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Posted on 03/26/2020 02:03 AM (CatholicCulture.org - Catholic World News)
Posted on 03/26/2020 02:03 AM (CatholicCulture.org - Catholic World News)
Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham; Names Bishop Steven J. Raica as Successor
Posted on 03/25/2020 02:41 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert J. Baker, 75, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Birmingham and has named Bishop Steven J. Raica of Gaylord to succeed him.
The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on March 25, 2020 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Raica was born on November 8, 1952 and ordained to the priesthood on October 14, 1978. He was named Bishop of Gaylord in 2014.
The Diocese of Birmingham is comprised of 28,091 square miles in the State of Alabama and has a total population of 3,073,473 of which 104,837 are Catholic.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Robert J. Baker, Bishop Steven J. Raica, Diocese of Birmingham, Diocese of Gaylord.
Posted on 03/23/2020 09:30 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON- Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has issued the following announcement on the 25th anniversary of The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae).
Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:
As we celebrate the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord on March 25, we also mark the 25th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s prophetic encyclical, The Gospel of Life (Evangelium vitae). Here, this saint provides a clear challenge to us: “With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses. With equal clarity and determination we must identify the steps we are called to take in order to serve life in all its truth” (EV 95).
With this, Pope St. John Paul II invites each of us to ask ourselves how we are assisting women in need who are pregnant or have young children. He challenges us to open our hearts even wider, and to improve our responses where needed, especially at the local level—in short, to truly accompany each pregnant or parenting woman in need.
This past November, the bishops enthusiastically embraced an initiative entitled Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service to celebrate the anniversary by assessing and expanding our help to mothers in need. I am very excited to see dioceses and parishes across the country making plans to join in the Year of Service in their own unique ways. It is capturing the imagination of our people.
As Pope Francis reminds us, our parishes are called to be “islands of mercy in the midst of a sea of indifference.” Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service commences on March 25, 2020. Parish resources for the Year of Service are being posted at www.walkingwithmoms.com.
Many areas of the country have had to temporarily suspend gatherings and Masses due to the coronavirus concern. In light of current events, dioceses and parishes are encouraged to adjust their schedules for the Year of Service according to what is pastorally and practically appropriate for everyone’s safety. In the meantime, we can still pray, wherever we are on March 25, that this Year of Service will help us increase our outreach, so that every pregnant and parenting mother in need may know she can turn to her local Catholic community for help and authentic friendship.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Walking With Moms in Need, The Gospel of Life, pro-life.
Statement of U.S. Bishops’ President Upon the Death of Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Former U.S. Bishops’ Conference President
Posted on 03/22/2020 14:37 PM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement on the passing of Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk.
Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:
“His Excellency Daniel E. Pilarczyk, archbishop emeritus of Cincinnati, passed away Sunday at the age of 85. He was known as a shepherd close to his flock. The Archbishop led during challenging times but sought reconciliation and reform with humility.
“Archbishop Pilarczyk was generous also in service to his brother bishops. We benefited greatly from his pastoral leadership as president of what is now the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1989 to 1992.
“Join me in a prayer of gratitude for the life of Archbishop Pilarczyk as he meets the Lord he so dearly loved and served.”
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Statement of the U.S. Bishops’ Executive Committee: Catholic Relief Services Delivers the Hope of Christ to Where Human Suffering is Worst
Posted on 03/17/2020 06:21 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON – The Executive Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement in support of Catholic Relief Services.
The full statement follows:
“In the name of our Catholic faith, the donors, staff, and volunteers of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) deliver life-saving food, medicine, shelter, and training to the most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers around the world. They do this work often in remote, dangerous places that most people would fear to visit. We extend our prayers and gratitude for this courageous witness of Christ’s mercy.
“The humanitarian relief efforts of CRS are grounded in the loving teachings of the Catholic Church. CRS stands in firm defense of life. Criticisms to the contrary should not detract from the powerful impact your donations have on the lives of otherwise forgotten suffering populations.
“We have confidence in the thorough vetting system utilized by CRS by which complaints are investigated and corrective action taken, if necessary. CRS works alongside other relief agencies that may not share our teaching. In these instances, CRS keeps its work distinct.
“We firmly stand with the personnel of Catholic Relief Services in their solidarity to the least among us. Together, we affirm the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until natural death.”
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Executive Committee, Catholic Relief Services, CRS.
Posted on 03/13/2020 11:43 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON – Earlier today, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued a reflection and prayer on Coronavirus (COVID-19). His statement is part of the USCCB’s ongoing engagement on the issue over the last several weeks.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued a statement encouraging lawmakers to consider measures providing relief and aid to those suffering from COVID-19, those affected by workplace closures and other disruptions, and prayers for those suffering from the virus and for healthcare providers.
In response to news of progression of COVID-19 outbreaks in other parts of the world, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued a statement with Catholic Relief Services and the Catholic Health Association of the United States that addressed the Catholic response to the outbreak.
The faithful are encouraged to consult their local (arch)diocese or (arch)eparchy as to local directives on the celebration of the sacraments. The USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship has shared helpful considerations with the U.S. bishops regarding their role in regulating liturgical celebrations as they make decisions for their respective dioceses in the wake of growing public health concerns.
The considerations include: reminding parishes to use common sense hygiene practices; reminding Catholics that they are not obligated to attend Mass if they are sick; reminding bishops that they may suspend the distribution of Holy Communion by the chalice (cup), and suspend physical contact at the sign of peace; and that in more serious circumstances, they may suspend public liturgical celebrations.
The USCCB, as well as the Confraternity on Christian Doctrine (CCD) and the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), have waived permission requirements for prayers and readings in both English and Spanish to allow dioceses to livestream Masses during this time as social distancing measures are implemented.
Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, liturgy, Mass, communion, Archbishop José H. Gomes, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, Bishop David J. Malloy, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Committee on Divine Worship, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, International Commission on English in the Liturgy, ICEL, Confraternity of Christina Doctrine, CCD, liturgy.
Posted on 03/13/2020 07:32 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON- Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19):
With the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus, we are confronted once more with the fragility of our lives, and again we are reminded of our common humanity — that the peoples of this world are our brothers and sisters, that we are all one family under God.
God does not abandon us, he goes with us even now in this time of trial and testing. In this moment, it is important for us to anchor our hearts in the hope that we have in Jesus Christ. Now is the time to intensify our prayers and sacrifices for the love of God and the love of our neighbor. Let us draw closer to one another in our love for him, and rediscover the things that truly matter in our lives.
United with our Holy Father Pope Francis, let us pray in solidarity for our brothers and sisters here and around the world who are sick. Let us pray for those who have lost loved ones to this virus. May God console them and grant them peace.
We pray also for doctors, nurses, and caregivers, for public health officials and all civic leaders. May God grant them courage and prudence as they seek to respond to this emergency with compassion and in service to the common good.
In this time of need, I invite all the faithful to seek together the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I share this prayer with you:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, bishops, prayer, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop José H. Gomez.
Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Encourages Lawmakers in Providing Aid and Relief to Those Affected by Coronavirus
Posted on 03/12/2020 12:51 PM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, encouraged lawmakers as they consider measures to provide relief and aid to those suffering from coronavirus, as well as those affected by workplace closures and other disruptions. He also offered prayers for those suffering from the virus and for healthcare providers.
Archbishop Coakley's full statement follows:
“The outbreak of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has impacted the lives of hundreds of millions around the world, and is spreading here in the United States. We pray especially for those who are ill and for those who have died. We also offer prayers for those affected by disruptions, such as quarantines and closures of workplaces and schools. Finally, we pray for health care workers, and express our gratitude for their service in combating this disease.
“At this time, lawmakers are considering with urgency a number of policies that could provide aid and relief. Because of the quickly developing nature of the situation, it is appropriate simply to offer encouragement to members of Congress and the Administration for their efforts to address the many challenges ahead. Special consideration is warranted for those most vulnerable: the poor, the elderly, the homeless, those in prison or detention facilities, immigrants and refugees, and those with severe underlying health conditions.
“Several of the policies under review have previously been supported by the bishops, such as increased food security measures, paid sick leave, adequate care for immigrants regardless of status, and greater assistance for low-income workers, the unemployed, and those experiencing homelessness or housing instability. In order to safeguard the health of all, everyone who is sick with the virus should have access to health care that is not a financial burden, whether or not they have insurance. Additional consideration is warranted for suspending work requirements related to programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), given likely workplace disruptions, making available additional federal funds potentially through a federal disaster declaration, refraining from immigration enforcement efforts at sensitive locations like hospitals and clinics, and additional resources for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
“We are grateful for the efforts by lawmakers during this difficult time and urge them to go forward in finding a path to bring greater relief to everyone suffering from coronavirus and its effects on society, especially those most in need. May the Divine Physician be with all those affected by this illness and restore us quickly to health and peace.”
Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.
Annual Catholic Relief Services Collection Supports the Sanctity of Human Life and the Dignity of the Human Person
Posted on 03/9/2020 07:39 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— Each year, a national collection that supports some of the most marginalized communities in the world is held in dioceses around the country. Through development projects, pastoral outreach, legal support services, advocacy, and educational opportunities, the programs supported through The Catholic Relief Services Collection serve people who live in poverty and victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters. This year’s collection will be held in many dioceses the weekend of March 21-22.
Funds donated to the annual collection are provided to six Catholic groups that share in the Catholic mission of promoting the sanctity of human life and the dignity of the human person: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development, and Department of Migration and Refugee Services, as well as Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), and the Holy Father's Relief Fund. The USCCB’s Administrative Committee is responsible for grant-making from this national collection.
For example, young people like Zeineba, a seventh grader in a rural village in Ethiopia, who receives tutoring and school tuition assistance through CRS. Through the support from the collection, Zeineba’s academic scores have improved, she has gained confidence, and she has lead a group of students that provide support for other girls. She not only has a bright future, but she also sets an example for her neighbors and her two younger sisters.
“Through almsgiving, we extend a hand of fraternal charity and give witness to the Risen Christ while offering hope to people who live on the margins,” said Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Seattle, chairman of the Committee on National Collections for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Each year I am extremely grateful and encouraged by the support we receive for The Catholic Relief Services Collection. Faithful across the United States, through their donations, make a tremendous impact in the lives of our brother and sisters here at home and across the globe who are denied their basic needs including education, food, shelter, and safety.”
More information about the collection, who it supports and how the funds are distributed, can be found at www.usccb.org/catholic-relief/howtogive. You can support this work by giving to the annual collection taken up in your parish. If you miss your parish collection, or wish to give outside of the collection, visit http://www.usccb.org/catholic-relief/howtogive.
Keywords: Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, Catholic Relief Services Collection, Committee on National Collections, Laetare Sunday.