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Pope Francis Appoints Apostolic Administrator of Ordinariate for Armenian Catholics of Eastern Europe

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has appointed Reverend Mikael Bassale as Apostolic Administrator for the Ordinariate for Armenian Catholics of Eastern Europe. The appointment was publicized in Washington on May 17, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Bassale is currently pastor of Holy Cross Armenian Catholic Church in Belmont, Massachusetts, a parish within the Armenian Catholic Eparchy of Our Lady of Nareg.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

 

Annual Collection Supports Catholic Communications Efforts Locally and Globally

WASHINGTON - Catholics in many dioceses throughout the United States will have the opportunity to give to support the Catholic Church’s communications efforts on May 28-29. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Catholic Communication Campaign (CCC) works to spread the Gospel through the media in all its forms. Its work is funded by an annual collection through which the faithful can support their local diocesan communications efforts, while also supporting national and international initiatives. #iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts funds for the collection, which gives an option to those who wish to contribute to this work but are unable to give at Mass.

“Communicating the Gospel message is at the heart of evangelization. Through your gift, the Church is able to spread the faith, hope, and love of Jesus Christ, and of his Church, both here at home and abroad to people and places where the word of God is needed most,” said Archbishop Gregory Hartmayer, OFM Conv., of Atlanta, chairman of the USCCB Communication Committee’s Subcommittee on the Catholic Communication Campaign.

When you give at your parish, half of the gift one makes to the Catholic Communication Campaign collection remains in the donor’s diocese to support local communications projects. Such local projects often include support for diocesan newspapers or magazines, website updates and outreach campaigns, or Mass and television programs to reach the faithful and share the Good News. The other half goes to the USCCB to be awarded in the form of national and international grants. In 2021, the Catholic Communication Campaign awarded more than $3 million.

The CCC also awarded a grant to support the communications efforts related to a gathering in Chicago in June 2022 for “Journeying Together: A National Intercultural Encounter for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults.” This event supporting the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church combines synodal listening and discernment to hear the voices and perspectives of Catholics from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Other initiatives supported include evangelization, creating digital resources that help the faithful better understand the richness of Catholic teaching, producing documentaries and videos on the lives of exemplary modern-day Catholics on the path to beatification, and preserving Church history.

“The Catholic Communication Campaign not only shares the Good News in mainstream America, but it also reaches people on the furthest peripheries,” Archbishop Hartmayer said. Some examples of what the Catholic Communication Campaign has assisted with internationally include initiatives to keep mariners and seafarers connected to the faith, radio communications, and television ministry.

For instance, mariners may spend months far from home and family. An app that the Apostleship of the Sea of the United States of America developed years ago to help seafarers maintain a spiritual life and find pastoral care in port is now technologically obsolete. Gifts to the campaign will allow the app to be redesigned and add a new feature to help cruise ship passengers locate a Catholic chaplain.

In Bolivia, the CCC supports Radio Pio XII, which since 1959 has championed the rights of indigenous people when they have been under violent attack. Gifts from this collection will replace its failing 20-year-old transmitter with a far more powerful one.

With help from this collection, Ukrainian war refugees are receiving messages of hope and pastoral support through LOGOS TV, a Catholic media ministry in Eastern Europe. Typical recent segments offered spiritual encouragement and showed a Slovak archbishop greeting refugees in a Catholic youth center.

Resources for dioceses and parishes to use in promoting the collection on social media in weekly bulletins can be found here: https://www.usccb.org/committees/catholic-communication-campaign/catholic-communication-campaign-resources. For more information about the Catholic Communication Campaign and those who benefit from it, visit www.usccb.org/ccc.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Statement of USCCB on Shootings in Buffalo and Laguna Woods

WASHINGTON - In response to the shootings in Buffalo, NY and Laguna Woods, CA over the weekend, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) offered the following statement from its spokesperson, Chieko Noguchi, director of public affairs.

“The U.S. bishops join with others throughout the country in offering prayers for the support and healing of the families, friends, and communities of those impacted by these violent incidents. We pray especially for those who were injured and particularly for those who lost their lives. We pray also for those on the front lines who risk their lives in responding to the calls for help, and to those in the medical fields who minister to those who have been harmed.

“The bishops again call for an honest dialogue rooted in Christ in addressing the persistent evil of racism in our country. The Catholic Church has been a consistent voice for rational yet effective forms of regulation of dangerous weapons, and the USCCB continues to advocate for an end to violence, and for the respect and dignity of all lives.

“We pray for and support the healing of the communities impacted and for all the victims of violence and that Christ’s peace be upon all affected.”

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Media Contact:
USCCB Public Affairs
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Edward Deliman

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Edward M. Deliman, 75, from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia.

The resignation was publicized in Washington on May 13, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Statement of U.S. Bishops’ Chairman on International Justice and Peace on Arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen

WASHINGTON - Upon the news of the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong on May 11, Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace called for prayer and the pursuit of justice.

Bishop Malloy’s full statement follows:

“The alarming news of the May 11 arrest in Hong Kong of Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun due to his past role in administering a humanitarian fund for protestors indicates the downward trend in respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong. This steadfast pastor and strong supporter of democracy and justice was arrested along with other trustees of a fund that paid for legal and medical expenses of pro-democracy protestors, a fund that was disbanded in the fall of 2021. Because of Cardinal Zen’s support for these protestors, he is being accused of ‘collusion with foreign forces.’ Under the national security law imposed in June 2020, ‘secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces’ is a crime punishable with sentences of up to life imprisonment. Thus, although Cardinal Zen has been released on bail, his situation remains precarious.

“The Vatican’s press office said Wednesday, ‘The Holy See has learned with concern the news of Cardinal Zen’s arrest and is following the evolution of the situation with extreme attention.’ I join with the Holy See in expressing concern for the fate of Cardinal Zen and others who share his current predicament. I invite all those of good will to pray for their safety and that justice may prevail.”

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Bishop Chairmen Respond to Senate Vote on Extreme Abortion on Demand Bill

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Senate failed to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, S. 4132. This bill would have imposed abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute and would have eliminated pro-life laws at every level of government -- including parental notification for minor girls, informed consent, and health or safety protections specific to abortion facilities. S. 4132 also would have compelled all Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars and would have also likely forced health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as forced employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion.  

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, issued the following statement: 

“The ‘Women’s Health Protection Act’ (S. 4132) is an utterly unjust and extreme measure that would impose abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute. We are relieved that the Senate vote to advance this bill failed for the second time in less than three months. This bill insists that elective abortion, including late-term elective abortion, is a ‘human right’ and ‘women’s health care’ -- something that should be promoted, funded, and celebrated. S. 4132 is far more extreme than Roe v. Wade. It would invalidate widely supported laws that protect women and unborn children from an unscrupulous abortion industry, would force all Americans to support abortion here and abroad with their tax dollars, and seeks to force religious hospitals and health care professionals to perform abortions against their beliefs. 

“More than 60 million unborn children have already lost their lives to abortion, and countless women suffer from the physical and emotional trauma of abortion. This radical bill would add millions more to that tragic toll.  As a nation built on the recognition that every human being is endowed by its Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we implore Congress to stop pushing abortion as a solution to the needs of women and young girls, and instead embrace public policy that fully respects and facilitates these rights and the needs of both mother and child.”

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Faithful Invited to Fast and Pray the Rosary on Friday in Midst of Tensions Over Leaked Draft Supreme Court Opinion

WASHINGTON - In response to the leak of a draft opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, some abortion advocates are calling for nationwide demonstrations, disruptions of church services, and the personal intimidation of specific Supreme Court justices. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities invited the faithful to unite in fasting and prayer:

In the midst of current tensions, we invite Catholics around the country to join us in fasting and praying the Rosary on Friday, May 13, the Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. Let us offer our prayers and fasting for these intentions:

  • For our nation, for the integrity of our judicial system, and that all branches of government be dedicated to seeking the common good and protecting the dignity and rights of the human person, from conception to natural death.
  • For the overturning of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the Supreme Court’s final decision in Dobbs v. Jackson.
  • For the conversion of the hearts and minds of those who advocate for abortion.
  • For a new commitment to building an America where children are welcomed, cherished, and cared for; where mothers and fathers are encouraged and strengthened; and where marriage and the family are recognized and supported as the true foundations of a healthy and flourishing society.
  • For Our Blessed Mother’s intercession and guidance as the Church continues to walk with mothers and families in need, and continues to promote alternatives to abortion, and seeks to create a culture of life.

As Catholics, let us witness to the beautiful gift of life with civility and love, and with our peaceful prayers and our compassionate service to all those in need.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Michael G. Woost as auxiliary bishop of Cleveland. Bishop-elect Woost is a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland and currently serves as assistant professor of sacramental and liturgical theology at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, Ohio, and as interim director of the diocese’s Office of Worship. The appointment was publicized in Washington, D.C. on May 9, 2022, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Woost was born September 17, 1958. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Borromeo Seminary in Wickliffe (1980). He studied at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe where he earned a Master of Divinity (1984) and Master of Arts in systematic theology (1986). He earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. (2000). He was ordained to the priesthood on June 9, 1984.

Bishop-elect Woost’s assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception parish in Madison (1984-1989); he served as director of vocations for the Diocese of Cleveland from 1989-1995, while in residence at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Cleveland. From 1995-2000, Father Woost pursued advanced studies in liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and earned his licentiate in sacred theology. Since his return to the Diocese of Cleveland in 2000, he has been a faculty member and assistant professor of sacramental and liturgical theology at Saint Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe. Additionally, since 2022, he has been serving as interim director of the diocese’s Office of Worship.

The Diocese of Cleveland is comprised of 3,414 square miles in the State of Ohio and has a total population of 2,758,656, of which 633,492 are Catholic.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea on May 22

WASHINGTON - Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, bishop promoter of Stella Maris, the apostolate of the Catholic Church for the people of the sea, is inviting dioceses in the United States to mark the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea on May 22.

To mark National Maritime Day, Bishop Cahill will celebrate Mass on Saturday, May 21 at 12:10 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Crypt Church) in Washington. The maritime industry is a vital part of the world’s economy and notably, many of the United States ports are the gateway for international trade and cruise vacations. The annual National Maritime Day celebration is an opportunity to applaud the important work of seafarers and helps to create awareness for their around the clock work, that often goes unrecognized. Bishop Cahill is encouraging dioceses to remember seafarers in their homilies, special petitions during Mass, and other maritime events. When Mass is celebrated on May 22, the text for the Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of the Sea, is also encouraged.

In the face of the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stella Maris National Office continues to support and celebrate the men and women of the sea. The impact of the pandemic and the stress it has caused on seafarers calls for action, especially to ensure the health and wellbeing of mariners and their families. “The world may have come to a standstill during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the ships have never stopped sailing from port to port, delivering critical medical equipment and medicines to support the fight against the spread of the virus.  Some 90% of world trade is carried by ships or, more accurately, by the 1.7 million seafarers who work on the ships,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson during the Sea Sunday celebration, on July 11, 2021. Serving at that time as prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, Cardinal Turkson stressed the importance of celebrating and acknowledging the remarkable work of seafarers and the sacrifices of their families.

National Maritime Day is an opportunity to recognize the hardworking men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine, seafarers, fishers, port personnel and all who work or travel on the high seas for the vital services they provide in support of our nation’s economic well-being and national security. Seafarers are a large migrant population in the world today, many of whom are Catholic Christians and unseen by the world. Stella Maris chaplains welcome, reach out to and celebrate seafarers and their families, and all who work or travel on the seas. Through the celebration of the Eucharist and the proclamation of the Word of God, as well as providing other vital services and necessities, Catholic chaplaincy teams fulfill the mission of the Church and help seafarers discover the loving presence of God in an often-challenging world.

More information is available at: http://www.usccb.org/stellamaris.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200

 

USCCB Pro-Life Chairman Urges Faithful to Pray in Response to Leak of Draft Supreme Court Opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

WASHINGTON - In response to the leak of a draft opinion in the Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued the following call to prayer:

“The leak related to the U.S. Supreme Court case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reminds us of the urgent need for prayer and action at this pivotal moment in our country.

“As Catholics, we care about every unborn child and every mother. Our Church has consistently witnessed in word and deed that life begins at the moment of conception. As the bishops shared in our statement Standing with Moms in Need: we pledge ‘to redouble our efforts to accompany women and couples who are facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies, and during the early years of parenthood, offering them loving and compassionate care through initiatives such as Walking with Moms in Need and countless others.’

“At the same time, as we await the Court’s decision, we urge everyone to intensify their prayer and fasting that the final decision of the Court will bring about the reversal of Roe and Casey.

“We hope and pray for a change in our laws and stand ready to help all pregnant women in need in each of our communities.

“Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us and guide us.”

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi
202-541-3200