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Pope names two auxiliaries for Detroit, one for Orange

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WASHINGTON — Pope Francis named three new auxiliary bishops, two for Detroit and one for Orange, Calif. The appointments were announced Nov. 23 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Robert J. Fisher, pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Mich., is seen in this undated photo. Pope Francis named the priest an auxiliary bishop of the Detroit Archdiocese Nov. 23. (CNS photo/courtesy Archdiocese of Detroit)

Father Robert J. Fisher, pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Mich., is seen in this undated photo. Pope Francis named the priest an auxiliary bishop of the Detroit Archdiocese Nov. 23. (CNS photo/courtesy Archdiocese of Detroit)

For Detroit, Pope Francis named Father Gerard W. Battersby, 56, vice rector and dean of formation at Detroit’s Sacred Heart Major Seminary, and Father Robert J. Fisher, 57, pastor of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, Royal Oak, Michigan.

The current episcopal vicar for clergy for the Diocese of Orange, Father Timothy Freyer, 53, was named an auxiliary of that diocese.

Bishop-designate Battersby holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Detroit’s Wayne State University and a master of divinity degree from Sacred Heart seminary. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit in 1998. He received a licentiate in sacred theology from Rome’s Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, where he is currently pursuing his doctorate in the same topic.

He has served in various Detroit-area parishes as well as at the seminary and as a member of the archdiocesan presbyteral council.

Bishop-designate Fisher earned a bachelor of science in management from the University of Detroit and earned his master of divinity from Sacred Heart. He pursued additional studies in theology and was ordained a priest in 1992.

He, too, served in various Detroit-area parishes and on the presbyteral council. From 1995-2000 he also served as director of vocations for the archdiocese.

Bishop-designate Freyer, who was born in Los Angeles, was ordained a priest in 1989. He earned his bachelor of arts degree from St. John Seminary College in Camarillo, California. He served in various parishes and, since 2012, has served as episcopal vicar for clergy.

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St. Vincent de Paul Society chef in Phoenix serves 4,500 meals daily

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Catholic News Service

PHOENIX — Chris Hoffman is cooking for 4,500 guests this holiday season, yet he’s cool as a cucumber.

“It should go well,” he said. “We did it last year and it went very smoothly.”

The confident executive chef runs the sprawling kitchen of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix. He credits his staff and cadre of volunteers with making his job practically stress-free.

Executive chef Chris Hoffman looks over trays of steaming sweet potatoes in the kitchen of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix Nov. 17. Society staff and volunteers prepare 4,500 meals a day and will do more for Thanksgiving and Christmas. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Executive chef Chris Hoffman looks over trays of steaming sweet potatoes in the kitchen of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix Nov. 17. Society staff and volunteers prepare 4,500 meals a day and will do more for Thanksgiving and Christmas. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

“I have a reliable staff. A reliable kitchen team,” Hoffman told Catholic News Service as he made kitchen rounds one week before Thanksgiving. “We do a lot of food for a lot of people.”

Beef stew simmered in a huge vat. Pork loin sizzled in a roaster. Large trays of freshly baked cookies were being pulled from hot ovens. Volunteers, who execute much of the food prep, were busy slicing and dicing a number of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The food would be dished out to the homeless population and to families in need at several dining rooms in the Phoenix area.

Preparing thousands of meals is nothing new for Chef Hoffman’s kitchen. The staff and volunteers accomplish it every day. The holiday menu though is special.

Hoffman said St. Vincent’s turkey-day feast will include more than 200 oven-roasted birds, 50 gallons of gravy, 2,000 pounds of potatoes, 2,500 pounds of stuffing, lots of cranberries and 4,800 slices of pumpkin pie.

His kitchen will also turn out holiday specialties such as sweet-potato pies, tamales and decorated cookies.

“I’m very fortunate to be part of the St. Vincent de Paul team,” the chef said. “We have wonderful volunteers, a wonderful staff, a staff that cares very much about our clients.”

He said he is grateful to the society, and not only because he’s head chef.

“St. Vincent de Paul helped me a number of years ago with my family.”

Raised in New York, Hoffman was cooking at an early age because his mother worked many hours. He said he learned more about cuisine from an uncle, a Catholic priest who enjoyed good food.

After receiving his degree in the culinary arts and cooking in several restaurants, Hoffman was hired by the Ritz Carlton in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Later, he returned to the States, resettling in Arizona with his wife and their infant daughter.

In a new state with his young family, “it was just hard getting back into the workforce,” he recalled.

The family had some setbacks, so he called on St. Vincent de Paul for assistance. The society provided him with food boxes, help with rent and utilities, and a car to use while he looked for work.

“I’m forever grateful for that help,” he said. “It’’s something that I will always remember and (it’s) why I’m here now.”

He worked as a chef at the Phoenician, a luxury resort in Scottsdale, before answering an ad for the executive chef position at St. Vincent’s in the summer of 2015.

As the chef moved around the kitchen during the interview, he stopped next to volunteer Joe DeLibero, who was busy breaking down a 50-pound bag of onions.

“Want some help?”” Hoffman asked, and he sharpened his knife and started in on the onions.

DeLibero, who volunteers in the kitchen two days a week, seemed immune to the eye-watering effluvium of cut onions. He worked methodically next to the chef.

When Hoffman was called away from the cutting board, DeLibero offered his thoughts.

“He’s a great chef and a wonderful person,” he said of Hoffman. “He shows a lot of respect for the workers and volunteers. And the food is really good.”

Hoffman joked that he’s a chef because he loves to eat, but what motivates him is the ability to provide people with a base necessity.

“I’m a chef because I love to feed people and see people smile and make them happy,” he said. “It’s a real good feeling to know that you’re providing for people.

“We’re not here to put out perfect food. We’re here to put out good food, nutritious food for our guests. And the main thing is, we’re kind to people. We help people.”

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Cardinal Dolan urges stronger effort to stop physician-assisted suicide

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WASHINGTON — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities has called for increased efforts and “renewed vigor” to stop legalized physician-assisted suicide after the practice was approved by voters in Colorado and the District of Columbia City Council.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York urged Catholics to join medical professionals, disability rights groups and others “in fighting for the authentic care” of people facing terminal illness in a statement released Nov. 21.

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan speaks Nov. 14 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan speaks Nov. 14 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

“The act of prescribing a fatal, poisonous dose, moreover, undermines the very heart of medicine,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Doctors vow to do no harm, and yet assisted suicide is the ultimate abandonment of their patients.”

His concern comes after voters in Colorado passed a physician-assisted suicide measure that was on the ballot Nov. 8. The law also allows insurance companies to refuse treatment of patients they consider terminal.

Colorado became the sixth state in the nation with a so-called “right-to-die law,” joining Washington, Oregon, California, Vermont and Montana.

In Washington, D.C. City Council members in a second vote Nov. 15 approved the “Death with Dignity Act” that permits physicians in the district to legally prescribe the drugs to patients who have been deemed mentally competent and who have received a terminal diagnosis of six months or less. Under the measure, third parties are allowed to administer the drugs used in the procedure. The bill goes to Mayor Muriel Bowser to veto it, sign it or let it become law without any action on her part. If it becomes law, it would be subject to congressional review before it takes affect.

Cardinal Dolan called the district’s measure “the most expansive and dangerous so far” because it opens “the door to even further coercion and abuse.”

“Every suicide is tragic, whether someone is young or old, healthy or sick,” the cardinal added. “But the legalization of doctor-assisted suicide creates two classes of people: those whose suicides are to be prevented at any cost, and those whose suicides are deemed a positive good.

“We remove weapons and drugs that can cause harm to one group, while handing deadly drugs to the other, setting up yet another kind of life-threatening discrimination,” he continued. “This is completely unjust. Our inherent human dignity does not wane with the onset of illness or incapacity, and so all are worthy of protection.”

Seriously ill people require “authentic support, including doctors fully committed to their welfare and pain management as they enter their final days,” the statement said. “Patients need our assurance that they are not a burden; that it is a privilege to care for them as we ourselves hope to be cared for one day. A compassionate society devotes more attention, not less, to members facing the most vulnerable times in their lives.”

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement on assisted suicide 2011 titled “To Live Each Day with Dignity,” the full text is online at http://bit.ly/2ga5cht.  

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New York court rules Archbishop Sheen’s remains belong in Peoria

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Catholic News Service

PEORIA, Ill. — The Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled Nov. 17 in favor of the family of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen regarding their request to allow the transfer of the sainthood candidate’s remains to Peoria, where he was raised and ordained a priest.

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen preaches from a pulpit in an undated file photo. A New York court ruled Nov. 17 that Archbishop Sheen’s remains belong in Peoria, Ill. (CNS file photo)

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen preaches from a pulpit in an undated file photo. A New York court ruled Nov. 17 that Archbishop Sheen’s remains belong in Peoria, Ill. (CNS file photo)

On Nov. 1, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arlene Bluth heard arguments in favor of the transfer from lawyers for Archbishop Sheen’s niece, Joan Sheen Cunningham, as well as those from the Archdiocese of New York, which sought to keep the remains of the famed orator and media pioneer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where he was entombed following his death on Dec. 9, 1979.

The Diocese of Peoria has been a promoter of Archbishop Sheen’s canonization cause for more than 14 years. The ruling is seen as a key factor in allowing his cause to move forward. There was no immediate response from the New York Archdiocese.

“The petitioner (Joan Sheen Cunningham) is granted the right to remove the remains of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen from St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York … to St. Mary’s Cathedral (in Peoria),” ruled Bluth at the close of a 10-page decision.

The court, she said, deferred to the wishes of the family “because petitioner has set forth a justifiable, good, and substantial reason for moving the remains.”

Among the reasons cited for disinterment is that the move will aid in the canonization process; that Archbishop Sheen’s parents are buried nearby in Peoria; and that St. Mary’s Cathedral is where Archbishop Sheen was ordained a priest and a place he visited often during his lifetime.

Archbishop Sheen’s heroic virtue and life of sanctity were recognized in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI, who granted him the title “Venerable.” The Diocese of Peoria has said that, with progress already made in the cause and pending the approval of Pope Francis, a beatification could be celebrated in the near future after the arrival of the remains at St. Mary’s Cathedral, where a crypt is being prepared for his re-interment.

“It is our intention to begin working with the Archdiocese of New York to make this process happen as soon as possible,” according to a statement from the Diocese of Peoria.

The future archbishop was born May 8, 1885, in El Paso to Delia and Newt Sheen and was the oldest of four sons. Though he was known as Fulton, his mother’s maiden name, he was baptized as Peter John Sheen.

The family moved to Peoria so that Fulton and his brothers could attend St. Mary Cathedral Grade School and Spalding Institute. Fulton made his first Communion at the cathedral and was an altar server in the sanctuary.

At his Sept. 20, 1919, ordination, then-Father Sheen consecrated his priesthood to Mary before a statue of Our Lady that is still revered in the cathedral. After completing his advanced studies in Europe, he returned to priestly ministry in Peoria until his bishop released him to teach at The Catholic University of America in Washington where he remained on the faculty for nearly 30 years.

Archbishop Sheen was a pioneer in radio and television. He already was famous for his radio addresses on “The Catholic Hour” when he became national director of the Propagation of the Faith in 1950, a post he held till 1966. That period that overlapped with his popular national television broadcasts of the 1950s. He won the 1951 Emmy for outstanding television personality for his show “Life Is Worth Living.”

He was an auxiliary bishop of the New York Archdiocese from 1951 to 1966, then was bishop of Rochester, N. Y., from 1966 to 1969. He was given the personal title of archbishop when he retired from that diocesan post and moved back to New York. He spent his final years preaching retreats and missions.

Archbishop Sheen wrote dozens of books, including his autobiography: “Treasure in Clay.”

In 2000, the Archbishop Sheen Foundation was officially organized and two years later, Peoria Bishop Daniel R. Jenky petitioned the Vatican to open the canonization process.

In 2011, the diocese submitted the case of a child, born without heartbeat or respiration, who revived after 61 minutes through the intercession of Archbishop Sheen. In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI declared Archbishop Sheen “venerable,” meaning he lived a life of heroic virtues. The next steps would be beatification and canonization.

In general two miracles are needed for sainthood, one for beatification and the second for canonization.

If the case of the child is deemed by the Vatican to be a miracle that occurred through the intercession of Archbishop Sheen, officials in the Peoria Diocese said his beatification would take place in Peoria.

 

Dermody is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Post, newspaper of the Diocese of Peoria.

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Church leaders seek to calm fears for migrants worried about Trump

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — At a Nov. 14 news conference in Baltimore, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez talked about the reaction, following the recent outcome of the U.S. presidential election, in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles — home to a large number of immigrants, including many Latinos but also immigrants from places such as the Philippines, China, Korea and Vietnam.

An immigrant mother and daughter are seen in Los Angeles June 23. (CNS photo/Eugene Garcia, EPA)

An immigrant mother and daughter are seen in Los Angeles June 23. (CNS photo/Eugene Garcia, EPA)

“I think the reaction was, especially for the ones that have issues of immigration, of fear,” said the Los Angeles archbishop, about the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, echoing what some church leaders who work with immigrant communities said during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“They were nervous, they don’t know what to make of it, especially many of them who have been here for a long time,” he said. “They have families. So, it is a challenge for them, for the family just even to think that the parents, or one of the parents, are going to be deported.”

President-elect Trump campaigned by saying he would build a wall on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, enact a “massive deportation force,” and end birthright citizenship, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., no matter the immigration status of the parents.

Trump’s comments during the campaign are exactly what makes those like Nancy Reyes, a senior at Jesuit-run Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, worry and fear an upcoming Trump presidency. The weekend after the election, Reyes was in a room full of youths expressing their anxieties and worries at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice, a Catholic social justice conference held in Crystal City, Virginia, where they discussed the president-elect and how his immigration views or future policies could affect them.

Her mother, Reyes said, is “going through the legal process” of obtaining legal status in the U.S. She entered the country without legal documentation when she was five months pregnant with Reyes.

“As of Tuesday (Election Day), the little bit of hope we had went downhill,” said Reyes, adding that “come January, I don’t know if my mom is going to be here or not.”

Christopher Kerr, executive director of the Ignatian Solidarity Network, the group that organizes the social justice conference, which includes Jesuit institutions and youth, said he and others at Jesuit schools have been hearing the concerns, which for some of the students includes their legal status provided by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA. In 2012, President Barack Obama created the policy by executive action, which allows certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to have a work permit and be exempt from deportation.

“We’re concerned about DACA recipients because the government knows everything about them,” including where they live and about their relatives, said Kerr.

Some worry that when Trump becomes president, he could overturn DACA, and there are questions about the future of those 750,000 who signed up and whether they could be deported. As a candidate, Trump opposed DACA and also another policy known as DAPA, or Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents. DAPA grants a work permit and allows some non-U.S. citizens to remain in the country temporarily.

Until there’s more information of what a Trump administration will do regarding immigration, the Ignatian Solidarity Network is trying to keep people informed about potential policies, trying to educate people that their involvement in influencing policy does not end at the voting booth and that they need to maintain relationships with their elected officials year-round, as well as urging others to express solidarity with affected communities, Kerr said.

In Texas, anxiety about a what a new administration will or won’t do, or may do, also is in the air, said Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, in an interview with Catholic News Service in Baltimore, where he was attending the bishops’ meeting. He said he has tried to reassure those who are worried that “we, as a church … we’re paying attention and we’ll be with you. We’ll walk with you as an immigrant community and defend your rights.”

But it’s too early to tell what will happen, Bishop Flores said. Some are wondering what the church will do and can do. Some asked Archbishop Gomez in the general meeting in Baltimore whether the Los Angeles Archdiocese would open sanctuary churches.

“That’s a hypothetical question,” Archbishop Gomez answered. “I don’t know what is going to happen in the future.”

In Texas, especially near the border, dealing with the difficulties that may arise for immigrants has long been part of daily life. Where some see despair, others have seen spiritual opportunity, said Bishop Flores. Catholics from the Brownsville, McAllen, Pharr and other areas, along with people from nearby cities and of various faiths, have been caring for recent arrivals who come through their cities and towns.

Some parishioners, noticing the influx of families and of mothers with young children fleeing violence from Central America, began organizing ways to transport them to their churches, feeding them, and giving provisions for those who had just finished their journeys crossing the border, said Bishop Flores.

“They helped them with food, with clothing, including little tennis shoes for the children, formula for babies,” who have made the dangerous trek north, he said. Then they give them a backpack with supplies for those who set out for other parts of the country seeking relatives to take them in.

“Sometimes, I get a call to the bishop’s office, ‘Why are you helping those illegals?’” said Bishop Flores, but those calls are few. “People have responded in a beautiful way.”

Some of those who have been helping include those who are poor, those who may not have a stable immigration situation to remain in the country themselves, he said.

“This is part of our culture. We’re not scared of the human reality,” said Bishop Flores.

Though church leaders have in the last few days shouted their support for immigrants and refugees, this could be a spiritual opportunity for other church members as well, Bishop Flores said.

“In this sense, this moment in history presents the church in the United States an opportunity to intensify personal conversion,” he said.

Church leaders opposed the record number of deportations under the Obama administration: 2.4 million since 2009, when he took office.

“People have already suffered the separation of families,” said Bishop Flores. “From the point of view of the church, the social fabric of society depends on the family, and when you tear apart children from their parents … they are vulnerable.”

Sister Norma Pimentel, a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, who is executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley in the Brownsville Diocese and works near the border, said even though there’s anxiety and uncertainty, it’s important to try to lift the spirits of others.

“It’s sad,” she said at the Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice. “But my hope never dies.”

She said she hopes as president, Trump will take into account “that these are not bad people, they’re not criminals. These are a people who are hurting.” Her concerns extend also to the situation of those seeking refuge in the U.S. from other parts of world, she said.

“I believe very much in the human person, that (he or she) can be touched and change,” she said. “We have to use our voice but not (to fight)” but help others see the humanity of the vulnerable, to see them as humans and not as burdens.

 

Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.

 

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U.S. church preparing for 2018 ‘Encuentro’ in Fort Worth

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Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — The Catholic Church in the United States is gearing up for the fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, to be held in September 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas.

‘Encuentro’ is the Spanish word for meeting.

The effort got a personal endorsement from Pope Francis during a Nov. 15 video message to the U.S. bishops at their fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, N.Y., greets people following Mass at the diocese's annual Encuentro gathering at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y., Sept. 5. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island)

Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, N.Y., greets people following Mass at the diocese’s annual Encuentro gathering at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, N.Y., Sept. 5. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz, Long Island)

“The church in America as elsewhere is called to go out from its comfort zone and be a leaven of communion –- communion among ourselves, with our fellow Christians, and with all who seek a future of hope,” Pope Francis said in the message.

“The Christian community is meant to be a sign of prophecy, of God’s plan for the entire human family,” the pope said. “We are called to be bearers of good news for a society gripped by disconcerting social, cultural and spiritual shifts and increasing polarization.”

The theme for the “V Encuentro,” as it is known in shorthand, is “Missionary Disciples: Witnesses of God’s Love,” according to Auxiliary Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Rockville Centre, New York, chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

“It is a great opportunity for the church to reach out to our Hispanic brothers and sisters with Christ’s message of hope and love,” he said. “It is a time to listen, a time to develop meaningful relationships, a time to learn and bear abundant fruits, and a time to rejoice in God’s love.”

The V Encuentro will be the culmination of parish, diocesan and regional encuentros, in which the bishops anticipate more than 1 million Catholics participating over the next two years.

Starting in January and going through June next year, missionary activity and consultation will take place. Parish encuentros will take place around the country next May and June in an estimated 5,000 parishes.

In the fall of 2017, diocesan encuentros are scheduled, with expectations that more than 150 dioceses will be taking part with a hoped-for 200,000 participants.

Regional encuentros are slated for March-June 2018, with 10,000 delegates expected; the regions will conform to the U.S. bishops’ 14 episcopal regions.

Then comes the V Encuentro, to be held Sept. 20-23, 2018, in Fort Worth. But that’s not the end as there will be a post-encuentro working document written to implement the V Encuentro’s results.

The ultimate goals of the encuentro process are “two sides of the same coin,” Bishop Perez said. “To discern the ways in which the church in the United States can better respond to Hispanic/Latinos, and strengthen the ways in which Hispanics respond to the call to the new evangelization.”

Among the outcomes Bishop Perez said should result from the V Encuentro are the identification of best practices and pastoral initiatives in the development of resources in parishes, dioceses, schools and national organizations; an increase in the number of vocations to priesthood, religious life and the permanent diaconate; an increase in the percentage of Hispanic students in Catholic schools from the current 15.5 percent to 20 percent; to identify at least 20,000 emerging leaders ready for ongoing formation and ministry in the church; and an increased sense of belonging and stewardship among Hispanics.

 

Follow Pattison on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison.

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Diversity grows: 54 percent of U.S. Catholics born 1982 or after are Hispanic

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Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — The Catholic Church is one of the most culturally diverse institutions in the United States and Catholic institutions and ministries need to adapt and prepare for growing diversity, said a report presented to the country’s bishops Nov. 15.

Altar servers stand outside St. Peter Claver Church in Baltimore before Mass Nov. 14. A report, by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, says Catholic institutions need to adapt to growing diversity. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Altar servers stand outside St. Peter Claver Church in Baltimore before Mass Nov. 14. A report, by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, says Catholic institutions and ministries need to adapt to growing diversity. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

The report, by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church in 2013 to help identify the size and distribution of ethnic communities in the country.

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio, chairman of the committee, called the study groundbreaking because he said it combined, for the first time all available data from Catholic and non-Catholic sources and mapped the multicultural and ethnic diversity of the church nationwide.

Of the world’s estimated 1.3 billion Catholics, the study found, less than 6 percent live in the United States.

Of the U.S. Catholic population: 42,512,591, are white (non-Hispanic); 29,731,302 are Hispanic or Latino; 2,905,935 are Asian, Native Hawaiian; 2,091,925 are black, African-American, African, Afro-Caribbean; and 536,601 are American Indian or Alaskan Native.

“The Catholic Church in the United States has always been a very diverse entity, but it is the first time that all available data was brought together to map this diversity nationwide in remarkable detail,” said Archbishop Garcia-Siller. “It is also the first time that parish life was looked at from the point of view of the experience of diversity. Multicultural parishes are a growing phenomenon in the United States. This is what makes this study so fascinating and groundbreaking.”

To arrive at the numbers, Archbishop Garcia-Siller said, it identified 6,332 parishes with “particular racial, ethnic, cultural and or linguistic” communities, about 36 percent of U.S. parishes.

In 2014, CARA says it began conducting “in-pew surveys” at those parishes and by May 2016, surveys had been completed at most of those parishes

Of those who responded to the survey, the median age was 52 and considerably higher, 62, for non-Hispanic white Catholics. Latino Catholics conversely had a median age of 39.

Another distinction in the report: Catholics born before and after the Second Vatican Council.

The report said three-quarters of those U.S. Catholics born before the Vatican II are non-Hispanic white Catholics. And more than half, 54 percent, of what it calls the millennial-generation Catholics (born 1982 or later) are Hispanic or Latino.

“The thought and behavior of today’s millennial Catholics will likely have a profound effect on the future of the church in the United States,” said CARA in a statement., given that millennials are “removed from pre-Vatican II Catholicism.”

Many of those have Catholics parents with “little or no experience with the traditional Catholic practices and catechesis,” the CARA statement said, adding that this doesn’t mean they are “anti-religious” yet.

Archbishop Garcia-Siller asked the bishops to look at the data, see how it speaks to their regions, and said it could help dioceses plan, set priorities and allocate resources.

 

Follow Guidos on Twitter: @CNS_Rhina.

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Cardinal DiNardo, new USCCB president, says bishops ‘intend to be attentive’

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Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — The newly elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he is not planning on “creating a new vision” but hopes to continue the bishops’ priorities particularly focusing on dialogue and listening to Catholics.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston addresses a news conference Nov. 15 at the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. The cardinal was elected USCCB president that morning. Seated to his left is Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, who was elected USCCB vice president. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston addresses a news conference Nov. 15 at the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. The cardinal was elected USCCB president that morning. Seated to his left is Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, who was elected USCCB vice president. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

The bishops “intend to be attentive,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston hours after his Nov. 15 election to a three-year term that begins at the close of the bishops’ fall assembly in Baltimore.

For the past three years, he has served as USCCB vice president, a role that typically leads to election as president. He succeeds Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky.

The cardinal said he plans to focus on the needs and concerns of Catholics, particularly members of the immigrant community who fear deportation with the recent election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. But he also said he remained hopeful about working with the new administration, saying its newness “offers options and possibilities.”

“We hope for a whole lot. This is brand new,” he told Catholic News Service.

The cardinal said he would listen to the voices of the immigrants and would work to ensure government leaders treat them with dignity, adding that the church in the U.S. has always stood with immigrants.

“We make our voices heard,” he said, “not by screaming in the streets but rather our voices are heard in the streets by our care and concern and our clarity, what we think is essential.”

Cardinal DiNardo, 67, said the key part of his role remains as a church leader, which is “where we show our shepherd’s heart.”

His Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston includes 1.3 million Catholics, 440 priests in 146 parishes and 60 schools spread over 8,880 square miles.

The cardinal, who was born in Steubenville, Ohio, was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1977 and named a bishop 20 years later. He is a former bishop of Sioux City, Iowa. He has been archbishop of Galveston-Houston since 2006. He was named a cardinal in 2007 and participated in the 2013 conclave that elected Pope Francis.

This summer, after the shooting of police officers in Dallas in response to shootings by police officers, Cardinal DiNardo said: “These tragedies call for our prayer for healing and for change. It seems as though at times our hearts are stony and paralyzed. We need God’s spirit of mercy to melt them and reopen our hearts to the beauty of human life and to rebuilding human communities.”

 

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U.S. bishops OK four-year 740-things-to-do list

By

Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — A new strategic plan adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Nov. 15 during its fall general assembly reflects the efforts of Pope Francis to establish a more merciful and accompanying church, said the archbishop who led the planning process.

Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, listens to a speaker Nov. 15 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, listens to a speaker Nov. 15 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

The plan, adopted by a vote of 199-4 with two abstentions, will govern the work of the conference and its committees from 2017 through 2020. It takes effect in January.

“We have adapted these priorities to coincide with the priorities of Pope Francis,” Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans and chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Priorities and Plans, told the assembled bishops before their vote.

The plan incorporates the theme “Encountering the Mercy of Christ and Accompanying His People With Joy” in setting five priorities: evangelization, marriage and family life, human life and dignity, vocations, and religious freedom. In total, the five priorities identify more than 740 individual projects to accomplish during the next four years.

Cardinal-designate Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis, who recently was appointed archbishop of Newark, N.J., asked where in the plan might be concern for the environment and people who are experiencing the negative effects of climate change.

“It is more urgent than ever given the possibility that the new (presidential) administration is not going to be interested in the issues Pope Francis is interested in,” Cardinal-designate Tobin said.

Archbishop Aymond responded that the plan’s work on the environment, climate change and a response to the needs of people on the margins of society worldwide falls under the human life and dignity priority.

In that section, one of the areas addressed includes teaching and advocating about what the pope has described as integral ecology, “emphasizing environmental degradation and its impact on the lives of the most vulnerable.”

The plan also calls for the U.S. church to move from a “silo approach” to ministry as expressed through the USCCB committees to deeper collaboration and cooperation in service of each bishops’ ministry.

“Committee chairmen and committee members will need to make sure we stay on track,” Archbishop Aymond told the assembly.

The plan, more than a year under discussion by the bishops through their committees, subcommittees and an ad hoc committee, stems in large part from Pope Francis’ message to the bishops when he visited the U.S. in 2015.

The 28-page document offers an overview of the plan and outlines several specific areas to address under each priority. Much of the plan was developed to support individuals of all ages as well as families as people go through daily life and to encourage actions that carry out what is described as “missionary discipleship.”

Another passage in the plan stresses that it charts “a path of hope for the people in need of a loving embrace as they face the challenges of the world.”

      Further, the document states, “The USCCB strategic plan exists to serve the mission of evangelization entrusted in a particular way to each bishop; it is the tool the U.S. bishops rely upon to prioritize, organize, optimize and resource good works which will allow the conference to fulfill its mission.”

      Two major events are expected to help achieve the priorities including the national Convocation of Catholic Leaders scheduled for July 1-4, 2017, in Orlando, Florida, and the V Encuentro for Hispanic Latino Ministry in 2018.

      Thousands of Catholics are expected at each event to discuss, learn, pray and act on ideas to strengthen the church at the local level and inspire new leaders to take on the challenges posed by modern society.

      The strategic plan also mentions that the early projects being undertaken will help the bishops as they prepare a pastoral letter on race relations that is planned for the 50th anniversary of the death of civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 2018.

      In his presentation Nov. 14, Atlanta Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, as chairman of the the USCCB Task Force to Promote Peace in Our Communities, urged his brother bishops to issue the statement on racism sooner than scheduled, because of the racial turmoil that has affected many of the nation’s communities after police shootings of African-Americans. The archbishop also said such a statement would help address postelection tensions across the country.

 Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski.

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U.S. bishops elect Texas cardinal president of their conference

By

Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected president of the U.S. bishops’ conference Nov. 15 for a three-year term to begin at the conclusion of the bishops’ annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Cardinal DiNardo collected a majority of votes on the first ballot of voting during the second day of the bishops’ public session. Based on the number of bishops voting, 104 votes were needed for election, and Cardinal DiNardo, the current vice president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, received 113.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston,  Nov. 15 at the annual fall general assembly of the USCCB in Baltimore, was elected president of the conference, succeeding Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., (at right). (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Nov. 15 at the annual fall general assembly of the USCCB in Baltimore, was elected president of the conference, succeeding Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., (at right). (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

He will succeed Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, whose three-year term as president concludes at the end of the meeting.

Elected vice president was Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles. By virtue of his election, Archbishop Gomez will not take over as chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration. He was elected last year as chairman-elect of the committee and was to succeed the current outgoing chairman, Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo of Seattle, at the end of this year’s general assembly.

A lunchtime meeting was scheduled for the committee to advance two names for chairman to be voted on by the full body of bishops.

Archbishop Gomez was elected vice president on the third ballot.

Under rules established by the USCCB, the names of 10 bishops who are willing to be nominated for the USCCB presidency are presented for voting. After a president is elected, the remaining nine are then considered for the vice presidency.

If no candidate of the nine has received a simple majority after two ballots, the third ballot features only the two top vote-getters in the second round. Archbishop Gomez was elected over Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans.

The other nominees were, in alphabetical order, Archbishops Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia and Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City; Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, the only non-archbishop among the original 10; and Archbishops William E. Lori of Baltimore, Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit, Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, and John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The bishops also voted for chairmen-elect of five standing committees and three representatives for the board of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ overseas relief and development agency.

The standing committees include Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Evangelization and Catechesis; International Justice and Peace; and Protection of Children and Young People.

The chairmen-elect each will begin a three-year term as chairmen at the end of the bishops’ fall general assembly in 2017:

— Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance: Bishop Robert P. Deeley of Portland, Maine, elected over Bishop David M. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, 111 to 89.

— Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs: Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, elected over Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland, California, 115 to 90.

— Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis: Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles elected over Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, 122 to 90.

– Committee on International Justice and Peace: Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services elected over Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego, 127 to 88.

— Committee on Protection of Children and Young People: Bishop Timothy L. Doherty of Lafayette, Indiana, elected over Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Yakima, Washington, 128 to 86.

Also several chairmen-elect chosen last year will become committee chairmen at the end of this year’s assembly and will serve three-year terms:

— Divine Worship: Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta.

— Domestic Justice and Human Development: Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida.

— Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations: Cardinal-elect Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis, who recently was appointed archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

— Catholic Education: Bishop George V. Murry of Youngstown, Ohio.

— Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth: Archbishop Chaput.

A vote also was taken for three seats on the board of Catholic Relief Services. Elected were Archbishop Coakley, who ends his term as president of the board but remained eligible to continue serving; Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee; and Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida.

 

Contributing to this story was Dennis Sadowski. Follow Pattison and Sadowski on Twitter: @MeMarkPattison and @DennisSadowski.

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