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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

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

### 

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

### 

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

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Monsignor Marc V. Trudeau as a new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  

The appointment was publicized in Washington on April 5, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

A native of Los Angeles, Msgr. Trudeau was born May 20, 1957 in Hollywood, CA. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California. He also attended the University of Southern California School of Dentistry (1981-1985) before entering St. John's Seminary in Camarillo for Philosophy and Theological studies (1986-1991).

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on August 6, 1991.

Assignments after ordination included: associate pastor, St. James the Less Church, La Crescenta (1991-1995); associate pastor/administrator pro tempore, St. Philip the Apostle Church, Pasadena (1995-2001); pastor, St. Pius X Church in Santa Fe Springs (2001-2004); priest secretary to Cardinal Roger M. Mahony (2004-2010); pastor, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Church, Lomita (2010-2013). He joined the faculty at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo as vice rector and assistant director of pastoral formation in 2013. He was named rector of St. John's Seminary in 2014-present.  

From 1993-1999, he also served as a member of the Council of Priests, Archdiocesan Catholic Center, Los Angeles.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is comprised of 8,636 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 11,519,517 of which 4,031,831 or 35 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop José H. Gomez is the current Archbishop of Los Angeles.   

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Monsignor Marc V. Trudeau, Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


U.S. Bishops Chairmen Grateful for Pre-Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Chairmen for the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations and the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth have expressed gratitude for the openness and honesty of the young adults who participated as delegates to the Pre-Synodal Meeting in anticipation of this October's Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

On March 19-25, 2018, over 300 young adults, representing episcopal conferences, ecclesial movements, apostolates, and religious and educational institutions, came together for a pre-synodal gathering convened by Pope Francis to discuss the experiences, challenges, and hopes of their generation. At the conclusion of the gathering, on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018, the participants presented a summary document of insights and recommendations to Pope Francis. This document will be utilized, along with episcopal conference consultations and online feedback from young people, in the development of the Instrumentum Laboris that will guide the October Synod.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, commented on the release of the document, saying, "It is inspiring to hear such a great desire on the part of young adults for active participation and involvement in the Church, and a deep desire to grow in their faith. I look forward to accompanying them on their vocational journey."

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, also said, "I am grateful that the delegates engaged in a robust dialogue and offered honest feedback for the bishops to consider in light of the upcoming Synod. I am particularly happy that the young adults are ready to work with the Church on better engaging their peers, especially those who have disconnected from the practice of the faith."

The complete Pre-Synodal Document can be found online at the Vatican Synod website at: www.synod2018.va/content/synod2018/en/news/final-document-from-the-pre-synodal-meeting.html.

The USCCB sent three young adult representatives to the Pre-Synodal Meeting: Br. Javier Hansen, FSC of the Lasallian Christian Brothers; Mr. Nick López of the University of Dallas; and Mrs. Katie Prejean McGrady of Lake Charles, Louisiana. Mr. López also gave a ten-minute presentation on the state of youth and young adults in the Americas before the Holy Father and the Synod delegates. In addition, other delegates from the United States, nominated by their respective movements and institutions, included: Mr. Christian Huebner, seminarian from the Archdiocese of Washington; Rev. Nathaniel Johnson from the YOUTH 2000 movement; Ms. Nicole Perone from the Archdiocese of Hartford; Mr. Christopher Russo from the Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of Passaic; Sr. Marie Faustina Paige Wolniakowski, RSM, from the Sisters of Mercy in Alma, Michigan; and Ms. Cherise Klekar and Ms. Briana Santiago, in formation with the Apostles of the Interior Life.

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

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Pre-Synod gathering, Rome, Vatican, Holy See, Young People, Faith, Vocational Discernment, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin C.Ss.R., Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, youth, young adults

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Join in Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Church Bell Tolls; April 4

WASHINGTON—On April 4th at 7:05 pm (EDT), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will join in solidarity with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by tolling the Shrine's bells 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King lived on earth.

At that time, the USCCB and the Shrine will join with numerous other churches and schools across the nation tolling bells in homage to Dr. King's legacy and his many contributions including the principle of non-violent resistance. The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism.

April 4th also marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. The bells in honor of his life will initially ring first at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and The King Center, located in Atlanta, at 6:01pm (CDT). Bells will then chime in the City of Memphis at 6:03 p.m. (CDT), and then nationally at 6:05 p.m. (CDT), and internationally at 6:07 p.m. (CDT).

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will also broadcast the tolling of the bells live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usccb.

The King Center has also planned a series of events to mark this historic year with the theme MLK50 Forward: Together We win with Love for Humanity. For more information on The King Center's events please visit www.MLK50Forward.org.

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Keywords: U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memphis, remembrance, churches, schools, bells, legacy, contribution, racism, non-violence resistance, culture of love, respect, peace, National Civil Rights Museum, The King Center.

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Media Contacts:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Jackie Hayes
202-281-0615

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Thomas Curry of Los Angeles

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Thomas John Curry as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for reasons of age. He has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.

The resignation was publicized in Washington, April 3, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Curry was born January 17, 1943, in Ireland. He attended All Hallows Seminary in Dublin and graduated from University College in Dublin with a bachelor's degree in History in 1963. In 1973, he received a master's degree in History at Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles, and went on to receive a Ph.D. in History from Claremont Graduate School in 1983.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 18, 1967, at All Hallows in Dublin, Ireland, for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Assignments after ordination included: associate pastor, St. Bernadine, Woodland Hills, CA, 1967-1970; teacher, St. Pius X High School, Downey, CA, 1970-1975; graduate studies, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA, 1975-1978; teacher, St. Paul High School, Santa Fe Springs, CA, 1978-1979; director, Office of Continuing Education for Clergy, Los Angeles,1976-1985; vicar for clergy, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 1985-1990; director, Secretariat for Church Ministerial Services, Los Angeles, 1991-1994. During this time, he was bestowed the papal honor of the titles Chaplain to His Holiness, 1984, and Prelate of Honor, 1988.

On February 8, 1994, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope John Paul II and was ordained to the episcopate on March 19, 1994 for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.

Bishop Curry was a former chair of the Committee for Catholic Education at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is comprised of 8,636 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 11,519,517 of which 4,031,831 or 35 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop José H. Gomez is the current Archbishop of Los Angeles.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, Archdiocese of Los Angeles


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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Releases Easter Message Focusing on Easter’s Simple Joy

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the simple joy of the Resurrection.

Full statement follows:

"Jesus lives. This is the simple message of Easter. And because Jesus lives — so does hope, so does love, and so do we. Although Christ knew the pain of the Cross and the isolation of the tomb, His Death and Resurrection gives us the joy of the Resurrection and the gift of eternal life.

Today, Christ offers us that gift of life and joy. How we chose to live that life, however, is up to us. Do we always treat one another as sisters and brothers in the eyes of God? Can we look beyond the distractions and despair of our own suffering to the hope of the world to come? Jesus endured the pain and isolation to show us the path to life.

So much of today's culture tempts us to see one another as different, dividing us into ever more polarized camps. But, Jesus walked the Way of the Cross for everyone. Everyone is in need of His love, and everyone is offered His love.

This Easter morning, let us acknowledge the gift of life Christ has given us. Let us look into the empty tomb and proclaim with joy, proclaim with all our hearts and with our lives — that Jesus lives!

May God bless you. Happy Easter!"

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Keywords: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Easter, Resurrection, Jesus, cross, life, joy, suffering, Way of the Cross, love.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Catholic Church in the United States Will Welcome Thousands of New Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses

WASHINGTON—Dioceses across the country will be welcoming thousands of people into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil liturgy on the evening of March 31.  As the culmination of the Easter Triduum, the vigil celebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. While people can become Catholic at any time of the year, the Easter Vigil is a particularly appropriate moment for adult catechumens to be baptized and for already-baptized Christians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

About 85 of the nearly 200 dioceses across the nation have reported their numbers of catechumens and candidates for full communion to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based on these numbers, more than 30,000 people are expected to be welcomed into the Church at Easter Vigil Masses this Saturday. For example, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest diocese in the United States, will welcome 1,700 catechumens and 1,127 candidates.  Among them will be catechumen Tina Robinson. Raised in a Baptist church, Tina eventually started attending a non-denominational church. After she married a cradle Catholic, she prayed to God for guidance. A few days later, Tina received an invitation to attend St. Bernard's Parish on their front door. "That was my calling" says Tina.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco will welcome 173 catechumens and 169 candidates. Among them will be Tina Wok, who had been a nominal member of a non-Christian religion and Kent Iglehart, who is also preparing for entry into the Catholic Church after his wife, Jacqueline, inspired his conversion. The Diocese of San Diego will welcome a combined 1,091 catechumens and candidates. Among them will be Karrie Johnson. After regular attendance in a Christian church for a number of years, Karrie felt that God might be guiding her toward the Catholic Church. Open to the possibility, she attended Mass for the first time and had the "profound feeling" that she was truly home.

Catechumens, who have never been baptized, will receive Baptism, Confirmation and first Communion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil.  Candidates, who have already been baptized in another Christian tradition, will enter the Church through a profession of faith and reception of Confirmation and the Eucharist.

The Archdiocese of New York will welcome 400 catechumens and 468 candidates, while the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will welcome 1,536 catechumens and 618 candidates. Other archdioceses and dioceses report numbers as follows: Atlanta: 708 catechumens, 1,280 candidates; Charleston: 155 catechumens, 337 candidates; Dallas: 1,139 catechumens, 300 candidates; Fort Worth: 489 catechumens and candidates; Corpus Christi: 126 catechumens, 46 candidates; Tyler: 50 catechumens, 142 candidates; Charlotte: 214 catechumens, 401 candidates; Venice in Florida: 193 catechumens, 205 candidates; St. Petersburg, Florida: 350 catechumens; Richmond: 348 catechumens; Baton Rouge: 154 catechumens, 194 candidates; Lake Charles: 80 catechumens, 93 candidates; Louisville: 200 catechumens, 247 candidates; Lafayette, Louisiana: 50 catechumens, 97 candidates; Shreveport: 39 catechumens, 74 candidates; Lexington: 104 catechumens, 97 candidates; Mobile: 86 catechumens, 187 candidates; Savannah: 95 catechumens, 220 candidates; Pensacola- Tallahassee: 140 catechumens, 126 catechumens; Covington, Kentucky: 78 catechumens, 111 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Seattle reports 664 catechumens and 429 candidates. Other numbers from the western part of the U.S. include: Las Vegas: 148 catechumens, 189 candidates; Salt Lake City: 225 catechumens, 98 candidates; Yakima: 151 catechumens, 37 candidates; Oakland: 174 catechumens, 382 candidates; Fresno: 527 catechumens, 322 candidates; Reno: 57 catechumens, 171 candidates; Pueblo: 76 catechumens, 43 candidates; and the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles with 17 catechumens and candidates. Honolulu is also welcoming 208 catechumens, 41 candidates.

Newark will be welcoming 416 catechumens, 657 candidates; Trenton: 188 catechumens, 460 candidates; Metuchen, New Jersey: 121 catechumens, 141 candidates; Buffalo: 296 catechumens and candidates; Rochester: 91 catechumens, 176 candidates; Paterson: 119 catechumens; Portland, Maine: 71 catechumens, 62 candidates; Albany: 44 catechumens, 84 candidates; Bridgeport: 46 catechumens, 189 candidates; Hartford: 59 catechumens, 55 candidates; Manchester: 71 catechumens, 95 candidates; Springfield, Massachusetts: 43 catechumens, 76 candidates; Worcester: 107 catechumens, 42 candidates; Fall River: 27 catechumens, 81 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia reports: 254 catechumens, 236 candidates; Pittsburgh: 144 catechumens, 309 candidates; Harrisburg: 125 catechumens; Greensburg: 49 catechumens, 65 candidates; the Archdiocese of Washington: 576 catechumens, 237 candidates. Others include: Arlington: 198 catechumens, 461 candidates; Cleveland: 215 catechumens, 248 candidates; Youngstown: 97 catechumens, 145 candidates; Columbus: 200 catechumens, 265 candidates;  Wilmington: 81 catechumens; 82 candidates; Green Bay: 101 catechumens and candidates; Fort Wayne-South Bend: 165 catechumens, 184 candidates; Springfield, Illinois: 109 catechumens, 165 candidates; Evansville: 63 catechumens, 110 candidates; Belleville: 55 catechumens, 94 candidates; Des Moines: 98 catechumens, 146 candidates; Jefferson City: 100 catechumens, 127 candidates; Owensboro: 53 catechumens, 156 candidates; Saginaw: 89 catechumens, 63 candidates; Madison; 31 catechumens, 70 candidates; Altoona-Johnstown: 45 catechumens, 52 candidates; La Crosse: 24 catechumens, 61 candidates.

Other dioceses report the following numbers: Saint Paul and Minneapolis: 228 catechumens, 386 candidates; Grand Rapids: 160 catechumens, 210 candidates; Oklahoma City: 239 catechumens, 327 candidates; Kansas City, Kansas: 150 catechumens, 250 candidates; Wichita: 154 catechumens, 206 candidates; Dodge City: 120 catechumens and candidates; Dubuque: 72 catechumens; 120 candidates; Bismarck: 46 catechumens, 111 candidates; Fargo: 19 catechumens, 62 candidates; Sioux City: 21 catechumens, 55 candidates; Gary: 72 catechumens and candidates.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage will also be welcoming 36 catechumens and 32 candidates. The additional dioceses have also reported the following numbers: St. Cloud: 13 catechumens, 43 candidates; New Ulm, Minnesota: 5 catechumens, 46 candidates; Duluth: 16 catechumens, 49 candidates; and Great Falls-Billings: 15 catechumens, 14 candidates.

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Keywords: U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Holy Saturday, Easter vigil, Easter Triduum, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), catechumens, candidates, conversion, baptism, First Communion, Eucharist, confirmation, sacraments, Catholic, archdiocese, diocese, converts

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200