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Lucas Koach Named as Director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

 WASHINGTON—Lucas Koach has been appointed as Director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Monsignor Brian Bransfield, USCCB Secretary General, made the appointment, which will take effect July 30, 2018.

Mr. Koach brings over 20 years of experience in Christian ministry and global humanitarian public policy. Since 2011, he has served as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for Food for the Hungry. Along with extensive interaction with the US Congress and administrative branch, he has participated in multilateral agency policy forums at the UN and the World Bank and has gained a reputation as a respected coalition builder. He serves on the Board of the Accord network, an association of 90 US-based Christian relief and development organizations and also the board of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities, which elevates the relief and development capacities of international faith-based organizations among multilateral institutions.

Mr. Koach is a convert to Catholicism, having served many years prior as an associate pastor in the Anglican Church in Florida and Arkansas.

"Mr. Koach brings the kind of experience, relationships, knowledge and managerial acumen necessary for a position of such breadth," said Msgr. Bransfield. "We look forward to working with him on the major international issues that are so important to the Church and the world."

Lucas Koach graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1992. He earned his Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries from the Denver Seminary in 2002. 

For more information on the USCCB Office of International Justice and Peace, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/international-justice-and-peace/ 

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Office of International Justice and Peace, Lucas Koach, Msgr. Brian Bransfield

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Pope Francis Names Bishop Oscar Cantú as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose

 WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Oscar Cantú as Coadjutor Bishop of San Jose, California. Bishop Cantú was up until now Bishop of Las Cruces, New Mexico.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on July 11, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Cantú was born in Houston on December 5, 1966. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Dallas, and received his Masters in Divinity and Masters in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas, also in Houston. He also attended the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) as well as his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.). Bishop Cantú was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Houston in 1994.

He spent his priestly career working in parishes throughout the Houston metropolitan area. His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Christopher Parish. He also taught at the University of St. Thomas and at St. Mary's Seminary. He served as pastor at Holy Name Parish. He was involved in the Christian Family movement; conducted retreats and worked with the Engaged Encounter ministry. Bishop Cantú was also involved in The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) that addresses social issues in the community.

Bishop Cantú was appointed and then ordained Auxiliary Bishop of San Antonio and Titular Bishop of Dardano in 2008. In 2013, Bishop Cantú was appointed as bishop of the Diocese of Las Cruces, NM. He was installed as bishop on February 28, 2013.

Bishop Oscar Cantú is the former Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace. He is currently a member of the USCCB Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America and Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

Most Rev. Cantú was one of two delegates chosen by the Bishops' Conference to represent the USCCB at Pope Francis' visit to Mexico in 2016.

The Diocese of San Jose is comprised of 1,300 square miles in the state of California and has a total population of 1,918,044 of which 620,000 or 32.32 percent are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Oscar Cantú, Diocese of San Jose, Las Cruces.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops Conference Chairman of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Statement on the Death of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Vatican Diplomat and Expert in Interfaith Relations

 WASHINGTON— The Cardinal who announced the election of Pope Francis to the world in 2013 with the famous phrase "habemus papam (we have a pope)," has died. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, has issued the following statement on behalf of the bishops of the United States who mourn the loss of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. Cardinal Tauran passed away on July 5th at the age of 75.  He had been suffering from Parkinson's disease. 

Bishop Bambera's statement follows:

"Ordained a priest in 1969, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran led a distinguished life in service to the Church. In 1975, he entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See and served as Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Lebanon.  In 1988, he was named undersecretary for the Section for Relations with States in the Secretariat of State and in 1991 Pope John Paul II appointed him an archbishop. In the years that followed, he represented the Holy See in numerous international conferences. In 2007, he was named President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. 

In this new role, Cardinal Tauran made a great impact on Catholic relations with non-Christian religions, most especially in convening interreligious coalitions to address the pressing questions of culture and society. He was especially tireless in his work to build relations with the Muslim community.   

For those involved in interreligious dialogue, his death is a great loss. An important part of his legacy remains his commitment to interfaith understanding and cooperation in service to Christ and the Church. May he rest in peace." 

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera,  Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Announces Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters

 WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is publishing a new document, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters. The full text is available on the USCCB website at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/cultural-diversity/asian-pacific-islander/upload/asian-and-pacific-island-pastoral-response-encountering-christ-in-harmony-2018.pdf .

Approved by the U.S. bishops during their Spring 2018 General Assembly, the pastoral response will guide the Catholic Church in the United States in addressing the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island communities and provide a framework for dioceses and parishes for creating their pastoral plans or actions specific to their circumstances.

The Asian and Pacific Island population in the United States is the fastest growing minority population according to research referenced in the document. Yet, this population "tends to go unrecognized in the wider US society, and there remains a need to bring more attention and support to the Asian and Pacific Island communities," the bishops say in the pastoral response.

Encountering Christ in Harmony aims to: (a) advance the Church's mission of evangelization to specific cultural groups; (b) assist dioceses, parish leaders, other Catholic entities, and the faithful in pastoral outreach to Asian and Pacific Island Catholics; and (c) provide resources and information about Asian and Pacific Island Catholic communities.

The printed version of the document will be available at the USCCB online store (https://store.usccb.org/) at a later date.

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Keywords:  United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, pastoral response, Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters, Asian and Pacific Island communities. evangelization.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Judy Keane

O: 202-541-3200

President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference to Senate: Support for Roe v. Wade Should Not Be Used as a Litmus Test for Judicial Nominees

 WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), wrote to the members of the Senate on July 6, urging them not to use support for Roe v. Wade as a litmus test for judicial nominees in their deliberations about the upcoming vacancy on the Supreme Court of the United States.

The letter makes clear that the USCCB "does not support or oppose confirmation of particular presidential nominees." Instead, the letter expresses "grave concerns about the confirmation process…being grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test in support of Roe, as though nominees who oppose the purposeful taking of innocent human life are somehow unfit for judicial office in the United States."

"By any measure," the Cardinal says, "support for Roe is an impoverished standard for assessing judicial ability. For forty-five years, Roe has sparked more informed criticism and public resistance than any other court decision of the late 20th century."

The letter points to decades of polling showing that most Americans oppose Roe's policy of unlimited abortion, to a growing number of state legislatures passing pro-life laws, to mainstream medicine rejecting abortion, and to many legal scholars who support abortion who have criticized Roe for not being grounded in the U.S. Constitution.

"If a Supreme Court ruling was wrongly decided, is widely rejected as morally flawed and socially harmful, and is seen even by many supporters as having little basis in the Constitution, these are very good reasons not to use it as a litmus test for future judges. Further, a nominees' faith should not be used as a proxy for their views on Roe. Any religious test for public office is both unjust and unconstitutional."

The full text of Cardinal DiNardo's letter to the Senate is posted at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/upload/usccb-president-letter-to-senate-on-judicial-nominees-070618.pdf

For more on the U.S. Bishops' pro-life efforts, including information on Roe v. Wade, visit: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/roe-v-wade.cfm 

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Pope Francis Appoints Reverends Ronald Hicks, Robert Casey and Mark Bartosic as Auxiliary Bishops of Archdiocese of Chicago; Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishops George Rassas and Francis Kane

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed Reverends Ronald Hicks, Robert Casey and Mark Bartosic as auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of Chicago and has accepted the resignations of the Most Reverends George Rassas and Francis Kane from the Office of Auxiliary Bishops of the same archdiocese. Bishops Rassas and Kane have reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.

The resignations and appointments were publicized in Washington on July 3, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Reverend Ronald Hicks was born in Chicago, IL, on August 4, 1967. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and is currently serving as Vicar General.

Father Hicks graduated from Quigley Seminary South in 1985 and four years later received his B.A. in philosophy from Niles College of Loyola University in Chicago in 1989. He also received his master of divinity degree in 1994 and his doctor of ministry degree in 2003, both from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL. He was ordained a priest on May 21, 1994 for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

As a priest, Father Hicks worked as associate pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Chicago from 1994 to 1996 and then at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Orland Hills, IL, from 1996 to 1999. From 1999-2005, he lived and ministered at St. Joseph College Seminary as the Dean of Formation.

In July 2005 with permission from Francis Cardinal George, Father Hicks moved to El Salvador to begin his five-year term as Regional Director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos (NPH) in Central America. NPH is a home dedicated to caring for over 3,400 orphaned and abandoned children in nine different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

From 2010-2014, Father Hicks served as the Dean of Formation at Mundelein Seminary. During that time, he also assisted with Masses on the weekend at St. Jerome Parish in Rogers Park.

Fr. Hicks was appointed vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago by Cardinal Cupich on January l, 2015.1t has been his practice to celebrate Mass in a different parish in the Archdiocese each weekend.

Reverend Robert G. Casey was born in Chicago, Il, on September 23, 1967. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and currently serving as pastor of St. Bede the Venerable Church in Chicago.

Reverend Casey received his B.A. in English from Niles College of Loyola University Chicago in 1989. He received his master of divinity degree in 1994 from the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein, IL. He was ordained a priest in 1994 for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

As a priest, Father Casey was first assigned in 1994 as associate pastor to St. Ita Parish in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood. In 1998, Cardinal George appointed Fr. Casey as the associate director of Casa Jesus while serving in his last year at St. Ita. In 1999, Fr. Casey began his work with Casa Jesus as its full-time director.

In 2003, after completing a 40-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, Fr. Casey began his service as pastor of Our Lady of Tepeyac in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. In 2008, Fr. Casey co-founded Taller de José, a sponsored ministry of the Congregation of St. Joseph that offers accompaniment to people in need.

In 2009, Fr. Casey became the pastor at St. Barbara Parish in Brookfield, IL. In 2016, Fr. Casey became the pastor of St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Chicago's Scottsdale neighborhood.

Fr. Casey currently serves on the Placement Board of the Archdiocese of Chicago, assisting with the assignment process of priests to parishes. He has also been part of the Priest Steering Committee for Renew My Church.

Reverend Mark Bartosic was born in Neehah, Wisconsin, on June 21, 196. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and is currently serving as pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Chicago and director/chaplain of Kolbe House, Cook County Jail.

He was raised in Ashland, Ohio and attended St. Edward School and public schools. In 1983 he received a bachelor of arts degree in theater from Ashland University. He earned both a master of divinity degree in 1994 and a licentiate in Sacred Theology in 2001 from the University of St. Mary of the Lake.

He was ordained a priest by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on May 21, 1994 at Holy Name Cathedral. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Agnes of Bohemia from 1994-2000. From 2001-2016 he served as pastor of St. Frances of Rome, and from 2009-2016 as pastor of Our Lady of Charity while maintaining his responsibilities as pastor at St. Frances of Rome. Since 2016 he has served as pastor of Assumption BVM and director of the Kolbe House Jail Ministry.

Bishop George Rassas was born on May 26, 1942 in Baltimore, MD. He graduated from Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary (1961) in Chicago, and then attended Niles College and the University of St. Mary of the Lake, from where he obtained a bachelor's degree in philosophy. After serving as a deacon at St. Thaddeus Church in Chicago for a year, he was ordained to the priesthood by John Cardinal Cody on May 2, 1968. He earned a master's degree in counseling psychology from Loyola University in 1974 and a doctorate in pastoral theology from St. Mary of the Lake in 1984. Rassas was pastor of the Church of St. Mary in Lake Forest from 1990 to 2004, during which time he also served as chairman of the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council from 1999 to 2002. In 2004, he became vicar general of the Archdiocese of Chicago. On December 1, 2005, Rassas was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Reperi by Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop Francis Kane was born on October 30, 1942 in Chicago and was ordained to the priesthood by John Cardinal Cody at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary on May 14, 1969.

He then served as associate pastor at St. John Fisher Parish until 1975, and was also named associate director of Center for Pastoral Ministry in 1973. He was associate pastor at St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish from 1975 to 1979, and director of the Office for the Ministry of Peace and Justice (1979-1985) and of the Office of Evangelization and Christian Life (1983-1993). He was director of Catholic Relief Services from 1982 to 1987. From 1993 to his appointment as auxiliary bishop in 2003, Kane served as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Wilmette. On January 24, 2003, Kane was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago and Titular Bishop of Sault Sainte Marie by Pope John Paul II. As an auxiliary bishop, Kane also serves as Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate II, and the Cardinal's liaison for the Annual Catholic Appeal and for the Office for Lay Ecclesial Ministry.

The Archdiocese of Chicago is comprised of 1,411 square miles in the state of Illinois and has a total population of 5,943,689 of which 2,199,000 or 37 percent are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Ronald Hicks, Bishop Robert Casey, Bishop Mark Bartosic, Bishop George Rassas, Bishop Francis Kane, Archdiocese of Chicago.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200


PRESS CONFERENCE ADVISORY: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Delegation Visiting Diocese of Brownsville; Press Conference Immediately Following

WASHINGTON—On Monday, July 2, a delegation of bishops led by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, plan to meet with U.S. government officials and members of the Catholic community as part of a full day of visits with a focus on family unity. Immediately following the engagements, the bishops will hold a press conference to offer their reflections. The press conference will be held at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle – National Shrine. It will also be livestreamed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7BNmQhJyMU.

The delegation of visiting bishops includes:

  • Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Archbishop José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton
  • Bishop Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville
  • Bishop Robert J. Brennan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
  • Bishop Mario Alberto Avilés, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brownsville

On Sunday July 1, the bishops visited the Humanitarian Respite Center at Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, a short term hospitality center that serves families who have been processed by the Department of Homeland Security with immediate medical assistance, food, clothing and information about complying with immigration proceedings. The bishops also celebrated a Mass at the Basilica in San Juan.

WHAT:  Press Conference with U.S. Bishops Visiting Delegation on Family Separation

WHEN: Monday, July 2, 6pm CDT

WHERE: Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle.  – National Shrine at the Eugene De Mazenod Renewal Center – Conference Room


400 N Virgen de San Juan Blvd
San Juan, TX 78589

Please park on the south side of the Basilica parking lot.

Pre-registration for the press conference is required. Please contact:

Judy Keane
Director, Office of Public Affairs 
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
jkeane@usccb.org/202-541-3206

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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Dominick Lagonegro of Archdiocese of New York

 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Dominick Lagonegro as Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of New York. Bishop Lagonegro has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.

The resignation was publicized in Washington on July 2, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Most Reverend Dominick Lagonegro was born on March 6, 1943 in White Plains, NY. He was ordained a priest at St. Patrick's Cathedral on May 31, 1969.

Since his ordination in 1969, Bishop Lagonegro was appointed to various parishes throughout the northern counties of New York and served on many commissions and committees throughout his ministry. In 1997, Bishop Lagonegro was appointed Vicar for the Vicariate of Dutchess County and on December 12, 2001 he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York and Titular Bishop of Modruš.

The Archdiocese of New York is comprised of 4,683 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 5,904,416 of which 2,656,987 or 45 percent are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Dominick Lagonegro, Archdiocese of New York.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Auxiliary Bishop John Dooher of Archdiocese of Boston

 WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend John Anthony Dooher from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Boston. Bishop Dooher has reached the retirement age for bishops of 75.The resignation was publicized in Washington on June 30, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Most Reverend John Dooher was born May 3, 1943 in Dorchester, MA. He attended St. John's Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood on May 21, 1969. He was assigned to St. Francis Xavier Parish in Weymouth and served as chaplains at South Shore Hospital and the South Weymouth Naval Air Station until 1974. 

From 1974 to 1991, Most Reverend Dooher served at St. Augustine Church in South Boston.  From 1991 to 1996, Bishop Dooher served at St. Vincent de Paul Church and Ss. Peter and Paul Church. He was then named pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Dedham in 1996. On October 12, 2006, Most Reverend Dooher was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Boston and Titular Bishop of Theveste by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Archdiocese of Boston is comprised of 2,465 square miles in the state of Massachusetts and has a total population of 4,155,875 of which 1,944,906 or 46.8 percent are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop John Dooher, Archdiocese of Boston.

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

 

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Delegation to Visit Diocese of Brownsville with Press Conference Immediately Following

WASHINGTON—On Monday, July 2, a delegation of bishops led by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be visiting the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas.  More information on the bishops' delegation will be released as details are finalized.

The bishops will then hold a press conference to offer reflections on engagements with the Catholic community, U.S. government officials and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley organizations on the issue of family separation. The press conference will be held at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle - National Shrine in San Juan, Texas at 6pm.

WHAT:   Press Conference with U.S. Bishops Visiting Delegation on Family Separation

WHEN:   Monday, July 2, 6pm CDT

WHERE:  

Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle – National Shrine
400 N Virgen de San Juan Blvd
San Juan, TX 78589

Pre-registration for the press conference is required. Please contact:

Judy Keane
Director, Office of Public Affairs
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
jkeane@usccb.org
202-541-3200