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                    [post_date] => 2017-02-23 09:46:53
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                    [post_content] => February 23, 2017

U.S. Bishops Chair on Migration Responds to DHS Memoranda on Immigration Enforcement and Border Security

Washington, D.C. - On February 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two memoranda implementing Executive Orders 13768 and 13767, relating to border and interior immigration enforcement. In response to the memoranda, the Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, has issued the following statement:

"We recognize the importance of ensuring public safety and would welcome reasonable and necessary steps to do that. However, the two memoranda issued by Secretary Kelly on February 20th contain a number of provisions that, if implemented as written, will harm public safety rather than enhance it. Moreover, taken in their entirety, the policies contained in these memoranda will needlessly separate families, upend peaceful communities, endanger the lives and safety of the most vulnerable among us, breakdown the trust that currently exists between many police departments and immigrant communities, and sow great fear in those communities.

The DHS memoranda eliminates important protections for vulnerable populations, including unaccompanied children and asylum seekers. They greatly expand the militarization of the U.S./Mexico border.  Taken together, these memoranda constitute the establishment of a large-scale enforcement system that targets virtually all undocumented migrants as 'priorities' for deportation, thus prioritizing no one.  The memoranda further seek to promote local law enforcement of federal immigration laws without regard for the existing relationships of trust between local law enforcement officials and immigrant communities. The engagement of local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law can undermine public safety by making many who live in immigrant communities fearful of cooperating with local law enforcement in both reporting and investigating criminal matters.

I urge the Administration to reconsider the approach embodied in these memoranda, just as it should reconsider the approach it has taken in a number of executive orders and actions issued over the last month.  Together, these have placed already vulnerable immigrants among us in an even greater state of vulnerability.

Moving forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to care for and respect the human dignity of all, regardless of their immigration status.  During this unsettling time, we will redouble our work to accompany and protect our immigrant brothers and sisters and recognize their contributions and inherent dignity as children of God."
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                    [post_content] => February 21, 2017

Virginia Catholic Bishops Statement on Governor McAuliffe's Veto of Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

Richmond, VA - For the second consecutive year, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the nation's largest abortion provider - at the expense of comprehensive health care for women. This morning, Gov. McAuliffe vetoed HB 2264, which would have redirected state tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, and toward community health centers that provide primary care to women and their families. This legislation had been introduced by Del. Ben Cline, R- Rockbridge.

Surrounded by Planned Parenthood supporters at a veto ceremony outside the Governor's Mansion this morning, Gov. McAuliffe said his actions protected the rights and dignity of Virginia women - when, in fact, his actions harm the dignity of the women deceived by the multi-billion dollar abortion industry as well as the tiniest females, those still in the womb whose lives are brutally eliminated by abortion.

Despite its deceptive talking points about caring for women's health, Planned Parenthood performs less than 2% of women's cancer screenings nationwide, and provides no mammograms whatsoever. It offers, instead, the opposite of health care - conducting almost 17 times more abortions than birth-oriented services and aborting 160 children for every 1 child it refers for adoption. Planned Parenthood is responsible for nearly 900 abortions every day, a third of all abortions in the U.S. And yet, despite the fact that most Americans don't want their tax dollars to pay for other people's abortions, Planned Parenthood received half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer funding in its most recently reported fiscal year. It received this money despite extensive evidence that it illegally profited from the transfer of fetal tissue harvested during abortions.

The Virginia Catholic Conference upholds the timeless truth that every human being, born and unborn, has an equal right to life. The Conference finds Gov. McAuliffe's pride in protecting an organization that destroys life and harms women and their families deeply offensive.  We will continue to fight for the day when Virginia law protects all human life, at every stage of development, from conception until natural death.

The Virginia Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of Virginia's Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.
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                    [post_content] => February 17, 2017

Washington -  In a letter to the United States Secretary of State today, chairmen of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on International Justice and Peace, along with Sean Callahan, President of Catholic Relief Services, urged the Administration to do everything they can to care for creation both domestically and globally.

Building upon Pope Francis's encyclical Laudato si'. . . the letter emphasizes the importance of adaptation policies and specifically calls for continued U.S. support of the Paris climate agreement as well as the Green Climate Fund, which provides poorer nations with resources to adapt to and mitigate changing climate realities.

"The Judeo-Christian tradition has always understood the environment to be a gift from God, and we are all called 'to protect our one common home,'" said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico and Sean L. Callahan, President of Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The call to care for the environment echoes Pope Francis' call to help poor and vulnerable people adapt to the effects of climate change.

The message also recognizes that "uncompromising support for adaptation policies in no way excludes efforts to mitigate the anthropogenic contributors to climate change" and called for an "energy revolution" to deliver "not only sustainable, efficient and clean energy, but also energy that is secure, affordable, accessible and equitable."

The full text of the letter can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/environment/upload/USCCB-CRS-Letter-to-Secretary-Tillerson-on-Care-for-Creation-02-17-2017.pdf
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Washington - Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and Archbishop William E. Lori – as chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, respectively – wrote to both Houses of the United States Congress on February 8, urging support for the Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644, S. 301).

The Conscience Protection Act, they wrote, is "essential legislation protecting the fundamental rights of health care providers…to ensure that those providing much-needed health care and health coverage can continue to do so without being forced by government to help destroy innocent unborn children."

"While existing federal laws already protect conscientious objection to abortion in theory, this protection has not proved effective in practice," the bishops noted, citing recent examples in which the federal government has refused to enforce these laws. "The Conscience Protection Act will address the deficiencies that block effective enforcement of existing laws," they said, "most notably by establishing a private right of action allowing victims of discrimination to defend their own rights in court."

Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori recalled the Hippocratic oath's rejection of abortion in the profession of medicine, indicating that the Act will benefit not only Catholic medical professionals but "the great majority of ob/gyns [who] remain unwilling to perform abortions."

Finally, they explained that conscience protection facilitates access to life-affirming health care: "When government… mandates involvement in abortion as a condition for being allowed to provide life-affirming health care services, it not only undermines the widely acknowledged civil rights of health care providers but also limits access to good health care for American women and men."

The full text of their letter to Senate is posted at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection/upload/Conscience-Protection-Act-Dolan-Lori-Ltr-to-Senate-02-08-17.pdf.

For more on the bishops' promotion of conscience rights, including a video about a nurse who was coerced to take part in a late-term abortion, visit:  www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/conscience-protection.
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Richmond, VA - Ray Honeycutt, Interim Superintendent for the Office of Catholic Schools, is promoted to the position of Superintendent of the Office of Catholic Schools effective February 6, 2017.  Ray joined the Diocese as the Principal of St. Bridget Catholic School in 2009.  He accepted the position of Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in 2015 and transitioned to Interim Superintendent in July 2016.  Ray has over 44 years of educational experience, both in the private and public school environment. He has a B.A. in English Education from Virginia Tech and a Masters of Education in School Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Rev. Michael Boehling, Vicar for Vocations and Pastoral Services, says “Ray has the experience, visionary leadership and dedication to Catholic education to further advance Catholic Schools in the Diocese.  Please join Bishop Francis DiLorenzo and Rev. Michael Boehling in congratulating Ray as our new Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Richmond.
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                    [post_content] => 2/6/2017

Richmond, VA - Bishop DiLorenzo issued the following announcement:

Since 1971 Steve Neill, Editor of the Catholic Virginian, has provided the Catholic faithful with news and information about topics and issues that have affected our Diocese, with diligence and care for his profession. After many years of dedicated and loyal service, Steve has decided to step down and announced his retirement effective June 30, 2017.

Steve's distinguished four-decade career began when he joined the paper as a staff writer. His extensive knowledge of the parishes and people in the Diocese has been an invaluable resource for the Catholic Virginian and his stories have provided in-depth history about the life and growth of the Diocese over the past forty years.

Please join me in thanking Steve Neill and wishing him a most joyous retirement and the blessing of God as he begins this new phase in his life.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Francis X. DiLorenzo

Bishop of Richmond

 
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                    [post_content] => Washington - Nearly all of the religious men and women who professed perpetual vows in 2016 had a strong prayer life before entering their religious institution according to a study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. The survey results were released today and can be found here.
                    [post_title] => Strong Prayer Life Influences Vocation According to CARA Study
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                    [post_date] => 2017-01-23 16:45:53
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                    [post_content] => 

USCCB Pro Life Chairman Applauds Reestablishment of Mexico City Policy

January 23, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, applauded the memorandum issued today by President Donald Trump restoring the Mexico City Policy and extending its requirements to all U.S. global assistance.

 

Cardinal Dolan offered the following statement in response:

 

“We applaud President Trump’s action today to restore the Mexico City Policy, which withholds taxpayer funds from foreign non-governmental organizations that promote or perform abortions overseas (often in violation of the host country’s own laws). This is a welcome step toward restoring and enforcing important federal policies that respect the most fundamental human right—the right to life—as well as the long-standing, bi-partisan consensus against forcing Americans to participate in the violent act of abortion.”

 

The Mexico City Policy, first announced at the United Nation’s 1984 Conference on Population in Mexico City, requires foreign-based non-governmental organizations receiving U.S. aid to certify that they will not perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in developing nations. 

 

According to a Marist Poll released on January 23, 2017, an overwhelming majority (83%) of Americans support policies like the Mexico City Policy. This includes 73% of respondents who identify as “pro-choice.”

  [post_title] => Trump Reinstates Mexico City Policy on Abortion [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => trump-reinstates-mexico-city-policy-on-abortion [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-03 11:48:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-03 16:48:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102667 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102917 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-01-20 14:45:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-20 19:45:53 [post_content] => With the start of a new year, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond launched a redesigned website at www.richmonddiocese.org to provide more consistent communication across diocesan ministries. Read the announcement here. [post_title] => Catholic Diocese of Richmond Launches New Website [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => catholic-diocese-of-richmond-launches-new-website [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-31 14:48:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-31 19:48:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102917 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101207 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-09-09 16:05:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-09 16:05:39 [post_content] => deacon%20ed%20handel Rev. Mr. Edward Handel, a permanent deacon in the Diocese of Richmond, has been selected as the Diocese’s first Director of Cemeteries for the newly created Office of Catholic Cemeteries, effective September 1, 2016. Deacon Ed will serve as a consultant to the Diocese. His employer is Catholic Management Services (CMS), a 501 (c)(3) strategic planning and professional services firm, hired by the Diocese last spring following a two-year assessment of the Diocese’s final resting places.  Bishop DiLorenzo authorized the establishment of this new office after listening to the recommendations from CMS and after consulting with the Diocesan Priests Council. Beginning in this Year of Mercy, Deacon Ed’s primary task will be to raise understanding among Catholics about this corporal work of mercy. Following a three-month training period with CMS, headquartered in Oakland, CA, he will begin the task of working with parishes and communities to educate, restore, and maintain the almost 60 cemeteries, mausoleum and columbaria within the Diocese of Richmond. "What interested me most about this new role is my previous thought that the hardest part of my ministry would be the death of parishioners and helping make funeral arrangements with the family,” said Deacon Ed Handel.  “I came to find it was rewarding because it allowed me to see people at a time when they were vulnerable and that I could be a conduit to God and Christ at those stressful times." Deacon Ed will work with pastors to share Church teaching surrounding the death and burial of a loved one, including the sacred nature of the body and its burial place, and most importantly, belief in the resurrection. He will implement the Diocese’s CMS-directed Catholic Funeral and Cemetery Services Program in collaboration with the Offices of Worship, Finance, and other offices as needed. Ordained in 2013, Deacon Ed was most recently assigned to St. John the Evangelist in Waynesboro. In addition to his liturgical duties, his ministry included marriage and baptismal preparation, RCIA, Christian formation and pastoral care. He has also been involved in diaconal convocation planning. Before joining CMS, he spent 19 years with Crutchfield Corporation as Manager of Corporate Sales and Business Development. He can be reached at the Pastoral Center at (804) 622-5153, or by email at ehandel@richmonddiocese.org. [post_title] => Deacon named Diocese's first Director of Cemeteries [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => deacon-named-dioceses-first-director-of-cemeteries [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-12 06:53:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-12 11:53:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101207 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101168 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2016-02-08 21:08:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-02-08 21:08:15 [post_content] => Congratulations to Mrs. Karen Paige-Womack, Basilica, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk, for receiving the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross, for her volunteer ministry to coordinate the Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry at Basilica, St. Mary. [post_title] => Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => obc-news-find-date [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-28 16:13:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-28 16:13:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101168 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101170 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2016-01-08 21:08:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-01-08 21:08:46 [post_content] => Frank Nelson, Holy Rosary Catholic Church, received the 2012 "Servant of Christ Award" from the National Black Catholic Congress XI, July 21, in Indianapolis. The Servant of Christ Award was established and first given in July, 2012, for outstanding leadership in the Church or community. [post_title] => Servant of Christ Award [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => obc-news2-find-date [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-12-28 16:13:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-12-28 16:13:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101170 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 482 [post_author] => 6 [post_date] => 2015-10-12 19:46:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-12 19:46:38 [post_content] => Using Caritas in Veritate, develop a  bible study group during this Lenten season. Click here for additional information. [post_title] => Lenten Bible Study Materials [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => lenten-bible-study-materials [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-07 15:46:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-07 15:46:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=482 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 13 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103219 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-23 09:46:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-23 14:46:53 [post_content] => February 23, 2017 U.S. Bishops Chair on Migration Responds to DHS Memoranda on Immigration Enforcement and Border Security Washington, D.C. - On February 20, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two memoranda implementing Executive Orders 13768 and 13767, relating to border and interior immigration enforcement. In response to the memoranda, the Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration, has issued the following statement: "We recognize the importance of ensuring public safety and would welcome reasonable and necessary steps to do that. However, the two memoranda issued by Secretary Kelly on February 20th contain a number of provisions that, if implemented as written, will harm public safety rather than enhance it. Moreover, taken in their entirety, the policies contained in these memoranda will needlessly separate families, upend peaceful communities, endanger the lives and safety of the most vulnerable among us, breakdown the trust that currently exists between many police departments and immigrant communities, and sow great fear in those communities. The DHS memoranda eliminates important protections for vulnerable populations, including unaccompanied children and asylum seekers. They greatly expand the militarization of the U.S./Mexico border.  Taken together, these memoranda constitute the establishment of a large-scale enforcement system that targets virtually all undocumented migrants as 'priorities' for deportation, thus prioritizing no one.  The memoranda further seek to promote local law enforcement of federal immigration laws without regard for the existing relationships of trust between local law enforcement officials and immigrant communities. The engagement of local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law can undermine public safety by making many who live in immigrant communities fearful of cooperating with local law enforcement in both reporting and investigating criminal matters. I urge the Administration to reconsider the approach embodied in these memoranda, just as it should reconsider the approach it has taken in a number of executive orders and actions issued over the last month.  Together, these have placed already vulnerable immigrants among us in an even greater state of vulnerability. Moving forward, we remain steadfast in our commitment to care for and respect the human dignity of all, regardless of their immigration status.  During this unsettling time, we will redouble our work to accompany and protect our immigrant brothers and sisters and recognize their contributions and inherent dignity as children of God." 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                    [post_date] => 2017-02-21 16:29:10
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                    [post_content] => February 21, 2017

Virginia Catholic Bishops Statement on Governor McAuliffe's Veto of Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood

Richmond, VA - For the second consecutive year, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the nation's largest abortion provider - at the expense of comprehensive health care for women. This morning, Gov. McAuliffe vetoed HB 2264, which would have redirected state tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, and toward community health centers that provide primary care to women and their families. This legislation had been introduced by Del. Ben Cline, R- Rockbridge.

Surrounded by Planned Parenthood supporters at a veto ceremony outside the Governor's Mansion this morning, Gov. McAuliffe said his actions protected the rights and dignity of Virginia women - when, in fact, his actions harm the dignity of the women deceived by the multi-billion dollar abortion industry as well as the tiniest females, those still in the womb whose lives are brutally eliminated by abortion.

Despite its deceptive talking points about caring for women's health, Planned Parenthood performs less than 2% of women's cancer screenings nationwide, and provides no mammograms whatsoever. It offers, instead, the opposite of health care - conducting almost 17 times more abortions than birth-oriented services and aborting 160 children for every 1 child it refers for adoption. Planned Parenthood is responsible for nearly 900 abortions every day, a third of all abortions in the U.S. And yet, despite the fact that most Americans don't want their tax dollars to pay for other people's abortions, Planned Parenthood received half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer funding in its most recently reported fiscal year. It received this money despite extensive evidence that it illegally profited from the transfer of fetal tissue harvested during abortions.

The Virginia Catholic Conference upholds the timeless truth that every human being, born and unborn, has an equal right to life. The Conference finds Gov. McAuliffe's pride in protecting an organization that destroys life and harms women and their families deeply offensive.  We will continue to fight for the day when Virginia law protects all human life, at every stage of development, from conception until natural death.

The Virginia Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of Virginia's Catholic bishops and their two dioceses.
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                    [post_content] => January 31, 2017

Richmond, Va. – Today, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo released the following statement:

“Today, I stand in union with my brother bishops who have spoken out about the recent executive order on the new refugee admissions policy. Recently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued statements on the matter. I encourage our faithful in the Diocese of Richmond to read the announcements and act to make your voice known to your elected representative through the following action alert. Let us pray for our country, for peace in our world, and for the dignity of all.”

Joint Statement from USCCB President, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo & USCCB Vice-President Archbishop José H. Gomez: http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-027.cfm

Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez: http://www.usccb.org/news/2017/17-026.cfm

You can take action - http://justiceforimmigrants.org/take-action/action-alerts/
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January 26, 2017
Richmond, VA. - Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo issued the following statement on the 2017 March for Life. “I send my blessings and prayers to the many faithful who plan to participate in the 2017 March for Life. I am always encouraged and it fills me with great joy when I witness the number of Catholics from our Diocese, to include the youth and young adults, who prepare to stand in solidarity and voice their support for the protection of all life. I look forward to celebrating Mass with our young people prior to their attendance at the March for Life. Their presence and commitment assures me that our younger generations will continue to be the voice for the most vulnerable of our society.” “May God bless you and may the Holy Spirit move all to see the value in life from conception until natural death.” [post_title] => Bishop DiLorenzo Issues Statement on the 2017 March for Life [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-dilorenzo-issues-statement-on-the-2017-march-for-life [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-03 11:56:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-03 16:56:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102834 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102445 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-01-19 15:58:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-19 20:58:32 [post_content] => Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo and Bishop Michael Burbidge issued the following statement today about Virginia’s continued use of the death penalty: Read here. [post_title] => Bishops' Statement on Death Penalty [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-statement-on-death-penalty [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-30 15:00:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-30 20:00:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102445 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101193 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2016-10-13 15:21:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-13 15:21:28 [post_content] =>

Today, I ask the good people of this diocese to open their hearts to our brothers and sisters to the south of us who are still experiencing the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew.

Severe flooding brought on by swollen rivers continues to cause problems here in parts of the United States. Many people, even in inland communities, have been forced out of their homes and at least 20 people have lost their lives. The island nation of Haiti once again faces hardship, disease and untold loss of life. More than a million Haitians are desperate for humanitarian help which now includes warnings of a cholera crisis. Our Office of Social Ministry is in close contact with our Haitian partners and monitoring developments carefully, especially in the Diocese of Hinche, our sister diocese.

I have invited all parishes to hold a special second collection to help with relief efforts in the U.S. and in Haiti within the next few weeks. Your contributions will be divided, with 75 percent going to Catholic Relief Services for humanitarian aid to Haiti and 25 percent assisting relief efforts in our country through Catholic Charities USA.

Please join me in praying for all those who have lost their lives or are coping with the loss of loved ones and homes, and for our emergency responders working to assist all in rescue and recovery efforts. Let us ask for the intercession of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, the Patron Saint of Haiti, to strengthen and protect those most in need.

# # #
Download PDF version  here. [post_title] => Bishop's Statement on Aid to Those Affected by Hurricane Matthew [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-statement-on-aid-to-those-affected-by-hurricane-matthew [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-30 15:04:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-30 20:04:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101193 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101576 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2016-07-22 16:19:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-22 16:19:41 [post_content] => The Catholic Church makes its position very clear as it pertains to the protection of human life, social justice initiatives, and the importance of family life. From the very beginning, Catholic teaching informs us that every human life is sacred from conception until natural death. The right to life is a fundamental, human right for the unborn and any law denying the unborn the right to life is unequivocally unjust. Legislative issues pertaining to these matters are advocated on behalf of myself and Bishop Loverde, of the Diocese of Arlington, before the Virginia General Assembly, U.S. Congress, and with state and federal agencies and administrations through the Virginia Catholic Conference, a public policy advocacy organization. Through this organization, elected officials in Virginia are aware of the Church’s positions on such important issues. We continue to maintain an open communication with public officials who make on-going decisions impacting critical, moral and social issues. This is a responsibility I take seriously, along with my brother bishops, to reach out to public leaders to explain Catholic principles and encourage them to protect human life and dignity in all decisions they make. We always pray for our Catholic leaders that they make the right choice, act in the best judgment and in good conscience, knowing the values and teachings of the Catholic Church. It is the duty of all Catholics, no matter their profession, to decide through an upright and informed conscience as to their worthiness to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

###

Contact: Deborah Cox dcox@richmonddiocese.org or (804) 622-5161.

See the statement in pdf here.

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Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo appeals for peace, offers prayers

 in wake of shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana

 "With great sadness I learned of the heartbreaking violence that occurred last night in Dallas when multiple law enforcement officers were shot, five of them fatally, in the last minutes of what had been a peaceful protest march. I pray for those officers, who sacrificed their lives to protect the peace, their families, and for the city of Dallas. Yesterday, I appealed to the people of our Diocese to turn our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ for strength, compassion and mercy in the wake of deep concern about two shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Today I once again urge all to pray continually for peace throughout all the communities in our great nation. Let us pray that future demonstrations are peaceful and we continue to work as a people toward mutual respect, dignity and justice. May God comfort the brokenhearted, and let peace prevail! I invite all to consider this 800-year-old prayer of St. Francis, which is fitting today.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

###

Contact: Deborah Cox: dcox@richmonddiocese.org or (804) 622-5161

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Statement by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo for Peace and Unity Following Deaths in Louisiana & Minnesota

Richmond, VA - Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo issued the following statement: "Today, I would like to express my deep sorrow and sadness for the loss of life that has occurred in Louisiana and Minnesota. During these difficult times, let us turn our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ for strength, compassion and mercy. It is through Him that we will find hope and peace.” “In this Year of Mercy, may we all continually pray for peace in our country. It is my hope that the demonstrations across our nation remain peaceful and they encourage mutual respect and dignity for all. May God comfort all the individuals, their families and communities affected by these recent events and that a fair, just and peaceful resolution is found." See the pdf here.

###

Contact: Deborah Cox: dcox@richmonddiocese.org or (804) 622-5161

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Diocese hires Cemetery Management Company,

Announces New Office of Cemeteries

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo has authorized the Diocese of Richmond to hire Catholic Management Services, a strategic planning and professional services firm, to restore, maintain and make financially viable almost 60 cemeteries, mausoleum and columbaria within the Diocese of Richmond. CMS, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif. specializing in providing business planning services to revitalize cemetery operations. After successfully revitalizing the Diocese of Oakland cemeteries, CMS was hired by other dioceses to share its expertise in cemetery management. It serves the Dioceses of Sacramento, Spokane, Detroit and Saginaw, among others, and has recently expanded operations by opening an office to service the eastern region of the United States. Under the new arrangement, CMS’s first order of business will be to hire a director for the Diocese’s newly created Office of Cemeteries to manage and maintain its burial sites and to work with parishes to raise awareness of this ministry of consolation. See the job posting here. The Diocese’s new initiative will represent a paradigm shift, bringing into focus the role of cemeteries and other burial sites as sacred places of Catholic outreach, education and evangelization. At the same time, the initiative is designed to restore cemeteries to fiscal health, many of which are financially struggling. “We believe that providing well-maintained, financially sound cemeteries and other burial sites will better enable our Diocese to evangelize what we as Catholics believe about the care and respect we show to our deceased loved ones,” said Bishop DiLorenzo. “CMS and our new Office of Cemeteries will serve as a vital resource to our parishes and parishioners in this important time. In addition, financially sound cemeteries will bring in additional resources to suppo rt this ministry.” The Catholic Church teaches that the human body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. The Canon law of the Church defines cemeteries and other sites as sacred places of repose for the body until the final resurrection. Because of this belief, the Church requires its dioceses and parishes to maintain cemeteries, mausoleums, and columbaria in virtual perpetuity. Church buildings and grounds, however, are fluid: closures, remodeling and expansions occur due to the changing demographics and pastoral needs of the parish. In response, the Diocese implemented a new policy, endorsed by the diocesan Priests Council in January of this year, prohibiting new construction of cemeteries, etc. within close proximity of church buildings. In 2014 CMS began an extensive assessment, including visits, to nearly all 24 parish and regional cemeteries, 33 columbaria and 3 mausoleums located throughout the Diocese. The assessment showed inconsistencies in policies, procedures, pricing and maintenance of cemeteries and columbaria and indicated these parishes would benefit from guidance and recommendations for best practices to better address the challenges they face today. Some of these locations present financial liability issues because they have inadequate endowment funds to provide for their perpetual care. The assessment also revealed pastoral concerns about how and where cemeteries and columbaria are being located, as well as an opportunity to educate families about the rich liturgical tradition of the Catholic Church and Christian burial. The results of this assessment was presented to the Priests Council upon its completion. Earlier this year, pastors and parish staff were invited to presentations at three locations throughout the Diocese to discuss the role of the new Office of Cemeteries and the Diocese’s hiring of Catholic Management Services.

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See the announcementin pdf.

[post_title] => Diocese establishes new Office of Cemeteries, hires cemetery management company [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocese-establishes-new-office-of-cemeteries-hires-cemetery-management-company [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-04 09:13:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-04 14:13:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101592 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101219 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-10-01 18:33:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-10-01 18:33:49 [post_content] => My Dear Friends, As we prepare to enter into a Year of Faith in observance of the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, all Catholics are called by our Holy Father to reflect on the richness of our Catholic faith and “to rediscover the gift of Baptismal faith and that task of giving witness.” This Year of Faith is intended to awaken Catholics around the world to deepen our relationship with God and live as joyful witnesses to the Gospel. From October 11, 2012 to November 24, 2013, we are called to deepen our life of prayer, study, outreach and evangelization. One way for Catholics to exercise this call is through a more focused approach to our prayer life. Prayer helps us form a more “vital and personal relationship with the living and true God” (CCC 2558). We also have an opportunity to learn more about those whose witness has been forever lifted up as an example to others. By rediscovering the faith of our saints, including those from North American, Catholics in the United States will gain insights into their personal witness to the dignity of every human person, to religious liberty and to our Catholic faith. These are times of enormous challenge and opportunity for the Catholic Church. Trends in the United States suggest that only 30% of Americans who were raised Catholic are still participating; a full 10% of all adults in the U.S. are ex-Catholics; and the number of marriages celebrated in the Church decreased by nearly 60 % between 1972 and 2010. If the Church is to reverse these trends,  the evangelizers must first be evangelized – in other words, Catholics in the pew must make a conscious choice to know and follow Jesus before they can draw others to him. There are a number of excellent resources available through the internet and the many Catholic publishers of which you are already familiar to help achieve this. The staff at the Diocesan Pastoral Center is ready and able to assist you.   Throughout this Year of Faith, we pray in thanksgiving for the gift of our Catholic faith. Faith is God’s gift to us, God’s invitation to a relationship so that we may live out the call of discipleship to be joyful witnesses to Jesus Christ. God bless each of you during this Year of Faith.   Sincerely yours in Our Lord, Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo Bishop of Richmond October 2012  
To Download PDF copy of letter, click here. [post_title] => Bishop Speaks on Year of Faith [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-speaks-on-year-of-faith [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-16 19:00:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-16 19:00:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101219 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101223 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-05-01 18:39:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-05-01 18:39:06 [post_content] => Download Bishop's Letter here. [post_title] => Bishop's Letter on Fortnight for Freedom [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-letter-on-fortnight-for-freedom [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-16 18:44:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-16 18:44:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101223 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101225 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2012-01-26 18:44:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2012-01-26 18:44:24 [post_content] => Download Bishop's Letter on the U.S.S Department of Health & Human Services here. [post_title] => U.S Department of Health and Human Services [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-department-of-health-and-human-services [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-11-16 18:51:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2016-11-16 18:51:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101225 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 12 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103205 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-21 16:29:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-21 21:29:10 [post_content] => February 21, 2017 Virginia Catholic Bishops Statement on Governor McAuliffe's Veto of Bill Defunding Planned Parenthood Richmond, VA - For the second consecutive year, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has demonstrated his unwavering commitment to the nation's largest abortion provider - at the expense of comprehensive health care for women. This morning, Gov. McAuliffe vetoed HB 2264, which would have redirected state tax dollars away from Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, and toward community health centers that provide primary care to women and their families. This legislation had been introduced by Del. Ben Cline, R- Rockbridge. Surrounded by Planned Parenthood supporters at a veto ceremony outside the Governor's Mansion this morning, Gov. McAuliffe said his actions protected the rights and dignity of Virginia women - when, in fact, his actions harm the dignity of the women deceived by the multi-billion dollar abortion industry as well as the tiniest females, those still in the womb whose lives are brutally eliminated by abortion. Despite its deceptive talking points about caring for women's health, Planned Parenthood performs less than 2% of women's cancer screenings nationwide, and provides no mammograms whatsoever. It offers, instead, the opposite of health care - conducting almost 17 times more abortions than birth-oriented services and aborting 160 children for every 1 child it refers for adoption. Planned Parenthood is responsible for nearly 900 abortions every day, a third of all abortions in the U.S. And yet, despite the fact that most Americans don't want their tax dollars to pay for other people's abortions, Planned Parenthood received half-a-billion dollars in taxpayer funding in its most recently reported fiscal year. It received this money despite extensive evidence that it illegally profited from the transfer of fetal tissue harvested during abortions. The Virginia Catholic Conference upholds the timeless truth that every human being, born and unborn, has an equal right to life. The Conference finds Gov. McAuliffe's pride in protecting an organization that destroys life and harms women and their families deeply offensive.  We will continue to fight for the day when Virginia law protects all human life, at every stage of development, from conception until natural death. The Virginia Catholic Conference represents the public policy interests of Virginia's Catholic bishops and their two dioceses. 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Office > Communications

Office Of Communications

Purpose: United with Jesus Christ and His Church, we strive to inform and inspire the people of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to proclaim boldly the Good News of our Faith. The Office of Communications supports the work of the Bishop, diocesan leaders, parishes, schools and Catholic agencies through a variety of channels, including the diocesan website, The Catholic Virginian print and digital newspaper, social media, response to media inquiries and other communication tools.

All media inquiries, including interviews, photographs or access to diocesan churches, buildings or property, please contact Deborah Cox, Communications Director