Archives for August 2016

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US bishops’ conference calls for special collection for Louisiana flood victims

USCCB_Logo1 (2)Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, archbishop of Louisville and president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a call for an emergency collection to help the victims of the recent flooding in Louisiana.

In a statement on the USCCB website, Archbishop Kurtz asked that a special collection be taken up “on or near September 18 to support the humanitarian efforts of Catholic Charities USA and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted Catholic dioceses.” He goes on note he knows every parish may not be able to participate in a collection, but says individuals can donate directly to directly to Catholic Charities USA.

For the entire USCCB statement, click here.


NFPC This Week, #674 – 8/21-8/27/2016

Of Note This Week –

Denver priest named auxiliary bishop

Bishop-designate Jorge Rodriquez. Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

Bishop-designate Jorge Rodriquez. Photo courtesy of The Denver Post

Pope Francis appointed Father Jorge Rodriguez-Novelo, a priest of the Archdiocese of Denver as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese.

Bishop-designate Rodriguez-Novelo, 61, is a native of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. He currently serves as pastor of Holy Cross Church in Thornton and as a faculty member of St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver.

Ordained for the Legionaires of Christ in 1987, he was incardinated into the Archdiocese of Denver in 2008.

Bishop-designate Rodriguez was awarded a doctorate in Sacred Theology by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome in 1994. He also received a licentiate in philosophy from the same university and a diploma in Mariology from the Marianum in Rome.

From 1994-1997, he was dean of the Theology Department of the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome and taught theology at several different pontifical universities and institutes in the city.

According to Crux (Aug. 25, 2016), Bishop-designate Rodriguez first came to Denver in 1999 at the invitation of Archbishop Charles Chaput to teach at the new St. John Vianney Theological Seminary, and to serve as associate pastor of St. Therese Parish in Aurora.

He returned to Rome from 2002-2006 to serve as an associate pastor of the Roman parish Stella Maris. Rodriguez then returned to Denver again to teach at St. John Vianney and from 2007-2014 served as Vice-Rector of the seminary

For the USCCB News Release (Aug. 25, 2016), click here.

For the Crux report, click here.

Brother Paul Bednarczyk, CSC to take position with his religious community

Holy Cross Brother Paul Bednarczyk, executive director of the National Religious Vocation Conference will resign his position soon to serve as vicar general and first assistant for the Congregation of the Holy Cross. The announcement was posted on the NRVC website.

For the entire announcement, click here.

For Pope Francis gray is an important color

In a meeting with members of his religious community in Poland last month, Pope Francis asked his Jesuit confreres to work particularly with seminarians to help them learn “the wisdom of discernment,” so they’re able to cope with life’s “gray situations.”

According to the National Catholic Reporter (Aug. 25, 2016), the pontiff said, “The Church today needs to grow in the ability of spiritual discernment.” The report noted that Pope Francis met with about 30 Jesuits on July 30. A transcript of the dialogue released for the first time Thursday, Aug. 25 by the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica.

“Some priestly formation programs run the risk of educating in the light of overly clear and distinct ideas, and therefore to act within limits and criteria that are rigidly defined … and that set aside concrete situations,” said the pope.

“The seminarians, when they become priests, find themselves in difficulty in accompanying the life of so many young people and adults,” he continued.

Priests above all, but lay people too need to be taught discernment, the pope said, because “in life, not everything is black over white or white over black. No! The shades of gray prevail in life. We must teach them to discern in this gray area.”

For the NCR report, click here.

For the Crux (Aug. 25, 2016) report, click here.

Two nuns found stabbed to death in Mississippi

Sr. Paula J. Merrill, SCN (left) and Sr. Margaret M. Held, SSSF. Photo courtesy of Michael O’Loughlin/School Sisters of St. Francis via RNS.

Sr. Paula J. Merrill, SCN (left) and Sr. Margaret M. Held, SSSF. Photo courtesy of Michael O’Loughlin/School Sisters of St. Francis via RNS.

Several religious media outlets reported that two Catholic sisters, one a Sister of Charity of Nazareth and another a Schools Sister of St. Francis were found stabbed to death in central Mississippi

According to Religion News Service (Aug. 26, 2016), Sister Paula Merrill, SCN and Sister Margaret Held, SSSF were found stabbed to death in their home in the town of Durant. The report notes that the police are investigating the case as a robbery that escalated into murder. Both were 68.

Catholic News Agency (Aug. 25, 2016) reports the sisters, who were both nurse practitioners, were scheduled to work at Lexington Medical Clinic but never came to work Thursday morning, prompting their co-workers to call the police.

No motive is known at this time, the report states.

“Pray in gratitude for the precious lives of Sisters Paula and Margaret … They served the poor so well. Because we are gospel women, please also pray for the perpetrators,” SCN President Susan Gatz said in a statement.

For the RNS report, click here.

For the CNA report, click here.

In Religious Life in the 21st Century: The Prospect of Refounding

Rel_Life_21st-croppedIn Religious Life in the 21st Century: The Prospect of Refounding, Father Diarmuid O’Murchu, MSC calls the present “Calvary times” for religious life. With declining numbers, an aging profile, a diminished pastoral presence, an identity crisis, and a vastly changing cultural context, where is hope for religious life today? This seminal work, which surveys the historical rise and fall of religious orders and congregations, reveals the fundamental dispositions that these institutions need to integrate into a new spirituality and sense of mission. These include: being faithful to the new Reign of God as a companionship of empowerment; internalizing a cyclic sense of the paschal mystery in history; embracing God’s creation as our primary eschatological space; learning from the great Foundresses, including Mary Josephine Rogers; and reading the signs of the times of the 21st century. Each chapter includes a helpful study guide for group study and individual reflection. Available for $26.00 from Orbis Books, P.O. Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545. Tel: (800) 258-5838. Fax: (914) 941-7005. E-mail: [email protected]. Web site:

Washington auxiliary appointed bishop of Memphis

Bishop Martin D. Holley. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC

Bishop Martin D. Holley. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC

Pope Francis named Washington DC Auxiliary Bishop Martin D. Holley as Bishop of Memphis, Tenn. He replaces Bishop Terry Steib, SVD whose resignation was accepted due to age.

Bishop Holley, 61, a native of Pensacola, Fla. was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in 1987 after earning a master of divinity degree from St. Vincent DePaul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, Fla.

Bishop Holley was appointed auxiliary bishop of Washington on May 18, 2004, and was ordained a bishop on July 2, 2004. He serves as vicar general for the Archdiocese of Washington and is a member of the archdiocesan College of Consultors, Presbyteral Council, Seminarian Review Board, Administrative Board, and chairman of the College of Deans. He is a member of the Joint Conference of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus.  His episcopal motto is: “His Mercy Endures.”

For the USCCB News Release, click here.

For a statement by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC, click here.


Institute for Priests and Presbyterates – Gearing Up to be a Pastor, Sept. 12-16, 2016

Gearing Up to be a Pastor– A workshop typically undertaken in the second or third year of ordination prior to assignment of the first pastorate/parish administrator. Sessions focus on the bigger picture of pastoring: identity, leadership, authority, spirituality, administration and self-care. $600. Registration. For more information and to register, go to:

Or contact:

Lea Ann Olinger

Administrative Coordinator

Institute for Priests and Presbyterates

200 Hill Dr.

St. Meinrad, IN 47577

(800) 357-8477

[email protected]