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U.S. Bishops Approve Over $830,000 in Funding for Pastoral Projects to Support the Church in Africa

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Church in Africa approved 36 grants totaling $832,500 in funding to support bishops’ conferences, dioceses and pastoral projects across the African continent.

“I am pleased to announce our support for the Church in Africa, which despite great challenges, continues to grow and bring people throughout the continent closer to Christ,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., of Newark, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa.

Among the projects approved to receive funding through the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa are the following:
●  In postwar Liberia, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Liberia will organize a national gathering of 250 young people to be formed as agents of peace and reconciliation.
●  In celebration of the Year of the Word of God throughout the world, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi will undertake efforts to share the Bible throughout the country through various media as well as training for members of the Bible Apostolate.
●  The Tanzania Episcopal Conference will train 170 religion teachers from all dioceses who will both teach and train other volunteer teachers to help meet the critical staffing needs in secondary schools across the country.
●  The Regional Episcopal Conference of West Africa (RECOWA) will organize a workshop for member conferences in the region to discuss the growing menace of land grabbing and actions the Church can take to curb it.

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 watch the SFCA videos and visit www.usccb.org/africa.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, Subcommittee on the Church in Africa, Pastoral Projects

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Richard Malone of the Diocese of Buffalo and Appoints the Bishop of Albany as Apostolic Administrator

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Richard J. Malone from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Buffalo and has appointed Most Reverend Edward B. Scharfenberger, Bishop of Albany as the Apostolic Administrator of Buffalo to serve until the installation of a new bishop.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, D.C. on December 4, 2019, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The Diocese of Buffalo is comprised of 6,357 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 1,529,576 of which 571,000 are Catholic.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Richard Malone, Diocese of Buffalo, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, Diocese of Albany.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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AMENDED RELEASE: Pope Francis Appoints Most Rev. Alberto Rojas as Coadjutor Bishop of San Bernardino

The following press release has been amended to include biographical information for Bishop Rojas that the Holy See provided upon the announcement.

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Alberto Rojas as Coadjutor Bishop of San Bernardino. Bishop Rojas was up until now Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago. The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Rojas was born on January 5, 1965 in Aguascalientes, Mexico. He carried out his ecclesiastical studies at the Santa Maria de Guadalupe Seminary in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 24, 1997.

Assignments after ordination include: associate pastor of the Saint George the Great Church, Chicago (1997-1999) and Saint Ita Church, Chicago (1999-2002); a faculty member at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein (2002-2010), and pastor of Good Shepherd Church, Chicago (2010-2011). On June 13, 2011 he was appointed as Titular Bishop of Marazane and Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago.

Bishop Rojas has also served as Episcopal Vicar for the Vicariate I and Regional Liaison for the V Encuentro. Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he currently serves as a member of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs and has also served as a member to the Subcommittee for Catholic Home Missions (2012-2016).

The Diocese of San Bernardino is in the state of California and has a total population of 4,527,837, of which 1,718,397 are Catholic.
 
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Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Diocese of San Bernardino, Bishop Alberto Rojas, Archdiocese of Chicago.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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Pope Francis Appoints the Rev. Msgr. Robert McClory as Bishop of Gary

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed the Reverend Monsignor Robert J. McClory as Bishop of Gary.
 
Monsignor McClory is a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit and currently serves as Rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, Michigan. The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
 
Monsignor McClory was born October 10, 1963 in Detroit, MI, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Detroit on May 22, 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and Communications (1985) from the Oakland University, MI, a Master of Professional Studies in Economic Development (1987) from Columbia University, NY, and a Juris Doctor (1991) from University of Michigan. He practiced civil law for a major firm from 1991 until 1994.

Bishop-elect McClory attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary (1994-1995) where he pursued philosophy studies. He received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology, magna cum laude (1998) from Gregorian University in Rome, and a Licentiate of Canon Law, summa cum laude (2000) from Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum), in Rome. He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI with the title of “Monsignor” in 2005.

Assignments after ordination include: Vicar, St. Isidore Parish, Macomb Township; St. Therese of Lisieux Parish, Shelby Township (2000-2002); Judge of the Detroit Metropolitan Tribunal (2001-present); Administrative Secretary to Cardinal Adam J. Maida (2002-2003); Instructor in Canon Law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary (2002-present); Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit (2003-2009); Weekend Parochial Vicar at St. Blasé Parish, Sterling Heights (2004-2011); Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General, Archdiocese of Detroit (2009-2018); and Pastor-Presentation/Our Lady of Victory Parish in Detroit (2011-2017). Since July 2017, he has been the Rector of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak, MI.

Bishop-elect McClory’s other appointments include: Consultant for the Catholic Leadership Institute; and Priest-Observer, Region VI for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Diocese of Gary is in the state of Indiana and has a total population of 786,661, of which 170,203 are Catholic.
 
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Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Diocese of Gary, Bishop-elect Robert McClory.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
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Statement from U.S. Bishops’ Chairman of International Justice and Peace Committee on Nuclear Weapons

WASHINGTON—Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:

“‘Protect All Life’ was the poignant theme of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Journey to Japan this past weekend. In Nagasaki and Hiroshima, the Holy Father gave a powerful witness to the grave threat poised to human life by nuclear weapons. Following in the footsteps of Saint John Paul II, and reiterating the teaching of his predecessors, Pope Francis called for a world without nuclear weapons.

“For our part, the Catholic bishops of the United States remain firmly committed to global nuclear disarmament. We declared in 1993: ‘The eventual elimination of nuclear weapons is more than a moral ideal; it should be a policy goal.’”

“The United States and Russia have over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. This fact alone calls for our nation to exercise global leadership for mutual, verifiable nuclear disarmament. The extension of New START Treaty with Russia would be a prudent next step.”

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Bishop David J. Malloy, Committee on International Justice and Peace, nuclear disarmament, Japan, Hiroshima, Nagasaki.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

Bishop of Rockford Appointed as Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace

WASHINGTON—Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford has been appointed as Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The chairmanship of the Committee had previously been held by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, USA, who was elected as Conference secretary last week during the bishops’ November General Meeting in Baltimore, creating the vacancy. Bishop Malloy had been voted chairman-elect of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, thus will assume the chairmanship one year early.

In carrying out their work, the Committee advises and assists the bishops, both collectively and individually, in advancing the social mission of the Catholic Church on international justice and peace through policy development, advocacy, education, outreach, and acts of ecclesial solidarity. The work of the Committee includes international public policy issues, especially integral human development, human rights, religious freedom, and peace

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop José H. Gomez, Bishop David J. Malloy, Diocese of Rockford, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Committee for International Justice and Peace.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

 

Catholic Leaders Voice Concern Over New Asylum Rules

WASHINGTON - On Monday, November 18, the Administration published two notices in the Federal Register to implement asylum cooperative agreements with Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The rules would allow the U.S. government to send asylum seekers to the three Central American countries without the opportunity to access asylum in the United States, and require the respective Central American governments to adjudicate asylum claims and attempt to provide protection.

Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and Chairman of the Committee on Migration for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Sean Callahan, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), issued the following statement in response:
 
“Vulnerable individuals seeking protection and safety in the United States should be welcomed and given the chance to access the protection that our laws provide. If implemented, we fear that the asylum cooperation agreements would leave many helpless people, including families and children, unable to attain safety and freedom from violence and persecution. The governments of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras do not have the resources nor the capacity to safely accept, process, and integrate asylees. There are numerous concerns with the implementation of these agreements which have also been voiced by the Catholic Church of Guatemala. Furthermore, these agreements do not address the root causes of forced migration and could further endanger the lives of people fleeing a region that continues to have some of the highest homicide rates in the world.

These rules, combined with the implementation of the Migration Protection Protocol and the continued hold of humanitarian and development assistance to Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, undermines U.S. moral leadership in protecting vulnerable populations and risks further destabilizing the region. To preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, we cannot turn our back on families and individuals in desperate need of help. In light of the Gospel, let us always remember we are invited to embrace the foreigner and to take care of this human person. Let us move ourselves from a culture of indifference to a Christian culture of solidarity. We can and must do more.”
 
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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Mario Dorsonville, Archdiocese of Washington, Sean Callahan, Catholic Relief Services, CRS, Committee on Migration, asylum, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador.
 
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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Joins Pro-Life Coalition in Asking President to Oppose Amendment Enriching Global Abortion Providers

WASHINGTON – On November 21, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities joined 17 other pro-life groups in urging President Trump to ensure that an amendment led by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), which would enrich global abortion providers, is not part of any final appropriations package.

In a letter to the president, the groups expressed “great concern” that the administration’s significant pro-life actions, “including [the] administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy (PLGHA), will be undermined by the Shaheen amendment which was included in the Senate’s State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (SFOPS) appropriations bill.”  

The letter pointed to several problems, particularly that the amendment “increases a highly controversial earmark for international family planning by $57.55 million above current law, from $575 million to $632.55 million.” The groups noted that “more money for this earmark exploits an aspect of the PLGHA that allows this account to serve as a taxpayer-funded supplemental for U.S.-based NGOs that actively promote abortion overseas. In FY 2018, the U.S. provided nearly $280 million in foreign aid to groups involved in abortion activities overseas.”

The coalition strongly urged President Trump to communicate with the U.S. Congress that the amendment is a poison pill that violates the Budget Agreement and to oppose the inclusion of the amendment in any final appropriations package.

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Archdiocese of Kansas City, Pro-Life Activities, Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance, PLGHA, President Trump, appropriations, SFOPS, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

National Collection Provides Much-Needed Support Each Year for Retired and Elderly Religious

WASHINGTON—For over 30 years, the Retirement Fund for Religious collection has been coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) to be held in U.S. Catholic dioceses at the discretion of the local bishop. This year, the annual appeal will be held the weekend of December 7-8.

Benefitting some 30,000 senior Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests, the Catholic bishops of the United States launched the Retirement Fund for Religious in 1988 to help address the profound lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious communities. The proceeds are distributed to eligible religious order communities to assist with retirement and healthcare expenses, and roughly 94% of the fund goes to aid elderly religious.

Historically, Catholic sisters, brothers, and religious order priests—collectively known as women and men religious—engaged in ministry for little pay. Any surplus income was reinvested in their ministries, including Catholic schools and hospitals. As a result, today, hundreds of religious communities lack adequate retirement savings to care for the aging members of their communities. The demographics of most religious communities have shifted in recent years so that retired members outnumber younger ones. In 2018, 72% of the congregations providing data to the NRRO had a median age of 70 or older. With a higher median age comes a decline in income—due to the decreased number of wage-earning members—and a rising cost of care. The total cost of care for some 30,000 religious past age 70 now exceeds $1 billion annually.

“The sisters, brothers, and religious order priests who have dedicated their life to the Church through their ministry in our parishes, schools and health care organizations need care in their retirement,” said Presentation Sister Stephanie Still, executive director for the NRRO. “Each year, we Catholics across the nation unite prayerfully on the weekend of the Retirement Fund for Religious collection to honor the work done by sisters, brothers, and religious order priests. We are blessed by countless supporters who share our vision of ensuring that all religious can enjoy a safe and modest retirement.”

The 2018 appeal raised $27.7 million, and 360 religious congregations from around the country received financial assistance. Congregations may use the funding for immediate expenses, such as medications or nursing care. They are also able to invest it for the future retirement and eldercare needs of their respective religious communities. In addition, proceeds from the annual appeal enable the NRRO to furnish educational and consultative resources that help congregations to improve care and plan for long-term retirement needs.


Visit retiredreligious.org to learn more.

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Keywords: National Religious Retirement Office, NRRO, men and women religious, retirement, eldercare, U.S. bishops, Sister Stephanie Still, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, National Collection

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Appoints the Rev. Msgr. Francis Malone as Bishop of Shreveport

WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed the Reverend Monsignor Francis Malone as Bishop-elect of Shreveport.

Monsignor Malone is a priest of the Diocese of Little Rock and currently serves as Chancellor for Ecclesial Affairs and Pastor of Christ the King Church in Little Rock. The appointment was publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-elect Malone was born September 1, 1950 in Philadelphia, PA. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Little Rock on May 21, 1977. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in History (1973), and Masters in Divinity (1977), and Education (1977) from University of Dallas, TX, and a Licentiate of Canon Law (J.C.L.) from The Catholic University of America (1989).

Assignments after ordination include: Associate Pastor, St. Michael Church, West Memphis & Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Crawfordville (1977-1980); Associate Pastor, Our Lady of the Holy Souls, Little Rock & Pastor, Holy Cross Church, Sheridan (1980-1981).

Bishop-elect Malone has also served as Associate Pastor St. Patrick Church, North Little Rock (1981-1983); Associate Pastor, St. Vincent de Paul Church, Rogers & Priest in Charge, St. John Church, Huntsville (1983-1984); Associate Pastor, Immaculate Conception Church, North Little Rock (1984-1985). He also served as Pastor, St. Mary of the Mount Church, Horseshoe Bend & St. Michael Church, Cherokee Village (1985-1987); Rector, Cathedral of St. Andrew, Little Rock (1989-1996); Pastor, Immaculate Conception Church, North Little Rock & St. Anne Church, North Little Rock (1996-2001); and Pastor, Christ the King Church, Little Rock (2001-Present).
 
Other appointments include: Faculty, Mount St. Mary Academy, Little Rock (1980-1983), Clergy Personnel Board (1983), Chaplain, Rogers Memorial Hospital, Rogers (1983), Moderator of Cursillo (1989), Chancellor & Vice Officialis (1990-2002), Presbyteral Council (1991-Present), College of Consultors (1992-Present), Clergy Personnel Board (1993-Present), Clergy Welfare Board (1994-Present), Managing Editor of Arkansas Catholic Newspaper & Director of Communications (1995), Theological Consultant to Arkansas Catholic Newspaper (1997), Judge, Court of Second Instance, Province of Oklahoma City (2002), Vicar General (2002-2006), and Chancellor of Ecclesial Affairs (2008-Present).

Bishop-elect Malone has received the following ecclesial honors: Prelate of Honor with title of Monsignor (1998), Knight Holy Sepulchre (2002) and Protonotary Apostolic (2010).
 
The Diocese of Shreveport is in the state of Louisiana and has a total population of 812,200, of which 41,335 are Catholic.

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Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Diocese of Little Rock, Bishop-elect Francis Malone, Diocese of Shreveport.

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Media Contact:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200