Monday, July 28, 2014

Five Things to Remember on July 28

1. Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri said July 27 that “no religion can accept to kill God’s children in the Name of the same God” during a homily at the Chaldean Cathedral of St. Peter in San Diego, California. Cardinal Sandri, the Prefect for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, is visiting Eastern-Rite Catholic communities in California this month. Most members of the Chaldean Church come from Iraq, where there is persecution of Christians, especially at the hands of the Islamist ISIS group which has driven the Catholic community from the city of Mosul.

2. July 26 marked the
First Anniversary of World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Video: What did it all mean in Rio last July? What is the lasting significance of World Youth Days for the Church?  Video: One year ago tonight tons of cardinals & bishops partied on Copacabana beach Video: Warm-up for Concluding World Youth Day 2013 Mass - Brazil
Text: What did we learn from World Youth Day in Rio?

3. First Vietnamese Refugee to become general in U.S. Army in August. Thirty-nine years ago, the Immigration & Refugee Division of Catholic Charities LA (then named the Catholic Welfare Bureau) ensured that Major Duong Xuan Luong, his wife, and their eight children, found a safe home in the United States. Major Luong’s only son, Viet Luong, was ten when his family was resettled by Catholic Charities Los Angeles. He attended the University of Southern California and joined the U.S. Army after graduation. After 20 years in the Army, he will be promoted from the rank of Colonel to the rank of general, making him the first Vietnamese refugee to become a General in the US Army. Credit: Loc Nguyen, Director of Immigration and Refugee Department, Catholic Charities Los Angeles.

4. Bishop Richard Pates urged National Security Advisor Susan Rice to provide humanitarian assistance and work with other governments to stop violence in Iraq.  The United States should help Christian communities and other Iraqis plagued by violence through humanitarian assistance and international collaboration, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in a July 25 letter to National Security Advisor Rice. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, had written to her June 19 about the escalating violence in Iraq and wrote that the situation had only deteriorated. “The Islamic State has taken control of large swaths of territory in northern Iraq, leaving a trail of destruction, burning and looting ancient churches and mosques, homes and businesses,” Bishop Pates wrote. “Thousands have fled with little more than the clothes on their backs, often being robbed of their few personal possessions as they ran.” Full text of the letter is available online:

5. God loves you.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 25

1. USCCB/MRS is one of two agencies authorized by the Department of State to help children who enter the U.S. without a legal guardian.

2. Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, called upon President Obama and the Central American presidents to protect and care for children and families fleeing violence in the region. On July 25, Presidents Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala, Salvador Sánchez Cerén of El Salvador, and Juan Orlando Hernández of Honduras are slated to meet with President Obama at the White House to discuss the current humanitarian challenge.

3. Wednesday's order by the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado enjoining the state from enforcing its laws defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman follows recent decisions on marriage by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver. The U.S. District Court temporarily stayed its order. The U.S. Bishops’ Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, said, “Recent court decisions on marriage in no way deter our efforts to promote the truth about marriage – a truth that no court decision can ever undo.”

4. Imagine going to the cafeteria line, looking to the right and seeing Pope Francis ordering fish.

5. God loves you.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 24

1. The U.S. cannot separate the humanitarian crisis of many thousands of unaccompanied minors journeying to the U.S. border from root causes in Latin America, many generated by U.S. policies, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace in a July 24 letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. The letter from Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, followed the bishops’ June 24-July 2 travels in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

2. Meriam Ibrahim, the woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, met with Pope Francis in the Casa Santa Marta today.

3. Catholic News Service has a new documentary on the last legacy of World War I.

4. As Americans mark the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, the USCCB Secretariat for Cultural Diversity in the Church has launched a 50th anniversary Initiative, to encourage the faithful to reflect on how the lessons and legacy of the civil rights era continue to shape us today as Catholics and faithful citizens.

5. God loves you.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 23

1. reports: "Pope Francis has reassured the Patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church Ignatius Youssef III Younan that he is following news out of Iraq with concern, particularly the dramatic situation of Christians in Mosul who have been threatened with death and seizure of their homes by Islamic militants demanding they leave or convert to their form of Islamic belief. Christians have lived in Iraq’s second largest city for nearly two thousand years; there are few, if any, left now in Mosul. "

2. Find out how the Catholic Church is helping the unaccompanied minors currently in the immigration crisis in the U.S.

3. A Mass for the immigrants was held in Los Angeles with Archbishop Jose Gomez and he said, "As we all know, this land was built by the blood and sacrifice and the vision of missionaries and immigrants from every race and language and every nation."

4. Among the new members and consultants Pope Francis named to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is Father John W. Crossin, the executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

5. God loves you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 22

1. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the USCCB, has asked the U.S. bishops to join with him in prayer and action for peace in world trouble spots, including the Middle East, Ukraine, Africa and Central America.

2. Pope Francis prayed for the Middle East, saying, “May the God of peace arouse in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence cannot be overcome with violence. Violence is overcome with peace!”

3. One of the most viral posts on our Facebook page is this tweet from Bishop David Ricken.

4. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what Natural Family Planning (NFP) is. Do you know the difference between the fact and fiction about NFP? Find out more here:

5. God loves you.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Five Things To Remember on July 21

1. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, who chairs the U.S. bishops' International Committee on International Justice and Peace, wrote July 21 to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to say that the United States should seek an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, provide humanitarian relief to the vulnerable people of Gaza, and return to the challenge of pursuing a just and lasting peace. The letter addressed Hamas’ rocket attacks and the Israeli response and reiterated Pope Francis’ call for a ceasefire and peace.

2. During his Sunday Angelus July 20 Pope Francis told the persecuted Christians of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that he was with them in solidarity and appealed for aid for these people who have been “stripped of everything." Thousands of Iraqi Christians have fled Mosul to Sunni Kurdish areas up north after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threatened to kill them if they don't convert to Islam or pay tax. Extremists of the al-Qaeda-inspired group began implementing their threats by burning a 1,800 year old church in the city. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says that the persecution of Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes in Mosul could constitute a crime against humanity.

3. Unaccompanied children seeking refuge in the United States should be viewed not through an enforcement lens but through a child protection lens. In fact, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has found 58 percent of these children felling violence in their home countries could qualify for international protection as refugees.

4. Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, Archbishop William Lori, Archbishop Thomas Wenski and Bishop Richard J. Malone have voiced concern for the proposed Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) which would ignore religious freedom concerns. "To dismiss concerns about religious freedom in a misguided attempt to address unjust discrimination in the workplace is not to advance justice and tolerance. Instead, it stands as an affront to basic human rights and the importance of religion in society .... The U.S. legacy of religious freedom has enabled the Catholic Church and other faith communities to exercise their religious and moral convictions freely and thus contribute to the good of all in society. No good can come from removing this witness from our social life." they wrote July 21 on the USCCBlog. They added that "eliminating truly unjust discrimination – based on personal characteristics, not sexual behavior – and protecting religious freedom are goals that we all should share. The current political climate makes it very difficult to maintain a reasonable dialogue on these contentious issues, but we must keep trying." Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco chairs the U.S. bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage; Archbishop Lori of Baltimore chairs the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Archbishop Wenski of Miami chairs the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Bishop Malone chairs the bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
5. God loves you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five Things To Remember On July 18

1. Pope Francis spoke with the leaders of Israel and Palestine today in the wake of the latest military conflicts.

2. Catholics are being encouraged to contact government officials to push for peace in the Holy Land.

3. The Catholic Church is absolutely committed to the safety of children. Together we can make a Promise to Protect, and a Pledge to Heal. For more information about our efforts against child abuse and to learn how you can help, speak with your local Safe Environment Coordinator and visit our website at

4. Sunday is the start of NFP Awareness Week. Learn more about it.

5. God loves you.