Thursday, January 22, 2015

Five Things To Remember On Jan. 22

1. Today, bishops and thousands of Catholics are taking part in the March for Life in Washington. You can see and share photos on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts to see all those stepping forward for the protection of all life.

2. Also be sure to read and share Cardinal O'Malley's powerful homily from last night's National Prayer Vigil for Life.

3. Archbishop Lori Praised the unanimous Supreme Court decision protecting the religious freedom of a Muslim prisoner.

4. Pope Francis named Father Daniel E. Garcia, a priest of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, auxiliary bishop of Austin yesterday. Father Garcia, 54, is currently the vicar general of the diocese and moderator of the curia. Last week, Pope Francis also named an auxiliary bishop of New Orleans, Bishop-elect Father Fernand Cheri III.

5. God loves you

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Deeper Conversion to Christ -- an Ecumenical Perspective

By Father John Crossin, OSFS

Recently Pope Francis set off a flurry of media commentary with his pre-Christmas "challenge" or "Examination of Conscience" for members of the Curia. I read through his 15 points and thought that this was a good examination for almost anyone. In fact, I noted a number of things that I myself need to work on. [I am not mentioning them here!]  I was confirmed in my belief when our Provincial Superior in his weekly email update confessed that he too need to work on a number of the items listed by Pope Francis—and encouraged all member of our Province to do the same!

January 18-25 is the celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This week, just slightly more than 50 years after the promulgation of the Decree on Ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, is a good time for a little personal examination.

The section on "Renewal and conversion" of Saint John Paul II's encyclical on ecumenism Ut Unum Sint deals with conversion [# 15-17]. Those section in my copy are all marked up and falling apart. I think conversion is central to the spiritual maturity that is necessary for Christian Unity.
Here are two of my favorite passages:

  • …there is an increased sense of the need for repentance: an awareness of certain exclusions which seriously harm fraternal charity, of certain refusals to forgive, of a certain pride, of an unevangelical insistence of condemning the "other side," of a disdain born of an unhealthy presumption. Thus, the entire life of Christians is marked by a concern for ecumenism….
  • Each one therefore ought to be more radically converted to the Gospel and, without ever losing sight of God’s plan, change his or her way of looking at things [#15].

One of my New Year's resolutions is to leave room for the Holy Spirit, to try not to have things all planned out the way I think they should go. Now I have told one thing I need to work on!
To take the next steps toward Christian Unity we will all need "to go deeper" in our relationship with Christ.

Father John Crossin, OSFS, is executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Five Things To Remember On Jan. 20

1. In case you missed it, Pope Francis confirmed trips to Washington and New York, in addition to his already planned visit to Philadelphia, yesterday.

2. It's the National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and Father John Crossin writes about the seven markers on the road to Christian unity.

3. Catholic Schools Week starts Saturday. Later this week, we'll be sharing messages from bishops about why they love Catholic schools.

4. Read some of the pope's answers to questions from reporters on a flight back to Rome.

5. God loves you.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five Things To Remember On Jan. 16

1. Catholic News Service reports: "Appealing to the traditional values of Filipino Catholic families, Pope Francis made one of his strongest calls as pope against movements to recognize same-sex unions as marriage."

2. If you are a US Catholic of Asian/Pacific Island heritage, please take this brief survey: Deadline extended to Feb. 28

3. Tomorrow is the start of the 9DaysforLife novena. You can download the app, get emails and text alerts by signing up at

4. The U.S. Catholic Church has helped rebuild Haiti five years after a devastating earthquake. One of those contributions, a hospital, was dedicated yesterday. See photos on our Facebook page.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Five Things To Remember On Jan. 15

1. The path to peace in the Holy Land requires respect for the human rights and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians, said bishops from Europe, South Africa and North America, gathered in the Holy Land to pray for peace, January 15. The Co-Ordination of Episcopal Conference in Support of the Church of the Holy Land has met every January since 1998 to pray and act in solidarity with the Christian community in the Holy Land.

2. Use this new calendar with daily suggestions for reflection, learning and action about poverty. Re-post the daily Twitter-length suggestions on social media to help get the word out about poverty and its root causes.

3. If you are a leader in your ministry, parish, or diocese, check out our #9DaysforLife resources and planning page!

4. Large crowds greeted Pope Francis in his visit to the Philippines today.

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Five Things To Remember On Jan. 14

1. Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Joseph G. Hanefeldt, 56, pastor of Christ the King Parish in Omaha, Nebraska, bishop of Grand Island, Nebraska, and accepted the resignation of Bishop William J. Dendinger, 75, from pastoral governance of the diocese.

2. As U.S. Catholic leaders visit Haiti, see how one hospital has risen up thanks to the relationship between Catholic organizations in both countries.

3. U.S. Catholic leaders are also helping build up education in Haiti. USCCB President Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Archbishop Paul Coakley heard about those efforts yesterday. You can see a gallery on our Facebook.

4. In a January 13 letter, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, reiterated his committee’s support for the United States and its P5 + 1 partners in their ongoing dialogue with Iran regarding its nuclear program.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Five Things To Remember On Jan. 13

1. Catholic leaders head to Haiti today to see progress since the earthquake five years ago. Here's more from Catholic Relief Services: . People are using #Haiti5yr on social media to continue the conversation.

2. Pope Francis said today in Sri Lanka that religion must never be abused in the cause of war.

3. We've changed our cover photo in preparation for the 9 Days for Life, which starts Jan. 17. There are plenty of graphics for you to share at and check out, where you can download the novena app for iPhone and Android.

4. As part of this year’s Catholic Schools Week activities, a live discussion on January 15 will address the importance of Catholic schools in the context of the New Evangelization, and will be available to diocesan and ministry groups through MyUSCCB. More information and registration instructions can be found at Social media messages with the hashtag #CSW15 are also encouraged during that week.

5. God loves you.