies and Revelation as well as in-depth studies of the Prophets, and the synoptic Gospels.
  • $12,679 to Dr. Mahri Leonard-Fleckman (Assistant Professor, Providence College, Rhode Island) for a two-month stay in Israel to facilitate work at the École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem and on an archaeological dig to develop a book on how the Bible and archaeological evidence might together provide a better understanding of both the ancient society and the biblical text.
  • $24,050 to Dr. Rafael Ramirez (Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of Dallas, Neuhoff School of Ministry, Texas) for the funding of one scholarship for the MTS/Biblical Studies program at the University of Dallas Neuhoff School of Ministry. Upon graduation, the scholarship recipient will teach in the Escuela Catolica Biblica.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, CCD, Catholic Biblical Association, CBA, Bishop Robert J. Brennan, Diocese of Rockville Centre, CCD-CBA Liaison Committee, Dei Verbum, New American Bible, biblical scholarship, pastoral programs, biblical literacy, biblical interpretation, grants

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Applaud Kansas and Oklahoma for Enacting Laws that Keep Kids First in Foster Care and Adoption Services

WASHINGTON—By enacting laws protecting the conscience rights of adoption and foster care providers, "Kansas and Oklahoma are keeping kids first," said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

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

The three USCCB chairmen stated the following:

"Kansas and Oklahoma are keeping kids first by allowing all capable adoption and foster care providers to serve children in need. The opioid crisis has caused a large increase in the number of children entering the foster care system. We need more, not fewer, agencies to serve children who need loving homes."

At least nine states have now passed similar laws, including Virginia, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, and now Kansas and Oklahoma. These laws do not exclude any providers or prohibit anyone from adopting but merely ensure the inclusion of faith-based providers.

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank Dewane, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop James Conley, USCCB, Kansas Adoption Protection Act, Oklahoma Senate Bill 1140, Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, adoption, foster care, keep kids first, freedom to serve

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


Cardinal Dolan Says Separating Abortion from Title X Family Planning Program is “Greatly Needed” and “Deeply Appreciated”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, made the following statement in response to the news that the Trump Administration intends to separate abortion from the Title X family planning program:

"The news that the Trump Administration will be issuing new regulations to separate abortion from the federal Title X family planning program is greatly needed and deeply appreciated. Abortion always takes the life of a child and often harms the mother, her surviving children, and other family and friends as well. Most Americans recognize that abortion is distinct from family planning and has no place in a taxpayer-funded family planning program. For too long, Title X has been used to subsidize the abortion industry. We need to draw a bright line between what happens before a pregnancy begins and what happens after a child has been created. We will provide more detailed comments during the anticipated comment period and urge other Americans who want to draw that bright line between abortion and family planning to do the same."

Title X is a family planning program, designed to provide low-income women with pre-pregnancy services. In its original design, and reflected in current law, there is a specific prohibition on abortion-related activities. However, in the years since the program's creation in 1970, it has been interpreted to require grantees to refer for abortion, thus both overtly excluding health centers who object to such referrals from applying for Title X grants and also ensuring a direct link between family planning services and the promotion of abortion. This link is exemplified by the alarming number of Title X recipients that also provide and promote abortion.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archdiocese of New York, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, President Trump, pro-life, federal funding, abortion, Title X, pregnancy, family planning, women's health, comprehensive care

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200



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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, gun violence, Santa Fe High School, prayers


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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200



Chair of USCCB International Committee Says “Violence is Not the Answer” to Conflict between Israelis and Palestinians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Israel, Palestine, West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, peace, Pope Francis

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200



Dominic Lombardi Named as Executive Director of Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Dominic Lombardi, Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, Monsignor Brian Bransfield, lay faithful, marriage, family life, youth  

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200



U.S. Bishops to Discuss Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care and Hear Update on National V Encuentro at June General Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, June 13-14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A joint presentation will be made to the body of bishops on the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, taking place in October. They will also present on World Youth Day taking place January 2019.

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media will be Wednesday, June 13, and the morning of Thursday, June 14. Media conferences will follow open sessions of the meeting as time allows. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credential application form available in English and Spanish and submit it by June 6 to media-relations@usccb.org or mail to:

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Office of Public Affairs
June Meeting Credentials
3211 4th St. NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194


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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, June meeting, Spring General Assembly, USCCB, Fort Lauderdale, V Encuentro, Synod of Young People, the Faith and Vocations, Share the Journey, Bishop Nelson Pérez, Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop Robert J. McManus, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, media credentials, St. Pope John Paul II, St. Pope John XXIII, St. Mary Magdalene

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Media Contacts:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


Pastoral Leaders of Young Adult Ministry from Across U.S. will Gather in D.C. for National Summit, May 15-17

WASHINGTON—The USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (LMFLY), in collaboration with its ad-hoc National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry, will offer a National Young Adult Ministry Summit May 15-17, 2018, at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.

Over 130 pastoral leaders in the field of young adult ministry will attend, representing 53 Catholic archdioceses and dioceses, and 26 national organizations, movements, and apostolates.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap. of Philadelphia and Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, said, "During these months in anticipation of the global Synod on 'Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment,' it is essential that Catholic leaders gather together to discuss and advance the Church's work with young adults."

The Summit is an invitation-only gathering focused on peer conversation and networking around best practices and emerging models of ministry with young adults, especially in view of the Synod and the increasing number of religiously-disaffiliated young adults in their 20s and 30s.

The ad-hoc National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry was developed in 2016 to assist the USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth with efforts related to serving the field of young adult ministry in the United States. The Summit has been organized by the National Advisory Team in their work to advance this mission.

The May 2018 gathering will also be live-streamed so that those unable to attend can still participate in plenary discussions and engage in an online dialogue. This digital opportunity is supported by the Catholic Apostolate Center, which is also providing generous financial support to the Summit.

For more information about the event or the live-streaming, contact the USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth at 202-541-3040 or email yam@usccb.org

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Young Adult Ministry Summit, Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, ad-hoc National Advisory Team on Young Adult Ministry, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Catholic Apostolate Center, Saint John Paul II National Shrine, young adults, dioceses, faith, vocations

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200



Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, steps down from Chair of Committee on Catholic Education amidst treatment for Leukemia; Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona to serve as Chair of the Committee

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bishop George V. Murry S.J., John M. Quinn, Committee on Catholic Education

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


Help Spread the Gospel Through the Catholic Communication Campaign, May 12-13

WASHINGTON—The annual collection for the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) will be taken in many dioceses across the United States on the weekend of May 12-13. This annual national appeal supports efforts in the United States and around the world to use the media, internet, and print publications to help people connect with Christ.

"Through the Holy Spirit we have the courage and wisdom to share the gospel message with our brothers and sisters here at home and around the world," said Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, Washington, chairman of the Committee on Communications' Subcommittee on the Catholic Communication Campaign. "Our call to spread the Gospel is answered through our support of this collection. By our generosity, people around the world have the resources to bring the presence of Christ to the margins."

Fifty percent of funds collected remain in each diocese to support local communications efforts. The other half is used to support national projects in the United States and in developing countries around the world.

For example, in Nigeria, in West Africa, the Diocese of Makurdi is home to nearly 1 million Catholics. They are often poor and live off the food they are able to farm. Despite these challenges, they worship in 70 parishes and 3,000 village churches across the diocese. But going to Mass is often difficult because they speak many different local languages and do not always understand the language spoken. With the support of a CCC grant, the diocese has bridged these language barriers by recording liturgical music and the Psalms in local languages by local choirs. Now people can go to Mass and understand what is being sung and join fully in the liturgy.

The Subcommittee oversees the collection and an annual grants program as part of the USCCB Committee on Communications. Shareable resources for the collection are available online. More information about the Catholic Communication Campaign can be found at www.usccb.org/ccc.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Collection, Bishop Joseph J. Tyson, Committee on Communications, Subcommittee on the Catholic Communication Campaign, Gospel, charity, media, internet, print

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry; Taking Place Sept. 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas; Gathering of Catholic Bishops and Delegates from Across U.S.

WASHINGTON—This September, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will be convening a gathering of more than 3,000 delegates from across the U.S. for the V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry with the theme, "Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God's Love."

The event will be a crucial turning-point for the Catholic Church in America and its response to the growing numbers of Latino Catholics in the United States. The four-day event will focus on discerning ways in which the Church in the U.S. can better respond to the Hispanic/Latino presence and strengthen the ways in which Hispanics/Latinos respond to the call to missionary discipleship. It will be led by U.S. bishops and delegates in diocesan leadership roles from across the country as well as leaders of Catholic ecclesial movements and Catholic organizations and institutions.

As a priority activity of the USCCB's Strategic Plan for 2017-2020, the event is the culmination of a two-year process of evangelization, mission and consultation through a series of Regional and Diocesan Encuentro's held thus far in 9 regions and 143 U.S. dioceses. So far, the Regional and Diocesan Encuentro's have had more than 51,000 leaders participate, and more than 26,000 people have been trained as missionary disciples.

Currently, Latinos make up 40 percent of the 74 million self-identifying Catholics in the United States, based on a weighted average of recent surveys from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Pew Research Center, adjusted by a proprietary model of the V Encuentro Research Team to include the imputed affiliation of children who were not included in the surveys.

Bishop Michael F. Olson of the Diocese of Fort Worth will be hosting the national event that will be held in Grapevine, Texas, from September 20-23.

Please note that advanced media registration is required. Onsite registration will not be available.

Credentialed media will have access to the V Encuentro main plenary hall during the dates of Sept 20-23. Media will not have access to the V Encuentro's individual breakout sessions. All credentialed media are required to abide by regulations of the hotel or risk losing their credentials.

Reporters seeking to cover the V Encuentro must fill out and submit the following media credential application found here in English and Spanish. A media center will also be available on-site for journalists. Main stage events of the Encuentro will also be livestreamed on www.usccb.org.

The deadline for submitting the press credential application form is September 13, 2018.

Media inquiries and interview requests in advance of the event, can be arranged by contacting Judy Keane or Miguel Guilarte or by contacting USCCB media relations at media-relations@usccb.org.

For more details about the V National Encuentro, please visit https://vencuentro.org/.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, Bishop Michael F. Olson, Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, missionary discipleship, Church in the United States, Hispanic/Latino minister, Regional Encuentros. Catholic Leaders, Witnesses of God's Love, evangelization.

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Media Contacts:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3202



U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Announce Publishing of 50th Anniversary Edition of Blessed Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae

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

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

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

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

Additional books and resources pertaining to marriage and family life, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Vatican, ministry and more can be found by visiting the USCCB's online bookstore at https://store.usccb.org/.
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Paul VI, Humanae Vitae (On the Regulation of Birth), 50th Anniversary, Papal Encyclical, conjugal love, marital union, artificial birth control, Human Life in Our Day

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Media Contacts:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3202


Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, steps down from Chair of Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism amidst treatment for Leukemia; Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux to serve as Chair

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bishop George V. Murry S.J., Shelton J. Fabre, Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200


USCCB Looks Forward to Working with White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative

WASHINGTON–Yesterday, on the National Day of Prayer, President Trump signed an Executive Order announcing the establishment of the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative.

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

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


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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, President Donald Trump, White House, Faith and Opportunity Initiative, Jonathan Reyes, freedom to serve, National Day of Prayer, faith community, poverty, opioid crisis, freedom

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200


Bishop Chairmen, Ecumenical and Interfaith Leaders Strongly Support Legislation Keeping Kids First in Adoption and Foster Care

WASHINGTON—At the start of National Foster Care Month, three bishop chairmen, faith leaders, and numerous nonprofit organizations sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady urging the committee to give a high priority to the enactment of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881) this year.

The Inclusion Act protects child welfare providers from being discriminated against by federal or state government entities due to the providers' religious beliefs or moral convictions.

The letter states that "keeping kids first involves protecting the birth mother's choice to place the child with the family she feels is best," and it quotes a birth mother who chose to work with a Christian adoption agency "because their values match mine."

The letter continues: "At a time when the opioid crisis is driving more children into foster care and adoption, we need all available agencies to assist with placing vulnerable children in stable homes.  Faith-based agencies in particular excel at recruiting good families who can provide stability for children in crisis; that excellence is propelled by both the faith-driven mission of these agencies as well as their connections to houses of worship where they can recruit prospective foster and adoptive parents."

Signatories from Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities USA, Buckner International, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and many other organizations concerned about the freedom of adoption and foster care providers to serve children in need of loving homes joined Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, in signing the letter.

A link to the letter can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Support-for-the-Child-Welfare-Provider-Inclusion-Act-of-2017-HR-1881.pdf.

A backgrounder is available at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Backgrounder-Inclusion-Act-2017.pdf.

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Keywords: Bishop Frank Dewane, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop James Conley, USCCB, Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, adoption, foster care, keep kids first, freedom to serve, National Foster Care Month

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea, May 22

 WASHINGTON—The National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea will be celebrated on May 22. The day is observed in conjunction with National Maritime Day in the United States of America, which has been celebrated since 1933 to honor those who serve as merchant mariners and to recognize the benefits of the maritime industry.

Most Reverend Brendan J. Cahill, S.T.D, Bishop of the Diocese of Victoria, Texas, and Apostleship of the Sea (AOS) promoter, is encouraging dioceses to mark the national day by remembering the men and women of the sea in homilies and by including special petitions during Mass. When Mass is celebrated on May 22, the text for the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, is also encouraged.

Bishop Cahill will celebrate a Mass in observance of Maritime Day on Saturday, May 19, at 12:10 p.m., in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC. The Mass is sponsored by the AOS national office and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), is a worldwide Catholic maritime ministry that engages with seafarers, fishers, their families, port personnel and all who work or travel on the high seas, regardless of race, color or creed. The maritime ministry shows the Church's care and concern to seafarers who are often away from home for many months because of the nature of their work and lifestyle. A network of AOS port offices and Catholic chaplains provide spiritual and practical assistance that accommodate a seafarer's unique lifestyle and needs.

In the message addressed to chaplains, volunteers, friends and supporters of the Apostleship of the Sea, on Sea Sunday July 9, 2017, Cardinal Peter Appia Kodwo Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Integral Human Development Service, said, "In our daily lives, we are surrounded by and use many objects and products that at some stage of their journey towards us have been transported on vessels. It is difficult for us to imagine behind these objects the faces of the many seafarers who have secured a smooth sailing for the vessel to deliver these commodities to the port safely. We are invited to recognize and express our gratitude to this force of more than 1.5 million seafarers, who with their hard work and sacrifices are making our life more comfortable by transporting, between nations and across the seven seas, almost 90 per cent of the goods."

In the United States, AOS is present in 53 maritime ports in 26 states and in 48 dioceses. Priest chaplains, deacons, religious and lay people extend hospitality by providing a "home away from home" for seafarers. AOS has 10 Stella Maris centers, and over 100 chaplains and pastoral teams, including priests, religious, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers providing many services including: Mass, communion, confession and other sacraments, assistance to seafarers in distress, ship visits, transportation to visit business centers, a place to relax while on the port, computers with internet connection at the center, cell phones and phone cards as well as facilitating seafarers' access to services that others provide.

As we work and serve to protect the rights of those working at sea, let us join our prayers with that of Pope Francis, entrusting sailors, fishermen, and all those in difficulty on the seas far away from home, to the motherly protection of Mary, Star of the Sea.

More information is available at: http://www.usccb.org/aos.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Apostleship of the Sea, AOS, Bishop Brendan J. Cahill, seafarers, fishers, port personnel, people of the sea, merchant mariner, fisherman, maritime personnel, ministry, National Maritime Day

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200



Request for Proposals for Annual Audit of Dioceses and Eparchies for Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People; Sought by USCCB’s National Review Board

WASHINGTON—The National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are inviting applications for proposals to conduct annual audits of U.S. dioceses and eparchies to assess compliance with the bishops Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The annual audits would cover a three-year cycle beginning July 1, 2019 through June 30,2022.

The Charter, first approved by the USCCB in June 2002, and revised and approved again in June 2005 and November 2011, the bishops of the United States affirmed the Church's commitment to effectively and appropriately address cases of sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, and other Church personnel and to reach out to victims of sexual abuse and their families. The bishops also pledged to work with parents, civil authorities, educators and various organizations in the community to create and maintain a safe environment within the Church for all children and young people.  

Article 9 of the Charter calls for appropriate audit mechanisms to determine if dioceses and eparchies are complying with the provisions of the Charter. Accordingly, annual audits have been conducted in each diocese and eparchy since 2003 to assess compliance with the Charter and, where necessary, to specify required actions that would bring the diocese/eparchy into compliance with the Charter.  Summaries of the results of these audits have been included in the Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  

Audits will be expected to assess not only the extent to which dioceses and eparchies have established policies, procedures, and programs in accord with the Charter, but also to review the administration of these policies, procedures, and programs. Additionally, as guidelines and measurements of effectiveness are developed over the next few years, they are to be incorporated into future audits.

Timeline:

Deadline for Letter of Intent to submit proposal: June 10, 2018.

Deadline for final proposal: August 30, 2018

Interviews: Fall 2018

The Letter of Intent must include background and relevant information regarding the firm and articulation of relevant experience. The Application must include names and resumes of detailing relevant experience and proposed methodology as well as a proposed budget.

Evaluation Criteria
There is no requirement that the audits be conducted by Catholic individuals or institutions, but the project director and the auditors should demonstrate an informed understanding of the Catholic Church and diocesan/eparchial structures. Final selection of the Auditor will be made by the Administrative Committee upon the recommendation of the National Review Board in consultation with the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People and the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.

Inquiries, letters of intent, and applications should be addressed to:

Deacon Bernie Nojadera

Executive Director

Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection

3211 Fourth Street, NE

Washington, DC 20017

bnojadera@usccb.org

(202) 541-5413

The complete request for proposals can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/usccb-child-youth-protection-request-for-proposal-2020-2022.pdf.

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People can be found at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/charter.cfm

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Review Board, Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, clergy sex abuse, request for proposals, dioceses, eparchies, annual audit, safe environment, annual report.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200


USCCB Religious Liberty Chairman Announces Religious Freedom Week from June 22-29, 2018

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

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

Resources for Religious Freedom Week and other religious liberty resources can be found at www.usccb.org/ReligiousFreedomWeek and www.usccb.org/freedom.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Religious Freedom Week, religious freedom, religious liberty, Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, dioceses, parish resources, freedom to serve

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200


USCCB Committee on Migration Chairman Endorses USA Act and Calls for Immediate Legislative Solution for Dreamers

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

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, USCCB Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Dreamers, Congress, House of Representatives, USA Act, "Uniting and Securing America," U.S./Mexico border, U.S. security, citizenship, deportation, immigrants

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Media Contacts:
Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Mark Priceman
202-541-3064

 


Ordination Class of 2018: CARA Report Gives Reasons for Hope and Areas for Growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among the survey's major findings:

The majority of responding ordinands are Caucasian (seven in ten) and were born in the United States (three in four). One in four is foreign-born. By comparison, since 1999, on average each year, 30 percent of responding ordinands were foreign-born.

The four most common countries of birth among the foreign-born are Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Colombia. On average, foreign-born responding ordinands came to live in the United States 12 years ago at the age of 23.

On average, responding ordinands first considered priesthood when they were 17 years old. Responding ordinands were scheduled for ordination on average 18 years later (at the age of 35). Since 1999, the average age of responding ordinands has fluctuated only slightly each year, from an average of 36 in 1999 to the current average age of 35.

Between 39 and 47 percent of all responding ordinands attended a Catholic school for at least some part of their schooling. Half of responding ordinands (51 percent) participated in a religious education program in their parish for seven years, on average.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, ordination, class of 2018, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Father Ralph B. O'Donnell, priesthood, ordinands, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, diocesan priesthood, religious life

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


Miguel Guilarte Named Manager of Public Affairs for U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

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

Mr. Guilarte previously worked as a reporter and editor for eighteen years at El Tiempo Latino, a Spanish-language weekly newspaper published in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Founded in 1991, it was acquired by The Washington Post in 2004 and then by El Planeta Media in 2016.  

While at El Tiempo Latino, Guilarte covered sports, community, politics, education, cultural and health content. He has received multiple awards for his feature stories and article series from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Miguel has also written for Major League Soccer.

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

He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Santa Maria University, Caracas, Venezuela, and resides in the DC area. Miguel began his new role at the USCCB on April 9.

The Office of Public Affairs represents the Catholic Bishops of the United States to the media and the media to the bishops. Responsibilities of the office include preparing and distributing statements and other resources for the media, arranging for interviews with bishops and staff of the USCCB, organizing press conferences, responding to media queries and credentialing media for coverage of such events as the bishops' annual meetings. For more information about the USCCB Office of Public Affairs, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/public-affairs/index.cfm.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200



Catholic Home Missions Collection to be held April 28-29; Grants Support Essential Pastoral Programs

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

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

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

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

More information about the collection can be found at www.usccb.org/home-missions. Resources to promote the collection, including a social media toolkit, can be found at www.usccb.org/home-missions/collection.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Collections, Catholic Home Missions Appeal, ministry, evangelization, Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, religious education, priests, seminarians, religious formation, lay ministry

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


Pope Francis Appoints Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy as Apostolic Administrator of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia; Accepts Resignation of Archbishop Stefan Soroka

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

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington on April 16, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. 

Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy, now Apostolic Administrator sede vacante, was born October 1, 1975 in Lviv, Ukraine. He pursued seminary studies at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest in December of 2001 by Archbishop Stefan Soroka at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia.

Bishop Rabiy holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy (1999) and a licentiate in Canon Law (2008) from Catholic University of America; and a Master of Divinity degree (2002), from the Dominican House of Studies, in Washington D.C.

After ordination, Rabiy held pastoral assignments at St. Michael the Archangel parish, Hillsborough, New Jersey, and at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2002-2005. Other assignments after ordination include: pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Reading, 2008-present; coordinator, Sexual Abuse Prevention and Youth Protection Office, 2008-2015; member, Administrative Board, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, 2008-2017; vicar general, 2009-present; vice-chancellor, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial College of Consultors, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial Presbyteral Council, 2011-2017.

On August 8, 2017, Pope Francis named Father Andriy Rabiy as auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

Archbishop Stefan Soroka was born on November 13, 1951 in Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, Canada. He received a bachelor's degree in Social Work (1973) and a Masters in Social Work (1978) from the University of Manitoba.  His seminary formation was undertaken at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, D.C. At the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1978) and a Doctorate in Social Work in 1985.  

He was ordained a priest on June 13, 1982, for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg at Saints Vladimir and Olga Cathedral, Winnipeg.

Assignments after priestly ordination included: assistant priest, Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Winnipeg, 1984-1986; parish priest, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption, Portage la Prairie, Canada, 1986-1987; parish priest, St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg, 1987-1995; chaplain, St. Josaphat Council, Knights of Columbus, 1986-1989; chaplain, St Anne Council, Knights of Columbus, 1987-1995; chaplain, National Executive, Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada, 1989-1992; vocations director, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985-2000; state chaplain, Knights of Columbus, Manitoba State Council, 1989-1992; judge, Archeparchial Marriage Tribunal, 1984-1993; vice-chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985-1994; chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994-1996; econom, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994-1998.

On March 29, 1996 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg and was ordained to the episcopate on June 13, 1996. He then also served as: chairman, Asset Protection Group Insurance Corporation for Western and Northern Canada Dioceses/Eparchies, 1998-2000; chaplain, Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada, 1998-2000; and editor, Progress Ukrainian Catholic News, 1996-2000.

On November 29, 2000 he was appointed Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and was installed on February 29, 2001.

At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he served as: member of the Committee for Aid to Home Missions, 2010-present; member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, 2001-present; member of the Committee on Relations between Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches, November 2003-2010; member of Task Force on Content and Flow of General Meeting, June 2003; and member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, 2002-2009. 

The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia includes the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and parts of eastern Pennsylvania. It has a total Catholic population of 12,846.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Archbishop Stefan Soroka, Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy


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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Supports Southern Border Bishops Concerns Over White House Decision to Deploy National Guard at U.S./Mexico Border

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

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, USCCB Committee on Migration, White House, National Guard, Mexico border, U.S. border

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 


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

In the introduction to the exhortation, the Pope emphasizes that the goal of his exhortation is to "repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities." 

An apostolic exhortation is considered the second-highest form of papal teaching after an encyclical letter. Since his election, Pope Francis has issued two other exhortations: "Evangelii Gaudium" (Joy of the Gospel) in 2013 and "Amoris Laetitia" (The Joy of Love) in 2016. 

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement on "Gaudete et Exsultate" follows:   

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

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

The Holy Father describes how holiness comes through the daily struggles each of us face. In the ordinary course of each day, the Pope reminds us, 'We need to recognize and combat our aggressive and selfish inclinations, and not let them take root' (no. 114). Yet, he says, this 'battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives' (no. 158).    

One paragraph in particular points out the continuing need we have for civility in all our interactions, especially in the media. 'Christians too,' the Holy Father writes, 'can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication.' This can be true even in Catholic media (no. 115). Even in our heated disagreements with one another, we always need to remember that it is God who judges, not man (James 4:12).'  

In the light of Easter joy, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, I encourage every Christian to rekindle their baptismal call to be holy by reading this wonderful exhortation by Pope Francis, especially the beautiful section on the Beatitudes. Through an exploration of the Beatitudes, and by offering examples of how to live out our call to holiness in everyday life, the Holy Father has given us a wonderful tool for renewing our love for God and for each other." 

The USCCB has made the exhortation available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/rejoice-and-be-glad-p/7-599.htm

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

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Keywords: Pope Francis, apostolic exhortation, "Gaudete et Exsultate," Rejoice and Be Glad, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, holiness, contemporary world

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Media Contact: 
Judy Keane
202-541-3200