Browsing News Entries

Upcoming 2018 People of Life Awards to Recognize Extraordinary Lifetime Achievements

 WASHINGTON—The upcoming 2018 People of Life awards will recognize the extraordinary lifetime achievements of three inspiring individuals: an advocate for persons with disabilities, a diocesan priest involved in abortion healing ministry, and a leader in the effort to oppose assisted suicide.

The awards will be presented during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference taking place July 29 to August 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. This year's award winners are Janice Benton, Monsignor Joseph Ranieri, and James J. Hanson (who will be recognized posthumously). Over 125 diocesan, state, and national Catholic pro-life leaders and guests from across the country will attend the event with the Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, the Most Reverend Brendan Cahill, Bishop of Victoria, and the Most Reverend Eduardo Nevares, Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix. Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Cahill serve on the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The People of Life award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by Pope Saint John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life.

Even before beginning her nearly 15 years as the executive director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), Janice Benton had already spent 25 years in ministry and advocacy for and with persons with disabilities. Jan has been a prophetic voice in upholding the dignity of every human life, especially the marginalized and those at risk of neglect or assisted suicide.

Msgr. Joseph A. Ranieri is the Coordinator of Pastoral Care of Priests in the Archdiocese of Washington, where he has also served as parish priest, pastor, and in countless other roles throughout his 60 years of priesthood. Monsignor Ranieri assists his diocesan Project Rachel Ministry in many capacities. He is also an active member of the Project Rachel Ministry National Training Team for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Finally, the secretariat will honor James J. Hanson posthumously for his tireless efforts to oppose assisted suicide and for his own personal witness to the dignity of every human person, especially those facing a terminal illness. J.J. Hanson served as president of the Patients' Rights Action Fund, promoting measures that protect patients' civil rights and working against efforts to legalize assisted suicide.

The awardees join 31 other People of Life award recipients since the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities established the award in 2007. More information on previous recipients and on the People of Life campaign is available at www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/people-of-life/people-of-life-award.cfm

----

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, abortion, assisted suicide, People of Life, terminal illness, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II

###

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishop Delegates Approved for Upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has ratified the members elected by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to represent the United States at the upcoming XV Ordinary General Assembly: Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. The Synod will take place October 3-28.

The delegates are:

·         Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

·         Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

·         Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth

·         Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Diocese of Bridgeport, member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.

·         Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis

The XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops has been convened by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, along with the Vatican Synod Office. In preparation for this Synod, the USCCB and other episcopal conferences, as well as ecclesial movements, associations, and experts in the field, were consulted throughout 2017 on the topic of "young people, the faith, and vocational discernment." In addition, the Vatican collected responses from an online questionnaire aimed at youth and young adults conducted last year. In March 2018, over 300 young adult delegates gathered in Rome, where Pope Francis convened a pre-synod gathering to listen directly to the voice of young people from around the world. The gathering produced a Final Pre-Synodal document.

The Working Document ("Instrumentum Laboris") for the October Synod was released in late June 2018 and includes a summary of all the Synod consultations to date. It describes the purpose of the 2018 Synod of Bishops as an opportunity for the Church "to accompany all young people, without exception, towards the joy of love," realizing that "taking care of young people is not an optional task for the Church, but an integral part of her vocation and mission is history."

Cardinal Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R., of Newark, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, welcomed the recent release of the Synod Working Document, saying:

"After a lively discussion with our brother bishops at the Spring 2018 General Assembly on the topic of the Synod, we are happy to receive this Instrumentum Laboris, and look forward to exploring how it sheds light on the pastoral challenges of United States. The 2018 Synod will powerfully renew the Catholic Church's engagement with youth and young adults, and provide a deeper understanding of vocational discernment."

The official Vatican website for the Synod, which is inclusive of the Pre-Synod gathering, is

http://www.synod2018.va/content/synod2018/en.html.

The official USCCB webpage for the Synod is www.usccb.org/synod-2018.

----

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, XV Ordinary General Assembly, Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, 2018 Synod, Office for the Synod of Bishops, delegates, youth, young adults, pre-synod gathering, Instrumentum Laboris

###

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Announces New Book on Pope Francis’s Vision for the Permanent Diaconate

 WASHINGTON—  The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is making available a new book titled, Pope Francis, Deacons: Servants of Charity.

Written through the eyes of a deacon, this study of the permanent diaconate discerns who deacons are in relation to the Church and the service that flows from their interior character as ordained ministers, preachers of the Word, and models of Christ. As deacons move along the path of charity, they herald the Good News of Jesus Christ in the world.

The narrative takes the reader through Pope Francis's vision for the permanent diaconate as ministers to the community of believers, in the service of Christ, their bishop, the poor, and the Body of Christ. This story additionally reviews the renewal of the permanent diaconate and significant magisterial teachings on the office of the diaconate. It looks at Pope Francis's words as bishop of Buenos Aires and his papal teachings, including his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.

This beautiful narrative draws the reader into the sacred ministry of the diaconate and will inspire deacons, those thinking of becoming deacons, and all those drawn to the service of charity in the Church.

The USCCB has made the book available for order online at: https://store.usccb.org/deacons-servants-of-charity-p/7-583.htm

---
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, deacons, diaconate, Servants of Charity, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Evangelii Gaudium., Jesus Christ, Holy Father, Body of Christ

###

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

18-128
Sec,DD,DP,DioNews,CathPress, Hisp. Media

Chairman of U.S Bishops’ Conference Committee on Pro-Life Activities Calls for National Prayer Effort That Every Human Being is Protected In Law And Welcomed in Life

 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement today inviting all people of good will to join in a prayer campaign that the change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.

Cardinal Dolan's full statement follows:

"As soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, we can and should raise grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade. And we must pray.

Each Friday, from August 3 - September 28, 2018, I urge all people of good will to join me in prayer that this change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. The USCCB Call to Prayer network will share prayers and educational resources and an invitation to fast on Fridays for this intention.

May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for the healing of our nation and our people from decades of abortion on demand."

Call to Prayer materials will be accessible at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/call-to-prayer/legal-protection-of-human-life.cfm. Those wishing to join this nine-week prayer effort can sign up at www.usccb.org/pray to participate in this and subsequent Call to Prayer initiatives via email or text message.

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


U.S. Bishops Approved $1.4 million in Funding for Church in Africa for Pastoral Projects

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has approved 54 grants totaling $1.4 million in funding to support dioceses and pastoral projects across the African continent.

Projects slated to receive funding through the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa include the following:

● In Lesotho, Radio Maria offers Christian educational programs designed to enrich the faith and improve the lives of its listeners. This grant will help Radio Maria to install three new transmitting stations, which will allow their programs to reach the entire Lesotho population.

● In Ghana, the Diocese of Wa's newly established Child Protection Office seeks to create a new culture where safeguarding children is the responsibility of all. This grant will support the diocese to organize training for the Diocesan and School Child Protection Teams, clergy, religious and pastoral agents. The workshops will convey information and create sensitivity on protection of children and vulnerable adults, promote creation of safe environments for children, offer skill development, and help the diocese develop policies, as well as liaise with government and civil society on child protection.

● In Rwanda, the Episcopal Conference continues to promote reconciliation and peace education following the genocide. This grant will allow the Conference to translate conflict prevention materials into the local language of Kinyarwanda to be used within Catholic schools across the country.

"Through the generous support of the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, the Catholics of the United States show that we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Africa and recognize their courageous commitment to peace, justice, reconciliation, and Christian hope throughout the continent," said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSsR, of Newark, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa.

Additional areas of funding include seminarian and religious formation, evangelization, family ministries, and lay leadership training.

The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Solidarity Fund, which is a voluntary collection, as pastoral grants to episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa. To learn more about the work of the Subcommittee visit www.usccb.org/africa.

---

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, grants, training, pastoral care, Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa

# # #

###
Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops Provide Aid for Housing; Vulnerable People and Expanding Youth Ministries in Eastern Europe

 WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe approved $4.9 million in funding for 209 projects in 22 countries in Central and Eastern Europe at its meeting on June 12 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Projects approved for funding include:

● Refurbishment of St. Luke Social and Rehabilitation Center for children with cancer in Belarus. This Caritas-run facility in Minsk, Belarus, offers free lodging and psychological support to more than 50 poor families annually as their children undergo examination, treatment, and rehabilitation. This center is an important expression of how the Church, whose activities were previously forbidden, today continues to renew its capacity for social ministry and outreach to the poor.

● Expansion of a center for the homeless and the marginalized run by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in Rijeka, Croatia. For many years the Sisters of Charity have worked on a voluntary basis to help the immediate needs of people experiencing homelessness in Rijeka, where many live among abandoned buildings in the city. This grant will help the Sisters of Charity continue their ministry to aid the homeless and marginalized at a full-day center, engaging volunteers and social workers in managing individual cases and so mobilizing the local church to address underlying issues of homelessness.

● Development of a leadership course for youth ministers in Romania. Since independence, the Archdiocese of Alba Iulia in Romania has been in the process of renewing pastoral work in more than 250 parishes. However, ministry to youth is still developing and, to date, only one-third of those parishes have youth activities. This grant will support a seven-week youth formation program to develop leadership skills and further develop youth programs for the Church in Romania.

● Support of summer camps for children and youth from families internally displaced by war in Ukraine. Since war broke in 2014 in the East of Ukraine, children of internally displaced persons and children of soldiers have been among those most affected psychologically by the events. This grant will allow Caritas Donetsk to conduct two summer camps for 100 affected children and youth, where they will have the opportunity to interact with each other and receive rehabilitation and spiritual care with the assistance of mental health professionals, priests, and volunteers.

"As the people of Central and Eastern Europe continue to build a new future after decades of repression, we are all inspired by the example of great hope they give to the world that it is possible to bring healing to the wounds of the past. We can take pride that our steadfast support makes a significant contribution to all their efforts in renewing their communities and passing on the faith of their ancestors to the next generation," said Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

Other projects approved by the Subcommittee include scholarships and formation for church leadership, church and pastoral center construction, Catholic education renewal and development, and evangelization programs. Grants approved by the Subcommittee support the Church in countries previously oppressed by communism.

Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. The national date for this collection is Ash Wednesday, although dioceses may take it up on different dates. The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information about the collection and who it supports can be found at www.usccb.org/ccee.

---

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe, youth, lay formation, Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, catechesis, grants, Cardinal Blasé Cupich.

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Charities USA Lend Their Support to Catholic Charities Agencies Reuniting Families

 WASHINGTON—The Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB and Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) today issued the following statement on the ongoing efforts to reunite children separated from their families at the border.

"As we have long done, CCUSA and Migration and Refugee Services of USCCB are lending our experience and expertise to support Catholic Charities agencies in their efforts to reunite families and care for immigrant children during this sensitive time. While we strongly oppose the policies that led to these families being separated, we remain committed to working to ensure their safe reunification. Protection of families is a foundational element of Catholic Social Teaching and this moment calls on all people of good will to lend a hand to reunite these children with their parents."

To learn more about how you can help visit: Justice for Immigrants and Catholic Charities USA

About USCCB Migration and Refugee Services

Migration and Refugee Services (MRS) fulfills the commitment of the U.S. Catholic bishops to protect the life and dignity of the human person. For more than 50 years, MRS has served and advocated for refugees, asylees, migrants, unaccompanied children, and victims of human trafficking. To learn more about MRS, please visit www.usccb.org/mrs.

About Catholic Charities USA             

Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is the national office for the Catholic Charities ministry nationwide. CCUSA's members provide help and create hope to more than 8 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. To learn more about CCUSA, please visit our website at www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.


---

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Migration and Refugee Services, MRS, Catholic Charities USA, CCUSA, Justice for Inmigrants.

###

Media Contacts:

USCCB Contact: Mark Priceman            CCUSA Contact: Patricia Cole 

MPriceman@usccb.org                              pcole@catholiccharitiesusa.org

202-541-3064                                               703-236-6218

Lucas Koach Named as Director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

 WASHINGTON—Lucas Koach has been appointed as Director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB Secretary General, made the appointment, which will take effect July 30, 2018.

Mr. Koach brings over 20 years of experience in Christian ministry and global humanitarian public policy. Since 2011, he has served as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for Food for the Hungry. Along with extensive interaction with the US Congress and administrative branch, he has participated in multilateral agency policy forums at the UN and the World Bank and has gained a reputation as a respected coalition builder. He serves on the Board of the Accord network, an association of 90 US-based Christian relief and development organizations and also the board of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, which elevates the relief and development capacities of international faith-based organizations among multilateral institutions.

Mr. Koach is a convert to Catholicism, having served many years prior as an associate pastor in the Anglican Church in Florida and Arkansas.

"Mr. Koach brings the kind of experience, relationships, knowledge and managerial acumen necessary for a position of such breadth," said Msgr. Bransfield. "We look forward to working with him on the major international issues that are so important to the Church and the world."

Lucas Koach graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1992. He earned his Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries from the Denver Seminary in 2002. 

For more information on the USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/international-justice-and-peace/ 

---
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Office of International Justice and Peace, Lucas Koach, Msgr. Brian Bransfield

###

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Pope Francis Names Bishop Oscar Cantú as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose

 WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Oscar Cantú as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, California. Bishop Cantú was up until now Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on July 11, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Cantú was born in Houston on December 5, 1966. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, and received his Masters in Divinity and Masters in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas, also in Houston. He also attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) as well as his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.). Bishop Cantú was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Houston in 1994.

He spent his priestly career working in parishes throughout the Houston metropolitan area. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Christopher Parish. He also taught at the University of St. Thomas and at St. Mary's Seminary. He served as pastor at Holy Name Parish. He was involved in the Christian Family movement; conducted retreats and worked with the Engaged Encounter ministry. Bishop Cantú was also involved in The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) that addresses social issues in the community.

Bishop Cantú was appointed and then ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio and Titular Bishop of Dardano in 2008. In 2013, Bishop Cantú was appointed as bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, NM. He was installed as bishop on February 28, 2013.

Bishop Oscar Cantú is the former Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace. He is currently a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America and Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

Most Rev. Cantú was one of two delegates chosen by the Bishops' Conference to represent the USCCB at Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in 2016.

The Diocese of San Jose is comprised of 1,300 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 1,918,044 of which 620,000 or 32.32 percent are Catholic.

---

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Oscar Cantú, Diocese of San Jose, Las Cruces.

###

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops Conference Chairman of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Statement on the Death of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican Diplomat and Expert in Interfaith Relations

 WASHINGTON— The Cardinal who announced the election of Pope Francis to the world in 2013 with the famous phrase "habemus papam (we have a pope)," has died. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement on behalf of the bishops of the United States who mourn the loss of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. Cardinal Tauran passed away on July 5th at the age of 75.  He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease. 

Bishop Bambera's statement follows:

"Ordained a priest in 1969, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran led a distinguished life in service to the Church. In 1975, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and served as Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Lebanon.  In 1988, he was named undersecretary for the Section for Relations with States in the Secretariat of State and in 1991 Pope John Paul II appointed him an archbishop. In the years that followed, he represented the Holy See in numerous international conferences. In 2007, he was named President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. 

In this new role, Cardinal Tauran made a great impact on Catholic relations with non-Christian religions, most especially in convening interreligious coalitions to address the pressing questions of culture and society. He was especially tireless in his work to build relations with the Muslim community.   

For those involved in interreligious dialogue, his death is a great loss. An important part of his legacy remains his commitment to interfaith understanding and cooperation in service to Christ and the Church. May he rest in peace." 

---

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera,  Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

###

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200