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Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration Calls on President and Congress to Create a Border Solution and End Shut-Down
Posted on 01/10/2019 05:35 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Bishop Joseph Vásquez, of Austin, Texas, Chairman of the Committee on Migration issued the following statement calling for the President and Congressional leaders to create a border solution and end the government shut-down.
Bishop Vasquez’s full statement follows:
“Secure borders and humane treatment of those fleeing persecution and seeking a better life are not mutually exclusive. The United States can ensure both and must do so without instilling fear or sowing hatred. We will continue to advocate for immigration reform to advance the common good and address these issues.
Pope Francis states that migrants are not statistics, but persons with feelings that need ongoing protection. From our work serving immigrant and refugees along the U.S./Mexico border, in the interior of the United States and throughout the world, we know this to be true. We urge lawmakers to look beyond rhetoric and remember the human dignity that God our Father has given each of us simply because we are all His children.
The President and Congressional leaders need to come together and end the shut-down with a solution that recognizes the dignity of work of affected employees, respects the humanity of all regardless of immigration status, and protects the sanctity of human life.”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB, Bishop Joseph Vásquez, Committee on Migration, President Trump, U.S. Congress, secure borders, humane treatment, Pope Francis, government, shut-down
Posted on 01/9/2019 04:07 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—The annual Collection for the Church in Latin America will be taken up the weekend of January 26-27, 2019. For more than 50 years, the collection has been a sign of solidarity between Catholics of the United States and those in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“The Collection for the Church in Latin America is a chance for Catholics in the Americas to share their faith and grow closer to Christ,” said Bishop Octavio Cisneros, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn and newly-appointed chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America. “I thank the faithful of the United States for their compassion and generosity to their sisters and brothers in Latin America and the Caribbean. I have seen first-hand the people in many countries who benefit from this generosity.”
The collection supports the work of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America by funding grants for pastoral efforts such as lay leadership training, seminarian and religious formation, prison ministry, and youth ministry, among others. In 2018, the collection awarded nearly $7.5 million in grants to support the Church in Latin America and Caribbean, including areas ravaged by recent natural disasters.
More information about the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the grants it funds, as well as resources to promote it across the country, can be found at www.usccb.org/latin-america.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Collections, Church in Latin America, Bishop Octavio Cisneros, Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America, lay leadership, training, seminarian formation, religious formation, prison ministry, youth ministry
Posted on 01/4/2019 07:15 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— La Semana Nacional de Migración 2019 se realizará del 6 al 12 de enero. Durante casi medio siglo, la Iglesia Católica en los Estados Unidos ha celebrado la Semana Nacional de Migración, que brinda una oportunidad para que la Iglesia resalte la presencia y la situación de inmigrantes, refugiados, víctimas y sobrevivientes de la trata de personas. La semana sirve como un momento para la oración y la acción en apoyo de los inmigrantes y refugiados.
El tema de la celebración de este año, “Crear Comunidades de Bienvenida”, enfatiza nuestra responsabilidad y oportunidad como católicos para involucrar y dar la bienvenida a los recién llegados a su llegada y ayudar a facilitar su transición a una nueva vida aquí en los Estados Unidos. Las comunidades acogedoras no emergen por casualidad, sino que se establecen mediante el trabajo arduo y la convicción de las personas en el terreno a través del servicio directo, la experiencia y la fe compartidas, la promoción y el fortalecimiento institucional.
“En este momento, es particularmente importante para la Iglesia destacar el espíritu de bienvenida que todos estamos llamados a encarnar en respuesta a las poblaciones de inmigrantes y refugiados que se encuentran entre nosotros compartiendo nuestra Iglesia y nuestras comunidades”, dijo el Obispo Joe Vásquez, de Austin, Presidente del Comité de Migración de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB).
Materiales educativos y otros recursos para la Semana Nacional de Migración están disponibles para descargar en https://justiceforimmigrants.org/take-action/national-migration-week/ ---
Palabras clave: Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, USCCB, Comité de Migración, Obispo Joe S. Vásquez, Semana Nacional de Migración.
Contactos de Prensa:
Posted on 01/4/2019 06:39 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—National Migration Week 2019 will take place January 6 - 12. For nearly a half century, the Catholic Church in the United States has celebrated National Migration Week, which provides an opportunity for the Church to highlight the presence and situation of immigrants, refugees, victims, and survivors of human trafficking. The week serves as a time for both prayer and action in support of immigrants and refugees.
The theme for this year’s celebration – “Building Communities of Welcome” – emphasizes our responsibility and opportunity as Catholics to engage and welcome newcomers on their arrival and help to ease their transition into a new life here in the United States. Welcoming communities do not emerge by chance but are established through the hard work and conviction of people on the ground through direct service, shared experience and faith, advocacy, and institution building
“In this moment, it is particularly important for the Church to highlight the spirit of welcome that we are all called to embody in response to immigrant and refugee populations who are in our midst sharing our Church and our communities,” said Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration.
Educational materials and other resources for National Migration Week are available for download at https://justiceforimmigrants.org/take-action/national-migration-week/
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, National Migration Week
U.S. Bishops Receive Letter from Pope Francis As They Gather for Spiritual Retreat; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo Offers Message to Holy Father on Behalf of U.S. Bishops
Posted on 01/3/2019 05:00 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Bishops have received a letter from Pope Francis as they gather in northern Illinois at Mundelein Seminary this week. The weeklong retreat is taking place at the invitation of Pope Francis who has asked all bishops in the United States to pause in prayer as the Church seeks to respond to the signs of the times.
The Preacher to the Papal Household, Capuchin Friar Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., is directing the retreat under the theme of “He appointed Twelve, to be with Him and to Send Out to Preach” based on Mark 3:14. The structure of the retreat includes time for quiet reflection, including silent meal times, daily Mass, time for personal and communal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, vespers, and an opportunity for confession. No ordinary business is being conducted during the retreat.
Mundelein Seminary, located on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, is the principal seminary and school of theology for the formation of priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and educates nearly 200 seminarians from 34 dioceses across the country and around the world.
**As the retreat is one of prayer and silence, there will be no interviews or press conferences and no media access to the Mundelein Seminary campus. **
If you would like to obtain photos or b-roll video from the retreat, please contact USCCB Media Relations at email@example.com
Pope Francis’s full letter can be found here in both English and Spanish: www.usccb.org/Francis
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), sent the following message on behalf of the U.S. bishops upon the opening of the retreat.
The Cardinal’s full message follows:
Most Holy Father:
As the bishops of the United States gather today in prayer, we humbly ask Your Holiness to pray for us that we may draw closer to one another and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In this closeness, we seek to find the wisdom and strength necessary to meet the great challenges ahead. We carry with us these days the pain and hope of all who may feel let down by the Church. Yet, we find ourselves grateful for the reminder that the future does not rest with any of us alone, but rather belongs to God. Hope is to be found in Christ. In Him, hope becomes unshakable.
Holy Father, we also draw near to you in our prayer and ministry. Your witness to those suffering around the world strengthens us. May our days together reflect the communion of the Universal Church.
Keywords: U.S. Bishops, Pope Francis, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., Preacher to Papal Household, Mundelein Seminary, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, spiritual retreat
Allison McGinn Appointed as Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Posted on 12/31/2018 08:49 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— Allison McGinn has been appointed as Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB General Secretary, made the appointment which will take effect January 7, 2019.
“Allison has a wealth of experience as a Human Resources professional. I am confident that her skills and abilities will be of tremendous value to the USCCB, and I am grateful to her for accepting this important position in service to the bishops and to the Church,” said Msgr. Bransfield.
McGinn earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Educational Psychology from Mississippi State University. She holds senior-level certifications in Human Resources from both the Society for Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Certification Institute.
Most recently, McGinn was self-employed as a Human Resources Consultant, working with firms in the areas of performance management, employee benefits and compensation, recruiting, HR policy and compliance. Prior to her consulting work, McGinn oversaw the HR function for organizations in the government contracting and airline industries, including over 18 years of service with US Airways.
McGinn lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband and two daughters. They attend the Basilica of St. Mary Church in Old Town. McGinn takes on the leadership of the department after the tenure of Mrs. Theresa Ridderhoff, who had served until recently as Executive Director of Human Resources and was appointed as USCCB Associate General Secretary effective January 1, 2019.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Allison McGinn, Executive Director, Office of Human Resources Msgr. Brian Bransfield, General Secretary, Theresa Ridderhoff, Associate General Secretary
President of The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops expresses support and prayer for those affected by the recent tsunami in Indonesia
Posted on 12/23/2018 06:34 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, expresses support and prayer for those affected by the recent tsunami in Indonesia.
Cardinal DiNardo’ statement follows:
“Speaking for the bishops and the Catholic faithful of the United States, our prayers and condolences go out to all those who have died or have been injured by the tsunami that struck Indonesia in the area around the Sunda Strait, including Anyerbeach in the west coast area of West Java and Lampung in southern part of Sumatera last evening (Indonesia time).
The people of Indonesia have faced several major natural disasters this year alone, with the earthquake in July and the devastating quake and tidal wave that took so many lives in October.
Not only do our prayers go out to all who have been affected by this most recent natural disaster, which came without warning, but also our pledge of support and aid. Together with our Holy Father Pope Francis, I appeal for the ‘solidarity and the support of the International Community’ for our brothers and sisters. I know that Catholic Relief Services, Caritas Indonesia, and other local partners have teams on the ground responding and they will be providing relief and assistance.
As we prepare for the celebration of the birth of Christ, I ask all those in the Church here in the United States, to pray for healing, consolation, and relief to our sisters and brothers suffering in Indonesia”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, tsunami, Indonesia
Bishops’ Conference President, Chairman of USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Catholic Charities USA CEO Welcome Passage of the FIRST STEP Act Through Congress
Posted on 12/21/2018 16:36 PM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Following the passage of the FIRST STEP Act in Congress, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice , FL, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Sr. Donna Markham, O.P, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, praised Congress for passing the FIRST STEP Act.
The full statement is as follows:
The First Step Act is a true first step towards long-term criminal justice system reform. The Act provides meaningful reform to our nation’s mandatory minimum sentences and “three-strike” policies. This reform provides a more just and equitable criminal justice system. In addition, the Act provides valuable incentives for prisoners to participate in vocational and rehabilitative programs helping to prepare them for reintegration into society. The reauthorization of the Second Chance Act provides access to meaningful local and faith-based programs that help returning citizens contribute to their communities and families.
In response to the passage Cardinal DiNardo, President of USCCB, stated:
“We are grateful to the members and staff of the Senate and the House for the truly historic bipartisan collaboration that was necessary to pass this bill before Christmas. We also thank the President and his staff for their support. The First Step Act advances the causes of justice and mercy in our criminal justice system. We stand with victims of crime, and we refuse to give up on those who have committed crimes.”
Bishop Dewane, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development also stated:
“More reform is needed in the future, but now is a time to celebrate that our sentencing laws will promote greater fairness and justice, and our prisons will be better at rehabilitating prisoners, which benefits the whole community.”
Sister Donna Markham, CCUSA President and CEO, said:
“This is a true Christmas gift to families who have been impacted by unjust sentencing policies. Catholic Charities agencies continue to minister to our brothers and sisters returning to their families, and today’s bill will make meaningful progress towards improving those efforts. Reauthorizing the Second Chance Act allows us to continue providing effective reentry programming to reduce recidivism and address intergenerational poverty.”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Sister Donna Markham, Catholic Charities USA, President Donald Trump, FIRST STEP Act, criminal justice system, reform, Second Chance Act, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives
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U.S. Bishops Will Gather for Seven Days of Prayer and Reflection at Invitation of Pope Francis; Papal Preacher to Direct Retreat Taking Place January 2-8
Posted on 12/21/2018 07:46 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— Catholic bishops from across the United States will begin the new year taking part in a spiritual retreat for seven days at Mundelein Seminary January 2 to 8, 2019. Preacher to the Papal Household, Capuchin Friar Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., will direct the retreat under the theme of “He appointed Twelve, to be with Him and to Send Out to Preach” based on Mark 3:14. The retreat is taking place at the invitation of Pope Francis who has asked all bishops in the United States to pause in prayer as the Church seeks to respond to the signs of the times.
The structure of the retreat will emphasize quiet reflection, including silent meal times, and will offer daily Mass, time for personal and communal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, vespers, and an opportunity for confession. The next business meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is scheduled for June 2019. No ordinary business will be conducted at the January retreat.
Cardinal DiNardo expresses his gratitude to Pope Francis for offering the services of his personal preacher for the retreat and offers special thanks to Cardinal Blase Cupich for hosting the retreat in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Cardinal is also asking the faithful to join in prayer for the U.S. bishops throughout the duration of the retreat.
“I am grateful to the Holy Father for calling the bishops and me to step back and enter into this focused time of listening to God as we respond to the intense matters before us in the weeks and months ahead. I also humbly ask the laity, our priests and religious for your prayers for my brother bishops and me as we join in solidarity to seek wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Pray also for the survivors of sexual abuse that their suffering may serve to strengthen us all for the hard task of rooting out a terrible evil from our Church and our society so that such suffering is never multiplied.”
On February 21-24, 2019, Cardinal DiNardo will join presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences for a Vatican summit on the clerical sex abuse crisis and child protection. The pope had announced in September that he was calling all the presidents of bishop’s conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches and representatives of the leadership groups of men and women religious orders to the Vatican to address the crisis.
Father Cantalamessa was appointed the Preacher to the Papal Household by Pope John Paul II in 1980. He has remained in this position through the pontificates of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis and is the only person allowed to preach to the Pope.
Mundelein Seminary, located on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, is the principal seminary and school of theology for the formation of priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. It is the largest Catholic seminary in the United States and home to 200 seminarians from 34 dioceses across the country and around the world.
Keywords: Pope Francis, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., Cardinal Blase Cupich, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Mundelein Seminary, silent retreat, University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, clergy sex abuse crisis
Bishops’ Conference Praises Senate for Passage of the FIRST STEP Act and Encourages Passage in the House
Posted on 12/20/2018 10:49 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Following the passage of the FIRST STEP Act in the U.S. Senate this week, Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, FL, and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, praised the Senate for passing the bill and encouraged the House to do likewise.
The full statement is as follows:
“I am grateful to the members and staff in the U.S. Senate, especially Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senators Mike Lee, Dick Durbin, and Cory Booker, for years of hard work and bipartisan collaboration that culminated in the resounding passage of the FIRST STEP Act last night. I am also grateful to President Trump and his staff for their strong support and advocacy for this legislation.
The FIRST STEP Act contains several much-needed reforms for the federal prison system, including sentencing reform, strongly limiting the practice of shackling pregnant women in prison, establishing a maximum geographical distance between prisoners and their families, enhancing compassionate release for terminally ill and elderly prisoners, assisting returning citizens with obtaining government identification documents, and fixing the time credit system. The bill also reauthorizes the Second Chance Act which will provide important resources for reentering citizens after release from incarceration. I am very grateful to Senator Lankford for resolving a religious liberty concern that arose in a late version of the bill, correcting the issue prior to final passage. The bill contains many more fine provisions which will help foster a more just and merciful criminal justice system.
Today, the House of Representatives has an opportunity to pass this improved version of the bill and send it to the President for his signature. Our nation’s criminal justice system is in need of reform, and this legislation is a worthy 'first step' in the right direction and a model of bipartisan collaboration and good policy making. As we approach the Nativity of our Lord, we are reminded of the need to promote justice and mercy in our society. In this spirit, I call on the House to take up this legislation and pass the FIRST STEP Act."
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, First Step Act, President Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, federal prison system, Second Chance Act, religious liberty, criminal justice system, justice, mercy
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