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Honorees receive the People of Life award at Diocesan Pro-Life Conference for their contribution to the pro-life cause

WASHINGTON- Three champions of the pro-life cause were honored on August 5 at the 2019 People of Life awards for their lifetime contributions to the movement.

The awards were presented during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference taking place in Louisville, Kentucky. This year's honorees are Cheryl Holley, Marian Desrosiers, and Chuck Donovan. Approximately 125 diocesan Catholic pro-life leaders and guests attended the private awards dinner, including Archbishop Joseph Naumann, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The People of Life award recognizes Catholics who have answered the call outlined by Pope Saint John Paul II in The Gospel of Life (Evangelium Vitae, 1995) by dedicating themselves to pro-life activities and promoting respect for the dignity of the human person. It is bestowed in honor of their significant and longtime contributions to the culture of life.

Over the past three decades, awardee Cheryl Holley has led the way in uniting pro-life communities through ecumenical and multicultural efforts. Holley is the Director of the Josephite Pastoral Center and she is a board office of the Gabriel Network, serving pregnant women and children throughout Maryland and Washington, DC. Holley says her passion is “to work with teenage pregnant mothers and to share with them their God-given dignity.” She believes that “education and the knowledge of God’s unending love are the keys to eliminating abortions and sexually transmitted diseases,” which has led her to coordinate two conferences on women’s sexuality and life issues with the Archdiocese of Washington.

Awardee Chuck Donovan—a native of Louisville—is the President of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education and research arm of pro-life PAC Susan B. Anthony List. Donovan has been a guiding force in the pro-life movement for four decades, as Legislative Director of the National Right to Life Committee from 1979-1981, in leadership at the Family Research Council, and as co-chair of the Heritage Foundation’s Religious Liberty Working Group. Donovan, a prolific author and speaker, was honored for his tireless dedication to developing critical public policy protections for conscience rights and the rights of unborn children.

Awardee Marian Desrosiers was honored for her joyful and dedicated pro-life service in the Diocese of Fall River. In addition to her time as the diocesan pro-life director, she also spent 25 years leading the diocese’s Project Rachel Ministry, which provides pastoral care for individuals who have been involved in an abortion. Desrosiers today is the Director of Advancement at Bishop Connolly high school and continues to serve women and their children in her diocesan Women’s Transitional Home.

The awardees join 34 other People of Life award recipients since the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities established the award in 2007.

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Keywords: Pro-Life, Secretariat of Pro-Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, People of Life Award, Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference,

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice Issued a Statement After a Tragic Shooting in Dayton, Ohio

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, and President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development have issued the following statement in response to the tragic shooting last night in Dayton, Ohio.

Full statement follows:

“We extend our condolences to the families and friends of those murdered in Dayton last night. The lives lost this weekend confront us with a terrible truth. We can never again believe that mass shootings are an isolated exception. They are an epidemic against life that we must, in justice, face. God’s mercy and wisdom compel us to move toward preventative action. We encourage all Catholics to increased prayer and sacrifice for healing and the end of these shootings. We encourage Catholics to pray and raise their voices for needed changes to our national policy and national culture as well. We call on all relevant committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to outline a reinvigorated policy agenda and pastoral campaign to address ways we can help fight this social disease that has infected our nation. The Conference has long advocated for responsible gun laws and increased resources for addressing the root causes of violence. We also call upon the President and Congress to set aside political interests and find ways to better protect innocent life.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Galveston-Houston, Dayton, Ohio, Bishop Frank Dewane, Venice, Domestic Justice

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 

President of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Domestic Justice Chairman issued a Statement Following Shooting in El Paso

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement in response to the tragic shooting at the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, Texas.

The full statement follows:

“This Saturday, less than week after the horrific instances of gun violence in California, yet another terrible, senseless and inhumane shooting took place, this time at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas.

Something remains fundamentally evil in our society when locations where people congregate to engage in the everyday activities of life can, without warning, become scenes of violence and contempt for human life. The plague that gun violence has become continues unchecked and spreads across our country. 

Things must change. Once again, we call for effective legislation that addresses why these unimaginable and repeated occurrences of murderous gun violence continue to take place in our communities. As people of faith, we continue to pray for all the victims, and for healing in all these stricken communities. But action is also needed to end these abhorrent acts.”

 

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal DiNardo, Bishop Dewane, shooting, Cielo Vista Mall, El Paso

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Media Contact:

Miguel Guilarte

202-541-3202

 

 

 

U.S. Bishops’s Chairmen express sadness by the denigration of the City of Baltimore in recent public discourse

WASHINGTON- Bishop Nelson Perez of Cleveland, Chair of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued an statement to express sadness by the denigration of the City of Baltimore in recent public discourse.

The full statement follows:

“Painfully, for the past several weeks we find ourselves once more discussing how people, even our national leaders, use language that is divisive and disrespectful. Such language is absolutely incompatible with the teaching of Jesus Christ. Like Archbishop Lori, we were deeply saddened by the denigration of the City of Baltimore in recent public discourse, especially given Bishop Fabre’s recent participation in a very powerful and fruitful listening session in that city on the issue of racism. Constructive dialogue requires, first and foremost, mutual respect and the recognition that each and every person shares in the same inalienable human dignity regardless of their race or national origin. If we embrace this vision of public discussion and dialogue, as we state in the bishops' recent Pastoral Letter on Racism, Open Wide Our Hearts, ‘ the headlines we see all too often today will become lessons from the past.’”

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank Dewane, Bishop Shelton Fabre, Bishop Nelson Perez, Archbishop William Lori, Diocese of Cleveland, Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Diocese of Venice, Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, racism, Baltimore.

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

Bishops’ Conference Domestic Committee Chairman Reacts to Gilroy, CA Shooting

WASHINGTON—Following the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, calls for support of the victims and for actions to end gun violence.  

The full statement is as follows:

“It is heartbreaking to learn yet again of a mass shooting that has taken innocent lives, and wounded many others, this time at a food festival in Gilroy, California. At the time of this writing, the reports are of twelve wounded, and three deceased, including a six-year-old boy as well as a thirteen-year-old girl. The Lord calls us to comfort those who mourn and to be peacemakers in a violent world. We pray, and we must, for the victims and their families. The Church should act in ways that heal and support all those affected by gun violence. It is disturbing that our society would seem to allow some to feel comfort in being violent. Our legislators must make changes to our gun policy to prevent the loss of life. As Americans, we must be honest with ourselves that we have a sickness, almost a plague, with the problem of gun violence. As Christians, we must look to the cross, repentant of the ways that have led us to this point and, with God’s grace, abandon such senseless, inhuman acts. Let us resolve to make the sacrifices necessary to end the violent killing that saturates our nation.”        
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Diocese of Venice, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

 

Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Issues Statement on the Death Penalty

WASHINGTON— Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of the Diocese of Venice and Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has issued a statement on the federal government’s decision to resume the use of the death penalty.

The full statement follows:

“In his address to Congress during his 2015 Apostolic visit to the United States, Pope Francis, echoing the views of his predecessors, called for ‘the global abolition of the death penalty.’ He further stated that, ‘[A] just and necessary punishment must never exclude the dimension of hope and the goal of rehabilitation.’ As the Catechism of the Catholic Church now provides, ‘The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.’

At their meeting in June, the Catholic Bishops of the United States voted overwhelmingly to update the Catechism for use by adults in the United States to reflect this position. This is consistent with comparable calls by the Bishops for over forty years, including in their 2005 statement, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death.

In light of these long held and strongly maintained positions, I am deeply concerned by the announcement of the United States Justice Department that it will once again turn, after many years, to the death penalty as a form of punishment. I urge instead that Federal officials take this teaching into consideration, as well as the evidence showing its unfair and biased application, and abandon the announced plans to implement the death penalty once more.”

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Diocese of Venice, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Congress, Pope Francis, death penalty, Catechism of Catholic Church

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

Chair of USCCB Committee on Migration Calls for Reversal of the Expansion of Expedited Removal, cites Family Separation and Lack of Due Process Among Concerns

WASHINGTON— On Tuesday, the Administration significantly expanded the use of a controversial fast-track removal or “expedited removal” process for migrants suspected of being undocumented and includes migrants who cannot prove to an immigration officer that they have resided in the United States continuously for two years or longer. This move by the Administration gives the Department of Homeland Security authority to remove migrants suspected of being undocumented from the United States while circumventing important due process protections. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, Chair of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:

“I call on the Department of Homeland Security to reverse its decision to expand its policy of expedited removal. This action is yet another escalation of this Administration’s enforcement-only immigration approach, and it will have terrible human consequences. The new policy will allow for the deportation of many more individuals without providing them an opportunity to seek legal counsel and have a hearing before an immigration judge.

Even those migrants who have long-standing ties to the U.S. and have been in the country for more than the requisite two years required under the new policy may now be subjected to expedited removal if they are unable to prove such to the satisfaction of an individual immigration officer.

The implementation of this new policy will have unjust and unacceptable results and lead to more widespread family separation, stoking fear in our communities.”

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Justice for Immigrants, Enforcement, immigration

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Media Contact:
Mark Priceman
202-541-3064

 

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz steps down as Chair of Committee for Religious Liberty amidst cancer treatment; Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester to serve as Acting Chair of the Committee

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Bishop Robert J. McManus to serve as Acting Chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty until the November 2019 General Assembly. The appointment was made following the resignation of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., of Louisville, previous chair of the committee, after his diagnosis with urothelial carcinoma.

Cardinal DiNardo stated: “We are praying for Archbishop Kurtz, especially as he undergoes an intense treatment plan at Duke Cancer Institute over these next several weeks and months. I very much appreciate Bishop McManus’s agreeing to step into this chairmanship role and lead the important work of the Committee for Religious Liberty.”

Bishop McManus served as Chair of the Subcommittee on Health Care Issues from 2012 to 2018 and served as Chair of the Committee on Catholic Education from 2005 to 2008. He has served as a member of the Committee on Doctrine since 2001 and has previously served as a member of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Committee on Budget and Finance.

Robert J. McManus was born July 5, 1951 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was ordained a priest on May 27, 1978, an Auxiliary Bishop of Providence on February 22, 1999, and was installed as Bishop of Worcester on May 14, 2004. Bishop McManus holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and he holds a Master of Divinity from the Toronto School of Theology. He has also earned licentiate and doctoral degrees in sacred theology from The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Bishop Robert J. McManus, Committee for Religious Liberty

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Appoints the Most Reverend Mark Brennan as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Mark Brennan as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Brennan was born on February 6, 1947 in Boston, MA. He holds a bachelor of arts from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1969; and pursued seminary studies at Christ the King Seminary in Albany, New York, 1969-1970. In 1972 he received a licentiate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, 1972; he also pursued a graduate degree at the Gregorian, 1974. He was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington on May 15, 1976. Pope Francis appointed Bishop Brennan as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in December of 2016, and he was consecrated a bishop on January 19, 2017.

Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar, Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Potomac, Maryland, 1976-1981, and Saint Pius X Parish, Bowie, Maryland, 1981-1985; parochial vicar, Saint Bartholomew Parish, Bethesda, Maryland, 1986-1988, pastoral care to Hispanic community, 1988-1989; director of vocations and priest programs, 1988-1998; pastor, Saint Thomas the Apostle parish, Washington, DC, 1998-2003, Saint Martin of Tours Parish, Gaithersburg, Maryland, 2003-2016. Other assignments include: member, priest council, 1978-1981, 2009-2015; member, College of Consultors, 1998-2001, 2011-2016; vicar forane, 2002-2005; advocate, Metropolitan Tribunal, 2006.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is comprised of 24,282 square miles and has a total population of 1,844,128 of which 77,874 or 4 percent, are Catholic.  

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Bishop Mark Brennan, Archdiocese of Baltimore, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

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Media Contact:

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Announces the Publishing of Creating a Culture of Encounter: A Guide for Joyful Missionary Disciples

WASHINGTON— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announces the publishing of Creating a Culture of Encounter: A Guide for Joyful Missionary Disciples for use by parishes and communities of faith around the country.

This Spanish/English guide will help Catholics live out the call of Jesus to meet those on the peripheries with the Good News of the Gospel for their lives. It offers an organized five-session parish encounter process to help small groups to dig deeper into the Church’s evangelizing mission.  
In each session, participants take up a new aspect of Jesus’ encounter with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and focus on a different element of the evangelical call to spread the Gospel, inspired by Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. The five-session guide invites participants to See, Judge, Act, Celebrate, and take Missionary Action to follow the pastoral circle process.

This new community resource will deepen missionary discipleship in parishes, lay ecclesial movements, Catholic schools, parish councils, religious groups, and faith formation teams of any cultural or ethnic background. The process of encounter will bear good fruit, as Catholics take up their missionary mandate in families, schools, workplaces, communities, parishes, and wherever they find those in need of God’s love. It is particularly recommended for those seeking to build encounter and unity in culturally diverse environments.

Creating a Culture of Encounter was developed as a resource by the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs under the direction of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church as an adaptation of the process developed for the V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry

The USCCB has made the guide available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/creating-a-culture-of-encounter-p/7-629.htm

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Creating a Culture of Encounter, Missionary Disciples, V National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, Hispanic Affairs, Cultural Diversity in the Church

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Media Contact:
Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200