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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Thomas Curry of Los Angeles

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Thomas John Curry as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for reasons of age. He has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.

The resignation was publicized in Washington, April 3, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Curry was born January 17, 1943, in Ireland. He attended All Hallows Seminary in Dublin and graduated from University College in Dublin with a bachelor's degree in History in 1963. In 1973, he received a master's degree in History at Loyola Marymount, Los Angeles, and went on to receive a Ph.D. in History from Claremont Graduate School in 1983.

He was ordained to the priesthood on June 18, 1967, at All Hallows in Dublin, Ireland, for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Assignments after ordination included: associate pastor, St. Bernadine, Woodland Hills, CA, 1967-1970; teacher, St. Pius X High School, Downey, CA, 1970-1975; graduate studies, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA, 1975-1978; teacher, St. Paul High School, Santa Fe Springs, CA, 1978-1979; director, Office of Continuing Education for Clergy, Los Angeles,1976-1985; vicar for clergy, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 1985-1990; director, Secretariat for Church Ministerial Services, Los Angeles, 1991-1994. During this time, he was bestowed the papal honor of the titles Chaplain to His Holiness, 1984, and Prelate of Honor, 1988.

On February 8, 1994, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by Pope John Paul II and was ordained to the episcopate on March 19, 1994 for the Santa Barbara Pastoral Region.

Bishop Curry was a former chair of the Committee for Catholic Education at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is comprised of 8,636 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 11,519,517 of which 4,031,831 or 35 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop José H. Gomez is the current Archbishop of Los Angeles.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, Archdiocese of Los Angeles


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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Releases Easter Message Focusing on Easter’s Simple Joy

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement on the simple joy of the Resurrection.

Full statement follows:

"Jesus lives. This is the simple message of Easter. And because Jesus lives — so does hope, so does love, and so do we. Although Christ knew the pain of the Cross and the isolation of the tomb, His Death and Resurrection gives us the joy of the Resurrection and the gift of eternal life.

Today, Christ offers us that gift of life and joy. How we chose to live that life, however, is up to us. Do we always treat one another as sisters and brothers in the eyes of God? Can we look beyond the distractions and despair of our own suffering to the hope of the world to come? Jesus endured the pain and isolation to show us the path to life.

So much of today's culture tempts us to see one another as different, dividing us into ever more polarized camps. But, Jesus walked the Way of the Cross for everyone. Everyone is in need of His love, and everyone is offered His love.

This Easter morning, let us acknowledge the gift of life Christ has given us. Let us look into the empty tomb and proclaim with joy, proclaim with all our hearts and with our lives — that Jesus lives!

May God bless you. Happy Easter!"

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Keywords: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Easter, Resurrection, Jesus, cross, life, joy, suffering, Way of the Cross, love.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

O God, who gladden us year by year with the solemnity of the Lord’s Resurrection, graciously grant, that, by celebrating these present festivities, we may merit through them to reach the eternal joys of Heaven. Hi everybody, Bishop Callahan here.  Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed! Yes, Christ has risen from the dead and […]

Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday special show.

Bishop Callahan joins Jack Socha to play somn very special music and more.  Airdate 3/31/18

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

WASHINGTON—Dioceses across the country will be welcoming thousands of people into the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil liturgy on the evening of March 31.  As the culmination of the Easter Triduum, the vigil celebrates the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. While people can become Catholic at any time of the year, the Easter Vigil is a particularly appropriate moment for adult catechumens to be baptized and for already-baptized Christians to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church.

About 85 of the nearly 200 dioceses across the nation have reported their numbers of catechumens and candidates for full communion to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). Based on these numbers, more than 30,000 people are expected to be welcomed into the Church at Easter Vigil Masses this Saturday. For example, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest diocese in the United States, will welcome 1,700 catechumens and 1,127 candidates.  Among them will be catechumen Tina Robinson. Raised in a Baptist church, Tina eventually started attending a non-denominational church. After she married a cradle Catholic, she prayed to God for guidance. A few days later, Tina received an invitation to attend St. Bernard's Parish on their front door. "That was my calling" says Tina.

The Archdiocese of San Francisco will welcome 173 catechumens and 169 candidates. Among them will be Tina Wok, who had been a nominal member of a non-Christian religion and Kent Iglehart, who is also preparing for entry into the Catholic Church after his wife, Jacqueline, inspired his conversion. The Diocese of San Diego will welcome a combined 1,091 catechumens and candidates. Among them will be Karrie Johnson. After regular attendance in a Christian church for a number of years, Karrie felt that God might be guiding her toward the Catholic Church. Open to the possibility, she attended Mass for the first time and had the "profound feeling" that she was truly home.

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

The Archdiocese of New York will welcome 400 catechumens and 468 candidates, while the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will welcome 1,536 catechumens and 618 candidates. Other archdioceses and dioceses report numbers as follows: Atlanta: 708 catechumens, 1,280 candidates; Charleston: 155 catechumens, 337 candidates; Dallas: 1,139 catechumens, 300 candidates; Fort Worth: 489 catechumens and candidates; Corpus Christi: 126 catechumens, 46 candidates; Tyler: 50 catechumens, 142 candidates; Charlotte: 214 catechumens, 401 candidates; Venice in Florida: 193 catechumens, 205 candidates; St. Petersburg, Florida: 350 catechumens; Richmond: 348 catechumens; Baton Rouge: 154 catechumens, 194 candidates; Lake Charles: 80 catechumens, 93 candidates; Louisville: 200 catechumens, 247 candidates; Lafayette, Louisiana: 50 catechumens, 97 candidates; Shreveport: 39 catechumens, 74 candidates; Lexington: 104 catechumens, 97 candidates; Mobile: 86 catechumens, 187 candidates; Savannah: 95 catechumens, 220 candidates; Pensacola- Tallahassee: 140 catechumens, 126 catechumens; Covington, Kentucky: 78 catechumens, 111 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Seattle reports 664 catechumens and 429 candidates. Other numbers from the western part of the U.S. include: Las Vegas: 148 catechumens, 189 candidates; Salt Lake City: 225 catechumens, 98 candidates; Yakima: 151 catechumens, 37 candidates; Oakland: 174 catechumens, 382 candidates; Fresno: 527 catechumens, 322 candidates; Reno: 57 catechumens, 171 candidates; Pueblo: 76 catechumens, 43 candidates; and the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon of Los Angeles with 17 catechumens and candidates. Honolulu is also welcoming 208 catechumens, 41 candidates.

Newark will be welcoming 416 catechumens, 657 candidates; Trenton: 188 catechumens, 460 candidates; Metuchen, New Jersey: 121 catechumens, 141 candidates; Buffalo: 296 catechumens and candidates; Rochester: 91 catechumens, 176 candidates; Paterson: 119 catechumens; Portland, Maine: 71 catechumens, 62 candidates; Albany: 44 catechumens, 84 candidates; Bridgeport: 46 catechumens, 189 candidates; Hartford: 59 catechumens, 55 candidates; Manchester: 71 catechumens, 95 candidates; Springfield, Massachusetts: 43 catechumens, 76 candidates; Worcester: 107 catechumens, 42 candidates; Fall River: 27 catechumens, 81 candidates.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia reports: 254 catechumens, 236 candidates; Pittsburgh: 144 catechumens, 309 candidates; Harrisburg: 125 catechumens; Greensburg: 49 catechumens, 65 candidates; the Archdiocese of Washington: 576 catechumens, 237 candidates. Others include: Arlington: 198 catechumens, 461 candidates; Cleveland: 215 catechumens, 248 candidates; Youngstown: 97 catechumens, 145 candidates; Columbus: 200 catechumens, 265 candidates;  Wilmington: 81 catechumens; 82 candidates; Green Bay: 101 catechumens and candidates; Fort Wayne-South Bend: 165 catechumens, 184 candidates; Springfield, Illinois: 109 catechumens, 165 candidates; Evansville: 63 catechumens, 110 candidates; Belleville: 55 catechumens, 94 candidates; Des Moines: 98 catechumens, 146 candidates; Jefferson City: 100 catechumens, 127 candidates; Owensboro: 53 catechumens, 156 candidates; Saginaw: 89 catechumens, 63 candidates; Madison; 31 catechumens, 70 candidates; Altoona-Johnstown: 45 catechumens, 52 candidates; La Crosse: 24 catechumens, 61 candidates.

Other dioceses report the following numbers: Saint Paul and Minneapolis: 228 catechumens, 386 candidates; Grand Rapids: 160 catechumens, 210 candidates; Oklahoma City: 239 catechumens, 327 candidates; Kansas City, Kansas: 150 catechumens, 250 candidates; Wichita: 154 catechumens, 206 candidates; Dodge City: 120 catechumens and candidates; Dubuque: 72 catechumens; 120 candidates; Bismarck: 46 catechumens, 111 candidates; Fargo: 19 catechumens, 62 candidates; Sioux City: 21 catechumens, 55 candidates; Gary: 72 catechumens and candidates.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage will also be welcoming 36 catechumens and 32 candidates. The additional dioceses have also reported the following numbers: St. Cloud: 13 catechumens, 43 candidates; New Ulm, Minnesota: 5 catechumens, 46 candidates; Duluth: 16 catechumens, 49 candidates; and Great Falls-Billings: 15 catechumens, 14 candidates.

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

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200


U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Administrative Committee Statement on the Life and Work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Administrative Committee has issued the following statement today marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Administrative Committee serves as the Board of Trustees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The committee's full statement follows:

"'No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends' (Jn 15:13). April 4th marks 50 years since the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. On this day, as we reflect on his life and work, we need to ask ourselves if we are doing all we can to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us.  What are we being asked to do for the sake of our brother or sister who still suffers under the weight of racism? Where could God use our efforts to help change the hearts of those who harbor racist thoughts or engage in racist actions?

This anniversary gives us an important moment to draw inspiration from the way in which Dr. King remained undeterred in his principle of non-violent resistance, even in the face of years of ridicule, threats and violence for the cause of justice. Dr. King came to Memphis to support underpaid and exploited African-American sanitation workers, and arrived on a plane that was under a bomb threat. He felt God had called him to solidarity with his brothers and sisters in need. In his final speech on the night before he died, Dr. King openly referenced the many threats against him, and made clear that he would love a long life. But more important to him, he said, was his desire to simply do the will of God.

Our faith urges us to be courageous, to risk something of ourselves, in defending the dignity of our neighbor who is made in the image of God.  Pope Francis reminds us often that we must never sit on the sidelines in the face of great evil or extreme need, even when danger surrounds us. St. Paul proclaims that: 'We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body' (2 Cor. 47-10). We can best honor Dr. Martin Luther King and preserve his legacy by boldly asking God—today and always—to deepen our own commitment to follow His will wherever it leads in the cause of promoting justice."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Administrative Committee, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., assassination, anniversary, Memphis, African-Americans, racism, brothers, sisters, Jesus, St. Paul, Pope Francis, justice, solidarity.

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Father Robert F. Christian, OP, as the new auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.  

The appointment was publicized in Washington on March 28, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Christian was born December 2, 1948 in San Francisco. He entered the Order of Preachers at St. Albert Priory in Oakland in 1970 and made his Solemn Profession as a Dominican in 1974.

He was ordained a priest in Oakland on June 4, 1976.

Father Christian has a B.A. in English from the University of Santa Clara (1970) and a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Albert College, Oakland (1973). In 1977, he received a Master of Divinity degree from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Oakland. In 1981, he earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome. In 1984, he earned his doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) also from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).  

Assignments after ordination included: teacher at Dominican College in San Rafael (1976-1979); conventual lector (parochial ministry) at Blessed Sacrament in Seattle and Director of the Newman Center at the University of Washington (1984-1985); Professor (Sacraments and Ecclesiology) at the Angelicum, Rome (1985-1997); Socius and Vicar, Western Dominican Province, acting administrator during absence of Provincial, and lecturer in theology at the Graduate Theological Union (1997-1999); vice dean and professor at the Angelicum (1999-2014); delegate to provincial chapters (years 1981, 1983, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2011); Socius to Provincial Chapter (1983, 1999); Sabbatical (2014-2015); Master of Students, Western Dominican Province (2015-present).

Other appointments include: Peritus at the 1990 Synod of Bishops on Priestly Formation; Prior of the 75-member resident community of friars at the Angelicum; member of Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission; Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (2013-present).

The Archdiocese of San Francisco comprises 1,016 square miles. It has a total population of 1,776,095 people of which 441,736 or 25 percent, are Catholic. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone is the current Archbishop of San Francisco.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Father Robert Christian, O.P., Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archdiocese of San Francisco

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Chairman and Catholic Leaders Deeply Concerned about Historically Low Refugee Resettlement in Time of Global Humanitarian Need

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Migration, sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State urging dialogue on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). Halfway through this fiscal year, the U.S. federal government has welcomed approximately 9,600 refugees, fewer than 25% of the refugees allowed for this year by the 2018 Presidential Determination. For Fiscal Year 2018, the Presidential Determination was set at 45,000 refugees, marking the lowest number since the Refugee Act of 1980 was created.

In part of the letter, Bishop Vásquez explained, "The current level of refugee arrivals leaves thousands of vulnerable people in harm's way and searching for protection." He continued, "Most often they are at-risk women and children who are too vulnerable to remain in the region and/or in situations too dangerous for them to wait in the host country until the conflict at home has ended." Bishop Vásquez further stated, "As Christians, our concerns for refugees is integral to our life of faith." He concluded, "In this spirit, we urge the Administration to renew a bipartisan commitment to resettlement for refugees, including religious minorities."

The full letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can be found here: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Refugee-Letter-to-DHS-Sec-Nielsen.pdf.

Additionally, over 1600 Catholic organizations, women and men religious and lay leaders, also voiced their concern over the state of the USRAP. That letter can be found here: https://justiceforimmigrants.org/2016site/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Letter26March2018inclSigners2.pdf.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Joe Vásquez, Committee on Migration, refugees, migrants, immigrants, Presidential Determination, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP)

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

All About Holy Week

Bishop Callahan explores the many facets of Holy Week.  Airdate 3/25/18

U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Chairmen Deeply Disappointed by Congress’s Failure to Enact the Conscience Protection Act

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."

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Committee for Religious Liberty, Conscience Protection Act, Congress, abortion, health care, religious liberty

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200