Diversity theme for USCCB meeting with encuentro news, VP choice

(Editor’s note: Bishop Joseph Kopacz attended the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) fall assembly. He was not able to write a column this week because of travel so news from the assembly takes the place of his column this week.)
BALTIMORE (CNS) – A groundbreaking new study commissioned by the bishops that finds diversity abounds in the U.S. Catholic Church is a clarion call to Catholic institutions and ministries to adapt and prepare for growing diversity, said Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio.
On Nov. 15, the second day of the bishops’ annual fall assembly in Baltimore, the archbishop shared results of a report by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University showing the church is one of the most culturally diverse institutions in the United States.

Bishops and alter servers process out after Mass at St. Peter Claver Church in Baltimore Nov. 14 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. (CNS photo/Bob Roller) See BISHOPS-PETER-CLAVER-MASS Nov. 15, 2016.

Bishops and alter servers process out after Mass at St. Peter Claver Church in Baltimore Nov. 14 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. (CNS photo/Bob Roller) See BISHOPS-PETER-CLAVER-MASS Nov. 15, 2016.

It was commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, chaired by Archbishop Garcia-Siller, to help identify the size and distribution of ethnic communities in the country — Hispanic and Latino, African-American, Asian-American and Native American.
He asked his brother bishops to look at the data and see how it speaks to their regions to help dioceses plan, set priorities and allocate resources.
The study’s finding that there are close to 30 million Hispanics in the U.S. church resonated in the election earlier that day of Archbishop Jose Gómez of Los Angeles to a three-year term as USCCB vice president, bringing a Latino voice to the leadership role for the first time.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston was elected to a three-year term as USCCB president, succeeding Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, whose term ended with the close of the meeting.
The bishops also heard about the church’s preparations for the fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, from Auxiliary Bishop Nelson Perez of Rockville Centre, New York, chairman of the bishops’ Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.
The V Encuentro, as it is being called, is to be held in September 2018 in Fort Worth, Texas. It will be the culmination of parish, diocesan and regional encuentros, in which the bishops anticipate more than one million Catholics participating over the next two years.
“It is a great opportunity for the church to reach out to our Hispanic brothers and sisters with Christ’s message of hope and love,” Bishop Perez said. “It is a time to listen, a time to develop meaningful relationships, a time to learn and bear abundant fruits, and a time to rejoice in God’s love.”
The effort got a personal endorsement from Pope Francis during a Nov. 15 video message to the U.S. bishops at their fall general assembly in Baltimore.
In other action Nov. 15, the bishops approved making permanent their Subcommittee on the Church in Africa and the hiring of two people to assist the subcommittee in carrying out its work. They also approved another 10-year extension for the Retirement Fund for Religious national collection; before the vote, the collection had been authorized through 2017.
They approved a strategic plan that will govern the work of the conference and its committees from 2017 through 2020, incorporating the theme “Encountering the Mercy of Christ and Accompanying His People With Joy.” It sets five priorities: evangelization, marriage and family life, human life and dignity, vocations, and religious freedom.
Maronite Bishop Gregory Mansour gave a presentation on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, urging the U.S. bishops to bring wider attention to the situation to their parishes and political leaders.
A theme of outreach and inclusion ran through many sessions of the two days of public sessions of the bishops’ meeting. Sessions on the last day of the assembly, Nov. 16, were held in executive session, except for a brief address by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, that was live-streamed. Echoing Pope Francis, he told the U.S. bishops that their ministry is to be “witnesses to the Risen One.”
As the meeting opened Nov. 14, the bishops affirmed as a body a Nov. 11 letter from Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, as outgoing chairman of the Committee on Migration, calling on President-elect Donald Trump “to continue to protect the inherent dignity of refugees and migrants.”
The bishops’ group action followed by a day a TV interview in which Trump said one of his first actions would be to deport two million to three million people he described as “criminal and have criminal records” and entered the country without government permission.
In the letter, Bishop Elizondo offered “a special word to migrant and refugee families living in the United States: Be assured of our solidarity and continued accompaniment as you work for a better life.”
That first day the bishops heard a plea from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the new nuncio to the United States, that the U.S. bishops and the U.S. church as a whole reach out to young Catholics, meeting them where they are and engaging them in their faith.
In his last presidential address, Archbishop Kurtz discussed the need to move beyond the acrimony of the now-completed presidential elections, but the main focus of his speech were the encounters he had in his three-year term in which he found that small and often intimate gestures provide big lessons for bishops to learn as they exercise their ministry.
The people he encountered in all his travels were concerned about something beyond themselves — the common good, he said Nov. 14. Seeking the common good would serve the nation well as it moves forward from the “unprecedented lack of civility and even rancor” of the national elections, Archbishop Kurtz said.
In other business the first day, the bishops heard a report on the 2017 Convocation of Catholic Leaders to be held in Orlando, Florida, next July to exploring the Gospel in American life. More than 3,000 people reflecting the diversity of the church are expected to participate. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, who gave an update on the planning, urged bishops in each diocese to send a delegation to the event.
Cardinal Dolan also shared details of a simple celebration next year to mark the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, founded originally as the National Catholic War Council.
Events will take place Nov. 12 as the bishops convene for their 2017 fall assembly. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, will be principal celebrant of an anniversary Mass at Baltimore’s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Cardinal Ouellet will deliver the homily.
In his report as chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said all U.S. bishops are required to speak out for religious freedom for all people of faith whose beliefs are compromised.
Bishops must equip laypeople to speak in the public arena about the necessity to protect religious liberty when interventions by government officials at any level infringe on the free practice of religion, he stressed.
In a final afternoon session and later at a news conference that concluded the first meeting day, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta returned to the tensions of the election year.
He is chairman of the new Task Force to Promote Peace in Our Communities, created in July by Archbishop Kurtz in response to the wave of violence in a number of communities following shootings by and of police. Archbishop Gregory urged the bishops to issue, sooner rather than later, a document on racism, given “postelection uncertainty” and that some of the tensions have only gotten worse following the presidential election.
Most questions during news conference that followed focused on the postelection climate. Archbishop Gregory stressed that the church should play a role in helping restore peace in the current climate that is so inflamed.
He also pointed out that no political parties fully embrace all life issues, something that had been stressed by Chicago Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who died 20 years to the day of Archbishop Gregory’s remarks.
On the issue of healing racial divides, he said the Catholic response should start at the parish level. “Words are cheap, actions stronger,” he added.
Archbishop Gomez spoke of the fear many immigrants have of possible deportation since Trump’s election as president. When asked if churches could possibly provide sanctuaries for this group, he said that was impossible to answer at this point.
The day ended with the bishops celebrating their annual fall assembly Mass at a West Baltimore church known as the “mother church” of black Catholics, rather than in their traditional venue of Baltimore’s historic basilica.
In his homily, Archbishop Kurtz said the bishops came to the church “to be present, to see with our own eyes, so that we might humbly take a step and lead others to do so.”
(Contributing to this story were Mark Pattison, Rhina Guidos, Carol Zimmermann and Dennis Sadowski).

Heart of Belgian saint travels to Diocese of Shreveport

by Jessica Rinaudo
SHREVEPORT, LA – On Thursday, Dec. 8, the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans will host a rare Catholic relic – the literal heart of its patron. This special event coincides with the 150th anniversary of the apparition and miracle of St. John Berchmans that occurred in Louisiana.
sjb-holy-cardThis is the first time the heart has ever traveled outside of its homeland, modern day Belgium. Accompanied by the pastor of the church where Saint John Berchmans was baptized, the heart will make its way to the only cathedral in the world named for this saint.
Once it arrives, it will stay at the Cathedral from Dec. 8-18, except for one day, Dec. 14, when it will travel to Grand Coteau, La, the site of the apparition and miracle. During the heart’s stay at the cathedral, there are scheduled times for veneration and for Mass, as well as a series of events and talks related to the saint and relics that are free and open to the public.
John Berchmans was born in 1599 in Diest, which is modern day Belgium. In 1615, at age 16, John enrolled in a newly opened Jesuit college. There he felt called to join the Society of Jesus despite his father’s wishes to the contrary. In 1616, he entered the Jesuit novitiate.
After making his first vows in Antwerp, he was sent to Rome to study philosophy. He penned the Chaplet of the Immaculate Conception, which is still prayed today.
In 1621, he succumbed to “Roman fever,” and on Aug. 13, 1621, at the age of 22, he died.
Many stories of miracles have arisen since his death, but the one that led to his canonization took place in Grand Coteau, La. At the convent of the Sacred Heart, novice Mary Wilson had fallen gravely ill. She and a group of sisters prayed a novena for healing through the intercession of the recently beatified Blessed John Berchmans. On the ninth and final day of the novena, he appeared to her in her sickness and she was immediately and completely healed.
Before Berchmans died, he was already well known for his spirituality and sanctity. Father Peter Mangum, rector of the Cathedral of St. John Berchmans, likened him to the modern day Mother Teresa. People knew they were seeing a living, walking saint. They would go to Mass to see him serve.

The reliquary containing the heart of St. John Berchman is set to visit the Diocese of Shreveport.

The reliquary containing the heart of St. John Berchman is set to visit the Diocese of Shreveport.

Relics are an integral part of our rich faith tradition. “The veneration of relics is a communion with the heroes of our Christian faith, asking for their powerful intercession,” said Father Mangum. “Many people have reported outstanding blessings and conversions through this ministry, and many have reported healings.”
“The earliest of churches were built over cemeteries because that’s where the body was,” he continued. “These are the people without whom the faith would not be passed down to the next generation.” “Even to this day, a little tiny relic is placed into each altar where we place the Body and Blood of Christ. We no longer build churches over cemeteries, so in a sense we bring the cemetery, or we bring part of the relic to the church,” he added.
There will also be extra parish Masses in the evenings and on Saturday morning in addition to their regularly scheduled ones, during which the heart will be present and parishioners and pilgrims alike will have the opportunity to come forward, as individuals or as a family, to venerate the heart and honor the saint, praising the holiness of God.
The schedule of events, including Masses, speakers and veneration times, is available at www.sjbdevotion.org. Individuals are welcome to all events, but groups should call the cathedral’s office, 318-221-5296, before coming.

Miraculous Icon to visit Greenwood

By Maureen Smith
GREENWOOD – A special icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, commissioned in honor of the Jubilee of the original, will spend two weeks with the Redemptorists in Greenwood along with a companion historical exhibit.
Redemptorist missionaries are celebrating 150 years of spreading devotion to Our Mother of Perpetual Help, one of the most beloved images of the Mother of God in the worldwide Catholic Church. Ever since Pope Pius IX entrusted the Redemptorists with the Perpetual Help Icon with the mandate to “Make her Known” in 1866, this ancient image of the Mother of God has enjoyed “great veneration and fame for its miracles.”
“I want people to know that Our Lady of Perpetual Help is a powerful intercessor for us and we have a privileged time with her in Greenwood and in the diocese,” said Father Scott Katzenberger, CSsR, leader of the Redemptorist community in Greenwood.
While the faithful gathered in Rome and major centers of Redemptorist ministry throughout the world on June 27, the feast day of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, the Redemptorists of the Denver Province hosted a capacity crowd at the historic St. Alphonsus “Rock” Church in St. Louis, MO, where the seed of the perpetual novena was planted in the western USA on July 11, 1922. omph-original-copy-c
Most importantly, the jubilee celebration launched a renewal of the Redemptorists’ commitment to preach the Gospel, especially using the Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help to illustrate the mystery of redemption: the incarnation, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
A special Jubilee Missionary Icon touched to the original in Rome has been traveling to Redemptorist ministry sites in the Denver Province with portions of the historical exhibit, and will visit the Mississippi Delta Monday, Nov. 21 through Saturday, Dec. 3.
The Redemptorist community at Locus Benedictus Retreat Center in Greenwood is offering two presentations about the meaning of the symbols contained within the icon. The first, in English, is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26. A Spanish presentation will be offered at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3.
People are also welcome to walk through the exhibit and venerate the icon daily from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and in the evenings from 5-7 p.m. except on Thanksgiving.
“We will arrange the items in such a way as to create a space for people to venerate the icon in an appropriate space and be able to enjoy the exhibit,” said Father Katzenberger.
The historical exhibit highlighting the 150-year history of the Redemptorists and Our Mother of Perpetual Help in the western United States includes images and articles about Our Lady of Perpetual Help as well as the history of devotion beginning in the early 20th century.
Part of the exhibit showcases the powerful intercessions of Our Mother with a sampling of the many miracles attributed to Our Mother of Perpetual Help.
(Kristine Stremel, public and community affairs director for the Redemptorists of the Denver Province, contributed to this report.)

Líderes laicos y religiosos reaccionan tras triunfo de Trump

Por Catholic News Service

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shows Melania Trump and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump the Mall from his balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 10. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters) See WASHINGTON-LETTER-ELECTION-UNITY Nov. 11, 2016.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shows Melania Trump and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump the Mall from his balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 10. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters) See WASHINGTON-LETTER-ELECTION-UNITY Nov. 11, 2016.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Líderes laicos y religiosos de varias tendencias políticas reaccionaron a las noticias de la inesperada victoria de Donald Trump en la elección presidencial del 8 de noviembre. La mayoría expresó esperanza de que Trump prestaría atención a sus intereses en el futuro, mientras que otros se mostraron decididamente más pesimistas y otros aconsejaron oración.
El arzobispo Joseph Kurtz de Louisville, Kentucky, presidente de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Estados Unidos, subrayó un programa ambicioso en un comunicado de prensa después de las elecciones y felicitó a Trump y a todos los que ganaron durante las elecciones.
La conferencia episcopal espera trabajar con el presidente electo para proteger la vida humana desde su comienzo hasta su final natural, dijo el arzobispo Kurtz. “Vamos a abogar por políticas que ofrezcan oportunidad a todas las personas, de todas las religiones, en todos los ámbitos de la vida”, dijo.
“Nos sentimos firmes en nuestra determinación de que nuestros hermanos y hermanas migrantes y refugiados puedan ser acogidos con humanidad, sin sacrificar nuestra seguridad. Vamos a llamar atención a la persecución violenta que amenaza a nuestros hermanos cristianos y a personas de otras religiones de todo el mundo, especialmente en el Oriente Medio, y vamos a buscar el compromiso de la nueva administración con respecto a la libertad religiosa en el país, garantizando que la gente de fe pueda seguir teniendo libertad para anunciar y dar forma a nuestras vidas alrededor de la verdad sobre el hombre y la mujer, y el vínculo de unión matrimonial que pueden formar”.
Después de que Trump aseguró la mayoría de votos para ganar en el colegio electoral el 9 de noviembre, el cardenal Sean O’Malley de Boston dijo por Twitter, “Felicitaciones al presidente electo Donald Trump. Que Dios le conceda buena salud, sabiduría y valor durante su presidencia”.
Jeanne Mancini, presidente de la Marcha Por la Vida nuncio, “Estamos encantados que los resultados de la elección de esta noche reflejan el consenso pro-vida en los Estados Unidos, en la cámara, el senado y la presidencia. Aplaudimos a los candidatos que tomaron una posición sobre la cuestión más crucial de derechos humanos hoy en día, el aborto”.
Samuel Rodríguez, presidente de la Conferencia Nacional de Líderes Hispanos Cristianos, dijo que hay que continuar luchando para reconciliar el mensaje de justicia del reverendo Billy Graham con el de Martin Luther King, de marchar por la justicia. “Ahora que la elección presidencial está finalmente detrás de nosotros, nuestra nación debe poner la política partidista y la retórica divisiva detrás de nosotros también. En lugar de la agenda del burro o el elefante, los cristianos deben enfocarse en la agenda del Cordero”, añadió Rodríguez.
“Nos hemos comprometido a dialogar con los que piensan diferente y trataremos de hablar con el president electo Trump”, dijo en un comunicado Scott Reed, director ejecutivo de la red nacional de PICO, fundada por un sacerdote de California. “Pero el presidente electo debe ser advertido de que nuestra fe no nos va a permitir dejarlo que cumpla su promesa de criminalizar a los inmigrantes, realizando deportaciones masivas o quedarnos con lo brazos cruzados al ver la discriminación contra afroamericanos, latinos y minorías religiosas”.
John Gehring, director del programa católico Faith in Public Life dijo que le cuesta encontrar las palabras para procesar el hecho de que un hombre peleón, que prometió prohibirle la entrada al país a musulmanes, que está orgulloso del asalto sexual que cometió en el pasado, y que demoniza a inmigrantes, y quien insultó al Papa Francisco, fuese elegido presidente.
“Como cristiano y padre de niños pequeños, estoy angustiado”, dijo Gehring. “Pero como cristiano, también estoy comprometido a caminar el camino difícil de la fe y la esperanza. Dijo que no entiende a los católicos que apoyaron a Trump, “pero hay demasiado que arriesgar para no buscar terreno común y el bien común”.
Laura Barrett, directora ejecutiva de Interfaith Worker Justice dijo en un comunicado, “Hoy es un día oscuro en la historia de Estados Unidos”. Un hombre que construyó una campaña para llegar a la Casa Blanca con racismo, xenofobia, machismo, ahora se va a convertir en el líder más poderoso del mundo, dijo Barrett.
Kristan Hawkins, presidente de Students for Life of America, dijo en un comunicado que Trump hizo muchas promesas a los que apoyan al movimiento pro-vida a lo largo de su campaña. “La generación pro-vida asegurará de que mantenga esas promesas como presidente”.

Post-election work for Catholics: reconciliation, healing.

By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — All the distrust, vitriol and rancor stirred up during the 2016 presidential election campaign did not go away when votes were tallied.
The Nov. 8 election’s outcome, for many, only added more layers of frustration, anger and fear, prompting dozens of protests across the country.
Political leaders, including Hillary Clinton, President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama, acknowledged the disunity and urged people after the election to try to work together.
Catholic leaders have been making similar pleas, not only for the nation, but also recognizing the division that exists among the church’s own members who split their vote

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shows Melania Trump and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump the Mall from his balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 10. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters) See WASHINGTON-LETTER-ELECTION-UNITY Nov. 11, 2016.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., shows Melania Trump and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump the Mall from his balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington Nov. 10. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters) See WASHINGTON-LETTER-ELECTION-UNITY Nov. 11, 2016.

— 45 percent for Clinton and 52 percent for Trump.
Four days before the election, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus, told a Catholic group in Arlington, Virginia, that regardless of the election’s outcome, “our country will remain deeply divided and those divisions are, to a very real extent, also reflected within our own Catholic faith community.”
The question before Catholics, he said, is whether we will be “a source of unity and reconciliation, or whether we will be a cause of further division.”
That view also was expressed in a Nov. 9 editorial in the National Catholic Reporter newspaper describing the political climate as a “profound moment in our nation’s history and in our church’s history. … The question now is whether we have the courage and leadership to confront these hurts, work for justice and begin the healing process.”
Putting it even more succinctly was an Election Day tweet by Cardinal-designate Joseph W. Tobin of Indianapolis: “Whatever happens at the polls, God will reign. Our work begins tomorrow, building bridges and healing wounds.”
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said: “Every election brings a new beginning. Some may wonder whether the country can reconcile, work together and fulfill the promise of a more perfect union. Through the hope Christ offers, I believe God will give us the strength to heal and unite.”
And Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobbying organization Network, said her faith dictates that “now, more than ever, we need to mend the gaps and bridge the divides among us.”
“If anger fueled the election, we need to listen deeply to this reality, not dismiss it,” said the Sister of Social Service. “The temptation is to immediately think about how we will fight back, but fighting back will only reinforce this mess we’re in. Instead, we have to fight for a vision that eases people’s fears, brings us together and solves problems.”
Days before the election, Jesuit Father Jim Martin, author and editor at large at America, a weekly magazine published by the Jesuits, said after the election Catholics might want to say the “Prayer for Christian Unity,” which is meant for interfaith unity but has an apt message at a time when many “will feel excluded and unwelcome.”
It turns out the Catholic “Prayer for After an Election” also highlights unity, asking God to “heal us from our differences and unite us, O Lord, with a common purpose, dedication and commitment to achieve liberty and justice in the years ahead.”
The very notion of unity after a more contentious presidential campaign than most can remember might seem far-fetched but some Catholics stress it should at least start at the parish level.
Father Thomas Berg, vice rector and professor of moral theology at St Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York, said the differences of opinion revealed in this election “should never be allowed to become occasions of separation and rupture. Disagreement is an invitation to encounter, dialogue and to witness to the faith we presumably share.”
“Postelection, at the parish level, how wonderful it would be if we could engage each other dispassionately in calm rational dialogue about our differences with regard to the candidates,” said the priest, who is currently writing a book, “Hurting in the Church: A Way Forward for Wounded Catholics.”
Zach Flanagin, a professor of theology and religious studies at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga, similarly suggested old-fashioned dialogue saying Catholics should take their cue from Pope Francis who has spent a good part of his pontificate accompanying people and listening to them.
“It’s incumbent at a time like this when there is so much division that we sit down and listen to people,” he told CNS on Election Day.
One way for this to happen in parishes — which he said “can be as divided as communities” — would be in for parishes to host dinners where parishioners have the chance to talk to each other about what matters to them. They might not agree with each other, he said, but they will likely come away respecting the other person.
Flanagin said he has seen programs like this work in high schools and junior high schools that have recognized the need to bring diverse communities together to help heal toxic environments.
Sherry Weddell, co-founder of the Catherine of Siena Institute, a group based in Colorado Springs, Colorado dedicated to strengthening parishes and lay Catholics, said the big post election question is: “How can we help rebuild our relationships with one another now that the shouting is over?”
For Catholics, she said the answer is found in embracing the church’s mission in outreach to others. “Being apostles together slowly builds remarkably strong bridges of trust and hope over the divides that separate us,” she said, adding that doing this “can actually heal and transform us as well.”
And for many, part of the mission is simply to keep up the work at hand and encourage others not to lose hope.
Peggy Lewis, interim dean of business and graduate studies at Trinity Washington University in Washington, said she advises students who are disheartened by the election, especially immigrants covered by the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, that the “fight is still on.”
Lewis, highlighted with Trinity students in a Nov. 9 Chronicle of Higher Education news video, said she has been urging these students not to give up.
“Getting students from anger, where I still am, to thinking about the future, is something we’re striving to do,” she said.
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, during a Nov. 10 interfaith prayer service for peace, solidarity and unity at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, offered similar encouragement to the immigrant community after the election.
“Tonight in America, children are afraid. Men and women are worried and anxious, thinking about where they can run and hide,” he said.
“The answer is not angry words or violence in the streets. It never solves anything. It only inflames it more. We need to be people of peace, people of compassion. Love not hate. Mercy not revenge,” he said. “These are the tools to rebuild our nation and renew the American dream. Tonight we promise our brothers and sisters who are undocumented: We will never you leave you alone.”
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Follow Zimmermann on Twitter @carolmaczim.

500 years from Reformation: Grace remains key issue

By Aaron Williams
For Lutherans across the world, this past October 31 was more than just your average Halloween. It was on Oct. 31, 1517, that Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Now, the countdown has begun leading up to the five-hundredth anniversary of Luther’s split with the Catholic Church and the start of modern-day Protestantism.

Williams

Williams

This year is a good opportunity for all Christians, both Protestant and Catholic, to join together in prayer for unification so that “all may be one” (John 17:21) as our Lord intended of his church from the beginning. But, this anniversary also provides for Catholics a moment to reflect on those differences which still cause separation. Especially for we who live in a overwhelmingly Protestant area, it can be helpful to know where the Catholic Church stands on significant issues which divide us from our protestant brothers and sisters.
One such issue is the matter of grace. Grace is not something most Christians often give much thought, but it is a word which we, perhaps deafly, hear preached, read in scripture, or sung in hymns. So, what is “grace”?
The Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2003) states, “Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us.” Grace is that gratuitous gift of God which purifies us and assists us in living the Christian life. Understanding the role of grace requires us to ask why we need grace in the first place and to answer that question we have to consider the role of sin in our lives.
For Catholics, all sin has its root in the original sin of Adam and Eve. God commanded them, “You must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…lest you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17). But, we know that Adam and Eve did eat of this fruit and so they and all their children died. The church teaches that the guilt of the same sin of our first parents has been passed down from generation to generation, so that all humanity shares in this guilt. This sin was so significant that it damaged the very nature of humankind so that we were no longer able to do good works.
But, God the Father, in his infinite mercy, gave up his only Son and by the sacrifice of Christ on calvary, grace entered the world — grace enough that for all who are baptized, the guilt of original sin is totally wiped away and human nature is restored to its justified state. Men and women are made sons and daughters of God and are therefore holy and able to freely choose to do good works with the help of God’s grace.
Luther, however, did not share this view. It was his argument that human nature was so harmed by Adam and Eve’s sin that Christ’s sacrifice only served to declare all of us “justified” — even though we remained guilty of sin and incapable of doing good works. For Luther, humankind is incapable of freely choosing to do good things and even though every man and woman is sinful and their nature is turned towards evil, those who have faith in Christ will still be saved on the last day.
His view is similar to that of a child who, instead of sweeping the house, pushes the dust under a rug. For Luther, God does not restore our nature to its previous state but simply declares us “justified” — so that we appear holy from the exterior, while are still guilty of original sin interiorly.
Catholics, however, are so confident that baptism regenerates us from our sinful state that we insist even the smallest among us (infants) be baptized, even though they may not understand what it means at the time. It is a sacrament which fundamentally heals our nature interiorly and not simply from an external appearance.
For Catholics, baptism gives us the gift of faith, by which we may be saved. And since we are all made a part of the Mystical Body of Christ in baptism, all of us are capable of doing good works because we are enabled by Christ. In the words of St. Paul, “It is no longer I, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).

Martin Luther, a German monk and key figure in the Protestant Reformation, is depicted in this painting at a church in Helsingor, Denmark. Pope Francis will visit Sweden Oct. 31-Nov. 1 for commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. (CNS photo/Crosiers) See VATICAN-LETTER-SWEDEN AND SWEDEN-TRIP-REFORMATION Oct. 20, 2016.

Martin Luther, a German monk and key figure in the Protestant Reformation, is depicted in this painting at a church in Helsingor, Denmark. Pope Francis will visit Sweden Oct. 31-Nov. 1 for commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. (CNS photo/Crosiers) See VATICAN-LETTER-SWEDEN AND SWEDEN-TRIP-REFORMATION Oct. 20, 2016.

Moreover, since Christ enables us to do good works and all Christ’s works are pleasing before the Father, our own works can merit us a greater capacity for grace. This is not to say that Catholics think of salvation as if it is “bought” by good works. Humankind is justified once and for all by Christ’s sacrifice through baptism, but after that initial grace of justification, each of us is able to merit more grace to assist us in living a virtuous life and to have a greater capacity to experience God in heaven. Thus, St. Paul writes, “God will render to each according to his works” (Romans 2:6). After baptism, God gives more grace to each person according to the works they do through Christ, because everything that Christ does is pleasing to the Father.
As we approach the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, it would be good for each of us to reflect on those things which make us Catholic — our theology, our liturgy, our faith in the leadership of the church. There are so many blessings in our faith which so few of us understand. Maybe this year each of us can buy a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and commit to reading a little bit each day. And most importantly, we should each pray that “all may be one” once more.
(Aaron Williams is a third-year theologian studying at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. He and his classmate, Nick Adam, will be ordained to the the transitional diaconate in the Spring.)

Clergy deliver documents about black Catholic movement to Notre Dame

By Catholic News Service
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (CNS) — A delegation of black Catholic priests paid a visit to the University of Notre Dame’s Theodore Hesburgh Library in South Bend to entrust the archives there with historical documents about African-American Catholic priests, sisters, brothers, deacons, seminarians and laypeople.
The group visited the archives Oct. 24 in advance of Black Catholic History Month in November. The observance was established in 1990 by the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus.
Members of the delegation Father Kenneth Taylor, a priest of the Indianapolis Archdiocese, who is president of National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus; Precious Blood Father Clarence Williams, caucus vice president and archivist; Father Theodore Parker, a priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit; and Deacon Melvin Tardy, an academic adviser at Notre Dame.
The materials they delivered will be preserved in the library’s archives and be available for study.

Father Kenneth Taylor, president of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, pushes a cart of archival material earmarked for the Theodore Hesburgh Library on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., Oct. 25. Assisting him is Holy Cross Brother Roy Smith of Notre Dame. (CNS photo/courtesy Catholic African World Network) See BLACK-HISTORY-MONTH-CLERGY Nov. 2, 2016.

Father Kenneth Taylor, president of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, pushes a cart of archival material earmarked for the Theodore Hesburgh Library on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., Oct. 25. Assisting him is Holy Cross Brother Roy Smith of Notre Dame. (CNS photo/courtesy Catholic African World Network) See BLACK-HISTORY-MONTH-CLERGY Nov. 2, 2016.

The three priests were nostalgic about bringing the documentation to Notre Dame because of their personal histories with the university.
“It is hard to believe that we were here as seminarians in 1970, and began the National Black Catholic Seminarians Association. And now we return almost 50 years later as priests. Things have come full circle,” said Father Parker. He had served on the coordinating committee of the seminarians association.
The group’s first meeting at Notre Dame drew 70 black seminarians from across the country. They were the guests of the National Black Sisters Conference, which had formed two years earlier.
Father Taylor, who also was present in 1970, called it amazing to see the return of the historical documents to a place that was instrumental in building the black Catholic movement in its infancy.
“November as Black Catholic History Month is a project of the black Catholic clergy, so this is a perfect time to accept the invitation to place our chronicle with the Notre Dame archives on the American Catholic Heritage,” he said.
The Notre Dame visit was one step toward a greater appreciation of the black Catholic movement to be explored in 2018.
Father Williams, who is chairman of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus’ 50th anniversary committee, said the group was “putting things in place” as the anniversary approaches. The anniversary will mark the beginning of the black Catholic movement that began “with the clergy leading it,” he added.
The priests met with the National Interracial Justice Conference in Detroit the week after the April 4, 1968, assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tennessee. “These priests asked that those Negro priests present could gather as a caucus to share their feeling and thoughts of the Negro mood,” said a news release on the delegation’s visit to Notre Dame.
The result of those meetings in the late 1960s “was a statement on the racism of the Catholic Church and the formation” of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus, said the news release. “The rest is history.”
The clergy caucus has a standing committee to review documents and articles that will continue to build the black Catholic collection now at Notre Dame.
“We are open to the contribution of others who wish to preserve our black Catholic history and invite their participation,” Father Taylor said. “In a special way, we dedicate our efforts in the memory of (Benedictine) Cyprian Davis, who recently died.” The priest was the leading example, he said, about the need “to value the contribution of our unique Catholic journey. He was the keeper of the archives and now that he is no longer here to protect and preserve, we must take up that responsibility.”
Father Davis, who died May 18, 2015, at age 84, was considered the pre-eminent chronicler of black Catholic history. He wrote six books, including “The History of Black Catholics in the United States,” published in 1990. He was working on a revised edition of the book at the time of his death.
He also had also written what is considered the definitive biography of Mother Henriette Delille, the black foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Family in antebellum New Orleans. Her sainthood cause was opened in 1988 and she was declared venerable in 2010.

Jubilee Year of Mercy: Mercy is bridge to encounter with Christ, transforms world, says bishop

By Jay Nies
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (CNS) – The Jubilee Year of Mercy will conclude Nov. 20, but the Catholic Church’s renewed emphasis on mercy must not.
“If it does come to an end, shame on us!” Bishop Edward M. Rice of Springfield-Cape Girardeau proclaimed from the ornate dais of the House chamber in the Missouri Capitol.
Bishop Rice addressed 400 Catholics from all over the state at the Missouri Catholic Conference’s annual assembly. The Oct. 8 assembly’s theme, borrowed from Pope Francis, was: “A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.”
The pope has described mercy as “being loved forever despite our sinfulness” and as “not getting what you deserve.”
Drawing from and extrapolating on the pope’s document instituting the Year of Mercy, “Misericordiae Vultus” (“The Face of Mercy”), Bishop Rice spoke of mercy as a bridge to an encounter with Christ at the foot of his cross and into a relationship that transforms people and the entire world.
“What began at the Incarnation, what came to full expression on the cross, what is given to us in the Eucharist – that’s mercy. And as the children of God, we’re supposed to put it into practice,” said Bishop Rice.
Pope Francis based his call for the Year of Mercy on the fact that “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.”
“If we study the words of Jesus, if we look at the actions of Jesus, the entire person of Jesus, what we learn about is the mercy of the Father,” said Bishop Rice.
“When you’re humble enough to open your heart to the mercy of God, he’s not going to leave you where you are,” he noted. “He’s going to call you to conversion and to change your ways.”
Returning from the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis told reporters that “ours is a time of mercy – this generation.”
Bishop Rice reiterated the pope’s observation that the church’s credibility is seen in how it shows merciful and compassionate love.
Mercy transforms everything it touches, the bishop said. “It has implications in our efforts for respect for life, for the entire spectrum, from the womb to the tomb.”
“Mercy has something to say about employment and education,” he continued. “Mercy has something to say about health care. Mercy has something to say about the poor and the marginalized … those who suffer violence, the refugees, those who are addicted, those who need housing, those who suffer from hunger.”
“To the world, mercy, forgiveness and kindness are often seen as signs of weakness,” Bishop Rice observed. “But in the eyes of faith – mercy, forgiveness and kindness are signs of God’s power!”
Bishop Rice noted that the Year of Mercy and its themes of experiencing God’s mercy and becoming more merciful as individuals and as the church have resonated profoundly with people of all ages.
This inevitably leads to a personal encounter with people who are poor and marginalized, who reveal the face of Christ, who reveals the face of God’s mercy.
Bishop Rice called to mind a sign a Protestant pastor in St. Louis posted shortly after Pope Francis announced the Jubilee Year of Mercy. It said: “Mercy is more than a year.”
“You know, the guy is right!” the bishop remarked. “In fact, it would be great if all of our Catholic parishes put up the same sign, because that’s our real challenge as the Year of Mercy draws to a close.”
(Nies is editor of The Catholic Missourian, newspaper of the Diocese of Jefferson City.)

When it comes to vocations, successful programs focus on the basics

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This edition of Mississippi Catholic celebrates National Vocations Awareness Week, Nov. 6-11. Look inside for stories from local religious and reflections on vocations from across the diocese.)
By Dennis Sadowski
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Finding candidates to consider joining the priesthood or religious life has never been easy.
There are serious questions to address, prayer to undertake, and solo and group activities that help determine whether a person is meant to live a religious life of ministry.
To meet the ongoing need for priests and women religious to meet the spiritual needs of Catholic communities, various programs have evolved over time to give men and women a wide range of discernment opportunities.
In the end, it comes down building relationships, trust and understanding. On the spiritual side, the desire to enter religious life is grounded in a deep love of God that is built through prayer and a desire to take on the “smell of the sheep,” as Pope Francis has demonstrated time and again.
Here’s a look at the way a few organizations operate their vocations programs. Innovative? Perhaps. More so they seem to be common sense steps that are reaping rewards.
At Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, the Catholic community is larger than the majority of parishes in the country.
About 25 percent of the 60,000 students on campus identify themselves as Catholic, said Marcel LeJeune, associate director of Newman Campus Ministry at St. Mary’s Catholic Center, which serves the school. That breaks down to about 15,000 young adults around which to build ministry.
“We average about 5,000 people at Mass on the weekends,” LeJeune told Catholic News Service. He estimates that 90 percent of Massgoers are students. “People are usually standing in the aisles,”
When confessions are heard, the lines are long with some students waiting up to 45 minutes to see a priest. And it’s not uncommon for LeJeune to make a stop in the chapel where perpetual adoration occurs and see “15 kids in there.”
All of these are signs of what LeJeune describes as a dynamic ministry “to all the different kinds of kids you’re going to meet.” Such vibrancy has long borne fruit for vocations in religious life.
“We have 160 Aggie Catholics who are bishops, priests, deacons and religious,” LeJeune explained, invoking the school’s sports nickname.
LeJeune shared some statistics:
– In mid-October, 81 university alumni were in formation for religious life or enrolled in a seminary.
– This year alone, 15 men and women entered formation programs.
– During the past 19 years, more than nine men and women annually entered religious life; over the past five years, the average number has risen to more than 12.
LeJeune credits the large Catholic population for such glowing statistics: the more people, the greater the number of vocations.
Further, he finds that such vocations success has more to do with the enthusiasm of the 65 people, including the priests and women religious, who work at St. Mary’s.
“We don’t have a magic bullet,” he said. “For us, it’s men and women who love what they do and who are meeting students who can see these men and women, a priest, a religious, who love what they do, and can see themselves doing it.
“We also do a good job of evangelizing and forming them in prayer. Without conversion and formation and prayer, you can’t discern. We’re teaching them how to pray. Plus putting them in front of opportunities to get to know priests and (women) religious who love what they do. That’s it.”
The vibrancy of the St. Mary’s Catholic Center apparently has gained the attention of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, and even Vatican officials. The last two pastors of the community have been named bishops. There’s Bishop Dave A. Konderla of Tulsa, Oklahoma, who served for 11 years at St. Mary’s, and his predecessor, Bishop Michael J. Sis of San Angelo, Texas, who served for 13 years there.
“That will tell you how much they value the priests who have served here,” LeJeune says. “It takes a special man to be our pastor with a special set of gifts.”
In a few years, Msgr. Scott Friend, director of vocations in the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas, sees the number of priests bumping up from the mid-50s to the mid-60s.
That may not seem like a large number of priests, but in a state where Catholics are a definite minority, a boost of nearly 20 percent looks good.
Msgr. Friend, who also is the diocese’s vicar general, saw five men ordained to the priesthood in May. For next spring, six men are on course for ordination. And in 2018, the number is seven.
“That’s pretty phenomenal. We’ve got some pretty sharp guys coming up,” he told CNS.
Current seminarians and new priests represent a mix of men from different age groups. Along with young men who entered the seminary from high school, there’s a number of men who began careers before discerning a call to serve God.
Several factors have contributed to the diocese’s success. One is the ability of staff, especially the four priests on the team, to help seminarians navigate the road to priesthood.
Msgr. Friend has led the vocations effort for 12 years. He’s 55 and finds that he often he’s called to be “a good father figure.”
With an increasing number of older seminarians – those not just out of high school – Msgr. Friend said it’s necessary “to maintain the right kind of balance, of being approachable, and at the same time maintain the boundaries of what it means to be a good father (parent).”
Other factors also have contributed to the diocese’s growing vocations numbers.
About a dozen seminarians live in what is known as Formation House, a community located at a Little Rock parish in one of the city’s working-class neighborhoods. There, seminarians not only go through the experience of book learning, but see the potential for parish ministry.
He said that the setting allows the men to widen their “missionary spirit” in a state where just 4 percent of the population is Catholic.
Like many areas of the country, Arkansas is experiencing a growth in the Latino population. Seminarians are required to learn Spanish. Having a language skill builds a bond to a community that priests might not get to know well, Msgr. Friend said.
And the Latino community is beginning to produce candidates for priestly vocations as well. It’s a good sign, Msgr. Friend acknowledged.
A culture of vocations finds parishioners throughout the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas, promoting the priesthood and religious life.
It’s something that has been fostered in the 25 counties of the diocese for 30 years, said Father Michael M. Simone, diocesan director of vocations.
There has been “profound impact on our families and schools and has a strong effect on our vocations programs,” Father Simone told CNS.
The effort has helped boost the number of seminarians to more than 60 in recent years after it hovered about 33 percent lower a decade ago. One result is that median age of diocesan priests has remained constant at 45 to 47.
“In terms of recruiting the next generation of priests, it really starts in the family and expands to the family receiving the faith which is the parish and the school,” he explained.
Diocesan schools play a role in the vocations culture as well. “There’s a lot of preformation and cultivation for the calls to discernment to take place for us,” Father Simone added.
Once the men are in formation, Father Simone helps them with supplemental programs that help them build a sense of what the priesthood is about. He cites a weekly Friday night discussion group throughout the summer “to discuss pertinent topics relevant to the ways they’ll exercise their priestly ministry in the diocese.”
The seminarians also are prepared to minister to the growing Latino population of the diocese, something which other dioceses may not be addressing yet. The effort includes training in the Spanish language as a way to stress the global nature of the church.
“We have a lot of Hispanic people who desire and need bilingual priests,” he said.

Catholic vote remains important, but less predictable than in the past

By Dennis Sadowski
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Is there a Catholic vote?
Well, yes. Kind of.
Voting patterns show Catholics vote much like the rest of America, with minor swings one way or the other, depending on the candidate and the state.
Nevertheless, the Catholic vote still is important, as syndicated columnist, political commentator and Georgetown University professor E.J. Dionne likes to say.
Any way it’s examined, analysts say the Catholic vote — about 22 percent of the electorate — is not as monolithic as it once was.
That is, except for Latinos, who now comprise about 35 percent of U.S. Catholics: More than 65 percent regularly vote for Democrats, and about 20 percent vote Republican, leaving few to be swayed by the candidates’ political positions.
“Even though people use the shorthand of ‘the Catholic vote,’ ‘the vote of Catholics’ is probably the better way to describe it because there is that diversity now,” said Mark Gray, senior research associate at the Washington-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
Gray suggested that the elections of 1960 and 1964 were the last where Catholics could be considered a uniform voting bloc. In 1960, they were moved to support Democrat John F. Kennedy, the country’s first and only Catholic president, and that wave carried into the election four years later.
But since then, Gray told Catholic News Service, Catholics “have not been really in one camp or the other,” and they hold values similar to the rest of the voting populace, an indication that church teaching holds little sway in the election at the polls.
“(Catholics) look for teachings of the church that are consistent with the party affiliation that they have,” Gray said.
Monika L. McDermott, associate professor of political science at Fordham University, who has analyzed exit poll data for national news organizations, echoed Gray, saying the diversity among Catholics means they vote the way they want no matter what the Catholic Church teaches.
“They go their own way. They pick and choose what they want and what they want to follow,” she said. So there’s no need to expect that Catholics by themselves will sway the eventual outcome of this year’s presidential election, with its strange twists as candidates trade extraordinarily nasty barbs and accuse major party leadership of a lack of transparency in the delegate selection process.
Factors such as anger and distrust among voters are fueling the rise of self-proclaimed “outsiders” whose message has appealed to those who have felt betrayed by the institutions of government, church and social services that they once trusted to work on their behalf.
Stephen F. Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America, said perhaps no other group has felt more betrayed than white working-class communities in places such as Pennsylvania, Appalachia, the Ozarks and the Deep South.
In an address during a daylong symposium, “Rebuilding Trust,”  in April at the university, Schneck described the high levels of drug abuse and alcoholism, marriage failures, declining life expectancy and rising crime rates that plague such communities.
“There are many angles from which to consider the correlation between decaying social capital and what’s happening to the quality of life for these populations, but one way to see it is as a crisis of trust,” Schneck told the audience.
“It’s a breakdown of trust with even basic institutions of social life. Their distrust of government is something we all hear about, but it goes far beyond that,” he said.
Later in an interview, Schneck said working-class whites feel “like they’ve lived up to their end of the bargain, but the other institutions have not,” so they are turning to candidates who seem to offer them a better life.
Matthew Green, assistant professor of political scientist at The Catholic University of America and another symposium speaker, said that could explain the appeal of candidates who have positioned themselves as outside the political mainstream.
Green said the high turnout in Republican primaries among people feeling forgotten helped Donald Trump hold off challengers.
“If you distrust the institution, but there is a candidate who says ‘I’m going to fix things,’ then that might motivate you to vote,” Green told CNS.
Even with the large turnout among working-class white voters during the primaries, Latinos may hold the key to the general election. If they show up at the polls in places such as Florida, Nevada and Colorado, they will influence who becomes the next occupant of the White House, said  Luis Fraga, co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies and professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame.
As goes the Latino vote, so goes Catholic Latino voters, he said.
He offered a few statistics that are expected to influence election outcomes beginning this year, but especially in the future:
— 63 percent of Latinos in the U.S. were born in the U.S. and another 15 percent are naturalized citizens.
— Of the Latinos younger than age 18, 94 percent were born in the U.S.
— About 800,000 Latinos turn 18 every year.
“If I wanted to register new Latino voters, that’s where you tend to focus, it would be 17-year-olds. You have a huge group that has the possibility of engaging (politically),” he said.
Fraga pointed to Florida, with its rapid growth in newcomers from Puerto Rico, with large numbers of young and educated people seeking opportunities that are unavailable on the Caribbean island territory.
Fraga said the number of Florida residents of Cuban origin, who tend to vote Republican, remains flat and, because both trends are expected to continue, the political landscape in Florida will change.
However Catholics vote, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops again is disseminating its quadrennial document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” with accompanying study and discussion guides, bulletin inserts, and materials for use by bishops.
The latest iteration of the document, approved at the bishops’ annual fall meeting in November, draws on papal teaching since 2007, particularly the latter part of Pope Benedict XVI’s tenure and Pope Francis’ three years overseeing the Vatican. It also considers recent developments in U.S. domestic and foreign policy related to same-sex marriage, the use of drones in warfare and care for the environment, among other issues.
“There’s no doubt that this is something that’s very important to bring to the attention of Catholics, and formation of conscience, as the document says, is a lifelong undertaking, and our need to bring our faith to the public square is also not about one election,” said Susan Sullivan, director of education and outreach in the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development.
(Editor’s Note: See Bishop Kopacz’ column on page 3 for additonal reflections and find a link to “Faithful Citizenship” materials online at www.jacksondiocese.org.)
Follow Sadowski on Twitter: @DennisSadowski