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Pope Francis Names the Most Reverend Milan Lach, SJ, as Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma

 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed as Bishop of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma, the Most Reverend Milan Lach, SJ, who up until now served as apostolic administrator of the Eparchy.

The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma is the Catholic eparchy governing most Ruthenian Catholics in the mid-western United States. It is headquartered in Parma, Ohio.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, June 1, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Lach, 44, was born in Kežmarok, Slovakia in 1973. In 1992, he was admitted to the Greek-catholic seminary in Prešov and in 1995 entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Trnava, Slovakia. He continued his studies at Trnava University and also studied at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, where he obtained a master's degree from the Eastern Church Sciences and later, a doctorate degree. In 2009, he began working at the Center of Spirituality East – West of Michal Lacko in Košice, Slovakia.

He was ordained a deacon of the Society of Jesus on November 11, 2000 and was ordained a priest on July 1, 2001. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine on April 19, 2013. He was ordained as auxiliary bishop of Prešov and titular bishop of Ostracine, June 1, 2013.  On June 24, 2017, Pope Francis named Bishop Lach as apostolic administrator of the sede vacante (vacant see) of the Epharcy of Parma for the Ruthenians.

The Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians was erected February 21, 1969. Currently, the Eparchy of Parma encompasses the geographical area of Ohio (except the eastern border counties), Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Byzantine Catholics living in those states are members of the local Church of Parma.

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Keywords: Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, Eparchy of Parma for the Ruthenians, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, Ruthenian Catholics.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


La Confraternidad de la Doctrina Cristiana aprueba $46.729 en subvenciones para "fomentar respuestas prácticas" a la alfabetización bíblica

 WASHINGTON—Esta primavera, la Confraternidad de la Doctrina Cristiana (CCD, por sus siglas en inglés) otorgó subvenciones por un monto de $46.729 para tres proyectos que apoyan los objetivos de la CCD para promover la alfabetización bíblica católica y la interpretación bíblica católica.

La CCD trabaja con la Asociación Bíblica Católica (CBA, por sus siglas en inglés) para ofrecer estas subvenciones aceptando solicitudes solo de la CBA, incluyendo a la organización misma, sus designados y sus miembros activos y asociados. En fidelidad a "Dei Verbum", el objetivo de la CBA es promover el estudio académico en las Escrituras y campos relacionados mediante reuniones de la asociación, publicaciones y apoyo a quienes participan en dichos estudios.

El Obispo Robert J. Brennan, Obispo Auxiliar de la Diócesis de Rockville Centre y miembro del Comité de Enlace entre CCD y CBA comentó: "Es motivador ver el renovado interés en la alfabetización bíblica en todos los niveles de formación y vida de la Iglesia. Me alegra que las subvenciones de CCD y CBA fomenten respuestas prácticas a este interés".

Los fondos para estas subvenciones provienen de las regalías recibidas de la publicación de la New American Bible y sus obras derivadas que la Asociación Bíblica Católica desarrolla, publica, promueve y distribuye.

Los tres proyectos patrocinados por la CCD son los siguientes.

  • $10.000 al Dr. Timothy Carmody (Profesor, Director del Programa de Posgrado del Spring Hill College en St. Mobile, Alabama) para el desarrollo y la enseñanza de tres cursos en Estudios Bíblicos de candidatos a diáconos de primer año de la Diócesis de Jackson, MS. Los tres cursos proporcionarán una Introducción a los Estudios Bíblicos y la Revelación, así como estudios en profundidad de los Profetas y los Evangelios sinópticos.

 

  • $12.679 al Dr. Mahri Leonard-Fleckman (Profesor Asistente en el Providence College en Rhode Island) para una estadía de dos meses en Israel para facilitar el trabajo en la "École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem" y en una excavación arqueológica para desarrollar un libro sobre cómo la Biblia y la evidencia arqueológica podrían proporcionar juntas un mejor entendimiento tanto de la sociedad antigua como del texto bíblico.

 

  • $24.050 al Dr. Rafael Ramírez (Profesor asistente afiliado en la Neuhoff School of Ministry en la Universidad de Dallas en Texas) para el financiamiento de una beca en el Programa MTS de Estudios Bíblicos en ese centro de estudios. Después de graduarse, el beneficiario de la beca va a enseñar en la Escuela Católica Bíblica.

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Palabras clave: Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, USCCB, Confraternidad de la Doctrina Cristiana, CCD, Asociación Bíblica Católica, CBA, Obispo Robert J. Brennan, Diócesis de Rockville Centre, Comité de Educación Católica, Dei Verbum, New American Bible, beca bíblica, programas pastorales, literatura bíblica, alfabetización bíblica católica, interpretación bíblica católica, subvenciones.

 

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Contactos de prensa:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3202

Catholic Dioceses Contribute More Than $58.7 Million to Recovery Efforts in the Wake of 2017 Hurricanes and Mexico Earthquakes

WASHINGTON—In response to the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and earthquakes in Mexico, Catholics across the United States have contributed nearly $59 million to relief and recovery efforts. Initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), special collections and funds were launched last year to support humanitarian relief efforts as well as to provide pastoral services and financial support to rebuild facilities in dioceses impacted by these disasters.

"The devastation wrought by last year's unprecedented disasters continues to impact the lives of our brothers and sisters in the United States, across the Caribbean, and in Mexico. We are profoundly grateful to the dioceses that took up special collections or made donations," said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections "The support of parishioners is an act of charity and a reflection of love for neighbor. We ask for continued prayers of support for the people affected by these historic natural disasters."

As of mid-May 2018, US dioceses have remitted the following amounts for relief efforts:

Hurricane Harvey – $37.2 Million

Hurricane Irma – $12.8 Million

Hurricane Maria – $6.1 Million

Mexico Earthquakes – $3.5 Million

Humanitarian relief and recovery efforts are being provided by Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CCUSA is receiving 50% of Hurricane Harvey funds and 30% of both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria funds; CRS is receiving 20% of Hurricane Irma funds. Initial funding from the special collections supported immediate needs such as food, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Long-term disaster recovery is currently underway. CCUSA recently distributed $13.5 million to nine Catholic Charities agencies in Texas and Louisiana where Hurricane Harvey affected countless people.

In response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, CRS worked with Caritas Havana in Cuba to provide roofing and mattresses to affected families. In the British Virgin Islands, CRS, Caritas Antilles and the British Red Cross set up a joint cash program to help 740 families buy essential items. In Dominica, CRS and Caritas Antilles distributed 750 hygiene kits, 1,590 tarps, 920 buckets and 660 water filters to more than 600 families in four communities in the hardest-hit southeastern region. In the Dominican Republic, CRS partners provided 1,970 families with vouchers for food, hygiene and living supplies, and 330 families with hygiene kits. Teams also worked with the local health ministry to raise awareness about health and hygiene, particularly the danger of waterborne diseases and other health risks.

Two Mexico earthquakes days apart killed nearly 500 people in September 2017 and destroyed homes, infrastructure and utilities, CRS, Caritas Mexico and local partners constructed transitional shelters and distributed 2,859 tarps to vulnerable families. They set up communal cooking facilities to ensure daily hot meals and provided living supplies, including kitchen sets and locally made clay ovens. CRS and its partners also arranged counseling for 1,040 children and young people dealing with grief, distress and trauma from the earthquakes. Moving forward, CRS will train people to build back better using disaster-resilient construction techniques, and to maintain their shelters. In four communities, community-based disaster response teams are being trained in first aid. This outreach was done through CRS's direct fundraising efforts.

The USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions is managing the US Church share of Hurricane Harvey (50%), Hurricane Irma (30%) and Hurricane Maria (55%) funds. The Subcommittee has awarded $14 million in Hurricane Harvey grants, and $3 million in Hurricane Irma grants to assist with Church repairs to parishes and schools in dioceses impacted by the hurricanes. Requests from dioceses for Hurricane Maria support will be considered at the Subcommittee's June 14 meeting.

The USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America is managing the Caribbean Church share of Hurricane Irma (20%) and Hurricane Maria (15%) funds, as well as all contributions to the Mexico Earthquakes fund.

Distributions to the responding organizations will continue to be made as funds are received.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Collections, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, Mexico Earthquakes, Gospel, charity, media, internet, print

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


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 full 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