Bulletin Extras
Local stories and or articles that are not available in any of the current printed versions of The Bishop's Bulletin.
Third African National Eucharistic Congress to be held in Washington, August 5-7.  
Wednesday, July 27, 2016  2:52 PM
Washington, D.C. - The Third African National Eucharistic Congress, which will take place in Washington, August 5-7,will highlight the gifts, contributions, challenges and evangelization opportunities of African immigrant families in the Catholic Church in the United States.

The gathering brings together African Catholic ministry leaders from around the country, and takes place every five years. This year’s theme is “Responding to the New Evangelization: The African Catholic Family, A Gift to the Church in America.”

Highlights of the three-day event include a keynote address by Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on African American Affairs. A special workshop on the Zairean Rite, an African Catholic rite, will be directed by Cardinal Laurent Mosengwo Pasinya of the Archdiocese of Kinshasa, Congo. The workshop will be followed by a practical demonstration of the rite during Saturday’s liturgical celebration presided by Cardinal Mosengwo. The closing Mass will be presided by Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, and a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on African American Affairs. Sessions will address issues such as youth and young adults, living among different cultures, and an awards ceremony for the best youth essay.

The Third African National Eucharistic Congress will be held at Catholic University of America, Pryzbyla Hall. The event is organized by the USCCB’s Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in collaboration with the National Association of African Catholics in the United States (NAACUS), and the African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the United States (ACCCRUS).

More information, including registration, schedule and speakers, can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/pastoral-care-of-migrants-refugees-and-travelers/ethnic-ministries/african-national-eucharistic-congress.cfm

USCCB president offers prayers, support after church attack, killing of priest in France  
Wednesday, July 27, 2016  2:44 PM
Washington, D.C. - Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed prayers and support after the latest terrorist attack on a Catholic parish in Normandy, France, that left a priest dead and another person seriously injured.

According to reports, the attack took place while Father Jacques Hamel was celebrating Mass, he and five other people were taken hostages inside the church.

Full statement follows.

Attack on Our Catholic Church in Normandy

A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Catholic faithful around the world experienced the shock and sadness of this morning’s barbaric attack on Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in France, as if the loss was in our very own parish. We pray for Father Hamel and his parishioners knowing, as St. Paul stated regarding the Body of Christ, “if one suffers, all the parts suffer with it.” (1 Cor 12:26)

The Holy Mass is the most sacred and joyful act we, as Catholics, celebrate. Never are we closer to our Lord Jesus Christ than we are when we receive the Eucharist. No act of desecration – no matter how vile – can obscure the merciful presence of God.

Jesus calls us to be sisters and brothers, to strive to care for one another, and always to reject the evil that seeks to divide us. We give thanks to God for the unforgettable witness of the faithful this morning at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

USCCB president calls for dialogue, peace in the midst of violence  
Monday, July 18, 2016  2:26 PM
Washington, D.C. - Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement in relation to the July 17 fatal shooting of police officers in Baton Rouge, Lousiana.

Full statement follows.

“Stop, no more of this!” (LK 22:51)

A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

I offer my prayers for the officers and families affected by the horrible shooting in Baton Rouge. We find ourselves amid a prolonged prayer of lament as we join to console the grieving and support the suffering. People are suffering because their uniform is blue, suffering because their skin is black and suffering simply because of their station in life.

The temptation to respond to violence with violence is strong. Even St. Peter himself lashed out upon the arrest of our beloved Savior. Jesus’ response was clear. “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (MT 26:52). As followers of Christ, let us always embrace love and ask ourselves how we can best invite all people of good will to live with us in peace.

The reasons for so much suffering are complex and varied. As a society, we must come together to address the lingering evil of racism, the need to safeguard our citizens from the present danger of extremism and the overall breakdown of civility. As a Church, we will seek out ways to foster this life-saving dialogue. Answers will not come easily nor as quickly as we need. We must continue searching and listening until they do.

As we seek a dialogue that cultivates a true respect for every human being, we should also seek ways, large and small, to be a sign of hope in the everyday routines of life. The next time you are pulled over by a police officer or walk past one on the street, thank him or her for their service. For those in law enforcement, the next time you make a traffic stop, thank the person for their time. The task of building a society upon the strong foundation of love begins with each one of us every day. 

Third-largest U.S. delegation to attend World Youth Day 2016  
Monday, July 18, 2016  9:20 AM
New App, Digital Resources for Virtual Pilgrimage
Nearly 100 bishops expected to attend
Resources for pilgrims, stateside events

Washington, D.C. - More than 40,000 Americans are registered to attend World Youth Day (WYD), July 26-31, in Krakow, Poland. To assist this record breaking number of participants from the United States, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth has lined up a series of resources and a variety of digital platforms to engage youth and young adults at home and abroad.

Through resources like the free mobile app Pilgrimage, followers will have access to content to help them unpack the meaning of the pilgrimage and put works of mercy into action. Digital content include 360-degree video of World Youth Day events, daily readings and prayers. The app has been developed in collaboration with American Bible Society and can be downloaded from Android and Apple app stores.

Also, in collaboration with the Catholic Apostolate Center, content such as interviews with bishops, schedule of events, exclusive videos for digital pilgrims, blogs and other resources will be available at www.wyd2016.us. The latest updates on news, photos and videos will be provided on the USCCB’s Facebook and Twitter, Hashtag: #WYDUSA.

These resources are aimed to facilitate information to those on the journey abroad and to provide access to a virtual pilgrimage for those unable to travel.

“We want to let the world know that no one is excluded from a pilgrimage like this. Everyone is called to be a pilgrim, no matter if they have the means to travel to Poland,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, USCCB episcopal liaison for World Youth Day. “This summer, we want every young adult and young person to know that they are part of this journey, whether that is made physically to Krakow or spiritually at home.”

The 40,000 Americans registered represent the largest delegation of U.S. pilgrims participating in a WYD outside of North America, just behind WYD 1993 in Denver and WYD 2002 in Toronto; most of the participants are young adults, ages 18-30. In addition, 85 U.S. bishops are registered, this is also the largest number of bishops attending a WYD celebration outside of North America.

Thirteen U.S. bishops have been selected as catechists: Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York; Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston; Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver; Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia; Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago; Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky; Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami; Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles; Bishop Edward Burns of Juneau, Alaska; Bishop Frank Caggiano of Bridgeport; Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, New York; Bishop Robert McMannus of Worcester, Massachusetts; and Bishop Alberto Rojas, auxiliary bishop of Chicago.

Two major events for U.S. pilgrims will take place in Poland, at Tauron Arena Krakow: the U.S. National Gathering and Prayer Experience, scheduled for Wednesday, July 27, at 5 p.m., and the U.S. National Mass for Pilgrims, on Saturday, July 30, at 9 a.m. Also, an International English Language Center called “Mercy Center,” located at Tauron Arena Krakow and hosted by the Knights of Columbus, will provide a variety of English-language programs and activities for pilgrims.

An USCCB office to give support for bishops, group leaders, and in case of emergencies will be located at the Park Inn by Radisson Hotel in Krakow.

Some dioceses and archdioceses around the country have also organized events to celebrate WYD concurrent with the international gathering. A full list of stateside celebrations is available at www.usccb.org/about/world-youth-day/stateside-wyd-celebrations.cfm.

More information is available through the national WYDUSA office at www.wydusa.org.

The Diocese of Sioux Falls is sending a group of pilgrims to World Youth Day  The group departs July 30 and returns to the diocese on July 29.

USCCB president sends prayers and support to people of France  
Friday, July 15, 2016  11:56 AM
Washington, D.C. - Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed the prayers and support of the Catholic Church in the United States to the people of France following the July 14 attack in Nice.

The full statement follows.

The Hope of Peace and Freedom

A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

We draw near in prayer to the suffering and recovering people of Nice, France. The darkness of violence cannot dim the light of humanity’s highest aspirations to live in peace. For the dead, we ask for God’s mercy. For the wounded, we ask for God’s healing. For the affected families, we ask for God’s strength. And for the rest of us, let us ask for God’s wisdom as we seek the best way to help in the days ahead.

These growing storms of hatred may test our ability to see the best in each other, but Jesus has already secured for us the victory of life over death, love over hate. In His confidence, let us move forward without fear, but with an open embrace of all people who share in the hope of peace and freedom being celebrated yesterday. In this way, we isolate the forces of hate, starve its growth and shine the light of love into its darkest corners.

In a particular way, I thank God for the first responders who seek to safeguard the innocent at the risk of their own lives. Let us pray for all public authorities as they tirelessly work for our protection. The more cooperation exists between governments and citizens, the more we will frustrate the forces of evil.

American Greg Burke named director of the Holy See press office  
Wednesday, July 13, 2016  4:11 PM
Washington, D.C. - Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, congratulated Greg Burke, the new director of the Holy See Press Office, and Paloma García Ovejero, the new vice director. He also extended his gratitude to Father Federico Lombardi who is retiring from the post after 10 years of service.

The appointment was publicized July 11.

A Statement from Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

On this the 10th anniversary of Father Federico Lombardi’s appointment as director of the Holy See Press Office, I am filled with gratitude for his loyal and effective service to the Holy Father. Father Lombardi helped spread the Gospel throughout the world across two pontificates. I was especially grateful to have learned not only from his media expertise but also his deep love for the Church during the six days we spent together as Pope Francis visited the United States.

I learned of Greg Burke’s appointment as the next director of the Holy See Press Office with tremendous gratitude. He is long known to us in the United States as a devoted man of the Church and an unparalleled communicator. From the Vatican’s Secretariat of State to the Holy See Press Office, Greg has proven himself in service to the universal Church.

I also congratulate Paloma García Ovejero on her appointment as the new Vice Director, the positon previously held by Greg. She is an accomplished journalist from Madrid and will be the first woman to hold the position of Vice Director.

Please join me in offering prayers for Fr. Lombardi, Greg, Paloma, and their calling to share the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ with all in need of hearing the Good News.

Day of recollection set fro Broom Tree Retreat and Conference Center soon  
Wednesday, July 13, 2016  4:07 PM
BroomTree Retreat and Confernece Center, near Irene, will host a Day of Recollectuion this month.

"Marriage, The Anchor of Family Life" will be directed by Father Joe Forcelle on Tuesday, July 26.

Beginning at 10 a.m. and running until 3 p.m.., the schedule for the day includes Mass, talks, time for Confession, quiet time for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, great food and wonderful conversation.

Please bring your Bible.

Cost for the day is by donation.

For more information or to register please call (605) 263-1040, email broomtree@sfcatholic.org or visit the center's website at broom-tree.org.

USCCB chairmen urge support for the ‘First Amendment Defense Act’  
Tuesday, July 12, 2016  4:27 PM
Washington, D.C. - Urging support for the First Amendment Defense Act Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement:

Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). The USCCB has been vocal in support of this legislation, as it would provide a measure of protection for religious freedom at the federal level. FADA is a modest but important step in ensuring conscience protection to faith-based organizations and people of all faiths and of no faith who believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, protecting them from discrimination by the federal government. The increasing intolerance toward religious belief and belief in the conjugal meaning of marriage makes these protections essential for continuing faith-based charitable work, which supports the common good of our society. Faith-based agencies and schools should not lose their licenses or accreditation simply because they hold reasonable views on marriage that differ from the federal government’s view.

The definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, universally held for centuries, has nothing to do with disrespect for others, nor does it depend on religious belief. Rather, it is based on truths about the human person that are understandable by reason. Faithful to its commitment to serve the best interests of society, the Catholic Church will continue to promote and protect the truth of marriage as foundational to the common good. The Church will also continue to stand for the ability of all to exercise their religious beliefs and moral convictions in public life without fear, and to witness to the truth.

We are pleased to support the First Amendment Defense Act, and we urge Congress to pass this important legislation.

Religious communities receive $25 million toward care of elderly members  
Wednesday, June 29, 2016  11:47 AM
Washington, D.C. - The National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) distributed $25 million in financial assistance to 401 religious communities to aid in the care of senior members. The funding is made possible by the Retirement Fund for Religious Collection, an annual, parish-based appeal benefiting nearly 33,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests.

The most recent collection was held in the majority of U.S. Catholic parishes in December 2015 and raised nearly $30.7 million, marking the sixth time in the collection’s history that donations exceeded $30 million. Fifteen dioceses and one archdiocese had record-high contributions. In addition, the largest single bequest in the appeal’s history was received from the Estate of David and Philip Slesur and was designated through the Archdiocese of Chicago.

“Words cannot express our gratitude for the love, sacrifice and generosity these donations represent,” said Sister Susan Schorsten, a member of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary who was recently appointed as the interim executive director of the NRRO. “The annual assistance the collection furnishes helps religious communities across the country provide for the ongoing needs of aging members.”

The funding disbursed the week of June 20, known as Direct Care Assistance, represents the majority of financial support distributed by the NRRO. Religious communities combine this assistance with their own income and savings to help meet such day-to-day expenses as prescription medications and nursing care. Additional allocations will be directed toward religious communities with the greatest needs and for ongoing education in retirement planning and eldercare delivery. Roughly 95 percent of donations aid elderly religious and their communities, while the remaining five percent are used for administration and promotion of the annual appeal.

The U.S. bishops launched the Retirement Fund for Religious collection in 1988 to address the profound deficit in retirement funding among the nation’s religious communities. Traditionally, Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests—known collectively as women and men religious—served for small stipends that did not include retirement benefits. Today, many religious communities lack adequate retirement savings. At the same time, health-care costs have risen dramatically while the number of religious able to serve in compensated ministry has declined.

The NRRO coordinates the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection and distributes the proceeds to eligible religious communities. The organization is sponsored by the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

More information is available at www.retiredreligious.org.

U.S./E.U. bishops: free trade requires regulatory framework and ethical principles  
Friday, June 17, 2016  3:35 PM
The Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the United States and the European Union adopted a common position on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) prior to the 14th round of negotiations in July 2016.

For the first time in their histories, the United States’ Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) issued a common position on a social concern of importance to citizens on both sides of the Atlantic. The proposed “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” will have a direct impact on the lives of almost a billion people, not to mention the expected consequences of the new standards deriving from that agreement for third countries.

Following joint discussions in the summer of 2014 and a review by the USCCB committees on International Justice and Peace, and Domestic Justice and Human Development, the USCCB and COMECE collaborated in the development of a common statement on the free trade agreement that is under negotiation.

Given the highly polarized debate on the TTIP, the bishops offer a moral "toolbox" for evaluation of the agreement. They state their firm conviction that free trade can be truly beneficial and potentially contribute to a better future for all, provided that it promotes equitable access for all persons to the goods of this world and that it is structured in a way that helps to reduce inequality or injustice. As Pope Francis wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Cameron in the context of a G7 meeting: “The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable”(June 17, 2013).

To evaluate this agreement – with a thorough social and environmental analysis – the bishops offer nine ethical principles based on the Catholic Social Teaching. These principles include:
sustainability and precaution that imply that priority must be given to the prevention of harm to present or future generations rather than to the pursuit of profits.
the protection of workers and their families and the preservation of their just rights in compliance with internationally-agreed labor standards.
Sustainable Development, including assistance to poor countries, and Care for Creation that are not mutually exclusive but complementary. Trade agreements must give “ priority attention to protecting the environment and health of communities”.
Many people are concerned or feel excluded from the current negotiation process. Therefore, the bishops underline the principle of participation of citizens in decisions that impact their lives. They propose the creation of appropriate fora and mechanisms.
The joint declaration was signed by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, USCCB President, and Reinhard Cardinal Marx, COMECE President.

The full text of the joint statement can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/global-issues/trade/comece-usccb-recommendations-on-ttip-negotiations-2016-06-14.cfm.

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