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National Study on Catholic Campus Ministry calls for innovative growth, cooperation and on-going formation to enhance efficacy

WASHINGTON— On the Feast Day of Blessed John Henry Newman, patron of Catholic Campus Ministry in the United States, USCCB Secretariat of Catholic Education has issued a report highlighting the key findings from the National Study on Catholic Campus Ministry. The Secretariat commissioned the study seeking to advance Catholic identity in higher education and to rejuvenate the vision of Catholic campus ministry nationally. 

Utilizing an innovative and collaborative process, the study brought together practioners from public, private and Catholic institutions, mission officers, faculty members, missionaries, bishops and stakeholders representing the breadth of Catholic campus ministry in the United States.  The effort was led by Barbara H. McCrabb, Assistant Director for Higher Education at the USCCB and Dr. Brian Starks, PhD, Associate Professor of Kennesaw State University.  

The national study considered the contemporary context for campus ministry as well as the formation and professional development of those who minister on campus. The report offers valuable insights into the landscape of Catholic campus ministry and the formation of those who serve as campus ministers or missionaries on campus. Key findings call for innovative growth, steadfast cooperation and on-going formation to enhance the efficacy of Catholic campus ministry, as explained in the report by Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona, Chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education. 

Based on the data gathered, the report offers practical suggestions to develop and enhance Catholic campus ministry. According to Auxiliary Bishop Fernand Cheri of the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Episcopal Liaison for the Catholic Campus Ministry Association, "the Church must be intentional and campus ministry must be accountable in every way possible to enrich the character and formation of the whole community; taking into account the ethnic, social and spiritual diversity of each campus and its surrounding community." He goes on to say, "Our ministry must center on people, for we are forming men and women to be people that reflect Christ to each other and to the world."  

The study had a 56% response rate among the 1,911 campus ministers across the country. The report and other support data can be found on the Secretariat of Catholic Education website: www.usccb.org/campus-ministry. 

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop John M. Quinn, Bishop Fernand Cheri, Barbara H. McCrabb, Dr. Brian Starks, Committee on Catholic Education, Campus Ministry, #CatholicCampusMinistry, #CatholicHigherEd, #HigherEdCatholics, @CCMACampusMinisters, @USCCBCatholicEd 

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Media Contact: 

Judy Keane 

202-541-3200 


President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Issues Letter Following Recent Natural Disasters in Indonesia

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote a letter of solidarity to Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Archbishop of Jakarta in light of the recent earthquakes and tsunami in Indonesia. As of recent reports, those killed now number over 1,200 and over 50,000 displaced.

The full letter follows:

"May the Lord protect and assuage the grief of those affected by natural disaster in Indonesia.

It is with great sadness that I learned of the enormous twin tragedies that struck this past weekend, killing over 800 people on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. Undoubtedly many are suffering injuries and thousands have been made homeless as the earthquakes and tidal wave devastated homes, schools, churches and other buildings. The fact that these natural disasters have come so soon after a large earthquake struck Lombok Island and surrounding areas in July 2018 means that emergency relief efforts have already been put to the test. I am pleased to learn that Catholic Relief Services in Indonesia, together with Caritas Indonesia, are on hand to assess conditions and provide humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible.

On behalf of my brother bishops of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I want to assure you of our prayers and expressions of solidarity with the Church in Indonesia in this difficult time. I pray for the victims of these disasters and the survivors who are struggling to regain their lives. I join with the Holy Father in praying for consolation, healing, and protection for victims and their families as he said, 'May the Lord console them and sustain the efforts of those who are taking part in the relief efforts.'"

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Indonesia, Jakarta, earthquake, tsunami, Catholic Relief Services

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

President of U.S. Bishops' Conference Welcomes Steps Holy See is Taking to Ensure Faithful are Protected from the Evil of Sexual Abuse

 ROME—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is welcoming the recent announcement by the Holy See outlining steps to ensure the faithful are protected by the evil of sexual assault. 

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:  

"On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I welcome the statement of October 6 from the Holy See which outlines additional steps Pope Francis is taking to ensure the faithful are protected from the evil of sexual assault. The Holy Father's 'pressing invitation to unite forces to fight the grave scourge of abuse within the Church and beyond' has been and will continue to be diligently accepted by the bishops of the United States.

"The truth will ensure terrible sins of the past are not repeated. The courage of abuse survivors who first brought the horrific truth of sexual abuse to light must continue to be matched by our courage as pastors to respond in justice. Pope Francis echoes the call of Christ to be with survivors in their time of need. Let us respond simply. 'Yes, Lord!'

"The bishops of the United States offer our prayers and solidarity for the Holy Father. We urge all in the Church, particularly the bishops, to reaffirm our communion with Pope Francis who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic church. We unite in prayer and service with His Holiness as he leads the Church to meet our brothers and sisters in their suffering. With a pastor's heart, the Holy Father calls us to a path of healing."

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Holy See, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, sexual assault, abuse survivors, healing, solidarity

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

U.S. Bishops Chairman Expresses Deep Concern about Refugees Left in Harm’s Way Due to Lowest Ever Refugee Admissions Ceiling for 2019

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump has issued the Presidential Determination (PD) for refugee admissions for fiscal year 2019, setting the level at 30,000 refugees. The PD will be the lowest refugee ceiling in the 38-year history of the resettlement program, with the average annual limit being 95,000 refugees.  Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration has offered the following statement regarding the PD.

Full statement follows:

"As Christians, we believe it is our duty to welcome and help those who are persecuted, including the vulnerable such as children and religious minorities. Resettlement in our country is a way through which we live out our Gospel call to welcome the persecuted into our communities--individuals and families with no viable options to stay where they are or return home. I am saddened by today's major reduction in resettlement to 30,000 refugees. I worry and pray for those refugees left in harm's way by this decision. We urge the Administration to diligently work to reach this year's Presidential Determination as we know that many in the world fleeing war, persecution and religious discrimination continue to desperately need our support. We pledge to work with the Administration to ensure that we reach that goal. We will continue to call for a higher refugee admissions level for next year. We can and must do more to assist those in need."

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez, Committee on Migration, President Donald Trump, Presidential Determination, refugee, resettlement

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

 

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Committee on Pro-Life Activities Introduces Respect Life Month with Theme and New, Year-Round Resources (English & Spanish)

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement today for Respect Life Month. New resources have been developed around the theme "Every Life: Cherished, Chosen, Sent" and are available at www.usccb.org/respectlife. Respect Life Sunday is October 7.

Cardinal Dolan's full statement in English and Spanish follows:

"My dear friends in Christ:

The month of October is annually observed by the Catholic Church in the United States as Respect Life Month. We are called to cherish, defend, and protect those who are most vulnerable, from the beginning of life to its end, and at every point in between.

Yet this year, as we approach Respect Life Sunday on October 7, our hearts are heavy with revelations of how those who should be most trustworthy have not only failed in this regard but have inflicted immense evil. As USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo expressed, 'the Body of Christ is lacerated.'

At such a time as this, we become even more aware of the need for messengers of God's love and instruments of His healing. We realize again, with renewed urgency, our personal call to help others encounter God's transforming, life-giving love and to defend the sanctity of every person's life, at every stage and in every circumstance.

This year's Respect Life theme is "Every Life: Cherished, Chosen, Sent," highlighting our call to build a culture of life as missionary disciples. Drawing upon the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego, this theme is briefly unpacked in a short reflection. I humbly invite you to read and reflect on it this Respect Life Month (www.usccb.org/respect-life-reflection). (There are also many other resources at www.usccb.org/respectlife that are available for use this month and throughout the year.)

In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul tells us, "As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. …If [one] part suffers, all the parts suffer with it" (1 Cor 12:12,26).

We are called and sent to be messengers of God's love, treating one another as cherished and chosen by Him. In doing so, we help build a culture that respects all human life. The Body of Christ needs you. The world needs you."

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"Queridos amigos en Cristo:

Cada año, la Iglesia católica de Estados Unidos celebra el mes de octubre como el Mes Respetemos la Vida. Somos llamados a atesorar, defender y proteger a las personas más indefensas, desde el principio de la vida hasta el final, y en todas las etapas entre medio.

Sin embargo, este año, al acercarnos al Domingo Respetemos la Vida el 7 de octubre, tenemos el corazón abatido por las revelaciones de la manera en que quienes deberían ser más dignos de confianza no solo han fracasado en ese sentido, sino que han ocasionado un mal inmenso. El cardenal Daniel DiNardo, presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal de Estados Unidos, expresó: "el Cuerpo de Cristo está lacerado".

En un momento como este, tomamos aún más conciencia de la necesidad de ser mensajeros del amor de Dios e instrumentos de su sanidad. Nuevamente, descubrimos, con renovada urgencia, nuestro llamado personal a ayudar a otros a encontrarse con el amor de Dios, transformador y dador de vida, y a defender la santidad de la vida de todas las personas, en cada etapa y en todas las circunstancias.

El tema de este año para Respetemos la Vida es "Cada vida: atesorada, escogida, enviada" y destaca nuestro llamado a construir una cultura de vida como discípulos misioneros. Inspirado en la historia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe y San Juan Diego, este tema se describe en una breve reflexión. Los invito humildemente a leer y reflexionar sobre este Mes Respetemos la Vida (http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/respect-life-program/2018/reflexion-respetemos-la-vida-2018-2019.cfm). (También hay muchos recursos más en www.usccb.org/respectlife que están disponibles para usarlos este mes y durante el año).

En su primera carta a los Corintios, San Pablo nos dice: "El cuerpo humano, aunque está formado por muchos miembros, es un solo cuerpo. Así también Cristo… Si un miembro del cuerpo sufre, todos los demás sufren también." (1 Cor 12,12.26).

Somos llamados y enviados a ser mensajeros del amor de Dios, tratándonos unos a otros como seres valorados y elegidos por Él. Al hacerlo, ayudamos a desarrollar una cultura que respeta toda la vida humana. El Cuerpo de Cristo los necesita. El mundo los necesita.

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archdiocese of New York, pro-life, abortion, Respect Life Month, respect life, Our Lady of Guadalupe, U.S. bishops, women, pregnancy, healing after abortion, persons with disabilities, palliative care, assisted suicide, end of life care, elder care, contraception, missionary disciples, culture of life, prayer

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

President of U.S. Bishops Conference Announces Emergency Collection for 2018 Natural Disasters

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has requested that dioceses across the country take up an emergency collection on behalf of those devastated by Hurricane Florence, as well as any forthcoming natural disasters this year.

In a letter sent to bishops last week, Cardinal DiNardo wrote, in part:

"The traditional storm season has only just begun and already we have witnessed the devastating impact of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas. Five days after land-fall, torrential rain was still falling, and catastrophic flooding is predicted. Already, thousands of homes, businesses, and churches have been severely damaged or destroyed."

"We offer our prayers to families who have lost loved ones or are among those injured. As is often the case, the poor are the hardest hit by these conditions, but many will have immense unmet needs. Staff of our Office for National Collections has been in touch with several bishops to learn about their situations and to offer our prayers and our desire to be of assistance in this time of need.

"Given the patterns of recent years, it is reasonable to expect much more unpredictable weather and an increasing number of natural disasters. Therefore, I suggest we take up a special collection for the humanitarian, long-term recovery, and Church needs arising from these storms. In anticipation of more disasters awaiting us this year, I ask that we make a special appeal for the ongoing disasters of 2018 and that we each take up the collection as soon as possible so that those most in need can receive assistance quickly."

Funds will be used in response to Hurricane Florence and any other natural disasters that occur this year. Initially, funds will be used to support the efforts of Catholic Charities USA as they reach out to provide humanitarian aid in the form of water, food, shelter, and medical care, as well as to their long-term efforts to restore communities after widespread destruction. Also, funds will go to support the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' efforts to assist with pastoral and reconstruction aid to the Church. Humanitarian funds for any future disasters impacting communities outside the US may be shared with Catholic Relief Services for their response efforts.

More information about the Office of National Collections and its support of emergency relief efforts can be found at http://www.usccb.org/about/national-collections/index.cfm.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Collections, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, charity, Hurricane Florence, national collection humanitarian aid, emergency relief

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

V Encuentro Delegates Charged with Building a Culture of Encounter that Rekindles Hope

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, Archbishop of San Antonio and chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement today following the close of the V National Encuentro that took place September 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas.

Archbishop García-Siller's full statement follows:

Brothers and Sisters,

What a wonderful Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry we had in Grapevine, Texas, September 20-23! For us bishops it was both humbling and awe-inspiring to witness and participate in this grace-filled event that culminated a process of several years. Four days of prayer, sharing, listening, and learning revealed a people of God alive in the love of Jesus. The process now continues with the charge to take back to our communities and dioceses what we experienced at the National V Encuentro. 

Build "a culture of encounter that rekindles hope." With this call, Pope Francis welcomed the nearly 3,200 people from more than 160 dioceses and over 200 Catholic organizations from around the country to the V Encuentro. Following the Holy Father's video message, his Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, invited us to go forth out of our comfort zone and become leaven of communion. We, the delegates to the V Encuentro, bishops and people together, gratefully take this charge back to our communities filled with a missionary spirit.

The V Encuentro process, and specially the national gathering, will go down in history as a special moment of grace for the Church in the United States in these turbulent and difficult times. As Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops aptly put it in his welcoming remarks: "Amidst this darkness, the Encuentro is a light that shines and illuminates the way forward. The enthusiasm, the passion, the love, and the joy of the Encuentro process is a means of grace, a gift to us as we rebuild the Church."

A special highlight of the National V Encuentro was the participation of hundreds of young adults who brought us hope with their enthusiasm and courage, witness of faith and commitment to the Church. As the process of Encuentro continues, may we welcome their energy, their gifts and talents for the service of the entire Church.

This mountaintop experience of God's Providence, of the love of Christ for his Church, impels us and we are now readier to be the Church Christ wants us to be. Thousands of faithful have returned home to share their experience with those whose voices they represented and with everyone unable to attend. In this way, the Holy Spirit will multiply the graces of renewal and conversion.

I am grateful to all who made this V Encuentro possible, from the pastors and parish coordinators to the diocesan and regional teams. I am grateful for all the national organizations and sponsors that accompanied and supported us thus far. And I am grateful to my brother bishops who have accompanied their people in this process locally and at the National V Encuentro. I ask for your continued support and prayers as the process of the V Encuentro enters now a new phase of implementation.

Coming together across cultures and geographic regions, the Body of Christ draws strength from the diverse gifts of its individual members. In fidelity to Christ and in communion with the successor of Peter, open to the impulses of the Spirit and under the merciful gaze of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, let us use that strength to share the hope of the Gospel with all who are in need of God's love and mercy.

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, V Encuentro, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

National Vocation Awareness Week Encourages Young People to Encounter Christ’s Call

WASHINGTON—The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, November 4-10. This annual event is a special time for parishes in the U.S. to foster a culture of vocations for the priesthood, diaconate and consecrated life.

Pope Francis, in his message for the 2018 World Day of Vocations, emphasized that it is at the loving initiative of God, and by His personal encounter with each of us, that one is called. “Even amid these troubled times, the mystery of the Incarnation reminds us that God continually comes to encounter us. He is God-with-us, who walks along the often dusty paths of our lives. He knows our anxious longing for love and he calls us to joy. In the diversity and the uniqueness of each and every vocation, personal and ecclesial, there is a need to listen, discern and live this word that calls to us from on high and, while enabling us to develop our talents, makes us instruments of salvation in the world and guides us to full happiness.”

National Vocation Awareness Week, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, is designed to help promote vocation awareness and to encourage young people to ask the question: "To what vocation in life is God calling me?" Parish and school communities across the nation are encouraged to include, during the first week in November, special activities that focus on vocation awareness and provide opportunities for prayerful discernment.

Contemporary society is all too often saturated by constant activity and noise, so it is important this week to encourage young discerners to take time for silent, contemplative prayer. Results of studies conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), notes that 72% of those ordained to the Priesthood or solemnly professed within the last year cited participation in Eucharistic Adoration as a prayer experience that proved influential in their discernment. Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations echoes this finding, stating: “Quiet reflection and prayer are essential elements for vocational discernment. It is in the interior depths of our heart where we hear the voice of Christ, where he speaks to us, and where he reveals his will for our lives.”

Observance of Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for the celebration. It was later moved to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January. The USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations moved the observance of National Vocation Awareness Week to November to engage Catholic schools and colleges more effectively in this effort.

More information and resources for National Vocation Awareness Week, including a prayer card, suggested prayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes are available online at: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/national-vocation-awareness-week.cfm


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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Pope Francis, vocations, National Vocation Awareness Week, priesthood, religious life, consecrated life, religious, vocation, Catholic education, ministry, prayer, Synod 2018, World Day of Vocations

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Committee on Pro-Life Activities Applauds Cancellation of FDA Fetal Tissue Contract, Urges Additional HHS Action

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement today applauding initial steps taken by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to terminate a Food and Drug Administration contract to purchase aborted baby parts for research, but urging quick action to cease all funding for research using body parts from aborted babies.

Cardinal Dolan's full statement follows:

We applaud Secretary Azar and the Administration for cutting off ties to a company whose business is to procure aborted baby parts for research. Not only has this company been referred for criminal investigation by the House and Senate but using federal tax dollars for such purposes is unethical and unacceptable.

While we are grateful for this first step, it remains incumbent on the Administration to act quickly to cease all funding for research involving body parts from aborted babies. The question is not exclusively what is permitted by law, but what is right and just. For the federal government to create a demand for abortion and use these children's body parts for research is wrong. We look forward to receiving answers to the questions we and other pro-life organizations asked of Secretary Azar in our September 11, 2018 letter regarding the funding and use of fetal tissue from aborted babies. Under a pro-life Administration, there is simply no room for callously using aborted children to further a research goal. This must stop immediately. Our government should only use taxpayer dollars for ethical research. ----

Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archdiocese of New York, pro-life, HHS, abortion

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Statement in Response to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Immigrants and Public Benefits

WASHINGTON--On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that dramatically alters certain longstanding government policies related to legal immigrants' access to essential safety net programs.  

Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee on Migration and Bishop of Austin, Texas, together with Bishop Frank Dewane, Chair of Committee on Domestic and Social Development and Bishop of Venice, Florida stated:  

"Yesterday's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking undercuts decades of administrative policies and guidelines on how immigrants are treated by the United States government. This further compounds strict eligibility guidelines already in place preventing many immigrants from receiving federal aid. While just beginning to review the Proposed Rule, upon initial analysis, it appears that this will be very harmful to families, raising fear among immigrant families already struggling to fulfill the American Dream. Further, it is likely to prevent families from accessing important medical and social services vital to public health and welfare." 

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Keywords: Department of Homeland Security, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Migration, Diocese of Austin, domestic and social development, Bishop Frank Dewane, Diocese of Venice 

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Media Contact: 

Judy Keane 

202-541-3200