Share the Journey: Week of Prayer and Action

Caritas’ global 2-year campaign promotes Pope Francis’ ‘culture of encounter’, aiming to build stronger communities. Caritas is mobilising its organisations in over 160 countries to look at the causes of migration, bust myths about migrants and to bring migrants and communities closer together.

“I invite all of you to remember who the migrants are in your families and communities. Who are the people from afar who are often right in front of our eyes, but whom we often do not see? Now is the time to see them and reach out to them. Now is the time to Share the Journey.”

Pope Francis will launch Caritas Internationalis’ global campaign on migration – ‘Share the Journey’ on Wednesday 27th September 2017 – 12.30 PM.

10.00 am – The pope will give his support to the campaign during his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square.

12.30pm – Caritas will host a press meeting point* with interviewees and information. Vatican Press Office, via della Conciliazione 54, Rome.

  • Cardinal Luis Tagle, president of Caritas Internationalis and the descendent of migrants himself.
  • Sister Norma Pimentel, director of Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, USA.
  • Bekele Moges, director of Caritas Ethiopia.
  • Oliviero Forti, head of Caritas Italy’s Migration Office.
  • People who are migrants and refugees.

For more information, go to Share the Journey.

Statement From President Of U.S. Bishops Conference – Mexico Earthquake

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued the following statement to the people of Mexico following yesterday’s powerful earthquake that struck southeast of Mexico City. The death toll has now surpassed 200. As the desperate search for survivors continues, Cardinal DiNardo calls for prayers for those suffering from the catastrophic earthquake.

Full statement follows:

“Once again, our hearts go out to our brothers and sisters in Mexico, who yesterday suffered yet another catastrophic earthquake, on the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that claimed the lives of thousands of people. The states principally affected were Morelos, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Guerrero, Oaxaca, Mexico State, and the capital, Mexico City.

“Today Pope Francis at his General Audience expressed his solidarity with the Mexican people, and implored ‘Almighty God to welcome all those who lost their lives.’ The Mexican bishops expressed their condolences to all those affected, and highlighted the generous fraternal affection the nation is witnessing in the response and rescue efforts: ‘Once again, we are witnessing the solidarity of the Mexican people, who sees a brother and sister in those who are suffering.’

“We join them in prayer and solidarity, and together invoke the maternal protection of our Lady of Guadalupe, Comforter of the Afflicted and Mother Most Merciful.”

U.S. Bishops Chairman Urges Administration To Raise Cap On Refugee Admissions

WASHINGTON—This week, U.S. refugee admissions reached the historically low cap of 50,000 refugees allowed to be resettled in the United States for Fiscal Year 2017, as set forth by the Administration’s March 6th Executive Order 13780. Executive Order 13780 altered the initial Fiscal Year 2017 Presidential Determination which authorized the resettlement of 110,000 refugees into the United States. Currently there are approximately 22.5 million refugees seeking protection globally.

The following is a statement in response to the resettlement cap from Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration:

“I note with sadness that the new U.S. refugee admissions cap of 50,000 individuals has been reached this week. While certain refugees who have ‘bona fide relationships’ will still be allowed to arrive, I remain deeply concerned about the human consequences of this limitation and its impact on vulnerable refugees such as unaccompanied refugee children, elderly and infirm refugees, and religious minorities. Now, these vulnerable populations will not be able to access needed protection and will continue to face danger and exploitation. Pope Francis reminds us that ‘refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity.’ We must be mindful that every refugee is more than just a number, they are a child of God.

Looking forward, my brother bishops and I urge the Administration to allow 75,000 refugees to arrive to our country in the next fiscal year. As I stated in March 2017, in relation to this particular Executive Order, ‘Resettling only 50,000 refugees a year, down from 110,000, does not reflect the need, our compassion, and our capacity as a nation.’ We firmly believe that as a nation the United States has the good will, character, leadership, and resources to help more vulnerable people seek refuge.  Most importantly, the Church will continue to serve and stand in solidarity with refugees, welcoming and accompanying them on their journey to protection and safety.”

The full letter from March 17 can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-048.cfm

Pope Francis Names Father Andrew Bellisario As New Bishop Of Juneau

Pope Francis has named Father Andrew Bellisario as the new bishop of Juneau, Alaska.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, July 11,2017, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Andrew Bellisario was born in Los Angeles on December 19, 1955. Father Bellisario is a member of the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentian Fathers and Brothers) founded by Saint Vincent de Paul in 1625.

Bishop-elect Bellisario began Vincentian novitiate studies in Santa Barbara in 1975 at St. Mary’s Seminary and professed final vows at St. Mary’s Seminary in Perryville, Missouri in 1978. He was ordained a priest in Los Angeles on June 16, 1984.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree from St. Mary’s Seminary in Perryville in 1980 and later earned a master of divinity degree from DeAndreis Seminary in Lemont, Illinois in 1984.

Assignments after ordination included dean of students, St. Vincent’s Seminary, Montebello, California (1984-1986); parochial vicar, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello (1986-1989); administrator, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello (1989-1990); pastor, St. Vincent DePaul Church, Huntington Beach (1990-1995); pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Patterson (1995-1998); provincial treasurer/consultor, DePaul Center Resident, Montebello ((1996-2002); Director, DePaul Evangelization Center, Montebello (1998-2002); superior, DePaul Center Residents, Montebello (2001-2002); provincial, Province Leadership, Montebello (2002-2010); director, Daughters of Charity, Los Altos (2003-2015); pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral, Anchorage (2014-present); superior, International Missions in Alaska (2015-present).

The diocese of Cleveland comprises 3,414 square miles and has a total population of approximately 2,774,113 people of which 682,948 or 24 percent. are Catholic.

The diocese of Juneau comprises 37,566 square miles and has a total population of approximately 75,000 people of which 10,000 or 13 percent, are Catholic.

Pope Francis Names Auxiliary Bishop Nelson Perez As New Bishop Of Cleveland

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson Perez, up until now Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, as the new bishop of Cleveland.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, July 11,2017, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Nelson Perez, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, was born June 16, 1961, in Miami, Florida, and ordained a priest for the Philadelphia Archdiocese on May 20, 1989.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Montclair State University and master of divinity and master of arts degrees from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia.  In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.

Assignments after ordination included parochial vicar, St. Ambrose Parish, Philadelphia, (1989-1993); director of the Archdiocesan (Hispanic) Institute for Evangelization, (1993-2002); pastor, St. William Parish, Philadelphia, (2002-2009); and pastor, St. Agnes Parish, West Chester, Pennsylvania, (2009-2012). He also served as assistant director of the Archdiocesan Office for Hispanic Catholics, (1990-1993), and served on the archdiocesan Council of Priests, (2003-2005).

Bishop Perez is a current member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and is also Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

On June 8, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Perez an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He was ordained as bishop on July 25, 2012.

U.S. And European Catholic Bishops Call For Strategy To Eliminate Nuclear Weapons Globally

WASHINGTON—A joint declaration issued today by U.S. and European Catholic bishops calls for all nations to work together to develop a “credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Entitled “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security,” the declaration was issued to coincide with the conclusion of a meeting hosted this week by the United Nations “to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.” Although the United States and most European nations are not joining these negotiations, the Catholic bishops acknowledge, “[t]he fact that most of the world’s nations are participating in this effort testifies to the urgency of their concern, an urgency intensified by the prospect of nuclear terrorism and proliferation, and to the inequality and dissatisfaction of non-nuclear states about the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament efforts.”

Recognizing the need for national and international security, the bishops of the United States and Europe implore the leaders of their nations to work with other countries to promote peace through nuclear disarmament. “The indiscriminate and disproportionate nature of nuclear weapons, compel the world to move beyond nuclear deterrence,” the declaration reads. “We call upon the United States and European nations to work with other nations to map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“The teaching of our Church – from the Catechism to Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis – about the urgent need for nuclear disarmament is clear,” said Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace.  “It is time for us to heed this moral imperative and promote human security both within the United States and Europe, and globally.”

The declaration is signed by Bishop Cantú and Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of European Justice and Peace Commissions.

The full text of the joint declaration is available at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/nuclear-weapons/nuclear-disarmament-seeking-human-security-2017-07-06.cfm or www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/war-and-peace/nuclear-weapons/upload/Multilateral-Nuclear-Disarmament-July-6-2017.pdf

Pope Names Bishop Zarama As Bishop Of Raleigh

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Luis Zarama, auxiliary bishop of Atlanta as Bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, July 5, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-designate Zarama was born November 28, 1958, in Pasto, Colombia. He holds degrees in philosophy and theology from the Marian University in Pasto, and a degree in Canon Law from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1993. He served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Atlanta; he then served as a member of the Vocations Committee. Bishop Zarama was named vicar general of the Archdiocese in April of 2006 and in 2008 he was appointed to serve as the judicial vicar for the Archdiocese’s Metropolitan Tribunal. He is also a member of the Archdiocesan Personnel Review Board. He was named auxiliary bishop of Atlanta on July 27, 2009.

As a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), he is currently an alternate member for region XIV of the Administrative Committee.

The Diocese of Raleigh comprises 32,000 square miles and it has total population of 4,874,815 people of which 231,230 are Catholic.

Pope Francis Names Monsignor Schlert As New Bishop Of Allentown

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Monsignor Alfred A. Schlert as Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Monsignor Schlert is currently the diocesan administrator of the diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, June 27, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect Schlert was born in Easton, Pennsylvania July 24, 1961. He prepared for the priesthood at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary near Philadelphia and the Pontifical Roman Seminary and St. John Lateran University in Rome. He received a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Lateran University in 1992.  He was ordained a priest on September 19, 1987.

Assignments after ordination included: assistant pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Allentown; professor at his alma mater Notre Dame High School; and Catholic chaplain at Lehigh University. He was named Vice Chancellor and Secretary to the bishop in 1997; and was named vicar general of the diocese of Allentown in 1998.

Pope St. John Paul II named him Chaplain to His Holiness with the title of Monsignor in 1999. Pope Benedict named him a Prelate of Honor, the second highest rank of Monsignor, in 2005.

While still serving as Vicar General, he was still pastor of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Church in Hellertown, 2008-2010, when he resumed full time service as vicar general.

In addition, Bishop-elect Schlert is Vice President of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and a member of its Administrative Board.  He also served on the diocesan Council of Priests, the diocesan Financial Council, and the diocesan College of Consultors. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for DeSales University.

The Diocese of Allentown has been a vacant see since December, 2016 when it was announced Pope Francis had transferred Allentown Bishop John O. Barres to serve as Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Center in Long Island, New York.

The Diocese comprises 2,773 square miles and it has total population of approximately 1,161,932 people of which 272,300, or 23 percent, are Catholic.

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation Of Auxiliary Bishop Of Boston

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston. Bishop Kennedy is retiring having reached the retirement age for bishops of 75 on January 9.

The resignation and appointment was publicized in Washington, June 30, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Kennedy was appointed by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on June 30, 2010 and was installed as auxiliary bishop on September 14, 2010. Other posts included Titular Bishop of Timidana. He chose as his episcopal motto: Ut cognoscant te, meaning, “so that they may know you.”

A native of the Archdiocese of Boston, Bishop Kennedy was ordained to the priesthood on December 17, 1966. From 2002-2005, amidst his assignments as university professor at St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Kennedy served as executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Most recently, he also served as Rector of Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, from July 2007 until July 2012.

The Archdiocese of Boston comprises 2,465 square miles. It has a total population of 4,147,275  people of which 1,949,219 or 47 percent, are Catholic. Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, GCIH OFM Cap, is the current Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Boston.

From the USCCB: Pope Francis names Bishop Charles Thompson of Evansville as New Archbishop of Indianapolis

From the USCCB:

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Charles Thompson, of Evansville, Indiana, as Archbishop of Indianapolis.

The appointment was publicized in Washington, June 13, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop-designate Thompson, was born April 11, 1961, in Louisville. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in accounting from Bellarmine College, a master of divinity degree from St. Meinrad School of Theology, and a licentiate in Canon Law from St. Paul University in Ottawa. He was ordained a priest for the Louisville Archdiocese in 1987 and was ordained and installed as Bishop of Evansville on June 29, 2011.

As a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he is currently a member of the Administrative Committee, the Committee on Priorities and Plans, and the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has been a vacant see since November 7, 2016. The Archdiocese comprises 13,758 square miles and it has total population of 2,621,455 people of which 223,815 or nine percent, are Catholic.