Bulletin Extras
Local stories and or articles that are not available in any of the current printed versions of The Bishop's Bulletin.
Catholic bishops meet with black evangelical leaders on preserving African American families  
Wednesday, June 10, 2015  3:53 PM
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development and the Catholic University of America hosted as part of its annual meeting an in-depth conversation with leadership of Black Pentecostal congregations. The conversation centered on the impact of poverty on African American families. Noted sociologist and author, Dr. Jacqueline Rivers presented an overview of African American family concerns and offered suggestions for church pastors and community leaders.

Bishop Jaime Soto, Chair of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development said “The debate of culture versus economics looms all around us but our people struggle because of a lack of hope and could care less about the winner of that argument.”

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, President of the USCCB who attended the meeting noted, “The Black family is historically acknowledged as being the reason the African American community has been able to sustain some of the harshest treatment in the history of humanity”.

The meeting was attended by Catholic bishops and Black Evangelical bishops, ministers’ from around the country and distinguished academics. The meeting highlighted the 50th anniversary for the Moynihan report, a report that spoke of the importance of African American family stability.

USCCB president, committee on national collections, highlight solidarity with Church in Haiti  
Wednesday, June 10, 2015  1:47 PM
St. Louis, MO - The solidarity of the Catholic Church in the United States with the Church in Haiti goes beyond the over $100 million contributed by U.S. parishioners after the 2010 earthquake. It includes the development work of CRS, twinning relationships and the supporting of parish, diocesan and national efforts through the Collection for the Church in Latin America, said the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) president and the chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Church in Latin America, in a presentation to the Spring General Assembly. The presentation included an 8-minute video, which will be available online, showing the progress made and covered the work of Catholic Relief Services and many of the Church buildings being rebuilt or already dedicated.

“The money Catholics in the United States gave us in trust has been well spent and we can show a lot for it. The people CRS served especially after the earthquake were comforted and helped. The structures we have built and continue to build are all hurricane and earthquake resistant and are now housing priests, sisters, brothers and serving as places of community building and worship,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and subcommittee chairman, in his update to the bishops. “We also need to start reflecting on what our next steps will be to continue helping the people and the Church in Haiti. It seems to me that we cannot say, ‘Good job, well done, and that is it!’ This rather is the time to say, ‘what is next? How do we keep this momentum going?’”

“This is an appropriate time for us to receive an update about all the progress that has been made and begin to consider options about how to continue supporting the humanitarian and reconstruction needs of our Haitian brothers and sisters,” said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of USCCB, in remarks before the update given by Bishop Elizondo. A USCCB delegation, including Archbishop Kurtz, visited several rebuilding projects in Haiti and attended the Vatican’s Day of Reflection on Solidarity with Haiti in January.
Bishop Elizondo highlighted the ongoing pastoral work supported in Haiti, stating, as an example, that the Subcommittee had approved a grant to help fund the National Youth Congress to take place in August that will help young people celebrate their faith and find new ways to be missionary disciples.

Emergency relief provided by CRS includes more than 10 million meals provided to over a million people, 10,000 transitional shelters, access to medical treatment for 71,000 patients, and help for 100,000 individuals to resettle in their communities. In addition to having led the rebuilding of the Saint Francis de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince, among its ongoing long-term projects, CRS is helping to train doctors, nurses and technicians, and to improve education and literacy among adults and children.

USCCB has awarded “nearly $23 million to 29 reconstruction projects through PROCHE, the partnership for reconstruction established with the Church in Haiti and sister churches. Ten buildings have been completed and there are 35 projects currently in progress. And this has been accomplished—although slowly and with great difficulty at times—with transparency and accountability,” said Bishop Elizondo.

The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America oversees the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the special collection for the Church in Haiti as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information on these collections and the support to the Church in Haiti can be found at www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/latin-america/.

U.S. Bishops approve USCCB President’s Statement on Race Relations at General Assembly  
Wednesday, June 10, 2015  11:48 AM
St. Louis, MO - The U.S. bishops approved a statement on race relations delivered by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), at their annual Spring General Assembly, June 10.

The full statement follows:

Statement of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky
President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
June 10, 2015

Gathering here in the city of St. Louis, so near to Ferguson, and looking ahead to Baltimore in November, I cannot help but think of recent events that have taken place around our beloved country. We mourn those tragic events in which African Americans and others have lost their lives in altercations with law enforcement officials. These deaths have led to peaceful demonstrations, as well as violent conflicts in the streets of our cities. In every instance, our prayer for every community is that of our Lord in Saint John’s Gospel, “that they all may be one.”

Sadly, there is all too often an alienation of communities from those sworn to protect them. I respect the sacrifices made by police officers throughout the nation, who in their daily work are placed in harm’s way. Let us pray that they suffer no harm as they carry out their duties, and that they always be guided in good and right action as they serve.

We join our voices with civic and religious leaders in pledging to work for healing and reconciliation. Our efforts must address root causes of these conflicts. A violent, sorrowful history of racial injustice, accompanied by a lack of educational, employment and housing opportunities, has destroyed communities and broken down families, especially those who live in distressed urban communities. Confronted by these realities, the familiar words of Blessed Pope Paul VI still resonate and continue to call us to action in our day: if you want peace, work for justice.

The Church has been present in these communities, active in education, health care and charities. Positive efforts are being made in collaboration with ecumenical and interfaith groups in communities where confrontations between individual citizens and law enforcement have taken place. Pope Francis calls each of us to work for a culture of encounter and has encouraged all people of good faith to reach out to those in their community and be truly welcoming of all. Let the rich cultural diversity of our local communities be woven together in charity, hospitality and service to one another, to join us together as sisters and brothers.

The 1979 U.S. Bishops’ pastoral letter, “Brothers and Sisters to Us,” named racial prejudice as a grave sin that denies the truth and meaning of the Incarnation of the Word of God in Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, the words of that letter still ring true: “Racism is an evil which endures in our society and in our Church.” The bishops called for decisive action to eradicate racism from society and considerable progress has been made since 1979. However, more must be done. Let us again call upon our Catholic people to pray frequently in their homes and in their churches for the cause of peace and racial reconciliation.

Here we are in St. Louis where, in 1947, Cardinal Joseph Ritter integrated Catholic schools well before the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education. It shows that the Catholic Church can be at the forefront of promoting justice in racial tensions. It is time for us to do it again. I suggest five concrete ways in which the Catholic community can commit to ending racism and promoting peace, justice and respect for all persons:

1. Pray for peace and healing among all people.

2. Study the Word of God and the social teaching of the Church in order to gain a deeper appreciation of the dignity of all persons.

3. Make a sincere effort to encounter more fully people of different racial backgrounds with whom we live, work and minister.

4. Pursue ways in which Catholic parishes and neighborhoods can be truly welcoming of families of different racial and religious backgrounds.

5. Get to know our local law enforcement officers. Let them know of our support and gratitude. And encourage young people to respect all legitimate authority.

Sadly, the present racial tension in the United States is not something new. It is the most recent manifestation of a relationship as old as the history of our nation, one marred by the tragedy of human slavery. Promoting peace and reconciliation is the only way forward. And we must constantly strive to achieve these goals, trusting in the Lord to lead and guide us, accompanied by his merciful love. May He help all of us to recognize the dignity inherent in every human being, for God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness.”

Catechetical Sunday 2015 focuses on ‘Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Person’  
Monday, June 08, 2015  4:20 PM
Washington, D.C. - Catholics are called to uphold the dignity of all people, including migrants, the poor, victims of trafficking and people with illnesses and disabilities, says the theme for Catechetical Sunday 2015, “Safeguarding the Dignity of Every Human Person.” Resources for parishes to use in conjunction with Catechetical Sunday, September 20 this year, are available online: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/index.cfm

“This year’s theme reminds us that the dignity of each human person rests in the biblical teaching (Gen 1:26-27) that he or she is made in God’s image and likeness. It also reminds us that we the baptized may need to actively support and protect others from all sorts of harm, cherishing human life from the moment of conception to a natural death,” said Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

A set of five lesson plans for high school students—including those in Catholic schools or in religious education programs—explore the roots of religious freedom according to Catholic tradition and in the history of the United States. These include “Religious Liberty and the Practice of Charity” by President John Garvey of The Catholic University of America and “Protecting the Poor, the Migrant and the Outcast” by Todd Scribner of USCCB Migration and Refugee Services.

USCCB’s Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs offers resources to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council’s decree on non-Christian religions. These are “The Church in Relationship with Other Faiths” by Bishop Denis J. Madden, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore; “The Church in Relationship with the Jews” by Father Dennis McManus; “Catholics and Jews: Where We Have Been; Where We Need to Go” by Rabbi Eric Greenberg; and “The Church in Relationship with the Muslims” by Anthony Cirelli, Ph.D.

All resources are available in English and Spanish for free. Additional items, including prayer cards, a poster and catechist certificates, may be purchased.

Catechetical Sunday, which is observed on the third Sunday in September, is a celebration of catechists and all teachers of the Catholic faith. Many parishes commission those who serve in catechetical ministry on Catechetical Sunday. The U.S. bishops have provided resources for Catechetical Sunday since 1971. More information is available at: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catechesis/catechetical-sunday/catechetical-sunday-about.cfm

2015 Peter’s Pence Collection: Be A Witness of Charity  
Thursday, June 04, 2015  2:21 PM
Washington, D.C. - The 2015 Annual Peter’s Pence Collection will be taken up in many dioceses the weekend of June 27-28. Through this collection, Catholics have an opportunity to support the humanitarian and charitable works of Pope Francis that reach out to the marginalized and poor.

The theme for the collection is “Be a Witness of Charity,” emphasizing the need to show the mercy of God to others. Donations to this annual worldwide collection help the pope support victims of war and religious persecution, natural disasters, and those suffering around the world.

“Through the Peter’s Pence Collection individuals can join with Pope Francis in providing much needed care and relief to those who find themselves suffering or on the margins.” said Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, chairman of the Committee on National Collections of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “This collection is a way to be a witness to the love of Christ in unity with Catholics all around the world.”

More information about the Peter’s Pence Collection can be found at http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/peters-pence/collection/index.cfm

Mount Marty College schedule upcoming Blue and Gold Campus Visit Day  
Thursday, June 04, 2015  10:30 AM
On Saturday, June 27, 2015 Mount Marty College’s Office of Admission will be holding the kick-off for fall 2016 recruitment events with its first Blue & Gold Campus Visit Day. Visiting college campuses is one of the most important aspects of choosing a college. Mount Marty College's Blue & Gold Campus Visit Day events are a great opportunity to make sure you have all the facts to make that important college decision.

The Blue & Gold Campus Visit Day event will begin at 1:30 pm with check-in and will include activities such as a campus tour; admission and financial aid information; and panel discussions including faculty, staff, current students, and alumni. The event will conclude with the ‘Hog on the Hill’ evening meal and event in conjunction with MMC’s Alumni/All Schools Reunion.

For more information on the Blue & Gold Campus Visit Day, contact the Mount Marty College Office of Admissions at mmcadmit@mtmc.edu or at 605-668-1545. Or register online at www.mtmc.edu/admissions/events.

Mount Marty College, located in Yankton, South Dakota, is a Catholic, Benedictine, coeducational institute of higher learning founded in 1936 by the Sisters of Saint Benedict of Yankton, South Dakota. In keeping with the Benedictine tradition, the college exists as a community of learners. Primary emphasis is placed on the development of each person as a complete human being with intellectual competence, professional and personal skills, and a composite of moral, spiritual, and social values. With an enrollment of over 1,100 students at all three locations and approximately 600 students located on the Yankton campus, Mount Marty College is the region’s premier institution for higher learning. To learn more about Mount Marty College visit www.mtmc.edu. 

Pope Francis names two auxiliary bishops for Diocese of Brooklyn  
Wednesday, May 20, 2015  10:12 AM
Washington, D. C. - Pope Francis has named two Brooklyn priests, Father James Massa, 54, moderator of the curia and vicar for evangelization; and Father Witold Mroziewski, 49, pastor of Holy Cross Parish, as auxiliary bishops for the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York.
The appointments were publicized in Washington on May 19 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

James Massa was born September 3, 1960 in Jersey City, New Jersey, and ordained a priest in 1986.

He attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York and earned a bachelor of arts degree in theology and history from Boston College; and a master’s degree in divinity from Yale University. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Fordham University.

Assignments after ordination included parochial vicar, Our Lady of Queen of Martyrs Parish, 1986; theology instructor, 1987; campus minister, 1990; chaplain, 1993; theology professor, 1993-2005; executive director of USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, 2005-2011; consultor, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, 2007-2015. He currently serves as moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Brooklyn since 2014.

Witold Mroziewski was born March 25, 1966 in Poland and was ordained a priest in 1991.
He attended the diocesan seminary of the Diocese of Łomża, Poland. He holds masters’ degrees in divinity and canon law, and a doctor of canon law degree from the Catholic University in Lublin, Poland.

Assignments after ordination included: parochial vicar at the Parish of Kadzidlo, Poland, 1991; pastoral services for the Diocese of Brooklyn, 1992; parochial vicar of Our Lady of Czestochowa-St. Casimir Parish, Brooklyn, 1993; administrator, 2000; and pastor, 2002. He also served as pastor, Holy Cross Parish, Maspeth, New York, 2013; judge of the diocesan tribunal, 2009-2015; defender of the bond, 2013-2015.

He was incardinated in the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2001.

Three new members named to national review board on child and youth protection  
Wednesday, May 20, 2015  9:55 AM
Washington,. D.C.- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently named three people to the National Review Board that advises on child and youth protection. Mr. Donald Wheeler, a former federal investigator, Mrs. D. Jean Ortega-Piron, an attorney and child welfare services expert, and attorney Mr. Howard Healy were appointed by USCCB President Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville.

“The Church is grateful for the time and talent these individuals will bring to our shared work of ensuring safe environments,” Kurtz said. “None of us has a more important responsibility than protecting children.”

Donald Wheeler lives in the Diocese of Arlington and is a Senior Investigator with the law firm of Hunton & Williams, LLP. He served for 30 years in various federal law enforcement and investigative positions with the U. S. Department of Labor and the General Accountability Office (GAO).

D. Jean Ortega-Piron lives in the Diocese of Joliet, retired from the Illinois Department of Children of Family Services in 2013 and continues to serve as a consultant on child welfare services. While with that state agency, among other positions, she served as its acting Director and the statewide legal guardian for all the children in foster care in Illinois. She is an attorney and has worked in the Office of Special Counsel for Child Welfare Services for the Governor of Illinois.

Howard Healy lives in the Diocese of Green Bay and is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Winnebago County Bar Association. He is a partner at the Di Renzo and Bomier Law Firm and served in the U.S. Army Reserve as an Officer in the Judge Advocate General Corp.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops established the National Review Board during their meeting in June of 2002. The functions of the Board were revised slightly and reconfirmed in June of 2005 when the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was revised and extended. The purpose of the National Review Board is to collaborate with the USCCB in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church.

U.S. nuclear disarmament leadership needed, says USCCB’s committee chair  
Friday, May 15, 2015  3:29 PM
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Committee has urged Secretary of State, John Kerry, to step up efforts to advance nuclear disarmament and insure the success of a multilateral conference being held in New York. The comments were made in a May 12 letter issued as the Ninth Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) meeting continues at the United Nations.

“For most Americans, there is an assumption that the nuclear threat receded with the end of the Cold War. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee. “In a multi-polar world where there are risks of nuclear proliferation and even nuclear terrorism, it is imperative that the world move systematically and relentlessly toward nuclear disarmament and the securing of nuclear materials. Preserving the NPT is a cornerstone of this effort.”

The International Justice and Peace Committee also urged bold and concrete commitments to “accelerate verifiable nuclear disarmament, including taking weapons off ‘launch on warning’ status to prevent a catastrophic accident, deeper cuts in nuclear arsenals, ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and serious negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty and other prudent measures.”

The full text of the letter is available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/nuclear-weapons/letter-to-secretary-kerry-from-bishop-cantu-on-non-proliferation-of-nuclear-weapons-2015-05-12.cfm.

Bishops’ International Justice and Peace Committee offers policy framework for targeted killing by drones  
Friday, May 15, 2015  2:16 PM
Washington, D.C. - The practice of targeted killings by unmanned drones should be limited by international standards, be transparent and guided by an awareness of how the practice affects conflict around the world, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in a letter to National Security Advisor Susan Rice. The May 11 letter from Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, noted the ongoing concerns of bishops around the “serious moral questions” raised by drone strikes, and shared a policy framework that had been adopted by the bishops’ committee.

Bishop Cantú wrote, “Since the United States has led in the use of armed drones, it should take the lead in advancing international policies, standards and restrictions on the production, use and proliferation of drones in general, and of armed drones in targeted killings in particular. As weapons technology becomes more sophisticated, the need for an internationally recognized ethical and moral framework governing their use becomes more urgent.”

The framework notes that drone strikes should occur only in areas of active protracted conflict where war has been declared or where there is multilateral agreement to take action, when a threat is imminent, and the use of force if proportionate and a last resort. It also raises concerns about the decision-making processes behind drone strikes, civilian casualties and the long-term fueling of hostilities toward the United States.

The full text of the letter is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/arms-trade/upload/letter-to-nsa-rice-from-bishop-cantu-re-drones-policy-framework-2015-05-11.pdf

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