- DIVINE WORSHIP COMMITTEE PUBLISHES Q&A ON SWINE FLU, MASS
April 29, 2009
- Asian And Pacific Catholics To Mark Heritage Month With Marian Pilgrimage To National Shrine In Washington On May 9
April 29, 2009
- COMMUNITIES OF COLOR, IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES TRADITIONALLY UNDERCOUNTED CENSUS NUMBERS KEY TO DETERMINE ALLOCATION OF PUBLIC FUNDING
April 28, 2009
- PEW STUDY FINDS HIGH RETENTION RATE AMONG CATHOLICS, POINTS OUT CONCERN FOR DISAFFECTED YOUTH
April 27, 2009
WASHINGTON—A Pew Forum poll on Americans and their religious affiliation finds Catholics have one of the highest retention rates, 68 percent, among Christian churches when it comes to carrying the Catholic faith into adulthood.
It also found that a determining factor in whether or not one remains Catholic as an adult is whether or not the individual attended Mass as a child and teenager.
The study also found that the key reason people leave their church, Protestant or Catholic, is that "they just gradually drifted away from the faith."
- CARDINAL RIGALI PRAISES HOUSE RE-INTRODUCTION OF "PREGNANT WOMEN SUPPORT ACT," URGES CO-SPONSORSHIP
April 24, 2009
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Rigali, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote to all U.S. Representatives urging them to co-sponsor the Pregnant Women Support Act (PWSA, H.R. 2035) re-introduced in the House by Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-TN) on April 22. The PWSA provides resources and support for pregnant and parenting women and their families.
"The Pregnant Women Support Act reaches out to women with a helping hand when they are most vulnerable, and most engaged in making a decision about life or death for their unborn children," Cardinal Rigali said.
- PRO LIFE SPOKESWOMAN OBJECTS TO FDA APPROVAL OF "MORNING-AFTER PILL" FOR MINORS WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION
April 23, 2009
WASHINGTON—The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced late on April 22 that it has expanded over-the-counter access to the morning-after pill, Levonorgestrel or "Plan B," for 17-year-old minors as well as to adults. Deirdre McQuade, Assistant Director for Policy and Communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, objected to the move in the following statement:
"The FDA's court-driven decision to make Plan B available without a prescription to 17-year-old minors – as well as to adults – flies in the face of common sense. Levonorgestrel is a powerful drug, taken in two doses over a 12-hour period. It is 40 times more potent than comparable progestin-only birth control pills (Ovrette) for which a prescription is required.
- Barbara Humphrey McCrabb Named USCCB Assistant Director For Higher Education
April 22, 2009
WASHINGTON—Barbara Humphrey McCrabb, a campus minister with over 20 years of experience in faith formation, was named Assistant Director for Higher Education in the Secretariat of Catholic Education at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
"I am delighted to have Barbara Humphrey McCrabb join the Secretariat of Catholic Education," said the secretariat's executive director, Marie A. Powell. "Barbara brings extensive experience as a campus minister at both Catholic and secular universities. She has been involved in numerous faith formation projects for college age students and in promoting the Catholic identity of institutions of higher learning. Barbara is a welcome addition to our staff."
April 22, 2009
WASHINGTON—Credential applications for media who wish to cover the spring meeting of the U.S. bishops, June 17-19, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Antonio are now being accepted.
An application form is attached and may also be found at http://www.usccb.org/mr/credential_form_June_09.pdf.
- CARDINAL RIGALI CRITICIZES DRAFT NIH GUIDELINES FOR DESTRUCTIVE STEM CELL RESEARCH
April 21, 2009
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reacted today to new draft guidelines for human embryonic stem cell research issued late last week by the National Institutes of Health. The text of his statement follows:
- Pope Names Bishop Robert J. Carlson As Archbishop Of St. Louis; Bishop Robert J. Cunningham As Bishop Of Syracuse, New York
April 21, 2009
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Robert J. Carlson of Saginaw, Michigan, as Archbishop of St. Louis. Archbishop-designate Carlson, 64, succeeds Archbishop Raymond Burke, who was named last June 27, to head the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, the Vatican's highest court.
The same day the pope named 65-year-old Bishop Robert J. Cunningham of Ogdensburg, New York, as Bishop of Syracuse, New York, and accepted the resignation of Bishop James M. Moynihan, 76, from the pastoral governance of Syracuse.
- CATHOLIC COMMUNICATION CAMPAIGN COLLECTION HELPS CONNECT THE WORLD WITH GOD'S WORD
April 20, 2009
WASHINGTON—If Jesus Christ were on earth today, how would he spread his message? Through the Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC), the Church makes use of traditional and new media to evangelize and promote gospel values. The 2009 Catholic Communication Campaign Collection national date is the weekend of May 16-17.
"Because of the generosity of Catholics in the United States, CCC is able to fund programs that proclaim the Gospel of Jesus in the United States and in developing nations around the world," said Helen Osman, secretary of communications for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Half of the funds collected in each diocese remain there to support local communications projects. The other half supports the development and production of a wide range of media initiatives carried out by the USCCB Committee on Communications and grantee organizations.
- COMPUTER EXPERTS, REFUGEES, MARATHON RUNNERS, WIDOWERS –NEW U.S. PRIESTS MIRROR AMERICA
April 20, 2009
WASHINGTON—The ordination Class of 2009, with computer experts, refugees, marathon runners and second-career men, mirrors the United States today. The men from dioceses nationwide show that the call to serve God is heard at all ages. Respondents include attorneys, financiers, teachers and farmers.
Justin Minh Nguyen, of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, a skilled tailor, was a refugee from Vietnam. He was a parishioner of the only Vietnamese parish in Austin and is one of five men to be ordained for the diocese. He decided to be a priest when he was 10. Pablo Migone, one of four men to be ordained for the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, is a native of Lima, Peru, and came to the U.S. when he was nine. He started to think about priesthood in tenth grade.
- Ordination Class 2009 Has Many Asian-Born, Despite Low Percentage of Asian Catholics in United States
April 20, 2009
WASHINGTON—The ordination class of 2009 claims 11 percent Asian-born men, though the percentage of Asian Catholics in the United States is only three percent. Six percent of the class is from Vietnam and two percent from the Philippines.
The percentage of Hispanics in the class is also 12 percent, though the percentage of Hispanic Catholics is estimated at 34 percent. Five percent of the class is from Mexico and one percent from Colombia.
- Father Andrew Small, O.M.I. Named USCCB Director Of The Collection For The Church In Latin America
April 16, 2009
WASHINGTON—Father Andrew Small, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate priest, has been named associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Office of National Collections and director of the Collection for the Church in Latin America. Since 2004, Father Small has worked for the USCCB as a policy advisor for Latin America. He assumes his new duties on May 8.
"Father Small will be an excellent addition to the Office of National Collections staff," said Patrick Markey, executive director of the USCCB Office of National Collections. "Replacing Monsignor Carlos Quintana Puente will be no easy feat, but Father Small has tirelessly served the bishops for the past five years representing them before Congress, the current and previous Administrations, and throughout Latin America. He measures up to the challenge."
- U.S. BISHOPS URGE PRESIDENTS OBAMA, CALDERÓN TO CONSIDER RIGHTS OF IMMIGRANTS, ROOT CAUSES OF MIGRATION IN THEIR DISCUSSIONS
April 16, 2009
WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urged U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderón to consider the rights of migrants in their discussions and to work together to bring humanity to the bi-national immigration system during President Obama's visit to Mexico.
Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Bishops, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, expressed the importance that immigration be part of the conversation, since it is a key factor in the relationship between both countries.
- U.S. BISHOPS WELCOME CHANGES TO U.S.-CUBA POLICY, URGE FURTHER ACTION
April 15, 2009
WASHINGTON—Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the Obama Administration's decision to relax restrictions on Cuban-American travel and regulation in remittances to Cuba, calling the move "long overdue" and "an important change in U.S. policy towards Cuba."
In an April 15 letter to Daniel Restrepo, Senior Director of Western Hemisphere Affairs for the National Security Council, Bishop Hubbard wrote, "The USCCB has for many years called for relaxing the sanctions against Cuba. These policies have largely failed to promote greater freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in Cuba."
- $2.4 Million Awarded to Support the Pastoral Needs of the Church in Latin America
April 9, 2009
WASHINGTON—On March 25, 2009, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America approved $2,431,265.50 in grants to 146 projects in 21 countries, including the bishops' conference in the region, CELAM. The projects approved by the Subcommittee reflected the five priorities of the U.S. bishops, as well as the goals established for the church in Latin America at the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean in Aparecida, Brazil last year.
Among the grants approved was funding in the areas of leadership training ($189,765), evangelization/missionary activity ($429,480), pastoral projects ($710,093.50), catechesis ($36,800), training permanent deacons ($14,250), religious education ($20,000), and emergency aid ($169,500).
- New Poll Shows Strong Support for Conscience Rights in Health Care
April 8, 2009
WASHINGTON—A nationwide poll conducted on March 23-25 found that 87 percent of adults surveyed believe it is important to "make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections." Conducted by the polling company™, inc./WomanTrend on behalf of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), the survey also showed majority support even among self-identified "pro-choice" respondents for the two-month-old conscience protection regulation now at risk of being rescinded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman on abortion at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the data and urged HHS to keep the current regulation in place.
- Parishes Nationwide Urged to Observe World Day of Prayer for Vocations First Sunday of May
April 6, 2009
WASHINGTON—Parishes nationwide are urged to mark the 46th World Day of Prayer for Vocations on May 3, the first Sunday in May.
Remembrances can include everything from special petitions in the Prayer of the Faithful and homilies on the role of prayer in fostering vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, to highlighting the vocations that have come from a parish and diocese.
Pope Benedict XVI stressed the importance of prayer in his message from the Vatican with the theme "Faith in the divine initiative – the human response."
- Bishops support introduction of DREAM Act Say it will make difference in the life of many immigrant young persons
April 6, 2009
WASHINGTON—In an April 3 letter to sponsors of the legislation, Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, Utah, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, expressed the support of the USCCB for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (or DREAM Act), legislation which would legalize the status of thousands of undocumented youth in the United States.
The legislation (S. 729, H.R. 1751) applies to young persons who entered the United States before the age of fifteen, have been physically present in the United States for five years, and have earned a high school diploma. The bill would also repeal federal restrictions that limit the ability of states to offer them in-state tuition.
- Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue Studies Eucharist, Purifying Souls for Heaven in Ongoing Discussion
April 2, 2009
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue continued its study of the Eucharist and the meaning of purifying souls for entry into heaven, during its March 12-15 dialogue at St. Paul's College, Washington.
It was the seventh meeting of Round XI in the historic relationship that began in 1964 at the end of the Second Vatican Council. The meeting began with a prayer service to remember Cardinal Avery Dulles, a member of the dialogue in the 1960s and 1970s, who died December 12, 2008.
- Catholic Home Missions Appeal: Sharing One Faith in America
April 1, 2009
WASHINGTON—The national Catholic Home Missions Appeal will take place in parishes across the country the weekend of April 25-26. It provides a unique opportunity for Americans to assist struggling Catholic communities in the United States.
Missions are not only located overseas. The Archdiocese of Anchorage, Alaska, has 11,500 registered Catholic families dispersed throughout 140,000 square miles and only 30 active diocesan priests to minister to them. Of the 29 counties in the geographically sprawling Diocese of Salt Lake City, only 16 have a resident pastor. These are only two examples of the 95 dioceses in the United States—including the Eastern Catholic eparchies— that receive funding from the Catholic Home Missions Appeal every year to assist with the basic needs of the Church.
- Pittsburgh Auxiliary Bishop Paul Bradley Named Bishop Of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Succeeds Bishop James Murray
April 6, 2009
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Paul J. Bradley, 63, Auxiliary Bishop of Pittsburgh, as Bishop of Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The appointment was announced in Washington, April 6, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Bradley succeeds Bishop James A. Murray, 76, whose resignation from the pastoral governance of the Kalamazoo Diocese was accepted by Pope Benedict, April 6.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship has posted on the Web a series of 10 questions and answers related to participation at Mass during the time of the swine influenza (swine flu).
The information echoes that published in 2006 at the time of the avian (bird) flu and was developed in conjunction with the U.S. Center for Disease Control.
The 10 questions and answers can be found at http://usccb.org/liturgy/swineflu.shtml
WASHINGTON—Asian and Pacific Catholics in the Mid-Atlantic area will hold the Seventh "Asians for Mary Pilgrimage" on Saturday, May 9, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington. The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Cultural Diversity Secretariat of the U.S. Bishops Conference.
Held in observance of Asian and Pacific Heritage Month, the annual pilgrimage has grown in size over the years as Asian and Pacific Catholics honor the Virgin Mary with prayers and songs reminiscent of Marian devotions in their homelands observed during the month of May.
WASHINGTON—Through the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to encourage participation in the Census 2010, in order to reach hard-to-count communities.
"By reaching out to more than 25,000 parishes and missions, we hope to trumpet the importance of being counted as well as channel interested persons toward employment as census takers," said Beverly Carroll, assistant director for African American Affairs of the Secretariat.
Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity, urged parishes and dioceses to encourage local people to participate.