Browsing News Entries

Bishops Express Dismay at Court Ruling Enjoining Moral and Religious Exemption to HHS Mandate

WASHINGTON–In response to Monday’s federal court ruling from Pennsylvania granting a nationwide injunction barring the broadened moral and religious exemption to the HHS mandate, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement:

“Yesterday’s court ruling freezing these common-sense regulations leaves those with conscientious or religious objections to the HHS mandate out in the cold. In a free country, no one should be forced to facilitate or fund things like contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs and devices, which go against their core beliefs. We pray that this decision will be appealed and that future courts will respect the free exercise arguments of the Little Sisters of the Poor and so many others who simply seek the freedom to serve their neighbors without the threat of massive government fines hanging over their heads.”

---

Keywords: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, USCCB, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HHS mandate, Little Sisters of the Poor, abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, contraception, religious liberty, religious freedom, free exercise, freedom to serve

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

9 Days for Life Unites Over 100,000 Faithful in Prayer Ahead of Roe v. Wade Anniversary

WASHINGTON—Over one hundred thousand people nationwide have joined 9 Days for Life, the annual pro-life prayer and action campaign, beginning this year on January 14.
The novena is an opportunity for recollection and reparation in observation of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade—the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the United States.

The overarching intention of the novena is the end to abortion, but each day treats a different aspect of respecting the dignity of the human person—from the beginning of life to its natural end. Each daily intention highlights a related topic and is accompanied by a reflection, educational information, and suggested daily actions. The novena culminates on January 22, the annual Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children.

Joining tens of thousands nationwide, participants can build a culture of life through prayer and sacrifice, and share their experiences on social media with the hashtag #9DaysforLife.
Those still hoping to participate can sign up at www.9daysforlife.com. Participants can choose to receive the novena via email, text message, a printable version, or through a free "9 Days for Life" mobile app (with customizable reminders) in English or Spanish.

9 Days for Life, sponsored by the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, began in 2013 in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

A press kit is available, and features video, audio, and graphics, among other resources.
For additional information and updates throughout the novena, please follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

---

Keywords: USCCB, Catholic, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Roe v. Wade, abortion, anniversary, Pro-Life, Prolife, Archbishop Naumann, 9 Days for Life, People of Life, #9daysforlife, prayer, novena

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

2019 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering to Equip Catholics to Restore and Reconcile; Address Racism, Poverty, Immigration

The 2019 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, organized by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and 16 collaborating organizations, attracts 500+ participants from around the country and seeks to equip current and emerging leaders in Catholic social ministry and advocacy to cultivate God’s justice in their communities and around the world. This year’s theme is "Let Justice Flow (cf. Am. 5:24): A Call to Restore and Reconcile.” Participants will focus on pressing domestic and international concerns such as racism, restorative justice, migration, and poverty. The final day of the gathering will be advocacy visits with representatives from the U.S. Congress.

When: February 2-5, 2019.
Where: Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert Street, NW, Washington DC, 20008.

Program and Speaker highlights include:
•  Sister Norma Pimentel, M.J., the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, who oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, and was instrumental in quickly organizing community resources to respond to the surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States and setting up the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, TX. As part of the Gathering, Sister Norma will receive the 2019 Sister Margaret Cafferty Development of Peoples Award, sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
•  Bishop Shelton J Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. Bishop Fabre will facilitate a panel discussion with diverse leaders onOpen Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, A Pastoral Letter Against Racism, and its implications for Church and society.
•  Elizabeth Hinton, Ph.D., author of award-winning book, From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America and currently the John L. Loeb. Associate Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hinton’s research focuses on the persistence of poverty and racial inequality in the 20th century United States.
•  Fr. Maurice Henry Sands, the Executive Director for the Black and Indian Mission Office in Washington, DC. Fr. Sands is a full-blooded Native American and member of the Ojibway, Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes, who are known together as Anishnaabe. Fr. Sands is passionate about addressing the issue of racism including as a Consultant to the USCCB Subcommittee on Native American Affairs and the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.
•  Justice Janine P. Geske, previously a Distinguished Professor of Law at Marquette University Law School and Director of the Law School's Restorative Justice Initiative. A graduate of Marquette University Law School, she has been active in numerous civic and community activities. She frequently teaches at judicial, legal and community conferences on mediation, restorative justice, sentencing, evidence, the courts, and spirituality and work.
•  Elena Segura, Pastoral Migratoria founder and Senior Coordinator for Immigration in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Elena will participate in the racism panel discussion to share how the Hispanic/Latino is affected by the evil of racism and how the Pastoral Migratoria program is an example of the Church’s witness on welcoming migrants as it seeks to build bridges among communities including the participation of clergy.
•  Daniel Philpott, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame, who specializes in religion and global politics, with emphases on reconciliation, religious freedom, and theories of religious actors' political behavior. He has also participated in faith-inspired reconciliation efforts in some of the world’s worst conflict zones, including Kashmir and the Great Lakes region of Africa.
•  A plenary session, “Immigrants and Refugees Building Communities of Hope with the Catholic Campaign for Human Development,” featuring representatives from several CCHD-funded community organizations engaged in the work of empowering immigrants and refugees, including a worker center in Saint Cloud, MN, a worker cooperative in Brooklyn, NY, and a parish ID program in Baltimore, MD.

A full speaker list and schedule of events can be found online.

Joining the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development in organizing the Gathering are numerous other USCCB departments and national Catholic organizations, including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Rural Life, the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Bread for the World, and others.

Coverage of the meeting is open to credentialed media. Reporters interested in covering the Gathering can download a credential application form and submit it by email.

More information is available online: www.catholicsocialministrygathering.org/.

---

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Catholic Social Ministry Gathering; Bishop Shelton J. Fabre; Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Committee on Justice, Peace and Human Development; Catholic Relief Services, CRS, Catholic Charities USA, CCUSA, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Catholic Rural Life, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; racial unrest, racism, immigration, restorative justice, Ferguson, environment, migration policy, poverty, peacebuilding, affordable housing

 

National Prayer Vigil for Life Taking Place in Nation’s Capital, January 17-18; Plenary Indulgence May be Obtained

WASHINGTON—The National Prayer Vigil for Life will be held from Thursday afternoon, January 17 to Friday morning, January 18, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Over 20,000 pilgrims from around the nation will gather at the Shrine to pray for an end to abortion before the annual March for Life, taking place the following day. The Vigil marks the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Since those decisions, over 60 million abortions have been performed legally in the United States.

The principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Opening Mass will be Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, KS, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Many of the nation's bishops and priests will concelebrate with him in the Basilica's Great Upper Church from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Vigil continues in the Crypt Church with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Byzantine Rite Night Prayer, and Holy Hours led by seminarians throughout the night and into the next morning. Morning Prayer on Friday, January 18, begins at 6:00 a.m. in the Crypt Church, followed by Benediction at 6:30 a.m. The Vigil's Closing Mass will take place at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Upper Church, with Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond as principal celebrant and homilist.

“Again, this year, the Vatican has granted that a plenary indulgence may be obtained under the usual conditions by participating in the National Prayer Vigil for Life, as well as the other sacred celebrations surrounding the March for Life,” said Kat Talalas, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “This is a special opportunity for grace offered to pilgrims for their witness, prayer, and sacrifice.”

For those seeking Sacramental Reconciliation while on site, confessions will be heard in Our Lady of Hostyn Chapel of the Crypt Church over the course of nine hours before and after the Opening Mass. See www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/national-prayer-vigil-for-life-schedule.cfm for additional details.

"We also invite all the faithful nationwide to join in prayer for 9 Days for Life, from January 14-22," Talalas continued. "Over 100,000 people have already signed up to pray this novena for the respect of human life. Even if you cannot attend the Prayer Vigil or the March, you can always remain united in the cause of life through prayer.”

The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America.

Media are welcome to attend the Opening Mass and interview pilgrims taking part in the 14-hour Vigil.
Media should check in at the Basilica's Great Upper Church sacristy and present press credentials to Jacquelyn Hayes or a designated Basilica press representative to receive a press pass. Advance registration is preferred. Footage from the Mass may also be obtained by satellite feed courtesy of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). For coordinates, or to register, contact Jacquelyn Hayes, director of communications for the Basilica, at 202-281-0615 or jhayes@bnsic.org

For more details on the overnight National Prayer Vigil for Life and some of the other pro-life events in the Washington, DC area, visit www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events. To join -- and help spread the word about -- 9 Days for Life, visit www.9daysforlife.com.

---
Keywords: National Prayer Vigil for Life, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, abortion, Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, U.S. Supreme Court, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, Bishop Barry Knestout , Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Secretariat, The Catholic University of America, cardinals, bishops, seminarians, Byzantine rite, rosary, adoration, benediction, 9 Days for Life, prayer, #9daysforlife, March for Life, #whywemarch, #marchforlife2019, #UniqueFromDayOne, Project Rachel, post-abortion healing, hopeafterabortion.com, plenary indulgence

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Migration Calls on President and Congress to Create a Border Solution and End Shut-Down

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

###

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Collection for the Church in Latin America to be held January 26-27

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

###
Media Contact:                                                                                                                                   

Judy Keane                                                                                                                                  

202-541-3200

 

La Semana Nacional de Migración se celebrará del 6 al 12 de Enero de 2019

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:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 

National Migration Week to be Celebrated January 6 – 12, 2019

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

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

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

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 media-relations@usccb.org

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

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Allison McGinn Appointed as Executive Director of the Office of Human Resources for United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

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
###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200