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                    [post_date] => 2018-12-03 16:31:16
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-03 21:31:16
                    [post_content] => December 3, 2018

WASHINGTON--Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“We join with people across the nation as we mourn the passing of President George H.W. Bush. We remember with gratitude this great man who spent his life selflessly in service of his country.  With an unwavering commitment to building bridges of peace and ensuring our nation's freedoms, he also inspired many as a devoted husband, father and family patriarch.

On behalf of my brother bishops of the United States, we pray for the repose of the soul of our forty-first president as we remember a life well lived.

We also offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for his bereaved family and all those who mourn his passing.  May you find peace and comfort in the consoling love of Jesus Christ.”

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Declaración del Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos en relación a la muerte del Presidente George H.W. Bush 3 de diciembre de 2018 WASHINGTON— El Cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo, Arzobispo de Galveston-Houston y Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, emitió un comunicado sobre el fallecimiento del Presidente George Herbert Walker Bush. La declaración completa del Cardenal DiNardo es la siguiente: “Nos unimos a las personas de todo el país al lamentar el fallecimiento del Presidente George H.W. Bush. Recordamos con gratitud a este gran hombre que pasó su vida desinteresadamente al servicio de su país. Con un compromiso inquebrantable de construir puentes de paz y garantizar las libertades de nuestra nación, también inspiró a muchos como un devoto esposo, padre y patriarca de la familia. En nombre de mis hermanos Obispos de Estados Unidos, oramos por el descanso del alma de nuestro cuadragésimo primer presidente al recordar una vida bien vivida. También ofrecemos nuestras más sinceras condolencias y oraciones por su familia afligida y por todos aquellos que lloran su muerte. Que encuentren paz y consuelo en el amor consolador de Jesucristo".

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[post_title] => President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on the Death of President George H.W. Bush [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-statement-on-the-death-of-president-george-h-w-bush [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-04 08:48:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-04 13:48:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113544 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113533 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-12-03 13:21:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-03 18:21:29 [post_content] => December 3, 2018 Following a series of conversations throughout the diocese with clergy and lay leadership from the Black Catholic community, Bishop Barry Knestout is pleased to announce that Deacon Charles Williams has accepted the position of Interim Director, Office for Black Catholics effective December 1, 2018. As interim director, Deacon Williams will continue the mission of the Office by seeking opportunities for ongoing inclusion and participation of Black Catholics within the life of the diocese, overseeing a pastoral planning process to effectively serve this community, and providing a renewed focus on the New Evangelization within the African American community. Concurrent with this new role, Deacon Williams will continue in his assignment as permanent deacon at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and his supporting role with diocesan prison ministry efforts. We welcome Deacon Williams in his new role and ask for prayers as he carries out the historic mission of this Office.

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[post_title] => Deacon Charles Williams Accepts Position of Interim Director, Office for Black Catholics [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => deacon-charles-williams-accepts-position-of-interim-director-office-for-black-catholics [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-03 13:35:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-03 18:35:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113533 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113288 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-11-19 13:22:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-19 18:22:46 [post_content] => For Immediate Release: November 19, 2018 [caption id="attachment_113161" align="alignright" width="400"] Bishop Barry C. Knestout attends the USCCB 2018 Fall General Assembly, Nov. 12-14, in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)[/caption] “The Church has no greater charge than the protection of children. I am hopeful that, despite our not acting upon specific measures related to the abuse scandal, the discussions which took place during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about bishops’ accountability regarding clergy sexual abuse will be the foundation for concrete action — not only for the Church in the United States, but for the Church universal. Child protection is not only a parish, diocesan and national concern in our Church, but it is a concern for the Church throughout the world. So, when our Holy Father meets with the presidents of bishops’ conferences in February, they will be looking at protecting ALL children and making ALL bishops accountable for what they do in this regard. Be assured we are continuing to move forward with the commitment I made to the faithful of our diocese in September:
  • to make public the names of those priests from our diocese who received credible and substantiated allegations of abuse;
  • to have a full, extensive audit of clergy files by an independent entity, with oversight from the Diocesan Review Board, which will hold us accountable; and
  • to establish an abuse victims’ assistance fund for counseling aid to those who have experienced abuse from clergy.
Please continue to pray for victims of abuse and for our Church as we heal and work unceasingly to answer the call for reform and renewal and to prevent such a scourge from ever occurring again.” Read the President of the U.S.C.C.B Statement Following the Close of the Fall General Session in Baltimore Nov. 12-14.

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[post_title] => Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following the Close of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Public Sessions at the 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-c-knestout-statement-following-the-close-of-the-u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-public-sessions-at-the-2018-fall-general-assembly-in-baltimore [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-26 13:16:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-26 18:16:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113288 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113219 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-11-16 11:17:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-16 16:17:06 [post_content] =>
November 14, 2018

BALTIMORE—On the final day of the public sessions of the U.S. Bishops fall general assembly in Baltimore, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, delivered the following remarks. Cardinal DiNardo’s full address follows: “Brothers, I opened the meeting expressing some disappointment. I end it with hope. My hope is first of all grounded in Christ, who desires that the Church be purified and that our efforts bear fruit. In late summer on your behalf, I expressed our renewed fraternal affection for our Holy Father. In September the Administrative Committee expressed for all of us our “love, obedience and loyalty” for Pope Francis. Now together with you today, gathered in Baltimore in Plenary Assembly, we the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pledge to His Holiness our loyalty and devotion in these difficult days. I am sure that, under the leadership of Pope Francis, the conversation that the global Church will have in February will help us eradicate the evil of sexual abuse from our Church. It will make our local efforts more global and the global perspective will help us here. Brothers, you and the speakers we have heard from have given me direction and consensus. I will take it as a springboard for action. Listening is essential, but listening must inform decisive action. Let me take this moment to thank the many survivors and experts who have given us such good counsel and direction these last few days. When the summer’s news first broke, we committed to three goals: to do what we could to get to the bottom of the Archbishop McCarrick situation; to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier; and, to develop a means of holding ourselves accountable that was genuinely independent, duly authorized, and had substantial lay involvement. Now, we are on course to accomplish these goals. That is the direction that you and the survivors of abuse across our country have given me for the February meeting in Rome. More than that, in the days prior to the meeting of episcopal conference presidents, the Task Force I established this week will convert that direction into specific action steps. Some of those actions steps include:
  • A process for investigating complaints against bishops reported through a third-party compliance hotline. We will complete a proposal for a single national lay commission and a proposal for a national network relying upon the established diocesan review boards, with their lay expertise, to be overseen by the metropolitan or senior suffragan.
  • Finalizing the Standards of Accountability for Bishops.
  • Finalizing the Protocol for Removed Bishops.
  • Studying national guidelines for the publication of lists of names of those clerics facing substantiated claims of abuse.
  • Supporting the fair and timely completion of the various investigations into the situation surrounding Archbishop McCarrick and publication of their results. We are grateful for the Holy See’s Statement of October 6 in this regard.
We leave this place committed to taking the strongest possible actions at the earliest possible moment. We will do so in communion with the Universal Church. Moving forward in concert with the Church around the world will make the Church in the United States stronger, and will make the global Church stronger. But our hope for true and deep reform ultimately lies in more than excellent systems, as essential as these are. It requires holiness: the deeply held conviction of the truths of the Gospel, and the eager readiness to be transformed by those truths in all aspects of life. As the nuncio reminded us on Monday, “if the Church is to reform herself and her structures, then the reform must spring from her mission of making known Christ, the Son of the Living God.” No system of governance or oversight, however excellent and necessary, suffices alone to make us, weak as we all are, able to live up to the high calling we have received in Christ. We must recommit to holiness and to the mission of the Church. Brothers, I have heard you today. I am confident that in unity with the Holy Father and in conversation with the Universal Church in February we will move forward. There is more to be done, but what we have done is a sign of hope. Commending everything to the intercession of Our Lady, we pray together . . . Hail Mary…"

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[post_title] => President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Makes Statement at Close of Public Sessions; Fall General Assembly, Baltimore Nov. 12-14 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-makes-statement-at-close-of-public-sessions-fall-general-assembly-baltimore-nov-12-14 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-16 11:18:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-16 16:18:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113219 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113158 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-11-14 15:32:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-14 20:32:21 [post_content] => Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service   BALTIMORE — The U.S. bishops overwhelmingly approved a statement against racism Nov. 14 during their fall general meeting at Baltimore. The document, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love — A Pastoral Letter Against Racism,” passed 241-3 with one abstention. It required a two-thirds vote by all bishops, or 183 votes, for passage. “Despite many promising strides made in our country, the ugly cancer of racism still infects our nation,” the pastoral letter says. “Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice. They reveal a failure to acknowledge the human dignity of the persons offended, to recognize them as the neighbors Christ calls us to love,” it adds. [caption id="attachment_113163" align="alignright" width="400"] CNS photo/Bob Roller[/caption] Bishops speaking on the pastoral gave clear consent to the letter’s message. “This statement is very important and very timely,” said Bishop John E. Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky. He appreciated that the letter took note of the racism suffered by African-Americans and Native Americans, “two pieces of our national history that we have not reconciled.” “This will be a great, fruitful document for discussion,” said Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond, in whose diocese the violence-laden “Unite the Right” rally was held last year. Bishop Knestout added the diocese has already conducted listening sessions on racism. Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, what he called “ground zero for the civil rights movement,” said the pastoral’s message is needed, as the civil rights movement “began 60 years ago and we’re still working on achieving the goals in this document.” Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said he was grateful for the pastoral’s declaration that “an attack against the dignity of the human person is an attack the dignity of life itself.” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix said the letter will be welcome among Native Americans, who populate 11 missions in the diocese, African-Americans in Arizona — “I think we were the last of the 50 states to be part of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday,” he noted — and Hispanics, who make up 80 percent of all diocesan Catholics under age 20. “This is very important for our people and our youth to know the history of racism,” he added. Bishop Shelton T. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, said an electronic copy of “Open Wide Our Hearts” would be posted “somewhat immediately,” with a print version available around Thanksgiving. “Also, there will be resources available immediately” now that the pastoral letter has been approved, including Catholic school resources for kindergarten through 12th grade, added the bishop, who also is chair of the bishops’ Subcommittee on African American Affairs. [caption id="attachment_113161" align="alignright" width="400"] CNS photo/Bob Roller[/caption] “‘Open Wide Our Hearts’ conveys the bishops’ grave concern about the rise of racist attitudes in society,” Bishop Fabre said Nov. 13, when the pastoral was put on the floor of the bishops’ meeting. It also “offers practical suggestions for individuals, families and communities,” he said. “Every racist act — every such comment, every joke, every disparaging look as a reaction to the color of skin, ethnicity or place of origin — is a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God,” it adds. “Racial profiling frequently targets Hispanics for selective immigration enforcement practices, and African-Americans for suspected criminal activity. There is also the growing fear and harassment of persons from majority Muslim countries. Extreme nationalist ideologies are feeding the American public discourse with xenophobic rhetoric that instigates fear against foreigners, immigrants and refugees.” “Personal sin is freely chosen,” a notion that would seem to include racism, said retired Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Nov. 13, but “social sin is collective blindness. There is sin as deed and sin as illness. It’s a pervasive illness that runs through a culture.” Bishop Fabre responded that the proposed letter refers to institutional and structural racism. An amendment from Bishop Ramirez to include this language in the pastoral was accepted by the bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, which guided the document’s preparation. Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of Beaumont, Texas, said Nov. 13 the pastoral “gives us a wonderful opportunity to educate, to convert,” adding that, given recent incidents, the document should give “consideration to our Jewish brothers and sisters.” Bishop Fabre replied that while anti-Semitism is mentioned in the document, future materials will focus on anti-Semitism. A proposed amendment to the pastoral to include the Confederate battle flag in the pastoral alongside nooses and swastikas as symbols of hatred was rejected by the committee. “Nooses and swastikas are widely recognized signs of hatred, the committee commented, but “while for many the Confederate flag is also a sign of hatred and segregation, some still claim it as a sign of heritage.” [post_title] => Bishops Approve Pastoral Letter Against Racism [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-approve-pastoral-letter-against-racism [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-14 15:38:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-14 20:38:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113158 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113216 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-11-13 11:12:11 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-13 16:12:11 [post_content] => November 13, 2018 BALTIMORE—On Tuesday, November 13, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' independent lay advisory panel on the protection of children and young people delivered a special report to the body of U.S. bishops regarding the abuse crisis in the Church.  In an address to the bishops who have gathered in Baltimore for the annual fall general assembly, National Review Board Chairman Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., outlined key reforms and urged action. The report calls for broadening the scope of the Charter on the Protection of Children and Young People to include bishops; the publication of complete lists of credibly accused clergy in all dioceses; improving the audit process; and enhancing accountability for bishops regarding cases of abuse. You can find the full report here: www.usccb.org/about/child-and-youth-protection/upload/National-Review-Board-Special-Report-to-the-Body-of-Bishops-November-2018.pdf

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[post_title] => National Review Board Urges Need to Broaden the Scope of the Charter to Include Bishops; Lay Panel Urges Reform to Improve Transparency and Enhance Accountability [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => national-review-board-urges-need-to-broaden-the-scope-of-the-charter-to-include-bishops-lay-panel-urges-reform-to-improve-transparency-and-enhance-accountability [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-16 11:12:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-16 16:12:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113216 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113124 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-11-13 08:43:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-13 13:43:34 [post_content] => Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service BALTIMORE — At the urging of the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will not vote on two proposals they were to discuss at their Baltimore meeting regarding their response to the clergy sex abuse crisis. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, informed the bishops as they opened their fall general assembly Nov. 12 that the Vatican wanted the bishops to delay any vote until after a February meeting with the pope and presidents of the bishops’ conferences around the world that will focus on addressing clergy abuse. Affected are proposed standards of episcopal conduct and the formation of a special commission for review of complaints against bishops for violations of the standards. Cardinal DiNardo said he was disappointed that no action would be taken during the assembly, but that he was hopeful that the delay “will improve our response to the crisis we face.” The cardinal’s announcement came two days after Pope Francis met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, at the Vatican. Archbishop Pierre returned to the United States Nov. 11 in time for the first day of the U.S. bishops’ general fall assembly in Baltimore. However, at a midday news conference, Cardinal DiNardo said the request to delay action came from the Congregation for Bishops. The assembly planned to move forward with discussion of both proposals from the bishop’s Administrative Committee. The Administrative Committee consists of the officers, chairmen and regional representatives of the USCCB. The committee, which meets in March and September, is the highest authority of the USCCB outside of the full body of bishops when they meet for their fall and spring general assemblies. In response, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago suggested the general assembly move forward with its discussion of the two proposals. He also called for a special assembly in March to weigh and vote on the measures after being informed by the outcome of the February meeting in Rome. “It is clear that the Holy See is taking seriously the abuse crisis in the Church,” Cardinal Cupich said, adding that the February meeting was a “watershed moment” in Church history. “We need to be clear where we stand and tell our people where we stand,” he said. Later in the morning session, just before the assembly adjourned for a day of prayer and penitence, Cardinal DiNardo opened his presidential address pointing to the weakness within the Church that has led to the clergy abuse crisis. Repeatedly citing the words of St. Augustine, he said “in order that weakness might become strong, strength became weak.” He called for action to lift the entire brotherhood of bishops from a place of weakness that has allowed the clergy sex abuse crisis to exist. While there were to be no votes on specific action at the meeting, he said the deliberations the bishops would undertake would set them on the route to healing for the Church and for victims of abuse. He also held up his own weakness to victims, saying: “Where I have not been watchful or alert to your needs, wherever I have failed, I am deeply sorry.” Cardinal DiNardo urged the bishops to root themselves in the life and teaching of Jesus to lead the Church and the victims of abuse to healing. He also called for the bishops to focus on the needs of victims so that “our example not lead a single person away from the Lord.” He also said that the bishops must be as accountable as anyone else in ministry in the Church and that they, like priests and other Church workers, must adhere to the same standards of conduct identified in the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” “Whether we will be remembered as guardians of the abused or of the abuser will be determined by our action beginning this week and the months ahead. Let us draw near to Christ today sacrificing him our own ambitions and promptly submit ourselves totally to what he demands of us both in love and justice,” he said. In his seven-minute address, the cardinal said that he read that St. Augustine warned there are two extremes that pose dangers to the faithful  despair and presumption. “We and the faithful can fall into despair believing that there is no hope for the Church or (for) good change in the Church. We can also believe that there are no hopes for healing from these sins,” he said. “But we must always remember that there is a thing called trusting faith and it leads us on our current journey. This trusting faith provides us roots, roots for a living memory. Our people need this living memory of hope,” he said. Presumption can lull the Church into inactivity, he added, “by presuming that this will blow over, that things simply return to normal on their own. Some would say this is entirely a crisis of the past, and it is not. We must never victimize survivors over again by demanding that hey heal on our timeline.” While the majority of abuse incidents occurred decades ago, the pain among victims “is daily and present,” he continued and warned against leaving behind people who have been hurt by clergy. “In justice we must search for every child of God whose innocence is lost to a horrific predator at any time decades ago or this very day,” Cardinal DiNardo said. He explained that healing can result through forgiveness, adding, “Let us not only be willing but also ready and eager to ask for forgiveness.” “Combating the evil of sexual assault in the Church will require all our spiritual and physical resources,” he said. “We must draw near to Christ in our sorrow, in humility and in contrition to better hear his voice and discern his will. It is only after listening that we can carry out the changes needed, the changes the people of God are rightfully demanding.” [post_title] => Vatican Asks Bishops to Delay Vote on Sex Abuse Response Proposals [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => vatican-asks-bishops-to-delay-vote-on-sex-abuse-response-proposals [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-13 08:43:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-13 13:43:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113124 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113109 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-11-12 11:15:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-12 16:15:09 [post_content] => Bishop Knestout will participate in the annual LARCUM Conference, which brings together people from Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and United Methodist backgrounds in Charlottesville from November 30-December 1. This year’s theme is Praying, Believing, Doing: An Ecumenism of Liturgy and Life. View the event brochure and schedule of events: https://bit.ly/2B1pyqd Find more information and register online: http://virginialarcum.org/ [post_title] => Bishop Knestout Will Attend 2018 LARCUM Conference [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-knestout-will-attend-2018-larcum-conference [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-16 13:55:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-16 18:55:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113109 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112998 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-31 09:36:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-31 13:36:43 [post_content] =>
October 29, 2018 WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 12-14. The assembly will begin with an address by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the USCCB and also an address by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.  The body of bishops will then adjourn to an on-site chapel for a full day of spiritual discernment and prayer.  This will be followed by a Mass celebrated Monday evening at the site of the assembly. During the assembly the bishops will discuss and vote on a series of concrete measures to respond to the abuse crisis, including those approved for the agenda at the September meeting of the Administrative Committee, such as a third-party reporting mechanism, standards of conduct for bishops, and protocols for bishops resigned or removed because of abuse.  The bishops will also hear reports from the National Advisory Council and National Review Board. The assembly will also vote on the Pastoral Letter Against Racism and will also hear a report on the 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.  The bishops will also vote on the 2019 budget. The bishops will also vote for a Conference Treasurer-elect, new chairmen of the Committee on Catholic Education, and new chairmen-elect of the following five USCCB committees: Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, Committee on Divine Worship, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, and the Committee on Migration. There will also be a voice vote on the cause for canonization for Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA. Public sessions of general assembly discussions and votes as well as portions of the day of spiritual discernment will be available via livestream at:   http://www.usccb.org/live News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible. Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB18 and follow on Twitter (@USCCB) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb). Media outlets interested in taking the meeting’s satellite feed may request coordinates by email. Live stream and satellite feed is expected to run Monday, 12, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, November 13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern and Wednesday, November 14, 11a.m.-6p.m.  The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet and will be available via satellite for broadcasters wishing to air it. The live stream will be available at:  http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/usccb-general-assembly-live-stream.cfm.

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[post_title] => U.S. Bishops To Meet Nov. 12-14 in Baltimore; Will Address Abuse Crisis and Action Items; Assembly to be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-bishops-to-meet-nov-12-14-in-baltimore-will-address-abuse-crisis-and-action-items-assembly-to-be-live-streamed-live-tweeted-carried-via-satellite [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-16 11:05:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-16 16:05:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112998 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112994 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-30 08:45:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-30 12:45:47 [post_content] => October 29, 2018 WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, and Sister Donna Markham OP PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA issued the following statement urging all people of goodwill to speak and act with compassion towards those migrating north and seeking refuge from violence and poverty. The full statement follows: “As Catholic agencies assisting poor and vulnerable migrants in the United States and around the world, we are deeply saddened by the violence, injustice, and deteriorating economic conditions forcing many people to flee their homes in Central America. While nations have the right to protect their borders, this right comes with responsibilities: governments must enforce laws proportionately, treat all people humanely, and provide due process. We affirm that seeking asylum is not a crime. We urge all governments to abide by international law and existing domestic laws that protect those seeking safe haven and ensure that all those who are returned to their home country are protected and repatriated safely. Furthermore, we strongly advocate for continued U.S. investments to address the underlying causes of violence and lack of opportunity in Central America. Our presence throughout the Americas has convinced us that migration is a regional issue that requires a comprehensive, regional solution. An enforcement-only approach does not address nor solve the larger root causes that cause people to flee their countries in search of protection. As Christians, we must answer the call to act with compassion towards those in need and to work together to find humane solutions that honor the rule of law and respect the dignity of human life.”

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[post_title] => Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration and Presidents of Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA Urge Humane Action Towards Those Seeking Protection [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chairman-of-the-usccb-committee-on-migration-and-presidents-of-catholic-relief-services-and-catholic-charities-usa-issued-statement-urging-humane-action-towards-those-seeking-protection [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-30 08:48:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-30 12:48:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112994 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112980 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-26 15:40:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-26 19:40:55 [post_content] => In anticipation of Election Day on November 6, Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Knestout have issued a statement offering principles and observations to the faithful of their dioceses on exercising the right to vote with a conscience formed through prayer, attentiveness to the Church’s teachings, and understanding issues and candidates’ positions on them. See their statement in English here and in Spanish here. The bishops’ statement as well as other voter resources can also be found at www.vacatholic.org. If you are not a member of the Conference's advocacy network, click here to receive regular Conference email alerts and updates. In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.   [post_title] => Bishops Urge Voters to be Citizens Faithful to the Lord [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-urge-voters-to-be-citizens-faithful-to-the-lord [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-01 12:09:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-01 16:09:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112980 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112939 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-24 15:44:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-24 19:44:18 [post_content] => For Immediate Release - October 24, 2018 Today, Attorney General Mark Herring publicly announced his office’s investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy in Virginia.  The Diocese of Arlington and the Diocese of Richmond assure the faithful and the public that we are cooperating with the Attorney General’s office. Any instance of child sexual abuse is intolerable and gravely immoral. We hope that this process will bring healing for all victims and confirm our commitment to accountability and justice. Having met with victims, we know that such abuse is unforgettable and many carry that burden with them throughout their lives. We continue to welcome the opportunity to meet personally with victims, to hear their stories, and to support them in their journey toward healing. Prior to being contacted by the Attorney General, both dioceses began internal investigative processes using independent investigators tasked with reviewing all diocesan clergy files. We promised to publish a list of all priests and deacons against whom credible and substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been made, and we renew that promise. We will continue these efforts and ensure it does not impede the Attorney General’s investigation. In keeping with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established in 2002, we report every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to legal authorities. Each accusation is also brought before a diocesan Review Board, composed mostly of lay people. We thoroughly vet clergy and staff and train them to identify suspicious behavior and report any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Volunteers who interact with children also go through this process. We encourage anyone aware of misconduct or abuse on the part of clergy or staff of either diocese to notify legal authorities and utilize the hotline established by the Attorney General: http://www.virginiaclergyhotline.com/  In addition, victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Arlington or the Diocese of Richmond are invited to contact the respective diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator who is available to help victims/survivors make a formal complaint of abuse to the diocese, arrange a personal meeting with the bishop or his representative, and to obtain support for the needs of the individual and families. The diocesan child protection policies are online at: arlingtondiocese.org/childprotection https://richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/ Richmond's Victim Assistance Coordinator

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[post_title] => Joint Statement from Bishop Michael F. Burbidge (Diocese of Arlington) and Bishop Barry C. Knestout (Diocese of Richmond) in Response to the Attorney General’s Investigation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => joint-statement-from-bishop-michael-f-burbidge-diocese-of-arlington-and-bishop-barry-c-knestout-diocese-of-richmond-in-response-to-the-attorney-generals-investigation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-25 15:53:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-25 19:53:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112939 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112878 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-23 12:46:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-23 16:46:05 [post_content] =>

More than 40 people gathered to pray the rosary with Bishop Barry C. Knestout in front of a Richmond Planned Parenthood clinic, Tuesday, Oct. 23. The vigil was part of 40 Days for Life, a national effort in which participants pray for an end to abortion. According to organizers, this was the first time a bishop of the Diocese of Richmond had joined the group in prayer.

Calling abortion a “scourge” on America, Bishop Knestout encouraged the group to continue praying for an end to abortion and to promote the sanctity of life in how they live their daily lives. He thanked them for the commitment they have made on behalf of the unborn.

There are six 40 Days for Life campaigns in the Diocese of Richmond at this time. In addition to Richmond, campaigns are being held in Charlottesville, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Bristol.

Since 40 Days for Life’s inception in 2007, Richmond has been part of every campaign. Two are done each year; the spring campaign is held at the abortion facility at Grove and the Boulevard and the fall campaign at Planned Parenthood on Hamilton.     [post_title] => Bishop Prays with 40 Days for Life Participants [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-prays-with-40-days-for-life-participants [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-23 12:53:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-23 16:53:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112878 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112916 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-23 12:24:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-23 16:24:41 [post_content] => October 23, 2018 WASHINGTON— At the invitation of Pope Francis, the Bishops of the United States will gather for a spiritual retreat set to take place at Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  The bishops will gather in prayer and unity for seven days, from January 2-8, as brothers in the Episcopacy. “The Holy Father has kindly offered the preacher to the Papal Household, Reverend Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., to serve as the retreat director as we come together to pray on the intense matters before us.  For this, I am grateful,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  “I am also grateful to Cardinal Blase Cupich for his kind offer to use the campus of Mundelein Seminary as the location for this retreat.” The announcement comes after Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo met with the Pope earlier this month as part of a regularly scheduled Curia visit. The retreat takes place as the U.S. bishops continue their work to address the current U.S. clergy sex abuse crisis.  In September, the U.S. bishops Administrative Committee http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-152.cfm announced an action plan including a third-party reporting mechanism, standards of conduct for bishops, and protocols for bishops resigned or removed because of abuse.

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[post_title] => U.S. Bishops Will Gather for Seven Days of Prayer and Reflection at Invitation of Pope Francis [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-bishops-will-gather-for-seven-days-of-prayer-and-reflection-at-invitation-of-pope-francis [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-24 14:57:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-24 18:57:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112916 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112868 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-23 10:31:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-23 14:31:07 [post_content] => October 23, 2018 The Catholic Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts made the following announcement October 22, 2018, regarding Father Michael Kuhn, Y.A., and is available online at www.fallriverdiocese.org. Father Michael Kuhn previously served in the Diocese of Richmond as chaplain for Old Dominion University’s Catholic Campus Ministry from 2011 to 2016. The Diocese of Richmond urges anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of clergy, an employee, or volunteer in ministry to come forward and report it immediately to the civil authorities. We ask that you also call the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC) at 1-877-887-9603 or by email at vac@richmonddiocese.org. For more information about the Diocese of Richmond’s Child Protection/Safe Environment Program visit www.richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/.

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[post_title] => Priest of Diocese of Fall River Placed on Leave, Previously Served in Richmond Diocese [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => priest-of-diocese-of-fall-river-placed-on-leave-previously-served-in-richmond-diocese [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-23 10:31:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-23 14:31:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112868 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [15] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112791 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-12 11:50:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-12 15:50:31 [post_content] => October 12, 2018 “Today, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington. Having assisted Cardinal Wuerl for nearly a decade with the many events of the Archdiocese, including coordinating the Archdiocesan Synod and 75th Anniversary celebration, implementing programs for the New Evangelization, and as co-chair of the committees to coordinate two papal visits, I know him to be a dedicated bishop who is devoted to and fully focused on ministering to the people of God. My experience with him in Washington was as an effective teacher, as one who fostered the unity of the Church, love for the sacraments especially the Eucharist and as one who provided careful oversight for charitable works of the Archdiocese. As I said on the day of my announcement as Bishop of Richmond: Cardinal Wuerl has taught me the importance of seeking the best from myself and the people around me who serve the mission of the Church, to proclaim the faith, to celebrate the sacraments and to serve in charity. For this, I am profoundly grateful. I have great love and affection for the Archdiocese of Washington, for the faithful, and for those I’ve worked with and encountered there. I ask everyone to pray for the people of the archdiocese and for Cardinal Wuerl during this time of transition. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide, inspire, and assist our beloved Church during this time.”

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[post_title] => Bishop Knestout’s Statement Regarding Pope Francis Acceptance of Cardinal Wuerl’s Resignation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-knestouts-statement-regarding-pope-francis-acceptance-of-cardinal-wuerls-resignation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-12 11:51:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-12 15:51:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112791 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [16] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112782 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-12 08:40:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-12 12:40:06 [post_content] => October 12, 2018 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington. The resignation was publicized in Washington, DC, October 12, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Cardinal Wuerl had presented his resignation almost three years ago, when he reached the retirement age for bishops of 75. In April 2008, Cardinal Wuerl hosted in Washington, Pope Benedict XVI and in September, 2015, Pope Francis for their first pastoral visits to the United States. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to help direct the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. Cardinal Wuerl was also appointed by Pope Francis as a member of both the 2014 and the 2015 Synods on the Family. The Cardinal was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America, the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Thomas in Rome. He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II on January 6, 1986, in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome. He served as Auxiliary Bishop in Seattle until 1987 and then as Bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years until his appointment to Washington. His titular church in Rome is Saint Peter in Chains. Cardinal Donald Wuerl was born November 12, 1940, in Pittsburgh, PA. He attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a bachelor's degree (1962) and master's degree (1963) in philosophy. He continued his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and earned a master's degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1967, also in Rome. He was ordained a priest on December 17, 1966. From 1981 to 1985, he was rector of Saint Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh. On November 30, 1985 he was appointed titular Bishop of Rosemarkie and Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle. Pope John Paul ordained him a bishop on January 6, 1986. On February 12, 1988, he was installed as Bishop of Pittsburgh. He was appointed Archbishop of Washington on May 16, 2006. He holds honorary degrees from eleven universities and is a Knight of Malta, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, and a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. Cardinal Wuerl served previously as Chairman of the Doctrine Committee for the USCCB and has served on other various USCCB committees. The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles and has a total population of 2,867,377 million of which 630,823 or 22 percent, are Catholic.

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[post_title] => Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-francis-accepts-resignation-of-cardinal-donald-wuerl [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-12 08:44:21 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-12 12:44:21 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112782 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112756 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-08 10:54:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-08 14:54:35 [post_content] => 7 de octubre de 2018 ROMA— El Cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo, Arzobispo de Galveston-Houston y Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB, por sus siglas en inglés) recibe con agrado el reciente anuncio de la Santa Sede que describe los pasos para garantizar que los fieles estén protegidos contra el mal de la agresión sexual. El comunicado completo del Cardenal DiNardo es el siguiente: “En nombre de mis hermanos obispos en los Estados Unidos, recibo con agrado la declaración de este 6 de octubre de la Santa Sede que describe los pasos adicionales que el Papa Francisco está dando para garantizar que los fieles estén protegidos contra el mal de la agresión sexual. La ‘urgente invitación del Santo Padre a unir fuerzas para combatir el grave flagelo de los abusos dentro y fuera de la Iglesia’ ha sido y seguirá siendo diligentemente aceptada por los obispos de los Estados Unidos. “La verdad va a asegurar que los terribles pecados del pasado no se repitan. La valentía de los sobrevivientes de abusos que dieron a conocer primero la horrible verdad de los abusos sexuales debe continuar siendo igualado por nuestro coraje como pastores para responder con justicia. El Papa Francisco se hace eco del llamado de Cristo para estar con los sobrevivientes en su momento de necesidad. Respondamos simplemente. '¡Sí Señor!' “Los obispos de los Estados Unidos ofrecemos nuestras oraciones y solidaridad con el Santo Padre. Instamos a todos en la Iglesia, especialmente a los obispos, a reafirmar nuestra comunión con el Papa Francisco, que es el garante visible de la comunión de la Iglesia Católica. Nos unimos en oración y servicio con Su Santidad mientras guía a la Iglesia a encontrarse con nuestros hermanos y hermanas en su sufrimiento. Con el corazón de un pastor, el Santo Padre nos llama a un camino de curación”.

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[post_title] => El Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos recibe con agrado el anuncio de la Santa Sede sobre los pasos adicionales que está dando para que los fieles estén protegidos contra el mal de la agresión sexual [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => el-presidente-de-la-conferencia-de-obispos-catolicos-de-estados-unidos-recibe-con-agrado-el-anuncio-de-la-santa-sede-sobre-los-pasos-adicionales-que-esta-dando-para-que-los-fieles-esten-protegidos-con [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-08 10:55:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-08 14:55:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112756 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [18] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112752 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-08 08:46:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-08 12:46:22 [post_content] => October 7, 2018 ROME—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is welcoming the recent announcement by the Holy See outlining steps to ensure the faithful are protected by the evil of sexual assault. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I welcome the statement of October 6 from the Holy See which outlines additional steps Pope Francis is taking to ensure the faithful are protected from the evil of sexual assault.  The Holy Father’s ‘pressing invitation to unite forces to fight the grave scourge of abuse within the Church and beyond’ has been and will continue to be diligently accepted by the bishops of the United States. “The truth will ensure terrible sins of the past are not repeated.  The courage of abuse survivors who first brought the horrific truth of sexual abuse to light must continue to be matched by our courage as pastors to respond in justice.  Pope Francis echoes the call of Christ to be with survivors in their time of need. Let us respond simply. ‘Yes, Lord!’ “The bishops of the United States offer our prayers and solidarity for the Holy Father. We urge all in the Church, particularly the bishops, to reaffirm our communion with Pope Francis who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic church. We unite in prayer and service with His Holiness as he leads the Church to meet our brothers and sisters in their suffering. With a pastor’s heart, the Holy Father calls us to a path of healing.”

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[post_title] => President of U.S. Bishops' Conference Welcomes Steps Holy See is Taking to Ensure Faithful are Protected from the Evil of Sexual Abuse [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-bishops-conference-welcomes-steps-holy-see-is-taking-to-ensure-faithful-are-protected-from-the-evil-of-sexual-abuse [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-08 08:50:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-08 12:50:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112752 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [19] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112537 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-01 11:02:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-01 15:02:47 [post_content] => 1 de octubre de 2018 WASHINGTON— El Arzobispo Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, Arzobispo de San Antonio y Presidente del Comité para la Diversidad Cultural en la Iglesia de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos (USCCB) emitió un comunicado con motivo de la conclusión del V Encuentro Nacional de la Pastoral Hispana/Latina que se realizó en Grapevine, Texas, del 20 al 23 de septiembre. El texto completo del comunicado del Arzobispo García-Siller es el siguiente: Hermanos y Hermanas, ¡Qué maravilloso Quinto Encuentro Nacional de la Pastoral Hispana/Latina el que tuvimos en Grapevine, Texas, del 20 al 23 de septiembre! Para nosotros los Obispos fue al mismo tiempo una experiencia que nos llena de humildad y fue inspirador presenciar y participar en este evento lleno de gracia que culminó un proceso de varios años. Cuatro días de oración, intercambio y aprendizaje revelaron a un pueblo de Dios vivo en el amor de Jesús. El proceso ahora continúa con la misión de llevar a nuestras comunidades y diócesis lo que experimentamos en el V Encuentro Nacional. Construir “una cultura de encuentro que reviva la esperanza”. Con este llamado, el Papa Francisco dio la bienvenida al V Encuentro a unas 3.200 personas provenientes de más de 160 diócesis y unas 200 organizaciones católicas de todo el país. Después de transmitirse el video con el mensaje del Santo Padre, el Nuncio Apostólico para Estados Unidos, Arzobispo Christophe Pierre, nos invitó a salir de nuestra zona de confort y a convertirnos en fermento de comunión. Nosotros, los delegados al V Encuentro, Obispos y pueblo caminando juntos, agradecidos llevamos este encargo a nuestras comunidades llenos de un espíritu misionero. El proceso del V Encuentro, y especialmente la reunión nacional, pasará a la historia como un momento especial de gracia para la Iglesia en Estados Unidos en estos tiempos turbulentos y difíciles. Como el Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, acertadamente expresó en sus palabras de bienvenida: "En medio de esta oscuridad, el Encuentro es una luz que brilla e ilumina el camino a seguir. El entusiasmo, la pasión, el amor y la alegría del proceso de Encuentro es un medio de gracia, un regalo para nosotros mientras nos esforzamos por reconstruir la Iglesia”. Un momento especial del V Encuentro Nacional fue la participación de cientos de jóvenes adultos que nos brindaron esperanza con su entusiasmo y coraje, testimonio de fe y compromiso con la Iglesia. A medida que el proceso de Encuentro continúa, esperamos que se dé la bienvenida a su energía, sus dones y talentos para el servicio de toda la Iglesia. Esta experiencia en la cima de la montaña de la Providencia de Dios, del amor de Cristo por su Iglesia, nos motiva, y ahora estamos más dispuestos a ser la Iglesia que Cristo quiere que seamos. Miles de católicos han regresado a casa llenos de fe para compartir sus experiencias con aquellos cuyas voces representaban y con todos los que no pudieron asistir. De esta manera, el Espíritu Santo multiplicará las gracias de renovación y conversión. Estoy agradecido con todos aquellos que hicieron posible este V Encuentro, desde los pastores y coordinadores parroquiales hasta los equipos diocesanos y regionales. Agradezco a todas las organizaciones nacionales y patrocinadores que nos acompañaron y apoyaron hasta aquí. Estoy agradecido con mis hermanos obispos, quienes han acompañado a su pueblo en este proceso a nivel local y en el V Encuentro Nacional. Les pido su continuo apoyo y oraciones ahora que el proceso del V Encuentro entra en una nueva fase de implementación. Al reunirse las diversas culturas y regiones geográficas, el Cuerpo de Cristo se fortalece con los diferentes dones de sus miembros individuales. En fidelidad a Cristo y en comunión con el Sucesor de Pedro, abierto a los impulsos del Espíritu y bajo la mirada misericordiosa de la Santísima Virgen María, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Madre de las Américas, usemos esa fuerza para compartir la alegría del Evangelio con todos los que necesitan del amor y la misericordia de Dios.

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[post_title] => Delegados al V Encuentro enviados a construir una cultura de encuentro que reviva la esperanza [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => delegados-al-v-encuentro-enviados-a-construir-una-cultura-de-encuentro-que-reviva-la-esperanza [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-01 11:02:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-01 15:02:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112537 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [20] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112534 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-01 10:59:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-01 14:59:54 [post_content] => October 1, 2018 WASHINGTON—Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, Archbishop of San Antonio and chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement today following the close of the V National Encuentro that took place September 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas. Archbishop García-Siller’s full statement follows: Brothers and Sisters, What a wonderful Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry we had in Grapevine, Texas, September 20-23! For us bishops it was both humbling and awe-inspiring to witness and participate in this grace-filled event that culminated a process of several years.  Four days of prayer, sharing, listening, and learning revealed a people of God alive in the love of Jesus. The process now continues with the charge to take back to our communities and dioceses what we experienced at the National V Encuentro. Build “a culture of encounter that rekindles hope.” With this call, Pope Francis welcomed the nearly 3,200 people from more than 160 dioceses and over 200 Catholic organizations from around the country to the V Encuentro. Following the Holy Father’s video message, his Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, invited us to go forth out of our comfort zone and become leaven of communion. We, the delegates to the V Encuentro, bishops and people together, gratefully take this charge back to our communities filled with a missionary spirit. The V Encuentro process, and specially the national gathering, will go down in history as a special moment of grace for the Church in the United States in these turbulent and difficult times. As Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops aptly put it in his welcoming remarks: “Amidst this darkness, the Encuentro is a light that shines and illuminates the way forward. The enthusiasm, the passion, the love, and the joy of the Encuentro process is a means of grace, a gift to us as we rebuild the Church.” A special highlight of the National V Encuentro was the participation of hundreds of young adults who brought us hope with their enthusiasm and courage, witness of faith and commitment to the Church.  As the process of Encuentro continues, may we welcome their energy, their gifts and talents for the service of the entire Church. This mountaintop experience of God’s Providence, of the love of Christ for his Church, impels us and we are now readier to be the Church Christ wants us to be.  Thousands of faithful have returned home to share their experience with those whose voices they represented and with everyone unable to attend. In this way, the Holy Spirit will multiply the graces of renewal and conversion. I am grateful to all who made this V Encuentro possible, from the pastors and parish coordinators to the diocesan and regional teams. I am grateful for all the national organizations and sponsors that accompanied and supported us thus far.  And I am grateful to my brother bishops who have accompanied their people in this process locally and at the National V Encuentro. I ask for your continued support and prayers as the process of the V Encuentro enters now a new phase of implementation. Coming together across cultures and geographic regions, the Body of Christ draws strength from the diverse gifts of its individual members.  In fidelity to Christ and in communion with the successor of Peter, open to the impulses of the Spirit and under the merciful gaze of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, let us use that strength to share the hope of the Gospel with all who are in need of God’s love and mercy.

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[post_title] => V Encuentro Delegates Charged with Building a Culture of Encounter that Rekindles Hope [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => v-encuentro-delegates-charged-with-building-a-culture-of-encounter-that-rekindles-hope [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-01 11:01:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-01 15:01:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112534 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [21] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112321 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-09-27 15:07:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-27 19:07:32 [post_content] => September 27, 2018 The Diocese of Richmond has been reorganized into 15 deaneries, effective September 27, 2018. The deaneries were established through a canonical decree by Bishop Knestout which was officially announced on the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul, the Diocese's patron saint. You can read Bishop's announcement letter here. The Richmond Diocese is divided into three vicariates, and each vicariate will include five deaneries. The new structure replaces the LPAs (Local Planning Areas) that were used as a result of the 2008 Pastoral Planning process and to encourage collaboration among parishes. Every parish, Catholic school, and campus ministry is now assigned to a deanery. As a result of this change, some parishes have switched vicariates. View the new deanery structure in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond here. Bishop Knestout has appointed a dean to serve each deanery. The dean, also known as a vicar forane, is a pastor who was nominated by clergy within their respective deanery. The 15 deans selected to serve will assist with annual parish visits within their deaneries, work with pastors, deacons, parish staff and the laity, and help communicate Bishop Knestout’s pastoral messages and concerns. “I am appreciative of the support and additional responsibilities the deans have assumed and I am thankful for their commitment in assisting me,” said Bishop Knestout. “Given the size of the diocese, this structure, with regular reports from the deans, will assist me and the Episcopal Vicars to assess the local needs of the parishes and keep me informed of the various parish programs and ministries in order to best serve the people of our local Church.” Bishop Knestout spoke of the deanery structure which he initially discussed in a June letter to the faithful of the Richmond Diocese. Deans will receive training on a variety of topics in late October to assist them in their new role. The appointments of deans are effective Nov. 1, 2018. “I look forward to working with the new deans and know their experience and insights will be a great value to me in the pastoral care and governance of the diocese,” said Bishop Knestout. Richmond’s Deaneries The following pastors were named deans: Deanery 1 – Very Rev. Joseph H. Metzger III, V.F., pastor of Blessed Sacrament in Norfolk Parishes: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Norfolk), Blessed Sacrament (Norfolk), Christ the King (Norfolk), Holy Trinity (Norfolk), Sacred Heart (Norfolk), Saint Andrew the Apostle (Chincoteague), Saint Charles (Cape Charles), Saint Matthew (Virginia Beach), Saint Peter the Apostle (Onley), Saint Pius X (Norfolk)   Deanery 2 – Very Rev. Daniel J. Malingumu, V.F., pastor of Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach Parishes: Anglican/Roman Catholic Community of Holy Apostles (Virginia Beach), Church of the Ascension (Virginia Beach), Church of the Holy Family (Virginia Beach), Church of the Holy Spirit (Virginia Beach), Saint Gregory the Great (Virginia Beach), Saint John the Apostle (Virginia Beach), Saint Luke (Virginia Beach), Saint Nicholas (Virginia Beach), Star of the Sea (Virginia Beach)   Deanery 3 – Very Rev. Romeo D. Jazmin, V.F., pastor of Prince of Peace in Chesapeake Parishes: Church of Saint Therese (Chesapeake), Church of the Good Shepherd (Smithfield), Church of the Holy Angels (Portsmouth), Church of the Resurrection (Portsmouth), Prince of Peace (Chesapeake), Saint Benedict (Chesapeake), Saint Jude (Franklin), Saint Mark (Virginia Beach), Saint Mary (Chesapeake), Saint Mary of the Presentation (Suffolk), Saint Paul (Portsmouth), Saint Stephen Martyr (Chesapeake), Shrine of the Infant of Prague (Wakefield)   Deanery 4 – Very Rev. John David Ramsey, V.F., pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newport News Parishes: Immaculate Conception (Hampton), Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam (Norfolk), Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam (Hampton), Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Newport News), Saint Jerome (Newport News), Saint Joseph (Hampton), Saint Kateri (Tabb), Saint Mary Star of the Sea (Fort Monroe), Saint Rose of Lima & Korean Martyrs (Hampton), Saint Vincent de Paul (Newport News   Deanery 5 – Very Rev. Gerald S. Kaggwa, V.F., pastor of Church of Francis de Sales in Mathews and Church of the Visitation in Topping Parishes: Church of Francis de Sales (Mathews), Church of Saint Therese (Gloucester), Church of the Visitation (Middlesex), Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (West Point), Saint Bede (Williamsburg), Saint Joan of Arc (Yorktown), Saint Olaf (Norge)   Deanery 6 – Very Rev. Monsignor Patrick D. Golden, V.F., rector of Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond Parishes: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Richmond), Church of the Redeemer (Mechanicsville), Holy Rosary (Richmond), Saint Elizabeth (Richmond), Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (Quinton), Saint John (Highland Springs), Saint Patrick (Richmond), Saint Paul (Richmond), Saint Peter (Richmond), Saint Timothy (Tappahannock)   Deanery 7 – Very Rev. James J. Begley, Jr., V.F., pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Richmond Parishes: Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs (Richmond), Our Lady of Lourdes (Richmond), Saint Ann (Ashland), Saint Benedict (Richmond), Saint Bridget (Richmond), Saint Mary (Richmond), Saint Mary of the Annunciation (Ladysmith), Saint Michael (Glen Allen)   Deanery 8 – Very Rev. John C. Kazibwe, V.F., pastor of Church of the Epiphany in Richmond Parishes: Church of the Epiphany (Richmond), Good Samaritan (Amelia), Sacred Heart (Richmond), Saint Edward the Confessor (Richmond), Saint Gabriel (Chesterfield), Saint John Neumann (Powhatan), Saint Joseph (Richmond), Saint Kim Taegon (Richmond)   Deanery 9 – Very Rev. Daniel A. Cogut, V.F., pastor of Saint Ann in Colonial Heights Parishes: Church of the Sacred Heart (Prince George), Good Shepherd  (South Hill), Saint Ann (Colonial Heights), Saint Augustine (Richmond), Saint Catherine of Siena (Clarksville), Saint James (Hopewell), Saint John (Dinwiddie), Saint Joseph (Petersburg), Saint Paschal Baylon (South Boston), Saint Peter the Apostle (Lake Gaston), Saint Richard (Emporia)   Deanery 10 – Very Rev. Joseph Mary Lukyamuzi, V.F., pastor of Holy Comforter in Charlottesville and Crozet Catholic Community in Crozet Parishes: Crozet Catholic Community Mission (Crozet), Holy Comforter (Charlottesville), Immaculate Conception (Buckner), Incarnation (Charlottesville), Saint Francis of Assisi (Amherst), Saint George (Scottsville), Saint Joseph's Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel  (Columbia), Saint Jude (Mineral), Saint Mary (Lovingston), Saint Thomas Aquinas (Charlottesville), Saints Peter & Paul (Palmyra)   Deanery 11 – Very Rev. Silvio Kaberia, V.F., pastor of Blessed Sacrament in Harrisonburg Parishes: Blessed Sacrament (Harrisonburg), Holy Infant (Elkton), Saint Francis of Assisi (Staunton), Saint John the Evangelist (Waynesboro), Shepherd of the Hills (Quinque)     Deanery 12 – Very Rev. Kenneth J. Shuping, V.F., pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Salem and Saint Gerard in Roanoke Parishes: Church of the Transfiguration (Fincastle), Our Lady of Nazareth (Roanoke), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Salem), Sacred Heart (Covington), Saint Andrew (Roanoke), Saint Gerard (Roanoke), Saint John the Evangelist (New Castle), Saint Joseph (Clifton Forge), Saint Patrick (Lexington), Shrine of the Sacred Heart (Hot Springs)   Deanery 13 – Very Rev. Anthony O. Senyah, V.F., pastor of Holy Spirit in Christiansburg and Holy Family in Pearisburg Parishes: All Saints (Floyd), Holy Family (Pearisburg), Holy Spirit (Christiansburg), Risen Lord (Stuart), Saint Edward Mission  (Pulaski), Saint Joseph (Woodlawn), Saint Jude (Radford), Saint Mary (Blacksburg), Saint Mary the Mother of God  (Wytheville)   Deanery 14 – Very Rev. Francis Xavier Musolooza, V.F., pastor of Christ the King in Abingdon and Saint John in Marion Parishes: Christ the King (Abingdon), Good Shepherd (Lebanon), Holy Spirit Catholic Community  (Jonesville), Sacred Heart (Big Stone Gap), Saint Anne (Bristol), Saint Anthony (Norton), Saint Bernard (Gate City), Saint John (Marion), Saint Joseph (Clintwood), Saint Mary (Coeburn), Saint Patrick (Dungannon), Saint Therese (Saint Paul), The Church of Saint Elizabeth of Holy Family Parish (Pocahontas), The Church of Saint Joseph of Holy Family Parish (Grundy), The Church of Saint Mary of Holy Family Parish  (Richlands), The Church of Saint Theresa of Holy Family Parish  (Tazewell)   Deanery 15 – Very Rev. Salvador Anonuevo, V.F., pastor of Holy Name of Mary in Bedford and Resurrection in Moneta Parishes: Holy Cross (Lynchburg), Holy Name of Mary (Bedford), Immaculate Heart of Mary (Blackstone), Our Lady of Peace (Appomattox), Resurrection (Moneta), Sacred Heart (Meherrin), Sacred Heart  (Danville), Saint Francis of Assisi (Rocky Mount), Saint Joseph (Martinsville), Saint Theresa (Farmville), Saint Thomas More (Lynchburg), Saint Victoria (Hurt) [post_title] => Diocese of Richmond Reorganized as Deaneries; Replace LPAs [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocese-of-richmond-reorganized-as-deaneries-replace-lpas [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-02 11:03:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-02 15:03:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112321 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [22] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112194 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-09-24 10:23:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-24 14:23:32 [post_content] =>

September 23, 2018  

WASHINGTON--On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that dramatically alters certain longstanding government policies related to legal immigrants’ access to essential safety net programs.  

Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee on Migration and Bishop of Austin, Texas, together with Bishop Frank Dewane, Chair of Committee on Domestic and Social Development and Bishop of Venice, Florida stated:  

“Yesterday’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking undercuts decades of administrative policies and guidelines on how immigrants are treated by the United States government. This further compounds strict eligibility guidelines already in place preventing many immigrants from receiving federal aid. While just beginning to review the Proposed Rule, upon initial analysis, it appears that this will be very harmful to families, raising fear among immigrant families already struggling to fulfill the American Dream. Further, it is likely to prevent families from accessing important medical and social services vital to public health and welfare.” 

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[post_title] => Statement in Response to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Immigrants and Public Benefits [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => statement-in-response-to-notice-of-proposed-rulemaking-on-immigrants-and-public-benefits [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-28 09:56:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-28 13:56:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112194 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [23] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112167 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-09-19 15:48:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-19 19:48:31 [post_content] => September 19, 2018 WASHINGTON--The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today in response to the recent sex abuse scandals. In the statement, the bishops say they pledge to “heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us.” Turning to the Lord “When each of us was ordained as a bishop, we were told: ‘Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd the Church of God.’ We, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, assembled last week in Washington at this time of shame and sorrow.  Some bishops, by their actions or their failures to act, have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole. They have used their authority and power to manipulate and sexually abuse others. They have allowed the fear of scandal to replace genuine concern and care for those who have been victimized by abusers.  For this, we again ask forgiveness from both the Lord and those who have been harmed. Turning to the Lord for strength, we must and will do better. The Administrative Committee took the following actions within its authority: 1. Approved the establishment of a third-party reporting system that will receive confidentially, by phone and online, complaints of sexual abuse of minors by a bishop and sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with adults by a bishop and will direct those complaints to the appropriate ecclesiastical authority and, as required by applicable law, to civil authorities. 2. Instructed the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance to develop proposals for policies addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations of sexual abuse of minors or sexual harassment of or misconduct with adults, including seminarians and priests. 3. Initiated the process of developing a Code of Conduct for bishops regarding the sexual abuse of a minor; sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with an adult; or negligence in the exercise of his office related to such cases. 4. Supported a full investigation into the situation surrounding Archbishop McCarrick, including his alleged assaults on minors, priests, and seminarians, as well any responses made to those allegations.  Such an investigation should rely upon lay experts in relevant fields, such as law enforcement and social services. This is only a beginning.  Consultation with a broad range of concerned parents, experts, and other laity along with clergy and religious will yield additional, specific measures to be taken to repair the scandal and restore justice. We humbly welcome and are grateful for the assistance of the whole people of God in holding us accountable. As these initiatives get underway, the Administrative Committee invites each of our brother bishops to join us in acts of prayer and penance.  This is a time of deep examination of conscience for each bishop. We cannot content ourselves that our response to sexual assault within the Church has been sufficient.  Scripture must be our guide forward, “be doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22). In all of this, we do not want anyone – ourselves included – to lose sight of those who have suffered from those who have acted or failed to act as the Gospel demanded. For survivors of sexual abuse, these days may re-open deep wounds. Support is available from the Church and within the community.  Victims Assistance Coordinators are available in every diocese to help you find resources. We are grateful to hundreds of dedicated people who, since the adoption of the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, have been working with the Church to support survivors and prevent future abuse. To anyone who has been abused, never hesitate to also contact local law enforcement.  If you don’t feel comfortable for any reason with the Church providing help, your diocese can connect you with appropriate community services. With compassion and without judgement, the bishops of the United States pledge to heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us. Acting in communion with the Holy Father, with whom we once again renew our love, obedience, and loyalty, we make our own the prayer of Pope Francis in his August 20 letter to the people of God, “May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them.”

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[post_title] => U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee Statement on Sex Abuse Scandals: Committee Releases Actions to be Taken [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-administrative-committee-statement-on-sex-abuse-scandals [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-28 09:57:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-28 13:57:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112167 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [24] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112142 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-09-17 20:27:34 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-18 00:27:34 [post_content] => For Immediate Release: September 17, 2018 Diocese of Richmond Notifies Civil Authorities of Decades Old Sexual Abuse Allegation Involving Former Priest The Diocese of Richmond was made aware of an allegation of sexual abuse through the attorney of the victim. According to the adult male’s account, when he was a minor in the 1970s, then Rev. John P. Blankenship sexually abused him. At that time, Blankenship was pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church in Highland Springs. The Diocese notified the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney of the allegation and will cooperate fully with the civil authorities should an investigation proceed. Blankenship was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Richmond in 1963. He was removed from active priestly ministry in 2002 and dismissed from the priesthood in 2007. Blankenship was previously prosecuted on other charges which is public record. He does not receive any financial assistance from the diocese. Prior to his dismissal from the priesthood, Blankenship served as a transitional deacon of Our Lady of Nazareth, Roanoke; associate pastor of Sacred Heart in Winchester; associate pastor of St. Agnes in Arlington; associate pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Fort Monroe; associate pastor of St. Mary in Richmond; pastor of St. John in Highland Springs; pastor of Sacred Heart in Prince George Co; and as the chaplain for the Federal Corrections Facility in Petersburg before he was removed from ministry. The Diocese of Richmond is committed to ensuring that a safe environment for children, young people and vulnerable individuals is provided within all diocesan institutions and ministries. If clergy or church personnel are suspected of committing abuse, please call the civil authorities in your area first and then call the confidential Diocese of Richmond Victim’s Assistance Reporting Line at 1-877-887-9603.

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[post_title] => Diocese of Richmond Notifies Civil Authorities of Decades Old Sexual Abuse Allegation Involving Former Priest [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocese-of-richmond-notifies-civil-authorities-of-decades-old-sexual-abuse-allegation-involving-former-priest [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-28 09:57:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-28 13:57:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112142 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [25] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112093 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-09-14 14:16:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-14 18:16:00 [post_content] => Many of us know the benefits of a Catholic education. But did you know that there is actually research behind the integral role that Catholic schools play in urban communities like Richmond? Join Dr. Eugene Trani, President Emeritus of VCU, and guest speakers Mrs. Wanda Wallin, Principal of All Saints Catholic School and Mr. Joseph Whitmore, Principal of Saint Joseph Catholic School, for this important discussion. The event is free and open to the public, hope to see you there! Tuesday, September 18th 4:00 – 6:00 pm Cabell Library Lecture Hall, Room 303 901 Park Avenue, Richmond, VA   [post_title] => The Importance of Our Urban Catholic Schools: Free Event at VCU [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-importance-of-our-urban-catholic-schools-free-event-at-vcu [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-14 14:16:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-14 18:16:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112093 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [26] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111668 [post_author] => 61 [post_date] => 2018-09-12 16:04:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-12 20:04:32 [post_content] => September 14, 2018 The National Hurricane Center says that the path of Hurricane Florence has shifted and will make landfall farther south into the Carolinas. The Diocese of Richmond will hold both weekend events at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond: The Mass of Atonement, Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m., and the Ordination of Permanent Deacons, Sat. Sept. 15, at 10:30 a.m. The Mass of Atonement will be streamed live from the Cathedral, and you can view the Mass on the Diocese webpage, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. Visit www.richmonddiocese.org to find the links. The Ordination of Permanent Deacons will not be livestreamed; however, coverage of the Mass will be provided in The Catholic Virginian. Hazardous conditions are still possible in Virginia. Due to the size of the storm, you are urged to check with your local and state emergency management websites  for further updates on conditions in Virginia. Please also monitor the Virginia Department of Transportation for the latest information on road and travel conditions. Additionally, Bishop Knestout is planning regional Mass of Atonement services in the coming weeks around the Commonwealth. More information will be provided at a later time and posted on the diocese webpage. We continue to keep all who are in the path of Hurricane Florence in our prayers. [post_title] => Weather Update: Mass of Atonement and Ordination of Permanent Deacons [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => weather-update-mass-of-atonement-and-ordination-of-permanent-deacons [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-14 09:30:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-14 13:30:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111668 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [27] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111514 [post_author] => 61 [post_date] => 2018-09-07 13:37:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-07 17:37:21 [post_content] => Statement Regarding Diocese of Harrisburg’s List of Clergy and Seminarians Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child Information published by the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., in early August 2018, regarding clergy and seminarians of that diocese who were part of the allegations of sexual abuse of children identified within the release of that report a Fr. John Bostwick III, as a priest of the Diocese of Richmond who’d served in Harrisburg. John Bostwick III was removed from active priestly ministry in the Diocese of Richmond in 1996. Since that date, he is not permitted to serve as a priest. The Diocese of Richmond is concerned for all victims of abuse and their families and encourages anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of clergy or an employee to notify the civil authorities as well as the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC) at 1-877-887-9603 or by email at vac@richmonddiocese.org   [post_title] => Statement Regarding Diocese of Harrisburg’s List of Clergy and Seminarians Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => statement-regarding-diocese-of-harrisburgs-list-of-clergy-and-seminarians-accused-of-sexual-abuse-of-a-child [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-13 15:39:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-13 19:39:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111514 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [28] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111444 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-08-28 12:57:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-28 16:57:30 [post_content] => August 28, 2018 WASHINGTON—The National Review Board (NRB) has issued the following in response to the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report and recent allegations against Archbishop McCarrick. In the statement, the NRB calls for a lay-lead investigation into all allegations of sexual misconduct within the Church as well as strengthening the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  Established in 2002, the purpose of the National Review Board is to work collaboratively with the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church. The full National Review Board statement follows: "While the policies and procedures that have been implemented by the Church since 2002 to address the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy have resulted in a significant decrease of such abuse, the revelations of horrific incidents of abuse in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, along with the abuse perpetrated by Archbishop McCarrick point to a systemic problem within the Church that can no longer be ignored or tolerated by the episcopacy in the United States.  The National Review Board has for several years expressed its concern that bishops not become complacent in their response to sexual abuse by the clergy. The recent revelations make it clear that the problem is much deeper.  We are saddened, angry, and hurt by what we have learned in the past few weeks. The evil of the crimes that have been perpetrated reaching into the highest levels of the hierarchy will not be stemmed simply by the creation of new committees, policies, or procedures. What needs to happen is a genuine change in the Church's culture, specifically among the bishops themselves. This evil has resulted from a loss of moral leadership and an abuse of power that led to a culture of silence that enabled these incidents to occur. Intimidation, fear, and the misuse of authority created an environment that was taken advantage of by clerics, including bishops, causing harm to minors, seminarians, and those most vulnerable.  The culture of silence enabled the abuse to go on virtually unchecked. Trust was betrayed for the victims/survivors of the abuse; the entire Body of Christ was betrayed in turn by these crimes and the failure to act. "The National Review Board firmly believes, as has been expressed by several bishops in recent days, that the episcopacy needs to be held accountable for these past actions, and in the future, for being complicit, either directly or indirectly, in the sexual abuse of the vulnerable. Holding bishops accountable will require an independent review into the actions of the bishop when an allegation comes to light. The only way to ensure the independence of such a review is to entrust this to the laity, as recently suggested by Cardinal DiNardo. The NRB, composed exclusively of lay members, would be the logical group to be involved in this task. Establishing an anonymous whistleblower policy, as is found in corporations, higher education and other institutions in both the public and private sector, that would be independent of the hierarchy with participation by the laity, perhaps the NRB, who would report allegations to the local bishop, local law enforcement, the nuncio and Rome, needs to be established immediately. Another problem that needs to be addressed is the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter has been helpful in the Church's response to sexual abuse by the clergy.  However, the Charter should be understood as a living document that is in constant need of revision based on what we have learned and experienced over the years, as well as current new realities. The members of the NRB have on numerous occasions pointed out the weaknesses in the Charter given its deliberate ambiguity and its lack of inclusion of bishops. During the most recent revision process of the Charter, many of the recommendations made by the NRB to strengthen the Charter were not incorporated for a variety of reasons. These recommendations need to be re-considered in light of the current situation, as well as the inclusion of bishops in the Charter. The NRB also believes that the statement of Episcopal Commitment is ineffective and needs to be revised into a meaningful, actionable commitment. In particular, the notion of "fraternal correction" must outline concrete steps that will be taken when a bishop is alleged to have committed sexual abuse or has failed to respond immediately and without hesitation when a cleric is accused of sexual abuse. To ensure that bishops undertake their obligation to act decisively when they have knowledge of incidences of sexual abuse committed by the clergy or their brother bishops, there must be substantive formation of newly appointed bishops on their responsibility as moral leaders within the Church, especially in responding to sexual abuse, something which is currently lacking. "Since its creation in the Charter, the NRB has sought to provide its advice to the bishops to assist them in addressing the sexual abuse of minors. We will continue to work with the bishops, particularly in responding to Cardinal DiNardo's request for the NRB's assistance in the proposed investigation he has called for regarding recent revelations. In the coming weeks, the NRB will consider what recommendations to make to the bishops in light of that request. We recognize that the overwhelming majority of our current bishops have, and continue to, take the sexual abuse of minors seriously and who act accordingly by adhering to the Charter, some even going beyond these basic requirements. However, every time one bishop fails to act, the entire episcopate is tainted. It is time for the laity to assume courageous leadership to help the Church respond and to heal and for the bishops to listen carefully to our recommendations. We need not only to pray for the Church and most especially for the victims/survivors and their families who have been wounded by this terrible scourge, but we must take concrete action to address the systemic problems underlying the problem of sexual abuse in the Church." [post_title] => Statement from the National Review Board [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => statement-from-the-national-review-board [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-28 12:57:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-28 16:57:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111444 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [29] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111430 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-27 15:46:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-27 19:46:30 [post_content] => August 27, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued the following statement. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “In communion with the Holy Father, I join the Executive Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in taking upon ourselves his exhortation, ‘this open wound [of abuse] challenges us to be firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice.’ “On August 1st, I promised that USCCB would exercise the full extent of its authority, and would advocate before those with greater authority, to pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick.  On August 16th, I called for an Apostolic Visitation, working in concert with a national lay commission granted independent authority, to seek the truth.  Yesterday, I convened our Executive Committee once again, and it reaffirmed the call for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement. “The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination.  The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past. “I am eager for an audience with the Holy Father to earn his support for our plan of action.  That plan includes more detailed proposals to: seek out these answers, make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier, and improve procedures for resolving complaints against bishops.  Inspired by his recent letter to the people of God, and hismotu proprio of two years ago, As a Loving Mother, I am confident Pope Francis shares our desire for greater effectiveness and transparency in the matter of disciplining bishops. We renew our fraternal affection for the Holy Father in these difficult days. “To the survivors of abuse and the families who have lost a loved one to abuse, I am sorry.  You are no longer alone.  Since 2002, hundreds of professionally trained staff across the country have been working with the Church to support survivors and prevent future abuse.  Nationwide, the Church has a zero-tolerance policy toward priests and deacons who abuse, safe environment training, background checks for those working around children, victim assistance coordinators, prompt reporting to civil authorities, and lay review boards in dioceses. “In other ways, we have failed you.  This is especially true for adults being sexually harassed by those in positions of power, and for any abuse or harassment perpetrated by a bishop.  We will do better. The more she is buffeted by storms, the more I am reminded that the Church’s firm foundation is Jesus Christ.  The failures of men cannot diminish the light of the Gospel.  Lord, by the help of your mercy, show us the way to salvation.” ### [post_title] => President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Renews Commitment for Greater Effectiveness and Transparency in Disciplining Bishops [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-renews-commitment-for-greater-effectiveness-and-transparency-in-disciplining-bishops [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-29 14:01:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-29 18:01:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111430 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [30] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112051 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-08-22 16:51:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-22 20:51:04 [post_content] => For Immediate Release: August 22, 2018 Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following U.S. Bishops’ Announcement on a Plan to Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican to Resolve and Address “Moral Catastrophe  On Aug. 16, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, announced a statement detailing initial steps of a plan of action that would involve laity, experts and the Vatican following the recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, released Aug. 14, 2018, and the allegations surrounding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  In November, the full plan is expected to be presented to all U.S. Bishops when they meet for the general assembly in Baltimore. The following is Bishop Knestout’s statement on the groundwork and proposed goals that have been presented:  “First, I offer my deepest regret and sorrow to all who have been hurt and affected by abuse at the hands of clergy and who may be reliving the trauma of abuse as a result of the details that have come out last week. I am greatly aware that apologies are not enough. I join my voice along with many others who are calling for authentic and comprehensive reform in light of the crisis our Church is facing.  Only through action can we make the changes necessary to help our Church.  I fully support the Bishops’ call for a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick.  In addition, I fully support the implementation of steps needed to improve reporting of misconduct and abuse by bishops, and I am also in favor of effective reforms and enhanced procedures to resolve complaints against bishops in a timely, fair and transparent manner.  I remain committed to always ensuring the protection of children within the ministry of the Church of Richmond. While change is urgently needed, the reforms proposed will occur as a result of a process, and its development will require time.  Be assured I will be involved with other bishops and lay advisers in the refinement of that plan as it is presented and through discussions at our conference meeting in November. Here at home, I want you to know that I have read all the messages that have come to my office, and I am aware of your revulsion about what has occurred.  I know your patience has worn thin.  Yet, I ask for your patience and that you give me the opportunity to review and assess the Diocese of Richmond’s policies and records, as well as the reporting and response to claims that are brought forward.  Once I have completed the review and assessment, I will act upon what I learn in a straightforward and transparent way. I respectfully ask you to please keep our Church in your daily prayers – especially victims of abuse.  I also ask you to pray for our priests who serve so nobly and well.  I commend us all to the protection of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.”

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En Español Declaración del Obispo Barry C. Knestout después del anuncio de los Obispos de los Estados Unidos sobre un plan para involucrar laicos, expertos y el Vaticano a resolver y abordar la "catástrofe moral" El 16 de agosto, el presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), el cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo de Galveston-Houston, anunció una declaración detallando los pasos iniciales de un plan de acción que involucrará a laicos, expertos y al Vaticano después del Gran Reporte del Jurado de Pensilvania, publicado el 14 de agosto de 2018, y las acusaciones alrededor del arzobispo Theodore McCarrick. En noviembre, se espera que el plan completo se presente a todos los obispos de los Estados Unidos cuando se reúnan para la asamblea general en Baltimore. Lo siguiente es la declaración del Mons. Knestout sobre las bases y los objetivos propuestas que se han presentado: "Primero, ofrezco mi más profundo pesar y dolor a todos los que han sido heridos y afectados por el abuso de manos del clero y los que pueden estar reviviendo el trauma del abuso como resultado de los detalles que han salido esta última semana. Soy muy consciente de que las disculpas no son suficientes." Uno mi voz a muchos otros que piden una reforma auténtica e integral a la luz de la crisis que enfrenta nuestra Iglesia. Solo a través de la acción podemos hacer los cambios necesarios para ayudar a nuestra Iglesia. Apoyo totalmente el llamado de los obispos para una investigación completa de las cuestiones que rodean al arzobispo McCarrick. Además, apoyo totalmente la implementación de los pasos necesarios para mejorar la presentación de informes de mala conducta y abuso por parte de obispos, y también estoy a favor de reformas efectivas y procedimientos mejorados para resolver quejas contra obispos de manera oportuna, justa y transparente. Sigo comprometido de siempre asegurar la protección de los niños dentro del ministerio de la Iglesia de Richmond. Pese a que urgentemente se necesita un cambio, requerirá un tiempo para que ocurran las reformas propuestas y su desarrollo. Tengan la seguridad de que participaré activamente con los otros obispos y los consejeros laicos en los detalles de ese plan tal como se presenta y por medio de las discusiones en nuestra reunión de la conferencia en noviembre. Aquí en casa, quiero que sepan que he leído todos los mensajes que han llegado a mi oficina, y estoy consciente del horror que sienten sobre lo que ha ocurrido. Sé que su paciencia se ha agotado. Sin embargo, pido su paciencia y que usted me de la oportunidad de revisar y evaluar las políticas y registros de la Diócesis de Richmond, incluyendo la presentación de informes y la respuesta a los reclamos que se presentan. Una vez que haya completado la revisión y evaluación, actuaré de acuerdo a lo aprendido de una manera directa y transparente. Respetuosamente, les pido que guarden nuestra Iglesia en sus oraciones diarias, especialmente a las víctimas de abuso. Yo también les pido que oren por nuestros sacerdotes que sirven noblemente. Los encomiendo a todos bajo la protección de Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción ."

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[post_title] => Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following U.S. Bishops’ Announcement on a Plan to Address “Moral Catastrophe” [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-c-knestout-statement-following-u-s-bishops-announcement-on-a-plan-to-address-moral-catastrophe [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-14 13:21:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-14 17:21:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112051 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [31] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111309 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-17 08:29:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-17 12:29:14 [post_content] => August 16, 2018 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement after a series of meetings with members of the USCCB’s Executive Committee and other bishops. The following statement includes three goals and three principles, along with initial steps of a plan that will involve laity, experts, and the Vatican. A more developed plan will be presented to the full body of bishops at their general assembly meeting in Baltimore in November. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Two weeks ago, I shared with you my sadness, anger, and shame over the recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  Those sentiments continue and are deepened in light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report.  We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report.  Earlier this week, the USCCB Executive Committee met again and established an outline of these necessary changes. The Executive Committee has established three goals: (1) an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; (2) an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and (3) advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints.  These goals will be pursued according to three criteria:  proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity. We have already begun to develop a concrete plan for accomplishing these goals, relying upon consultation with experts, laity, and clergy, as well as the Vatican.  We will present this plan to the full body of bishops in our November meeting.  In addition, I will travel to Rome to present these goals and criteria to the Holy See, and to urge further concrete steps based on them. The overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. Allow me to briefly elaborate on the goals and criteria that we have identified. The first goal is a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick.  These answers are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and so help to protect minors, seminarians, and others who are vulnerable in the future.  We will therefore invite the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to address these questions, in concert with a group of predominantly lay people identified for their expertise by members of the National Review Board and empowered to act. The second goal is to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier.  Our 2002 “Statement of Episcopal Commitment” does not make clear what avenue victims themselves should follow in reporting abuse or other sexual misconduct by bishops.  We need to update this document.  We also need to develop and widely promote reliable third-party reporting mechanisms.  Such tools already exist in many dioceses and in the public sector and we are already examining specific options. The third goal is to advocate for better procedures to resolve complaints against bishops.  For example, the canonical procedures that follow a complaint will be studied with an eye toward concrete proposals to make them more prompt, fair, and transparent and to specify what constraints may be imposed on bishops at each stage of that process. We will pursue these goals according to three criteria. The first criterion is genuine independence.  Any mechanism for addressing any complaint against a bishop must be free from bias or undue influence by a bishop.  Our structures must preclude bishops from deterring complaints against them, from hampering their investigation, or from skewing their resolution. The second criterion relates to authority in the Church.  Because only the Pope has authority to discipline or remove bishops, we will assure that our measures will both respect that authority and protect the vulnerable from the abuse of ecclesial power. Our third criterion is substantial involvement of the laity.  Lay people bring expertise in areas of investigation, law enforcement, psychology, and other relevant disciplines, and their presence reinforces our commitment to the first criterion of independence. Finally, I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do.  Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership.  The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone.  This is a moral catastrophe.  It is also part of this catastrophe that so many faithful priests who are pursuing holiness and serving with integrity are tainted by this failure. We firmly resolve, with the help of God’s grace, never to repeat it. I have no illusions about the degree to which trust in the bishops has been damaged by these past sins and failures.  It will take work to rebuild that trust.  What I have outlined here is only the beginning; other steps will follow.  I will keep you informed of our progress toward these goals. Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions.  Let me also ask you to pray for us, that we will take this time to reflect, repent, and recommit ourselves to holiness of life and to conform our lives even more to Christ, the Good Shepherd.” [post_title] => President of U.S. Bishops' Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican stating, “Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions,” as U.S. Bishops’ Offer Firm Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe” [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-bishops-conference-announces-effort-that-will-involve-laity-experts-and-the-vatican-stating-let-me-ask-you-to-hold-us-to-all-of-these-resolutions-as-u-s-bish [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-17 08:29:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-17 12:29:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111309 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [32] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111276 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-15 16:08:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-15 20:08:06 [post_content] => Bishop Knestout will celebrate nine regional Masses of Atonement with the faithful. The Masses begin at 7:30 P.M. at the locations and times provided below except where otherwise noted. All are welcome.
  • Christ the King, Abingdon--Thursday, October 4
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem--Friday, October 5
  • Resurrection, Moneta--Saturday, October 6 **
  • Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville--Tuesday, October 9
  • Saint Stephen Martyr, Chesapeake--Thursday, October 11
  • Star of the Sea, Virginia Beach--Friday, October 12
  • Saint Francis of Assisi, Staunton--Thursday, October 18
  • Saint Jerome, Newport News--Tuesday, October 23
  • Saint Joseph, Petersburg--Wednesday, October 24
**This Mass will start at Noon  _______________________________________________________________________________________ If you were unable to be with us for the Mass of Atonement on September 14, you can now view the full mass by clicking here: Mass of Atonement Video _______________________________________________________________________________________

Mass of Atonement

"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it." (1 Corinthians 12:26) Friday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m., Bishop Knestout will preside at the Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse held on the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The celebration of the Mass is the first of several steps Bishop Knestout is taking in response to the present crisis facing the Church. “Prayer must accompany us through every stage of our actions or responses to the present crisis…” wrote Bishop Knestout in a Pastoral Letter written to the Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Diocese. To read his entire pastoral letter and the the additional steps called for by Bishop, click the link: https://bit.ly/2xb7Y0R As part of the Mass of Atonement, Bishop will remove the symbols of his office and prostrate himself before the cross and altar during the service. The prostration, similar to the prostration at the Good Friday liturgy, signifies contrition, humility, reverence, deep anguish for the suffering Christ, and too, the grief and sorrow of the Church. For more on the Mass, please click on the worship booklet below. If you are unable to join us for The Mass of Atonement at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, you can watch the Mass while it's live streamed here and on our YouTube Channel.                          Worship Aid                                      A Prayer for Healing for Victims of Abuse _______________________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release: August 15, 2018 I am profoundly aware of the hurt and anger the Catholic faithful and the community at large are feeling in light of the recent report of abuse by Church leadership and now with the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on abuse in the Church. Those revelations further erode trust in Church leaders and in the Church as a whole. I am praying for all who have been abused. Our Church — especially its bishops — must continually seek forgiveness for our failures from those who have suffered as a result of those failures. To open ourselves to the grace we need to overcome this scourge upon our Church, we must prayerfully seek healing and reconciliation with all who have been hurt. As a step in this process, I am inviting the faithful to come and pray with me for all victims of abuse at a Mass of Atonement, Friday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond. We will pray for all victims of abuse, express sorrow for the failure of Church leaders, seek forgiveness for our sins, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the ongoing healing of the People of God. During the seven months I have been bishop, I have asked for a review of the process and procedures currently in place for reporting and responding to all abuse. I am encouraged by the work of our Diocesan Review Board, a committee of lay and clergy members who have assisted our diocese for the last 16 years, in assessing accusations of child abuse and the suitability for ministry of the accused. I am firmly committed, as Bishop of the Richmond Diocese, to addressing accusations of abuse quickly and transparently. Be assured, we will continue to make protection of the most vulnerable a priority in our parishes, schools and throughout our diocese.

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[post_title] => Mass of Atonement for Victims of Abuse [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-c-knestouts-invitation-to-mass-of-atonement-for-victims-of-abuse [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-28 18:51:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-28 22:51:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111276 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [33] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111243 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-09 13:11:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-09 17:11:35 [post_content] => A year following the violence that took place in Charlottesville as a result of protests and counter-protests, the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout offers the following statement: "As we draw closer to the weekend and the one-year mark of Aug. 12th which will once again draw national and local attention, I pray that it will not be approached with provocative rhetoric but provide an opportunity for prayer and dialogue about racism, and the action needed to overcome it.” “Racism is a sin. As the U.S. Bishops wrote in 1979 – ‘a sin that divides the human family.’ Prayer -- individually and as a faith community -- is a start in addressing racism and to help heal from the effects of racism, but it cannot be an occasional act and it shouldn’t be confined to one day.” “It is my sincere hope that all remain safe in these coming days and throughout the weekend, and may the Holy Spirit be a source of strength and comfort for the families and friends who continue to mourn the loss of a loved one.” “I pray that during this time when we are challenged by divisions that we commit to praying, listening, learning, thinking and working for peace, justice and an end to racism." “I ask all the faithful of the diocese to join me in asking for the intercession of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, to pray with me for unity and peace in our communities.”

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You can read more of Bishop Knestout’s reflections in his “Christ Our Hope” column.

En Español: Declaración de Su Excmo. y Rvdmo. Sr. Barry C Knestout sobre Charlottesville: Un año más tarde Un año después de la violencia en Charlottesville debido a las protestas y contra-protestas Mons. Knestout ofrece lo siguiente: “A medida que se acerca el fin de semana y el primer aniversario del 12 de agosto que nos llamará atención local y nacional, ruego que este día no sea una ocasión de retórica provocativa sino una oportunidad para oración y dialogo sobre racismo y la acción necesaria para superarlo.” “El Racismo es un pecado. Como dijeron los obispos de EE. UU. en 1979, ‘es un pecado de divide la familia humana’. La oración – por individuos y por la comunidad de fe- es un comienzo en tratar el problema de racismo, pero no debería ser algo ocasional o solamente un día particular.” “Es mi sincero deseo que todos se quedan seguros en estos días y por todo el fin de semana, y que el Espíritu Santo sea una fuente de fortaleza y consuelo para todas las familias y todos los amigos que lloren la perdida de sus seres queridos.” “Ruego que, en este tiempo en que nos sentimos interpelados por la división, nos comprometamos a orar, escuchar, aprender, pensar, y luchar por la paz, la justica, y el fin de racismo.” “Pido a todos los fieles de la Diócesis de Richmond que se unan conmigo y por la intercesión de Nuestra Sra. de la inmaculada Concepción, Patrona de los Estados Unidos, que oremos por la unidad y la paz en nuestras comunidades.”

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  [post_title] => Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement on Charlottesville: A Year Later [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-c-knestout-statement-on-charlottesville-a-year-later [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-10 18:41:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-10 22:41:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111243 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [34] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111131 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-03 11:37:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-03 15:37:32 [post_content] => August 2, 2018 WASHINGTON—Following the publication of the revised section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the change and echoed the call to end the death penalty in the United States. The full statement follows: "Today, we welcome the Holy Father’s decision to revise the Catechism and its explanation of the Church’s teaching on the death penalty.  All human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, and the dignity bestowed on them by the Creator cannot be extinguished, even by grave sin, such that all persons, from conception until natural death possess inalienable dignity and value that points to their origin as sons and daughters of God.  The new section in the Catechism is consistent with the statements of Pope Francis’ teaching on the death penalty, including his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress, as well as the statements of his predecessors.  Pope Benedict the XVI urged ‘the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty,’ and Pope St. John Paul II observed that ‘Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this.” “For decades, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for the end of the death penalty in the United States.  As the revised Catechism states, “more effective systems of detention…which ensure the due protection of citizens: exist, ones that also maintain the human dignity of all.  It is our hope that today’s announcement will bring new attention to this critical issue, and speed along the end of this practice, which, as Pope Francis has said, in the light of the Gospel, is ‘inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.’” [post_title] => Domestic Justice Chairman Welcomes Change in Catechism Calling for Abolition of the Death Penalty [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => domestic-justice-chairman-welcomes-change-in-catechism-calling-for-abolition-of-the-death-penalty [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-03 11:37:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-03 15:37:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111131 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [35] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111103 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-01 14:12:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-01 18:12:26 [post_content] => August 1, 2018  WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement noting the steps the U.S. Bishops Conference will take in addressing the failures of the Church in protecting the people of God. Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows: “The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God.  Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people’s lives and represent grave moral failures of judgement on the part of Church leaders. These failures raise serious questions. Why weren’t these allegations of sins against chastity and human dignity disclosed when they were first brought to Church officials? Why wasn’t this egregious situation addressed decades sooner and with justice? What must our seminaries do to protect the freedom to discern a priestly vocation without being subject to misuse of power? Archbishop McCarrick will rightly face the judgement of a canonical process at the Holy See regarding the allegations against him, but there are also steps we should be taking as the Church here in the United States. Having prayed about this, I have convened the USCCB Executive Committee.  This meeting was the first of many among bishops that will extend into our Administrative Committee meeting in September and our General Assembly in November. All of these discussions will be oriented toward discerning the right course of action for the USCCB. This work will take some time but allow me to stress these four points immediately. First, I encourage my brother bishops as they stand ready in our local dioceses to respond with compassion and justice to anyone who has been sexually abused or harassed by anyone in the Church.  We should do whatever we can to accompany them. Second, I would urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment by anyone in the Church to come forward.  Where the incident may rise to the level of a crime, please also contact local law enforcement. Third, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick’s conduct to the full extent of its authority; and where that authority finds its limits, the Conference will advocate with those who do have the authority.  One way or the other, we are determined to find the truth in this matter. Finally, we bishops recognize that a spiritual conversion is needed as we seek to restore the right relationship among us and with the Lord. Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality. The way forward must involve learning from past sins. Let us pray for God’s wisdom and strength for renewal as we follow St. Paul’s instruction: ‘Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect’ (Romans 12:2).” [post_title] => President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Issues Statement on Course of Action Responding to Moral Failures of Judgement on the Part of Church Leaders [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-the-united-states-conference-of-catholic-bishops-issues-statement-on-course-of-action-responding-to-moral-failures-of-judgement-on-the-part-of-church-leaders [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-01 18:15:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-01 22:15:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111103 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [36] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111314 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-07-30 08:49:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-30 12:49:54 [post_content] => [post_title] => Letter to the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => letter-to-the-clergy-and-faithful-of-the-diocese [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-08-17 08:56:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-08-17 12:56:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111314 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [37] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111037 [post_author] => 61 [post_date] => 2018-07-28 10:49:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-28 14:49:32 [post_content] => President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Resignation from College of Cardinals July 28, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement upon Pope Francis’s acceptance of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals. Pope Francis has also imposed on Cardinal McCarrick, suspension ad divinis and has directed him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion until the completion of the canonical process. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “I thank the Holy Father for his leadership in taking this important step. It reflects the priority the Holy Father places on the need for protection and care for all our people and the way failures in this area affect the life of the Church in the United States.” [post_title] => President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Resignation from College of Cardinals [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-statement-on-cardinal-theodore-mccarrick-resignation-from-college-of-cardinals [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-28 10:52:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-28 14:52:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111037 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [38] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111035 [post_author] => 61 [post_date] => 2018-07-28 10:44:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-28 14:44:04 [post_content] => Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from College of Cardinals  July 28, 2018  WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, from the College of Cardinals. Pope Francis has also imposed on Cardinal McCarrick suspension ad divinis and directs him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion until the completion of the canonical process. The statement of this resignation and these stipulations was publicized in Rome on July 28, 2018. [post_title] => Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from College of Cardinals [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-francis-accepts-resignation-of-cardinal-theodore-mccarrick-from-college-of-cardinals [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-28 10:44:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-28 14:44:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111035 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [39] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110982 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-07-25 09:52:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-25 13:52:47 [post_content] => July 25, 2018 WASHINGTON— In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement. Originally published in 1968, Blessed Paul VI's letter promotes the whole human person in the context of marital love that respects both the spiritual and physical dimensions of man and woman, which is faithful, generous, and life-giving. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “Fifty years ago, today, Blessed Paul VI issued the Encyclical Humanae Vitae. In it, he reaffirmed the beautiful truth that a husband and wife are called to give themselves completely to each other. Marriage reflects the love of God, which is faithful, generous, and life-giving. Through their vocation, spouses cooperate with God by being open to new human life. Blessed Paul VI, who bore the criticism of Humanae Vitae with charity and patience, courageously affirmed that when we love as God designed, we experience true freedom and joy. He has also been proven correct in his warnings about the consequences of ignoring the true meaning of married love. On this anniversary, I encourage all to read and prayerfully reflect upon this Encyclical, and be open to the gift of its timeless truths. We wait in joyful anticipation for the canonization of Paul VI in October.” For more information and resources on Humanae Vitae, please visit www.usccb.org/HV50. [post_title] => President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-the-u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-statement-celebrating-the-50th-anniversary-of-humanae-vitae [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-25 09:52:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-25 13:52:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110982 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [40] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110947 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-07-20 15:46:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-20 19:46:16 [post_content] => July 19, 2018 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement today inviting all people of good will to join in a prayer campaign that the change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. Cardinal Dolan’s full statement follows: “As soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, we can and should raise grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade. And we must pray. Each Friday, from August 3 - September 28, 2018, I urge all people of good will to join me in prayer that this change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. The USCCB Call to Prayer network will share prayers and educational resources and an invitation to fast on Fridays for this intention. May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for the healing of our nation and our people from decades of abortion on demand.” Call to Prayer materials will be accessible at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/call-to-prayer/legal-protection-of-human-life.cfm. Those wishing to join this nine-week prayer effort can sign up at www.usccb.org/pray to participate in this and subsequent Call to Prayer initiatives via email or text message. [post_title] => Chairman of U.S. Bishops' Conference Committee on Pro-Life Activities Calls for National Prayer Effort that Every Human Being is Protected in Law and Welcomed in Life [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chairman-of-u-s-bishops-conference-committee-on-pro-life-activities-calls-for-national-prayer-effort-that-every-human-being-is-protected-in-law-and-welcomed-in-life [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-20 15:46:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-20 19:46:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110947 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [41] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110893 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-07-18 10:22:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-07-18 14:22:55 [post_content] =>
July 17, 2018
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has approved 54 grants totaling $1.4 million in funding to support dioceses and pastoral projects across the African continent. Projects slated to receive funding through the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa include the following: ●  In Lesotho, Radio Maria offers Christian educational programs designed to enrich the faith and improve the lives of its listeners. This grant will help Radio Maria to install three new transmitting stations, which will allow their programs to reach the entire Lesotho population. ●  In Ghana, the Diocese of Wa's newly established Child Protection Office seeks to create a new culture where safeguarding children is the responsibility of all. This grant will support the diocese to organize training for the Diocesan and School Child Protection Teams, clergy, religious and pastoral agents. The workshops will convey information and create sensitivity on protection of children and vulnerable adults, promote creation of safe environments for children, offer skill development, and help the diocese develop policies, as well as liaise with government and civil society on child protection. ●  In Rwanda, the Episcopal Conference continues to promote reconciliation and peace education following the genocide. This grant will allow the Conference to translate conflict prevention materials into the local language of Kinyarwanda to be used within Catholic schools across the country. "Through the generous support of the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, the Catholics of the United States show that we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Africa and recognize their courageous commitment to peace, justice, reconciliation, and Christian hope throughout the continent," said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSsR, of Newark, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. Additional areas of funding include seminarian and religious formation, evangelization, family ministries, and lay leadership training. The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Solidarity Fund, which is a voluntary collection, as pastoral grants to episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa. To learn more about the work of the Subcommittee visit www.usccb.org/africa.
[post_title] => U.S. Bishops Approved $1.4 million in Funding for Church in Africa [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-bishops-approved-1-4-million-in-funding-for-church-in-africa [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-07-18 10:22:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-07-18 14:22:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110893 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [42] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110627 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-06-29 11:44:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-29 15:44:10 [post_content] => (Richmond, VA)  Bishop Barry C. Knestout issued the following statement June 29 regarding the shooting in Annapolis, Maryland. “We in the Diocese of Richmond are united in our prayer for the victims of the shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday. We ask our Lord to comfort and give consolation to their families and friends who have lost so much. As Catholics and Christians, we are deeply concerned and pray for an end to violence in our communities.” [post_title] => Bishop Barry Knestout's Statement regarding shooting in Annapolis, Maryland [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-knestouts-statement-regarding-shooting-in-annapolis-maryland [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-29 11:44:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-29 15:44:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110627 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [43] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110564 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-06-22 10:02:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-22 14:02:09 [post_content] => (Richmond, VA)  Bishop Barry C. Knestout issued the following statement June 22 regarding the reports of abuse at Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton. “We are greatly concerned about reports of abuse of undocumented immigrant teens that may have occurred at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton. “We support Gov. Ralph Northam and Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner in their call for an investigation into the abuse six Latino teens have said, in sworn statements, they endured at the facility between 2015 and 2018. “If the accusations that the teens were stripped, handcuffed, beaten and left in cold cells are true, those responsible for these actions must be held accountable. “Furthermore, the situation is another indication that we are in desperate need of immigration reform — especially our care for and treatment of undocumented immigrants. There is no excuse for inhumane treatment of anyone who comes to our country. “We reiterate the teaching of the Catholic Church: Every person has basic human rights and is entitled to have basic human needs met — food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care. The policies of our government should ensure those rights are respected and those needs are met.” [post_title] => Bishop Barry C. Knestout's Statement regarding reports of abuse at juvenile center [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-c-knestouts-statement-regarding-reports-of-abuse-at-juvenile-center [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-22 10:35:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-22 14:35:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110564 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [44] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110554 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-06-20 17:06:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-20 21:06:03 [post_content] => His Excellency, Bishop Barry C. Knestout, has appointed Reverend Michael G. Boehling, a priest of the Diocese of Richmond, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia effective July 1, 2018. Father Boehling will also continue as Vicar for Vocations. The son of the late Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Beverley Boehling, Father Boehling and his twin brother were born on August 19, 1969.  Along with their five older siblings, they were raised in Roanoke, Virginia, and attended Our Lady of Nazareth parish. Father Boehling graduated from Cave Spring High School in Roanoke and entered Hampden-Sydney College near Farmville. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and subsequently worked in sales management for Lucent Technologies for nine years prior to entering priestly formation for the Diocese of Richmond. In the Fall of 2000, Father Boehling entered seminary at Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  He was ordained a Transitional Deacon at Our Lady of Nazareth parish in May 2005.  Upon completion of his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 2006, Father Boehling was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo on June 10, 2006, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. Since ordination, Father Boehling has served as Parochial Vicar (2006-2007) and as Pastor (2007-2010) of the Cluster Parishes of Portsmouth and Chesapeake: Church of the Holy Angels, Portsmouth; Church of the Resurrection, Portsmouth; Saint Mary, Chesapeake; and Saint Paul, Portsmouth.  On July 1, 2010, he was appointed Vicar for Vocations.  Additionally, on July 1, 2011, he was appointed Vicar for Pastoral Services.  Father Boehling has served on various committees and diocesan advisory bodies including Bishop’s Administrative Advisory Council, Diocesan Priests Council, and the Priest Personnel Board.  In January 2018, Bishop Knestout assigned Father Boehling as Priest Secretary and Master of Ceremonies to the Bishop.   He will continue to serve His Excellency in this capacity until the new assignment begins on July 1, 2018. [post_title] => Reverend Michael Boehling appointed Vicar General [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => reverend-michael-boehling-appointed-vicar-general [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-20 17:07:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-20 21:07:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110554 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [45] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110497 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-06-15 13:51:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-15 17:51:52 [post_content] => June 13, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL—"At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life. Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration's zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral." [post_title] => USCCB statement from Cardinal DiNardo on Asylum Seekers and Migration [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-statement-from-cardinal-dinardo-on-asylum-seekers-and-migration [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-15 15:17:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-15 19:17:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110497 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [46] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110448 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-06-14 11:22:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-14 15:22:43 [post_content] => The Very Reverend Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, will retire on July 1, 2018.  A faithful priest of the Diocese for 44 years, Msgr. Lane will continue to live and work in the area while retired from his administrative roles. Born on May 19, 1947, in Manhattan, New York, Msgr. Lane was educated at St. Bridget Elementary School and Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended St. Mary Seminary in Catonsville, Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1970. Msgr. Lane attended St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated with a Masters in Sacred Theology in 1974. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Walter Sullivan on May 4, 1974, at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Virginia.  In 1977, he received a Masters in Church Administration from Catholic University of America. He attended Andover-Newton Theological School where he received a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Psychotherapy in 1987. Msgr. Lane has served in the following parishes: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond (1974-76); Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem (1981-82); St. Ann, Ashland (1983-84). Msgr. Lane worked as Secretary to Bishop Walter Sullivan (1974-1976) and Secretary to the Diocesan Tribunal in Richmond (1974-1976). He was Vice Officialis (1977-1980), and founder of the Tidewater Tribunal. He also had a private counseling practice for many years in Richmond, Virginia, while assisting in local Richmond parishes and the University of Richmond campus ministry. On June 7, 2004, Msgr. Lane was named Vicar for Clergy of the Diocese of Richmond and began the new program for permanent deacon formation and organized the Permanent Deacon Council. Msgr. Lane also served on the Bishop’s Administrative Advisory Council, as a member of the Council of Priests, and as member of the Priest Personnel Committee and the Mental Health Team and on the Diocesan Review Board and the Priest Retirement Committee. He was appointed Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI on April 19, 2008. On November 8, 2011, Msgr. Lane was named Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. After the death of Bishop DiLorenzo, Msgr. Lane served as Diocesan Administrator from August 22, 2017, until the Installation of Bishop Barry Knestout as the 13th Bishop of Richmond on January 12, 2018. Bishop Knestout re-appointed Msgr. Lane as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. [post_title] => Monsignor Mark Lane to Retire [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => monsignor-mark-lane-to-retire [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-14 11:22:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-14 15:22:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110448 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [47] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110399 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-06-12 16:05:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-12 20:05:36 [post_content] => The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, has announced the following appointments, effective July 11, 2018, unless otherwise noted: Pastoral Center Administration Msgr. Mark Richard Lane from Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia to Retired Status, effective July 1, 2018. Father Michael Boehling from Vicar for Vocations and Priest Secretary to Bishop Knestout to Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, and continuing as Vicar for Vocations, effective July 1, 2018. Father Sean Prince from Pastor of Immaculate Conception, Hampton, and Director for the Office of Worship to Priest Secretary to Bishop Knestout and continuing as Director for the Office of Worship.   Pastors Father Wayne Ball, J.C.L. from full time in the Tribunal, to Pastor and Moderator of St. Augustine, Richmond, and continuing working in the Tribunal.  Father John A. Grace from Chaplain at Siena Heights University, Adrian Campus, Michigan, to Pastor of Immaculate Conception, Hampton.  Father Daniel Malingumu from Pastor of Church of the Ascension and Administrator of St. Matthew, Virginia Beach, to remaining Pastor of Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach.  Father Steve McNally from Pastor of Sacred Heart, Covington; St. Joseph, Clifton Forge; Church of the Transfiguration, Fincastle; and St. John the Evangelist, New Castle, to continuing his role as Pastor of Church of the Transfiguration, Fincastle, and St. John the Evangelist, New Castle.  Father Marlon Portillo-Muñoz from Pastor of St. Augustine, Richmond, to Pastor in solidum of St. Augustine, Richmond.   Administrators Father James Arsenault from Parochial Vicar at St. Elizabeth, Richmond, to Administrator of St. Elizabeth, Richmond. Father Joseph Goldsmith from Parochial Vicar and Chaplain at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Newport News, to Administrator of St. John Nepomucene, Dinwiddie; St. James the Greater, Hopewell; and Church of the Sacred Heart, Prince George County. Father G. Leoval Coquia Guadalupe from Chaplain at Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach, to Administrator of Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach. Father Christopher Hess from Pastor of Sacred Heart, Prince George County; St. John Nepomucene, Dinwiddie; and St. James the Greater, Hopewell, to Administrator of St. Anne, Bristol; St. Bernard, Gate City; and St. Patrick, Dungannon. Father Augustine Kalule Lukenge from Parochial Vicar at St. Catherine of Siena, Clarksville, to Administrator of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Hot Spring; Sacred Heart, Covington; and St. Joseph, Clifton Forge. Father Stephen Opoku-Boaheng from Chaplain at St. Matthew, Virginia Beach, to Administrator of St. Matthew, Virginia Beach. Msgr. Raphael Peprah from Administrator of St. Luke, Virginia Beach, and Administrator of Church of the Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach, to remaining Administrator of St. Luke, Virginia Beach.   Parochial Vicars Father Eric Baffour Asamoah from Administrator of St. Anne in Bristol, to Parochial Vicar at St. Catherine of Siena, Clarksville; St. Paschal Baylon, South Boston; and Good Shepherd, South Hill. Father John R. Baab, ordained on June 2, Parochial Vicar at Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach, effective June 2, 2018. Father James P. O’Reilly, ordained on June 2, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Nazareth Parish in Roanoke, effective June 2, 2018. Father Nicholas E. Redmond, ordained on June 2, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Newport News, effective June 2, 2018.   Retired Father Tom Collins from Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart, Covington; St. Joseph, Clifton Forge; and Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Hot Springs, to Retired Status, to live in residence and to help Sacred Heart, Covington; St. Joseph, Clifton Forge; and Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Hot Springs.   [post_title] => Priest Assignments 2018 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => priest-assignments-2018 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-12 16:05:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-12 20:05:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110399 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [48] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110307 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-06-05 09:29:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-05 13:29:33 [post_content] => June 4, 2018 WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involves a Christian baker named Jack Phillips who declined in 2012 to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. State officials sought to compel Phillips to create such cakes under Colorado’s public accommodations law. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following joint statement: “Today’s decision confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs, but instead should be respected by government officials. This extends to creative professionals, such as Jack Phillips, who seek to serve the Lord in every aspect of their daily lives. In a pluralistic society like ours, true tolerance allows people with different viewpoints to be free to live out their beliefs, even if those beliefs are unpopular with the government.” The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Masterpiece Cakeshop, which can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/16-111-tsac-USCCB.pdf. [post_title] => USCCB Chairmen Applaud Supreme Court’s Respect for Religious Liberty in Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-chairmen-applaud-supreme-courts-respect-for-religious-liberty-in-masterpiece-cakeshop-decision [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-05 09:30:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-05 13:30:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110307 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [49] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110510 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-06-01 12:52:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-01 16:52:26 [post_content] => June 1, 2018 WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security has recently acknowledged implementation of the policy. . . of separating families arriving at the U.S./Mexico Border. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response: "Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. 'Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.' (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God. Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically-proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting: a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families. My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns. Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system." [post_title] => U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges Administration to Keep Families Together [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-bishops-migration-chairman-urges-administration-to-keep-families-together [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-18 15:54:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-18 19:54:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110510 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [50] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110552 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-05-31 15:16:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-31 19:16:21 [post_content] => Bishop Barry Knestout appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network TV program, “The 700 Club” Thursday, May 31, with host, Christian broadcaster, Dr. Pat Robertson. Bishop Barry C. Knestout was a guest of Dr. Pat Robertson on “The 700 Club,” Thursday, May 31, on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Bishop Knestout and Dr. Robertson spoke about the New Evangelization proposed by Blessed Pope Paul VI, and promoted by St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. The bishop noted all of those popes had the same message. “The first work of the Church is to evangelize; that’s the heart of the work of the Church — to get out and to express that Good News. It’s the disciples’ words: ‘We have seen the Lord and he has risen from the dead’ —to be able to express that to the world around us because it’s the new life that is offered to all who encounter that, to overcome sin and all who encounter the damage done by sin in the world around us,” the bishop said. Bishop Knestout said the New Evangelization was returning to the roots of the Church. “We are revisiting how it was done in the early Church, how we are bringing to bear on how we express the faith and live the faith,” he said. Bishop Knestout continued, “Pope Francis is really encouraging us — all of us — to manifest the faith, to be witnesses of the faith, to bring an expression of the encounter we have had with the Lord — a very personal encounter. We are called to go out and give the Good News.” The bishop noted why it is important to witness the faith. “People will listen to witnesses more than teachers,” he said. “They’ll listen to teachers if they’re good witnesses of the faith.” In answer to Dr. Robertson’s final question regarding the Charismatic Renewal and that impact it had upon Bishop Knestout’s dad, the bishop said, “He was transformed by that. He had a great experience of the faith, and that was an inspiration for me in my vocation.” You can watch here. [post_title] => Bishop Knestout speaks about New Evangelization on ‘The 700 Club’ [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-knestout-speaks-about-new-evangelization-on-the-700-club [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-06-20 15:17:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-20 19:17:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110552 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [51] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 110080 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-05-18 15:57:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-18 19:57:19 [post_content] => May 18, 2018 Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement in the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting: “Our community and our local church joins an ever-growing list of those impacted by the evil of gun violence. I extend my heartfelt prayers, along with my brother bishops, for all of those who have died, their families and friends, those who were injured, and for our local community. Sadly, I must yet again point out the obvious brokenness in our culture and society, such that children who went to school this morning to learn and teachers who went to inspire them will not come home. We as a nation must, here and now, say definitively: no more death! Our Lord is the Lord of life. May He be with us in our sorrow and show us how to honor the precious gift of life and live in peace.”   [post_title] => President of U.S. Bishops Conference Responds to Santa Fe High School Shooting [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-bishops-conference-responds-to-santa-fe-high-school-shooting [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-18 15:57:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-18 19:57:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=110080 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [52] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109951 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-05-15 10:15:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-05-15 14:15:55 [post_content] => Continuing Pastoral Year Assignments Anthony Ferguson - Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport News, Fr. John David Ramsey Julio Reyes - Saint Francis, Amherst and Saint Mary, Lovingston, Fr. Carlos Lerma Pastoral Year Assignments Phil Decker - Saint Joseph, Petersburg, Fr. Brian Capuano Tom Lawrence - Saint Mary, Blacksburg, Fr. John Asare John Minnich - Saint Bede, Williamsburg, Msgr. Tim Keeney Kevin Riedel - Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport News, Fr. John David Ramsey Summer Parish Assignments Tochi Iwuji - Farmville Cluster, Fr. Stefan Migac Chris Masla - Saint John the Apostle, Virginia Beach, Fr. Rob Cole Dan Molochko - Epiphany, Richmond, Fr. John Kazibwe Kyle O'Connor - Cathedral, Richmond, Msgr. Patrick Golden Cassidy Stinson - Richmond Cluster, Fr. Gino Rossi Marton Lonart - Sacred Heart, Danville, Fr. Jonathan Goertz Dillon Bruce - Saint Andrew, Roanoke, Fr. Kevin Segerblom Armando Herrera - Military Service with Archdiocese for the Military Services Alex Jimenez - Holy Trinity, Norfolk, Fr. Dan Beeman Joseph Kauflin - Blessed Sacrament, Harrisonburg, Fr. Silvio Kaberia Patrick Walsh - Saint Ann, Colonial Heights, Fr. Danny Cogut Luke Fitzgerald - Holy Rosary, Richmond, Fr. David Stanfill William Buckley - Holy Family, Virginia Beach, Fr. Eric Ayers Chris Weyer - Saint Francis of Assisi, Staunton, Fr. Joseph Wamala David Arellano - Saint Francis of Assisi, Rocky Mount - College Intern, Fr. Mark White William Douglas - Holy Trinity, Norfolk - College Intern, Fr. Dan Beeman Andrew Clark - Holy Family, Virginia Beach - College Intern, Fr. Eric Ayers Gregory Guifoyle - College Seminarian Home for the Summer Robert Kincaid - College Seminarian Home for the Summer Samuel Hill - College Seminarian Home for the Summer     [post_title] => 2018 Seminarian Parish Assignments [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 2018-seminarian-parish-assignments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-05-15 10:17:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-05-15 14:17:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109951 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [53] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109534 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-04-18 10:45:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-18 14:45:21 [post_content] => Richmond, Va. – The following is a statement from The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, Bishop of Richmond, where Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley served as Auxiliary Bishop from 1986-1994 before his appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham. “I met Bishop Foley a number of years ago when he served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington. I was a teenager during the same years that my father was Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Washington. Since that time, I had met or encountered him on numerous occasions in my capacity as Vicar General and later Auxiliary Bishop in Washington. I remember Bishop Foley as a man of great kindness and gentle disposition. Yet, I know he also provided pastoral care as Auxiliary Bishop here in the Diocese of Richmond and later as the Bishop of Birmingham with a firm and competent hand. It is with sorrow that I heard of his passing and join with all the clergy, religious, and people of the Diocese of Richmond, in our common hope in the Resurrection, offering the assurance of prayers, to Bishop Foley’s family, friends and to the people of the Church of Birmingham.”

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[post_title] => Statement from His Excellency, The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, on the Death of Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => statement-from-his-excellency-the-most-reverend-barry-c-knestout-on-the-death-of-bishop-emeritus-david-e-foley [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-19 08:42:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-19 12:42:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109534 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [54] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109447 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-04-09 14:39:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-09 18:39:27 [post_content] => President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Welcomes Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness in the Contemporary World; Rejoice and Be Glad April 9, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is welcoming the release of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and Be Glad), subtitled “On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World.” In his statement, Cardinal DiNardo expresses his deep gratitude to the Holy Father for the exhortation and the call for each Christian to “acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be.” In the introduction to the exhortation, the Pope emphasizes that the goal of his exhortation is to “repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.” An apostolic exhortation is considered the second-highest form of papal teaching after an encyclical letter. Since his election, Pope Francis has issued two other exhortations: “Evangelii Gaudium” (Joy of the Gospel) in 2013 and “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) in 2016. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement on “Gaudete et Exsultate” follows: “I want to personally express my deep gratitude to the Holy Father for his powerful, straightforward words in Gaudete et Exsultate. In this exhortation, Pope Francis is very clear – he is doing his duty as the Vicar of Christ, by strongly urging each and every Christian to freely, and without any qualifications, acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be – that is ‘to be holy, as He is holy’ (1 Pet 1:15). The mission entrusted to each of us in the waters of baptism was simple – by God’s grace and power, we are called to become saints. ‘Do not be afraid of holiness (no. 32).’ These words of the Holy Father jumped out at me when I first read them. In a way, each one of us has a fear of striving for holiness – a fear that we would be mocked, ignored, or even hated by others because we would stand out. Yet that is what the Lord has called each and every person to! Pope Francis calls us out: A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for ‘this is the will of God, your sanctification (I Thess 4:3) (no. 19).’ The Holy Father describes how holiness comes through the daily struggles each of us face. In the ordinary course of each day, the Pope reminds us, ‘We need to recognize and combat our aggressive and selfish inclinations, and not let them take root’ (no. 114). Yet, he says, this ‘battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives’ (no. 158). One paragraph in particular points out the continuing need we have for civility in all our interactions, especially in the media. ‘Christians too,’ the Holy Father writes, ‘can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication.’ This can be true even in Catholic media (no. 115). Even in our heated disagreements with one another, we always need to remember that it is God who judges, not man (James 4:12).’ In the light of Easter joy, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, I encourage every Christian to rekindle their baptismal call to be holy by reading this wonderful exhortation by Pope Francis, especially the beautiful section on the Beatitudes. Through an exploration of the Beatitudes, and by offering examples of how to live out our call to holiness in everyday life, the Holy Father has given us a wonderful tool for renewing our love for God and for each other.” The USCCB has made the exhortation available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/rejoice-and-be-glad-p/7-599.htm. The Vatican has also posted the exhortation online at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html. [post_title] => Pope Francis releases Apostolic Exhortation: Rejoice and Be Glad [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-francis-releases-apostolic-exhortation-rejoice-and-be-glad [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-09 14:39:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-09 18:39:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109447 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [55] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109408 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-04-03 12:07:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-03 16:07:48 [post_content] => April 3, 2018 WASHINGTON—On April 4th at 7:05 pm (EDT), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will join in solidarity with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by tolling the Shrine’s bells 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King lived on earth. At that time, the USCCB and the Shrine will join with numerous other churches and schools across the nation tolling bells in homage to Dr. King’s legacy and his many contributions including the principle of non-violent resistance. The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism. April 4th also marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  The bells in honor of his life will initially ring first at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and The King Center, located in Atlanta, at 6:01pm (CDT). Bells will then chime in the City of Memphis at 6:03 p.m. (CDT), and then nationally at 6:05 p.m. (CDT), and internationally at 6:07 p.m. (CDT). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will also broadcast the tolling of the bells live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usccb/. The King Center has also planned a series of events to mark this historic year with the theme MLK50 Forward: Together We win with Love for Humanity. For more information on The King Center’s events please visit www.MLK50Forward.org. [post_title] => U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Join in Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Church Bell Tolls; April 4 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-and-basilica-of-the-national-shrine-of-the-immaculate-conception-join-in-remembering-dr-martin-luther-king-jr-with-church-bell-tolls-april-4 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-03 12:07:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-03 16:07:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109408 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [56] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109320 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-03-23 15:44:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-23 19:44:22 [post_content] => Join His Excellency, Bishop Barry Knestout, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart during Holy Week. Begins March 25th with Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday. Chrism Mass is March 26th at 6:00 pm Holy Thursday, March 29th at 7 pm, we remember the Lord's Last Supper and Institution of the Eucharist. Good Friday, March 30th at 7 pm, we remember the Passion and Death of Our Lord. Easter Vigil, March 31st at 8 pm, we welcome hundreds of new members into the life of our Church. Easter Sunday, April 1st at 11 am, we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior. May you have a blessed Holy Week. To find a parish near you and the times for these sacred liturgies, search here.   [post_title] => Holy Week 2018 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => holy-week-2018 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-31 15:45:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-31 19:45:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109320 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [57] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109307 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-03-23 14:20:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-23 18:20:49 [post_content] => Dear Pastors, Senior Pastoral Associates and Administrators: The Diocese of Richmond has grant funds available from its Home Mission Program, funded by the annual collection for Home Missions and the Annual Appeal. These funds are available to mission parishes (a list of these parishes can be found on the diocesan website under the Propagation of the Faith). Other small parishes (small parishes are those with ordinary income of less than $250,000) may apply. Mission parishes will be given priority. Grant funds are limited for use to making repairs and minor capital expenditures. Grants normally do not exceed $10,000. Parishes applying are expected to participate in the cost to the extent of 20% of the total project cost. It is suggested that you contact the Office of the Director of Real Estate at the Diocese for any assistance and guidance on the project. In order to be considered for a grant, the grant application on the Diocesan Website under Propagation of the Faith, Documents) must be fully completed and submitted by May 11, 2018 to the Office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Please note:  Grant eligibility does not guarantee the receipt of funds, but rather that you are eligible to apply.  Actual funding will be based on need, use, and total grant funds available.  Funding depends on the number of applications received. Grant awards will be announced by June 15, 2018 with funding to recipients available by the first week of July 2018. If you have any questions, please call Deacon Bob Griffin at 804-622-5258 or email: bgriffin@richmonddiocese.org.   [post_title] => Home Missions Grant Application Deadline is May 11, 2018 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => home-missions-grant-application-deadline-is-may-11-2018 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-23 14:20:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-23 18:20:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109307 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [58] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109300 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-03-22 14:36:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-22 18:36:55 [post_content] => March 22, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, reacted with deep disappointment to the news that a very modest but critical piece of legislation—the Conscience Protection Act—was not included in the 2018 appropriations bill just released by Congress. The full statement follows: “The failure of Congress to include the Conscience Protection Act in the 2018 omnibus appropriations bill is deeply disappointing. The CPA is an extraordinarily modest bill that proposes almost no change to existing conscience protection laws on abortion—laws that receive wide public and bi-partisan support. The CPA simply proposes to provide victims of discrimination with the ability to defend their rights in court to help ensure that no one is forced to participate in abortion. Those inside and outside of Congress who worked to defeat the CPA have placed themselves squarely into the category of extremists who insist that all Americans must be forced to participate in the violent act of abortion. We call on Congress not to give up until this critical legislation is enacted.” [post_title] => U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Chairmen Deeply Disappointed by Congress’ Failure to Enact the Conscience Protection Act [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-catholic-bishops-chairmen-deeply-disappointed-by-congress-failure-to-enact-the-conscience-protection-act [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-22 14:37:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-22 18:37:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109300 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [59] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109257 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-03-20 14:46:26 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-20 18:46:26 [post_content] => March 20, 2018 Dear friends in Christ: I am pleased to invite you to attend the annual Chrism Mass on Monday, March 26th at 6:00 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  This invitation is extended to all the Clergy, Parishioners, the Elect, Confirmation Candidates, and Sponsors. The annual Chrism Mass is a unique opportunity for priests to gather in unity with the bishop to publicly witness and renew their vocation to priesthood.  The Chrism Mass also provides an opportunity to catechize the lay faithful about the use and effects of the Holy Oils and Chrism in the Sacramental life of the Catholic Church.  I encourage you to make every effort to attend. You are also welcome to enjoy an informal Open House including a self-guided tour of the Cathedral and the Museum of Virginia Catholic History beginning at 3:00 p.m. Following the 6 o’clock Mass, there will be light refreshments in the Virginia Commonwealth University, Shafer Dining Hall, located on the North side of the Cathedral. I look forward to celebrating the Chrism Mass with all of you.  May God bless you and those you love with every good gift. Sincerely in Christ, Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout Bishop of Richmond [post_title] => Chrism Mass Invitation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chrism-mass-invitation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-20 14:46:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-20 18:46:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109257 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [60] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109205 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-03-15 09:02:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-15 13:02:23 [post_content] => Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Marshall Banks who died on March 11th. A permanent deacon of the Diocese of Richmond for 15 years, Deacon Banks served at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart until his retirement in 2015. Funeral arrangements are as follows: At the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart​ 18 N. Laurel Street, Richmond, VA Visitation on Friday, March 23, at 4:00 PM Prayer Vigil on Friday, March 23 at 7:00 PM Funeral Mass on Saturday, March 24 at 11:00 AM Reception to follow at Bliley's, 3801 Augusta Avenue, Richmond, VA Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. See Facebook post here. [post_title] => Deacon Marshall Banks Funeral Arrangements [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => deacon-marshall-banks-funeral-arrangements [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-15 09:02:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-15 13:02:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109205 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [61] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109118 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-03-06 11:22:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-06 16:22:02 [post_content] => Chairmen Call Faithful to Prayer and Action Urging Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act March 6, 2018 WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB's Committee for Religious Liberty urge the faithful to flood Congress with emails and calls asking for enactment of the Conscience Protection Act as part of the 2018 funding bill and to pray for this outcome. Congress is currently considering whether to include the Conscience Protection Act in must-pass government funding legislation, and a decision on the Conscience Protection Act's inclusion will be made prior to March 23, 2018. The joint statement follows: "Increasing and fierce attacks on conscience rights regarding abortion cry out for an immediate remedy. Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participating in abortions or leaving health care altogether. Churches and pro-life Americans are being forced to provide coverage for elective abortions—including late-term abortions—in their health care plans. Opponents and supporters of abortion should be able to agree that no one should be forced to participate in abortion. Congress must remedy this problem by enacting the Conscience Protection Act now as part of the FY 2018 funding bill. We call on all the faithful to pray and to act by emailing and calling Congress in the coming week especially on Monday, March 12 with the message that enacting the Conscience Protection Act is urgently needed to protect Americans from being forced to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life. Your calls and emails to your Members of Congress really do make a difference, so please act now to protect conscience rights!" Members of Congress can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking to be connected with your representative or senator. Or you can email and call your Members of Congress quickly and easily at . . . https://www.humanlifeaction.org/take-action?vvsrc=/campaigns/49865/respond. . . . The USCCB has also created a video. . . available on its YouTube channel and Facebook.com/USCCB. For additional information and videos featuring nurses who were forced by their employers to choose between their jobs and participating in abortions go to www.usccb.org/conscience.   Presidentes llaman a fieles a la oración y la acción para instar al Congreso a promulgar Ley de Protección de la Conciencia  6 de marzo de 2018 WASHINGTON—El cardenal Timothy M. Dolan de Nueva York, presidente del Comité de Actividades Pro-Vida de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), y el arzobispo Joseph E. Kurtz de Louisville, presidente del Comité para la Libertad Religiosa de la USCCB, instan a los fieles a inundar el Congreso con correos electrónicos y llamadas pidiendo la promulgación de la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia como parte del proyecto de ley de financiamiento 2018 y orar por este resultado. El Congreso está actualmente considerando la posibilidad de incluir la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia en la legislación de financiamiento obligatorio del gobierno, y se tomará una decisión sobre la inclusión de la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia antes del 23 de marzo de 2018. La declaración conjunta sigue a continuación: “Los crecientes y feroces ataques contra los derechos de conciencia en relación con el aborto claman por un remedio inmediato. Las enfermeras y otros proveedores e instituciones de atención médica están siendo obligados a elegir entre participar en abortos o abandonar por completo la atención médica. Las iglesias y los estadounidenses pro-vida están siendo obligados a proporcionar cobertura para abortos electivos, incluidos abortos tardíos, en sus planes de atención médica. Los opositores y partidarios del aborto deben ponerse de acuerdo en que nadie debe ser obligado a participar en un aborto. El Congreso debe remediar este problema promulgando ahora la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia como parte del proyecto de ley de financiamiento del año fiscal 2018.   Pedimos a todos los fieles que oren y actúen enviando correos electrónicos y llamando al Congreso durante la próxima semana, especialmente el lunes 12 de marzo, con el mensaje de que es urgente promulgar la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia para proteger a los estadounidenses de ser obligados a violar sus convicciones más profundas sobre el respeto por la vida humana. Sus llamadas y correos electrónicos a sus miembros del Congreso realmente marcan la diferencia, ¡así que actúen ahora para proteger los derechos de conciencia!” Los miembros del Congreso pueden ser contactados llamando a la central telefónica del Capitolio de los Estados Unidos al (202) 224-3121 y solicitando ser puesto en comunicación con su representante o senador. O bien puede enviar un correo electrónico y llamar a sus miembros del Congreso de manera rápida y sencilla desde www.bit.ly/support-cpa. La USCCB también ha creado un video disponible en su canal de YouTube y Facebook.com/USCCB. Para obtener información adicional y videos con enfermeras que fueron obligadas por sus empleadores a elegir entre sus trabajos y participar en abortos, visite www.usccb.org/conscience. [post_title] => USCCB Chairmen Call Faithful to Prayer and Action [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chairmen-call-faithful-to-prayer-and-action [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-07 15:04:34 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-07 20:04:34 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109118 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [62] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 109091 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-03-05 10:14:36 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-03-05 15:14:36 [post_content] => Collection Supports International Relief and Solidarity Efforts WASHINGTON—The annual Catholic Relief Services Collection will be held in many dioceses across the country on Sunday, March 11. The Catholic Relief Services Collection supports Catholic organizations that carry out international relief and solidarity efforts. Programs include relief and resettlement for victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters; development projects to improve living conditions for the poor; legal and support services for poor immigrants; peace and reconciliation work for people suffering from violence; and advocacy on behalf of the powerless. "Christ is standing at the door of our hearts, knocking, seeking relief from pain and suffering around the world. He comes to us bearing the disguise of vulnerable immigrants and refugees, the poor and marginalized, the sick and lonely. The Catholic Relief Services Collection is an opportunity to respond and comfort Christ as we see him in our brothers and sisters," said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on National Collections. "This collection represents our community of faith at work in the world, saving souls and improving lives." Entities within the USCCB that receive support include the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the Department of Justice Peace and Human Development, and the Department of Migration and Refugee Services. Other Catholic organizations that receive funds are Catholic Relief Services. . . , Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.. . . , and the Holy Father's Relief Fund. The USCCB Administrative Committee is responsible for grant-making from this national collection. More information about The Catholic Relief Services Collection is available at www.usccb.org/catholic-relief. Resources for the collection can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-relief/collection. [post_title] => Annual Catholic Relief Services Collection to Be Held on March 11 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => annual-catholic-relief-services-collection-to-be-held-on-march-11 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-03-05 10:14:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-03-05 15:14:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109091 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [63] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108987 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-02-24 13:52:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-24 18:52:27 [post_content] => WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with USCCB vice-president, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration, have issued a call to U.S. Catholics and people of good will across the nation to take part in a "Call-in-Day" on February 26 for the Protection of Dreamers. With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty. Therefore, the bishops are asking individuals to contact their Members of Congress to urge them to:
  • Protect Dreamers from deportation
  • To provide them a path to citizenship
  • And, to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process
To take part in the Call-In-Day to Protect Dreamers, please contact your Members of Congress by calling 855-589-5698 and visiting https://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/daca-resource-page/ (English and Spanish downloads are available). The USCCB has also created a series of videos available on its YouTube channel and Facebook.com/USCCB. For more information on how you can further support Dreamers, please visit https://justiceforimmigrants.org/ and https://www.sharejourney.org/. . . . [post_title] => National Call-in Day for the Protection of Dreamers, Feb. 26 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => national-call-in-day-for-the-protection-of-dreamers-feb-26 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-24 13:52:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-24 18:52:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108987 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [64] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108946 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-02-22 09:16:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-22 14:16:39 [post_content] => U.S. Catholic Bishops Chairman of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Offers Condolences on the Death of the Rev. Billy Graham February 21, 2018 WASHINGTON—His Excellency, Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement on receiving the news of the Rev. Billy Graham's death: "Headlines today will describe Billy Graham as the preacher to millions and the advisor of presidents but first and foremost, he was a man of deep Christian faith. Committed to the Gospel, his personal witness and preaching of Jesus Christ touched the hearts of Americans spanning many generations. In a particular way, Catholics feel the loss of one of the greatest pastors of our time. His ecumenical approach in ministry helped to forge bonds of friendship and understanding between Catholics and Protestants. He reminded us that what we had in common in Christ was greater than what divided us. We pray for God to comfort his family and we join Christians throughout the nation and the world who pray today with blessed assurance, 'Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master!'" (Matt 25:23) [post_title] => On the Death of the Rev. Billy Graham [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => on-the-death-of-the-rev-billy-graham [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-22 11:49:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-22 16:49:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108946 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [65] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108809 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-02-15 08:06:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-02-15 13:06:28 [post_content] => WASHINGTON—Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing. The full statement is as follows: "We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy of God comfort the grieving families and sustain the wounded in their healing. Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence. Our hope is in the Lord, as he promised after his resurrection, 'behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt. 28:20)." [post_title] => Reaction to Shooting at Florida High School from Bishop Conference President [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => reaction-to-shooting-at-florida-high-school-from-bishop-conference-president [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-02-15 08:06:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-15 13:06:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108809 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [66] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108627 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-01-30 09:43:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-30 14:43:42 [post_content] => January 29, 2018 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities called the Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “appalling”. The bill proposes to ban abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization. “The U.S. Senate’s failure to adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, is appalling. Abortions performed in the second half of pregnancy usually involve brutally dismembering a defenseless unborn child, while also posing serious dangers to his or her mother. The Senate’s rejection of this common-sense legislation is radically out of step with most Americans. Opinion polls consistently show that a strong majority of the public opposes late-term abortions—including those who self-identify as ‘pro-choice’. Furthermore, the United States is currently one of only seven countries that allows abortions beyond 20-weeks. The other six are North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and the Netherlands. The Senate must rethink its extreme stance on late-term abortions. I call upon the public to tell the Senate that this vote is absolutely unacceptable.” --- Keywords:  U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), U.S. House of Representatives, Congress, abortion, late-term abortion, viability, Roe v. Wade, fetal organ harvesting, civil rights, pro-life, 20-week abortion ban   ###   Media Contact: Judy Keane 202-541-3200   18-022 Sec,DD,DP,DioNews,CathPress,CNS [post_title] => Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Calls Senate Failure to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “Appalling” [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => catholic-bishops-pro-life-chairman-calls-senate-failure-to-pass-pain-capable-unborn-child-protection-act-appalling [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-31 16:13:54 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-31 21:13:54 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108627 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [67] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108623 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-01-30 09:19:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-30 14:19:04 [post_content] => Pope Francis on Wednesday released his message for World Communications Day, which is held annually on the Sunday before Pentecost, falling this year on 13 May 2018. Read his message here. [post_title] => Pope Francis releases 2018 World Communications Day message [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => world-communications-day-2018 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-30 09:31:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-30 14:31:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108623 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [68] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108618 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-01-29 16:36:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-29 21:36:41 [post_content] => WASHINGTON—As the Catholic Church prepares to celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV) is releasing the results of a survey taken of the most recent Profession Class of 2017 conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). The survey results have been released to coincide with the annual celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life, which will be celebrated in the Church on Friday, February 2, 2018 and in parishes on the weekend of February 3-4, 2018. Commenting on the World Day for Consecrated Life, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark and Chair of the USCCB's Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations states: "For twenty-one years, the Church has designated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas Day, as an appropriate moment to thank God for the gift of consecrated life. Jesus is manifest as 'light of revelation for the Gentiles' and 'glory for God's people, Israel.' Consecrated men and women reflect this light as witnesses of Jesus in a world that is often shrouded in shadow. They are the glory of God's people. We pray for the perseverance of consecrated men and women and ask God to continue enriching the Church with their unique vocation." The survey polled women and men religious who professed perpetual vows in 2017 in a religious congregation, province, or monastery based in the U.S. CARA received a response from 600 of 768 major superiors for an overall response rate of 78 percent among religious institutes. Of these 216 identified women and men religious, a total of 100 sisters and nuns and 51 brothers and priests responded to the survey. These 51 men may include some brothers who intend to pursue studies leading to priestly ordination. This represents a response rate of 73 percent of the 208 potential members of the Profession Class of 2017 that were reported to CARA by major superiors. Some of the major findings of the report are:
  • Nearly nine in ten or 86 percent of responding religious regularly participated in some type of private prayer activity before they entered their religious institute. About two-thirds participated in Eucharistic Adoration, prayed the rosary, or attended retreats before entering. Nearly six in ten participated in spiritual direction before entering.
  • Most religious did not report that educational debt delayed their application for entrance to their institute. Among the 4 percent who did report having educational debt, however, they averaged about 4 years of delay while they paid down an average of $29,100 in educational debt.
  • The average age of responding religious is 41. Half of the responding religious are age 36 or younger. The youngest is 24 and the oldest is 86.
  • Two-thirds of responding religious (64 percent) identify as white, more than one in six (18 percent) identifies as Asian, and more than one in ten (11 percent) identifies as Hispanic.
  • Most responding religious (67 percent) were born in the U.S. Of those born outside the United States, the most common country of origin is Vietnam.
  • Among those identifying as Hispanic/Latino almost six in ten (62 percent) are foreign born. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian seven in ten are predominantly foreign born. Nearly all identifying as Caucasian/White (94 percent) are U.S. born.
  • One-half of responding religious attended a Catholic elementary school, more than four in ten (44 percent) attended a Catholic high school, and a near equal proportion (43 percent) attended a Catholic college before entering their religious institute.
  • On average, responding religious report that they were 19 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life, but half were 18 or younger when they first did so.
  • Nearly nine in ten (87 percent) responding religious report that someone encouraged them to consider a vocation to religious life.
  • Over four in ten reports that a parish priest (43 percent) encouraged their vocation.
  • Half say they were encouraged to consider a vocation by a religious sister or brother. Women religious were more likely than men religious to do so.
  • Over four in ten (41 percent) report that they were encouraged to consider a vocation by their friends.
The entire survey and press release, General Intercessions and a bulletin quote for the World Day for Consecrated Life, as well as more information on the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations can be found at www.usccb.org/consecratedlife. [post_title] => World Day for Consecrated Life, February 2 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => world-day-for-consecrated-life-february-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-29 16:36:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-29 21:36:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108618 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [69] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108592 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-01-26 08:13:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-26 13:13:24 [post_content] => WASHINGTON—National Catholic Schools Week 2018 (CSW) will be observed in dioceses around the country January 28–February 3. This year's theme, "Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.," focuses on the important spiritual, academic and societal contributions provided by a Catholic education. As Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education said, "Catholic schools provide an invaluable service to young people, their families, and our nation by helping to form women and men with the sharp intellects, broad perspectives and big hearts who bring their best to communities near and far. Jesus Christ came to change hearts and to serve – one person at a time – and so Catholic schools invite students to encounter Christ, to be changed by Him, and love God by serving others with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength." One way Catholic school students have been challenged to "learn, serve, lead and succeed" this academic year has been through the National Catholic Educational Association's (NCEA) "Student to Student" campaign. In August, NCEA began a national campaign that invited Catholic school families to donate at least $1 toward the "Student to Student: A Catholic School Response to Hurricane Harvey" campaign to help those Catholic school communities hardest hit by the events in the United States, the Caribbean and U.S. territories. The campaign was eventually renamed "Student to Student: A Catholic School Response to Hurricane Relief 2017" to include those that followed Harvey and the wildfires in the west. As of last month, 826 Catholic schools from across the country donated more than $600,000 to this solidarity effort. 300 students at Lumen Christi High School in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, for example, put on a taco lunch and raised more than $900. NCEA has begun the process of disbursing funds to Catholic arch/dioceses affected by recent natural disasters, beginning with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Nearly 1.9 million students are currently educated in 6,429 Catholic schools in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities around the country. Students receive an education that prepares them for higher education, a competitive work environment, and most importantly, living a Christian life of virtue in a challenging society. "Since their founding in our country, Catholic schools have provided a well-rounded education to disadvantaged families, new arrivals to America and to all who seek a seat in our schools. We have always sought to welcome families of all backgrounds while maintaining our principles and teaching in a spirit of charity," Bishop Murry said. The observance of CSW began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country will hold activities such as Masses, open houses, and pot luck gatherings to celebrate the communities they represent. The week also highlights the educational and community successes of Catholic schools nationwide. Ninety nine percent of students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college.  This percentage has been consistent over the past 20 years. More information on the Committee on Catholic Education and other resources are available online: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catholic-education/ and www.NCEA.org/csw. . . . Catholic Schools Week can also be followed on Twitter @USCCBCatholicEd, @NCEATalk, and throughout social media via #CSW18. [post_title] => Catholic Schools Week 2018, January 28-February 3 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => catholic-schools-week-2018-january-28-february-3 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-26 08:13:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-26 13:13:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108592 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [70] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108517 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-01-18 17:29:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-18 22:29:59 [post_content] => Richmond, VA - His Excellency, the Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, Bishop of Richmond, announced the following clergy appointments, for a term of six months, effective immediately: Very Reverend Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. Reverend Timothy M. Kuhneman, Episcopal Vicar for the Clergy. Reverend Monsignor R. Francis Muench, Judicial Vicar, Chancellor, Episcopal Vicar for the Central Vicariate. Reverend Monsignor Walter Barrett, Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate. Reverend Kevin Segerblom, Episcopal Vicar for the Western Vicariate. Reverend Michael G. Boehling, Priest-Secretary and Master of Ceremonies, and Episcopal Vicar for Vocations. Reverend W. Daniel Beeman, Episcopal Vicar Catholic Schools' Mission and Identity. Reverend Brian W. Capuano, Associate Director and Promoter of Vocations, and continuing as Pastor of Saint Joseph in Petersburg. [post_title] => The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout Announces Clergy Appointments [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-most-reverend-barry-c-knestout-announces-clergy-appointments [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-19 09:18:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-19 14:18:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108517 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [71] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108493 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-01-16 18:01:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-16 23:01:14 [post_content] => 2017 Independent Audit Determines Catholic Diocese of Richmond Remains in Compliance with Child Protection Charter (RICHMOND) – The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has received word from an independent auditor that the diocese remains in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The diocese participates in the audit process annually. Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, Diocesan Administrator, received notice of compliance in a Dec. 13, 2017, letter from Stonebridge Business Partners, Rochester, N.Y., which conducts the yearly audits for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of Child and Youth Protection. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the USCCB in 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. Data related to the diocese’s child protection program, called Safe Environment, are gathered and audited every year, followed by an extensive onsite audit every third year. The data includes statistics about background screening and VIRTUS training of clergy, employees and volunteers who regularly work with minors and the vulnerable. It also tracks assistance provided to victims, as well as any new allegations and subsequent investigation. Among the statistics tracked through the Safe Environment program are:
  • Since October 2004, the Diocese has held 2,790 child protection training sessions, known as VIRTUS, Protecting God’s Children for Adults. In 2017, there were 280 training sessions.
  • Some 53,880 individuals have participated and 195 facilitators have been trained to lead a VIRTUS training session.
  • During the July 1, 2016– June 30, 2017 audit period, the diocese reported 30,512 active participants in the Safe Environment program. Participants are considered active if they attend VIRTUS and are up-to-date on background screening. Participants include all clergy, parish and school employees as well as volunteers who work with minors and the vulnerable.
For more information about the diocese’s Safe Environment Program, visit the Catholic Diocese of Richmond website at https://richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/. [post_title] => Diocese of Richmond in Compliance with Child Protection Charter [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocese-of-richmond-in-compliance-with-child-protection-charter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-14 15:20:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-14 19:20:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108493 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [72] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108487 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-01-16 15:32:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-16 20:32:40 [post_content] =>

National Prayer Vigil for Life in Nation’s Capital, January 18-19; Plenary Indulgence May be Obtained by Those Taking Part in “Sacred Celebrations” Surrounding March for Life

January 12, 2018
WASHINGTON—The National Prayer Vigil for Life will be held from Thursday afternoon, January 18 to Friday morning, January 19, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Over 20,000 pilgrims from around the nation will pray there for an end to abortion before the annual March for Life. The Vigil marks the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Since those decisions, over 58 million abortions have been performed legally in the United States. The principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Opening Mass will be Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. His fellow cardinals and many of the nation's bishops and priests will concelebrate with him in the Basilica's Great Upper Church from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Vigil continues overnight in the Crypt Church with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Byzantine Rite Night Prayer, and Holy Hours led by seminarians from across the country from 11 p.m.- 6 a.m. "This year, pilgrims have been given a special spiritual gift. A plenary indulgence. . . may be obtained under the usual conditions by participating in the National Prayer Vigil for Life or the other sacred celebrations surrounding the March for Life," said Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). For those seeking Sacramental Reconciliation while on site, confessions will be heard in the Our Lady of Hostyn Chapel of the Crypt Church over the course of nine hours before and after the Opening Mass. See www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/national-prayer-vigil-for-life-schedule.cfm for additional details. "We also invite all the faithful nationwide to be in solidarity with the bishops during their annual pro-life novena, 9 Days for Life, from January 18-26," McQuade continued. "May our prayers, combined with acts of love, help build a culture that cherishes every human life." On the day of the March for Life, Friday, January 19, the Basilica will once again host Eucharistic Adoration in the Crypt Church at 6:00 a.m., with Morning Prayer/Benediction following at 6:30. The Vigil's Closing Mass will take place at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Upper Church, with Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas as principal celebrant and homilist. The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America. Media are welcome to attend the Opening Mass and interview pilgrims throughout the 14-hour Vigil. Media should check in at the Basilica's Great Upper Church sacristy and present press credentials to Jacquelyn Hayes or a designated Basilica press representative to receive a press pass. Advance registration is preferred. Footage from the Mass may also be obtained by satellite feed courtesy of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). For coordinates, or to register, contact Jacquelyn Hayes, director of communications for the Basilica, at 202-281-0615 or jmh@bnsic.org. For more details on the overnight National Prayer Vigil for Life and some of the other pro-life events in the Washington, DC area, visit www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events. To join -- and help spread the word about -- 9 Days for Life, visit www.9daysforlife.com.
[post_title] => National Prayer Vigil for Life [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => national-prayer-vigil-for-life [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-16 15:32:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-16 20:32:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108487 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [73] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108321 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2018-01-08 08:29:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-08 13:29:35 [post_content] => January 5, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers a National Migration Week message to the nation with special gratitude for the gift of immigrants and refugees. Cardinal DiNardo's statement as follows: "On Sunday, the Catholic Church across the United States will celebrate the beginning of National Migration Week. For nearly 50 years, this week has been a time of prayer and reflection on our history as a migrant Church and nation. In these five decades, the face of the immigrant may have changed – European, Asian, South American, and elsewhere -- but their faces reveal a common desire to secure the great blessings of American opportunity. Pope Francis, in his statement on the World Day of Peace on January 1, 2018, advises us that if we view the situation of migrants and refugees through the wisdom of our faith 'we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasures of their own cultures; and in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them.' This week, I invite everyone to reflect on the Holy Father's words as well as on your own family's immigration story. Please also join me in prayer for all families, as together, we 'Share the Journey. . . ' toward a better life." [post_title] => A Message from U.S.C.C.B. President During National Migration Week, January 7-13 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-message-from-u-s-c-c-b-president-during-national-migration-week-january-7-13 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-08 08:29:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-08 13:29:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108321 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [74] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108222 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-12-21 10:08:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-21 15:08:21 [post_content] => [post_title] => Regional Mass Schedule [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => regional-mass-schedule [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-01-24 11:27:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-01-24 16:27:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108222 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [75] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108045 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-12-05 12:05:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-05 17:05:13 [post_content] => RICHMOND, Va. – Within hours of being announced as the 13th Bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, the Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, 55, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, celebrated Mass with Pastoral Center staff for the first time in the diocese he will soon oversee. Earlier, he held a press conference where he was introduced to staff and media.

“I thank our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his trust in naming me Bishop of Richmond. I am honored to serve the Church in Richmond, which has a long and revered history of faith, and I will be blessed to serve the faithful across the beautiful and richly diverse Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Bishop-designate Knestout. “For 197 years the diocese has been led by men of happy memory who served with faith-filled wisdom and skill. I recognize especially Bishop Frank DiLorenzo, may God rest him, who served this diocese with devotion, steadfastness and a pastor’s heart.”

Bishop-designate Knestout succeeds the Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo, 12th Bishop of Richmond, who died Aug. 17, 2017, at the age of 75.   Background A native of Maryland, Bishop-designate Barry Knestout, was born in Cheverly, MD, and ordained a priest in 1989 after completing his seminary studies at Mount St. Mary’s. He was named Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1999, and ordained an auxiliary bishop December 29, 2008 in the Archdiocese of Washington. Bishop-designate Knestout will take possession of the Diocese of Richmond during a Mass of Installation which is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2018, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. For more information about the newly named Richmond bishop and to watch the complete video of the press conference, go to www.richmonddiocese.org/livestream. The Diocese of Richmond spans 33,000 square miles and 74 counties across the central and southern portion of Virginia, stretching from the Eastern Shore to Southwest Virginia, and as far north as Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley.

###

Download PDF Press Release Here [post_title] => Pope Francis Names Washington Auxiliary Bishop to Lead Richmond Diocese [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-francis-names-washington-auxiliary-bishop-to-lead-richmond-diocese [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-05 12:19:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-12-05 17:19:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108045 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [76] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108017 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-12-05 07:17:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-05 12:17:30 [post_content] =>       [post_title] => Statements By Cardinals, Bishops and Dignitaries [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => statements-by-cardinals-bishops-and-dignitaries [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-07 11:40:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-12-07 16:40:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108017 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [77] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105560 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-11-17 09:42:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-17 14:42:12 [post_content] => Rev. Gerard Creedon died on November 16, 2017. He was a priest of the Diocese of Richmond until the establishment of the Diocese of Arlington in 1974. Please pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace. You can read more about Father Creedon here: http://catholicherald.com/News/Local_News/Fr__Gerard_Creedon_dies_at_73/   [post_title] => Please Pray for Rev. Gerard Creedon [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => please-pray-for-rev-gerard-creedon [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-17 09:42:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-17 14:42:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105560 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [78] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107660 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-11-13 12:27:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-13 17:27:15 [post_content] => Vatican City - In the two messages signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis says he "was deeply saddened" by news of the 7.3-magnitude earthquake which struck the border region between Iran and Iraq.   Message - Iraq: His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the severe earthquake which has struck Iraq, and he assures all affected by this tragedy of his prayerful solidarity.  In expressing his sorrow to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones, he offers his prayers for the deceased and commends them to the mercy of the Almighty.  Upon the injured and the emergency and civil authorities engaged in rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength. Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State Message to Iran: His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the severe earthquake which has struck Iran, and he assures all affected by this tragedy of his prayerful solidarity.  In expressing his sorrow to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones, he offers his prayers for the deceased and commends them to the mercy of the Almighty.  Upon the injured and the emergency and civil authorities engaged in rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength. Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State (from Vatican Radio) [post_title] => Pope Francis Prays for People of Iraq and Iran [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-francis-prays-for-people-of-iraq-and-iran [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-13 12:27:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-13 17:27:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107660 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [79] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107621 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-11-06 14:16:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-06 19:16:18 [post_content] =>   WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to the mass shooting during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows: "Earlier today, we heard of the mass shooting at the Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  With Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, I extend my prayers and the prayers of my brother bishops for the victims, the families, the first responders, our Baptist brothers and sisters, indeed the whole community of Sutherland Springs. We stand in unity with you in this time of terrible tragedy—as you stand on holy ground, ground marred today by horrific violence. We ask the Lord for healing of those injured, His loving care of those who have died and the consolation of their families. This incomprehensibly tragic event joins an ever-growing list of mass shootings, some of which were also at Churches while people were worshipping and at prayer.  We must come to the firm determination that there is a fundamental problem in our society. A Culture of Life cannot tolerate, and must prevent, senseless gun violence in all its forms. May the Lord, who Himself is Peace, send us His Spirit of charity and nonviolence to nurture His peace among us all." [post_title] => President of USCCB Responds to Mass Shooting in Texas [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-usccb-responds-to-mass-shooting-in-texas [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-06 14:16:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-06 19:16:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107621 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [80] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107591 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-11-03 08:23:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-11-03 12:23:44 [post_content] =>

WASHINGTON—In a November 2 statement, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, called on Catholics and people of good will across the United States to remember those who continue to suffer in Puerto Rico and surrounding islands in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

 

The full statement follows:

 

“Since the immediate statements of His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, USCCB President, in response to the initial impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, it has become clear that the people of Puerto Rico face an unprecedented level of need as a result of those devastating storms. Meaningful action must address both the immediate and long-term needs of the Puerto Rican population. The Island is in the midst of a public health crisis, and food security, health care access, and sustainable alleviation of the island's debt are challenges that must be resolved in a comprehensive way. These will require great effort and significant contributions of financial resources and material assistance.

 

In addition, the people of other islands in this region, including the United States Virgin Islands, also face dramatic consequences to their economies, which are predicated on an active tourist industry. The enormous and adverse impact of the storms for the livelihood of the Virgin Islands is evident.

 

In addition to these human costs, the Church in Puerto Rico’s physical plant, including parish buildings and schools, has been grievously damaged by the hurricanes. As the Archbishop of San Juan noted, virtually every church structure on the island has been affected by these storms. This need is particularly compelling considering the central role that parishes perform as natural centers in providing pastoral outreach to impacted individuals and families in times of crisis. Aid and financial resources are necessary to restore the physical settings where the Church heals through its ministries those most desperately in need.

 

The people of Puerto Rico have been facing serious problems for many years: economic upheaval and scarcity, persistent joblessness, and other social problems resulting from the financial crisis gripping the Commonwealth's economy. They bear little responsibility for the island's financial situation yet have suffered most of the consequences. Now, the recent devastation has made the circumstances, especially for those in need, unbearable.

 

As pastors, we share in the suffering borne by our brother bishops and the people they shepherd in Puerto Rico. We stand ready, through legislative advocacy as well as by means of the emergency funds set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, to support with compassion our brothers and sisters in such dire need. We urgently beseech all Catholics in the United States to join with all people of good will in supporting these crucial initiatives at this critical point in time for the people of Puerto Rico.”

 

Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane                                       Most Rev. Paul D. Etienne

Bishop of Venice                                                        Archbishop of Anchorage

Chairman,                                                                   Chairman,

Committee on Domestic Justice                                 Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions

and Human Development

[post_title] => Statement on the Emerging Crisis in Puerto Rico [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => statement-on-the-emerging-crisis-in-puerto-rico [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-11-03 08:27:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-11-03 12:27:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107591 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [81] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107403 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-10-19 11:36:37 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-19 15:36:37 [post_content] => Reverend Pham Q. Thuy, a retired priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, died on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the age of 81. Father Thuy was born on July 10, 1936, in Hanoi, Vietnam. He was educated at Puginier Elementary School in Hanoi, and Mossard High School in Saigon.  He graduated from Hue University and attended Corpus Christi Seminary, graduating in 1973. Father Thuy was ordained to the priesthood on February 18, 1973 in Melbourne, Australia. He did his post-graduate studies at Fordham University in New York City, New York. Father Thuy was incardinated into the Diocese of Richmond by Bishop Walter F. Sullivan on January 1, 1996. A faithful priest of the Diocese of Richmond for 21 years, Father Thuy served in the following parishes: Saint John, Highland Springs (1986-1989); Our Lady of Lourdes, Richmond (1989-1990); Our Lady of Lavang, Norfolk (1990-1995) and Saint Edward the Confessor, Richmond (2002-2003). The following is information regarding visitation and funeral Mass for Father Thuy: Visitation is scheduled for Friday, October 20th, 5:00 to 10:00 pm at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, 3445 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA  23456 The funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am, on Saturday, October 21st at Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam Catholic Church,   409 Campostella Road,  Norfolk VA 23533. Please remember Father Thuy and his family in your prayers. [post_title] => Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Pham Thuy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => please-pray-for-the-repose-of-the-soul-of-father-pham-thuy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-20 08:28:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-20 12:28:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107403 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [82] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107266 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 10:54:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:54:44 [post_content] =>

October 12, 2017

WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, asked for prayers for favorable weather and assistance for those impacted by devastating fires raging through Northern California.

Bishop Dewane’s full statement follows:

“Do not fear: I am with you;

do not be anxious: I am your God.

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”

– Isaiah 41:10

 

Today we ask for the intercession of Almighty God as wildfires rage in Northern California. Already, these blazes have killed over 20 people, destroyed hundreds of houses and other buildings, and forced thousands of individuals to leave their homes and livelihoods behind in uncertainty. High winds and dry conditions have greatly increased the danger for the people in this region.

 

As brave men and women respond to these disasters, battling the fires and helping people to safety, we call upon God for improved weather, for the blessing of rain and favorable winds, to assist them.  We pray that those who are missing or are still in harm’s way will be found and protected. May God grant eternal rest to those who have died, and bring them into glory with him forever.

 

We pray, too, for generosity, care, and concern from neighbors and surrounding communities for those who are grieving and displaced. Though we may be weary from all that has taken place around the country in recent days, we know that God cannot be outdone in generosity and charity.  May he provide us with new wellsprings of love to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters who are hurting so deeply today.

[post_title] => USCCB Calls for Prayer for those Impacted by California Wildfires [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-calls-for-prayer-for-those-impacted-by-california-wildfires [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 10:54:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 14:54:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107266 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [83] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107255 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-10-12 08:25:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-12 12:25:43 [post_content] =>
[post_title] => Funeral Arrangements for Deacon Scarletto [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => funeral-arrangements-for-deacon-scarletto [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-12 08:25:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-12 12:25:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107255 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [84] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107146 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2017-10-02 15:10:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-02 19:10:19 [post_content] => We mourn for all who lost their lives or were injured in the horrific actions that took place in Las Vegas. We lift our voices in prayer on this Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels whom we ask to watch over us, to guide us, and bring consolation to all who are grieving. We pray for the victims, their families and the repose of their souls. Let the holy angels be with us and bring us comfort during these uncertain times.   Guardian Angel Prayer: Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God's love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen. [post_title] => Diocesan Administrator Very Reverend Monsignor Mark Richard Lane Statement on Las Vegas Shooting [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocesan-administrator-very-reverend-monsignor-mark-richard-lane-statement-on-las-vegas-shooting [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-02 15:10:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-02 19:10:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107146 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [85] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106900 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-09-18 16:24:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-18 20:24:15 [post_content] => September 18, 2017 Richmond, VA - Diocesan Administrator, the Very Rev. Monsignor Mark Richard Lane has asked parishes across the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to take up a special collection to help in the relief efforts following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Irma. “In the past week, we have watched as another hurricane, Hurricane Irma, devastated islands in the Caribbean, and then the southeastern United States. Again, the emergency response was immediate, but we know that the recovery will take a long time,” said Msgr. Lane. “I ask that you take up an emergency collection to support humanitarian aid, and to assist with long-term efforts to restore communities after this widespread destruction.” “I am aware that this request comes right after the emergency collection for Hurricane Harvey. That storm caused catastrophic damage and compelled us to respond, but Hurricane Irma has been devastating also, and our brothers and sisters need our help.” “We send our heartfelt prayers to all affected by this disaster and we stand in solidarity with them.” Parishes are encouraged to take up a special collection on or near the weekend of September 24th. The funds collected in this one-time special appeal for Hurricane Irma Relief will support Church relief agencies as they provide humanitarian aid in the form of water, food, shelter, and medical care, as well as long-term efforts to restore communities after widespread destruction, and the USCCB for pastoral and reconstruction aid to the Church in the Caribbean and the United States.   [post_title] => Diocesan Administrator Announces Special Collection for Hurricane Irma victims [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocesan-administrator-announces-special-collection-for-hurricane-irma-victims [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-18 16:24:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-18 20:24:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106900 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [86] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106686 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-09-13 08:30:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-09-13 12:30:57 [post_content] =>

September 12, 2017

 

WASHINGTON—In the wake of two devastating hurricanes in just two weeks, the Executive Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the following statement:

 

“With lives and livelihoods still at risk in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean, we pray for the safety and care of human life in the wake of two catastrophic hurricanes. The massive scale of the dual disasters and the effect it has on communities, families and individuals cannot be fully comprehended or adequately addressed in the immediate aftermath of the storms.

 

At this time of initial recovery, we mourn the loss of life, homes and other property, and the harm to the natural environment, and we pray for all those affected and in need of assistance. We also pray for the safety of, and in thanksgiving for, the first responders who are risking their lives at this very moment in care for their neighbors, especially those who are elderly, sick, homeless, or otherwise already in need of special assistance.

 

We share Pope Francis’ trust that the Catholic faithful here in the United States will respond to the needs presented by these disasters with a ‘vast outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the best traditions of the nation.' We encourage the faithful to respond generously with prayers, financial support, and for those who have the opportunity, the volunteering of time and talents in support of those in need.”

 

For more information on how you can help, please go to:  http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/emergency-collections-and-disaster-relief.cfm

[post_title] => USCCB Statement in Wake of Hurricanes; Encourage Prayers and Support [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-c-c-b-statement-in-wake-of-hurricanes-encourage-prayers-and-support [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-18 12:00:13 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-18 16:00:13 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106686 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [87] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106567 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2017-08-29 12:11:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-29 16:11:22 [post_content] => On Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, Diocesan Administrator, the Very Rev. Monsignor Mark Richard Lane has asked parishes across the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to take up a special collection to help in the relief efforts following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The USCCB has also requested dioceses consider taking up a special collection to support humanitarian and recovery efforts. “The images coming from Texas and the surrounding areas are heartbreaking as the full extent of the catastrophic floodwaters and its effects become clear," said Msgr. Lane. “As the storm continues to cause problems, we send our heartfelt prayers to all affected by this disaster and we stand in solidarity with them.” As a result, parishes are encouraged to take up a special collection on or near the weekend of September 10th. The proceeds of this collection will be sent to Catholic Charities USA to aid in the disaster relief efforts. The organization is already spearheading efforts to provide support and care to help those most in need. Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is headquartered in Alexandria, VA, and is the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church. To find out more about Catholic Charities USA, visit www.catholiccharitiesusa.org. [post_title] => Diocesan Administrator Calls for Special Collection for Victims of Hurricane Harvey [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocesan-administrator-calls-for-special-collection-for-victims-of-hurricane-harvey [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-30 11:55:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-30 15:55:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106567 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [88] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106483 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-08-23 08:53:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-23 12:53:20 [post_content] =>

View the Funeral Mass recording on our YouTube Channel.

Gallery Photo Credit: Billy Nguyen [post_title] => Photo Gallery of Bishop DiLorenzo [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => photo-gallery [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-09-07 10:12:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-09-07 14:12:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106483 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [89] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106476 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-08-22 16:28:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-22 20:28:29 [post_content] => (Richmond, Va.) - After prayerful consideration, the College of Consultors for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond convened Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, and elected Msgr. Mark Lane to serve as Diocesan Administrator, as required by Canon Law following the death of Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. Mgsr. Lane immediately assumes his duties as Diocesan Administrator and will lead the Catholic Diocese of Richmond until the Holy Father, Pope Francis, appoints a new bishop. During this transition, Mgsr. Lane will be assisted in the governance of the Diocese by the College of Consultors. Msgr. Mark Lane, a member of the clergy of the Diocese for 44 years was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond by Bishop Walter Sullivan. He holds ecclesiastical degrees from Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore and the Catholic University of America. In addition, he has a Doctorate in Pastoral Psychotherapy. He was appointed Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 April 2008 and previously served as Vicar of Clergy for 11 years, prior to his appointment by Bishop DiLorenzo as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in 2011. The Diocese continues to ask for the Holy Spirit to guide the Church. We especially ask for prayers for Monsignor Lane and for the repose of the soul of Bishop DiLorenzo who will be entombed at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Friday, Aug. 25.

Background on the Role of the College of Consultors The College of Consultors in the Diocese of Richmond is comprised of nine priests specifically appointed by the bishop who serve five year terms and advise the bishop on important matters for the Diocese.

[post_title] => Monsignor Mark R. Lane Elected Diocesan Administrator for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => monsignor-mark-r-lane-elected-diocesan-administrator-for-the-catholic-diocese-of-richmond [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-11 15:16:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-11 19:16:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106476 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [90] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106444 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-08-18 18:58:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-18 22:58:20 [post_content] => The Most Rev. Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, the 12th Bishop of Richmond, died Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond. Cause of death was heart and kidney failure. He was 75. “Today, the priests, deacons, religious and lay people of the Diocese of Richmond mourn the loss of our shepherd, who led the Diocese with wisdom and humility for 13 years,” said Msgr. Mark Richard Lane. “Bishop DiLorenzo had a profound understanding and faith in the Eucharistic sacrifice of our Lord, which sees past the Cross and into eternal life with our Savior. With that same faith and hope, we look forward to our happy reunion.” Funeral arrangements will follow shortly. In March 2004, Pope John Paul II named Bishop DiLorenzo – who was then the shepherd of the Diocese of Honolulu – the Bishop of Richmond. He was installed May 24, 2004. His episcopal motto was “Christ Our Hope.” A moral theologian and a lover of history, Bishop DiLorenzo was known for his humility, his booming voice – which frequently broke into song – and his concern for those less fortunate, which he addressed especially through his interest in Catholic schools and lay Catholic formation. Bishop DiLorenzo was a native of Philadelphia, PA. He was the oldest of three children born to Samuel and Anita Porrino DiLorenzo. He is survived by his sister, Anita Lawler, of Cape May, New Jersey, and brother Paul DiLorenzo, of Philadelphia, and close family friend, Sister Janice Johnson, Allentown, Pennsylvania. During his tenure, vocations to the priesthood were a high priority. By the time of his death he had ordained 22 men to the priesthood. Enrollment in seminary had increased two-and-a-half-fold, from nine men enrolled in seminary to 31. He is widely credited with saving Catholic schools in the Diocese with the formation of the McMahon Parater Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen schools by providing scholarships and financial assistance, as well as professional development. In addition to Catholic schools, he encouraged education of lay Catholics, and under his leadership founded the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute to better equip parish leaders to teach the faith to children and adults. In 2014, he launched the Diocese’s first-ever capital campaign, Living Our Mission, which raised $105 million to strengthen parishes, support clergy, advance the mission of spreading the Gospel, and develop the future Church. In 2004, with Bishop (now emeritus) Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington, he established the Virginia Catholic Conference to represent the bishops and their dioceses on public policy issues in Richmond, and, with the United States Catholic Conference, in Washington, D.C. A graduate of St. Callistus School and St. Thomas More High School, he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol on May 18, 1968. He served in the Archdiocese in pastoral and educational assignments from 1968 to 1971. Bishop DiLorenzo was sent to Rome where he earned a license in sacred theology from the Academia Alphonsiana and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Returning to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop DiLorenzo was chaplain and instructor in theology at St. Pius X High School, Pottstown, and later was appointed chaplain and associate professor of moral theology at Immaculata College. In 1983, he was honored with the title Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, before returning to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as vice rector, and later, rector. He also was a member of the Archdiocesan Committee and a Prosynodal Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal. He was named a member of the Papal Household and received the title Prelate of Honor of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. On January 26, 1988, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Tigia and Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and ordained to the episcopacy on March 8, 1988. Five years later Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu and he was installed Bishop on Oct. 4, 1994. During his administration, Bishop DiLorenzo was nominated by the Pope as a participant in the 1998 Synod of Bishops for Asia. He encouraged more collaboration between Asian and U.S. bishops to serve the growing needs of Catholic Asian immigrants in the United States. He was a member of the USCCB’s Administrative Committee and chairman of the Committee on Science and Human Values where he inaugurated a series of popular teaching brochures, reflecting the bishops’ consultations with top scientists on the relationship of science and religion and ethical issues in the rapidly growing fields of genetic testing and genetic screening. Earlier he served the USCCB committee on doctrine and the ad hoc committee on bishops’ life and ministry.  

###

  Download PDF of Statement Here. [post_title] => The Passing of Francis X. DiLorenzo, 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-passing-of-francis-x-dilorenzo-12th-bishop-of-the-diocese-of-richmond [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-21 16:16:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-21 20:16:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106444 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [91] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106442 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-08-18 17:31:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-18 21:31:48 [post_content] => Thursday, Aug. 24 at 3:00 p.m. Rite of Reception Followed by Visitation Evening Vespers at 7pm The Cathedral will open and the Bishop will lie in repose for vigil throughout the night on Thursday. The doors will remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Friday and reopen at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 25th at 11:00 a.m. Funeral Mass followed by entombment in the Cathedral Crypt The Funeral Mass for Bishop DiLorenzo was livestreamed and the recording is now available to watch on our YouTube Channel. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2inuPkH   Seating: Seating in the Cathedral will be extremely limited and open on a first come, first serve basis particularly for the Funeral Mass on Friday. Once the Cathedral has reached seating capacity, no additional guests will be able to enter. If you are unable to attend in person, you are encouraged to watch the Funeral Mass online.  

The Passing of Francis X. DiLorenzo, 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond

The Most Rev. Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, the 12th Bishop of Richmond, died Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond. Cause of death was heart and kidney failure. He was 75. “Today, the priests, deacons, religious and lay people of the Diocese of Richmond mourn the loss of our shepherd, who led the Diocese with wisdom and humility for 13 years,” said Msgr. Mark Richard Lane. “Bishop DiLorenzo had a profound understanding and faith in the Eucharistic sacrifice of our Lord, which sees past the Cross and into eternal life with our Savior. With that same faith and hope, we look forward to our happy reunion.” In March 2004, Pope John Paul II named Bishop DiLorenzo – who was then the shepherd of the Diocese of Honolulu – the Bishop of Richmond. He was installed May 24, 2004. His episcopal motto was “Christ Our Hope.” A moral theologian and a lover of history, Bishop DiLorenzo was known for his humility, his booming voice – which frequently broke into song – and his concern for those less fortunate, which he addressed especially through his interest in Catholic schools and lay Catholic formation. Bishop DiLorenzo was a native of Philadelphia, PA. He was the oldest of three children born to Samuel and Anita Porrino DiLorenzo. He is survived by his sister, Anita Lawler, of Cape May, New Jersey, and brother Paul DiLorenzo, of Philadelphia, and close family friend, Sister Janice Johnson, Allentown, Pennsylvania. During his tenure, vocations to the priesthood were a high priority. By the time of his death he had ordained 22 men to the priesthood. Enrollment in seminary had increased two-and-a-half-fold, from nine men enrolled in seminary to 31. He is widely credited with saving Catholic schools in the Diocese with the formation of the McMahon Parater Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen schools by providing scholarships and financial assistance, as well as professional development. In addition to Catholic schools, he encouraged education of lay Catholics, and under his leadership founded the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute to better equip parish leaders to teach the faith to children and adults. In 2014, he launched the Diocese’s first-ever capital campaign, Living Our Mission, which raised $105 million to strengthen parishes, support clergy, advance the mission of spreading the Gospel, and develop the future Church. In 2004, with Bishop (now emeritus) Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington, he established the Virginia Catholic Conference to represent the bishops and their dioceses on public policy issues in Richmond, and, with the United States Catholic Conference, in Washington, D.C. A graduate of St. Callistus School and St. Thomas More High School, he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol on May 18, 1968. He served in the Archdiocese in pastoral and educational assignments from 1968 to 1971. Bishop DiLorenzo was sent to Rome where he earned a license in sacred theology from the Academia Alphonsiana and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Returning to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop DiLorenzo was chaplain and instructor in theology at St. Pius X High School, Pottstown, and later was appointed chaplain and associate professor of moral theology at Immaculata College. In 1983, he was honored with the title Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, before returning to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as vice rector, and later, rector. He also was a member of the Archdiocesan Committee and a Prosynodal Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal. He was named a member of the Papal Household and received the title Prelate of Honor of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. On January 26, 1988, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Tigia and Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and ordained to the episcopacy on March 8, 1988. Five years later Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu and he was installed Bishop on Oct. 4, 1994. During his administration, Bishop DiLorenzo was nominated by the Pope as a participant in the 1998 Synod of Bishops for Asia. He encouraged more collaboration between Asian and U.S. bishops to serve the growing needs of Catholic Asian immigrants in the United States. He was a member of the USCCB’s Administrative Committee and chairman of the Committee on Science and Human Values where he inaugurated a series of popular teaching brochures, reflecting the bishops’ consultations with top scientists on the relationship of science and religion and ethical issues in the rapidly growing fields of genetic testing and genetic screening. Earlier he served the USCCB committee on doctrine and the ad hoc committee on bishops’ life and ministry.   ###   Download PDF of Statement Here. [post_title] => Funeral Arrangements [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => funeral-arrangements [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-25 17:35:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-25 21:35:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106442 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [92] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106429 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2017-08-18 09:44:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-18 13:44:29 [post_content] => “With great sadness, I announce The Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond, died at St. Mary’s Hospital, late last night. He was 75. He was a faithful servant of the Church for 49 years and a Shepherd of the Diocese of Richmond for 13 years. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop DiLorenzo, for his family and friends, and for the people of the Diocese of Richmond. More information will follow. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.” Translation……………………………………………………………… Una declaración por parte de Mons. Mark Lane, Diócesis de Richmond, sobre el fallecimiento del obispo Mons. Francis X. DiLorenzo: “Con gran tristeza, les anuncio que su Excelencia Reverendísima Monseñor Francis X. DiLorenso, obispo de Richmond, murió en el hospital de St. Mary, esta noche pasada a sus 75 años. Él ha sido un siervo fiel de la Iglesia por 49 años y un Pastor de la diócesis de Richmond por 13 años.” Por favor, recen por el eterno descanso del alma de su Excelencia Mons. DiLorenzo, por su familia y amigos, y por todas las personas de la diócesis de Richmond. Más información será dada más adelante. Concédele Señor a él el descanso eterno, y brille tú luz perpetua sobre él.” [post_title] => A statement from Monsignor Mark Lane on the Passing of Bishop DiLorenzo [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => a-statement-from-monsignor-mark-lane-on-the-passing-of-bishop-dilorenzo [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-18 09:59:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-18 13:59:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106429 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [93] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106351 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-08-12 22:36:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-13 02:36:33 [post_content] => (Richmond, Va.)  – Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo issued the following statement on the actions taking place in Charlottesville: “In the last 24 hours, hatred and violence have been on display in the City of Charlottesville. I earnestly pray for peace. I invoke the prayer of St. Francis who prayed “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon.”  I pray that those men and women on both sides can talk and seek solutions to their differences respectfully. The love of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon against hatred. Only the light of Christ can quench the torches of hatred and violence.  Let us pray for peace.”

# # #

  Download PDF Statement Here [post_title] => Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo Statement on Events Occurring in Charlottesville [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-francis-x-dilorenzo-statement-on-events-occurring-in-charlottesville [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-12 22:39:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-13 02:39:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106351 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [94] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106226 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-07-31 13:19:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-31 17:19:15 [post_content] => Projects Include Pro-Life Centers, Hurricane Matthew Affected Areas July 31, 2017 WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America awarded nearly $4 million in funding in the form of 244 grants to support the pastoral work of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, and nearly $2 million in funding for continued reconstruction in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The grants were approved at the Subcommittee's meeting on June 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Projects that received funding include:
  • Argentina, GRAVIDA—Centro de Asistencia a la Vida Naciente: This network of diocesan centers in Argentina works to promote, care for, and defend life from the moment of conception and promotes the dignity of parenting. These centers are located in 21 dioceses across the country and care for pregnant women at risk of having an abortion as well as with men to help them understand the value of fatherhood. The centers provide education and formation about the dignity of human life and conduct solidarity and awareness campaigns.
  • Haiti, Catechetical Formation: This project will provide formation for 400 pastoral agents from four parishes that were impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The formation will be centered around the theme of the Christian family, and will take place over the course of three days. Seminars, workshops and group discussions will be facilitated, along with opportunities for prayer and daily Mass.
In addition, the first grant to help rebuild churches on the western part of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew was approved. More of these requests will be considered at future meetings of the Subcommittee. "I am continually inspired by all of those who support the Collection for the Church in Latin America," said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America. "The generosity of Catholics across the United States makes a difference in the lives of countless people in Latin America and the Caribbean. This generosity reflects the love and compassion of God. I can see this especially in the response we received to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew. With that help, we not only fund pastoral projects, but help rebuild churches in some dioceses of Haiti." Other areas of funding include lay leadership training, seminarian and religious formation, prison ministry, and youth ministry. Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Latin America, taken in many dioceses across the U.S. on the fourth Sunday in January. The grants to Haiti are funded by the Special Collection for Haiti, which occurred after the 2010 earthquake. These reconstruction efforts are managed through the Partnership for Church Reconstruction in Haiti (PROCHE). The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Collection for the Church in Latin America as grants across Latin America and the Caribbean.  More information about the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the many grants it funds, as well as resources to promote it across the country, can be found at www.usccb.org/latin-america.   [post_title] => Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America Awards nearly $6 Million [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => subcommittee-on-the-church-in-latin-america-awards-nearly-6-million [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-03 14:41:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-03 18:41:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106226 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [95] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106023 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-07-25 08:04:27 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-25 12:04:27 [post_content] =>

WASHINGTON—Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, has issued the following statement on San Antonio law enforcement’s identification of a tractor trailer containing 39 people, including ten individuals who died due to heat exposure and asphyxiation.

Full statement follows:

My brother bishops and I are heartbroken by the news coming from San Antonio regarding individuals found dead in a crowded and overheated tractor trailer. I also note our continued concern and prayers for the several other individuals identified, including school-aged children, who are reported to have life-threatening injuries. The loss of lives is tragic and avoidable. We condemn this terrible human exploitation that occurred and continues to happen in our country. In a moment such as this, we reflect upon the words of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, “The defense of human beings knows no barriers: we are all united wanting to ensure a dignified life for every man, woman and child who is forced to abandon his or her own land.”

We together mourn for the lives lost and offer our prayers for these individuals and their families.

[post_title] => USCCB Chairman Mourns for Migrants Involved in Texas Tragedy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-chairman-mourns-for-migrants-involved-in-texas-tragedy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-25 08:04:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-25 12:04:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106023 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [96] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105835 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-07-05 11:22:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-07-05 15:22:03 [post_content] => WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Luis Zarama, auxiliary bishop of Atlanta as Bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina. The appointment was publicized in Washington, July 5, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Zarama was born November 28, 1958, in Pasto, Colombia. He holds degrees in philosophy and theology from the Marian University in Pasto, and a degree in Canon Law from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1993. He served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Atlanta; he then served as a member of the Vocations Committee. Bishop Zarama was named vicar general of the Archdiocese in April of 2006 and in 2008 he was appointed to serve as the judicial vicar for the Archdiocese's Metropolitan Tribunal. He is also a member of the Archdiocesan Personnel Review Board. He was named auxiliary bishop of Atlanta on July 27, 2009. As a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), he is currently an alternate member for region XIV of the Administrative Committee. The Diocese of Raleigh comprises 32,000 square miles and it has total population of 4,874,815 people of which 231,230 are Catholic. [post_title] => Pope Names Bishop Zarama as Bishop of Raleigh [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-names-bishop-zarama-as-bishop-of-raleigh [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-10 11:22:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-07-10 15:22:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105835 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [97] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105689 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-06-30 13:16:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-30 17:16:44 [post_content] => Richmond, VA - The Convocation of Catholic Leaders begins in Orlando, Florida, on July 1 and finishes on July 4. The purpose of this meeting is to engage in a conversation with leaders in the Catholic Church on ways to be missionary disciples, to animate the Church, and to engage the culture. See more at the USCCB website here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/get-involved/meetings-and-events/usccb-convocation-2017.cfm The following delegates will be attending from the Diocese of Richmond: Mr. Jeff Caruso, Exec. Dir., Virginia Catholic Conference Ms. Maria Garcia-Lara, Saint John, Highland Spring Ms. Sheila Herlihy, Church of the Incarnation, Charlottesville Mr. Chris Hitzelberger, Virginia Tech Campus Ministry Mr. Aaron Hostetter, Holy Trinity, Norfolk Ms. Sheri Kemp, Assoc. Dir., Christian Formation Rev. Matt Kiehl, Saint Andrew, Roanoke Ms. Nicole Lancour, Saint Bede, Williamsburg Ms. Joanne Nattrass, Exec. Dir., Commonwealth Catholic Charities Deacon Frank Nelson, Holy Rosary, Richmond Mr. Michael School, Dir., Office for Evangelization Deacon Charles Williams, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond Mr. James Williams, Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk Ms. Sarah Williams, Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk [post_title] => Diocese of Richmond Delegation to Convocation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocese-of-richmond-delegation-to-convocation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-30 14:00:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-30 18:00:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105689 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [98] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105546 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-06-16 11:55:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-16 15:55:08 [post_content] => Vatican City - June 13, 2017 MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FIRST WORLD DAY OF THE POOR 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 19 November 2017   Let us love, not with words but with deeds  
  1. “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18).  These words of the Apostle John voice an imperative that no Christian may disregard.  The seriousness with which the “beloved disciple” hands down Jesus’ command to our own day is made even clearer by the contrast between the empty words so frequently on our lips and the concrete deeds against which we are called to measure ourselves.  Love has no alibi.  Whenever we set out to love as Jesus loved, we have to take the Lord as our example; especially when it comes to loving the poor.  The Son of God’s way of loving is well-known, and John spells it out clearly.  It stands on two pillars: God loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:10.19), and he loved us by giving completely of himself, even to laying down his life (cf. 1 Jn 3:16).
Such love cannot go unanswered.  Even though offered unconditionally, asking nothing in return, it so sets hearts on fire that all who experience it are led to love back, despite their limitations and sins.  Yet this can only happen if we welcome God’s grace, his merciful charity, as fully as possible into our hearts, so that our will and even our emotions are drawn to love both God and neighbour.  In this way, the mercy that wells up – as it were – from the heart of the Trinity can shape our lives and bring forth compassion and works of mercy for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in need.
  1. “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him” (Ps 34:6).  The Church has always understood the importance of this cry.  We possess an outstanding testimony to this in the very first pages of the Acts of the Apostles, where Peter asks that seven men, “full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (6:3), be chosen for the ministry of caring for the poor.  This is certainly one of the first signs of the entrance of the Christian community upon the world’s stage: the service of the poor.  The earliest community realized that being a disciple of Jesus meant demonstrating fraternity and solidarity, in obedience to the Master’s proclamation that the poor are blessed and heirs to the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 5:3).
“They sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:45).  In these words, we see clearly expressed the lively concern of the first Christians.  The evangelist Luke, who more than any other speaks of mercy, does not exaggerate when he describes the practice of sharing in the early community.  On the contrary, his words are addressed to believers in every generation, and thus also to us, in order to sustain our own witness and to encourage our care for those most in need.  The same message is conveyed with similar conviction by the Apostle James.  In his Letter, he spares no words: “Listen, my beloved brethren.  Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?  But you have dishonoured the poor man.  Is it not the rich who oppress you, and drag you into court? ... What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works?  Can his faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled”, without giving them the things needed for the body; what does it profit?  So faith by itself, if it has not works, is dead’ (2:5-6.14-17).
  1. Yet there have been times when Christians have not fully heeded this appeal, and have assumed a worldly way of thinking.  Yet the Holy Spirit has not failed to call them to keep their gaze fixed on what is essential. He has raised up men and women who, in a variety of ways, have devoted their lives to the service of the poor.  Over these two thousand years, how many pages of history have been written by Christians who, in utter simplicity and humility, and with generous and creative charity, have served their poorest brothers and sisters!
The most outstanding example is that of Francis of Assisi, followed by many other holy men and women over the centuries.  He was not satisfied to embrace lepers and give them alms, but chose to go to Gubbio to stay with them.  He saw this meeting as the turning point of his conversion: “When I was in my sins, it seemed a thing too bitter to look on lepers, and the Lord himself led me among them and I showed them mercy.  And when I left them, what had seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of mind and body” (Text 1-3: FF 110).  This testimony shows the transformative power of charity and the Christian way of life. We may think of the poor simply as the beneficiaries of our occasional volunteer work, or of impromptu acts of generosity that appease our conscience.  However good and useful such acts may be for making us sensitive to people’s needs and the injustices that are often their cause, they ought to lead to a true encounter with the poor and a sharing that becomes a way of life.  Our prayer and our journey of discipleship and conversion find the confirmation of their evangelic authenticity in precisely such charity and sharing.  This way of life gives rise to joy and peace of soul, because we touch with our own hands the flesh of Christ.  If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor, as a response to the sacramental communion bestowed in the Eucharist.  The Body of Christ, broken in the sacred liturgy, can be seen, through charity and sharing, in the faces and persons of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.  Saint John Chrysostom’s admonition remains ever timely: “If you want to honour the body of Christ, do not scorn it when it is naked; do not honour the Eucharistic Christ with silk vestments, and then, leaving the church, neglect the other Christ suffering from cold and nakedness” (Hom. in Matthaeum, 50.3: PG 58). We are called, then, to draw near to the poor, to encounter them, to meet their gaze, to embrace them and to let them feel the warmth of love that breaks through their solitude.  Their outstretched hand is also an invitation to step out of our certainties and comforts, and to acknowledge the value of poverty in itself.
  1. Let us never forget that, for Christ’s disciples, poverty is above all a call to follow Jesus in his own poverty.  It means walking behind him and beside him, a journey that leads to the beatitude of the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 5:3; Lk 6:20).  Poverty means having a humble heart that accepts our creaturely limitations and sinfulness and thus enables us to overcome the temptation to feel omnipotent and immortal.  Poverty is an interior attitude that avoids looking upon money, career and luxury as our goal in life and the condition for our happiness.  Poverty instead creates the conditions for freely shouldering our personal and social responsibilities, despite our limitations, with trust in God’s closeness and the support of his grace.  Poverty, understood in this way, is the yardstick that allows us to judge how best to use material goods and to build relationships that are neither selfish nor possessive (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 25-45).
Let us, then, take as our example Saint Francis and his witness of authentic poverty.  Precisely because he kept his gaze fixed on Christ, Francis was able to see and serve him in the poor.  If we want to help change history and promote real development, we need to hear the cry of the poor and commit ourselves to ending their marginalization.  At the same time, I ask the poor in our cities and our communities not to lose the sense of evangelical poverty that is part of their daily life.
  1. We know how hard it is for our contemporary world to see poverty clearly for what it is.  Yet in myriad ways poverty challenges us daily, in faces marked by suffering, marginalization, oppression, violence, torture and imprisonment, war, deprivation of freedom and dignity, ignorance and illiteracy, medical emergencies and shortage of work, trafficking and slavery, exile, extreme poverty and forced migration.  Poverty has the face of women, men and children exploited by base interests, crushed by the machinations of power and money.  What a bitter and endless list we would have to compile were we to add the poverty born of social injustice, moral degeneration, the greed of a chosen few, and generalized indifference!
Tragically, in our own time, even as ostentatious wealth accumulates in the hands of the privileged few, often in connection with illegal activities and the appalling exploitation of human dignity, there is a scandalous growth of poverty in broad sectors of society throughout our world.  Faced with this scenario, we cannot remain passive, much less resigned.  There is a poverty that stifles the spirit of initiative of so many young people by keeping them from finding work.  There is a poverty that dulls the sense of personal responsibility and leaves others to do the work while we go looking for favours.  There is a poverty that poisons the wells of participation and allows little room for professionalism; in this way it demeans the merit of those who do work and are productive.  To all these forms of poverty we must respond with a new vision of life and society. All the poor – as Blessed Paul VI loved to say – belong to the Church by “evangelical right” (Address at the Opening of the Second Session of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 29 September 1963), and require of us a fundamental option on their behalf.  Blessed, therefore, are the open hands that embrace the poor and help them: they are hands that bring hope.  Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion and nationality, and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity.  Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes”: they are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.
  1. At the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy, I wanted to offer the Church a World Day of the Poor, so that throughout the world Christian communities can become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need.  To the World Days instituted by my Predecessors, which are already a tradition in the life of our communities, I wish to add this one, which adds to them an exquisitely evangelical fullness, that is, Jesus’ preferential love for the poor.
I invite the whole Church, and men and women of good will everywhere, to turn their gaze on this day to all those who stretch out their hands and plead for our help and solidarity.  They are our brothers and sisters, created and loved by the one Heavenly Father.  This Day is meant, above all, to encourage believers to react against a culture of discard and waste, and to embrace the culture of encounter.  At the same time, everyone, independent of religious affiliation, is invited to openness and sharing with the poor through concrete signs of solidarity and fraternity.  God created the heavens and the earth for all; yet sadly some have erected barriers, walls and fences, betraying the original gift meant for all humanity, with none excluded.
  1. It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, which falls this year on 19 November, the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance.  They can invite the poor and volunteers to take part together in the Eucharist on this Sunday, in such a way that there be an even more authentic celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on the following Sunday.  The kingship of Christ is most evident on Golgotha, when the Innocent One, nailed to the cross, poor, naked and stripped of everything, incarnates and reveals the fullness of God’s love.  Jesus’ complete abandonment to the Father expresses his utter poverty and reveals the power of the Love that awakens him to new life on the day of the Resurrection.
This Sunday, if there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them: it will be a favourable moment to encounter the God we seek.  Following the teaching of Scripture (cf. Gen 18:3-5; Heb 13:2), let us welcome them as honoured guests at our table; they can be teachers who help us live the faith more consistently.  With their trust and readiness to receive help, they show us in a quiet and often joyful way, how essential it is to live simply and to abandon ourselves to God’s providence.
  1. At the heart of all the many concrete initiatives carried out on this day should always be prayer.  Let us not forget that the Our Father is the prayer of the poor.  Our asking for bread expresses our entrustment to God for our basic needs in life.  Everything that Jesus taught us in this prayer expresses and brings together the cry of all who suffer from life’s uncertainties and the lack of what they need.  When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he answered in the words with which the poor speak to our one Father, in whom all acknowledge themselves as brothers and sisters.  The Our Father is a prayer said in the plural: the bread for which we ask is “ours”, and that entails sharing, participation and joint responsibility.  In this prayer, all of us recognize our need to overcome every form of selfishness, in order to enter into the joy of mutual acceptance.
  2. I ask my brother Bishops, and all priests and deacons who by their vocation have the mission of supporting the poor, together with all consecrated persons and all associations, movements and volunteers everywhere, to help make this World Day of the Poor a tradition that concretely contributes to evangelization in today’s world.
This new World Day, therefore, should become a powerful appeal to our consciences as believers, allowing us to grow in the conviction that sharing with the poor enables us to understand the deepest truth of the Gospel.  The poor are not a problem: they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practise in our lives the essence of the Gospel. From the Vatican, 13 June 2017 Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua   [post_title] => Pope Francis Announces "World Day of the Poor" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-francis-announces-world-day-of-the-poor [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-16 11:55:08 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-16 15:55:08 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105546 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [99] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105467 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-06-07 11:25:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-07 15:25:23 [post_content] => By Josephine von Dohlen WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Vice President Mike Pence and other speakers addressed securing religious liberty and protecting the sanctity of human life both in the United States and worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, at the 13th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington June 6. Pence spoke about President Donald Trump's commitment to the securing of all religious freedoms to over 1,200 attendees, following speeches by keynote speaker Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, and special guest Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart. Pence expressed his sorrow over the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, reassuring those in attendance that the president is committed to ending attacks on religious liberty around the world, as well as in America. "Catholicism has made an indelible mark on the American spirit," Pence said. "Your faith has moved mountains and the Catholic Church, and its millions of parishioners have been a force for good in our communities large and small throughout our land throughout our history. All the great American Catholics gathered here, let me assure you this morning, bright and early, at this prayer breakfast: American Catholics have an ally in President Donald Trump." The vice president, an evangelical, shared fond memories of growing up in a Catholic family, saying that he was honored to speak at the breakfast and that his mother would be proud. "This honestly feels like coming home to me," Pence said. Since 2004, Catholics have gathered in the nation's capital to come together to pray for the country and hear from religious and political leaders. The founding board, with leaders such as former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, intended to answer to St. John Paul II's call to new evangelization for all Catholics. Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, spoke of the common ground that the Vatican and the president found in Trump's recent meeting, particularly in their dedication to pro-life and religious freedom issues, as well as the protection of Christians in the Middle East. Anderson introduced Pence by recalling what Pence said while speaking at the March for Life in Washington back in January.  "Let this movement be known for love, not anger, for compassion, not confrontation," Pence said at the March for Life. "To heal our land and restore a culture of life we must continue to be a movement that embraces all and cares for all out of respect for the dignity and worth of every person." Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington opened the breakfast calling for solidarity in prayer for the Christians in the Middle East, after he read a special note from Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, who was unable to attend. "Let us also be mindful of so many of our brothers and sisters around the world who continue to face persecution and suffering on account of their faith," Bishop Dorsonville read from Cardinal Wuerl's message. "As our Holy Father, Pope Francis said, 'We must not resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians who for 2,000 years have confessed the name of Jesus and have been fully integrated as citizens into the social cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong.'" Archbishop Broglio was the keynote speaker at the breakfast. Recalling the spirit of service displayed by so many men and women gone before us, he told the story of a military chaplain, Father Joseph Lafleur of Louisiana, who gave his life while saving others on a prison ship. "If we were to survey the history of the church, and look at the lives of the saints, we would discover men and women who built on their virtues, to reflect the authenticity of their faith. The same thing has an impact on the nation," Archbishop Broglio said. "To quote a respected cardinal, 'A good Catholic is a good American because the practice of virtue also leads to good citizenship and there is no dichotomy between faith and life if we cultivate and practice virtue.' Each of us has the potential to rebuild our society and our world if we cultivate authentic virtue." He went on to call Catholics to return to lives of virtue, both acting rightly and giving of themselves to others. "We build for a new tomorrow when we draw from that wellspring of virtue," Archbishop Broglio said. Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, founder of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, also spoke as a special guest. Mother Olga spoke of her love for God and her love for others, which drives all that she does, specifically her service in America through missions and her founding of the Daughters of Mary Nazareth back in 2011. Born and raised in Iraq, Mother Olga's love for America led to her becoming an American citizen. "Here in America we take pride in our democracy," Mother Olga said. "The true democracy and the strength of our democracy should not only be seen as an expression of the political minds of the people, but also in our embrace of our own identity as Americans and appreciation of the religious roots of our foundation of a nation." She said that it is out of love that she is committed to the United States and those who serve the country. "May our gathering today as people who love God and this country be a renewed commitment to renew the spirit of cooperation which has accomplished so much good through the history of our nation," Mother Olga said. "May the fruit of today's prayer for our nation be a grace for our people to experience a new birth of freedom, freedom planted with faith, grounded in hope, nourished by love in the soil of truth." [post_title] => Pence addresses religious freedom at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pence-addresses-religious-freedom-at-national-catholic-prayer-breakfast [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-07 11:25:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-07 15:25:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105467 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [100] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105438 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-06-02 09:47:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-06-02 13:47:42 [post_content] => June 1, 2017 WASHINGTON—President Donald J. Trump announced today that the United States will not honor the Paris agreement on climate change. The United States and China, the two largest carbon emitters, and 195 other nations, signed the agreement that was ratified in November 2016. The Paris agreement establishes that nations must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in order to keep global temperatures well below a two-degree Celsius increase in relation to pre-industrial levels. In the following statement, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, stresses that, although the Paris agreement is not the only possible mechanism for addressing global carbon mitigation, the lack of a current viable alternative is a serious concern. Full statement follows: "The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church, have consistently upheld the Paris agreement as an important international mechanism to promote environmental stewardship and encourage climate change mitigation. The President's decision not to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement is deeply troubling. The Scriptures affirm the value of caring for creation and caring for each other in solidarity. The Paris agreement is an international accord that promotes these values. President Trump's decision will harm the people of the United States and the world, especially the poorest, most vulnerable communities. The impacts of climate change are already being experienced in sea level rise, glacial melts, intensified storms, and more frequent droughts. I can only hope that the President will propose concrete ways to address global climate change and promote environmental stewardship." The USCCB has voiced support for prudent action and dialogue on climate change since its 2001 statement: "Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good". In a letter to Congress in 2015, the U.S. Bishops, along with the presidents of Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services, encouraged the United States to sign the Paris agreement. They have since reiterated their support on several occasions. Pope Francis and the Holy See have also consistently voiced support for the Paris agreement. [post_title] => U.S. Bishops Chairman Regrets the President’s Withdrawal From The Paris Agreement [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => u-s-bishops-chairman-regrets-the-presidents-withdrawal-from-the-paris-agreement [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-06-02 09:47:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-06-02 13:47:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105438 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [101] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105369 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-05-23 15:33:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-23 19:33:15 [post_content] =>  USCCB President Offers Condolences on Behalf of U.S. Catholics and All People of Goodwill Across America to Victims and Families of Manchester Terror Attack May 23, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is expressing shock and sadness in the wake of last night’s terror attack at Manchester Arena.  In this moment of national tragedy and grief for England, Cardinal DiNardo has written a letter of condolence to the Most Reverend John Stanley Kenneth Arnold, Bishop of Salford and the people of England. The Diocese of Salford serves the area of greater Manchester and Lancashire.  In the letter, Cardinal DiNardo expresses solidarity along with the continued prayers of the Church in the United States in the face of such unspeakable loss.      Full letter follows: Dear Bishop Arnold, Words are not enough to convey the deep shock and sadness with which Catholics and all people of good will in the United States learned of the horrible attack which took place yesterday at England's Manchester Arena. The unspeakable loss of life, terrible injuries, and untold trauma to families -- especially to children -- summon prayers from around the world. In a way, I assure you and all those who suffer from this atrocious evil the continued prayers of the Church in the United States. We commend to the comforting arms of our crucified and Risen Lord the many who have died, and we entrust to Our Lady of Manchester those who suffer. Evil, as dense and dark as it is, never has the last word. As we prepare to celebrate the new dawn of Pentecost again, may the Easter words of the Risen Christ, "Peace be with you" (John 20:19), settle deep into the hearts of the citizens of your great country. Fraternally in the Risen Lord, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo Archbishop of Galveston-Houston President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops [post_title] => USCCB President Offers Condolences [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-president-offers-condolences [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-23 15:33:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-23 19:33:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105369 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [102] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105361 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-05-23 09:26:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-23 13:26:25 [post_content] => May 23, 2017 By Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Decrying the “barbaric attack in Manchester,” England, Pope Francis sent his condolences and prayers to all those affected “by this senseless act of violence,” an attack on a concert that British officials said was the deadliest case of terrorism since 2005. In a telegram sent on the pope’s behalf by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, the cardinal said the pope “was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life” after a suicide bomb explosion killed at least 22 people and injured another 59 at Manchester Arena May 22. Many concertgoers at the Ariana Grande concert were teenagers, young adults and families. The pope “expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence,” the telegram said, as “he commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died.” “Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation.” [post_title] => Pope prays for victims of attack in Manchester [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-prays-for-victims-of-attack-in-manchester [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-23 09:26:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-23 13:26:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105361 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [103] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 105314 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-05-17 15:38:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-17 19:38:44 [post_content] => On May 18, 1968, Bishop Francis DiLorenzo was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol. This year marks his 49th anniversary of priestly ordination. [post_title] => Bishop DiLorenzo celebrates 49th anniversary [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-dilorenzo-celebrates-49th-anniversary [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-17 15:38:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-17 19:38:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=105314 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [104] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104867 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-05-04 16:23:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-04 20:23:20 [post_content] => May 4, 2017 Richmond, VA - Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Arthur "Chip" Pagnini, a deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, who died on May 2nd.
Funeral arrangements are as follows at St. Ann Catholic Church, 105 S. Snead St., Ashland, VA 23005: On Friday, May 5: Visitation with the family from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. A Christian Wake Service will be offered at 6:00 p.m.... Followed by visitation until 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, May 6: A Mass of the Resurrection will be offered at 10:00 a.m.
Please pray for Deacon Pagnini's family.
[post_title] => Prayer Request for Deacon Arthur "Chip" Pagnini [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => prayer-request-for-deacon-arthur-chip-pagnini [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-04 16:24:46 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-04 20:24:46 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104867 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [105] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104865 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-05-04 15:59:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-05-04 19:59:42 [post_content] => May 4, 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C.– Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a response to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order signed this morning. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “Today’s Executive Order begins the process of alleviating the serious burden of the HHS mandate. We will engage with the Administration to ensure that adequate relief is provided to those with deeply held religious beliefs about some of the drugs, devices, and surgical procedures that HHS has sought to require people of faith to facilitate over the last several years.  We welcome a decision to provide a broad religious exemption to the HHS mandate, but will have to review the details of any regulatory proposals. In recent years, people of faith have experienced pressing restrictions on religious freedom from both the federal government and state governments that receive federal funding.  For example, in areas as diverse as adoption, education, healthcare, and other social services, widely held moral and religious beliefs, especially regarding the protection of human life as well as preserving marriage and family, have been maligned in recent years as bigotry or hostility — and penalized accordingly. But disagreement on moral and religious issues is not discrimination; instead, it is the inevitable and desirable fruit of a free, civil society marked by genuine religious diversity. We will continue to advocate for permanent relief from Congress on issues of critical importance to people of faith.  Religious freedom is a fundamental right that should be upheld by all branches of government and not subject to political whims.  As president of the Bishops’ Conference, I had the opportunity to meet with President Trump this morning in the Oval Office to address these and other topics.” [post_title] => USCCB President: Today’s Executive Order Begins a Process  [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-president-todays-executive-order-begins-a-process [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-04 15:59:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-04 19:59:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104865 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [106] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104773 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-04-26 08:21:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-26 12:21:24 [post_content] => April 26, 2017 WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reacted to the announcement by the Democratic National Committee's chair pledging support only for pro-abortion candidates. Calling the pledge "very disturbing," Cardinal Dolan urged party members to "challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position." Full statement follows: "The recent pledge by the Democratic National Committee chair to support only candidates who embrace the radical unrestricted abortion license is very disturbing. The Democratic Party platform already endorses abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, even forcing taxpayers to fund it; and now the DNC says that to be a Democrat—indeed to be an American—requires supporting that extreme agenda. True solidarity with pregnant women and their children transcends all party lines. Abortion doesn't empower women. Indeed, women deserve better than abortion. In the name of diversity and inclusion, pro-life and pro-'choice' Democrats, alike, should challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position." [post_title] => Cardinal Dolan Calls Pro-Abortion DNC Pledge Extreme [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => cardinal-dolan-calls-pro-abortion-dnc-pledge-extreme [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-05-04 16:00:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-05-04 20:00:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104773 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [107] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104654 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-04-20 16:18:22 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-20 20:18:22 [post_content] => Statement by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge on Governor’s decision to commute death sentence of Ivan Teleguz April 20, 2017 Richmond, VA - We are all children of the same merciful, loving God, and he alone has dominion over all life. Because we have a profound respect for the sanctity of every human life, from its very beginning until natural death, we welcome with gratitude Governor Terry McAuliffe’s decision today to commute the death sentence of Ivan Teleguz, 38. We continue to express deep sorrow and pray for all victims of violence and their loved ones. Likewise, we continue to pray for a change of heart and a spirit of remorse and conversion for all those who commit acts of violence. We ask God to give us all the grace to work together for justice, peace and respect for all life in our communities and our Commonwealth. [post_title] => Bishops' Statement on Governor's Decision to Commute Death Sentence [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-statement-on-governors-decision-to-commute-death-sentence [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-20 16:18:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-20 20:18:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104654 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [108] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104620 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-04-18 13:38:10 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-18 17:38:10 [post_content] => April 18, 2017 Richmond, VA - Please pray for the repose of the soul of Rev. David Nott, who died on April 16, 2017. Funeral arrangements for Father Nott are as follows: Visitation will be held on Monday, April 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bliley’s Funeral Home, 3801 Augusta Avenue, Richmond, with Christian Wake Service beginning at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 18 N. Laurel Street, Richmond, at 11 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. prior to the funeral Mass. Interment will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery.   Please keep Father Nott and his family in your prayers.     [post_title] => Prayer Request for Father David Nott [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => prayer-request-for-father-david-nott [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-18 13:38:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-18 17:38:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104620 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [109] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104610 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-04-17 09:13:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-17 13:13:25 [post_content] => April 17, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following Easter message as we celebrate the joy of Christ's Resurrection. A video version of Cardinal DiNardo's Easter message is also available at:  https://www.facebook.com/usccb/videos/10154506949682285/ Full statement follows: "Through Christ's passion, His burial in the tomb and His glorious resurrection, we come to realize the enormity of the Lord's sacrifice for us. We may feel unworthy of His love who paid so high a price for our salvation. Let us not be afraid. Let's allow ourselves to be taken – even seized – with Easter joy. As we proclaim on Easter Sunday, 'Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.' In the Gospel of John, chapter 10, Jesus says the shepherd calls his own sheep by name, 'I am the Good Shepherd and I know mine.' In chapter 20, how much fear and doubt must have gripped Mary of Magdala as she stood by the tomb? There, it was Jesus who rescued Mary from her fears and darkness by calling her name. Listen carefully.  Mary thought she had discovered the Risen Lord, but it was the Risen Lord who discovered her. Jesus calls out to each of us by name today as He did the very first Easter Sunday. His promise fulfilled. His word brings life, 'I am the Good Shepherd and I know mine.' Jesus waits for you and me, embracing us in our moments of greatest need and desire. Welcome the love of God into your life. Share it those around you, especially the most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers. In this way, we proclaim with Mary, 'I have seen the Lord.' Sing joyfully, 'the Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.'  Happy Easter!" [post_title] => Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo Releases Easter Message [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => cardinal-daniel-n-dinardo-releases-easter-message [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-18 13:38:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-18 17:38:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104610 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [110] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104430 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-04-11 11:31:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-11 15:31:39 [post_content] => April 11, 2017 WASHINGTON—The Vatican Television Center has released information for broadcasters regarding worldwide telecasts of the events presided over by Pope Francis on Good Friday and Easter.  All times are UTC/GMT (Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time). •  Good Friday, April 14, 19.15-21.00 hours, Way of the Cross presided over by Pope Francis at the Colosseum. •  Sunday April 16, 08:00-10:30 hours, Easter Sunday Mass presided over by Pope Francis immediately followed by the Message and Blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and to the World) from St. Peter’s Square. [post_title] => Vatican Announces Telecasts Information for Holy Week and Easter   [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => vatican-announces-telecasts-information-for-holy-week-and-easter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-11 11:31:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-11 15:31:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104430 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [111] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104393 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-04-10 09:44:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-10 13:44:23 [post_content] => April 9, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to explosions on Palm Sunday at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt that have killed at least 40 and injured at least 100: "In the early hours of Palm Sunday, as Christians began the celebration of the holiest week of the year, our brothers and sisters in Egypt suffered unspeakable persecution. They were at Church. They were praying. And in the midst of what should be peace, horrible violence yet again. I express our deepest sadness at the loss of those killed, our prayers for healing for all those injured, and our condolences to those who suffer the loss of loved ones. I also express our solidarity with the Coptic church in Egypt, an ancient Christian community that faces mounting persecution in its historic home from violent extremism.  I also pray for the nation of Egypt, that it may seek justice, find healing, and strengthen protection for Coptic Christians and other religious minorities who wish only to live in peace. I also join Pope Francis in his prayer for the victims of this attack, and that 'the Lord [may] convert the hearts of the people who are sowing terror, violence and death, and also the hearts of those who make and traffic weapons.' The Prince of Peace assures us that the darkness of terror cannot withstand the Easter light of Resurrection. We entrust all those who suffer and who have perished into the arms of the crucified and Risen Christ." [post_title] => President of U.S. Bishops Conference Responds to Explosions at Two Coptic Churches [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-of-u-s-bishops-conference-responds-to-explosions-at-two-coptic-churches [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-10 09:44:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-10 13:44:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104393 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [112] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104271 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-04-05 08:21:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-05 12:21:46 [post_content] => April 5, 2017 Syrian Chemical Attack "Shocks the Soul" WASHINGTON—  Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, have issued the following joint statement on yesterday's chemical weapons attack in northern Syria. Full statement follows: "The chemical attack in Syria on April 4 shocks the soul. The many innocent lives targeted by these terrible tools of war cry out for humanity's protection. In this season of Lent when Christians draw near to the suffering of Christ, let us match the horrific indifference shown for innocent life with a fervent prayer for love to break through the evil. Let us also match our prayer with a faithful witness to suffering so that no life at risk is forgotten. Pope Francis has repeatedly issued an appeal to Syrian leaders and to the international community saying: 'Please, silence the weapons, put an end to the violence! No more war! No more destruction! May humanitarian laws be respected, may the people who need humanitarian assistance be cared for and may the desired peace be attained through dialogue and reconciliation.' We echo the Holy Father's call. We pray for an end to the carnage in Syria and we pray that God will assuage all those who suffer and bring them consolation as we approach Easter and its message of love and hope." [post_title] => President & Vice President of U.S. Bishops Conference Respond to Syria Chemical Attack [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => president-vice-president-of-u-s-bishops-conference-respond-to-syria-chemical-attack [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-06 08:21:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-06 12:21:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104271 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [113] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 104081 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-03-31 11:10:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-31 15:10:47 [post_content] => March 31, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, praised both chambers of the U.S. Congress for taking action to nullify a bad policy imposed by the Obama Administration. Congress' joint resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res 43 / S. Res. 13) was passed by the House in mid-February, and by the Senate on March 30, 2017. It overrides a rule change made late in the Obama Administration that prevented states from redirecting Title X family planning funding away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care. The rule change went into effect on January 18, 2017. "The clear purpose of this Title X rule change was to benefit abortion providers like Planned Parenthood," Cardinal Dolan said. "So Congress has done well to reverse this very bad public policy, and to restore the ability of states to stop one stream of our tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood and redirect it to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care." Title X of the Public Health Services Act was passed by Congress in 1970 to control population growth by distributing contraceptives to low-income families. Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funding. Planned Parenthood is also the nation's largest abortion network -- performing over a third of all abortions in the U.S. -- and receives more than half a billion taxpayer dollars each year. Congress acted within the statutory 60-day window to nullify the new regulation. Introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), the House resolution (H.J. Res. 43) was approved on February 16 (230-188); and the Senate resolution (S.J. Res. 13), introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), passed by a one-vote margin on March 30, 2017. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote. The measure now goes to President Trump, who is expected to sign the resolution into law.   [post_title] => Cardinal Dolan Welcomes Congressional Action to Nullify Title X Rule [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => cardinal-dolan-welcomes-congressional-action-to-nullify-title-x-rule [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-04-04 11:11:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-04-04 15:11:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=104081 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [114] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103904 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-03-23 15:16:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-23 19:16:03 [post_content] => March 23, 2017 Richmond, VA - The Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo released the following statement today on the passing of William Cardinal Keeler, 14th Archbishop of Baltimore: “Today, I, along with the clergy, religious communities and the faithful of the Diocese of Richmond, offer our prayers to the Catholic community within the Archdiocese of Baltimore on the death of William Cardinal Keeler. Many in our Diocese will remember that Cardinal Keeler served as Apostolic Administrator in Richmond between Sept. 16, 2003, until my installation as Bishop, May 24, 2004. “May all who mourn his passing find comfort in the Lord and solace for his long service and devotion to the Church. Please join me as we pray for the repose of the soul of Cardinal Keeler, may he rest in peace.” [post_title] => Bishop's Statement on Passing of Cardinal Keeler [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-statement-on-passing-of-cardinal-keeler [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-23 15:20:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-23 19:20:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103904 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [115] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103901 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-03-23 13:35:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-23 17:35:39 [post_content] =>

Bishop Michael Burbidge & Bishop Francis DiLorenzo Statement on Governor’s Veto of Bill Defending Right of Religious Organizations to Practice Faith

March 23, 2017 Virginia - For the second straight year, Governor McAuliffe has vetoed legislation that would have protected clergy and religious organizations from being punished by the state because they follow the deeply held teachings of their faith.  The governor’s veto of SB 1324 and HB 2025 ignores Virginia’s long tradition of upholding the religious freedom of faith communities which dates back to Thomas Jefferson. It turns a blind eye to the great impact of these organizations that serve Virginians every day.  The bill merely sought to preserve fair access to public resources – like tax exempt status, contracts, grants and licensure – for religious charities and schools that hold to their longstanding belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. The governor said the legislation was “another attempt to stigmatize” – when in fact vetoing the legislation did just that by sidelining religious entities that hold to their deeply held religious beliefs. Acting on our behalf and our belief that all people have inherent dignity and are deserving of respect, the Virginia Catholic Conference defended the religious freedom of Catholic organizations that are lifelines to the Virginia communities they serve. They employ nearly 25,000 people, educate over 30,000 students, and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in needed services to the homeless, elderly, sick, uninsured, refugees, immigrants and children in need of foster care in every corner of Virginia. Just as serving the most vulnerable is inherent to our Catholic faith, so is our understanding about the nature of marriage. We cannot sever one from the other. We are dismayed that with this veto the Governor fails to recognize the right of these organizations to profess and practice their faith. We will continue to stand for Virginia’s long tradition of upholding the religious freedom of faith communities. Tolerance of and respect for religious beliefs makes our Commonwealth strong and our communities even stronger.  We would also like to thank SB 1324 patron Senator Bill Carrico and HB 2025 patron Delegate Nicholas Freitas for defending these values with passion, persistence and eloquence throughout the 2017 Virginia General Assembly session. [post_title] => Bishops' Statement on Governor's Veto [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-statement-on-governors-veto [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-23 13:35:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-23 17:35:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103901 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [116] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103879 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-03-21 13:24:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-21 17:24:39 [post_content] => 3/21/2017 Richmond, VA - The Most Reverend Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond, is pleased to announce the appointment of Father Dan Beeman, Vicar, Catholic Mission and Identity, as the transitional President of Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School.  The appointment is effective immediately.  Bishop Sullivan CHS is currently in the process of recruiting and naming a new principal to begin July 1, 2017.  In addition to his role as President and Chaplain, Father Beeman will continue in his role  as Pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, VA.  His new responsibilities will ensure a smooth transition, operational oversight, as well as, communication to all stakeholders as the school changes leadership. [post_title] => Bishop appoints President for Bishop Sullivan H.S. [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-appoints-president-for-bishop-sullivan-h-s [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-21 13:24:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-21 17:24:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103879 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [117] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103509 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-03-09 10:28:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-09 15:28:02 [post_content] => USCCB Chairmen Call on Congress to Consider Moral Criteria During Debates on Health Care Policy March 8, 2017 WASHINGTON—As Congress prepares to discuss possible changes to the Affordable Care Act, the chairmen of four United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committees called on lawmakers to consider important moral criteria, especially pertaining to the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn and those experiencing deep poverty. The Bishops of the United States have consistently advocated for a health care system in which—as the late Cardinal Francis George used to say—everyone should be cared for and no one should be deliberately killed. In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, urged Congress: to respect life by preventing the use of federal funds to facilitate abortion or purchase health care plans that provide abortion; to honor conscience rights; and to ensure access for all people to comprehensive, quality health care that is truly affordable. The Bishops called on Congress to ensure coverage for those who now rely upon it after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and expressed concern about any structural changes to the social safety net that could impact access to health care for millions. Noting that the Catholic Church "provides health care, purchases health care and helps to pick up the pieces for those who fall through the cracks of the health care system when it fails," the bishops urged "a new spirit of cooperation for the sake of the common good" on this vital concern during the debates ahead. The full letter is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Joint-Letter-to-Congress-ACA-Principles-03-07-2017.pdf. [post_title] => USCCB Chairman to Congress on Health Care Policy [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-chairman-to-congress-on-health-care-policy [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-09 10:28:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-09 15:28:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103509 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [118] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103251 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-03-01 12:08:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-03-01 17:08:24 [post_content] => March 1, 2017 Gina Ibarra Coss, Principal of St. Gregory the Great, Virginia Beach, was featured in an article in the Virginia Pilot. It is an inspiring account of her call to serve, first as a teacher, and then as an administrator.   [post_title] => St. Gregory the Great Principal Called to Serve [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => st-gregory-the-great-principal-called-to-serve [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-03-02 12:18:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-03-02 17:18:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103251 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [119] => 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." [post_title] => USCCB Responds to DHS Immigration Memo [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => usccb-responds-to-dhs-immigration-memo [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-23 09:48:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-23 14:48:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103219 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [120] => 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. [post_title] => Virginia Bishops Issue Statement about Governor's Veto [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => virginia-bishops-issue-statement-about-governors-veto [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-21 16:29:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-21 21:29:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103205 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [121] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103202 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-17 11:50:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-17 16:50:00 [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 [post_title] => Letter Urges Administration to Care for Creation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => letter-urges-administration-to-care-for-creation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-21 11:50:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-21 16:50:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103202 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [122] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103180 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-10 11:07:09 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-10 16:07:09 [post_content] => 2/10/2017 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. [post_title] => Congress urged to pass conscience protections [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => congress-urged-to-pass-conscience-protections [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-14 11:20:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-14 16:20:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103180 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [123] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103046 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-07 12:38:58 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-07 17:38:58 [post_content] => 2/7/2017 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. [post_title] => Superintendent of Catholic Schools Named [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => superintendent-of-catholic-schools-named [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-07 12:38:58 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-07 17:38:58 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103046 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [124] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 103026 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-07 09:12:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-07 14:12:55 [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   [post_title] => Catholic Virginian Editor to Retire [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => catholic-virginian-editor-to-retire [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-07 09:12:55 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-07 14:12:55 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103026 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [125] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102966 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-02-02 15:22:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-02-02 20:22:23 [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 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => strong-prayer-life-influences-vocation-according-to-cara-study [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-02 15:22:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-02 20:22:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102966 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [126] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102667 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-01-23 16:45:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-23 21:45:53 [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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102667 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [127] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102917 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [128] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101207 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [129] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101168 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [130] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101170 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 131 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113544 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-12-03 16:31:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-03 21:31:16 [post_content] => December 3, 2018 WASHINGTON--Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “We join with people across the nation as we mourn the passing of President George H.W. Bush. We remember with gratitude this great man who spent his life selflessly in service of his country.  With an unwavering commitment to building bridges of peace and ensuring our nation's freedoms, he also inspired many as a devoted husband, father and family patriarch. On behalf of my brother bishops of the United States, we pray for the repose of the soul of our forty-first president as we remember a life well lived. We also offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for his bereaved family and all those who mourn his passing.  May you find peace and comfort in the consoling love of Jesus Christ.”

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Declaración del Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos en relación a la muerte del Presidente George H.W. Bush 3 de diciembre de 2018 WASHINGTON— El Cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo, Arzobispo de Galveston-Houston y Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, emitió un comunicado sobre el fallecimiento del Presidente George Herbert Walker Bush. La declaración completa del Cardenal DiNardo es la siguiente: “Nos unimos a las personas de todo el país al lamentar el fallecimiento del Presidente George H.W. Bush. Recordamos con gratitud a este gran hombre que pasó su vida desinteresadamente al servicio de su país. Con un compromiso inquebrantable de construir puentes de paz y garantizar las libertades de nuestra nación, también inspiró a muchos como un devoto esposo, padre y patriarca de la familia. En nombre de mis hermanos Obispos de Estados Unidos, oramos por el descanso del alma de nuestro cuadragésimo primer presidente al recordar una vida bien vivida. También ofrecemos nuestras más sinceras condolencias y oraciones por su familia afligida y por todos aquellos que lloran su muerte. Que encuentren paz y consuelo en el amor consolador de Jesucristo".

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                    [post_date] => 2018-11-19 13:22:46
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                    [post_content] => For Immediate Release: November 19, 2018

[caption id="attachment_113161" align="alignright" width="400"] Bishop Barry C. Knestout attends the USCCB 2018 Fall General Assembly, Nov. 12-14, in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)[/caption]

“The Church has no greater charge than the protection of children. I am hopeful that, despite our not acting upon specific measures related to the abuse scandal, the discussions which took place during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about bishops’ accountability regarding clergy sexual abuse will be the foundation for concrete action — not only for the Church in the United States, but for the Church universal.

Child protection is not only a parish, diocesan and national concern in our Church, but it is a concern for the Church throughout the world. So, when our Holy Father meets with the presidents of bishops’ conferences in February, they will be looking at protecting ALL children and making ALL bishops accountable for what they do in this regard.

Be assured we are continuing to move forward with the commitment I made to the faithful of our diocese in September:
  • to make public the names of those priests from our diocese who received credible and substantiated allegations of abuse;
  • to have a full, extensive audit of clergy files by an independent entity, with oversight from the Diocesan Review Board, which will hold us accountable; and
  • to establish an abuse victims’ assistance fund for counseling aid to those who have experienced abuse from clergy.
Please continue to pray for victims of abuse and for our Church as we heal and work unceasingly to answer the call for reform and renewal and to prevent such a scourge from ever occurring again.” Read the President of the U.S.C.C.B Statement Following the Close of the Fall General Session in Baltimore Nov. 12-14.

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[post_title] => Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following the Close of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Public Sessions at the 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-c-knestout-statement-following-the-close-of-the-u-s-conference-of-catholic-bishops-public-sessions-at-the-2018-fall-general-assembly-in-baltimore [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-26 13:16:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-26 18:16:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=113288 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 112791 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-10-12 11:50:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-10-12 15:50:31 [post_content] => October 12, 2018 “Today, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington. Having assisted Cardinal Wuerl for nearly a decade with the many events of the Archdiocese, including coordinating the Archdiocesan Synod and 75th Anniversary celebration, implementing programs for the New Evangelization, and as co-chair of the committees to coordinate two papal visits, I know him to be a dedicated bishop who is devoted to and fully focused on ministering to the people of God. My experience with him in Washington was as an effective teacher, as one who fostered the unity of the Church, love for the sacraments especially the Eucharist and as one who provided careful oversight for charitable works of the Archdiocese. As I said on the day of my announcement as Bishop of Richmond: Cardinal Wuerl has taught me the importance of seeking the best from myself and the people around me who serve the mission of the Church, to proclaim the faith, to celebrate the sacraments and to serve in charity. For this, I am profoundly grateful. I have great love and affection for the Archdiocese of Washington, for the faithful, and for those I’ve worked with and encountered there. I ask everyone to pray for the people of the archdiocese and for Cardinal Wuerl during this time of transition. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide, inspire, and assist our beloved Church during this time.”

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[post_title] => Bishop Knestout’s Statement Regarding Pope Francis Acceptance of Cardinal Wuerl’s Resignation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-knestouts-statement-regarding-pope-francis-acceptance-of-cardinal-wuerls-resignation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-10-12 11:51:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-10-12 15:51:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=112791 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111276 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-15 16:08:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-15 20:08:06 [post_content] => Bishop Knestout will celebrate nine regional Masses of Atonement with the faithful. The Masses begin at 7:30 P.M. at the locations and times provided below except where otherwise noted. All are welcome.
  • Christ the King, Abingdon--Thursday, October 4
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem--Friday, October 5
  • Resurrection, Moneta--Saturday, October 6 **
  • Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville--Tuesday, October 9
  • Saint Stephen Martyr, Chesapeake--Thursday, October 11
  • Star of the Sea, Virginia Beach--Friday, October 12
  • Saint Francis of Assisi, Staunton--Thursday, October 18
  • Saint Jerome, Newport News--Tuesday, October 23
  • Saint Joseph, Petersburg--Wednesday, October 24
**This Mass will start at Noon  _______________________________________________________________________________________ If you were unable to be with us for the Mass of Atonement on September 14, you can now view the full mass by clicking here: Mass of Atonement Video _______________________________________________________________________________________

Mass of Atonement

"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it." (1 Corinthians 12:26) Friday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m., Bishop Knestout will preside at the Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse held on the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The celebration of the Mass is the first of several steps Bishop Knestout is taking in response to the present crisis facing the Church. “Prayer must accompany us through every stage of our actions or responses to the present crisis…” wrote Bishop Knestout in a Pastoral Letter written to the Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Diocese. To read his entire pastoral letter and the the additional steps called for by Bishop, click the link: https://bit.ly/2xb7Y0R As part of the Mass of Atonement, Bishop will remove the symbols of his office and prostrate himself before the cross and altar during the service. The prostration, similar to the prostration at the Good Friday liturgy, signifies contrition, humility, reverence, deep anguish for the suffering Christ, and too, the grief and sorrow of the Church. For more on the Mass, please click on the worship booklet below. If you are unable to join us for The Mass of Atonement at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, you can watch the Mass while it's live streamed here and on our YouTube Channel.                          Worship Aid                                      A Prayer for Healing for Victims of Abuse _______________________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release: August 15, 2018 I am profoundly aware of the hurt and anger the Catholic faithful and the community at large are feeling in light of the recent report of abuse by Church leadership and now with the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on abuse in the Church. Those revelations further erode trust in Church leaders and in the Church as a whole. I am praying for all who have been abused. Our Church — especially its bishops — must continually seek forgiveness for our failures from those who have suffered as a result of those failures. To open ourselves to the grace we need to overcome this scourge upon our Church, we must prayerfully seek healing and reconciliation with all who have been hurt. As a step in this process, I am inviting the faithful to come and pray with me for all victims of abuse at a Mass of Atonement, Friday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond. We will pray for all victims of abuse, express sorrow for the failure of Church leaders, seek forgiveness for our sins, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the ongoing healing of the People of God. During the seven months I have been bishop, I have asked for a review of the process and procedures currently in place for reporting and responding to all abuse. I am encouraged by the work of our Diocesan Review Board, a committee of lay and clergy members who have assisted our diocese for the last 16 years, in assessing accusations of child abuse and the suitability for ministry of the accused. I am firmly committed, as Bishop of the Richmond Diocese, to addressing accusations of abuse quickly and transparently. Be assured, we will continue to make protection of the most vulnerable a priority in our parishes, schools and throughout our diocese.

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[post_title] => Mass of Atonement for Victims of Abuse [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-barry-c-knestouts-invitation-to-mass-of-atonement-for-victims-of-abuse [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-09-28 18:51:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-09-28 22:51:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=111276 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 111243 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2018-08-09 13:11:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-08-09 17:11:35 [post_content] => A year following the violence that took place in Charlottesville as a result of protests and counter-protests, the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout offers the following statement: "As we draw closer to the weekend and the one-year mark of Aug. 12th which will once again draw national and local attention, I pray that it will not be approached with provocative rhetoric but provide an opportunity for prayer and dialogue about racism, and the action needed to overcome it.” “Racism is a sin. As the U.S. Bishops wrote in 1979 – ‘a sin that divides the human family.’ Prayer -- individually and as a faith community -- is a start in addressing racism and to help heal from the effects of racism, but it cannot be an occasional act and it shouldn’t be confined to one day.” “It is my sincere hope that all remain safe in these coming days and throughout the weekend, and may the Holy Spirit be a source of strength and comfort for the families and friends who continue to mourn the loss of a loved one.” “I pray that during this time when we are challenged by divisions that we commit to praying, listening, learning, thinking and working for peace, justice and an end to racism." “I ask all the faithful of the diocese to join me in asking for the intercession of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, to pray with me for unity and peace in our communities.”

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You can read more of Bishop Knestout’s reflections in his “Christ Our Hope” column.

En Español: Declaración de Su Excmo. y Rvdmo. Sr. Barry C Knestout sobre Charlottesville: Un año más tarde Un año después de la violencia en Charlottesville debido a las protestas y contra-protestas Mons. Knestout ofrece lo siguiente: “A medida que se acerca el fin de semana y el primer aniversario del 12 de agosto que nos llamará atención local y nacional, ruego que este día no sea una ocasión de retórica provocativa sino una oportunidad para oración y dialogo sobre racismo y la acción necesaria para superarlo.” “El Racismo es un pecado. Como dijeron los obispos de EE. UU. en 1979, ‘es un pecado de divide la familia humana’. La oración – por individuos y por la comunidad de fe- es un comienzo en tratar el problema de racismo, pero no debería ser algo ocasional o solamente un día particular.” “Es mi sincero deseo que todos se quedan seguros en estos días y por todo el fin de semana, y que el Espíritu Santo sea una fuente de fortaleza y consuelo para todas las familias y todos los amigos que lloren la perdida de sus seres queridos.” “Ruego que, en este tiempo en que nos sentimos interpelados por la división, nos comprometamos a orar, escuchar, aprender, pensar, y luchar por la paz, la justica, y el fin de racismo.” “Pido a todos los fieles de la Diócesis de Richmond que se unan conmigo y por la intercesión de Nuestra Sra. de la inmaculada Concepción, Patrona de los Estados Unidos, que oremos por la unidad y la paz en nuestras comunidades.”

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[post_title] => Statement from His Excellency, The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, on the Death of Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => statement-from-his-excellency-the-most-reverend-barry-c-knestout-on-the-death-of-bishop-emeritus-david-e-foley [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-19 08:42:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-19 12:42:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=109534 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 108045 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-12-05 12:05:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-12-05 17:05:13 [post_content] => RICHMOND, Va. – Within hours of being announced as the 13th Bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, the Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, 55, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, celebrated Mass with Pastoral Center staff for the first time in the diocese he will soon oversee. Earlier, he held a press conference where he was introduced to staff and media.

“I thank our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his trust in naming me Bishop of Richmond. I am honored to serve the Church in Richmond, which has a long and revered history of faith, and I will be blessed to serve the faithful across the beautiful and richly diverse Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Bishop-designate Knestout. “For 197 years the diocese has been led by men of happy memory who served with faith-filled wisdom and skill. I recognize especially Bishop Frank DiLorenzo, may God rest him, who served this diocese with devotion, steadfastness and a pastor’s heart.”

Bishop-designate Knestout succeeds the Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo, 12th Bishop of Richmond, who died Aug. 17, 2017, at the age of 75.   Background A native of Maryland, Bishop-designate Barry Knestout, was born in Cheverly, MD, and ordained a priest in 1989 after completing his seminary studies at Mount St. Mary’s. He was named Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1999, and ordained an auxiliary bishop December 29, 2008 in the Archdiocese of Washington. Bishop-designate Knestout will take possession of the Diocese of Richmond during a Mass of Installation which is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2018, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. For more information about the newly named Richmond bishop and to watch the complete video of the press conference, go to www.richmonddiocese.org/livestream. The Diocese of Richmond spans 33,000 square miles and 74 counties across the central and southern portion of Virginia, stretching from the Eastern Shore to Southwest Virginia, and as far north as Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley.

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Download PDF Press Release Here [post_title] => Pope Francis Names Washington Auxiliary Bishop to Lead Richmond Diocese [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => pope-francis-names-washington-auxiliary-bishop-to-lead-richmond-diocese [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-12-05 12:19:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-12-05 17:19:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=108045 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 107146 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2017-10-02 15:10:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-10-02 19:10:19 [post_content] => We mourn for all who lost their lives or were injured in the horrific actions that took place in Las Vegas. We lift our voices in prayer on this Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels whom we ask to watch over us, to guide us, and bring consolation to all who are grieving. We pray for the victims, their families and the repose of their souls. Let the holy angels be with us and bring us comfort during these uncertain times.   Guardian Angel Prayer: Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God's love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen. [post_title] => Diocesan Administrator Very Reverend Monsignor Mark Richard Lane Statement on Las Vegas Shooting [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => diocesan-administrator-very-reverend-monsignor-mark-richard-lane-statement-on-las-vegas-shooting [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-10-02 15:10:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-10-02 19:10:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=107146 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106371 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-08-14 16:39:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-14 20:39:50 [post_content] => (Richmond, Va.) – Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo issued the following statement: “I remain deeply saddened about the devastating events in Charlottesville over the weekend, most especially I mourn the loss of lives and the injuries of many more. Hatred, and its manifestations of racism, neo-Nazism and white supremacy, are sins against God and profoundly wound the children of God. I am grateful for the many people, including clergy and people of faith, who bravely stood against hate, whether in prayer or in person. I also thank and pray for the men and women from law enforcement and emergency services who protect us. I continue to join my brother priests and bishops, the lay faithful and people of all faiths as we turn to God in prayer. We ask his mercy, pardon and wisdom as we root out these long-standing evils, strands of which, tragically, remain woven within the fabric of our society.” “In the coming days, our Diocese is exploring how we can address the issues highlighted in Charlottesville through prayer and action. As we prepare to celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we ask our Blessed Mother to intervene on our behalf. O Mary, Queen of Peace-pray for us.”

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Download PDF Statement Here [post_title] => Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo Statement On Diocesan Response Following Aftermath in Charlottesville [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-francis-x-dilorenzo-statement-on-diocesan-response-following-aftermath-in-charlottesville [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-14 16:39:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-14 20:39:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106371 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 106351 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2017-08-12 22:36:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-08-13 02:36:33 [post_content] => (Richmond, Va.)  – Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo issued the following statement on the actions taking place in Charlottesville: “In the last 24 hours, hatred and violence have been on display in the City of Charlottesville. I earnestly pray for peace. I invoke the prayer of St. Francis who prayed “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon.”  I pray that those men and women on both sides can talk and seek solutions to their differences respectfully. The love of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon against hatred. Only the light of Christ can quench the torches of hatred and violence.  Let us pray for peace.”

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  Download PDF Statement Here [post_title] => Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo Statement on Events Occurring in Charlottesville [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-francis-x-dilorenzo-statement-on-events-occurring-in-charlottesville [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-08-12 22:39:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-08-13 02:39:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=106351 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => 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. [post_title] => Virginia Bishops Issue Statement about Governor's Veto [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => virginia-bishops-issue-statement-about-governors-veto [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-21 16:29:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-21 21:29:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=103205 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102987 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-01-31 11:13:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-31 16:13:46 [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/ [post_title] => Bishop DiLorenzo Issues Statement on Refugee Policy [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-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-02-03 11:22:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-02-03 16:22:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/bishop-dilorenzo-issues-statement-on-the-2017-march-for-life-2/ [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 102834 [post_author] => 12 [post_date] => 2017-01-30 08:39:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-01-30 13:39:33 [post_content] =>
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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102834 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=102445 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => 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.

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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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101193 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [15] => 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.

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

See the statement in pdf here.

[post_title] => Bishop's statement regarding Catholics in public office [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishops-statement-regarding-catholics-in-public-office [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-04 09:11:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-04 14:11:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101576 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [16] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101586 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2016-07-08 16:41:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-08 16:41:49 [post_content] =>

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.

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

[post_title] => Bishop calls for continued prayer after Dallas shootings [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-calls-for-continued-prayer-after-dallas-shootings [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-04 09:11:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-04 14:11:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101586 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101588 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2016-07-07 16:43:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-07 16:43:05 [post_content] =>

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.

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

[post_title] => Bishop calls for peace and unity following MN, LA deaths [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bishop-calls-for-peace-and-unity-following-mn-la-deaths [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-01-04 09:11:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 2017-01-04 14:11:43 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101588 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [18] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 101592 [post_author] => 3 [post_date] => 2016-05-18 16:46:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-05-18 16:46:53 [post_content] =>

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 support 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] => 2018-02-28 14:30:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-02-28 19:30:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101592 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [19] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101219 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [20] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101223 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [21] => 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] => https://richmonddiocese.org/?p=101225 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 22 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 113288 [post_author] => 71 [post_date] => 2018-11-19 13:22:46 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-19 18:22:46 [post_content] => For Immediate Release: November 19, 2018 [caption id="attachment_113161" align="alignright" width="400"] Bishop Barry C. Knestout attends the USCCB 2018 Fall General Assembly, Nov. 12-14, in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)[/caption] “The Church has no greater charge than the protection of children. I am hopeful that, despite our not acting upon specific measures related to the abuse scandal, the discussions which took place during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about bishops’ accountability regarding clergy sexual abuse will be the foundation for concrete action — not only for the Church in the United States, but for the Church universal. Child protection is not only a parish, diocesan and national concern in our Church, but it is a concern for the Church throughout the world. So, when our Holy Father meets with the presidents of bishops’ conferences in February, they will be looking at protecting ALL children and making ALL bishops accountable for what they do in this regard. Be assured we are continuing to move forward with the commitment I made to the faithful of our diocese in September:
  • to make public the names of those priests from our diocese who received credible and substantiated allegations of abuse;
  • to have a full, extensive audit of clergy files by an independent entity, with oversight from the Diocesan Review Board, which will hold us accountable; and
  • to establish an abuse victims’ assistance fund for counseling aid to those who have experienced abuse from clergy.
Please continue to pray for victims of abuse and for our Church as we heal and work unceasingly to answer the call for reform and renewal and to prevent such a scourge from ever occurring again.” Read the President of the U.S.C.C.B Statement Following the Close of the Fall General Session in Baltimore Nov. 12-14.

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Office > Communications

Diocesan News

President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on the Death of President George H.W. Bush - 12/3/18

December 3, 2018 WASHINGTON--Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “We join with people across the nation as we mourn the passing of President George H.W. Bush. We remember with gratitude this great man who spent his life selflessly in service of his country.  With an unwavering commitment to building bridges of peace and ensuring our nation's freedoms, he also inspired many as a devoted husband, father and family patriarch. On behalf of my brother bishops of the United States, we pray for the repose of the soul of our forty-first president as we remember a life well lived. We also offer our deepest sympathy and prayers for his bereaved family and all those who mourn his passing.  May you find peace and comfort in the consoling love of Jesus Christ.”

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Declaración del Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos en relación a la muerte del Presidente George H.W. Bush 3 de diciembre de 2018 WASHINGTON— El Cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo, Arzobispo de Galveston-Houston y Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, emitió un comunicado sobre el fallecimiento del Presidente George Herbert Walker Bush. La declaración completa del Cardenal DiNardo es la siguiente: “Nos unimos a las personas de todo el país al lamentar el fallecimiento del Presidente George H.W. Bush. Recordamos con gratitud a este gran hombre que pasó su vida desinteresadamente al servicio de su país. Con un compromiso inquebrantable de construir puentes de paz y garantizar las libertades de nuestra nación, también inspiró a muchos como un devoto esposo, padre y patriarca de la familia. En nombre de mis hermanos Obispos de Estados Unidos, oramos por el descanso del alma de nuestro cuadragésimo primer presidente al recordar una vida bien vivida. También ofrecemos nuestras más sinceras condolencias y oraciones por su familia afligida y por todos aquellos que lloran su muerte. Que encuentren paz y consuelo en el amor consolador de Jesucristo".

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Deacon Charles Williams Accepts Position of Interim Director, Office for Black Catholics - 12/3/18

December 3, 2018 Following a series of conversations throughout the diocese with clergy and lay leadership from the Black Catholic community, Bishop Barry Knestout is pleased to announce that Deacon Charles Williams has accepted the position of Interim Director, Office for Black Catholics effective December 1, 2018. As interim director, Deacon Williams will continue the mission of the Office by seeking opportunities for ongoing inclusion and participation of Black Catholics within the life of the diocese, overseeing a pastoral planning process to effectively serve this community, and providing a renewed focus on the New Evangelization within the African American community. Concurrent with this new role, Deacon Williams will continue in his assignment as permanent deacon at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and his supporting role with diocesan prison ministry efforts. We welcome Deacon Williams in his new role and ask for prayers as he carries out the historic mission of this Office.

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Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following the Close of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Public Sessions at the 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore - 11/19/18

For Immediate Release: November 19, 2018 [caption id="attachment_113161" align="alignright" width="400"] Bishop Barry C. Knestout attends the USCCB 2018 Fall General Assembly, Nov. 12-14, in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)[/caption] “The Church has no greater charge than the protection of children. I am hopeful that, despite our not acting upon specific measures related to the abuse scandal, the discussions which took place during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops about bishops’ accountability regarding clergy sexual abuse will be the foundation for concrete action — not only for the Church in the United States, but for the Church universal. Child protection is not only a parish, diocesan and national concern in our Church, but it is a concern for the Church throughout the world. So, when our Holy Father meets with the presidents of bishops’ conferences in February, they will be looking at protecting ALL children and making ALL bishops accountable for what they do in this regard. Be assured we are continuing to move forward with the commitment I made to the faithful of our diocese in September:
  • to make public the names of those priests from our diocese who received credible and substantiated allegations of abuse;
  • to have a full, extensive audit of clergy files by an independent entity, with oversight from the Diocesan Review Board, which will hold us accountable; and
  • to establish an abuse victims’ assistance fund for counseling aid to those who have experienced abuse from clergy.
Please continue to pray for victims of abuse and for our Church as we heal and work unceasingly to answer the call for reform and renewal and to prevent such a scourge from ever occurring again.” Read the President of the U.S.C.C.B Statement Following the Close of the Fall General Session in Baltimore Nov. 12-14.

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President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Makes Statement at Close of Public Sessions; Fall General Assembly, Baltimore Nov. 12-14 - 11/16/18

November 14, 2018

BALTIMORE—On the final day of the public sessions of the U.S. Bishops fall general assembly in Baltimore, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, delivered the following remarks. Cardinal DiNardo’s full address follows: “Brothers, I opened the meeting expressing some disappointment. I end it with hope. My hope is first of all grounded in Christ, who desires that the Church be purified and that our efforts bear fruit. In late summer on your behalf, I expressed our renewed fraternal affection for our Holy Father. In September the Administrative Committee expressed for all of us our “love, obedience and loyalty” for Pope Francis. Now together with you today, gathered in Baltimore in Plenary Assembly, we the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops pledge to His Holiness our loyalty and devotion in these difficult days. I am sure that, under the leadership of Pope Francis, the conversation that the global Church will have in February will help us eradicate the evil of sexual abuse from our Church. It will make our local efforts more global and the global perspective will help us here. Brothers, you and the speakers we have heard from have given me direction and consensus. I will take it as a springboard for action. Listening is essential, but listening must inform decisive action. Let me take this moment to thank the many survivors and experts who have given us such good counsel and direction these last few days. When the summer’s news first broke, we committed to three goals: to do what we could to get to the bottom of the Archbishop McCarrick situation; to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier; and, to develop a means of holding ourselves accountable that was genuinely independent, duly authorized, and had substantial lay involvement. Now, we are on course to accomplish these goals. That is the direction that you and the survivors of abuse across our country have given me for the February meeting in Rome. More than that, in the days prior to the meeting of episcopal conference presidents, the Task Force I established this week will convert that direction into specific action steps. Some of those actions steps include:
  • A process for investigating complaints against bishops reported through a third-party compliance hotline. We will complete a proposal for a single national lay commission and a proposal for a national network relying upon the established diocesan review boards, with their lay expertise, to be overseen by the metropolitan or senior suffragan.
  • Finalizing the Standards of Accountability for Bishops.
  • Finalizing the Protocol for Removed Bishops.
  • Studying national guidelines for the publication of lists of names of those clerics facing substantiated claims of abuse.
  • Supporting the fair and timely completion of the various investigations into the situation surrounding Archbishop McCarrick and publication of their results. We are grateful for the Holy See’s Statement of October 6 in this regard.
We leave this place committed to taking the strongest possible actions at the earliest possible moment. We will do so in communion with the Universal Church. Moving forward in concert with the Church around the world will make the Church in the United States stronger, and will make the global Church stronger. But our hope for true and deep reform ultimately lies in more than excellent systems, as essential as these are. It requires holiness: the deeply held conviction of the truths of the Gospel, and the eager readiness to be transformed by those truths in all aspects of life. As the nuncio reminded us on Monday, “if the Church is to reform herself and her structures, then the reform must spring from her mission of making known Christ, the Son of the Living God.” No system of governance or oversight, however excellent and necessary, suffices alone to make us, weak as we all are, able to live up to the high calling we have received in Christ. We must recommit to holiness and to the mission of the Church. Brothers, I have heard you today. I am confident that in unity with the Holy Father and in conversation with the Universal Church in February we will move forward. There is more to be done, but what we have done is a sign of hope. Commending everything to the intercession of Our Lady, we pray together . . . Hail Mary…"

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Bishops Approve Pastoral Letter Against Racism - 11/14/18

Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service   BALTIMORE — The U.S. bishops overwhelmingly approved a statement against racism Nov. 14 during their fall general meeting at Baltimore. The document, “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love — A Pastoral Letter Against Racism,” passed 241-3 with one abstention. It required a two-thirds vote by all bishops, or 183 votes, for passage. “Despite many promising strides made in our country, the ugly cancer of racism still infects our nation,” the pastoral letter says. “Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice. They reveal a failure to acknowledge the human dignity of the persons offended, to recognize them as the neighbors Christ calls us to love,” it adds. [caption id="attachment_113163" align="alignright" width="400"] CNS photo/Bob Roller[/caption] Bishops speaking on the pastoral gave clear consent to the letter’s message. “This statement is very important and very timely,” said Bishop John E. Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky. He appreciated that the letter took note of the racism suffered by African-Americans and Native Americans, “two pieces of our national history that we have not reconciled.” “This will be a great, fruitful document for discussion,” said Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond, in whose diocese the violence-laden “Unite the Right” rally was held last year. Bishop Knestout added the diocese has already conducted listening sessions on racism. Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham, Alabama, what he called “ground zero for the civil rights movement,” said the pastoral’s message is needed, as the civil rights movement “began 60 years ago and we’re still working on achieving the goals in this document.” Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said he was grateful for the pastoral’s declaration that “an attack against the dignity of the human person is an attack the dignity of life itself.” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix said the letter will be welcome among Native Americans, who populate 11 missions in the diocese, African-Americans in Arizona — “I think we were the last of the 50 states to be part of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday,” he noted — and Hispanics, who make up 80 percent of all diocesan Catholics under age 20. “This is very important for our people and our youth to know the history of racism,” he added. Bishop Shelton T. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, said an electronic copy of “Open Wide Our Hearts” would be posted “somewhat immediately,” with a print version available around Thanksgiving. “Also, there will be resources available immediately” now that the pastoral letter has been approved, including Catholic school resources for kindergarten through 12th grade, added the bishop, who also is chair of the bishops’ Subcommittee on African American Affairs. [caption id="attachment_113161" align="alignright" width="400"] CNS photo/Bob Roller[/caption] “‘Open Wide Our Hearts’ conveys the bishops’ grave concern about the rise of racist attitudes in society,” Bishop Fabre said Nov. 13, when the pastoral was put on the floor of the bishops’ meeting. It also “offers practical suggestions for individuals, families and communities,” he said. “Every racist act — every such comment, every joke, every disparaging look as a reaction to the color of skin, ethnicity or place of origin — is a failure to acknowledge another person as a brother or sister, created in the image of God,” it adds. “Racial profiling frequently targets Hispanics for selective immigration enforcement practices, and African-Americans for suspected criminal activity. There is also the growing fear and harassment of persons from majority Muslim countries. Extreme nationalist ideologies are feeding the American public discourse with xenophobic rhetoric that instigates fear against foreigners, immigrants and refugees.” “Personal sin is freely chosen,” a notion that would seem to include racism, said retired Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces, New Mexico, Nov. 13, but “social sin is collective blindness. There is sin as deed and sin as illness. It’s a pervasive illness that runs through a culture.” Bishop Fabre responded that the proposed letter refers to institutional and structural racism. An amendment from Bishop Ramirez to include this language in the pastoral was accepted by the bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, which guided the document’s preparation. Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of Beaumont, Texas, said Nov. 13 the pastoral “gives us a wonderful opportunity to educate, to convert,” adding that, given recent incidents, the document should give “consideration to our Jewish brothers and sisters.” Bishop Fabre replied that while anti-Semitism is mentioned in the document, future materials will focus on anti-Semitism. A proposed amendment to the pastoral to include the Confederate battle flag in the pastoral alongside nooses and swastikas as symbols of hatred was rejected by the committee. “Nooses and swastikas are widely recognized signs of hatred, the committee commented, but “while for many the Confederate flag is also a sign of hatred and segregation, some still claim it as a sign of heritage.”

National Review Board Urges Need to Broaden the Scope of the Charter to Include Bishops; Lay Panel Urges Reform to Improve Transparency and Enhance Accountability - 11/13/18

November 13, 2018 BALTIMORE—On Tuesday, November 13, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' independent lay advisory panel on the protection of children and young people delivered a special report to the body of U.S. bishops regarding the abuse crisis in the Church.  In an address to the bishops who have gathered in Baltimore for the annual fall general assembly, National Review Board Chairman Francesco Cesareo, Ph.D., outlined key reforms and urged action. The report calls for broadening the scope of the Charter on the Protection of Children and Young People to include bishops; the publication of complete lists of credibly accused clergy in all dioceses; improving the audit process; and enhancing accountability for bishops regarding cases of abuse. You can find the full report here: www.usccb.org/about/child-and-youth-protection/upload/National-Review-Board-Special-Report-to-the-Body-of-Bishops-November-2018.pdf

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Vatican Asks Bishops to Delay Vote on Sex Abuse Response Proposals - 11/13/18

Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service BALTIMORE — At the urging of the Vatican, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will not vote on two proposals they were to discuss at their Baltimore meeting regarding their response to the clergy sex abuse crisis. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, informed the bishops as they opened their fall general assembly Nov. 12 that the Vatican wanted the bishops to delay any vote until after a February meeting with the pope and presidents of the bishops’ conferences around the world that will focus on addressing clergy abuse. Affected are proposed standards of episcopal conduct and the formation of a special commission for review of complaints against bishops for violations of the standards. Cardinal DiNardo said he was disappointed that no action would be taken during the assembly, but that he was hopeful that the delay “will improve our response to the crisis we face.” The cardinal’s announcement came two days after Pope Francis met with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, at the Vatican. Archbishop Pierre returned to the United States Nov. 11 in time for the first day of the U.S. bishops’ general fall assembly in Baltimore. However, at a midday news conference, Cardinal DiNardo said the request to delay action came from the Congregation for Bishops. The assembly planned to move forward with discussion of both proposals from the bishop’s Administrative Committee. The Administrative Committee consists of the officers, chairmen and regional representatives of the USCCB. The committee, which meets in March and September, is the highest authority of the USCCB outside of the full body of bishops when they meet for their fall and spring general assemblies. In response, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago suggested the general assembly move forward with its discussion of the two proposals. He also called for a special assembly in March to weigh and vote on the measures after being informed by the outcome of the February meeting in Rome. “It is clear that the Holy See is taking seriously the abuse crisis in the Church,” Cardinal Cupich said, adding that the February meeting was a “watershed moment” in Church history. “We need to be clear where we stand and tell our people where we stand,” he said. Later in the morning session, just before the assembly adjourned for a day of prayer and penitence, Cardinal DiNardo opened his presidential address pointing to the weakness within the Church that has led to the clergy abuse crisis. Repeatedly citing the words of St. Augustine, he said “in order that weakness might become strong, strength became weak.” He called for action to lift the entire brotherhood of bishops from a place of weakness that has allowed the clergy sex abuse crisis to exist. While there were to be no votes on specific action at the meeting, he said the deliberations the bishops would undertake would set them on the route to healing for the Church and for victims of abuse. He also held up his own weakness to victims, saying: “Where I have not been watchful or alert to your needs, wherever I have failed, I am deeply sorry.” Cardinal DiNardo urged the bishops to root themselves in the life and teaching of Jesus to lead the Church and the victims of abuse to healing. He also called for the bishops to focus on the needs of victims so that “our example not lead a single person away from the Lord.” He also said that the bishops must be as accountable as anyone else in ministry in the Church and that they, like priests and other Church workers, must adhere to the same standards of conduct identified in the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” “Whether we will be remembered as guardians of the abused or of the abuser will be determined by our action beginning this week and the months ahead. Let us draw near to Christ today sacrificing him our own ambitions and promptly submit ourselves totally to what he demands of us both in love and justice,” he said. In his seven-minute address, the cardinal said that he read that St. Augustine warned there are two extremes that pose dangers to the faithful  despair and presumption. “We and the faithful can fall into despair believing that there is no hope for the Church or (for) good change in the Church. We can also believe that there are no hopes for healing from these sins,” he said. “But we must always remember that there is a thing called trusting faith and it leads us on our current journey. This trusting faith provides us roots, roots for a living memory. Our people need this living memory of hope,” he said. Presumption can lull the Church into inactivity, he added, “by presuming that this will blow over, that things simply return to normal on their own. Some would say this is entirely a crisis of the past, and it is not. We must never victimize survivors over again by demanding that hey heal on our timeline.” While the majority of abuse incidents occurred decades ago, the pain among victims “is daily and present,” he continued and warned against leaving behind people who have been hurt by clergy. “In justice we must search for every child of God whose innocence is lost to a horrific predator at any time decades ago or this very day,” Cardinal DiNardo said. He explained that healing can result through forgiveness, adding, “Let us not only be willing but also ready and eager to ask for forgiveness.” “Combating the evil of sexual assault in the Church will require all our spiritual and physical resources,” he said. “We must draw near to Christ in our sorrow, in humility and in contrition to better hear his voice and discern his will. It is only after listening that we can carry out the changes needed, the changes the people of God are rightfully demanding.”

Bishop Knestout Will Attend 2018 LARCUM Conference - 11/12/18

Bishop Knestout will participate in the annual LARCUM Conference, which brings together people from Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and United Methodist backgrounds in Charlottesville from November 30-December 1. This year’s theme is Praying, Believing, Doing: An Ecumenism of Liturgy and Life. View the event brochure and schedule of events: https://bit.ly/2B1pyqd Find more information and register online: http://virginialarcum.org/

U.S. Bishops To Meet Nov. 12-14 in Baltimore; Will Address Abuse Crisis and Action Items; Assembly to be Live Streamed, Live Tweeted, Carried Via Satellite - 10/31/18

October 29, 2018 WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 12-14. The assembly will begin with an address by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the USCCB and also an address by the Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre.  The body of bishops will then adjourn to an on-site chapel for a full day of spiritual discernment and prayer.  This will be followed by a Mass celebrated Monday evening at the site of the assembly. During the assembly the bishops will discuss and vote on a series of concrete measures to respond to the abuse crisis, including those approved for the agenda at the September meeting of the Administrative Committee, such as a third-party reporting mechanism, standards of conduct for bishops, and protocols for bishops resigned or removed because of abuse.  The bishops will also hear reports from the National Advisory Council and National Review Board. The assembly will also vote on the Pastoral Letter Against Racism and will also hear a report on the 15th Ordinary Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.  The bishops will also vote on the 2019 budget. The bishops will also vote for a Conference Treasurer-elect, new chairmen of the Committee on Catholic Education, and new chairmen-elect of the following five USCCB committees: Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations, Committee on Divine Worship, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, and the Committee on Migration. There will also be a voice vote on the cause for canonization for Sr. Thea Bowman, FSPA. Public sessions of general assembly discussions and votes as well as portions of the day of spiritual discernment will be available via livestream at:   http://www.usccb.org/live News updates, vote totals, texts of addresses and presentations and other materials will be posted to this page: www.usccb.org/meetings as soon as possible. Those wishing to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag #USCCB18 and follow on Twitter (@USCCB) as well as on Facebook (www.facebook.com/usccb) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/usccb). Media outlets interested in taking the meeting’s satellite feed may request coordinates by email. Live stream and satellite feed is expected to run Monday, 12, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern, Tuesday, November 13, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern and Wednesday, November 14, 11a.m.-6p.m.  The assembly will be live streamed on the Internet and will be available via satellite for broadcasters wishing to air it. The live stream will be available at:  http://www.usccb.org/about/leadership/usccb-general-assembly/usccb-general-assembly-live-stream.cfm.

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Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration and Presidents of Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA Urge Humane Action Towards Those Seeking Protection - 10/30/18

October 29, 2018 WASHINGTON— Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration, Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, and Sister Donna Markham OP PhD, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA issued the following statement urging all people of goodwill to speak and act with compassion towards those migrating north and seeking refuge from violence and poverty. The full statement follows: “As Catholic agencies assisting poor and vulnerable migrants in the United States and around the world, we are deeply saddened by the violence, injustice, and deteriorating economic conditions forcing many people to flee their homes in Central America. While nations have the right to protect their borders, this right comes with responsibilities: governments must enforce laws proportionately, treat all people humanely, and provide due process. We affirm that seeking asylum is not a crime. We urge all governments to abide by international law and existing domestic laws that protect those seeking safe haven and ensure that all those who are returned to their home country are protected and repatriated safely. Furthermore, we strongly advocate for continued U.S. investments to address the underlying causes of violence and lack of opportunity in Central America. Our presence throughout the Americas has convinced us that migration is a regional issue that requires a comprehensive, regional solution. An enforcement-only approach does not address nor solve the larger root causes that cause people to flee their countries in search of protection. As Christians, we must answer the call to act with compassion towards those in need and to work together to find humane solutions that honor the rule of law and respect the dignity of human life.”

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Bishops Urge Voters to be Citizens Faithful to the Lord - 10/26/18

In anticipation of Election Day on November 6, Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Knestout have issued a statement offering principles and observations to the faithful of their dioceses on exercising the right to vote with a conscience formed through prayer, attentiveness to the Church’s teachings, and understanding issues and candidates’ positions on them. See their statement in English here and in Spanish here. The bishops’ statement as well as other voter resources can also be found at www.vacatholic.org. If you are not a member of the Conference's advocacy network, click here to receive regular Conference email alerts and updates. In prayer and in public, your voices are urgently needed to bring Gospel values to bear on vital decisions being made by those who represent you.  

Joint Statement from Bishop Michael F. Burbidge (Diocese of Arlington) and Bishop Barry C. Knestout (Diocese of Richmond) in Response to the Attorney General’s Investigation - 10/24/18

For Immediate Release - October 24, 2018 Today, Attorney General Mark Herring publicly announced his office’s investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy in Virginia.  The Diocese of Arlington and the Diocese of Richmond assure the faithful and the public that we are cooperating with the Attorney General’s office. Any instance of child sexual abuse is intolerable and gravely immoral. We hope that this process will bring healing for all victims and confirm our commitment to accountability and justice. Having met with victims, we know that such abuse is unforgettable and many carry that burden with them throughout their lives. We continue to welcome the opportunity to meet personally with victims, to hear their stories, and to support them in their journey toward healing. Prior to being contacted by the Attorney General, both dioceses began internal investigative processes using independent investigators tasked with reviewing all diocesan clergy files. We promised to publish a list of all priests and deacons against whom credible and substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been made, and we renew that promise. We will continue these efforts and ensure it does not impede the Attorney General’s investigation. In keeping with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, established in 2002, we report every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor to legal authorities. Each accusation is also brought before a diocesan Review Board, composed mostly of lay people. We thoroughly vet clergy and staff and train them to identify suspicious behavior and report any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Volunteers who interact with children also go through this process. We encourage anyone aware of misconduct or abuse on the part of clergy or staff of either diocese to notify legal authorities and utilize the hotline established by the Attorney General: http://www.virginiaclergyhotline.com/  In addition, victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Arlington or the Diocese of Richmond are invited to contact the respective diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator who is available to help victims/survivors make a formal complaint of abuse to the diocese, arrange a personal meeting with the bishop or his representative, and to obtain support for the needs of the individual and families. The diocesan child protection policies are online at: arlingtondiocese.org/childprotection https://richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/ Richmond's Victim Assistance Coordinator

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Bishop Prays with 40 Days for Life Participants - 10/23/18

More than 40 people gathered to pray the rosary with Bishop Barry C. Knestout in front of a Richmond Planned Parenthood clinic, Tuesday, Oct. 23. The vigil was part of 40 Days for Life, a national effort in which participants pray for an end to abortion. According to organizers, this was the first time a bishop of the Diocese of Richmond had joined the group in prayer.

Calling abortion a “scourge” on America, Bishop Knestout encouraged the group to continue praying for an end to abortion and to promote the sanctity of life in how they live their daily lives. He thanked them for the commitment they have made on behalf of the unborn.

There are six 40 Days for Life campaigns in the Diocese of Richmond at this time. In addition to Richmond, campaigns are being held in Charlottesville, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Bristol.

Since 40 Days for Life’s inception in 2007, Richmond has been part of every campaign. Two are done each year; the spring campaign is held at the abortion facility at Grove and the Boulevard and the fall campaign at Planned Parenthood on Hamilton.    

U.S. Bishops Will Gather for Seven Days of Prayer and Reflection at Invitation of Pope Francis - 10/23/18

October 23, 2018 WASHINGTON— At the invitation of Pope Francis, the Bishops of the United States will gather for a spiritual retreat set to take place at Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  The bishops will gather in prayer and unity for seven days, from January 2-8, as brothers in the Episcopacy. “The Holy Father has kindly offered the preacher to the Papal Household, Reverend Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., to serve as the retreat director as we come together to pray on the intense matters before us.  For this, I am grateful,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  “I am also grateful to Cardinal Blase Cupich for his kind offer to use the campus of Mundelein Seminary as the location for this retreat.” The announcement comes after Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo met with the Pope earlier this month as part of a regularly scheduled Curia visit. The retreat takes place as the U.S. bishops continue their work to address the current U.S. clergy sex abuse crisis.  In September, the U.S. bishops Administrative Committee http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-152.cfm announced an action plan including a third-party reporting mechanism, standards of conduct for bishops, and protocols for bishops resigned or removed because of abuse.

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Priest of Diocese of Fall River Placed on Leave, Previously Served in Richmond Diocese - 10/23/18

October 23, 2018 The Catholic Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts made the following announcement October 22, 2018, regarding Father Michael Kuhn, Y.A., and is available online at www.fallriverdiocese.org. Father Michael Kuhn previously served in the Diocese of Richmond as chaplain for Old Dominion University’s Catholic Campus Ministry from 2011 to 2016. The Diocese of Richmond urges anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of clergy, an employee, or volunteer in ministry to come forward and report it immediately to the civil authorities. We ask that you also call the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC) at 1-877-887-9603 or by email at vac@richmonddiocese.org. For more information about the Diocese of Richmond’s Child Protection/Safe Environment Program visit www.richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/.

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Bishop Knestout’s Statement Regarding Pope Francis Acceptance of Cardinal Wuerl’s Resignation - 10/12/18

October 12, 2018 “Today, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl as archbishop of Washington. Having assisted Cardinal Wuerl for nearly a decade with the many events of the Archdiocese, including coordinating the Archdiocesan Synod and 75th Anniversary celebration, implementing programs for the New Evangelization, and as co-chair of the committees to coordinate two papal visits, I know him to be a dedicated bishop who is devoted to and fully focused on ministering to the people of God. My experience with him in Washington was as an effective teacher, as one who fostered the unity of the Church, love for the sacraments especially the Eucharist and as one who provided careful oversight for charitable works of the Archdiocese. As I said on the day of my announcement as Bishop of Richmond: Cardinal Wuerl has taught me the importance of seeking the best from myself and the people around me who serve the mission of the Church, to proclaim the faith, to celebrate the sacraments and to serve in charity. For this, I am profoundly grateful. I have great love and affection for the Archdiocese of Washington, for the faithful, and for those I’ve worked with and encountered there. I ask everyone to pray for the people of the archdiocese and for Cardinal Wuerl during this time of transition. May the Holy Spirit continue to guide, inspire, and assist our beloved Church during this time.”

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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl - 10/12/18

October 12, 2018 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald Wuerl from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Washington. The resignation was publicized in Washington, DC, October 12, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Cardinal Wuerl had presented his resignation almost three years ago, when he reached the retirement age for bishops of 75. In April 2008, Cardinal Wuerl hosted in Washington, Pope Benedict XVI and in September, 2015, Pope Francis for their first pastoral visits to the United States. He was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to help direct the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. Cardinal Wuerl was also appointed by Pope Francis as a member of both the 2014 and the 2015 Synods on the Family. The Cardinal was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received graduate degrees from The Catholic University of America, the Gregorian University in Rome and a doctorate in theology from the University of Saint Thomas in Rome. He was ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II on January 6, 1986, in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome. He served as Auxiliary Bishop in Seattle until 1987 and then as Bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years until his appointment to Washington. His titular church in Rome is Saint Peter in Chains. Cardinal Donald Wuerl was born November 12, 1940, in Pittsburgh, PA. He attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning a bachelor's degree (1962) and master's degree (1963) in philosophy. He continued his studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and earned a master's degree in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1967, also in Rome. He was ordained a priest on December 17, 1966. From 1981 to 1985, he was rector of Saint Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh. On November 30, 1985 he was appointed titular Bishop of Rosemarkie and Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle. Pope John Paul ordained him a bishop on January 6, 1986. On February 12, 1988, he was installed as Bishop of Pittsburgh. He was appointed Archbishop of Washington on May 16, 2006. He holds honorary degrees from eleven universities and is a Knight of Malta, a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre, and a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. Cardinal Wuerl served previously as Chairman of the Doctrine Committee for the USCCB and has served on other various USCCB committees. The Archdiocese of Washington is comprised of 2,104 square miles and has a total population of 2,867,377 million of which 630,823 or 22 percent, are Catholic.

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El Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos recibe con agrado el anuncio de la Santa Sede sobre los pasos adicionales que está dando para que los fieles estén protegidos contra el mal de la agresión sexual - 10/8/18

7 de octubre de 2018 ROMA— El Cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo, Arzobispo de Galveston-Houston y Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB, por sus siglas en inglés) recibe con agrado el reciente anuncio de la Santa Sede que describe los pasos para garantizar que los fieles estén protegidos contra el mal de la agresión sexual. El comunicado completo del Cardenal DiNardo es el siguiente: “En nombre de mis hermanos obispos en los Estados Unidos, recibo con agrado la declaración de este 6 de octubre de la Santa Sede que describe los pasos adicionales que el Papa Francisco está dando para garantizar que los fieles estén protegidos contra el mal de la agresión sexual. La ‘urgente invitación del Santo Padre a unir fuerzas para combatir el grave flagelo de los abusos dentro y fuera de la Iglesia’ ha sido y seguirá siendo diligentemente aceptada por los obispos de los Estados Unidos. “La verdad va a asegurar que los terribles pecados del pasado no se repitan. La valentía de los sobrevivientes de abusos que dieron a conocer primero la horrible verdad de los abusos sexuales debe continuar siendo igualado por nuestro coraje como pastores para responder con justicia. El Papa Francisco se hace eco del llamado de Cristo para estar con los sobrevivientes en su momento de necesidad. Respondamos simplemente. '¡Sí Señor!' “Los obispos de los Estados Unidos ofrecemos nuestras oraciones y solidaridad con el Santo Padre. Instamos a todos en la Iglesia, especialmente a los obispos, a reafirmar nuestra comunión con el Papa Francisco, que es el garante visible de la comunión de la Iglesia Católica. Nos unimos en oración y servicio con Su Santidad mientras guía a la Iglesia a encontrarse con nuestros hermanos y hermanas en su sufrimiento. Con el corazón de un pastor, el Santo Padre nos llama a un camino de curación”.

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President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Welcomes Steps Holy See is Taking to Ensure Faithful are Protected from the Evil of Sexual Abuse - 10/8/18

October 7, 2018 ROME—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is welcoming the recent announcement by the Holy See outlining steps to ensure the faithful are protected by the evil of sexual assault. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I welcome the statement of October 6 from the Holy See which outlines additional steps Pope Francis is taking to ensure the faithful are protected from the evil of sexual assault.  The Holy Father’s ‘pressing invitation to unite forces to fight the grave scourge of abuse within the Church and beyond’ has been and will continue to be diligently accepted by the bishops of the United States. “The truth will ensure terrible sins of the past are not repeated.  The courage of abuse survivors who first brought the horrific truth of sexual abuse to light must continue to be matched by our courage as pastors to respond in justice.  Pope Francis echoes the call of Christ to be with survivors in their time of need. Let us respond simply. ‘Yes, Lord!’ “The bishops of the United States offer our prayers and solidarity for the Holy Father. We urge all in the Church, particularly the bishops, to reaffirm our communion with Pope Francis who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic church. We unite in prayer and service with His Holiness as he leads the Church to meet our brothers and sisters in their suffering. With a pastor’s heart, the Holy Father calls us to a path of healing.”

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Delegados al V Encuentro enviados a construir una cultura de encuentro que reviva la esperanza - 10/1/18

1 de octubre de 2018 WASHINGTON— El Arzobispo Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, Arzobispo de San Antonio y Presidente del Comité para la Diversidad Cultural en la Iglesia de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos (USCCB) emitió un comunicado con motivo de la conclusión del V Encuentro Nacional de la Pastoral Hispana/Latina que se realizó en Grapevine, Texas, del 20 al 23 de septiembre. El texto completo del comunicado del Arzobispo García-Siller es el siguiente: Hermanos y Hermanas, ¡Qué maravilloso Quinto Encuentro Nacional de la Pastoral Hispana/Latina el que tuvimos en Grapevine, Texas, del 20 al 23 de septiembre! Para nosotros los Obispos fue al mismo tiempo una experiencia que nos llena de humildad y fue inspirador presenciar y participar en este evento lleno de gracia que culminó un proceso de varios años. Cuatro días de oración, intercambio y aprendizaje revelaron a un pueblo de Dios vivo en el amor de Jesús. El proceso ahora continúa con la misión de llevar a nuestras comunidades y diócesis lo que experimentamos en el V Encuentro Nacional. Construir “una cultura de encuentro que reviva la esperanza”. Con este llamado, el Papa Francisco dio la bienvenida al V Encuentro a unas 3.200 personas provenientes de más de 160 diócesis y unas 200 organizaciones católicas de todo el país. Después de transmitirse el video con el mensaje del Santo Padre, el Nuncio Apostólico para Estados Unidos, Arzobispo Christophe Pierre, nos invitó a salir de nuestra zona de confort y a convertirnos en fermento de comunión. Nosotros, los delegados al V Encuentro, Obispos y pueblo caminando juntos, agradecidos llevamos este encargo a nuestras comunidades llenos de un espíritu misionero. El proceso del V Encuentro, y especialmente la reunión nacional, pasará a la historia como un momento especial de gracia para la Iglesia en Estados Unidos en estos tiempos turbulentos y difíciles. Como el Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, Presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, acertadamente expresó en sus palabras de bienvenida: "En medio de esta oscuridad, el Encuentro es una luz que brilla e ilumina el camino a seguir. El entusiasmo, la pasión, el amor y la alegría del proceso de Encuentro es un medio de gracia, un regalo para nosotros mientras nos esforzamos por reconstruir la Iglesia”. Un momento especial del V Encuentro Nacional fue la participación de cientos de jóvenes adultos que nos brindaron esperanza con su entusiasmo y coraje, testimonio de fe y compromiso con la Iglesia. A medida que el proceso de Encuentro continúa, esperamos que se dé la bienvenida a su energía, sus dones y talentos para el servicio de toda la Iglesia. Esta experiencia en la cima de la montaña de la Providencia de Dios, del amor de Cristo por su Iglesia, nos motiva, y ahora estamos más dispuestos a ser la Iglesia que Cristo quiere que seamos. Miles de católicos han regresado a casa llenos de fe para compartir sus experiencias con aquellos cuyas voces representaban y con todos los que no pudieron asistir. De esta manera, el Espíritu Santo multiplicará las gracias de renovación y conversión. Estoy agradecido con todos aquellos que hicieron posible este V Encuentro, desde los pastores y coordinadores parroquiales hasta los equipos diocesanos y regionales. Agradezco a todas las organizaciones nacionales y patrocinadores que nos acompañaron y apoyaron hasta aquí. Estoy agradecido con mis hermanos obispos, quienes han acompañado a su pueblo en este proceso a nivel local y en el V Encuentro Nacional. Les pido su continuo apoyo y oraciones ahora que el proceso del V Encuentro entra en una nueva fase de implementación. Al reunirse las diversas culturas y regiones geográficas, el Cuerpo de Cristo se fortalece con los diferentes dones de sus miembros individuales. En fidelidad a Cristo y en comunión con el Sucesor de Pedro, abierto a los impulsos del Espíritu y bajo la mirada misericordiosa de la Santísima Virgen María, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Madre de las Américas, usemos esa fuerza para compartir la alegría del Evangelio con todos los que necesitan del amor y la misericordia de Dios.

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V Encuentro Delegates Charged with Building a Culture of Encounter that Rekindles Hope - 10/1/18

October 1, 2018 WASHINGTON—Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, Archbishop of San Antonio and chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement today following the close of the V National Encuentro that took place September 20-23 in Grapevine, Texas. Archbishop García-Siller’s full statement follows: Brothers and Sisters, What a wonderful Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry we had in Grapevine, Texas, September 20-23! For us bishops it was both humbling and awe-inspiring to witness and participate in this grace-filled event that culminated a process of several years.  Four days of prayer, sharing, listening, and learning revealed a people of God alive in the love of Jesus. The process now continues with the charge to take back to our communities and dioceses what we experienced at the National V Encuentro. Build “a culture of encounter that rekindles hope.” With this call, Pope Francis welcomed the nearly 3,200 people from more than 160 dioceses and over 200 Catholic organizations from around the country to the V Encuentro. Following the Holy Father’s video message, his Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, invited us to go forth out of our comfort zone and become leaven of communion. We, the delegates to the V Encuentro, bishops and people together, gratefully take this charge back to our communities filled with a missionary spirit. The V Encuentro process, and specially the national gathering, will go down in history as a special moment of grace for the Church in the United States in these turbulent and difficult times. As Cardenal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops aptly put it in his welcoming remarks: “Amidst this darkness, the Encuentro is a light that shines and illuminates the way forward. The enthusiasm, the passion, the love, and the joy of the Encuentro process is a means of grace, a gift to us as we rebuild the Church.” A special highlight of the National V Encuentro was the participation of hundreds of young adults who brought us hope with their enthusiasm and courage, witness of faith and commitment to the Church.  As the process of Encuentro continues, may we welcome their energy, their gifts and talents for the service of the entire Church. This mountaintop experience of God’s Providence, of the love of Christ for his Church, impels us and we are now readier to be the Church Christ wants us to be.  Thousands of faithful have returned home to share their experience with those whose voices they represented and with everyone unable to attend. In this way, the Holy Spirit will multiply the graces of renewal and conversion. I am grateful to all who made this V Encuentro possible, from the pastors and parish coordinators to the diocesan and regional teams. I am grateful for all the national organizations and sponsors that accompanied and supported us thus far.  And I am grateful to my brother bishops who have accompanied their people in this process locally and at the National V Encuentro. I ask for your continued support and prayers as the process of the V Encuentro enters now a new phase of implementation. Coming together across cultures and geographic regions, the Body of Christ draws strength from the diverse gifts of its individual members.  In fidelity to Christ and in communion with the successor of Peter, open to the impulses of the Spirit and under the merciful gaze of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, let us use that strength to share the hope of the Gospel with all who are in need of God’s love and mercy.

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Diocese of Richmond Reorganized as Deaneries; Replace LPAs - 9/27/18

September 27, 2018 The Diocese of Richmond has been reorganized into 15 deaneries, effective September 27, 2018. The deaneries were established through a canonical decree by Bishop Knestout which was officially announced on the Feast Day of St. Vincent de Paul, the Diocese's patron saint. You can read Bishop's announcement letter here. The Richmond Diocese is divided into three vicariates, and each vicariate will include five deaneries. The new structure replaces the LPAs (Local Planning Areas) that were used as a result of the 2008 Pastoral Planning process and to encourage collaboration among parishes. Every parish, Catholic school, and campus ministry is now assigned to a deanery. As a result of this change, some parishes have switched vicariates. View the new deanery structure in the Catholic Diocese of Richmond here. Bishop Knestout has appointed a dean to serve each deanery. The dean, also known as a vicar forane, is a pastor who was nominated by clergy within their respective deanery. The 15 deans selected to serve will assist with annual parish visits within their deaneries, work with pastors, deacons, parish staff and the laity, and help communicate Bishop Knestout’s pastoral messages and concerns. “I am appreciative of the support and additional responsibilities the deans have assumed and I am thankful for their commitment in assisting me,” said Bishop Knestout. “Given the size of the diocese, this structure, with regular reports from the deans, will assist me and the Episcopal Vicars to assess the local needs of the parishes and keep me informed of the various parish programs and ministries in order to best serve the people of our local Church.” Bishop Knestout spoke of the deanery structure which he initially discussed in a June letter to the faithful of the Richmond Diocese. Deans will receive training on a variety of topics in late October to assist them in their new role. The appointments of deans are effective Nov. 1, 2018. “I look forward to working with the new deans and know their experience and insights will be a great value to me in the pastoral care and governance of the diocese,” said Bishop Knestout. Richmond’s Deaneries The following pastors were named deans: Deanery 1 – Very Rev. Joseph H. Metzger III, V.F., pastor of Blessed Sacrament in Norfolk Parishes: Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception (Norfolk), Blessed Sacrament (Norfolk), Christ the King (Norfolk), Holy Trinity (Norfolk), Sacred Heart (Norfolk), Saint Andrew the Apostle (Chincoteague), Saint Charles (Cape Charles), Saint Matthew (Virginia Beach), Saint Peter the Apostle (Onley), Saint Pius X (Norfolk)   Deanery 2 – Very Rev. Daniel J. Malingumu, V.F., pastor of Church of the Ascension in Virginia Beach Parishes: Anglican/Roman Catholic Community of Holy Apostles (Virginia Beach), Church of the Ascension (Virginia Beach), Church of the Holy Family (Virginia Beach), Church of the Holy Spirit (Virginia Beach), Saint Gregory the Great (Virginia Beach), Saint John the Apostle (Virginia Beach), Saint Luke (Virginia Beach), Saint Nicholas (Virginia Beach), Star of the Sea (Virginia Beach)   Deanery 3 – Very Rev. Romeo D. Jazmin, V.F., pastor of Prince of Peace in Chesapeake Parishes: Church of Saint Therese (Chesapeake), Church of the Good Shepherd (Smithfield), Church of the Holy Angels (Portsmouth), Church of the Resurrection (Portsmouth), Prince of Peace (Chesapeake), Saint Benedict (Chesapeake), Saint Jude (Franklin), Saint Mark (Virginia Beach), Saint Mary (Chesapeake), Saint Mary of the Presentation (Suffolk), Saint Paul (Portsmouth), Saint Stephen Martyr (Chesapeake), Shrine of the Infant of Prague (Wakefield)   Deanery 4 – Very Rev. John David Ramsey, V.F., pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newport News Parishes: Immaculate Conception (Hampton), Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam (Norfolk), Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam (Hampton), Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Newport News), Saint Jerome (Newport News), Saint Joseph (Hampton), Saint Kateri (Tabb), Saint Mary Star of the Sea (Fort Monroe), Saint Rose of Lima & Korean Martyrs (Hampton), Saint Vincent de Paul (Newport News   Deanery 5 – Very Rev. Gerald S. Kaggwa, V.F., pastor of Church of Francis de Sales in Mathews and Church of the Visitation in Topping Parishes: Church of Francis de Sales (Mathews), Church of Saint Therese (Gloucester), Church of the Visitation (Middlesex), Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (West Point), Saint Bede (Williamsburg), Saint Joan of Arc (Yorktown), Saint Olaf (Norge)   Deanery 6 – Very Rev. Monsignor Patrick D. Golden, V.F., rector of Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond Parishes: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Richmond), Church of the Redeemer (Mechanicsville), Holy Rosary (Richmond), Saint Elizabeth (Richmond), Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (Quinton), Saint John (Highland Springs), Saint Patrick (Richmond), Saint Paul (Richmond), Saint Peter (Richmond), Saint Timothy (Tappahannock)   Deanery 7 – Very Rev. James J. Begley, Jr., V.F., pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Richmond Parishes: Church of the Vietnamese Martyrs (Richmond), Our Lady of Lourdes (Richmond), Saint Ann (Ashland), Saint Benedict (Richmond), Saint Bridget (Richmond), Saint Mary (Richmond), Saint Mary of the Annunciation (Ladysmith), Saint Michael (Glen Allen)   Deanery 8 – Very Rev. John C. Kazibwe, V.F., pastor of Church of the Epiphany in Richmond Parishes: Church of the Epiphany (Richmond), Good Samaritan (Amelia), Sacred Heart (Richmond), Saint Edward the Confessor (Richmond), Saint Gabriel (Chesterfield), Saint John Neumann (Powhatan), Saint Joseph (Richmond), Saint Kim Taegon (Richmond)   Deanery 9 – Very Rev. Daniel A. Cogut, V.F., pastor of Saint Ann in Colonial Heights Parishes: Church of the Sacred Heart (Prince George), Good Shepherd  (South Hill), Saint Ann (Colonial Heights), Saint Augustine (Richmond), Saint Catherine of Siena (Clarksville), Saint James (Hopewell), Saint John (Dinwiddie), Saint Joseph (Petersburg), Saint Paschal Baylon (South Boston), Saint Peter the Apostle (Lake Gaston), Saint Richard (Emporia)   Deanery 10 – Very Rev. Joseph Mary Lukyamuzi, V.F., pastor of Holy Comforter in Charlottesville and Crozet Catholic Community in Crozet Parishes: Crozet Catholic Community Mission (Crozet), Holy Comforter (Charlottesville), Immaculate Conception (Buckner), Incarnation (Charlottesville), Saint Francis of Assisi (Amherst), Saint George (Scottsville), Saint Joseph's Shrine of Saint Katharine Drexel  (Columbia), Saint Jude (Mineral), Saint Mary (Lovingston), Saint Thomas Aquinas (Charlottesville), Saints Peter & Paul (Palmyra)   Deanery 11 – Very Rev. Silvio Kaberia, V.F., pastor of Blessed Sacrament in Harrisonburg Parishes: Blessed Sacrament (Harrisonburg), Holy Infant (Elkton), Saint Francis of Assisi (Staunton), Saint John the Evangelist (Waynesboro), Shepherd of the Hills (Quinque)     Deanery 12 – Very Rev. Kenneth J. Shuping, V.F., pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Salem and Saint Gerard in Roanoke Parishes: Church of the Transfiguration (Fincastle), Our Lady of Nazareth (Roanoke), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (Salem), Sacred Heart (Covington), Saint Andrew (Roanoke), Saint Gerard (Roanoke), Saint John the Evangelist (New Castle), Saint Joseph (Clifton Forge), Saint Patrick (Lexington), Shrine of the Sacred Heart (Hot Springs)   Deanery 13 – Very Rev. Anthony O. Senyah, V.F., pastor of Holy Spirit in Christiansburg and Holy Family in Pearisburg Parishes: All Saints (Floyd), Holy Family (Pearisburg), Holy Spirit (Christiansburg), Risen Lord (Stuart), Saint Edward Mission  (Pulaski), Saint Joseph (Woodlawn), Saint Jude (Radford), Saint Mary (Blacksburg), Saint Mary the Mother of God  (Wytheville)   Deanery 14 – Very Rev. Francis Xavier Musolooza, V.F., pastor of Christ the King in Abingdon and Saint John in Marion Parishes: Christ the King (Abingdon), Good Shepherd (Lebanon), Holy Spirit Catholic Community  (Jonesville), Sacred Heart (Big Stone Gap), Saint Anne (Bristol), Saint Anthony (Norton), Saint Bernard (Gate City), Saint John (Marion), Saint Joseph (Clintwood), Saint Mary (Coeburn), Saint Patrick (Dungannon), Saint Therese (Saint Paul), The Church of Saint Elizabeth of Holy Family Parish (Pocahontas), The Church of Saint Joseph of Holy Family Parish (Grundy), The Church of Saint Mary of Holy Family Parish  (Richlands), The Church of Saint Theresa of Holy Family Parish  (Tazewell)   Deanery 15 – Very Rev. Salvador Anonuevo, V.F., pastor of Holy Name of Mary in Bedford and Resurrection in Moneta Parishes: Holy Cross (Lynchburg), Holy Name of Mary (Bedford), Immaculate Heart of Mary (Blackstone), Our Lady of Peace (Appomattox), Resurrection (Moneta), Sacred Heart (Meherrin), Sacred Heart  (Danville), Saint Francis of Assisi (Rocky Mount), Saint Joseph (Martinsville), Saint Theresa (Farmville), Saint Thomas More (Lynchburg), Saint Victoria (Hurt)

Statement in Response to Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Immigrants and Public Benefits - 9/24/18

September 23, 2018  

WASHINGTON--On September 22, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that dramatically alters certain longstanding government policies related to legal immigrants’ access to essential safety net programs.  

Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee on Migration and Bishop of Austin, Texas, together with Bishop Frank Dewane, Chair of Committee on Domestic and Social Development and Bishop of Venice, Florida stated:  

“Yesterday’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking undercuts decades of administrative policies and guidelines on how immigrants are treated by the United States government. This further compounds strict eligibility guidelines already in place preventing many immigrants from receiving federal aid. While just beginning to review the Proposed Rule, upon initial analysis, it appears that this will be very harmful to families, raising fear among immigrant families already struggling to fulfill the American Dream. Further, it is likely to prevent families from accessing important medical and social services vital to public health and welfare.” 

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U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee Statement on Sex Abuse Scandals: Committee Releases Actions to be Taken - 9/19/18

September 19, 2018 WASHINGTON--The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today in response to the recent sex abuse scandals. In the statement, the bishops say they pledge to “heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us.” Turning to the Lord “When each of us was ordained as a bishop, we were told: ‘Keep watch over the whole flock in which the Holy Spirit has appointed you to shepherd the Church of God.’ We, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, assembled last week in Washington at this time of shame and sorrow.  Some bishops, by their actions or their failures to act, have caused great harm to both individuals and the Church as a whole. They have used their authority and power to manipulate and sexually abuse others. They have allowed the fear of scandal to replace genuine concern and care for those who have been victimized by abusers.  For this, we again ask forgiveness from both the Lord and those who have been harmed. Turning to the Lord for strength, we must and will do better. The Administrative Committee took the following actions within its authority: 1. Approved the establishment of a third-party reporting system that will receive confidentially, by phone and online, complaints of sexual abuse of minors by a bishop and sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with adults by a bishop and will direct those complaints to the appropriate ecclesiastical authority and, as required by applicable law, to civil authorities. 2. Instructed the USCCB Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance to develop proposals for policies addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations of sexual abuse of minors or sexual harassment of or misconduct with adults, including seminarians and priests. 3. Initiated the process of developing a Code of Conduct for bishops regarding the sexual abuse of a minor; sexual harassment of or sexual misconduct with an adult; or negligence in the exercise of his office related to such cases. 4. Supported a full investigation into the situation surrounding Archbishop McCarrick, including his alleged assaults on minors, priests, and seminarians, as well any responses made to those allegations.  Such an investigation should rely upon lay experts in relevant fields, such as law enforcement and social services. This is only a beginning.  Consultation with a broad range of concerned parents, experts, and other laity along with clergy and religious will yield additional, specific measures to be taken to repair the scandal and restore justice. We humbly welcome and are grateful for the assistance of the whole people of God in holding us accountable. As these initiatives get underway, the Administrative Committee invites each of our brother bishops to join us in acts of prayer and penance.  This is a time of deep examination of conscience for each bishop. We cannot content ourselves that our response to sexual assault within the Church has been sufficient.  Scripture must be our guide forward, “be doers of the word and not hearers only” (James 1:22). In all of this, we do not want anyone – ourselves included – to lose sight of those who have suffered from those who have acted or failed to act as the Gospel demanded. For survivors of sexual abuse, these days may re-open deep wounds. Support is available from the Church and within the community.  Victims Assistance Coordinators are available in every diocese to help you find resources. We are grateful to hundreds of dedicated people who, since the adoption of the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, have been working with the Church to support survivors and prevent future abuse. To anyone who has been abused, never hesitate to also contact local law enforcement.  If you don’t feel comfortable for any reason with the Church providing help, your diocese can connect you with appropriate community services. With compassion and without judgement, the bishops of the United States pledge to heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us. Acting in communion with the Holy Father, with whom we once again renew our love, obedience, and loyalty, we make our own the prayer of Pope Francis in his August 20 letter to the people of God, “May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them.”

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Diocese of Richmond Notifies Civil Authorities of Decades Old Sexual Abuse Allegation Involving Former Priest - 9/17/18

For Immediate Release: September 17, 2018 Diocese of Richmond Notifies Civil Authorities of Decades Old Sexual Abuse Allegation Involving Former Priest The Diocese of Richmond was made aware of an allegation of sexual abuse through the attorney of the victim. According to the adult male’s account, when he was a minor in the 1970s, then Rev. John P. Blankenship sexually abused him. At that time, Blankenship was pastor at St. John’s Catholic Church in Highland Springs. The Diocese notified the Henrico County Commonwealth’s Attorney of the allegation and will cooperate fully with the civil authorities should an investigation proceed. Blankenship was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Richmond in 1963. He was removed from active priestly ministry in 2002 and dismissed from the priesthood in 2007. Blankenship was previously prosecuted on other charges which is public record. He does not receive any financial assistance from the diocese. Prior to his dismissal from the priesthood, Blankenship served as a transitional deacon of Our Lady of Nazareth, Roanoke; associate pastor of Sacred Heart in Winchester; associate pastor of St. Agnes in Arlington; associate pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea, Fort Monroe; associate pastor of St. Mary in Richmond; pastor of St. John in Highland Springs; pastor of Sacred Heart in Prince George Co; and as the chaplain for the Federal Corrections Facility in Petersburg before he was removed from ministry. The Diocese of Richmond is committed to ensuring that a safe environment for children, young people and vulnerable individuals is provided within all diocesan institutions and ministries. If clergy or church personnel are suspected of committing abuse, please call the civil authorities in your area first and then call the confidential Diocese of Richmond Victim’s Assistance Reporting Line at 1-877-887-9603.

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The Importance of Our Urban Catholic Schools: Free Event at VCU - 9/14/18

Many of us know the benefits of a Catholic education. But did you know that there is actually research behind the integral role that Catholic schools play in urban communities like Richmond? Join Dr. Eugene Trani, President Emeritus of VCU, and guest speakers Mrs. Wanda Wallin, Principal of All Saints Catholic School and Mr. Joseph Whitmore, Principal of Saint Joseph Catholic School, for this important discussion. The event is free and open to the public, hope to see you there! Tuesday, September 18th 4:00 – 6:00 pm Cabell Library Lecture Hall, Room 303 901 Park Avenue, Richmond, VA  

Weather Update: Mass of Atonement and Ordination of Permanent Deacons - 9/12/18

September 14, 2018 The National Hurricane Center says that the path of Hurricane Florence has shifted and will make landfall farther south into the Carolinas. The Diocese of Richmond will hold both weekend events at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond: The Mass of Atonement, Friday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m., and the Ordination of Permanent Deacons, Sat. Sept. 15, at 10:30 a.m. The Mass of Atonement will be streamed live from the Cathedral, and you can view the Mass on the Diocese webpage, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. Visit www.richmonddiocese.org to find the links. The Ordination of Permanent Deacons will not be livestreamed; however, coverage of the Mass will be provided in The Catholic Virginian. Hazardous conditions are still possible in Virginia. Due to the size of the storm, you are urged to check with your local and state emergency management websites  for further updates on conditions in Virginia. Please also monitor the Virginia Department of Transportation for the latest information on road and travel conditions. Additionally, Bishop Knestout is planning regional Mass of Atonement services in the coming weeks around the Commonwealth. More information will be provided at a later time and posted on the diocese webpage. We continue to keep all who are in the path of Hurricane Florence in our prayers.

Statement Regarding Diocese of Harrisburg’s List of Clergy and Seminarians Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child - 9/7/18

Statement Regarding Diocese of Harrisburg’s List of Clergy and Seminarians Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child Information published by the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pa., in early August 2018, regarding clergy and seminarians of that diocese who were part of the allegations of sexual abuse of children identified within the release of that report a Fr. John Bostwick III, as a priest of the Diocese of Richmond who’d served in Harrisburg. John Bostwick III was removed from active priestly ministry in the Diocese of Richmond in 1996. Since that date, he is not permitted to serve as a priest. The Diocese of Richmond is concerned for all victims of abuse and their families and encourages anyone who knows of any misconduct or abuse on the part of clergy or an employee to notify the civil authorities as well as the diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator (VAC) at 1-877-887-9603 or by email at vac@richmonddiocese.org  

Statement from the National Review Board - 8/28/18

August 28, 2018 WASHINGTON—The National Review Board (NRB) has issued the following in response to the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report and recent allegations against Archbishop McCarrick. In the statement, the NRB calls for a lay-lead investigation into all allegations of sexual misconduct within the Church as well as strengthening the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  Established in 2002, the purpose of the National Review Board is to work collaboratively with the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People in preventing the sexual abuse of minors in the United States by persons in the service of the Church. The full National Review Board statement follows: "While the policies and procedures that have been implemented by the Church since 2002 to address the sexual abuse of minors by the clergy have resulted in a significant decrease of such abuse, the revelations of horrific incidents of abuse in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, along with the abuse perpetrated by Archbishop McCarrick point to a systemic problem within the Church that can no longer be ignored or tolerated by the episcopacy in the United States.  The National Review Board has for several years expressed its concern that bishops not become complacent in their response to sexual abuse by the clergy. The recent revelations make it clear that the problem is much deeper.  We are saddened, angry, and hurt by what we have learned in the past few weeks. The evil of the crimes that have been perpetrated reaching into the highest levels of the hierarchy will not be stemmed simply by the creation of new committees, policies, or procedures. What needs to happen is a genuine change in the Church's culture, specifically among the bishops themselves. This evil has resulted from a loss of moral leadership and an abuse of power that led to a culture of silence that enabled these incidents to occur. Intimidation, fear, and the misuse of authority created an environment that was taken advantage of by clerics, including bishops, causing harm to minors, seminarians, and those most vulnerable.  The culture of silence enabled the abuse to go on virtually unchecked. Trust was betrayed for the victims/survivors of the abuse; the entire Body of Christ was betrayed in turn by these crimes and the failure to act. "The National Review Board firmly believes, as has been expressed by several bishops in recent days, that the episcopacy needs to be held accountable for these past actions, and in the future, for being complicit, either directly or indirectly, in the sexual abuse of the vulnerable. Holding bishops accountable will require an independent review into the actions of the bishop when an allegation comes to light. The only way to ensure the independence of such a review is to entrust this to the laity, as recently suggested by Cardinal DiNardo. The NRB, composed exclusively of lay members, would be the logical group to be involved in this task. Establishing an anonymous whistleblower policy, as is found in corporations, higher education and other institutions in both the public and private sector, that would be independent of the hierarchy with participation by the laity, perhaps the NRB, who would report allegations to the local bishop, local law enforcement, the nuncio and Rome, needs to be established immediately. Another problem that needs to be addressed is the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The Charter has been helpful in the Church's response to sexual abuse by the clergy.  However, the Charter should be understood as a living document that is in constant need of revision based on what we have learned and experienced over the years, as well as current new realities. The members of the NRB have on numerous occasions pointed out the weaknesses in the Charter given its deliberate ambiguity and its lack of inclusion of bishops. During the most recent revision process of the Charter, many of the recommendations made by the NRB to strengthen the Charter were not incorporated for a variety of reasons. These recommendations need to be re-considered in light of the current situation, as well as the inclusion of bishops in the Charter. The NRB also believes that the statement of Episcopal Commitment is ineffective and needs to be revised into a meaningful, actionable commitment. In particular, the notion of "fraternal correction" must outline concrete steps that will be taken when a bishop is alleged to have committed sexual abuse or has failed to respond immediately and without hesitation when a cleric is accused of sexual abuse. To ensure that bishops undertake their obligation to act decisively when they have knowledge of incidences of sexual abuse committed by the clergy or their brother bishops, there must be substantive formation of newly appointed bishops on their responsibility as moral leaders within the Church, especially in responding to sexual abuse, something which is currently lacking. "Since its creation in the Charter, the NRB has sought to provide its advice to the bishops to assist them in addressing the sexual abuse of minors. We will continue to work with the bishops, particularly in responding to Cardinal DiNardo's request for the NRB's assistance in the proposed investigation he has called for regarding recent revelations. In the coming weeks, the NRB will consider what recommendations to make to the bishops in light of that request. We recognize that the overwhelming majority of our current bishops have, and continue to, take the sexual abuse of minors seriously and who act accordingly by adhering to the Charter, some even going beyond these basic requirements. However, every time one bishop fails to act, the entire episcopate is tainted. It is time for the laity to assume courageous leadership to help the Church respond and to heal and for the bishops to listen carefully to our recommendations. We need not only to pray for the Church and most especially for the victims/survivors and their families who have been wounded by this terrible scourge, but we must take concrete action to address the systemic problems underlying the problem of sexual abuse in the Church."

President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Renews Commitment for Greater Effectiveness and Transparency in Disciplining Bishops - 8/27/18

August 27, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued the following statement. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “In communion with the Holy Father, I join the Executive Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in taking upon ourselves his exhortation, ‘this open wound [of abuse] challenges us to be firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice.’ “On August 1st, I promised that USCCB would exercise the full extent of its authority, and would advocate before those with greater authority, to pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick.  On August 16th, I called for an Apostolic Visitation, working in concert with a national lay commission granted independent authority, to seek the truth.  Yesterday, I convened our Executive Committee once again, and it reaffirmed the call for a prompt and thorough examination into how the grave moral failings of a brother bishop could have been tolerated for so long and proven no impediment to his advancement. “The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination.  The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past. “I am eager for an audience with the Holy Father to earn his support for our plan of action.  That plan includes more detailed proposals to: seek out these answers, make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier, and improve procedures for resolving complaints against bishops.  Inspired by his recent letter to the people of God, and hismotu proprio of two years ago, As a Loving Mother, I am confident Pope Francis shares our desire for greater effectiveness and transparency in the matter of disciplining bishops. We renew our fraternal affection for the Holy Father in these difficult days. “To the survivors of abuse and the families who have lost a loved one to abuse, I am sorry.  You are no longer alone.  Since 2002, hundreds of professionally trained staff across the country have been working with the Church to support survivors and prevent future abuse.  Nationwide, the Church has a zero-tolerance policy toward priests and deacons who abuse, safe environment training, background checks for those working around children, victim assistance coordinators, prompt reporting to civil authorities, and lay review boards in dioceses. “In other ways, we have failed you.  This is especially true for adults being sexually harassed by those in positions of power, and for any abuse or harassment perpetrated by a bishop.  We will do better. The more she is buffeted by storms, the more I am reminded that the Church’s firm foundation is Jesus Christ.  The failures of men cannot diminish the light of the Gospel.  Lord, by the help of your mercy, show us the way to salvation.” ###

Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following U.S. Bishops’ Announcement on a Plan to Address “Moral Catastrophe” - 8/22/18

For Immediate Release: August 22, 2018 Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement Following U.S. Bishops’ Announcement on a Plan to Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican to Resolve and Address “Moral Catastrophe  On Aug. 16, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, announced a statement detailing initial steps of a plan of action that would involve laity, experts and the Vatican following the recent Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, released Aug. 14, 2018, and the allegations surrounding Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  In November, the full plan is expected to be presented to all U.S. Bishops when they meet for the general assembly in Baltimore. The following is Bishop Knestout’s statement on the groundwork and proposed goals that have been presented:  “First, I offer my deepest regret and sorrow to all who have been hurt and affected by abuse at the hands of clergy and who may be reliving the trauma of abuse as a result of the details that have come out last week. I am greatly aware that apologies are not enough. I join my voice along with many others who are calling for authentic and comprehensive reform in light of the crisis our Church is facing.  Only through action can we make the changes necessary to help our Church.  I fully support the Bishops’ call for a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick.  In addition, I fully support the implementation of steps needed to improve reporting of misconduct and abuse by bishops, and I am also in favor of effective reforms and enhanced procedures to resolve complaints against bishops in a timely, fair and transparent manner.  I remain committed to always ensuring the protection of children within the ministry of the Church of Richmond. While change is urgently needed, the reforms proposed will occur as a result of a process, and its development will require time.  Be assured I will be involved with other bishops and lay advisers in the refinement of that plan as it is presented and through discussions at our conference meeting in November. Here at home, I want you to know that I have read all the messages that have come to my office, and I am aware of your revulsion about what has occurred.  I know your patience has worn thin.  Yet, I ask for your patience and that you give me the opportunity to review and assess the Diocese of Richmond’s policies and records, as well as the reporting and response to claims that are brought forward.  Once I have completed the review and assessment, I will act upon what I learn in a straightforward and transparent way. I respectfully ask you to please keep our Church in your daily prayers – especially victims of abuse.  I also ask you to pray for our priests who serve so nobly and well.  I commend us all to the protection of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.”

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En Español Declaración del Obispo Barry C. Knestout después del anuncio de los Obispos de los Estados Unidos sobre un plan para involucrar laicos, expertos y el Vaticano a resolver y abordar la "catástrofe moral" El 16 de agosto, el presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), el cardenal Daniel N. DiNardo de Galveston-Houston, anunció una declaración detallando los pasos iniciales de un plan de acción que involucrará a laicos, expertos y al Vaticano después del Gran Reporte del Jurado de Pensilvania, publicado el 14 de agosto de 2018, y las acusaciones alrededor del arzobispo Theodore McCarrick. En noviembre, se espera que el plan completo se presente a todos los obispos de los Estados Unidos cuando se reúnan para la asamblea general en Baltimore. Lo siguiente es la declaración del Mons. Knestout sobre las bases y los objetivos propuestas que se han presentado: "Primero, ofrezco mi más profundo pesar y dolor a todos los que han sido heridos y afectados por el abuso de manos del clero y los que pueden estar reviviendo el trauma del abuso como resultado de los detalles que han salido esta última semana. Soy muy consciente de que las disculpas no son suficientes." Uno mi voz a muchos otros que piden una reforma auténtica e integral a la luz de la crisis que enfrenta nuestra Iglesia. Solo a través de la acción podemos hacer los cambios necesarios para ayudar a nuestra Iglesia. Apoyo totalmente el llamado de los obispos para una investigación completa de las cuestiones que rodean al arzobispo McCarrick. Además, apoyo totalmente la implementación de los pasos necesarios para mejorar la presentación de informes de mala conducta y abuso por parte de obispos, y también estoy a favor de reformas efectivas y procedimientos mejorados para resolver quejas contra obispos de manera oportuna, justa y transparente. Sigo comprometido de siempre asegurar la protección de los niños dentro del ministerio de la Iglesia de Richmond. Pese a que urgentemente se necesita un cambio, requerirá un tiempo para que ocurran las reformas propuestas y su desarrollo. Tengan la seguridad de que participaré activamente con los otros obispos y los consejeros laicos en los detalles de ese plan tal como se presenta y por medio de las discusiones en nuestra reunión de la conferencia en noviembre. Aquí en casa, quiero que sepan que he leído todos los mensajes que han llegado a mi oficina, y estoy consciente del horror que sienten sobre lo que ha ocurrido. Sé que su paciencia se ha agotado. Sin embargo, pido su paciencia y que usted me de la oportunidad de revisar y evaluar las políticas y registros de la Diócesis de Richmond, incluyendo la presentación de informes y la respuesta a los reclamos que se presentan. Una vez que haya completado la revisión y evaluación, actuaré de acuerdo a lo aprendido de una manera directa y transparente. Respetuosamente, les pido que guarden nuestra Iglesia en sus oraciones diarias, especialmente a las víctimas de abuso. Yo también les pido que oren por nuestros sacerdotes que sirven noblemente. Los encomiendo a todos bajo la protección de Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción ."

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President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican stating, “Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions,” as U.S. Bishops’ Offer Firm Resolve to Address “Moral Catastrophe” - 8/17/18

August 16, 2018 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement after a series of meetings with members of the USCCB’s Executive Committee and other bishops. The following statement includes three goals and three principles, along with initial steps of a plan that will involve laity, experts, and the Vatican. A more developed plan will be presented to the full body of bishops at their general assembly meeting in Baltimore in November. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Two weeks ago, I shared with you my sadness, anger, and shame over the recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.  Those sentiments continue and are deepened in light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report.  We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report.  Earlier this week, the USCCB Executive Committee met again and established an outline of these necessary changes. The Executive Committee has established three goals: (1) an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; (2) an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and (3) advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints.  These goals will be pursued according to three criteria:  proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity. We have already begun to develop a concrete plan for accomplishing these goals, relying upon consultation with experts, laity, and clergy, as well as the Vatican.  We will present this plan to the full body of bishops in our November meeting.  In addition, I will travel to Rome to present these goals and criteria to the Holy See, and to urge further concrete steps based on them. The overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. Allow me to briefly elaborate on the goals and criteria that we have identified. The first goal is a full investigation of questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick.  These answers are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and so help to protect minors, seminarians, and others who are vulnerable in the future.  We will therefore invite the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to address these questions, in concert with a group of predominantly lay people identified for their expertise by members of the National Review Board and empowered to act. The second goal is to make reporting of abuse and misconduct by bishops easier.  Our 2002 “Statement of Episcopal Commitment” does not make clear what avenue victims themselves should follow in reporting abuse or other sexual misconduct by bishops.  We need to update this document.  We also need to develop and widely promote reliable third-party reporting mechanisms.  Such tools already exist in many dioceses and in the public sector and we are already examining specific options. The third goal is to advocate for better procedures to resolve complaints against bishops.  For example, the canonical procedures that follow a complaint will be studied with an eye toward concrete proposals to make them more prompt, fair, and transparent and to specify what constraints may be imposed on bishops at each stage of that process. We will pursue these goals according to three criteria. The first criterion is genuine independence.  Any mechanism for addressing any complaint against a bishop must be free from bias or undue influence by a bishop.  Our structures must preclude bishops from deterring complaints against them, from hampering their investigation, or from skewing their resolution. The second criterion relates to authority in the Church.  Because only the Pope has authority to discipline or remove bishops, we will assure that our measures will both respect that authority and protect the vulnerable from the abuse of ecclesial power. Our third criterion is substantial involvement of the laity.  Lay people bring expertise in areas of investigation, law enforcement, psychology, and other relevant disciplines, and their presence reinforces our commitment to the first criterion of independence. Finally, I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do.  Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership.  The result was that scores of beloved children of God were abandoned to face an abuse of power alone.  This is a moral catastrophe.  It is also part of this catastrophe that so many faithful priests who are pursuing holiness and serving with integrity are tainted by this failure. We firmly resolve, with the help of God’s grace, never to repeat it. I have no illusions about the degree to which trust in the bishops has been damaged by these past sins and failures.  It will take work to rebuild that trust.  What I have outlined here is only the beginning; other steps will follow.  I will keep you informed of our progress toward these goals. Let me ask you to hold us to all of these resolutions.  Let me also ask you to pray for us, that we will take this time to reflect, repent, and recommit ourselves to holiness of life and to conform our lives even more to Christ, the Good Shepherd.”

Mass of Atonement for Victims of Abuse - 8/15/18

Bishop Knestout will celebrate nine regional Masses of Atonement with the faithful. The Masses begin at 7:30 P.M. at the locations and times provided below except where otherwise noted. All are welcome.
  • Christ the King, Abingdon--Thursday, October 4
  • Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem--Friday, October 5
  • Resurrection, Moneta--Saturday, October 6 **
  • Church of the Redeemer, Mechanicsville--Tuesday, October 9
  • Saint Stephen Martyr, Chesapeake--Thursday, October 11
  • Star of the Sea, Virginia Beach--Friday, October 12
  • Saint Francis of Assisi, Staunton--Thursday, October 18
  • Saint Jerome, Newport News--Tuesday, October 23
  • Saint Joseph, Petersburg--Wednesday, October 24
**This Mass will start at Noon  _______________________________________________________________________________________ If you were unable to be with us for the Mass of Atonement on September 14, you can now view the full mass by clicking here: Mass of Atonement Video _______________________________________________________________________________________

Mass of Atonement

"If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it." (1 Corinthians 12:26) Friday, September 14, at 7:00 p.m., Bishop Knestout will preside at the Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse held on the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The celebration of the Mass is the first of several steps Bishop Knestout is taking in response to the present crisis facing the Church. “Prayer must accompany us through every stage of our actions or responses to the present crisis…” wrote Bishop Knestout in a Pastoral Letter written to the Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Diocese. To read his entire pastoral letter and the the additional steps called for by Bishop, click the link: https://bit.ly/2xb7Y0R As part of the Mass of Atonement, Bishop will remove the symbols of his office and prostrate himself before the cross and altar during the service. The prostration, similar to the prostration at the Good Friday liturgy, signifies contrition, humility, reverence, deep anguish for the suffering Christ, and too, the grief and sorrow of the Church. For more on the Mass, please click on the worship booklet below. If you are unable to join us for The Mass of Atonement at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, you can watch the Mass while it's live streamed here and on our YouTube Channel.                          Worship Aid                                      A Prayer for Healing for Victims of Abuse _______________________________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release: August 15, 2018 I am profoundly aware of the hurt and anger the Catholic faithful and the community at large are feeling in light of the recent report of abuse by Church leadership and now with the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on abuse in the Church. Those revelations further erode trust in Church leaders and in the Church as a whole. I am praying for all who have been abused. Our Church — especially its bishops — must continually seek forgiveness for our failures from those who have suffered as a result of those failures. To open ourselves to the grace we need to overcome this scourge upon our Church, we must prayerfully seek healing and reconciliation with all who have been hurt. As a step in this process, I am inviting the faithful to come and pray with me for all victims of abuse at a Mass of Atonement, Friday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond. We will pray for all victims of abuse, express sorrow for the failure of Church leaders, seek forgiveness for our sins, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the ongoing healing of the People of God. During the seven months I have been bishop, I have asked for a review of the process and procedures currently in place for reporting and responding to all abuse. I am encouraged by the work of our Diocesan Review Board, a committee of lay and clergy members who have assisted our diocese for the last 16 years, in assessing accusations of child abuse and the suitability for ministry of the accused. I am firmly committed, as Bishop of the Richmond Diocese, to addressing accusations of abuse quickly and transparently. Be assured, we will continue to make protection of the most vulnerable a priority in our parishes, schools and throughout our diocese.

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Bishop Barry C. Knestout Statement on Charlottesville: A Year Later - 8/9/18

A year following the violence that took place in Charlottesville as a result of protests and counter-protests, the Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout offers the following statement: "As we draw closer to the weekend and the one-year mark of Aug. 12th which will once again draw national and local attention, I pray that it will not be approached with provocative rhetoric but provide an opportunity for prayer and dialogue about racism, and the action needed to overcome it.” “Racism is a sin. As the U.S. Bishops wrote in 1979 – ‘a sin that divides the human family.’ Prayer -- individually and as a faith community -- is a start in addressing racism and to help heal from the effects of racism, but it cannot be an occasional act and it shouldn’t be confined to one day.” “It is my sincere hope that all remain safe in these coming days and throughout the weekend, and may the Holy Spirit be a source of strength and comfort for the families and friends who continue to mourn the loss of a loved one.” “I pray that during this time when we are challenged by divisions that we commit to praying, listening, learning, thinking and working for peace, justice and an end to racism." “I ask all the faithful of the diocese to join me in asking for the intercession of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of the United States, to pray with me for unity and peace in our communities.”

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You can read more of Bishop Knestout’s reflections in his “Christ Our Hope” column.

En Español: Declaración de Su Excmo. y Rvdmo. Sr. Barry C Knestout sobre Charlottesville: Un año más tarde Un año después de la violencia en Charlottesville debido a las protestas y contra-protestas Mons. Knestout ofrece lo siguiente: “A medida que se acerca el fin de semana y el primer aniversario del 12 de agosto que nos llamará atención local y nacional, ruego que este día no sea una ocasión de retórica provocativa sino una oportunidad para oración y dialogo sobre racismo y la acción necesaria para superarlo.” “El Racismo es un pecado. Como dijeron los obispos de EE. UU. en 1979, ‘es un pecado de divide la familia humana’. La oración – por individuos y por la comunidad de fe- es un comienzo en tratar el problema de racismo, pero no debería ser algo ocasional o solamente un día particular.” “Es mi sincero deseo que todos se quedan seguros en estos días y por todo el fin de semana, y que el Espíritu Santo sea una fuente de fortaleza y consuelo para todas las familias y todos los amigos que lloren la perdida de sus seres queridos.” “Ruego que, en este tiempo en que nos sentimos interpelados por la división, nos comprometamos a orar, escuchar, aprender, pensar, y luchar por la paz, la justica, y el fin de racismo.” “Pido a todos los fieles de la Diócesis de Richmond que se unan conmigo y por la intercesión de Nuestra Sra. de la inmaculada Concepción, Patrona de los Estados Unidos, que oremos por la unidad y la paz en nuestras comunidades.”

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Domestic Justice Chairman Welcomes Change in Catechism Calling for Abolition of the Death Penalty - 8/3/18

August 2, 2018 WASHINGTON—Following the publication of the revised section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church regarding the death penalty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the change and echoed the call to end the death penalty in the United States. The full statement follows: "Today, we welcome the Holy Father’s decision to revise the Catechism and its explanation of the Church’s teaching on the death penalty.  All human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, and the dignity bestowed on them by the Creator cannot be extinguished, even by grave sin, such that all persons, from conception until natural death possess inalienable dignity and value that points to their origin as sons and daughters of God.  The new section in the Catechism is consistent with the statements of Pope Francis’ teaching on the death penalty, including his 2015 address to the U.S. Congress, as well as the statements of his predecessors.  Pope Benedict the XVI urged ‘the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty,’ and Pope St. John Paul II observed that ‘Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this.” “For decades, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has called for the end of the death penalty in the United States.  As the revised Catechism states, “more effective systems of detention…which ensure the due protection of citizens: exist, ones that also maintain the human dignity of all.  It is our hope that today’s announcement will bring new attention to this critical issue, and speed along the end of this practice, which, as Pope Francis has said, in the light of the Gospel, is ‘inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person.’”

President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Issues Statement on Course of Action Responding to Moral Failures of Judgement on the Part of Church Leaders - 8/1/18

August 1, 2018  WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement noting the steps the U.S. Bishops Conference will take in addressing the failures of the Church in protecting the people of God. Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows: “The accusations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick reveal a grievous moral failure within the Church. They cause bishops anger, sadness, and shame; I know they do in me. They compel bishops to ask, as I do, what more could have been done to protect the People of God.  Both the abuses themselves, and the fact that they have remained undisclosed for decades, have caused great harm to people’s lives and represent grave moral failures of judgement on the part of Church leaders. These failures raise serious questions. Why weren’t these allegations of sins against chastity and human dignity disclosed when they were first brought to Church officials? Why wasn’t this egregious situation addressed decades sooner and with justice? What must our seminaries do to protect the freedom to discern a priestly vocation without being subject to misuse of power? Archbishop McCarrick will rightly face the judgement of a canonical process at the Holy See regarding the allegations against him, but there are also steps we should be taking as the Church here in the United States. Having prayed about this, I have convened the USCCB Executive Committee.  This meeting was the first of many among bishops that will extend into our Administrative Committee meeting in September and our General Assembly in November. All of these discussions will be oriented toward discerning the right course of action for the USCCB. This work will take some time but allow me to stress these four points immediately. First, I encourage my brother bishops as they stand ready in our local dioceses to respond with compassion and justice to anyone who has been sexually abused or harassed by anyone in the Church.  We should do whatever we can to accompany them. Second, I would urge anyone who has experienced sexual assault or harassment by anyone in the Church to come forward.  Where the incident may rise to the level of a crime, please also contact local law enforcement. Third, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will pursue the many questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick’s conduct to the full extent of its authority; and where that authority finds its limits, the Conference will advocate with those who do have the authority.  One way or the other, we are determined to find the truth in this matter. Finally, we bishops recognize that a spiritual conversion is needed as we seek to restore the right relationship among us and with the Lord. Our Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality. The way forward must involve learning from past sins. Let us pray for God’s wisdom and strength for renewal as we follow St. Paul’s instruction: ‘Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect’ (Romans 12:2).”

Letter to the Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese - 7/30/18

President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Resignation from College of Cardinals - 7/28/18

President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement on Cardinal Theodore McCarrick Resignation from College of Cardinals July 28, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement upon Pope Francis’s acceptance of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s resignation from the College of Cardinals. Pope Francis has also imposed on Cardinal McCarrick, suspension ad divinis and has directed him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion until the completion of the canonical process. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “I thank the Holy Father for his leadership in taking this important step. It reflects the priority the Holy Father places on the need for protection and care for all our people and the way failures in this area affect the life of the Church in the United States.”

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from College of Cardinals - 7/28/18

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from College of Cardinals  July 28, 2018  WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, from the College of Cardinals. Pope Francis has also imposed on Cardinal McCarrick suspension ad divinis and directs him to observe a life of prayer and penance in seclusion until the completion of the canonical process. The statement of this resignation and these stipulations was publicized in Rome on July 28, 2018.

President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Statement Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Humanae Vitae - 7/25/18

July 25, 2018 WASHINGTON— In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Blessed Paul VI’s papal encyclical, Humanae Vitae, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement. Originally published in 1968, Blessed Paul VI's letter promotes the whole human person in the context of marital love that respects both the spiritual and physical dimensions of man and woman, which is faithful, generous, and life-giving. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “Fifty years ago, today, Blessed Paul VI issued the Encyclical Humanae Vitae. In it, he reaffirmed the beautiful truth that a husband and wife are called to give themselves completely to each other. Marriage reflects the love of God, which is faithful, generous, and life-giving. Through their vocation, spouses cooperate with God by being open to new human life. Blessed Paul VI, who bore the criticism of Humanae Vitae with charity and patience, courageously affirmed that when we love as God designed, we experience true freedom and joy. He has also been proven correct in his warnings about the consequences of ignoring the true meaning of married love. On this anniversary, I encourage all to read and prayerfully reflect upon this Encyclical, and be open to the gift of its timeless truths. We wait in joyful anticipation for the canonization of Paul VI in October.” For more information and resources on Humanae Vitae, please visit www.usccb.org/HV50.

Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Committee on Pro-Life Activities Calls for National Prayer Effort that Every Human Being is Protected in Law and Welcomed in Life - 7/20/18

July 19, 2018 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, Archbishop of New York and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement today inviting all people of good will to join in a prayer campaign that the change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. Cardinal Dolan’s full statement follows: “As soon as Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, pro-abortion groups began lobbying the U.S. Senate to reject any nominee who does not promise to endorse Roe v. Wade. While the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does not support or oppose the confirmation of any presidential nominee, we can and should raise grave concerns about a confirmation process which is being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v. Wade. And we must pray. Each Friday, from August 3 - September 28, 2018, I urge all people of good will to join me in prayer that this change in the U.S. Supreme Court will move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life. The USCCB Call to Prayer network will share prayers and educational resources and an invitation to fast on Fridays for this intention. May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for the healing of our nation and our people from decades of abortion on demand.” Call to Prayer materials will be accessible at http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/take-action-now/call-to-prayer/legal-protection-of-human-life.cfm. Those wishing to join this nine-week prayer effort can sign up at www.usccb.org/pray to participate in this and subsequent Call to Prayer initiatives via email or text message.

U.S. Bishops Approved $1.4 million in Funding for Church in Africa - 7/18/18

July 17, 2018
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has approved 54 grants totaling $1.4 million in funding to support dioceses and pastoral projects across the African continent. Projects slated to receive funding through the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa include the following: ●  In Lesotho, Radio Maria offers Christian educational programs designed to enrich the faith and improve the lives of its listeners. This grant will help Radio Maria to install three new transmitting stations, which will allow their programs to reach the entire Lesotho population. ●  In Ghana, the Diocese of Wa's newly established Child Protection Office seeks to create a new culture where safeguarding children is the responsibility of all. This grant will support the diocese to organize training for the Diocesan and School Child Protection Teams, clergy, religious and pastoral agents. The workshops will convey information and create sensitivity on protection of children and vulnerable adults, promote creation of safe environments for children, offer skill development, and help the diocese develop policies, as well as liaise with government and civil society on child protection. ●  In Rwanda, the Episcopal Conference continues to promote reconciliation and peace education following the genocide. This grant will allow the Conference to translate conflict prevention materials into the local language of Kinyarwanda to be used within Catholic schools across the country. "Through the generous support of the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, the Catholics of the United States show that we stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in Africa and recognize their courageous commitment to peace, justice, reconciliation, and Christian hope throughout the continent," said Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSsR, of Newark, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa. Additional areas of funding include seminarian and religious formation, evangelization, family ministries, and lay leadership training. The Subcommittee on the Church in Africa oversees the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Solidarity Fund, which is a voluntary collection, as pastoral grants to episcopal conferences and their regional associations in Africa. To learn more about the work of the Subcommittee visit www.usccb.org/africa.

Bishop Barry Knestout’s Statement regarding shooting in Annapolis, Maryland - 6/29/18

(Richmond, VA)  Bishop Barry C. Knestout issued the following statement June 29 regarding the shooting in Annapolis, Maryland. “We in the Diocese of Richmond are united in our prayer for the victims of the shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday. We ask our Lord to comfort and give consolation to their families and friends who have lost so much. As Catholics and Christians, we are deeply concerned and pray for an end to violence in our communities.”

Bishop Barry C. Knestout’s Statement regarding reports of abuse at juvenile center - 6/22/18

(Richmond, VA)  Bishop Barry C. Knestout issued the following statement June 22 regarding the reports of abuse at Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton. “We are greatly concerned about reports of abuse of undocumented immigrant teens that may have occurred at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton. “We support Gov. Ralph Northam and Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner in their call for an investigation into the abuse six Latino teens have said, in sworn statements, they endured at the facility between 2015 and 2018. “If the accusations that the teens were stripped, handcuffed, beaten and left in cold cells are true, those responsible for these actions must be held accountable. “Furthermore, the situation is another indication that we are in desperate need of immigration reform — especially our care for and treatment of undocumented immigrants. There is no excuse for inhumane treatment of anyone who comes to our country. “We reiterate the teaching of the Catholic Church: Every person has basic human rights and is entitled to have basic human needs met — food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care. The policies of our government should ensure those rights are respected and those needs are met.”

Reverend Michael Boehling appointed Vicar General - 6/20/18

His Excellency, Bishop Barry C. Knestout, has appointed Reverend Michael G. Boehling, a priest of the Diocese of Richmond, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia effective July 1, 2018. Father Boehling will also continue as Vicar for Vocations. The son of the late Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Beverley Boehling, Father Boehling and his twin brother were born on August 19, 1969.  Along with their five older siblings, they were raised in Roanoke, Virginia, and attended Our Lady of Nazareth parish. Father Boehling graduated from Cave Spring High School in Roanoke and entered Hampden-Sydney College near Farmville. He graduated in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and subsequently worked in sales management for Lucent Technologies for nine years prior to entering priestly formation for the Diocese of Richmond. In the Fall of 2000, Father Boehling entered seminary at Theological College at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  He was ordained a Transitional Deacon at Our Lady of Nazareth parish in May 2005.  Upon completion of his Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree in 2006, Father Boehling was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo on June 10, 2006, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. Since ordination, Father Boehling has served as Parochial Vicar (2006-2007) and as Pastor (2007-2010) of the Cluster Parishes of Portsmouth and Chesapeake: Church of the Holy Angels, Portsmouth; Church of the Resurrection, Portsmouth; Saint Mary, Chesapeake; and Saint Paul, Portsmouth.  On July 1, 2010, he was appointed Vicar for Vocations.  Additionally, on July 1, 2011, he was appointed Vicar for Pastoral Services.  Father Boehling has served on various committees and diocesan advisory bodies including Bishop’s Administrative Advisory Council, Diocesan Priests Council, and the Priest Personnel Board.  In January 2018, Bishop Knestout assigned Father Boehling as Priest Secretary and Master of Ceremonies to the Bishop.   He will continue to serve His Excellency in this capacity until the new assignment begins on July 1, 2018.

USCCB statement from Cardinal DiNardo on Asylum Seekers and Migration - 6/15/18

June 13, 2018 Fort Lauderdale, FL—"At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life. The Attorney General's recent decision elicits deep concern because it potentially strips asylum from many women who lack adequate protection. These vulnerable women will now face return to the extreme dangers of domestic violence in their home country. This decision negates decades of precedents that have provided protection to women fleeing domestic violence. Unless overturned, the decision will erode the capacity of asylum to save lives, particularly in cases that involve asylum seekers who are persecuted by private actors. We urge courts and policy makers to respect and enhance, not erode, the potential of our asylum system to preserve and protect the right to life. Additionally, I join Bishop Joe Vásquez, Chairman of USCCB's Committee on Migration, in condemning the continued use of family separation at the U.S./Mexico border as an implementation of the Administration's zero tolerance policy. Our government has the discretion in our laws to ensure that young children are not separated from their parents and exposed to irreparable harm and trauma. Families are the foundational element of our society and they must be able to stay together. While protecting our borders is important, we can and must do better as a government, and as a society, to find other ways to ensure that safety. Separating babies from their mothers is not the answer and is immoral."

Monsignor Mark Lane to Retire - 6/14/18

The Very Reverend Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, will retire on July 1, 2018.  A faithful priest of the Diocese for 44 years, Msgr. Lane will continue to live and work in the area while retired from his administrative roles. Born on May 19, 1947, in Manhattan, New York, Msgr. Lane was educated at St. Bridget Elementary School and Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended St. Mary Seminary in Catonsville, Maryland, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 1970. Msgr. Lane attended St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated with a Masters in Sacred Theology in 1974. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Walter Sullivan on May 4, 1974, at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Virginia.  In 1977, he received a Masters in Church Administration from Catholic University of America. He attended Andover-Newton Theological School where he received a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Psychotherapy in 1987. Msgr. Lane has served in the following parishes: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond (1974-76); Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Salem (1981-82); St. Ann, Ashland (1983-84). Msgr. Lane worked as Secretary to Bishop Walter Sullivan (1974-1976) and Secretary to the Diocesan Tribunal in Richmond (1974-1976). He was Vice Officialis (1977-1980), and founder of the Tidewater Tribunal. He also had a private counseling practice for many years in Richmond, Virginia, while assisting in local Richmond parishes and the University of Richmond campus ministry. On June 7, 2004, Msgr. Lane was named Vicar for Clergy of the Diocese of Richmond and began the new program for permanent deacon formation and organized the Permanent Deacon Council. Msgr. Lane also served on the Bishop’s Administrative Advisory Council, as a member of the Council of Priests, and as member of the Priest Personnel Committee and the Mental Health Team and on the Diocesan Review Board and the Priest Retirement Committee. He was appointed Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI on April 19, 2008. On November 8, 2011, Msgr. Lane was named Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. After the death of Bishop DiLorenzo, Msgr. Lane served as Diocesan Administrator from August 22, 2017, until the Installation of Bishop Barry Knestout as the 13th Bishop of Richmond on January 12, 2018. Bishop Knestout re-appointed Msgr. Lane as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.

Priest Assignments 2018 - 6/12/18

The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, has announced the following appointments, effective July 11, 2018, unless otherwise noted: Pastoral Center Administration Msgr. Mark Richard Lane from Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia to Retired Status, effective July 1, 2018. Father Michael Boehling from Vicar for Vocations and Priest Secretary to Bishop Knestout to Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, and continuing as Vicar for Vocations, effective July 1, 2018. Father Sean Prince from Pastor of Immaculate Conception, Hampton, and Director for the Office of Worship to Priest Secretary to Bishop Knestout and continuing as Director for the Office of Worship.   Pastors Father Wayne Ball, J.C.L. from full time in the Tribunal, to Pastor and Moderator of St. Augustine, Richmond, and continuing working in the Tribunal.  Father John A. Grace from Chaplain at Siena Heights University, Adrian Campus, Michigan, to Pastor of Immaculate Conception, Hampton.  Father Daniel Malingumu from Pastor of Church of the Ascension and Administrator of St. Matthew, Virginia Beach, to remaining Pastor of Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach.  Father Steve McNally from Pastor of Sacred Heart, Covington; St. Joseph, Clifton Forge; Church of the Transfiguration, Fincastle; and St. John the Evangelist, New Castle, to continuing his role as Pastor of Church of the Transfiguration, Fincastle, and St. John the Evangelist, New Castle.  Father Marlon Portillo-Muñoz from Pastor of St. Augustine, Richmond, to Pastor in solidum of St. Augustine, Richmond.   Administrators Father James Arsenault from Parochial Vicar at St. Elizabeth, Richmond, to Administrator of St. Elizabeth, Richmond. Father Joseph Goldsmith from Parochial Vicar and Chaplain at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Newport News, to Administrator of St. John Nepomucene, Dinwiddie; St. James the Greater, Hopewell; and Church of the Sacred Heart, Prince George County. Father G. Leoval Coquia Guadalupe from Chaplain at Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach, to Administrator of Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach. Father Christopher Hess from Pastor of Sacred Heart, Prince George County; St. John Nepomucene, Dinwiddie; and St. James the Greater, Hopewell, to Administrator of St. Anne, Bristol; St. Bernard, Gate City; and St. Patrick, Dungannon. Father Augustine Kalule Lukenge from Parochial Vicar at St. Catherine of Siena, Clarksville, to Administrator of the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Hot Spring; Sacred Heart, Covington; and St. Joseph, Clifton Forge. Father Stephen Opoku-Boaheng from Chaplain at St. Matthew, Virginia Beach, to Administrator of St. Matthew, Virginia Beach. Msgr. Raphael Peprah from Administrator of St. Luke, Virginia Beach, and Administrator of Church of the Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach, to remaining Administrator of St. Luke, Virginia Beach.   Parochial Vicars Father Eric Baffour Asamoah from Administrator of St. Anne in Bristol, to Parochial Vicar at St. Catherine of Siena, Clarksville; St. Paschal Baylon, South Boston; and Good Shepherd, South Hill. Father John R. Baab, ordained on June 2, Parochial Vicar at Church of the Ascension, Virginia Beach, effective June 2, 2018. Father James P. O’Reilly, ordained on June 2, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Nazareth Parish in Roanoke, effective June 2, 2018. Father Nicholas E. Redmond, ordained on June 2, Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Newport News, effective June 2, 2018.   Retired Father Tom Collins from Parochial Vicar at Sacred Heart, Covington; St. Joseph, Clifton Forge; and Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Hot Springs, to Retired Status, to live in residence and to help Sacred Heart, Covington; St. Joseph, Clifton Forge; and Shrine of the Sacred Heart, Hot Springs.  

USCCB Chairmen Applaud Supreme Court’s Respect for Religious Liberty in Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision - 6/5/18

June 4, 2018 WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The case involves a Christian baker named Jack Phillips who declined in 2012 to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex ceremony. State officials sought to compel Phillips to create such cakes under Colorado’s public accommodations law. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of Phillips under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., of Philadelphia, Chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following joint statement: “Today’s decision confirms that people of faith should not suffer discrimination on account of their deeply held religious beliefs, but instead should be respected by government officials. This extends to creative professionals, such as Jack Phillips, who seek to serve the Lord in every aspect of their daily lives. In a pluralistic society like ours, true tolerance allows people with different viewpoints to be free to live out their beliefs, even if those beliefs are unpopular with the government.” The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief supporting Masterpiece Cakeshop, which can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/16-111-tsac-USCCB.pdf.

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Urges Administration to Keep Families Together - 6/1/18

June 1, 2018 WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security has recently acknowledged implementation of the policy. . . of separating families arriving at the U.S./Mexico Border. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued the following statement in response: "Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. 'Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.' (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God. Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically-proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting: a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families. My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns. Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system."

Bishop Knestout speaks about New Evangelization on ‘The 700 Club’ - 5/31/18

Bishop Barry Knestout appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network TV program, “The 700 Club” Thursday, May 31, with host, Christian broadcaster, Dr. Pat Robertson. Bishop Barry C. Knestout was a guest of Dr. Pat Robertson on “The 700 Club,” Thursday, May 31, on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Bishop Knestout and Dr. Robertson spoke about the New Evangelization proposed by Blessed Pope Paul VI, and promoted by St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. The bishop noted all of those popes had the same message. “The first work of the Church is to evangelize; that’s the heart of the work of the Church — to get out and to express that Good News. It’s the disciples’ words: ‘We have seen the Lord and he has risen from the dead’ —to be able to express that to the world around us because it’s the new life that is offered to all who encounter that, to overcome sin and all who encounter the damage done by sin in the world around us,” the bishop said. Bishop Knestout said the New Evangelization was returning to the roots of the Church. “We are revisiting how it was done in the early Church, how we are bringing to bear on how we express the faith and live the faith,” he said. Bishop Knestout continued, “Pope Francis is really encouraging us — all of us — to manifest the faith, to be witnesses of the faith, to bring an expression of the encounter we have had with the Lord — a very personal encounter. We are called to go out and give the Good News.” The bishop noted why it is important to witness the faith. “People will listen to witnesses more than teachers,” he said. “They’ll listen to teachers if they’re good witnesses of the faith.” In answer to Dr. Robertson’s final question regarding the Charismatic Renewal and that impact it had upon Bishop Knestout’s dad, the bishop said, “He was transformed by that. He had a great experience of the faith, and that was an inspiration for me in my vocation.” You can watch here.

President of U.S. Bishops Conference Responds to Santa Fe High School Shooting - 5/18/18

May 18, 2018 Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement in the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting: “Our community and our local church joins an ever-growing list of those impacted by the evil of gun violence. I extend my heartfelt prayers, along with my brother bishops, for all of those who have died, their families and friends, those who were injured, and for our local community. Sadly, I must yet again point out the obvious brokenness in our culture and society, such that children who went to school this morning to learn and teachers who went to inspire them will not come home. We as a nation must, here and now, say definitively: no more death! Our Lord is the Lord of life. May He be with us in our sorrow and show us how to honor the precious gift of life and live in peace.”  

2018 Seminarian Parish Assignments - 5/15/18

Continuing Pastoral Year Assignments Anthony Ferguson - Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport News, Fr. John David Ramsey Julio Reyes - Saint Francis, Amherst and Saint Mary, Lovingston, Fr. Carlos Lerma Pastoral Year Assignments Phil Decker - Saint Joseph, Petersburg, Fr. Brian Capuano Tom Lawrence - Saint Mary, Blacksburg, Fr. John Asare John Minnich - Saint Bede, Williamsburg, Msgr. Tim Keeney Kevin Riedel - Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Newport News, Fr. John David Ramsey Summer Parish Assignments Tochi Iwuji - Farmville Cluster, Fr. Stefan Migac Chris Masla - Saint John the Apostle, Virginia Beach, Fr. Rob Cole Dan Molochko - Epiphany, Richmond, Fr. John Kazibwe Kyle O'Connor - Cathedral, Richmond, Msgr. Patrick Golden Cassidy Stinson - Richmond Cluster, Fr. Gino Rossi Marton Lonart - Sacred Heart, Danville, Fr. Jonathan Goertz Dillon Bruce - Saint Andrew, Roanoke, Fr. Kevin Segerblom Armando Herrera - Military Service with Archdiocese for the Military Services Alex Jimenez - Holy Trinity, Norfolk, Fr. Dan Beeman Joseph Kauflin - Blessed Sacrament, Harrisonburg, Fr. Silvio Kaberia Patrick Walsh - Saint Ann, Colonial Heights, Fr. Danny Cogut Luke Fitzgerald - Holy Rosary, Richmond, Fr. David Stanfill William Buckley - Holy Family, Virginia Beach, Fr. Eric Ayers Chris Weyer - Saint Francis of Assisi, Staunton, Fr. Joseph Wamala David Arellano - Saint Francis of Assisi, Rocky Mount - College Intern, Fr. Mark White William Douglas - Holy Trinity, Norfolk - College Intern, Fr. Dan Beeman Andrew Clark - Holy Family, Virginia Beach - College Intern, Fr. Eric Ayers Gregory Guifoyle - College Seminarian Home for the Summer Robert Kincaid - College Seminarian Home for the Summer Samuel Hill - College Seminarian Home for the Summer    

Statement from His Excellency, The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, on the Death of Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley - 4/18/18

Richmond, Va. – The following is a statement from The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, Bishop of Richmond, where Bishop Emeritus David E. Foley served as Auxiliary Bishop from 1986-1994 before his appointment as Bishop of the Diocese of Birmingham. “I met Bishop Foley a number of years ago when he served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington. I was a teenager during the same years that my father was Director of the Office of the Permanent Diaconate in the Archdiocese of Washington. Since that time, I had met or encountered him on numerous occasions in my capacity as Vicar General and later Auxiliary Bishop in Washington. I remember Bishop Foley as a man of great kindness and gentle disposition. Yet, I know he also provided pastoral care as Auxiliary Bishop here in the Diocese of Richmond and later as the Bishop of Birmingham with a firm and competent hand. It is with sorrow that I heard of his passing and join with all the clergy, religious, and people of the Diocese of Richmond, in our common hope in the Resurrection, offering the assurance of prayers, to Bishop Foley’s family, friends and to the people of the Church of Birmingham.”

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Pope Francis releases Apostolic Exhortation: Rejoice and Be Glad - 4/9/18

President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Welcomes Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on Holiness in the Contemporary World; Rejoice and Be Glad April 9, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is welcoming the release of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, “Gaudete et Exsultate” (Rejoice and Be Glad), subtitled “On the Call to Holiness in the Contemporary World.” In his statement, Cardinal DiNardo expresses his deep gratitude to the Holy Father for the exhortation and the call for each Christian to “acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be.” In the introduction to the exhortation, the Pope emphasizes that the goal of his exhortation is to “repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.” An apostolic exhortation is considered the second-highest form of papal teaching after an encyclical letter. Since his election, Pope Francis has issued two other exhortations: “Evangelii Gaudium” (Joy of the Gospel) in 2013 and “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) in 2016. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement on “Gaudete et Exsultate” follows: “I want to personally express my deep gratitude to the Holy Father for his powerful, straightforward words in Gaudete et Exsultate. In this exhortation, Pope Francis is very clear – he is doing his duty as the Vicar of Christ, by strongly urging each and every Christian to freely, and without any qualifications, acknowledge and be open to what God wants them to be – that is ‘to be holy, as He is holy’ (1 Pet 1:15). The mission entrusted to each of us in the waters of baptism was simple – by God’s grace and power, we are called to become saints. ‘Do not be afraid of holiness (no. 32).’ These words of the Holy Father jumped out at me when I first read them. In a way, each one of us has a fear of striving for holiness – a fear that we would be mocked, ignored, or even hated by others because we would stand out. Yet that is what the Lord has called each and every person to! Pope Francis calls us out: A Christian cannot think of his or her mission on earth without seeing it as a path of holiness, for ‘this is the will of God, your sanctification (I Thess 4:3) (no. 19).’ The Holy Father describes how holiness comes through the daily struggles each of us face. In the ordinary course of each day, the Pope reminds us, ‘We need to recognize and combat our aggressive and selfish inclinations, and not let them take root’ (no. 114). Yet, he says, this ‘battle is sweet, for it allows us to rejoice each time the Lord triumphs in our lives’ (no. 158). One paragraph in particular points out the continuing need we have for civility in all our interactions, especially in the media. ‘Christians too,’ the Holy Father writes, ‘can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication.’ This can be true even in Catholic media (no. 115). Even in our heated disagreements with one another, we always need to remember that it is God who judges, not man (James 4:12).’ In the light of Easter joy, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, I encourage every Christian to rekindle their baptismal call to be holy by reading this wonderful exhortation by Pope Francis, especially the beautiful section on the Beatitudes. Through an exploration of the Beatitudes, and by offering examples of how to live out our call to holiness in everyday life, the Holy Father has given us a wonderful tool for renewing our love for God and for each other.” The USCCB has made the exhortation available for order online at http://store.usccb.org/rejoice-and-be-glad-p/7-599.htm. The Vatican has also posted the exhortation online at http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20180319_gaudete-et-exsultate.html.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Join in Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Church Bell Tolls; April 4 - 4/3/18

April 3, 2018 WASHINGTON—On April 4th at 7:05 pm (EDT), the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will join in solidarity with the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by tolling the Shrine’s bells 39 times to honor the number of years Dr. King lived on earth. At that time, the USCCB and the Shrine will join with numerous other churches and schools across the nation tolling bells in homage to Dr. King’s legacy and his many contributions including the principle of non-violent resistance. The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism. April 4th also marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.  The bells in honor of his life will initially ring first at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and The King Center, located in Atlanta, at 6:01pm (CDT). Bells will then chime in the City of Memphis at 6:03 p.m. (CDT), and then nationally at 6:05 p.m. (CDT), and internationally at 6:07 p.m. (CDT). The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will also broadcast the tolling of the bells live from the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/usccb/. The King Center has also planned a series of events to mark this historic year with the theme MLK50 Forward: Together We win with Love for Humanity. For more information on The King Center’s events please visit www.MLK50Forward.org.

Holy Week 2018 - 3/23/18

Join His Excellency, Bishop Barry Knestout, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart during Holy Week. Begins March 25th with Palm Sunday, also called Passion Sunday. Chrism Mass is March 26th at 6:00 pm Holy Thursday, March 29th at 7 pm, we remember the Lord's Last Supper and Institution of the Eucharist. Good Friday, March 30th at 7 pm, we remember the Passion and Death of Our Lord. Easter Vigil, March 31st at 8 pm, we welcome hundreds of new members into the life of our Church. Easter Sunday, April 1st at 11 am, we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior. May you have a blessed Holy Week. To find a parish near you and the times for these sacred liturgies, search here.  

Home Missions Grant Application Deadline is May 11, 2018 - 3/23/18

Dear Pastors, Senior Pastoral Associates and Administrators: The Diocese of Richmond has grant funds available from its Home Mission Program, funded by the annual collection for Home Missions and the Annual Appeal. These funds are available to mission parishes (a list of these parishes can be found on the diocesan website under the Propagation of the Faith). Other small parishes (small parishes are those with ordinary income of less than $250,000) may apply. Mission parishes will be given priority. Grant funds are limited for use to making repairs and minor capital expenditures. Grants normally do not exceed $10,000. Parishes applying are expected to participate in the cost to the extent of 20% of the total project cost. It is suggested that you contact the Office of the Director of Real Estate at the Diocese for any assistance and guidance on the project. In order to be considered for a grant, the grant application on the Diocesan Website under Propagation of the Faith, Documents) must be fully completed and submitted by May 11, 2018 to the Office of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith. Please note:  Grant eligibility does not guarantee the receipt of funds, but rather that you are eligible to apply.  Actual funding will be based on need, use, and total grant funds available.  Funding depends on the number of applications received. Grant awards will be announced by June 15, 2018 with funding to recipients available by the first week of July 2018. If you have any questions, please call Deacon Bob Griffin at 804-622-5258 or email: bgriffin@richmonddiocese.org.  

U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Chairmen Deeply Disappointed by Congress’ Failure to Enact the Conscience Protection Act - 3/22/18

March 22, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, reacted with deep disappointment to the news that a very modest but critical piece of legislation—the Conscience Protection Act—was not included in the 2018 appropriations bill just released by Congress. The full statement follows: “The failure of Congress to include the Conscience Protection Act in the 2018 omnibus appropriations bill is deeply disappointing. The CPA is an extraordinarily modest bill that proposes almost no change to existing conscience protection laws on abortion—laws that receive wide public and bi-partisan support. The CPA simply proposes to provide victims of discrimination with the ability to defend their rights in court to help ensure that no one is forced to participate in abortion. Those inside and outside of Congress who worked to defeat the CPA have placed themselves squarely into the category of extremists who insist that all Americans must be forced to participate in the violent act of abortion. We call on Congress not to give up until this critical legislation is enacted.”

Chrism Mass Invitation - 3/20/18

March 20, 2018 Dear friends in Christ: I am pleased to invite you to attend the annual Chrism Mass on Monday, March 26th at 6:00 p.m. in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  This invitation is extended to all the Clergy, Parishioners, the Elect, Confirmation Candidates, and Sponsors. The annual Chrism Mass is a unique opportunity for priests to gather in unity with the bishop to publicly witness and renew their vocation to priesthood.  The Chrism Mass also provides an opportunity to catechize the lay faithful about the use and effects of the Holy Oils and Chrism in the Sacramental life of the Catholic Church.  I encourage you to make every effort to attend. You are also welcome to enjoy an informal Open House including a self-guided tour of the Cathedral and the Museum of Virginia Catholic History beginning at 3:00 p.m. Following the 6 o’clock Mass, there will be light refreshments in the Virginia Commonwealth University, Shafer Dining Hall, located on the North side of the Cathedral. I look forward to celebrating the Chrism Mass with all of you.  May God bless you and those you love with every good gift. Sincerely in Christ, Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout Bishop of Richmond

Deacon Marshall Banks Funeral Arrangements - 3/15/18

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Marshall Banks who died on March 11th. A permanent deacon of the Diocese of Richmond for 15 years, Deacon Banks served at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart until his retirement in 2015. Funeral arrangements are as follows: At the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart​ 18 N. Laurel Street, Richmond, VA Visitation on Friday, March 23, at 4:00 PM Prayer Vigil on Friday, March 23 at 7:00 PM Funeral Mass on Saturday, March 24 at 11:00 AM Reception to follow at Bliley's, 3801 Augusta Avenue, Richmond, VA Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen. See Facebook post here.

USCCB Chairmen Call Faithful to Prayer and Action - 3/6/18

Chairmen Call Faithful to Prayer and Action Urging Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act March 6, 2018 WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB's Committee for Religious Liberty urge the faithful to flood Congress with emails and calls asking for enactment of the Conscience Protection Act as part of the 2018 funding bill and to pray for this outcome. Congress is currently considering whether to include the Conscience Protection Act in must-pass government funding legislation, and a decision on the Conscience Protection Act's inclusion will be made prior to March 23, 2018. The joint statement follows: "Increasing and fierce attacks on conscience rights regarding abortion cry out for an immediate remedy. Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participating in abortions or leaving health care altogether. Churches and pro-life Americans are being forced to provide coverage for elective abortions—including late-term abortions—in their health care plans. Opponents and supporters of abortion should be able to agree that no one should be forced to participate in abortion. Congress must remedy this problem by enacting the Conscience Protection Act now as part of the FY 2018 funding bill. We call on all the faithful to pray and to act by emailing and calling Congress in the coming week especially on Monday, March 12 with the message that enacting the Conscience Protection Act is urgently needed to protect Americans from being forced to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life. Your calls and emails to your Members of Congress really do make a difference, so please act now to protect conscience rights!" Members of Congress can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking to be connected with your representative or senator. Or you can email and call your Members of Congress quickly and easily at . . . https://www.humanlifeaction.org/take-action?vvsrc=/campaigns/49865/respond. . . . The USCCB has also created a video. . . available on its YouTube channel and Facebook.com/USCCB. For additional information and videos featuring nurses who were forced by their employers to choose between their jobs and participating in abortions go to www.usccb.org/conscience.   Presidentes llaman a fieles a la oración y la acción para instar al Congreso a promulgar Ley de Protección de la Conciencia  6 de marzo de 2018 WASHINGTON—El cardenal Timothy M. Dolan de Nueva York, presidente del Comité de Actividades Pro-Vida de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), y el arzobispo Joseph E. Kurtz de Louisville, presidente del Comité para la Libertad Religiosa de la USCCB, instan a los fieles a inundar el Congreso con correos electrónicos y llamadas pidiendo la promulgación de la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia como parte del proyecto de ley de financiamiento 2018 y orar por este resultado. El Congreso está actualmente considerando la posibilidad de incluir la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia en la legislación de financiamiento obligatorio del gobierno, y se tomará una decisión sobre la inclusión de la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia antes del 23 de marzo de 2018. La declaración conjunta sigue a continuación: “Los crecientes y feroces ataques contra los derechos de conciencia en relación con el aborto claman por un remedio inmediato. Las enfermeras y otros proveedores e instituciones de atención médica están siendo obligados a elegir entre participar en abortos o abandonar por completo la atención médica. Las iglesias y los estadounidenses pro-vida están siendo obligados a proporcionar cobertura para abortos electivos, incluidos abortos tardíos, en sus planes de atención médica. Los opositores y partidarios del aborto deben ponerse de acuerdo en que nadie debe ser obligado a participar en un aborto. El Congreso debe remediar este problema promulgando ahora la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia como parte del proyecto de ley de financiamiento del año fiscal 2018.   Pedimos a todos los fieles que oren y actúen enviando correos electrónicos y llamando al Congreso durante la próxima semana, especialmente el lunes 12 de marzo, con el mensaje de que es urgente promulgar la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia para proteger a los estadounidenses de ser obligados a violar sus convicciones más profundas sobre el respeto por la vida humana. Sus llamadas y correos electrónicos a sus miembros del Congreso realmente marcan la diferencia, ¡así que actúen ahora para proteger los derechos de conciencia!” Los miembros del Congreso pueden ser contactados llamando a la central telefónica del Capitolio de los Estados Unidos al (202) 224-3121 y solicitando ser puesto en comunicación con su representante o senador. O bien puede enviar un correo electrónico y llamar a sus miembros del Congreso de manera rápida y sencilla desde www.bit.ly/support-cpa. La USCCB también ha creado un video disponible en su canal de YouTube y Facebook.com/USCCB. Para obtener información adicional y videos con enfermeras que fueron obligadas por sus empleadores a elegir entre sus trabajos y participar en abortos, visite www.usccb.org/conscience.

Annual Catholic Relief Services Collection to Be Held on March 11 - 3/5/18

Collection Supports International Relief and Solidarity Efforts WASHINGTON—The annual Catholic Relief Services Collection will be held in many dioceses across the country on Sunday, March 11. The Catholic Relief Services Collection supports Catholic organizations that carry out international relief and solidarity efforts. Programs include relief and resettlement for victims of persecution, war, and natural disasters; development projects to improve living conditions for the poor; legal and support services for poor immigrants; peace and reconciliation work for people suffering from violence; and advocacy on behalf of the powerless. "Christ is standing at the door of our hearts, knocking, seeking relief from pain and suffering around the world. He comes to us bearing the disguise of vulnerable immigrants and refugees, the poor and marginalized, the sick and lonely. The Catholic Relief Services Collection is an opportunity to respond and comfort Christ as we see him in our brothers and sisters," said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Alabama, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on National Collections. "This collection represents our community of faith at work in the world, saving souls and improving lives." Entities within the USCCB that receive support include the Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church, the Department of Justice Peace and Human Development, and the Department of Migration and Refugee Services. Other Catholic organizations that receive funds are Catholic Relief Services. . . , Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.. . . , and the Holy Father's Relief Fund. The USCCB Administrative Committee is responsible for grant-making from this national collection. More information about The Catholic Relief Services Collection is available at www.usccb.org/catholic-relief. Resources for the collection can be found at: www.usccb.org/catholic-relief/collection.

National Call-in Day for the Protection of Dreamers, Feb. 26 - 2/24/18

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with USCCB vice-president, Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, chairman, USCCB Committee on Migration, have issued a call to U.S. Catholics and people of good will across the nation to take part in a "Call-in-Day" on February 26 for the Protection of Dreamers. With the March 5th deadline looming, we ask once again that Members of Congress show the leadership necessary to find a just and humane solution for these young people, who daily face mounting anxiety and uncertainty. Therefore, the bishops are asking individuals to contact their Members of Congress to urge them to:
  • Protect Dreamers from deportation
  • To provide them a path to citizenship
  • And, to avoid any damage to existing protections for families and unaccompanied minors in the process
To take part in the Call-In-Day to Protect Dreamers, please contact your Members of Congress by calling 855-589-5698 and visiting https://justiceforimmigrants.org/what-we-are-working-on/immigration/daca-resource-page/ (English and Spanish downloads are available). The USCCB has also created a series of videos available on its YouTube channel and Facebook.com/USCCB. For more information on how you can further support Dreamers, please visit https://justiceforimmigrants.org/ and https://www.sharejourney.org/. . . .

On the Death of the Rev. Billy Graham - 2/22/18

U.S. Catholic Bishops Chairman of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Offers Condolences on the Death of the Rev. Billy Graham February 21, 2018 WASHINGTON—His Excellency, Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement on receiving the news of the Rev. Billy Graham's death: "Headlines today will describe Billy Graham as the preacher to millions and the advisor of presidents but first and foremost, he was a man of deep Christian faith. Committed to the Gospel, his personal witness and preaching of Jesus Christ touched the hearts of Americans spanning many generations. In a particular way, Catholics feel the loss of one of the greatest pastors of our time. His ecumenical approach in ministry helped to forge bonds of friendship and understanding between Catholics and Protestants. He reminded us that what we had in common in Christ was greater than what divided us. We pray for God to comfort his family and we join Christians throughout the nation and the world who pray today with blessed assurance, 'Well done, good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your master!'" (Matt 25:23)

Reaction to Shooting at Florida High School from Bishop Conference President - 2/15/18

WASHINGTON—Following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called for prayer and healing. The full statement is as follows: "We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Broward County, Florida, and by the needless and tragic loss of life. May the mercy of God comfort the grieving families and sustain the wounded in their healing. Catholics and many other Christians have begun the journey of Lent today. I encourage us to unite our prayers and sacrifices for the healing and consolation of all those who have been affected by violence in these last weeks and for a conversion of heart, that our communities and nation will be marked by peace. I pray also for unity in seeking to build toward a society with fewer tragedies caused by senseless gun violence. Our hope is in the Lord, as he promised after his resurrection, 'behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age' (Mt. 28:20)."

Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Calls Senate Failure to Pass Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “Appalling” - 1/30/18

January 29, 2018 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities called the Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act “appalling”. The bill proposes to ban abortions starting at 20 weeks after fertilization. “The U.S. Senate’s failure to adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, is appalling. Abortions performed in the second half of pregnancy usually involve brutally dismembering a defenseless unborn child, while also posing serious dangers to his or her mother. The Senate’s rejection of this common-sense legislation is radically out of step with most Americans. Opinion polls consistently show that a strong majority of the public opposes late-term abortions—including those who self-identify as ‘pro-choice’. Furthermore, the United States is currently one of only seven countries that allows abortions beyond 20-weeks. The other six are North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and the Netherlands. The Senate must rethink its extreme stance on late-term abortions. I call upon the public to tell the Senate that this vote is absolutely unacceptable.” --- Keywords:  U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36), U.S. House of Representatives, Congress, abortion, late-term abortion, viability, Roe v. Wade, fetal organ harvesting, civil rights, pro-life, 20-week abortion ban   ###   Media Contact: Judy Keane 202-541-3200   18-022 Sec,DD,DP,DioNews,CathPress,CNS

Pope Francis releases 2018 World Communications Day message - 1/30/18

Pope Francis on Wednesday released his message for World Communications Day, which is held annually on the Sunday before Pentecost, falling this year on 13 May 2018. Read his message here.

World Day for Consecrated Life, February 2 - 1/29/18

WASHINGTON—As the Catholic Church prepares to celebrate the World Day for Consecrated Life, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV) is releasing the results of a survey taken of the most recent Profession Class of 2017 conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). The survey results have been released to coincide with the annual celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life, which will be celebrated in the Church on Friday, February 2, 2018 and in parishes on the weekend of February 3-4, 2018. Commenting on the World Day for Consecrated Life, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark and Chair of the USCCB's Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations states: "For twenty-one years, the Church has designated the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, Candlemas Day, as an appropriate moment to thank God for the gift of consecrated life. Jesus is manifest as 'light of revelation for the Gentiles' and 'glory for God's people, Israel.' Consecrated men and women reflect this light as witnesses of Jesus in a world that is often shrouded in shadow. They are the glory of God's people. We pray for the perseverance of consecrated men and women and ask God to continue enriching the Church with their unique vocation." The survey polled women and men religious who professed perpetual vows in 2017 in a religious congregation, province, or monastery based in the U.S. CARA received a response from 600 of 768 major superiors for an overall response rate of 78 percent among religious institutes. Of these 216 identified women and men religious, a total of 100 sisters and nuns and 51 brothers and priests responded to the survey. These 51 men may include some brothers who intend to pursue studies leading to priestly ordination. This represents a response rate of 73 percent of the 208 potential members of the Profession Class of 2017 that were reported to CARA by major superiors. Some of the major findings of the report are:
  • Nearly nine in ten or 86 percent of responding religious regularly participated in some type of private prayer activity before they entered their religious institute. About two-thirds participated in Eucharistic Adoration, prayed the rosary, or attended retreats before entering. Nearly six in ten participated in spiritual direction before entering.
  • Most religious did not report that educational debt delayed their application for entrance to their institute. Among the 4 percent who did report having educational debt, however, they averaged about 4 years of delay while they paid down an average of $29,100 in educational debt.
  • The average age of responding religious is 41. Half of the responding religious are age 36 or younger. The youngest is 24 and the oldest is 86.
  • Two-thirds of responding religious (64 percent) identify as white, more than one in six (18 percent) identifies as Asian, and more than one in ten (11 percent) identifies as Hispanic.
  • Most responding religious (67 percent) were born in the U.S. Of those born outside the United States, the most common country of origin is Vietnam.
  • Among those identifying as Hispanic/Latino almost six in ten (62 percent) are foreign born. Those identifying as Asian/Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian seven in ten are predominantly foreign born. Nearly all identifying as Caucasian/White (94 percent) are U.S. born.
  • One-half of responding religious attended a Catholic elementary school, more than four in ten (44 percent) attended a Catholic high school, and a near equal proportion (43 percent) attended a Catholic college before entering their religious institute.
  • On average, responding religious report that they were 19 years old when they first considered a vocation to religious life, but half were 18 or younger when they first did so.
  • Nearly nine in ten (87 percent) responding religious report that someone encouraged them to consider a vocation to religious life.
  • Over four in ten reports that a parish priest (43 percent) encouraged their vocation.
  • Half say they were encouraged to consider a vocation by a religious sister or brother. Women religious were more likely than men religious to do so.
  • Over four in ten (41 percent) report that they were encouraged to consider a vocation by their friends.
The entire survey and press release, General Intercessions and a bulletin quote for the World Day for Consecrated Life, as well as more information on the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations can be found at www.usccb.org/consecratedlife.

Catholic Schools Week 2018, January 28-February 3 - 1/26/18

WASHINGTON—National Catholic Schools Week 2018 (CSW) will be observed in dioceses around the country January 28–February 3. This year's theme, "Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.," focuses on the important spiritual, academic and societal contributions provided by a Catholic education. As Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Ohio, chairman of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education said, "Catholic schools provide an invaluable service to young people, their families, and our nation by helping to form women and men with the sharp intellects, broad perspectives and big hearts who bring their best to communities near and far. Jesus Christ came to change hearts and to serve – one person at a time – and so Catholic schools invite students to encounter Christ, to be changed by Him, and love God by serving others with all of their heart, mind, soul and strength." One way Catholic school students have been challenged to "learn, serve, lead and succeed" this academic year has been through the National Catholic Educational Association's (NCEA) "Student to Student" campaign. In August, NCEA began a national campaign that invited Catholic school families to donate at least $1 toward the "Student to Student: A Catholic School Response to Hurricane Harvey" campaign to help those Catholic school communities hardest hit by the events in the United States, the Caribbean and U.S. territories. The campaign was eventually renamed "Student to Student: A Catholic School Response to Hurricane Relief 2017" to include those that followed Harvey and the wildfires in the west. As of last month, 826 Catholic schools from across the country donated more than $600,000 to this solidarity effort. 300 students at Lumen Christi High School in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, for example, put on a taco lunch and raised more than $900. NCEA has begun the process of disbursing funds to Catholic arch/dioceses affected by recent natural disasters, beginning with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Nearly 1.9 million students are currently educated in 6,429 Catholic schools in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities around the country. Students receive an education that prepares them for higher education, a competitive work environment, and most importantly, living a Christian life of virtue in a challenging society. "Since their founding in our country, Catholic schools have provided a well-rounded education to disadvantaged families, new arrivals to America and to all who seek a seat in our schools. We have always sought to welcome families of all backgrounds while maintaining our principles and teaching in a spirit of charity," Bishop Murry said. The observance of CSW began in 1974. Schools and parishes around the country will hold activities such as Masses, open houses, and pot luck gatherings to celebrate the communities they represent. The week also highlights the educational and community successes of Catholic schools nationwide. Ninety nine percent of students graduate from high school and 86 percent of Catholic school graduates attend college.  This percentage has been consistent over the past 20 years. More information on the Committee on Catholic Education and other resources are available online: www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/catholic-education/ and www.NCEA.org/csw. . . . Catholic Schools Week can also be followed on Twitter @USCCBCatholicEd, @NCEATalk, and throughout social media via #CSW18.

The Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout Announces Clergy Appointments - 1/18/18

Richmond, VA - His Excellency, the Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, Bishop of Richmond, announced the following clergy appointments, for a term of six months, effective immediately: Very Reverend Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. Reverend Timothy M. Kuhneman, Episcopal Vicar for the Clergy. Reverend Monsignor R. Francis Muench, Judicial Vicar, Chancellor, Episcopal Vicar for the Central Vicariate. Reverend Monsignor Walter Barrett, Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate. Reverend Kevin Segerblom, Episcopal Vicar for the Western Vicariate. Reverend Michael G. Boehling, Priest-Secretary and Master of Ceremonies, and Episcopal Vicar for Vocations. Reverend W. Daniel Beeman, Episcopal Vicar Catholic Schools' Mission and Identity. Reverend Brian W. Capuano, Associate Director and Promoter of Vocations, and continuing as Pastor of Saint Joseph in Petersburg.

Diocese of Richmond in Compliance with Child Protection Charter - 1/16/18

2017 Independent Audit Determines Catholic Diocese of Richmond Remains in Compliance with Child Protection Charter (RICHMOND) – The Catholic Diocese of Richmond has received word from an independent auditor that the diocese remains in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The diocese participates in the audit process annually. Monsignor Mark Richard Lane, Diocesan Administrator, received notice of compliance in a Dec. 13, 2017, letter from Stonebridge Business Partners, Rochester, N.Y., which conducts the yearly audits for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office of Child and Youth Protection. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People is a comprehensive set of procedures established by the USCCB in 2002 for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy. The Charter also includes guidelines for reconciliation, healing, accountability, and prevention of future acts of abuse. Data related to the diocese’s child protection program, called Safe Environment, are gathered and audited every year, followed by an extensive onsite audit every third year. The data includes statistics about background screening and VIRTUS training of clergy, employees and volunteers who regularly work with minors and the vulnerable. It also tracks assistance provided to victims, as well as any new allegations and subsequent investigation. Among the statistics tracked through the Safe Environment program are:
  • Since October 2004, the Diocese has held 2,790 child protection training sessions, known as VIRTUS, Protecting God’s Children for Adults. In 2017, there were 280 training sessions.
  • Some 53,880 individuals have participated and 195 facilitators have been trained to lead a VIRTUS training session.
  • During the July 1, 2016– June 30, 2017 audit period, the diocese reported 30,512 active participants in the Safe Environment program. Participants are considered active if they attend VIRTUS and are up-to-date on background screening. Participants include all clergy, parish and school employees as well as volunteers who work with minors and the vulnerable.
For more information about the diocese’s Safe Environment Program, visit the Catholic Diocese of Richmond website at https://richmonddiocese.org/child_protection_virtus/.

National Prayer Vigil for Life - 1/16/18

National Prayer Vigil for Life in Nation’s Capital, January 18-19; Plenary Indulgence May be Obtained by Those Taking Part in “Sacred Celebrations” Surrounding March for Life

January 12, 2018
WASHINGTON—The National Prayer Vigil for Life will be held from Thursday afternoon, January 18 to Friday morning, January 19, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Over 20,000 pilgrims from around the nation will pray there for an end to abortion before the annual March for Life. The Vigil marks the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions legalizing abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Since those decisions, over 58 million abortions have been performed legally in the United States. The principal celebrant and homilist at the Vigil Opening Mass will be Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities. His fellow cardinals and many of the nation's bishops and priests will concelebrate with him in the Basilica's Great Upper Church from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Vigil continues overnight in the Crypt Church with confessions, a National Rosary for Life, Byzantine Rite Night Prayer, and Holy Hours led by seminarians from across the country from 11 p.m.- 6 a.m. "This year, pilgrims have been given a special spiritual gift. A plenary indulgence. . . may be obtained under the usual conditions by participating in the National Prayer Vigil for Life or the other sacred celebrations surrounding the March for Life," said Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for pro-life communications at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). For those seeking Sacramental Reconciliation while on site, confessions will be heard in the Our Lady of Hostyn Chapel of the Crypt Church over the course of nine hours before and after the Opening Mass. See www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/national-prayer-vigil-for-life-schedule.cfm for additional details. "We also invite all the faithful nationwide to be in solidarity with the bishops during their annual pro-life novena, 9 Days for Life, from January 18-26," McQuade continued. "May our prayers, combined with acts of love, help build a culture that cherishes every human life." On the day of the March for Life, Friday, January 19, the Basilica will once again host Eucharistic Adoration in the Crypt Church at 6:00 a.m., with Morning Prayer/Benediction following at 6:30. The Vigil's Closing Mass will take place at 7:30 a.m. in the Great Upper Church, with Bishop Edward Burns of Dallas as principal celebrant and homilist. The National Prayer Vigil for Life is co-sponsored by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and The Catholic University of America. Media are welcome to attend the Opening Mass and interview pilgrims throughout the 14-hour Vigil. Media should check in at the Basilica's Great Upper Church sacristy and present press credentials to Jacquelyn Hayes or a designated Basilica press representative to receive a press pass. Advance registration is preferred. Footage from the Mass may also be obtained by satellite feed courtesy of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). For coordinates, or to register, contact Jacquelyn Hayes, director of communications for the Basilica, at 202-281-0615 or jmh@bnsic.org. For more details on the overnight National Prayer Vigil for Life and some of the other pro-life events in the Washington, DC area, visit www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events. To join -- and help spread the word about -- 9 Days for Life, visit www.9daysforlife.com.

A Message from U.S.C.C.B. President During National Migration Week, January 7-13 - 1/8/18

January 5, 2018 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), offers a National Migration Week message to the nation with special gratitude for the gift of immigrants and refugees. Cardinal DiNardo's statement as follows: "On Sunday, the Catholic Church across the United States will celebrate the beginning of National Migration Week. For nearly 50 years, this week has been a time of prayer and reflection on our history as a migrant Church and nation. In these five decades, the face of the immigrant may have changed – European, Asian, South American, and elsewhere -- but their faces reveal a common desire to secure the great blessings of American opportunity. Pope Francis, in his statement on the World Day of Peace on January 1, 2018, advises us that if we view the situation of migrants and refugees through the wisdom of our faith 'we discover that they do not arrive empty-handed. They bring their courage, skills, energy and aspirations, as well as the treasures of their own cultures; and in this way, they enrich the lives of the nations that receive them.' This week, I invite everyone to reflect on the Holy Father's words as well as on your own family's immigration story. Please also join me in prayer for all families, as together, we 'Share the Journey. . . ' toward a better life."

Regional Mass Schedule - 12/21/17

Pope Francis Names Washington Auxiliary Bishop to Lead Richmond Diocese - 12/5/17

RICHMOND, Va. – Within hours of being announced as the 13th Bishop for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, the Most Reverend Barry C. Knestout, 55, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, celebrated Mass with Pastoral Center staff for the first time in the diocese he will soon oversee. Earlier, he held a press conference where he was introduced to staff and media.

“I thank our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for his trust in naming me Bishop of Richmond. I am honored to serve the Church in Richmond, which has a long and revered history of faith, and I will be blessed to serve the faithful across the beautiful and richly diverse Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Bishop-designate Knestout. “For 197 years the diocese has been led by men of happy memory who served with faith-filled wisdom and skill. I recognize especially Bishop Frank DiLorenzo, may God rest him, who served this diocese with devotion, steadfastness and a pastor’s heart.”

Bishop-designate Knestout succeeds the Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo, 12th Bishop of Richmond, who died Aug. 17, 2017, at the age of 75.   Background A native of Maryland, Bishop-designate Barry Knestout, was born in Cheverly, MD, and ordained a priest in 1989 after completing his seminary studies at Mount St. Mary’s. He was named Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1999, and ordained an auxiliary bishop December 29, 2008 in the Archdiocese of Washington. Bishop-designate Knestout will take possession of the Diocese of Richmond during a Mass of Installation which is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2018, at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond. For more information about the newly named Richmond bishop and to watch the complete video of the press conference, go to www.richmonddiocese.org/livestream. The Diocese of Richmond spans 33,000 square miles and 74 counties across the central and southern portion of Virginia, stretching from the Eastern Shore to Southwest Virginia, and as far north as Harrisonburg in the Shenandoah Valley.

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Download PDF Press Release Here

Please Pray for Rev. Gerard Creedon - 11/17/17

Rev. Gerard Creedon died on November 16, 2017. He was a priest of the Diocese of Richmond until the establishment of the Diocese of Arlington in 1974. Please pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace. You can read more about Father Creedon here: http://catholicherald.com/News/Local_News/Fr__Gerard_Creedon_dies_at_73/  

Pope Francis Prays for People of Iraq and Iran - 11/13/17

Vatican City - In the two messages signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, Pope Francis says he "was deeply saddened" by news of the 7.3-magnitude earthquake which struck the border region between Iran and Iraq.   Message - Iraq: His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the severe earthquake which has struck Iraq, and he assures all affected by this tragedy of his prayerful solidarity.  In expressing his sorrow to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones, he offers his prayers for the deceased and commends them to the mercy of the Almighty.  Upon the injured and the emergency and civil authorities engaged in rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength. Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State Message to Iran: His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened to learn of the severe earthquake which has struck Iran, and he assures all affected by this tragedy of his prayerful solidarity.  In expressing his sorrow to all who mourn the loss of their loved ones, he offers his prayers for the deceased and commends them to the mercy of the Almighty.  Upon the injured and the emergency and civil authorities engaged in rescue and recovery efforts, His Holiness invokes the divine blessings of consolation and strength. Cardinal Pietro Parolin Secretary of State (from Vatican Radio)

President of USCCB Responds to Mass Shooting in Texas - 11/6/17

  WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to the mass shooting during a church service in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows: "Earlier today, we heard of the mass shooting at the Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.  With Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, I extend my prayers and the prayers of my brother bishops for the victims, the families, the first responders, our Baptist brothers and sisters, indeed the whole community of Sutherland Springs. We stand in unity with you in this time of terrible tragedy—as you stand on holy ground, ground marred today by horrific violence. We ask the Lord for healing of those injured, His loving care of those who have died and the consolation of their families. This incomprehensibly tragic event joins an ever-growing list of mass shootings, some of which were also at Churches while people were worshipping and at prayer.  We must come to the firm determination that there is a fundamental problem in our society. A Culture of Life cannot tolerate, and must prevent, senseless gun violence in all its forms. May the Lord, who Himself is Peace, send us His Spirit of charity and nonviolence to nurture His peace among us all."

Statement on the Emerging Crisis in Puerto Rico - 11/3/17

WASHINGTON—In a November 2 statement, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Paul D. Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, called on Catholics and people of good will across the United States to remember those who continue to suffer in Puerto Rico and surrounding islands in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. 

 

The full statement follows:

 

“Since the immediate statements of His Eminence Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, USCCB President, in response to the initial impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, it has become clear that the people of Puerto Rico face an unprecedented level of need as a result of those devastating storms. Meaningful action must address both the immediate and long-term needs of the Puerto Rican population. The Island is in the midst of a public health crisis, and food security, health care access, and sustainable alleviation of the island's debt are challenges that must be resolved in a comprehensive way. These will require great effort and significant contributions of financial resources and material assistance.

 

In addition, the people of other islands in this region, including the United States Virgin Islands, also face dramatic consequences to their economies, which are predicated on an active tourist industry. The enormous and adverse impact of the storms for the livelihood of the Virgin Islands is evident.

 

In addition to these human costs, the Church in Puerto Rico’s physical plant, including parish buildings and schools, has been grievously damaged by the hurricanes. As the Archbishop of San Juan noted, virtually every church structure on the island has been affected by these storms. This need is particularly compelling considering the central role that parishes perform as natural centers in providing pastoral outreach to impacted individuals and families in times of crisis. Aid and financial resources are necessary to restore the physical settings where the Church heals through its ministries those most desperately in need.

 

The people of Puerto Rico have been facing serious problems for many years: economic upheaval and scarcity, persistent joblessness, and other social problems resulting from the financial crisis gripping the Commonwealth's economy. They bear little responsibility for the island's financial situation yet have suffered most of the consequences. Now, the recent devastation has made the circumstances, especially for those in need, unbearable.

 

As pastors, we share in the suffering borne by our brother bishops and the people they shepherd in Puerto Rico. We stand ready, through legislative advocacy as well as by means of the emergency funds set up in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, to support with compassion our brothers and sisters in such dire need. We urgently beseech all Catholics in the United States to join with all people of good will in supporting these crucial initiatives at this critical point in time for the people of Puerto Rico.”

 

Most Rev. Frank J. Dewane                                       Most Rev. Paul D. Etienne

Bishop of Venice                                                        Archbishop of Anchorage

Chairman,                                                                   Chairman,

Committee on Domestic Justice                                 Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions

and Human Development

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Father Pham Thuy - 10/19/17

Reverend Pham Q. Thuy, a retired priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, died on Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the age of 81. Father Thuy was born on July 10, 1936, in Hanoi, Vietnam. He was educated at Puginier Elementary School in Hanoi, and Mossard High School in Saigon.  He graduated from Hue University and attended Corpus Christi Seminary, graduating in 1973. Father Thuy was ordained to the priesthood on February 18, 1973 in Melbourne, Australia. He did his post-graduate studies at Fordham University in New York City, New York. Father Thuy was incardinated into the Diocese of Richmond by Bishop Walter F. Sullivan on January 1, 1996. A faithful priest of the Diocese of Richmond for 21 years, Father Thuy served in the following parishes: Saint John, Highland Springs (1986-1989); Our Lady of Lourdes, Richmond (1989-1990); Our Lady of Lavang, Norfolk (1990-1995) and Saint Edward the Confessor, Richmond (2002-2003). The following is information regarding visitation and funeral Mass for Father Thuy: Visitation is scheduled for Friday, October 20th, 5:00 to 10:00 pm at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, 3445 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA  23456 The funeral Mass will be held at 10:00 am, on Saturday, October 21st at Our Lady of Lavang – Vietnam Catholic Church,   409 Campostella Road,  Norfolk VA 23533. Please remember Father Thuy and his family in your prayers.

USCCB Calls for Prayer for those Impacted by California Wildfires - 10/12/17

October 12, 2017

WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, asked for prayers for favorable weather and assistance for those impacted by devastating fires raging through Northern California.

Bishop Dewane’s full statement follows:

“Do not fear: I am with you;

do not be anxious: I am your God.

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.”

– Isaiah 41:10

 

Today we ask for the intercession of Almighty God as wildfires rage in Northern California. Already, these blazes have killed over 20 people, destroyed hundreds of houses and other buildings, and forced thousands of individuals to leave their homes and livelihoods behind in uncertainty. High winds and dry conditions have greatly increased the danger for the people in this region.

 

As brave men and women respond to these disasters, battling the fires and helping people to safety, we call upon God for improved weather, for the blessing of rain and favorable winds, to assist them.  We pray that those who are missing or are still in harm’s way will be found and protected. May God grant eternal rest to those who have died, and bring them into glory with him forever.

 

We pray, too, for generosity, care, and concern from neighbors and surrounding communities for those who are grieving and displaced. Though we may be weary from all that has taken place around the country in recent days, we know that God cannot be outdone in generosity and charity.  May he provide us with new wellsprings of love to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters who are hurting so deeply today.

Funeral Arrangements for Deacon Scarletto - 10/12/17

Diocesan Administrator Very Reverend Monsignor Mark Richard Lane Statement on Las Vegas Shooting - 10/2/17

We mourn for all who lost their lives or were injured in the horrific actions that took place in Las Vegas. We lift our voices in prayer on this Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels whom we ask to watch over us, to guide us, and bring consolation to all who are grieving. We pray for the victims, their families and the repose of their souls. Let the holy angels be with us and bring us comfort during these uncertain times.   Guardian Angel Prayer: Angel of God, my guardian dear, To whom God's love commits me here, Ever this day, be at my side, To light and guard, Rule and guide. Amen.

Diocesan Administrator Announces Special Collection for Hurricane Irma victims - 9/18/17

September 18, 2017 Richmond, VA - Diocesan Administrator, the Very Rev. Monsignor Mark Richard Lane has asked parishes across the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to take up a special collection to help in the relief efforts following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Irma. “In the past week, we have watched as another hurricane, Hurricane Irma, devastated islands in the Caribbean, and then the southeastern United States. Again, the emergency response was immediate, but we know that the recovery will take a long time,” said Msgr. Lane. “I ask that you take up an emergency collection to support humanitarian aid, and to assist with long-term efforts to restore communities after this widespread destruction.” “I am aware that this request comes right after the emergency collection for Hurricane Harvey. That storm caused catastrophic damage and compelled us to respond, but Hurricane Irma has been devastating also, and our brothers and sisters need our help.” “We send our heartfelt prayers to all affected by this disaster and we stand in solidarity with them.” Parishes are encouraged to take up a special collection on or near the weekend of September 24th. The funds collected in this one-time special appeal for Hurricane Irma Relief will support Church relief agencies as they provide humanitarian aid in the form of water, food, shelter, and medical care, as well as long-term efforts to restore communities after widespread destruction, and the USCCB for pastoral and reconstruction aid to the Church in the Caribbean and the United States.  

USCCB Statement in Wake of Hurricanes; Encourage Prayers and Support - 9/13/17

September 12, 2017

 

WASHINGTON—In the wake of two devastating hurricanes in just two weeks, the Executive Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released the following statement:

 

“With lives and livelihoods still at risk in Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands and throughout the Caribbean, we pray for the safety and care of human life in the wake of two catastrophic hurricanes. The massive scale of the dual disasters and the effect it has on communities, families and individuals cannot be fully comprehended or adequately addressed in the immediate aftermath of the storms.

 

At this time of initial recovery, we mourn the loss of life, homes and other property, and the harm to the natural environment, and we pray for all those affected and in need of assistance. We also pray for the safety of, and in thanksgiving for, the first responders who are risking their lives at this very moment in care for their neighbors, especially those who are elderly, sick, homeless, or otherwise already in need of special assistance.

 

We share Pope Francis’ trust that the Catholic faithful here in the United States will respond to the needs presented by these disasters with a ‘vast outpouring of solidarity and mutual aid in the best traditions of the nation.' We encourage the faithful to respond generously with prayers, financial support, and for those who have the opportunity, the volunteering of time and talents in support of those in need.”

 

For more information on how you can help, please go to:  http://www.usccb.org/catholic-giving/opportunities-for-giving/emergency-collections-and-disaster-relief.cfm

Diocesan Administrator Calls for Special Collection for Victims of Hurricane Harvey - 8/29/17

On Monday, Aug. 28, 2017, Diocesan Administrator, the Very Rev. Monsignor Mark Richard Lane has asked parishes across the Catholic Diocese of Richmond to take up a special collection to help in the relief efforts following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The USCCB has also requested dioceses consider taking up a special collection to support humanitarian and recovery efforts. “The images coming from Texas and the surrounding areas are heartbreaking as the full extent of the catastrophic floodwaters and its effects become clear," said Msgr. Lane. “As the storm continues to cause problems, we send our heartfelt prayers to all affected by this disaster and we stand in solidarity with them.” As a result, parishes are encouraged to take up a special collection on or near the weekend of September 10th. The proceeds of this collection will be sent to Catholic Charities USA to aid in the disaster relief efforts. The organization is already spearheading efforts to provide support and care to help those most in need. Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) is headquartered in Alexandria, VA, and is the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church. To find out more about Catholic Charities USA, visit www.catholiccharitiesusa.org.

Photo Gallery of Bishop DiLorenzo - 8/23/17

View the Funeral Mass recording on our YouTube Channel.

Gallery Photo Credit: Billy Nguyen

Monsignor Mark R. Lane Elected Diocesan Administrator for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond - 8/22/17

(Richmond, Va.) - After prayerful consideration, the College of Consultors for the Catholic Diocese of Richmond convened Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, and elected Msgr. Mark Lane to serve as Diocesan Administrator, as required by Canon Law following the death of Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. Mgsr. Lane immediately assumes his duties as Diocesan Administrator and will lead the Catholic Diocese of Richmond until the Holy Father, Pope Francis, appoints a new bishop. During this transition, Mgsr. Lane will be assisted in the governance of the Diocese by the College of Consultors. Msgr. Mark Lane, a member of the clergy of the Diocese for 44 years was ordained a priest at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond by Bishop Walter Sullivan. He holds ecclesiastical degrees from Saint Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore and the Catholic University of America. In addition, he has a Doctorate in Pastoral Psychotherapy. He was appointed Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI on 19 April 2008 and previously served as Vicar of Clergy for 11 years, prior to his appointment by Bishop DiLorenzo as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in 2011. The Diocese continues to ask for the Holy Spirit to guide the Church. We especially ask for prayers for Monsignor Lane and for the repose of the soul of Bishop DiLorenzo who will be entombed at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Friday, Aug. 25.

Background on the Role of the College of Consultors The College of Consultors in the Diocese of Richmond is comprised of nine priests specifically appointed by the bishop who serve five year terms and advise the bishop on important matters for the Diocese.

The Passing of Francis X. DiLorenzo, 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond - 8/18/17

The Most Rev. Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, the 12th Bishop of Richmond, died Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond. Cause of death was heart and kidney failure. He was 75. “Today, the priests, deacons, religious and lay people of the Diocese of Richmond mourn the loss of our shepherd, who led the Diocese with wisdom and humility for 13 years,” said Msgr. Mark Richard Lane. “Bishop DiLorenzo had a profound understanding and faith in the Eucharistic sacrifice of our Lord, which sees past the Cross and into eternal life with our Savior. With that same faith and hope, we look forward to our happy reunion.” Funeral arrangements will follow shortly. In March 2004, Pope John Paul II named Bishop DiLorenzo – who was then the shepherd of the Diocese of Honolulu – the Bishop of Richmond. He was installed May 24, 2004. His episcopal motto was “Christ Our Hope.” A moral theologian and a lover of history, Bishop DiLorenzo was known for his humility, his booming voice – which frequently broke into song – and his concern for those less fortunate, which he addressed especially through his interest in Catholic schools and lay Catholic formation. Bishop DiLorenzo was a native of Philadelphia, PA. He was the oldest of three children born to Samuel and Anita Porrino DiLorenzo. He is survived by his sister, Anita Lawler, of Cape May, New Jersey, and brother Paul DiLorenzo, of Philadelphia, and close family friend, Sister Janice Johnson, Allentown, Pennsylvania. During his tenure, vocations to the priesthood were a high priority. By the time of his death he had ordained 22 men to the priesthood. Enrollment in seminary had increased two-and-a-half-fold, from nine men enrolled in seminary to 31. He is widely credited with saving Catholic schools in the Diocese with the formation of the McMahon Parater Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen schools by providing scholarships and financial assistance, as well as professional development. In addition to Catholic schools, he encouraged education of lay Catholics, and under his leadership founded the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute to better equip parish leaders to teach the faith to children and adults. In 2014, he launched the Diocese’s first-ever capital campaign, Living Our Mission, which raised $105 million to strengthen parishes, support clergy, advance the mission of spreading the Gospel, and develop the future Church. In 2004, with Bishop (now emeritus) Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington, he established the Virginia Catholic Conference to represent the bishops and their dioceses on public policy issues in Richmond, and, with the United States Catholic Conference, in Washington, D.C. A graduate of St. Callistus School and St. Thomas More High School, he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol on May 18, 1968. He served in the Archdiocese in pastoral and educational assignments from 1968 to 1971. Bishop DiLorenzo was sent to Rome where he earned a license in sacred theology from the Academia Alphonsiana and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Returning to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop DiLorenzo was chaplain and instructor in theology at St. Pius X High School, Pottstown, and later was appointed chaplain and associate professor of moral theology at Immaculata College. In 1983, he was honored with the title Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, before returning to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as vice rector, and later, rector. He also was a member of the Archdiocesan Committee and a Prosynodal Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal. He was named a member of the Papal Household and received the title Prelate of Honor of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. On January 26, 1988, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Tigia and Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and ordained to the episcopacy on March 8, 1988. Five years later Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu and he was installed Bishop on Oct. 4, 1994. During his administration, Bishop DiLorenzo was nominated by the Pope as a participant in the 1998 Synod of Bishops for Asia. He encouraged more collaboration between Asian and U.S. bishops to serve the growing needs of Catholic Asian immigrants in the United States. He was a member of the USCCB’s Administrative Committee and chairman of the Committee on Science and Human Values where he inaugurated a series of popular teaching brochures, reflecting the bishops’ consultations with top scientists on the relationship of science and religion and ethical issues in the rapidly growing fields of genetic testing and genetic screening. Earlier he served the USCCB committee on doctrine and the ad hoc committee on bishops’ life and ministry.  

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  Download PDF of Statement Here.

Funeral Arrangements - 8/18/17

Thursday, Aug. 24 at 3:00 p.m. Rite of Reception Followed by Visitation Evening Vespers at 7pm The Cathedral will open and the Bishop will lie in repose for vigil throughout the night on Thursday. The doors will remain open until 9:00 a.m. on Friday and reopen at 10:00 a.m. Friday, August 25th at 11:00 a.m. Funeral Mass followed by entombment in the Cathedral Crypt The Funeral Mass for Bishop DiLorenzo was livestreamed and the recording is now available to watch on our YouTube Channel. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/2inuPkH   Seating: Seating in the Cathedral will be extremely limited and open on a first come, first serve basis particularly for the Funeral Mass on Friday. Once the Cathedral has reached seating capacity, no additional guests will be able to enter. If you are unable to attend in person, you are encouraged to watch the Funeral Mass online.  

The Passing of Francis X. DiLorenzo, 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond

The Most Rev. Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, the 12th Bishop of Richmond, died Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond. Cause of death was heart and kidney failure. He was 75. “Today, the priests, deacons, religious and lay people of the Diocese of Richmond mourn the loss of our shepherd, who led the Diocese with wisdom and humility for 13 years,” said Msgr. Mark Richard Lane. “Bishop DiLorenzo had a profound understanding and faith in the Eucharistic sacrifice of our Lord, which sees past the Cross and into eternal life with our Savior. With that same faith and hope, we look forward to our happy reunion.” In March 2004, Pope John Paul II named Bishop DiLorenzo – who was then the shepherd of the Diocese of Honolulu – the Bishop of Richmond. He was installed May 24, 2004. His episcopal motto was “Christ Our Hope.” A moral theologian and a lover of history, Bishop DiLorenzo was known for his humility, his booming voice – which frequently broke into song – and his concern for those less fortunate, which he addressed especially through his interest in Catholic schools and lay Catholic formation. Bishop DiLorenzo was a native of Philadelphia, PA. He was the oldest of three children born to Samuel and Anita Porrino DiLorenzo. He is survived by his sister, Anita Lawler, of Cape May, New Jersey, and brother Paul DiLorenzo, of Philadelphia, and close family friend, Sister Janice Johnson, Allentown, Pennsylvania. During his tenure, vocations to the priesthood were a high priority. By the time of his death he had ordained 22 men to the priesthood. Enrollment in seminary had increased two-and-a-half-fold, from nine men enrolled in seminary to 31. He is widely credited with saving Catholic schools in the Diocese with the formation of the McMahon Parater Foundation, whose mission is to strengthen schools by providing scholarships and financial assistance, as well as professional development. In addition to Catholic schools, he encouraged education of lay Catholics, and under his leadership founded the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Institute to better equip parish leaders to teach the faith to children and adults. In 2014, he launched the Diocese’s first-ever capital campaign, Living Our Mission, which raised $105 million to strengthen parishes, support clergy, advance the mission of spreading the Gospel, and develop the future Church. In 2004, with Bishop (now emeritus) Paul S. Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington, he established the Virginia Catholic Conference to represent the bishops and their dioceses on public policy issues in Richmond, and, with the United States Catholic Conference, in Washington, D.C. A graduate of St. Callistus School and St. Thomas More High School, he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol on May 18, 1968. He served in the Archdiocese in pastoral and educational assignments from 1968 to 1971. Bishop DiLorenzo was sent to Rome where he earned a license in sacred theology from the Academia Alphonsiana and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum). Returning to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop DiLorenzo was chaplain and instructor in theology at St. Pius X High School, Pottstown, and later was appointed chaplain and associate professor of moral theology at Immaculata College. In 1983, he was honored with the title Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, before returning to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary as vice rector, and later, rector. He also was a member of the Archdiocesan Committee and a Prosynodal Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal. He was named a member of the Papal Household and received the title Prelate of Honor of His Holiness Pope John Paul II. On January 26, 1988, he was appointed Titular Bishop of Tigia and Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and ordained to the episcopacy on March 8, 1988. Five years later Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Honolulu and he was installed Bishop on Oct. 4, 1994. During his administration, Bishop DiLorenzo was nominated by the Pope as a participant in the 1998 Synod of Bishops for Asia. He encouraged more collaboration between Asian and U.S. bishops to serve the growing needs of Catholic Asian immigrants in the United States. He was a member of the USCCB’s Administrative Committee and chairman of the Committee on Science and Human Values where he inaugurated a series of popular teaching brochures, reflecting the bishops’ consultations with top scientists on the relationship of science and religion and ethical issues in the rapidly growing fields of genetic testing and genetic screening. Earlier he served the USCCB committee on doctrine and the ad hoc committee on bishops’ life and ministry.   ###   Download PDF of Statement Here.

A statement from Monsignor Mark Lane on the Passing of Bishop DiLorenzo - 8/18/17

“With great sadness, I announce The Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond, died at St. Mary’s Hospital, late last night. He was 75. He was a faithful servant of the Church for 49 years and a Shepherd of the Diocese of Richmond for 13 years. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Bishop DiLorenzo, for his family and friends, and for the people of the Diocese of Richmond. More information will follow. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.” Translation……………………………………………………………… Una declaración por parte de Mons. Mark Lane, Diócesis de Richmond, sobre el fallecimiento del obispo Mons. Francis X. DiLorenzo: “Con gran tristeza, les anuncio que su Excelencia Reverendísima Monseñor Francis X. DiLorenso, obispo de Richmond, murió en el hospital de St. Mary, esta noche pasada a sus 75 años. Él ha sido un siervo fiel de la Iglesia por 49 años y un Pastor de la diócesis de Richmond por 13 años.” Por favor, recen por el eterno descanso del alma de su Excelencia Mons. DiLorenzo, por su familia y amigos, y por todas las personas de la diócesis de Richmond. Más información será dada más adelante. Concédele Señor a él el descanso eterno, y brille tú luz perpetua sobre él.”

Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo Statement on Events Occurring in Charlottesville - 8/12/17

(Richmond, Va.)  – Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo issued the following statement on the actions taking place in Charlottesville: “In the last 24 hours, hatred and violence have been on display in the City of Charlottesville. I earnestly pray for peace. I invoke the prayer of St. Francis who prayed “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon.”  I pray that those men and women on both sides can talk and seek solutions to their differences respectfully. The love of Jesus Christ is the most powerful weapon against hatred. Only the light of Christ can quench the torches of hatred and violence.  Let us pray for peace.”

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  Download PDF Statement Here

Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America Awards nearly $6 Million - 7/31/17

Projects Include Pro-Life Centers, Hurricane Matthew Affected Areas July 31, 2017 WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America awarded nearly $4 million in funding in the form of 244 grants to support the pastoral work of the Church in Latin America and the Caribbean, and nearly $2 million in funding for continued reconstruction in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The grants were approved at the Subcommittee's meeting on June 12 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Projects that received funding include:
  • Argentina, GRAVIDA—Centro de Asistencia a la Vida Naciente: This network of diocesan centers in Argentina works to promote, care for, and defend life from the moment of conception and promotes the dignity of parenting. These centers are located in 21 dioceses across the country and care for pregnant women at risk of having an abortion as well as with men to help them understand the value of fatherhood. The centers provide education and formation about the dignity of human life and conduct solidarity and awareness campaigns.
  • Haiti, Catechetical Formation: This project will provide formation for 400 pastoral agents from four parishes that were impacted by Hurricane Matthew. The formation will be centered around the theme of the Christian family, and will take place over the course of three days. Seminars, workshops and group discussions will be facilitated, along with opportunities for prayer and daily Mass.
In addition, the first grant to help rebuild churches on the western part of Haiti after Hurricane Matthew was approved. More of these requests will be considered at future meetings of the Subcommittee. "I am continually inspired by all of those who support the Collection for the Church in Latin America," said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America. "The generosity of Catholics across the United States makes a difference in the lives of countless people in Latin America and the Caribbean. This generosity reflects the love and compassion of God. I can see this especially in the response we received to help the victims of Hurricane Matthew. With that help, we not only fund pastoral projects, but help rebuild churches in some dioceses of Haiti." Other areas of funding include lay leadership training, seminarian and religious formation, prison ministry, and youth ministry. Grants are funded by the annual Collection for the Church in Latin America, taken in many dioceses across the U.S. on the fourth Sunday in January. The grants to Haiti are funded by the Special Collection for Haiti, which occurred after the 2010 earthquake. These reconstruction efforts are managed through the Partnership for Church Reconstruction in Haiti (PROCHE). The Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. It allocates revenue received from the Collection for the Church in Latin America as grants across Latin America and the Caribbean.  More information about the Collection for the Church in Latin America and the many grants it funds, as well as resources to promote it across the country, can be found at www.usccb.org/latin-america.  

USCCB Chairman Mourns for Migrants Involved in Texas Tragedy - 7/25/17

WASHINGTON—Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, has issued the following statement on San Antonio law enforcement’s identification of a tractor trailer containing 39 people, including ten individuals who died due to heat exposure and asphyxiation.

Full statement follows:

My brother bishops and I are heartbroken by the news coming from San Antonio regarding individuals found dead in a crowded and overheated tractor trailer. I also note our continued concern and prayers for the several other individuals identified, including school-aged children, who are reported to have life-threatening injuries. The loss of lives is tragic and avoidable. We condemn this terrible human exploitation that occurred and continues to happen in our country. In a moment such as this, we reflect upon the words of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, “The defense of human beings knows no barriers: we are all united wanting to ensure a dignified life for every man, woman and child who is forced to abandon his or her own land.”

We together mourn for the lives lost and offer our prayers for these individuals and their families.

Pope Names Bishop Zarama as Bishop of Raleigh - 7/5/17

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Luis Zarama, auxiliary bishop of Atlanta as Bishop of Raleigh, North Carolina. The appointment was publicized in Washington, July 5, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Zarama was born November 28, 1958, in Pasto, Colombia. He holds degrees in philosophy and theology from the Marian University in Pasto, and a degree in Canon Law from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1993. He served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Atlanta; he then served as a member of the Vocations Committee. Bishop Zarama was named vicar general of the Archdiocese in April of 2006 and in 2008 he was appointed to serve as the judicial vicar for the Archdiocese's Metropolitan Tribunal. He is also a member of the Archdiocesan Personnel Review Board. He was named auxiliary bishop of Atlanta on July 27, 2009. As a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), he is currently an alternate member for region XIV of the Administrative Committee. The Diocese of Raleigh comprises 32,000 square miles and it has total population of 4,874,815 people of which 231,230 are Catholic.

Diocese of Richmond Delegation to Convocation - 6/30/17

Richmond, VA - The Convocation of Catholic Leaders begins in Orlando, Florida, on July 1 and finishes on July 4. The purpose of this meeting is to engage in a conversation with leaders in the Catholic Church on ways to be missionary disciples, to animate the Church, and to engage the culture. See more at the USCCB website here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/get-involved/meetings-and-events/usccb-convocation-2017.cfm The following delegates will be attending from the Diocese of Richmond: Mr. Jeff Caruso, Exec. Dir., Virginia Catholic Conference Ms. Maria Garcia-Lara, Saint John, Highland Spring Ms. Sheila Herlihy, Church of the Incarnation, Charlottesville Mr. Chris Hitzelberger, Virginia Tech Campus Ministry Mr. Aaron Hostetter, Holy Trinity, Norfolk Ms. Sheri Kemp, Assoc. Dir., Christian Formation Rev. Matt Kiehl, Saint Andrew, Roanoke Ms. Nicole Lancour, Saint Bede, Williamsburg Ms. Joanne Nattrass, Exec. Dir., Commonwealth Catholic Charities Deacon Frank Nelson, Holy Rosary, Richmond Mr. Michael School, Dir., Office for Evangelization Deacon Charles Williams, Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Richmond Mr. James Williams, Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk Ms. Sarah Williams, Basilica of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Norfolk

Pope Francis Announces “World Day of the Poor” - 6/16/17

Vatican City - June 13, 2017 MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FIRST WORLD DAY OF THE POOR 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 19 November 2017   Let us love, not with words but with deeds  
  1. “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18).  These words of the Apostle John voice an imperative that no Christian may disregard.  The seriousness with which the “beloved disciple” hands down Jesus’ command to our own day is made even clearer by the contrast between the empty words so frequently on our lips and the concrete deeds against which we are called to measure ourselves.  Love has no alibi.  Whenever we set out to love as Jesus loved, we have to take the Lord as our example; especially when it comes to loving the poor.  The Son of God’s way of loving is well-known, and John spells it out clearly.  It stands on two pillars: God loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:10.19), and he loved us by giving completely of himself, even to laying down his life (cf. 1 Jn 3:16).
Such love cannot go unanswered.  Even though offered unconditionally, asking nothing in return, it so sets hearts on fire that all who experience it are led to love back, despite their limitations and sins.  Yet this can only happen if we welcome God’s grace, his merciful charity, as fully as possible into our hearts, so that our will and even our emotions are drawn to love both God and neighbour.  In this way, the mercy that wells up – as it were – from the heart of the Trinity can shape our lives and bring forth compassion and works of mercy for the benefit of our brothers and sisters in need.
  1. “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him” (Ps 34:6).  The Church has always understood the importance of this cry.  We possess an outstanding testimony to this in the very first pages of the Acts of the Apostles, where Peter asks that seven men, “full of the Spirit and of wisdom” (6:3), be chosen for the ministry of caring for the poor.  This is certainly one of the first signs of the entrance of the Christian community upon the world’s stage: the service of the poor.  The earliest community realized that being a disciple of Jesus meant demonstrating fraternity and solidarity, in obedience to the Master’s proclamation that the poor are blessed and heirs to the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 5:3).
“They sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need” (Acts 2:45).  In these words, we see clearly expressed the lively concern of the first Christians.  The evangelist Luke, who more than any other speaks of mercy, does not exaggerate when he describes the practice of sharing in the early community.  On the contrary, his words are addressed to believers in every generation, and thus also to us, in order to sustain our own witness and to encourage our care for those most in need.  The same message is conveyed with similar conviction by the Apostle James.  In his Letter, he spares no words: “Listen, my beloved brethren.  Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?  But you have dishonoured the poor man.  Is it not the rich who oppress you, and drag you into court? ... What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works?  Can his faith save him?  If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled”, without giving them the things needed for the body; what does it profit?  So faith by itself, if it has not works, is dead’ (2:5-6.14-17).
  1. Yet there have been times when Christians have not fully heeded this appeal, and have assumed a worldly way of thinking.  Yet the Holy Spirit has not failed to call them to keep their gaze fixed on what is essential. He has raised up men and women who, in a variety of ways, have devoted their lives to the service of the poor.  Over these two thousand years, how many pages of history have been written by Christians who, in utter simplicity and humility, and with generous and creative charity, have served their poorest brothers and sisters!
The most outstanding example is that of Francis of Assisi, followed by many other holy men and women over the centuries.  He was not satisfied to embrace lepers and give them alms, but chose to go to Gubbio to stay with them.  He saw this meeting as the turning point of his conversion: “When I was in my sins, it seemed a thing too bitter to look on lepers, and the Lord himself led me among them and I showed them mercy.  And when I left them, what had seemed bitter to me was changed into sweetness of mind and body” (Text 1-3: FF 110).  This testimony shows the transformative power of charity and the Christian way of life. We may think of the poor simply as the beneficiaries of our occasional volunteer work, or of impromptu acts of generosity that appease our conscience.  However good and useful such acts may be for making us sensitive to people’s needs and the injustices that are often their cause, they ought to lead to a true encounter with the poor and a sharing that becomes a way of life.  Our prayer and our journey of discipleship and conversion find the confirmation of their evangelic authenticity in precisely such charity and sharing.  This way of life gives rise to joy and peace of soul, because we touch with our own hands the flesh of Christ.  If we truly wish to encounter Christ, we have to touch his body in the suffering bodies of the poor, as a response to the sacramental communion bestowed in the Eucharist.  The Body of Christ, broken in the sacred liturgy, can be seen, through charity and sharing, in the faces and persons of the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.  Saint John Chrysostom’s admonition remains ever timely: “If you want to honour the body of Christ, do not scorn it when it is naked; do not honour the Eucharistic Christ with silk vestments, and then, leaving the church, neglect the other Christ suffering from cold and nakedness” (Hom. in Matthaeum, 50.3: PG 58). We are called, then, to draw near to the poor, to encounter them, to meet their gaze, to embrace them and to let them feel the warmth of love that breaks through their solitude.  Their outstretched hand is also an invitation to step out of our certainties and comforts, and to acknowledge the value of poverty in itself.
  1. Let us never forget that, for Christ’s disciples, poverty is above all a call to follow Jesus in his own poverty.  It means walking behind him and beside him, a journey that leads to the beatitude of the Kingdom of heaven (cf. Mt 5:3; Lk 6:20).  Poverty means having a humble heart that accepts our creaturely limitations and sinfulness and thus enables us to overcome the temptation to feel omnipotent and immortal.  Poverty is an interior attitude that avoids looking upon money, career and luxury as our goal in life and the condition for our happiness.  Poverty instead creates the conditions for freely shouldering our personal and social responsibilities, despite our limitations, with trust in God’s closeness and the support of his grace.  Poverty, understood in this way, is the yardstick that allows us to judge how best to use material goods and to build relationships that are neither selfish nor possessive (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 25-45).
Let us, then, take as our example Saint Francis and his witness of authentic poverty.  Precisely because he kept his gaze fixed on Christ, Francis was able to see and serve him in the poor.  If we want to help change history and promote real development, we need to hear the cry of the poor and commit ourselves to ending their marginalization.  At the same time, I ask the poor in our cities and our communities not to lose the sense of evangelical poverty that is part of their daily life.
  1. We know how hard it is for our contemporary world to see poverty clearly for what it is.  Yet in myriad ways poverty challenges us daily, in faces marked by suffering, marginalization, oppression, violence, torture and imprisonment, war, deprivation of freedom and dignity, ignorance and illiteracy, medical emergencies and shortage of work, trafficking and slavery, exile, extreme poverty and forced migration.  Poverty has the face of women, men and children exploited by base interests, crushed by the machinations of power and money.  What a bitter and endless list we would have to compile were we to add the poverty born of social injustice, moral degeneration, the greed of a chosen few, and generalized indifference!
Tragically, in our own time, even as ostentatious wealth accumulates in the hands of the privileged few, often in connection with illegal activities and the appalling exploitation of human dignity, there is a scandalous growth of poverty in broad sectors of society throughout our world.  Faced with this scenario, we cannot remain passive, much less resigned.  There is a poverty that stifles the spirit of initiative of so many young people by keeping them from finding work.  There is a poverty that dulls the sense of personal responsibility and leaves others to do the work while we go looking for favours.  There is a poverty that poisons the wells of participation and allows little room for professionalism; in this way it demeans the merit of those who do work and are productive.  To all these forms of poverty we must respond with a new vision of life and society. All the poor – as Blessed Paul VI loved to say – belong to the Church by “evangelical right” (Address at the Opening of the Second Session of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, 29 September 1963), and require of us a fundamental option on their behalf.  Blessed, therefore, are the open hands that embrace the poor and help them: they are hands that bring hope.  Blessed are the hands that reach beyond every barrier of culture, religion and nationality, and pour the balm of consolation over the wounds of humanity.  Blessed are the open hands that ask nothing in exchange, with no “ifs” or “buts” or “maybes”: they are hands that call down God’s blessing upon their brothers and sisters.
  1. At the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy, I wanted to offer the Church a World Day of the Poor, so that throughout the world Christian communities can become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need.  To the World Days instituted by my Predecessors, which are already a tradition in the life of our communities, I wish to add this one, which adds to them an exquisitely evangelical fullness, that is, Jesus’ preferential love for the poor.
I invite the whole Church, and men and women of good will everywhere, to turn their gaze on this day to all those who stretch out their hands and plead for our help and solidarity.  They are our brothers and sisters, created and loved by the one Heavenly Father.  This Day is meant, above all, to encourage believers to react against a culture of discard and waste, and to embrace the culture of encounter.  At the same time, everyone, independent of religious affiliation, is invited to openness and sharing with the poor through concrete signs of solidarity and fraternity.  God created the heavens and the earth for all; yet sadly some have erected barriers, walls and fences, betraying the original gift meant for all humanity, with none excluded.
  1. It is my wish that, in the week preceding the World Day of the Poor, which falls this year on 19 November, the Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, Christian communities will make every effort to create moments of encounter and friendship, solidarity and concrete assistance.  They can invite the poor and volunteers to take part together in the Eucharist on this Sunday, in such a way that there be an even more authentic celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal King, on the following Sunday.  The kingship of Christ is most evident on Golgotha, when the Innocent One, nailed to the cross, poor, naked and stripped of everything, incarnates and reveals the fullness of God’s love.  Jesus’ complete abandonment to the Father expresses his utter poverty and reveals the power of the Love that awakens him to new life on the day of the Resurrection.
This Sunday, if there are poor people where we live who seek protection and assistance, let us draw close to them: it will be a favourable moment to encounter the God we seek.  Following the teaching of Scripture (cf. Gen 18:3-5; Heb 13:2), let us welcome them as honoured guests at our table; they can be teachers who help us live the faith more consistently.  With their trust and readiness to receive help, they show us in a quiet and often joyful way, how essential it is to live simply and to abandon ourselves to God’s providence.
  1. At the heart of all the many concrete initiatives carried out on this day should always be prayer.  Let us not forget that the Our Father is the prayer of the poor.  Our asking for bread expresses our entrustment to God for our basic needs in life.  Everything that Jesus taught us in this prayer expresses and brings together the cry of all who suffer from life’s uncertainties and the lack of what they need.  When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he answered in the words with which the poor speak to our one Father, in whom all acknowledge themselves as brothers and sisters.  The Our Father is a prayer said in the plural: the bread for which we ask is “ours”, and that entails sharing, participation and joint responsibility.  In this prayer, all of us recognize our need to overcome every form of selfishness, in order to enter into the joy of mutual acceptance.
  2. I ask my brother Bishops, and all priests and deacons who by their vocation have the mission of supporting the poor, together with all consecrated persons and all associations, movements and volunteers everywhere, to help make this World Day of the Poor a tradition that concretely contributes to evangelization in today’s world.
This new World Day, therefore, should become a powerful appeal to our consciences as believers, allowing us to grow in the conviction that sharing with the poor enables us to understand the deepest truth of the Gospel.  The poor are not a problem: they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practise in our lives the essence of the Gospel. From the Vatican, 13 June 2017 Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua  

Pence addresses religious freedom at National Catholic Prayer Breakfast - 6/7/17

By Josephine von Dohlen WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Vice President Mike Pence and other speakers addressed securing religious liberty and protecting the sanctity of human life both in the United States and worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, at the 13th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast in Washington June 6. Pence spoke about President Donald Trump's commitment to the securing of all religious freedoms to over 1,200 attendees, following speeches by keynote speaker Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, head of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, and special guest Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart. Pence expressed his sorrow over the recent terrorist attacks in Europe, reassuring those in attendance that the president is committed to ending attacks on religious liberty around the world, as well as in America. "Catholicism has made an indelible mark on the American spirit," Pence said. "Your faith has moved mountains and the Catholic Church, and its millions of parishioners have been a force for good in our communities large and small throughout our land throughout our history. All the great American Catholics gathered here, let me assure you this morning, bright and early, at this prayer breakfast: American Catholics have an ally in President Donald Trump." The vice president, an evangelical, shared fond memories of growing up in a Catholic family, saying that he was honored to speak at the breakfast and that his mother would be proud. "This honestly feels like coming home to me," Pence said. Since 2004, Catholics have gathered in the nation's capital to come together to pray for the country and hear from religious and political leaders. The founding board, with leaders such as former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pennsylvania, intended to answer to St. John Paul II's call to new evangelization for all Catholics. Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, spoke of the common ground that the Vatican and the president found in Trump's recent meeting, particularly in their dedication to pro-life and religious freedom issues, as well as the protection of Christians in the Middle East. Anderson introduced Pence by recalling what Pence said while speaking at the March for Life in Washington back in January.  "Let this movement be known for love, not anger, for compassion, not confrontation," Pence said at the March for Life. "To heal our land and restore a culture of life we must continue to be a movement that embraces all and cares for all out of respect for the dignity and worth of every person." Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington opened the breakfast calling for solidarity in prayer for the Christians in the Middle East, after he read a special note from Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, who was unable to attend. "Let us also be mindful of so many of our brothers and sisters around the world who continue to face persecution and suffering on account of their faith," Bishop Dorsonville read from Cardinal Wuerl's message. "As our Holy Father, Pope Francis said, 'We must not resign ourselves to thinking of a Middle East without Christians who for 2,000 years have confessed the name of Jesus and have been fully integrated as citizens into the social cultural and religious life of the nations to which they belong.'" Archbishop Broglio was the keynote speaker at the breakfast. Recalling the spirit of service displayed by so many men and women gone before us, he told the story of a military chaplain, Father Joseph Lafleur of Louisiana, who gave his life while saving others on a prison ship. "If we were to survey the history of the church, and look at the lives of the saints, we would discover men and women who built on their virtues, to reflect the authenticity of their faith. The same thing has an impact on the nation," Archbishop Broglio said. "To quote a respected cardinal, 'A good Catholic is a good American because the practice of virtue also leads to good citizenship and there is no dichotomy between faith and life if we cultivate and practice virtue.' Each of us has the potential to rebuild our society and our world if we cultivate authentic virtue." He went on to call Catholics to return to lives of virtue, both acting rightly and giving of themselves to others. "We build for a new tomorrow when we draw from that wellspring of virtue," Archbishop Broglio said. Mother Olga of the Sacred Heart, founder of the Daughters of Mary of Nazareth, also spoke as a special guest. Mother Olga spoke of her love for God and her love for others, which drives all that she does, specifically her service in America through missions and her founding of the Daughters of Mary Nazareth back in 2011. Born and raised in Iraq, Mother Olga's love for America led to her becoming an American citizen. "Here in America we take pride in our democracy," Mother Olga said. "The true democracy and the strength of our democracy should not only be seen as an expression of the political minds of the people, but also in our embrace of our own identity as Americans and appreciation of the religious roots of our foundation of a nation." She said that it is out of love that she is committed to the United States and those who serve the country. "May our gathering today as people who love God and this country be a renewed commitment to renew the spirit of cooperation which has accomplished so much good through the history of our nation," Mother Olga said. "May the fruit of today's prayer for our nation be a grace for our people to experience a new birth of freedom, freedom planted with faith, grounded in hope, nourished by love in the soil of truth."

U.S. Bishops Chairman Regrets the President’s Withdrawal From The Paris Agreement - 6/2/17

June 1, 2017 WASHINGTON—President Donald J. Trump announced today that the United States will not honor the Paris agreement on climate change. The United States and China, the two largest carbon emitters, and 195 other nations, signed the agreement that was ratified in November 2016. The Paris agreement establishes that nations must reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in order to keep global temperatures well below a two-degree Celsius increase in relation to pre-industrial levels. In the following statement, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, stresses that, although the Paris agreement is not the only possible mechanism for addressing global carbon mitigation, the lack of a current viable alternative is a serious concern. Full statement follows: "The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church, have consistently upheld the Paris agreement as an important international mechanism to promote environmental stewardship and encourage climate change mitigation. The President's decision not to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement is deeply troubling. The Scriptures affirm the value of caring for creation and caring for each other in solidarity. The Paris agreement is an international accord that promotes these values. President Trump's decision will harm the people of the United States and the world, especially the poorest, most vulnerable communities. The impacts of climate change are already being experienced in sea level rise, glacial melts, intensified storms, and more frequent droughts. I can only hope that the President will propose concrete ways to address global climate change and promote environmental stewardship." The USCCB has voiced support for prudent action and dialogue on climate change since its 2001 statement: "Global Climate Change: A Plea for Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good". In a letter to Congress in 2015, the U.S. Bishops, along with the presidents of Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief Services, encouraged the United States to sign the Paris agreement. They have since reiterated their support on several occasions. Pope Francis and the Holy See have also consistently voiced support for the Paris agreement.

USCCB President Offers Condolences - 5/23/17

 USCCB President Offers Condolences on Behalf of U.S. Catholics and All People of Goodwill Across America to Victims and Families of Manchester Terror Attack May 23, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is expressing shock and sadness in the wake of last night’s terror attack at Manchester Arena.  In this moment of national tragedy and grief for England, Cardinal DiNardo has written a letter of condolence to the Most Reverend John Stanley Kenneth Arnold, Bishop of Salford and the people of England. The Diocese of Salford serves the area of greater Manchester and Lancashire.  In the letter, Cardinal DiNardo expresses solidarity along with the continued prayers of the Church in the United States in the face of such unspeakable loss.      Full letter follows: Dear Bishop Arnold, Words are not enough to convey the deep shock and sadness with which Catholics and all people of good will in the United States learned of the horrible attack which took place yesterday at England's Manchester Arena. The unspeakable loss of life, terrible injuries, and untold trauma to families -- especially to children -- summon prayers from around the world. In a way, I assure you and all those who suffer from this atrocious evil the continued prayers of the Church in the United States. We commend to the comforting arms of our crucified and Risen Lord the many who have died, and we entrust to Our Lady of Manchester those who suffer. Evil, as dense and dark as it is, never has the last word. As we prepare to celebrate the new dawn of Pentecost again, may the Easter words of the Risen Christ, "Peace be with you" (John 20:19), settle deep into the hearts of the citizens of your great country. Fraternally in the Risen Lord, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo Archbishop of Galveston-Houston President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pope prays for victims of attack in Manchester - 5/23/17

May 23, 2017 By Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Decrying the “barbaric attack in Manchester,” England, Pope Francis sent his condolences and prayers to all those affected “by this senseless act of violence,” an attack on a concert that British officials said was the deadliest case of terrorism since 2005. In a telegram sent on the pope’s behalf by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, the cardinal said the pope “was deeply saddened to learn of the injury and tragic loss of life” after a suicide bomb explosion killed at least 22 people and injured another 59 at Manchester Arena May 22. Many concertgoers at the Ariana Grande concert were teenagers, young adults and families. The pope “expresses his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence,” the telegram said, as “he commends the generous efforts of the emergency and security personnel and offers the assurance of his prayers for the injured, and for all who have died.” “Mindful in a particular way of those children and young people who have lost their lives, and of their grieving families, Pope Francis invokes God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength upon the nation.”

Bishop DiLorenzo celebrates 49th anniversary - 5/17/17

On May 18, 1968, Bishop Francis DiLorenzo was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by John Cardinal Krol. This year marks his 49th anniversary of priestly ordination.

Prayer Request for Deacon Arthur “Chip” Pagnini - 5/4/17

May 4, 2017 Richmond, VA - Please pray for the repose of the soul of Deacon Arthur "Chip" Pagnini, a deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, who died on May 2nd.
Funeral arrangements are as follows at St. Ann Catholic Church, 105 S. Snead St., Ashland, VA 23005: On Friday, May 5: Visitation with the family from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. A Christian Wake Service will be offered at 6:00 p.m.... Followed by visitation until 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, May 6: A Mass of the Resurrection will be offered at 10:00 a.m.
Please pray for Deacon Pagnini's family.

USCCB President: Today’s Executive Order Begins a Process  - 5/4/17

May 4, 2017 WASHINGTON, D.C.– Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued a response to President Donald J. Trump’s executive order signed this morning. Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows: “Today’s Executive Order begins the process of alleviating the serious burden of the HHS mandate. We will engage with the Administration to ensure that adequate relief is provided to those with deeply held religious beliefs about some of the drugs, devices, and surgical procedures that HHS has sought to require people of faith to facilitate over the last several years.  We welcome a decision to provide a broad religious exemption to the HHS mandate, but will have to review the details of any regulatory proposals. In recent years, people of faith have experienced pressing restrictions on religious freedom from both the federal government and state governments that receive federal funding.  For example, in areas as diverse as adoption, education, healthcare, and other social services, widely held moral and religious beliefs, especially regarding the protection of human life as well as preserving marriage and family, have been maligned in recent years as bigotry or hostility — and penalized accordingly. But disagreement on moral and religious issues is not discrimination; instead, it is the inevitable and desirable fruit of a free, civil society marked by genuine religious diversity. We will continue to advocate for permanent relief from Congress on issues of critical importance to people of faith.  Religious freedom is a fundamental right that should be upheld by all branches of government and not subject to political whims.  As president of the Bishops’ Conference, I had the opportunity to meet with President Trump this morning in the Oval Office to address these and other topics.”

Cardinal Dolan Calls Pro-Abortion DNC Pledge Extreme - 4/26/17

April 26, 2017 WASHINGTON–Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, reacted to the announcement by the Democratic National Committee's chair pledging support only for pro-abortion candidates. Calling the pledge "very disturbing," Cardinal Dolan urged party members to "challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position." Full statement follows: "The recent pledge by the Democratic National Committee chair to support only candidates who embrace the radical unrestricted abortion license is very disturbing. The Democratic Party platform already endorses abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy, even forcing taxpayers to fund it; and now the DNC says that to be a Democrat—indeed to be an American—requires supporting that extreme agenda. True solidarity with pregnant women and their children transcends all party lines. Abortion doesn't empower women. Indeed, women deserve better than abortion. In the name of diversity and inclusion, pro-life and pro-'choice' Democrats, alike, should challenge their leadership to recant this intolerant position."

Bishops’ Statement on Governor’s Decision to Commute Death Sentence - 4/20/17

Statement by Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge on Governor’s decision to commute death sentence of Ivan Teleguz April 20, 2017 Richmond, VA - We are all children of the same merciful, loving God, and he alone has dominion over all life. Because we have a profound respect for the sanctity of every human life, from its very beginning until natural death, we welcome with gratitude Governor Terry McAuliffe’s decision today to commute the death sentence of Ivan Teleguz, 38. We continue to express deep sorrow and pray for all victims of violence and their loved ones. Likewise, we continue to pray for a change of heart and a spirit of remorse and conversion for all those who commit acts of violence. We ask God to give us all the grace to work together for justice, peace and respect for all life in our communities and our Commonwealth.

Prayer Request for Father David Nott - 4/18/17

April 18, 2017 Richmond, VA - Please pray for the repose of the soul of Rev. David Nott, who died on April 16, 2017. Funeral arrangements for Father Nott are as follows: Visitation will be held on Monday, April 24 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bliley’s Funeral Home, 3801 Augusta Avenue, Richmond, with Christian Wake Service beginning at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 25 at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 18 N. Laurel Street, Richmond, at 11 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. prior to the funeral Mass. Interment will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery.   Please keep Father Nott and his family in your prayers.    

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo Releases Easter Message - 4/17/17

April 17, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following Easter message as we celebrate the joy of Christ's Resurrection. A video version of Cardinal DiNardo's Easter message is also available at:  https://www.facebook.com/usccb/videos/10154506949682285/ Full statement follows: "Through Christ's passion, His burial in the tomb and His glorious resurrection, we come to realize the enormity of the Lord's sacrifice for us. We may feel unworthy of His love who paid so high a price for our salvation. Let us not be afraid. Let's allow ourselves to be taken – even seized – with Easter joy. As we proclaim on Easter Sunday, 'Christ indeed from death is risen, our new life obtaining.' In the Gospel of John, chapter 10, Jesus says the shepherd calls his own sheep by name, 'I am the Good Shepherd and I know mine.' In chapter 20, how much fear and doubt must have gripped Mary of Magdala as she stood by the tomb? There, it was Jesus who rescued Mary from her fears and darkness by calling her name. Listen carefully.  Mary thought she had discovered the Risen Lord, but it was the Risen Lord who discovered her. Jesus calls out to each of us by name today as He did the very first Easter Sunday. His promise fulfilled. His word brings life, 'I am the Good Shepherd and I know mine.' Jesus waits for you and me, embracing us in our moments of greatest need and desire. Welcome the love of God into your life. Share it those around you, especially the most vulnerable of our sisters and brothers. In this way, we proclaim with Mary, 'I have seen the Lord.' Sing joyfully, 'the Prince of life, who died, reigns immortal.'  Happy Easter!"

Vatican Announces Telecasts Information for Holy Week and Easter   - 4/11/17

April 11, 2017 WASHINGTON—The Vatican Television Center has released information for broadcasters regarding worldwide telecasts of the events presided over by Pope Francis on Good Friday and Easter.  All times are UTC/GMT (Coordinated Universal Time/Greenwich Mean Time). •  Good Friday, April 14, 19.15-21.00 hours, Way of the Cross presided over by Pope Francis at the Colosseum. •  Sunday April 16, 08:00-10:30 hours, Easter Sunday Mass presided over by Pope Francis immediately followed by the Message and Blessing “Urbi et Orbi” (To the City and to the World) from St. Peter’s Square.

President of U.S. Bishops Conference Responds to Explosions at Two Coptic Churches - 4/10/17

April 9, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to explosions on Palm Sunday at two Coptic Christian churches in Egypt that have killed at least 40 and injured at least 100: "In the early hours of Palm Sunday, as Christians began the celebration of the holiest week of the year, our brothers and sisters in Egypt suffered unspeakable persecution. They were at Church. They were praying. And in the midst of what should be peace, horrible violence yet again. I express our deepest sadness at the loss of those killed, our prayers for healing for all those injured, and our condolences to those who suffer the loss of loved ones. I also express our solidarity with the Coptic church in Egypt, an ancient Christian community that faces mounting persecution in its historic home from violent extremism.  I also pray for the nation of Egypt, that it may seek justice, find healing, and strengthen protection for Coptic Christians and other religious minorities who wish only to live in peace. I also join Pope Francis in his prayer for the victims of this attack, and that 'the Lord [may] convert the hearts of the people who are sowing terror, violence and death, and also the hearts of those who make and traffic weapons.' The Prince of Peace assures us that the darkness of terror cannot withstand the Easter light of Resurrection. We entrust all those who suffer and who have perished into the arms of the crucified and Risen Christ."

President & Vice President of U.S. Bishops Conference Respond to Syria Chemical Attack - 4/5/17

April 5, 2017 Syrian Chemical Attack "Shocks the Soul" WASHINGTON—  Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of the USCCB, have issued the following joint statement on yesterday's chemical weapons attack in northern Syria. Full statement follows: "The chemical attack in Syria on April 4 shocks the soul. The many innocent lives targeted by these terrible tools of war cry out for humanity's protection. In this season of Lent when Christians draw near to the suffering of Christ, let us match the horrific indifference shown for innocent life with a fervent prayer for love to break through the evil. Let us also match our prayer with a faithful witness to suffering so that no life at risk is forgotten. Pope Francis has repeatedly issued an appeal to Syrian leaders and to the international community saying: 'Please, silence the weapons, put an end to the violence! No more war! No more destruction! May humanitarian laws be respected, may the people who need humanitarian assistance be cared for and may the desired peace be attained through dialogue and reconciliation.' We echo the Holy Father's call. We pray for an end to the carnage in Syria and we pray that God will assuage all those who suffer and bring them consolation as we approach Easter and its message of love and hope."

Cardinal Dolan Welcomes Congressional Action to Nullify Title X Rule - 3/31/17

March 31, 2017 WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chair of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, praised both chambers of the U.S. Congress for taking action to nullify a bad policy imposed by the Obama Administration. Congress' joint resolution of disapproval (H.J. Res 43 / S. Res. 13) was passed by the House in mid-February, and by the Senate on March 30, 2017. It overrides a rule change made late in the Obama Administration that prevented states from redirecting Title X family planning funding away from abortion providers like Planned Parenthood to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care. The rule change went into effect on January 18, 2017. "The clear purpose of this Title X rule change was to benefit abortion providers like Planned Parenthood," Cardinal Dolan said. "So Congress has done well to reverse this very bad public policy, and to restore the ability of states to stop one stream of our tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood and redirect it to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care." Title X of the Public Health Services Act was passed by Congress in 1970 to control population growth by distributing contraceptives to low-income families. Planned Parenthood is the largest recipient of Title X funding. Planned Parenthood is also the nation's largest abortion network -- performing over a third of all abortions in the U.S. -- and receives more than half a billion taxpayer dollars each year. Congress acted within the statutory 60-day window to nullify the new regulation. Introduced by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), the House resolution (H.J. Res. 43) was approved on February 16 (230-188); and the Senate resolution (S.J. Res. 13), introduced by Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), passed by a one-vote margin on March 30, 2017. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote. The measure now goes to President Trump, who is expected to sign the resolution into law.  

Bishop’s Statement on Passing of Cardinal Keeler - 3/23/17

March 23, 2017 Richmond, VA - The Most Reverend Francis X. DiLorenzo released the following statement today on the passing of William Cardinal Keeler, 14th Archbishop of Baltimore: “Today, I, along with the clergy, religious communities and the faithful of the Diocese of Richmond, offer our prayers to the Catholic community within the Archdiocese of Baltimore on the death of William Cardinal Keeler. Many in our Diocese will remember that Cardinal Keeler served as Apostolic Administrator in Richmond between Sept. 16, 2003, until my installation as Bishop, May 24, 2004. “May all who mourn his passing find comfort in the Lord and solace for his long service and devotion to the Church. Please join me as we pray for the repose of the soul of Cardinal Keeler, may he rest in peace.”

Bishops’ Statement on Governor’s Veto - 3/23/17

Bishop Michael Burbidge & Bishop Francis DiLorenzo Statement on Governor’s Veto of Bill Defending Right of Religious Organizations to Practice Faith

March 23, 2017 Virginia - For the second straight year, Governor McAuliffe has vetoed legislation that would have protected clergy and religious organizations from being punished by the state because they follow the deeply held teachings of their faith.  The governor’s veto of SB 1324 and HB 2025 ignores Virginia’s long tradition of upholding the religious freedom of faith communities which dates back to Thomas Jefferson. It turns a blind eye to the great impact of these organizations that serve Virginians every day.  The bill merely sought to preserve fair access to public resources – like tax exempt status, contracts, grants and licensure – for religious charities and schools that hold to their longstanding belief that marriage is between a man and a woman. The governor said the legislation was “another attempt to stigmatize” – when in fact vetoing the legislation did just that by sidelining religious entities that hold to their deeply held religious beliefs. Acting on our behalf and our belief that all people have inherent dignity and are deserving of respect, the Virginia Catholic Conference defended the religious freedom of Catholic organizations that are lifelines to the Virginia communities they serve. They employ nearly 25,000 people, educate over 30,000 students, and provide hundreds of millions of dollars in needed services to the homeless, elderly, sick, uninsured, refugees, immigrants and children in need of foster care in every corner of Virginia. Just as serving the most vulnerable is inherent to our Catholic faith, so is our understanding about the nature of marriage. We cannot sever one from the other. We are dismayed that with this veto the Governor fails to recognize the right of these organizations to profess and practice their faith. We will continue to stand for Virginia’s long tradition of upholding the religious freedom of faith communities. Tolerance of and respect for religious beliefs makes our Commonwealth strong and our communities even stronger.  We would also like to thank SB 1324 patron Senator Bill Carrico and HB 2025 patron Delegate Nicholas Freitas for defending these values with passion, persistence and eloquence throughout the 2017 Virginia General Assembly session.

Bishop appoints President for Bishop Sullivan H.S. - 3/21/17

3/21/2017 Richmond, VA - The Most Reverend Francis Xavier DiLorenzo, Bishop of Richmond, is pleased to announce the appointment of Father Dan Beeman, Vicar, Catholic Mission and Identity, as the transitional President of Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School.  The appointment is effective immediately.  Bishop Sullivan CHS is currently in the process of recruiting and naming a new principal to begin July 1, 2017.  In addition to his role as President and Chaplain, Father Beeman will continue in his role  as Pastor of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk, VA.  His new responsibilities will ensure a smooth transition, operational oversight, as well as, communication to all stakeholders as the school changes leadership.

USCCB Chairman to Congress on Health Care Policy - 3/9/17

USCCB Chairmen Call on Congress to Consider Moral Criteria During Debates on Health Care Policy March 8, 2017 WASHINGTON—As Congress prepares to discuss possible changes to the Affordable Care Act, the chairmen of four United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committees called on lawmakers to consider important moral criteria, especially pertaining to the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn and those experiencing deep poverty. The Bishops of the United States have consistently advocated for a health care system in which—as the late Cardinal Francis George used to say—everyone should be cared for and no one should be deliberately killed. In a letter from March 8, 2017, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, urged Congress: to respect life by preventing the use of federal funds to facilitate abortion or purchase health care plans that provide abortion; to honor conscience rights; and to ensure access for all people to comprehensive, quality health care that is truly affordable. The Bishops called on Congress to ensure coverage for those who now rely upon it after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and expressed concern about any structural changes to the social safety net that could impact access to health care for millions. Noting that the Catholic Church "provides health care, purchases health care and helps to pick up the pieces for those who fall through the cracks of the health care system when it fails," the bishops urged "a new spirit of cooperation for the sake of the common good" on this vital concern during the debates ahead. The full letter is available at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/Joint-Letter-to-Congress-ACA-Principles-03-07-2017.pdf.

St. Gregory the Great Principal Called to Serve - 3/1/17

March 1, 2017 Gina Ibarra Coss, Principal of St. Gregory the Great, Virginia Beach, was featured in an article in the Virginia Pilot. It is an inspiring account of her call to serve, first as a teacher, and then as an administrator.  

USCCB Responds to DHS Immigration Memo - 2/23/17

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."

Virginia Bishops Issue Statement about Governor’s Veto - 2/21/17

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.

Letter Urges Administration to Care for Creation - 2/17/17

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

Congress urged to pass conscience protections - 2/10/17

2/10/2017 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.

Superintendent of Catholic Schools Named - 2/7/17

2/7/2017 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.

Catholic Virginian Editor to Retire - 2/7/17

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  

Strong Prayer Life Influences Vocation According to CARA Study - 2/2/17

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.

Trump Reinstates Mexico City Policy on Abortion - 1/23/17

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.”

 

Catholic Diocese of Richmond Launches New Website - 1/20/17

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.

Deacon named Diocese’s first Director of Cemeteries - 9/9/16

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. (more…)

Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross - 2/8/16

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.

Servant of Christ Award - 1/8/16

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.