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Mary Pat Donoghue Named as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Posted on 08/1/2018 05:44 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Mary Pat Donoghue has been appointed as Executive Director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB Secretary General, made the appointment, which will take effect August 13, 2018.
Over her 28 years of service to Catholic education, Ms. Donoghue is perhaps best known for her tenure as Principal of St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland, where she led the effort to move the parish school from near failure to a now-thriving and growing institution. Before then, she served as a Vice Principal and as a teacher in the classroom; since then, she has consulted nationwide with superintendents, pastors, and principals, sharing her experience in teacher formation and supervision, curriculum implementation, and financial stability, in conjunction with the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education.
"In all of her endeavors, Mary Pat has brought a strong enthusiasm for the special role of Catholic education in the evangelical mission of the Church," said Msgr. Bransfield. "I am grateful to her for accepting this important position in service to the bishops and to the Conference."
"I am humbled and honored to support the vital work of our bishops in the area of Catholic education," said Ms. Donoghue, "and to support diocesan leaders in fulfilling the Church's beautiful vision for the formation of our young people."
Mary Pat holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from the University of Maryland, and a Master's in Education Administration from Trinity University, Washington, D.C. A native of the Washington, DC area, Mary Pat currently resides in Silver Spring, MD.
For more information on the USCCB Secretariat of Catholic Education, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catholic-education/index.cfm.
If you would like a photo image of Ms. Donoghue, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Secretariat of Catholic Education, Mary Pat Donoghue, Monsignor Brian Bransfield, Catholic education
Pope Francis Names Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted As Apostolic Administrator of the Byzantine Eparchy of Phoenix
Posted on 08/1/2018 02:00 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, as the Apostolic Administrator Sede Plena of the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic eparchy of Phoenix. Bishop Olmsted will also retain his current Office as Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix.
The announcement was publicized in Washington on August 1, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop Olmsted has served as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix since December 20, 2003.
Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, Bishop Olmsted served as Bishop of Wichita, Kansas from 2001-2003, after being ordained Coadjutor Bishop on April 20, 1999. Before serving in Wichita, he served as the Rector and President of the Pontifical College Josephinum, a Catholic Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Since 1974, Bishop Olmsted has been a member of the Jesus Caritas fraternity of priests. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., July 2, 1973.
For 16 years, Bishop Olmsted lived in Rome, Italy, where he obtained a master's degree in theology and a doctorate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Gregorian University (1981) and worked more than nine years as an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State from 1979 to 1988. During his time in Rome, he was also an assistant spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College.
Bishop Olmsted is currently a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
The Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix (formerly known as the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys) is the Catholic eparchy (diocese) governing most Byzantine Ruthenian Catholics in the Western United States. The Eparchy's territorial jurisdiction consists of thirteen Western States. Currently, Holy Protection Eparchy of Phoenix has 19 parishes and one mission under its canonical jurisdiction.
The diocese of Phoenix, Arizona comprises 43,967 square miles. It has a total population of 4,734,036 people of which 1,188,243 or 25 percent, are Catholic.
Keywords: Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, Holy Protection of Mary, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix, Diocese of Phoenix, Byzantine Ruthenian Catholics.
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President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Resignation from College of Cardinals
Posted on 07/28/2018 05:00 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement upon Pope Francis's acceptance of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's resignation from the College of Cardinals. Pope Francis has also imposed on Cardinal McCarrick, suspension a divinis and has directed him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion until the completion of the canonical process.
Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:
"I thank the Holy Father for his leadership in taking this important step. It reflects the priority the Holy Father places on the need for protection and care for all our people and the way failures in this area affect the life of the Church in the United States."
Posted on 07/28/2018 02:00 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, from the College of Cardinals.
Pope Francis has also imposed on Cardinal McCarrick suspension a divinis and directs him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion until the completion of the canonical process.
The statement of this resignation and these stipulations was publicized in Rome on July 28, 2018.
Keywords: Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archdiocese of Washington
National Religious Retirement Office Distributes $25 Million for Care of Elderly Catholic Sisters, Brothers, and Priests in Religious Orders
Posted on 07/25/2018 06:58 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—In June, the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) distributed $25 million to 360 religious communities to aid in the care of senior members. The funds were made possible by the annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection, which benefits elderly Catholic sisters, brothers, and priests in religious orders. The most recent appeal raised just over $28 million and was held in a majority of U.S. Catholic parishes in December 2017.
In 1988, Catholic bishops of the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious to address the significant lack of retirement funding among religious communities. The NRRO coordinates the annual appeal and distributes the proceeds to eligible religious communities.
"Traditionally, women and men religious served for little to no pay," said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, the NRRO's executive director. "Today, hundreds of religious communities lack sufficient retirement savings. Proceeds from the annual collection enable our office to distribute financial assistance that helps communities provide for aging members."
The funding disbursed in June is known as Direct Care Assistance and represents the bulk of financial support distributed by the NRRO. Religious communities combine this assistance with their own income and savings to help meet a wide range of expenses, including prescription medications and nursing care. Throughout the year, additional funding is allocated for religious communities with the greatest needs and for ongoing education in retirement planning and eldercare delivery. Roughly 94 percent of donations directly aid senior religious and their communities. The remainder are used for administration and promotion of the annual appeal.
"Our mission is to provide financial support and educational assistance that enable religious communities to meet eldercare needs while developing long-range retirement strategies," said Sister Still. "We are profoundly grateful to the donors across the nation whose generosity and prayers sustain these efforts."
The NRRO 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 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
Visit https://retiredreligious.org to learn more.
Keywords: National Religious Retirement Office, NRRO, retirement, eldercare, U.S. bishops, Sister Stephanie Still, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Collection
Posted on 07/25/2018 03:41 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Blessed Paul VI's papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement. Originally published in 1968, Blessed Paul VI's letter promotes the whole human person in the context of marital love that respects both the spiritual and physical dimensions of man and woman, which is faithful, generous, and life-giving.
Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:
"Fifty years ago, today, Blessed Paul VI issued the Encyclical Humanae Vitae. In it, he reaffirmed the beautiful truth that a husband and wife are called to give themselves completely to each other. Marriage reflects the love of God, which is faithful, generous, and life-giving. Through their vocation, spouses cooperate with God by being open to new human life.
Blessed Paul VI, who bore the criticism of Humanae Vitae with charity and patience, courageously affirmed that when we love as God designed, we experience true freedom and joy. He has also been proven correct in his warnings about the consequences of ignoring the true meaning of married love.
On this anniversary, I encourage all to read and prayerfully reflect upon this Encyclical, and be open to the gift of its timeless truths.
We wait in joyful anticipation for the canonization of Paul VI in October."
For more information and resources on Humanae Vitae, please visit www.usccb.org/HV50.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Blessed Paul VI, Humane Vitae, papal encyclical, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, 50th Anniversary, marriage, family, life-giving, canonization, human life, #HV50
Posted on 07/24/2018 12:57 PM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—The upcoming 2018 People of Life awards will recognize the extraordinary lifetime achievements of three inspiring individuals: an advocate for persons with disabilities, a diocesan priest involved in abortion healing ministry, and a leader in the effort to oppose assisted suicide.
The awards will be presented during the annual Diocesan Pro-Life Leadership Conference taking place July 29 to August 1 in Phoenix, Arizona. This year's award winners are Janice Benton, Monsignor Joseph Ranieri, and James J. Hanson (who will be recognized posthumously). Over 125 diocesan, state, and national Catholic pro-life leaders and guests from across the country will attend the event with the Most Reverend Thomas Olmsted, Bishop of Phoenix, the Most Reverend Brendan Cahill, Bishop of Victoria, and the Most Reverend Eduardo Nevares, Auxiliary Bishop of Phoenix. Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Cahill serve on 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.
Even before beginning her nearly 15 years as the executive director of the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD), Janice Benton had already spent 25 years in ministry and advocacy for and with persons with disabilities. Jan has been a prophetic voice in upholding the dignity of every human life, especially the marginalized and those at risk of neglect or assisted suicide.
Msgr. Joseph A. Ranieri is the Coordinator of Pastoral Care of Priests in the Archdiocese of Washington, where he has also served as parish priest, pastor, and in countless other roles throughout his 60 years of priesthood. Monsignor Ranieri assists his diocesan Project Rachel Ministry in many capacities. He is also an active member of the Project Rachel Ministry National Training Team for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Finally, the secretariat will honor James J. Hanson posthumously for his tireless efforts to oppose assisted suicide and for his own personal witness to the dignity of every human person, especially those facing a terminal illness. J.J. Hanson served as president of the Patients' Rights Action Fund, promoting measures that protect patients' civil rights and working against efforts to legalize assisted suicide.
The awardees join 31 other People of Life award recipients since the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities established the award in 2007. More information on previous recipients and on the People of Life campaign is available at www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/people-of-life/people-of-life-award.cfm
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, abortion, assisted suicide, People of Life, terminal illness, Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II
U.S. Bishop Delegates Approved for Upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment
Posted on 07/23/2018 07:48 AM (USCCB News Releases)
The delegates are:
· Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
· Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
· Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
· Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Diocese of Bridgeport, member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
Robert E. Barron, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Chairman of the USCCB Committee
on Evangelization and Catechesis
· Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archdiocese of Newark, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations
The XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops has been convened by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, along with the Vatican Synod Office. In preparation for this Synod, the USCCB and other episcopal conferences, as well as ecclesial movements, associations, and experts in the field, were consulted throughout 2017 on the topic of "young people, the faith, and vocational discernment." In addition, the Vatican collected responses from an online questionnaire aimed at youth and young adults conducted last year. In March 2018, over 300 young adult delegates gathered in Rome, where Pope Francis convened a pre-synod gathering to listen directly to the voice of young people from around the world. The gathering produced a Final Pre-Synodal document.
The Working Document ("Instrumentum Laboris") for the October Synod was released in late June 2018 and includes a summary of all the Synod consultations to date. It describes the purpose of the 2018 Synod of Bishops as an opportunity for the Church "to accompany all young people, without exception, towards the joy of love," realizing that "taking care of young people is not an optional task for the Church, but an integral part of her vocation and mission is history."
Cardinal Joseph Tobin, C.Ss.R., of Newark, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, welcomed the recent release of the Synod Working Document, saying:
"After a lively discussion with our brother bishops at the Spring 2018 General Assembly on the topic of the Synod, we are happy to receive this Instrumentum Laboris, and look forward to exploring how it sheds light on the pastoral challenges of United States. The 2018 Synod will powerfully renew the Catholic Church's engagement with youth and young adults, and provide a deeper understanding of vocational discernment."
The official Vatican website for the Synod, which is inclusive of the Pre-Synod gathering, is
The official USCCB webpage for the Synod is www.usccb.org/synod-2018.
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, XV Ordinary General Assembly, Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment, 2018 Synod, Office for the Synod of Bishops, delegates, youth, young adults, pre-synod gathering, Instrumentum Laboris
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Announces New Book on Pope Francis’s Vision for the Permanent Diaconate
Posted on 07/23/2018 07:33 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is making available a new book titled, Pope Francis, Deacons: Servants of Charity.
Written through the eyes of a deacon, this study of the permanent diaconate discerns who deacons are in relation to the Church and the service that flows from their interior character as ordained ministers, preachers of the Word, and models of Christ. As deacons move along the path of charity, they herald the Good News of Jesus Christ in the world.
The narrative takes the reader through Pope Francis's vision for the permanent diaconate as ministers to the community of believers, in the service of Christ, their bishop, the poor, and the Body of Christ. This story additionally reviews the renewal of the permanent diaconate and significant magisterial teachings on the office of the diaconate. It looks at Pope Francis's words as bishop of Buenos Aires and his papal teachings, including his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.
This beautiful narrative draws the reader into the sacred ministry of the diaconate and will inspire deacons, those thinking of becoming deacons, and all those drawn to the service of charity in the Church.
The USCCB has made the book available for order online at: https://store.usccb.org/deacons-servants-of-charity-p/7-583.htm
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, deacons, diaconate, Servants of Charity, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Evangelii Gaudium., Jesus Christ, Holy Father, Body of Christ
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Chairman of U.S Bishops’ Conference Committee on Pro-Life Activities Calls for National Prayer Effort That Every Human Being is Protected In Law And Welcomed in Life
Posted on 07/19/2018 08:48 AM (USCCB News Releases)
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 inviting all people of good will to join in a prayer campaign that the change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life.
Cardinal Dolan's full statement follows:
"As soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, we can and should raise grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade. And we must pray.
Each Friday, from August 3 - September 28, 2018, I urge all people of good will to join me in prayer that this change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. The USCCB Call to Prayer network will share prayers and educational resources and an invitation to fast on Fridays for this intention.
May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for the healing of our nation and our people from decades of abortion on demand."
Call to Prayer materials will be accessible at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/call-to-prayer/legal-protection-of-human-life.cfm. Those wishing to join this nine-week prayer effort can sign up at www.usccb.org/pray to participate in this and subsequent Call to Prayer initiatives via email or text message.