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Pope Francis Exhorts Young People to Be Courageous; Encounter Christ on the 56th Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations

WASHINGTON--The 56th annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations will be celebrated by the Catholic Church on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, May 12, 2019, a day which is also commonly referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday. Inspired by the Lord’s instruction in the Gospels of Matthew 9:38 and Luke 10:2, in which Jesus exhorts the people to “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest,” World Day of Prayer for Vocations unites the faithful together in praying for the fostering of all vocations, particularly those of ordained ministry and consecrated life.  

In his Message for the 2019 World Day of Vocations, Pope Francis reflected on the reality that all men are made “bearers of a promise” and are asked to have the “courage to take a risk” with Jesus and for Jesus. The Holy Father emphasized that just as the Lord beckoned Simon and Andrew to leave their nets and follow him, he also asks the same of us. He encounters each of us personally and uniquely, and it is in the midst of this encounter with Christ that Pope Francis says we are granted “the promise of a joy capable of bringing fulfillment to our lives.” The Holy Father also urged those discerning to remember that “the Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God in our freedom; it is not a “cage” or a burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be part of a great undertaking.”  

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, stated that it is precisely because of this encounter with Christ that we are given the courage to leave the security of our daily routines and decisively embark on the path the Lord has for us. “To have courage does not mean that we suddenly have no fear or uncertainty,” Cardinal Tobin said. To be courageous means to know with confidence that Jesus is walking with us and in challenging us to take a risk, intends only our greatest joy.”  

Closing his Message for the 2019 World Day of Vocations, Pope Francis beseeched young people to realize that following Jesus is always worth the risk. “Do not be deaf to the Lord’s call,” he urged. “If he calls you to follow this path, do not pull your oars into the boat, but trust him. Do not yield to fear, which paralyzes us before the great heights to which the Lord points us. Always remember that to those who leave their nets and boats behind, and follow him, the Lord promises the joy of a new life that can fill our hearts and enliven our journey.

More information on the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and resources for its celebration, including Pope Francis’ full message, Prayers of the Faithful, a bulletin quote, and prayer card, can be accessed online at: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/world-day-of-prayer-for-vocations.cfm

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Pope Francis, vocations, discernment, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, World Day of Vocations, Good Shepherd Sunday, Gospels

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs Supports Marian Pilgrimage Taking Place at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

WASHINGTON— Bishop Oscar A. Solis, of Salt Lake City, and Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs has issued a statement in support of the 17th Annual Marian Pilgrimage that will take place Saturday, May 4 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in the nation’s capital.  
About a thousand Asian and Pacific American Catholics in the East Coast are expected to attend the Marian Pilgrimage.

Bishop Solis’ full statement follows:

“The annual Marian Pilgrimage has a long-standing tradition for the past years of providing a spiritual venue for all Asian and Pacific American Catholics to gather together and celebrate our devotion to our Blessed Mother. The celebration highlights one of the common threads that binds all Catholics as members of our Church here in America. This joyful and colorful spiritual celebration offers a special occasion for the different Asian and Pacific American Catholics in the United States to share their unique cultural gifts of piety and devotion that help enrich the faith life of our parish communities. Having played a part of the Marian Pilgrimage as Main Celebrant in the Holy Mass on two occasions in the past, I can truly say that this gathering is a significant contribution of the Asian and Pacific Catholics in building unity among the diverse communities that constitute the Church in America. The USCCB Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs strongly supports and commends the leaders of the Asian Pacific Catholic Network for organizing the Annual Pilgrimage.”

The celebration will begin at 1 p.m. with a procession of many banners and Marian images venerated throughout Asia and the Pacific. Following will be the crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the recitation of the rosary at 2 p.m., with each mystery lead by a different Asian or Pacific Island community.
A Mass at 2:30 p.m., with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States as celebrant, will cap the pilgrimage.
“Everyone is welcome to join us in this one-day celebration of faith and culture,” said Fred Semendy, Asian Pacific Catholic Network (APCN) executive chairman and co-sponsor. “We hope pilgrims will encounter Christ through Mary.”  

Participating communities include Bangla, Burmese, Cambodian, Chamorro, Chinese, Filipino, Lebanese, Indonesian, Indian (Latin, Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara rites), Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Montagnard, Pakistani, Samoan, Sri Lankan, Thai and Vietnamese Catholics.

The pilgrimage is sponsored by the APCN, in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church.
The APCN is committed to sharing the Catholic faith, as expressed in the cultures and languages of Asian and Pacific Island Americans.

The Secretariat of Cultural Diversity works to encourage the inclusion and fuller participation of all God's People in the life and ministry of the Church by building up their Catholic identity in a spirit of unity and diversity. The USCCB recently published a new document, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters. This pastoral response will guide the Catholic Church in the United States in addressing the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island communities and provide a framework for dioceses and parishes for creating their pastoral plans or actions specific to their circumstances.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Oscar A. Solis, Asian and Pacific Island Affairs, Marian Pilgrimage, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Asian Pacific Catholic Network, Fred Semendy, Cultural Diversity

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Bishop Oscar Cantú Will Assume Pastoral Governance of the Diocese of San Jose; Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Patrick McGrath from Same See

WASHINGTON— Bishop Oscar Cantú, up until now Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, will assume the pastoral governance of the Diocese upon Pope Francis accepting the resignation of Bishop Patrick J. McGrath of the same See.

The appointment and resignation were publicized in Washington, May 1, 2019, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Oscar Cantú was named by Pope Francis as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, on July 11, 2018. He was transferred to the Diocese of San Jose after serving as Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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

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

Bihsop Cantú is the former Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace. He is currently a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America as well as the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs. He was also one of two delegates chosen by the Bishops' Conference to represent the USCCB at Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in 2016.

Bishop Patrick McGrath was born on June 11, 1945, in Dublin, Ireland. He attended St. John’s Seminary in Waterford, Ireland where he was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1970. His Excellency McGrath served as the parochial vicar of St. Anne of the Sunset Parish in San Francisco, and in the archdiocesan tribunal. He continued his education in Rome where he earned a doctorate in Canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1977. Bishop McGrath returned to San Francisco and was appointed the Vice-Officialis, then Officialis, of the archdiocesan tribunal and pastor of the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption.

Ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco on January 25, 1989, he then served the Archdiocese as Vicar for Clergy, Moderator of the Curia and Vicar for Parishes. On June 30, 1998 he was named by Pope John Paul II to be Coadjutor of the Diocese of San Jose and became bishop of the Diocese upon the retirement of Bishop Pierre DuMaine on November 27, 1999.

The Diocese of San Jose is comprised of 1,300 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 1,938,153 of which 635,000 or 32 percent, are Catholic.

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

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops to Meet June 11-14 in Baltimore; Assembly to be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2019 Spring General Assembly in Baltimore, June 11-14.  

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media will be Tuesday, June 11, Wednesday, June 12, and the morning of Thursday, June 13. Press 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. Please submit the form by no later than June 5 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

There will be no onsite credentialing.

A live stream and satellite feed is expected to run Tuesday, June 11 from 11am-6 pm Eastern, Wednesday, June 12, 9am-6pm Eastern and Thursday, June 13, 9:30am to 11:45pm. The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet and will be available via satellite for broadcasters wishing to air it. Public sessions of the general assembly discussions and votes will be available via livestream at: http://www.usccb.org/live

News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible during the general assembly.

Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB19 and follow on Twitter (https://twitter.com/usccb) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb).

Media outlets interested in taking the meeting's satellite feed may request coordinates by email.
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Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Spring General Assembly, June meeting, Baltimore, #usccb19

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Names the Most Reverend Paul Etienne as Coadjutor Archbishop of Seattle

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Paul Etienne as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on April 29, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Archbishop Etienne was born June 15, 1959, in Tell City, Indiana. He attended the North American College in Rome and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 1992. 

Archbishop Etienne holds a bachelors and licentiate of theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. After ordination, he served in several Indianapolis parishes, and was director of vocations for the archdiocese. In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named him bishop of Cheyenne where he was ordained as bishop on December 14, 2009. Archbishop Etienne was named Archbishop of Anchorage on October 4, 2016 by Pope Francis and was installed, November 9, 2016.

Archbishop Etienne currently serves as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on National Collections.

The Archdiocese of Seattle is comprised of 64,269 square miles and has a total population of 5,501,540 of which 863,000 or 15.7 percent, are Catholic. The Most Reverend James Peter Sartain is the fifth and current Archbishop of Seattle.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Paul Etienne, Archdiocese of Seattle, Archdiocese of Anchorage, Archbishop James Peter Sartain

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane
202-541-3200

President of U.S. Bishops’ Statement on Synagogue Shooting in Poway, California

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the deadly shooting that has taken place at Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego.  

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“I, along with my brother bishops, am greatly saddened and deeply concerned over the news that another house of worship has been subjected to violence. This assault, which occurred on the last day of Passover, is the second shooting in a U.S. synagogue within six months. Our country should be better than this; our world should be beyond such acts of hatred and anti-Semitism. This attack joins an all too long list of attacks against innocent people, people of all faiths, who only want to gather and to pray. It is a contradiction, a perverting of their teachings to believe that Christianity, Judaism, or Islam would condone such violence. Unfortunately, both in the past and today, too many preach such hatred in the name of God. This cannot be abided; it must end. 
 
Our prayers today are for the victims of this shooting, and for the Jewish community of Poway, California, placing our trust and our hope in ‘the Lord [who] is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those whose spirit is crushed’” (Ps 34:19).   

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Poway shooting, Synagogue, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Passover, anti-Semitism, Jewish Community, Judaism

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Names Bishop Donald Hying as New Bishop of Madison

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Donald J. Hying, up until now Bishop of Gary, as the new Bishop of Madison. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on April 25th, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Donald Hying, 55, was born on August 18, 1963 in West Allis, Wisconsin. He attended and received his bachelor's degree from Marquette University and his Masters of Divinity from Saint Francis de Sales Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee on May 20, 1989.

On July 20, 2011, Bishop Hying was ordained the seventh Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Prior to being named Auxiliary Bishop, he served as rector of Saint Francis de Sales Seminary from 2007 to 2011, appointed by then-Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan.

Bishop Hying was installed as the fourth Bishop of Gary on January 6, 2015. He has also served as the Episcopal Liaison for National Association of Catholic Chaplains and as Episcopal Advisor to the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul. He is also a member of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee to Aid the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People and the Committee on Catholic Education.

The Diocese of Madison is comprised of 8,046 square miles and has a total population of 1,052,835 million of which 286,047 or 27.17 percent, are Catholic.  

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Donald Hying, Diocese of Madison, Diocese of Gary

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Rev. Walter Kedjierski Named as Executive Director of Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

WASHINGTON— Rev. Walter Kedjierski of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York has been appointed as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), based in Washington D.C.

Fr. Kedjierski will begin the new position effective June 3, 2019. Msgr. Brian Bransfield, USCCB General Secretary, made the appointment.

"Fr. Kedjierski brings to the Conference an abundance of knowledge and experience in the realm of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, both at the institutional and the personal levels,” said Msgr. Bransfield. "I am very grateful to Fr. Kedjierski for accepting this important position in service to the bishops and to the Conference. I am equally grateful to the Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre, for his kind consideration of the needs of the Conference and the Church in the United States.”

Since June 2017, Fr. Kedjierski has served as Rector/President of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York, where he first served as Vice Rector and Director of Diaconate Formation, as well as Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the Continuing Formation of Clergy. Father Kedjierski is also the Director of the Diocese’s Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs, where he served from 2007 to 2010 as Associate Ecumenical officer in charge of Relations with Muslims and Other Religious groups, and in which role he is a member of the Catholic Association of Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO), the Long Island Council of Churches, and the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum. Father Kedjierski was a member of the board of trustees of the Inter-Faith Center of the Islamic Center of Long Island, in Westbury, NY, for three years. He has participated in sessions of the USCCB’s dialogue with the Orthodox Union of Rabbis in New York and facilitated numerous ecumenical and inter-religious dialogues, the latest being a dialogue on non-violence this past fall with Indian Hindu scholar Swami Nikhileswarananda.

Fr. Kedjierski attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, graduating with a Master of Divinity in May of 2002. After his ordination to the priesthood on June 8, 2002, he served in parish ministry until June 2016. In May 2011 he earned an Ed.D. in Inter-faith and Ecumenical Education from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Mishawaka, Indiana, and in August 2016, he earned his Ph.D. in Dogmatic/Spiritual Theology from the Graduate Theological Foundation’s Foundation House at Oxford University Program.

Fr. Kedjierski has additionally published several articles on theological and ecumenical topics in journals such as Homiletic and Pastoral Review and the Princeton Theological Review.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Diocese of Rockville Centre, Fr. Walter Kedjierski, Secretariat Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Monsignor Brian Bransfield

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Bishops Urge That All People Count and Must Be Included in Census Efforts

WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank Dewane, of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Bishop Joe Vasquez, of Austin, Chairman of the Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in advance of the oral argument of Department of Commerce v. New York, before the United States Supreme Court regarding the importance of ensuring an accurate count for the U.S. Census.

“Our country conducts a Census every ten years to count the number of men, women and children residing in the United States. Census data helps direct more than $800 billion annually to key programs designed to advance the common good, strengthen families and reduce poverty. The Catholic Church and other service providers rely on the national Census to provide an accurate count in order to effectively serve those in need,” said Bishop Dewane.

“We urge for all people to be counted in the Census, regardless of their citizenship. Proposed questions regarding immigration status will obstruct accurate Census estimates and ultimately harm immigrant families and the communities they live in. Our society, rooted in the strength of the family, cannot risk missing this opportunity to give children and parents the tools they need to succeed,” said Bishop Vasquez.
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Committee on Migration, Department of Commerce, New York, United States Supreme Court, U.S. Census, society, family

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

President of U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Statement on Terrorist Attacks atMultiple Churches and Hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

WASHINGTON—The following statement has been issued by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops regarding simultaneous explosions in Sri Lanka targeting the country’s minority Christian community as well as luxury hotels around Colombo on Easter Sunday morning. At least 200 people were killed and more than 400 injured inthe terrorist attacks.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“This morning in Sri Lanka a coordinated series of bombings killed hundreds of worshipers in Catholic Churches and others of all faiths in nearby hotels. The Churches were St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo and Zion Church in the eastern city of Batticaloa. This great evil targeted these churches as they were packed full of worshipers who were celebrating Easter, the day in whichChristians around the world celebrate the rising of the King of Peace from the dead. We offer our prayers for the victims and their families. And we join with all people of good will in condemning these acts of terrorism. This evil cannot overcome the hopefound in our Savior’s Resurrection. May the God of hope who has raised his Son, fill all hearts with the desire for peace.”

Keywords: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, bombings, terrorist attacks, Colombo, Sri Lanka, CatholicChurches, Evangelical Churches, Luxury Hotels, Easter Sunday, Christians, St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, Zion Church

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200