Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Catholic Church in the United States Will Welcome Thousands of New Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses

WASHINGTON— Dioceses across the country will be welcoming thousands of people into the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil Masses on the evening of April 20th. As the culmination of the Easter Triduum, the Vigil celebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. While people can become Catholic at any time of the year, the Easter Vigil is a particularly appropriate moment for adult catechumens to be baptized and for already-baptized Christians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. Parishes welcome these new Catholics through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA).

Many of the dioceses across the nation have reported their numbers of people who intend to become Catholic on Saturday to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based on these reports, more than 37,000 people are expected to be welcomed into the Church at Easter Vigil Masses.

Prior to beginning the RCIA process, an individual comes to some knowledge of Jesus Christ, considers his or her relationship with Jesus Christ and is usually attracted in some way to the Catholic Church. Then during the RCIA process, which typically lasts nine months or more, a person learns the teachings of the Catholic Church in a more formal way and discerns that he or she is ready to commit to living according to these beliefs. Thousands of people have already passed through this process and are ready to take this step on Saturday in parishes throughout the country.

Two distinct groups of people will be initiated into the Catholic Church. Catechumens, who have never been baptized, will receive Baptism, Confirmation and first Communion at the Holy Saturday Easter Vigil. Candidates, who have already been baptized in another Christian tradition, will enter the Church through a profession of faith and reception of Confirmation and the Eucharist.

For example, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest in the United States, will welcome 1,560 catechumens and 913 candidates; the Archdiocese of San Francisco will welcome 174 catechumens and 175 candidates; and the Diocese of San Diego will welcome 306 catechumens and 806 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will welcome 1,512 catechumens and 631 candidates. Among them will be Alfredo Acosta, who is experiencing both intense sorrow and joy over the past two years that led him to become a Catholic. He suffered the loss of his two younger brothers who passed away, but then he also celebrated the birth of his son, Benjamin, now 18-months old. “My wife Gricelda is a cradle Catholic. She was born into her faith. Then we baptized our son last year, so I wanted to be able to share our faith with both of them,” Acosta said. Other catechumens and candidates say they were also inspired by the witness of Catholics in their lives

Other archdioceses and dioceses report numbers as follows: Archdiocese of Washington: 455 catechumens and 183 candidates; Atlanta: 645 catechumens, 1,181 candidates; Dallas: 1,196 catechumens, 1,399 candidates; Fort Worth: 600 catechumens, 500 candidates; Corpus Christi: 130 catechumens, 43 candidates; Tyler: 101 catechumens, 190 candidates; Charlotte: 724 catechumens, 1,284 candidates; Venice in Florida: 148 catechumens, 120 candidates; Archdiocese of New Orleans: 152 catechumens, 161 candidates; Columbus: 173 catechumens, 227 candidates; Erie: 51 catechumens, 80 candidates; Baton Rouge: 158 catechumens, 300 candidates; Orlando: 514 catechumens, 482 candidates; Monterrey: 297 catechumens; Crookston: 7 catechumens, 33 candidates; St. Augustine: 174 catechumens, 315 candidates; Rockville Centre: 272 catechumens; Arlington, VA: 285 catechumens, 277 candidates; Salina: 33 catechumens, 88 candidates; Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: 205 catechumens, 319 candidates; Archdiocese of Newark: 411 catechumens, 58 candidates; Archdiocese of Oklahoma City: 262 catechumens, 324 candidates; Syracuse: 48 catechumens, 59 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Seattle reports 769 catechumens and 424 candidates; Salt Lake City: 227 catechumens, 107 candidates; Yakima: 255 catechumens, 40 candidates; Little Rock: 272 catechumens, 324 candidates; Archdiocese of Louisville: 185 catechumens, 191 candidates; Davenport: 63 catechumens, 85 candidates; Archdiocese of Denver: 462 catechumens, 348 candidates; Albany: 55 catechumens, 86 candidates; Archdiocese of Philadelphia: 196 catechumens, 267 candidates; Tucson: 136 catechumens, 179 candidates; Savannah: 80 catechumens, 231 candidates; Steubenville: 26 catechumens, 67 candidates; Gallup, New Mexico: 75 catechumens/candidates; Harrisburg: 92 catechumens.  

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati will be welcoming 322 catechumens, 403 candidates; Santa Rosa: 54 catechumens, 22 candidates; Trenton: 161 catechumens, 114 candidates; Honolulu: 197 catechumens, 184 candidates; Rochester: 62 catechumens, 112 candidates; Wichita: 123 catechumens, 234 candidates; Bridgeport: 71 catechumens, 210 candidates and Grand Rapids 171 catechumens, 186 candidates.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh reports: 101 catechumens, 161 candidates; Owensboro: 91 catechumens, 135 candidates; Lexington: 111 catechumens, 74 candidates; Archdiocese of Boston: 288 catechumens, 182 candidates; Covington: 65 catechumens, 121 candidates; Palm Beach: 152 catechumens, 464 candidates; Evansville: 81 catechumens, 94 candidates; Springfield, IL: 102 catechumens; 100 candidates; Manchester: 50 catechumens; Wilmington: 76 catechumens, 122 candidates; Archdiocese of Indianapolis: 330 catechumens, 465 candidates.

Additionally, the Diocese of Worcester reports 95 catechumens, 34 candidates; Belleville: 44 catechumens, 74 candidates; Lafayette: 63 catechumens, 93 candidates; Portland in Maine: 65 catechumens, 57 candidates; Houma-Thibodaux: 37 catechumens, 41 candidates; Yakima: 255 catechumens, 40 candidates; Youngstown, Ohio: 86 catechumens, 116 candidates; Des Moines; 97 catechumens, 131 candidates; Springfield, MA: 43 catechumens, 56 candidates; Paterson: 114 catechumens.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore will receive 227 catechumens, 410 candidates; Biloxi: 72 catechumens, 135 candidates; Green Bay, WI: 40 catechumens, 78 candidates; Shreveport: 27 catechumens, 94 candidates; Kansas City-St. Joseph: 160 catechumens, 155 candidates; Camden: 126 catechumens; Fall River: 43 catechumens, 65 candidates; Jefferson City: 100 catechumens; 165 candidates; Saginaw: 60 catechumens, 53 candidates; Cleveland: 251 catechumens, 270 candidates; Gary: 50 catechumens, 100 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage will also be welcoming 39 catechumens, 34 candidates; Bismarck: 16 catechumens, 44 candidates; St. Cloud: 17 catechumens, 40 candidates; New Ulm: 8 catechumens, 28 candidates; Great Falls-Billings: 38 catechumens, 60 candidates; Peoria: 82 catechumens, 196 candidates; Lake Charles: 61 catechumens, 141 candidates; Kalamazoo Michigan: 55 catechumens, 46 candidates.

---
Keywords: U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil, Easter Triduum, Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), catechumens, candidates, conversion, baptism, First Communion, Eucharist, confirmation, sacraments, Catholic, archdiocese, diocese

###

Media Contacts:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Issues Statement on Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

WASHINGTON—Amidst the devastating fire taking place at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Pairs, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement to the people of Paris.

The full statement follows:

“The horrific fire that is engulfing the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris is shocking and saddens us all, for this particular cathedral is not only a majestic Church, it is also a world treasure. Noble in architecture and art, it has long been a symbol of the transcendent human spirit as well as our longing for God. Our hearts go out to the Archbishop and the people of Paris, and we pray for all the people of France, entrusting all to the prayers and intercession of the Mother of God, especially the firefighters battling the fire. We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.”

---
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Paris, Cathedral of Notre Dame

###
Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR PRAYER AND SUPPORT FOLLOWING THE DEADLY STORM IN THE SOUTHEAST

WASHINGTON—Following a severe storm that brought devastation to the Southeast, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed sorrow over the loss of life and destruction as result of the storm.

The full statement follows:

“I am greatly saddened by the reports of devastation and loss of life due to this past weekend’s storm. The heavy winds, rain and reported tornado has left a path of destruction in the Southeast expected to stretch as far north as New England. Several lives have been lost including those of three children. It is reported that tens of millions of people have been impacted by the severe weather.  

As we enter this Holy Week, let us pray for those who have lost their lives and for the loved ones they leave behind and ask the Lord to comfort the grieving and inspire neighbors and people around the country to respond generously in the recovery efforts. The gift of Easter reminds us to trust in the Lord who by his sacrifice on the cross and resurrection promises life everlasting.”
---
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Natural Disaster
###
Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Catholic Home Missions Appeal to Support Essential Pastoral Programs to be Held April 27-28

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) annual Catholic Home Missions Appeal will be held in most dioceses across the country over the weekend of April 27-28. The Appeal funds grants to home mission dioceses -- dioceses and eparchies in the United States that are unable to offer their people the basic pastoral ministries of word, worship, and service without outside help.

“People across the United States long to grow closer to Christ but too many cannot access even basic pastoral programs,” said Most Reverend W. Shawn McKnight, Bishop of Jefferson City and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. “The Catholic Home Missions Appeal helps dioceses overcome obstacles of geography, poverty, and limited resources, and fosters solidarity to help others experience the presence of the risen Lord.”

The Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions oversees the Catholic Home Missions Appeal as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The Subcommittee funds a wide range of pastoral services, including those that focus on evangelization activities, religious education, and ministry training for priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers, and laypeople, as well as support of poor parishes across the country. The Subcommittee’s grants are funded by donations to the annual collection.

In 2018, the Subcommittee approved over $9.4 million in grants to assist dioceses and eparchies this year. Currently, more than 37 percent of all US dioceses and territories receive support from the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. These funded dioceses are located across the United States, including the Deep South, Appalachia, and the Rocky Mountains, as well as in US territories in the Caribbean and Pacific.


More information about the Appeal, including what programs it supports and how the funds are distributed, can be found at www.usccb.org/home-missions. People who live in dioceses that do not participate in the collection can learn more online.

Richard Coll, Director of the Catholic Home Missions program, is available for media interviews.

----
Keywords: USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Home Missions Appeal

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

USCCB Migration Chairman Endorses Proposed Senate Legislation That Gives Permanent Legal Protection to Dreamers and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) Holders

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Migration endorsed the “Development Relief and Education for Alien Minors” (DREAM) Act of 2019, S. 874 and the “Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression & Emergency” (SECURE) Act of 2019, S. 879. The DREAM Act of 2019 would provide permanent legal protection and a pathway to citizenship for qualifying Dreamers. The SECURE Act of 2019 would provide permanent legal protection and a pathway to citizenship to qualifying Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.

“We support legislative efforts to fully integrate hard-working Dreamers and TPS holders into the United States. We need a permanent legislative solution for those who have spent their lives contributing and living in the United States, the country they know as home,” said Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration. “Dreamers and TPS holders are vital members of our community who are going to school, working to make our communities better and raising families.”

Please see the USCCB Committee on Migration letters of support for the DREAM Act and Secure Act.

More information about Dreamers and TPS can be found on the Justice for Immigrants website.
---
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Committee on Migration, refugees, Dreamers, TPS, DACA, immigration reform

###

Media Contact:
Mark Priceman
202-541-3064

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202

 

Pro-Life Chairman for U.S. Bishops’ Urges Passage of Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, made the following statement in response to today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Abortion Until Birth: The Need to Pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act:

Archbishop Naumann’s full statement follows:

“This bill draws the public’s attention to the shameful reality that the United States is one of only seven nations worldwide that allows the barbaric practice of late-term abortion, when a child likely feels pain and might even live outside the womb with appropriate medical assistance. Such abortion procedures after the middle point of pregnancy also pose serious physical dangers to women. With the vast majority of Americans strongly supporting a ban on late-term abortions, it is time for Congress to pass this bill. I also pray that consideration of this bill moves our country closer to recognizing all unborn babies as legal persons worthy of our love and respect.”  

---
Keywords: Archbishop Joseph Naumann, United State Conference of Catholic Bishops, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Senate Judiciary Committee, Abortion Until Birth: The Need to Pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, late-term abortion, pain, media assistance, danger, women, U.S. Congress, unborn babies, legal persons, love, respect

###
Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

President of the U.S. Bishops Conference Issues Statement on Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s Appointment to Archdiocese of Washington

WASHINGTON-Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement regarding the appointment of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory to the episcopal see of the Archdiocese of Washington.

The full statement follows:

“Yesterday, the Catholic faithful in Washington welcomed Archbishop Wilton Gregory. We thank our Holy Father for the appointment of a gentle pastor and courageous leader in our nation’s capital. I am grateful to the people of Atlanta in offering their dear bishop for this new ministry. Let us pray for Archbishop Gregory and Cardinal Wuerl as they transition in good service to the Church.”

----
Keywords: Pope Francis, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop Wilton Gregory, Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Donald Wuerl

###
Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Migration Chairman and CRS Urge US Government to Designate Temporary Protected Status for Venezuela

WASHINGTON—On April 4, 2019 Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, joined Sean Callahan, CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), in sending a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, and Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, urging an 18-month designation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Venezuela.

TPS is a temporary, renewable, and statutorily-authorized immigration status that allows individuals to remain and work lawfully in the U.S. during a period in which it is deemed unsafe for nationals to return to their home country.

There is no current TPS designation for Venezuela. However, conditions in the country and existing political instability have created a situation in which Venezuelan nationals cannot be safely returned home at this time. The Justice and Peace Commission of the Venezuelan Bishops Conference have recently noted the numerous violations of fundamental human rights inflicted by the country’s police and the violation of citizens’ access to health and medicine. Catholic partners have further reported on the acute food shortages and malnutrition facing the country.

“At this time, it is vital that Venezuelans in the United States have an opportunity to live with dignity, work lawfully, and provide for their families’ well-being until they can safely return home.” Bishop Vasquez noted. “We must provide humanitarian assistance to all our Venezuelan brothers and sisters in need, whether they live in the United States, in other South American countries, or in Venezuela itself,” Callahan said.

Read the full letter here: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/news/usccb-crs-letter-advocating-for-tps-status-for-venezuelans/
---
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Committee on Migration, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Homeland Security, Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Venezuela, citizen security, families.
###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Names Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta as New Archbishop of Washington

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named the Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory as the new Archbishop of Washington. The appointment was publicized in Washington, DC, on April 4, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, 71, was born on December 7, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Saint Mary at Mundelein Seminary, and completed his doctorate in sacred liturgy in 1980 at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Sant’ Anselmo) in Rome.

He was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 9, 1973. On December 13, 1983, he was ordained an auxiliary bishop of Chicago. He was then installed as bishop of the Diocese of Belleville, IL on February 10, 1994. Pope John Paull II appointed him as the sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was installed on January 17, 2005.

Archbishop Gregory served as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from Nov. 2001 to 2004, following three years as USCCB vice president. Under his leadership, the USCCB implemented the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” He also previously served on other committees including the Committee on Doctrine, Liturgy, Administrative, and International Policy and also as Chairman of the Bishops’ Committees on Personnel and the Third Millennium/Jubilee Year 2000.

On October 12, 2018, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, 78, from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington.

Cardinal Wuerl had presented his resignation almost three years ago, when he reached the retirement age for bishops of 75. Upon acceptance of his resignation, Pope Francis named Cardinal Wuerl as apostolic administrator to oversee the archdiocese until a successor was named. Cardinal Wuerl served as archbishop of Washington from 2006 to 2018.

The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles and has a total population of 2,994,625 of which 658,818 or 22 percent, are Catholic.  

---

Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory , Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archdiocese of Washington, Archdiocese of Atlanta

###

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

El Presidente del Comité de Actividades Provida de USCCB emite una declaración sobre la Ley de Protección a Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos

WASHINGTON— Hoy, el congresista Steve Scalise está presentando una petición en la Cámara de Representantes para forzar una votación sobre el proyecto de ley de la Representante Ann Wagner, la Ley de Protección de Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos. Si la petición recibe 218 firmas, los miembros de la Cámara votarán sobre la legislación para garantizar que cualquier niño nacido vivo después de un intento de aborto reciba el mismo grado de atención que se le daría a otro niño nacido en la misma edad gestacional.

El Arzobispo Joseph F. Naumann, Presidente del Comité de Actividades Pro-Vida de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), emitió la siguiente declaración en respuesta:
 
“Nuestra nación es mejor que el infanticidio. Los bebés nacidos vivos durante el proceso de aborto merecen la misma atención y asistencia médica que cualquier otro recién nacido. No brindar atención es una forma letal de discriminación contra las circunstancias del nacimiento del niño. Insto encarecidamente a todos los representantes a firmar esta petición, y luego a votar por la Ley de Protección de Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos. Este proyecto de ley agregaría requisitos específicos para ayudar a garantizar que los bebés nacidos vivos después de un intento de aborto puedan tener una oportunidad justa en la vida".

La carta del Arzobispo Naumann a la Cámara de Representantes y otros recursos pueden encontrarse en: http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/born-alive-bill.cfm

---
Palabras clave: Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, Comité de Actividades Provida, USCCB, Arzobispo Joseph Naumann, Cámara de Representantes, Steve Scalise, Ley de Protección de Sobrevivientes del Aborto Nacidos Vivos.

###

Contactos de prensa:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3202