July 2017

USCCB chairman mourns for migrants involved in Texas tragedy

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, D.C. - 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…
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U.S. Bishops chairman appeals to members of U.S. Senate to work together to remedy health care to serve the common good

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, D.C. - In light of today’s Senate Republican vote to address the healthcare law, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, is appealing to Senators on both sides to work together in the days ahead to advance changes that will serve the common good of all. Bishop Dewane’s full statement follows: “In the wake of a procedural vote today that opens debate on the amendment process to reform the Affordable Care Act, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) calls on members from both political parties to work together to advance changes that serve the common good.  The health care reform proposals currently under consideration would harm millions of struggling Americans by leaving too many at risk…
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USCCB chairman expresses ongoing support for DACA; calls on administration and Congress to ensure permanent protection for DACA youth

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, D.C. - Over 750,000 youth have received protection from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) since its inception by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2012.  While DACA provides no legal status, it does provide recipients with a temporary reprieve from deportation and employment authorization for legal work opportunities in the United States. In response to the recent petition to the U.S. Department of Justice to terminate DACA, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Chair of the Migration Committee and Bishop of Austin, Texas, expressed support for DACA once again, stating: “The Catholic Bishops have long supported DACA youth and continue to do so. DACA youth are contributors to our economy, veterans of our military, academic standouts in our universities, and leaders in our parishes. These young people entered the U.S. as…
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Pope Francis names Auxiliary Bishop Nelson Perez as new Bishop of Cleveland; Pope Francis also names Father Andrew Bellisario as new Bishop of Juneau

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, D.C. - Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson Perez, up until now Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, as the new bishop of Cleveland.  Pope Francis has also named Father Andrew Bellisario as the new bishop of Juneau, Alaska. The appointments were publicized in Washington, July 11,2017, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop Nelson Perez, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, was born June 16, 1961, in Miami, Florida, and ordained a priest for the Philadelphia Archdiocese on May 20, 1989. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Montclair State University and master of divinity and master of arts degrees from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia.  In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was…
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U.S. Bishops Chairman urges administration to raise cap on refugee admissions

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, DC - This week, U.S. refugee admissions reached the historically low cap of 50,000 refugees allowed to be resettled in the United States for Fiscal Year 2017, as set forth by the Administration’s March 6th Executive Order 13780. Executive Order 13780 altered the initial Fiscal Year 2017 Presidential Determination which authorized the resettlement of 110,000 refugees into the United States. Currently there are approximately 22.5 million refugees seeking protection globally. The following is a statement in response to the resettlement cap from Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Austin, Texas, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration: “I note with sadness that the new U.S. refugee admissions cap of 50,000 individuals has been reached this week. While certain refugees who have ‘bona fide relationships’ will still be allowed…
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President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Bishop Chairmen condemn attack in the Old City of Jerusalem

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, D.C. - Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with Bishop Oscar Cantú, of Las Cruces, Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, and Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, of Springfield, Chair of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, have issued the following statement on today’s attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. The deadly attack took place early this morning by the Lions' Gate in the Old City walls, next to what Muslims call the Noble Sanctuary and Jews call the Temple Mount. Full statement follows: On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s attack in the Old City of Jerusalem.  It is a particular desecration to carry out armed attacks…
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National Religious Retirement Office distributes $25 million to support elderly religious

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, D.C. - In June, the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) distributed $25 million to 390 religious communities across the United States. The funding is provided by donations to the Retirement Fund for Religious collection. The annual, parish-based appeal is held in most U.S. Catholic parishes each December and benefits more than 32,000 elderly Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests. The most recent collection raised nearly $30.7 million and marked the second year in a row that contributions exceeded $30 million. “We are overwhelmed by the generous support for senior religious and their communities,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, NRRO executive director. “We are equally moved by our donors’ ongoing gratitude for the ministry of religious, past and present.” The funding disbursed the week of June 19 is known…
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Revised Senate health care reform bill still “unacceptable,” aays U.S. Bishops’ chairman

Bulletin Extras, July 2017
Washington, D.C. - Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, reacted strongly to the revised Senate health reform bill, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA). “The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership earlier today.  On an initial read, we do not see enough improvement to change our assessment that the proposal is unacceptable. We recognize the incremental improvement in funding the fight against opioid addiction, for instance, but more is needed to honor our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters living in poverty and to ensure that essential protections for the unborn remain in the bill.” In an earlier letter concerning the draft of the BCRA that was introduced in draft format…
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Spirituality: How God Invites Us to Know Him

Spirituality: How God Invites Us to Know Him

Featured, July 2017
The Acts of the Apostles tell of St. Paul’s efforts to share Jesus Christ with the people of Athens, appealing to the fact that they already had an altar inscribed “To a God Unknown.” This appeal by St. Paul can help us understand that regardless of whether God is known or unknown to us, God longs for us and extends a continuous invitation to deepen our relationship with him. Sometimes we label this ongoing invitation “spirituality” – the way that God invites us, encourages us and reveals himself to us. Within the Catholic Church, thanks to the communion of saints, “many and varied spiritualities have been developed throughout the history of the churches. The personal charism of some witnesses to God’s love for men has been handed on, like ‘the…
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Vacation Bible Schools draw plenty of children to Gettysburg, Onida parishes

Vacation Bible Schools draw plenty of children to Gettysburg, Onida parishes

Headlines, July 2017, Local
Vacation Bible Schools were in full swing across the diocese in the last few weeks. Pictured (on top): the Vacation Bible School at Sacred Heart Parish, Gettysburg was held May 30-June 2 and drew 60 children from the parish. The title and theme for this year’s Vacation Bible School was “Maker Fun Factory.” (Top photo courtesy, Jean Senyak, Director of Religious Education, Sacred Heart Parish Gettysburg) Pictured (on bottom): St. Pius X Parish, Onida also drew a good sized group to its Vacation Bible School. The parish hosted 45 children with the theme was “Camp Out - Getting S’More of Jesus”, emphasizing the Bible point: Jesus is the light. (Bottom photo courtesy, Tacea Voorhees, Religious Education Director, St. Pius X Parish, Onida)
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