PODCAST – Cardinal Tobin Discusses Catholic Teaching on Migrants and Refugees

The Center for Migration Studies presents this Podcast with His Eminence Joseph Cardinal Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.  Cardinal Tobin is well-known for his support of migrants and refugees – accompanying immigrants to deportation hearings and speaking out against unjust immigration policies. In 2015, as Archbishop of Indianapolis, he directed Catholic Charities of Indianapolis to resettle a Syrian refugee family in the Archdiocese, against the wishes of former Indiana governor, and now Vice-President, Mike Pence.

In this interview with the Center’s Executive Director, Donald Kerwin, Cardinal Tobin discusses Catholic teaching on migrants and refugees, developments in immigration and refugee policy, ideological polarization surrounding immigration in the United States, the provision of sanctuary to migrants, and how faith communities can become more involved on immigration issues.

Click here to listen to the Podcast.

A written transcript is also available – click here.

Jesuit Priest Chaplain of the House of Representatives Resigns then rescinds Resignation

Photo Courtesy of America Media

In mid-April, Rev. Patrick Conroy, a highly-regarded Jesuit priest who has served as chaplain to the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011, resigned from that post in a letter addressed to House Speaker Paul Ryan.  When Ryan’s office released the news of Fr. Conroy’s resignation on April 16, all indications were that it was a voluntary departure taking place on the best of terms.  A short time later the “voluntary resignation” story started to unravel when word spread that Ryan had forced the Priest to retire.  This news started a media firestorm and a bi-partisan backlash in Congress against Speaker Ryan.

On May 3, Fr. Conroy rescinded his resignation in a letter to Ryan and stated that he would remain as Chaplain until the end of the year.  In that letter, Fr. Convoy also accused Ryan’s Chief of Staff of anti-Catholic bias.  Ryan, who probably realized there was no profit in a long drawn out battle, reversed his course and agreed to keep Fr. Conroy as House Chaplain.

Several media sources provided extensive coverage of this story.  To review, please click on the newspapers name:

Washington Post

America Media

The Nation


Health Update – Bishop Murry, Youngstown Diocese

On Monday, April 30, 2018, the Diocese of Youngstown (Ohio) announced that their Bishop, the Most Rev. George V. Murry, has been diagnosed with a form of acute leukemia.  He was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic several days ago where he will undergo intensive chemotherapy.

Monsignor John Zuraw, Diocesan Chancellor, also announced that Vicar General, Monsignor Robert Shiffrin, will handle Bishop Murry’s affairs while he undergoes treatment. “The mood at the diocese today is one of prayer, of hope and of faith. As people of faith, we turn to God not only in times of joy or crisis but in times of sickness as well,” Msgr. Zuraw said.

Bishop Murry has served the Youngstown diocese since 2007 and was recently appointed Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s newly-formed Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism. Periodic updates will be released regarding the Bishop’s health.  Please keep Bishop Murry in your prayers.


Fr. Jim Hewes Re: Pastoral Transitions

Fr. Jim Hewes, a Priest in the Diocese of Rochester, is a frequent contributor to the NFPC This Week E-letter.  This week Fr. Hewes is offering a study conducted by the Alban Institute in Washington, based on pastoral changes in Protestant Congregations.  The study may be helpful to Catholic Parishes that are undergoing difficult leadership transitions, i.e., a new pastor following a long-term pastor, or new leadership in a Parish following the Canonical removal of a Priest who was experiencing personal challenges.

In his summation of the study, Fr. Hewes commented: “The study recommended that congregations hire INTENTIONAL interim pastors for a year or more, after long-term or problem pastorates to address the issues the congregation needed to look at. Then the next pastor has a chance to start out fresh. I saw this situation a number of times with priests that followed long-term or problem pastorates in our diocese…So, these ideas emerged, which was not original [to] me but came from these other sources….I share them in the hopes that they ………be of some help.”

To view, the Alban study on Transitional Administrator click here

To view the Alban study on Transitional Process for Priests click here

Show them the way – Mentoring the Next Generation of Priests

Father Bobby Krueger, pastor at St. Leonard Parish in Berwyn, Ill., visits with young people Jan. 3 during a conference sponsored by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students in Chicago. Photo courtesy of Karen Callaway, Chicago Catholic

As our Church prepares for the 55th Annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations on Good Shepherd Sunday, April 22, 2018, here is an article on mentoring seminarians, prepared by Fr. Richard Doerr, which was recently published in Our Sunday Visitor

In his opening statement, Fr. Doerr stresses the urgency for fellow priests to undertake the role of “mentor” to young aspirants:

“Some priests remind me of parents who have jettisoned kids into adulthood and really don’t want to be bothered by the needs of any aspirants to our priestly life.  Yet, this is about the future of our beloved Church.  This article then isn’t just about the perspective candidates and seminarians exclusively; rather it is about the ordained men who they long to emulate as well.  How do we reach these young people, support them and, with God’s guiding help, form them into worthy priests to whom we can pass the baton?”

Following that opening, Fr. Doerr offers suggestions and advice on mentoring, including this quote from Pope Francis: “Formation [of future priests] is a work of art, not a police action. We must form their hearts.  Otherwise, we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goosebumps.”

To review Fr. Doerr’s complete article on mentoring, please click here.

Click here to review another Fr. Doerr reflection: “Creating a Vocation-Friendly Parish – published in The Priest Magazine

Los Angeles’ Newest Auxiliary Bishop is a Cancer Survivor

For the second time this week, the Vatican has announced the appointment of a new U. S. Auxiliary Bishop.  On Thursday, April 5, 2018, the Apostolic Nuncio phoned Msgr. Marc V. Trudeau with the news that Pope Francis had appointed him to the post of Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  Bishop-elect Trudeau will replace 75-year old Bishop Thomas Curry, whose resignation was accepted by Pope Francis earlier in the week.

Msgr. Trudeau was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2008 and is now cancer free following extensive chemo and radiation treatments.  During an interview with Angelus News, he stated that the cancer diagnosis presented him with “a different view of life.”  Additionally, he noted:  “The little things are not so important anymore.”  He admits to being “totally shocked” upon receiving the phone call from the Nuncio notifying him of the appointment to Auxiliary Bishop.

Bishop-elect Trudeau, a native Angeleno, currently teaches at St. John’s Seminary in the Los Angeles Basin area.  He was ordained to the Priesthood on August 6, 1991.  His Episcopal Ordination is set for June 7, 2018, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles.  Jose H. Gomez is the Archbishop of Los Angeles, which is the largest Archdiocese in the United States.

For more details on Bishop-elect Trudeau, please click here to review an article published in the Los Angeles Times.


Father-Son Follow Parallel Paths to Priesthood

Deacon Andrew Infanger shares a unique bond with his father, Peter Infanger.   In two months he will be ordained a Priest in the Catholic Church, and if all goes according to plan, his Dad, Peter Infanger, will be ordained a Deacon sometime in 2019.

A father and son serving as Priests are very rare, mostly because Priests take a vow of celibacy and never marry. There has only been a handful in the history of the church in the United States.  In Peter’s case, his wife, Michelle, died in 2013 of breast cancer.  Andrew was accepted into St. Francis Seminary shortly after his mother’s death and is now undergoing final preparation for his ordination.  Peter began preparation for the Priesthood in 2014 at Mundelein Seminary, located slightly north of Chicago.

For a detailed account of the Infanger’s journey to the Priesthood, posted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, please click here.

Click here to “Meet Fr. Henry Wertin,” father of two Catholic Priests, who entered the seminary following the tragic loss of his wife.

Rev. Robert F. Christian, OP Named New Auxiliary Bishop in San Francisco

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, announced that Pope Francis has named Fr. Robert Christian as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Bishop-elect Christian, a San Francisco native, was ordained a priest in June, 1976.  In 2012 he was appointed to a five-year term as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.  From 2015 to the present, he has served as a Master of Students for the Western Dominican Province.  An Ordination Mass in the Archdiocese of San Francisco will be held within the next couple of months.

Click here to review a post Bishop-Elect Christian prepared regarding his work on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Click here for further biographical details posted by the United States Conference for Catholic Bishops.

The Enduring Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Principles of NonViolence

Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, prepared a Pastoral Reflection – “The Enduring Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Principles of Nonviolence” in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, and with the hope of bringing those principles into the consciousness of the church. Archbishop Lori noted that: “Dr. King’s wisdom is more necessary than ever in our violent and fragmented society.”

Three ideals were highlighted in Archbishop Lori’s letter:

  • Retrieving the Legacy – “For, if in God’s grace we are to create the just, peaceful and compassionate society that Dr. King envisioned, we must undergo a lasting conversion of heart and mind and make a firm commitment to teach, learn and practice nonviolent direct action for social change.”
  • Changing the Narrative – “Without denying or minimizing the tragic problems that beset our community, we need to abstain from a narrative of hopelessness that fails to see the good that is going on all around us.”
  • Lived Experience – “These principles took shape as Dr. King held up the experience of his people to the light of the Gospel and the Christian Tradition. Thus, they constitute not an abstract philosophy, but an applied theology of liberation.”

To review the complete context of Archbishop Lori’s Pastoral Reflection, please click here



Cardinal Dolan on Our Weekly “Snow Day” Says We Need a Bit of a ‘Snow Day’ Every Day, and Once a Week

On Ash Wednesday we are called to  “slow down” in order to spend more time in prayer to grow in holiness.  The question is, how do we keep the “slow down” momentum going after Easter Sunday?

Recently, the Northeastern portion of the US experienced a severe winter snowstorm, causing school closures, etc.  Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York,  shared his reflections on the benefits of  “snow days” and how we can apply them to our daily lives.

Cardinal Dolan commented: “We need a bit of  ‘snow day’ every day!  The quiet, the prayer, the bit of leisure, the catching-up with friends – I sure enjoyed it yesterday, but my life would be happier, healthier, and holier if I made sure a portion of that characterized everyday. We also need a “snow day” each week.  That is Sunday, the Sabbath.  The advice to take a weekly “snow-day” comes from a rather lofty source: the Lord!

To review Cardinal Dolan’s reflections in Zenit, please click here.