US bishops to meet in June, presentations on Synod and family

by DON CLEMMER
Fri, May 15th 2015 09:00 am

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for their annual Spring General Assembly, June 10-12, in St. Louis. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, USCCB president, will present a summary to the bishops on the consultation of U.S. dioceses for the 2015 Synod on the Family. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., will give an update on the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, which Pope Francis will attend on his September Apostolic Journey to the United States.

Alice and Jeffrey Heinzen of the Diocee of La Crosse, Wisconsin, will give one of three presentations by married couples on marriage and family. The Heinzens were observers to the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family. The other presenters are Lucia and Ricardo Luzondo, directors of Hispanic Outreach for Marriage Builders, and Claire and John Grabowski, Ph.D., members of the Pontifical Council for the Family. Curtis Martin, founder and CEO of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), will speak on messaging the Gospel to young people.

Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communications, will unveil new digital resources available to U.S. bishops and dioceses. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, will lead a discussion on themes associated with the anticipated encyclical by Pope Francis on ecology. Archbishop Wenski will also give an update on a planned 2017 convocation by the Bishops' Working Group on the Life and Dignity of the Human Person.

Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, will present on the Conference's marriage policy efforts ahead of the anticipated decision by the U.S Supreme Court. Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio L. Elizondo, MSpS, of Seattle will give an update on USCCB's ongoing work in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. Bishop Elizondo, who chairs the Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America and the Committee on Migration, will join Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Orange, California, for an update on immigration reform.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houson, USCCB vice president, will provide an update on the work to update the bishops' quadrennial statement on political responsibility, "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship." Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, the bishops' liaison to World Youth Day, will give an update on World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow. Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, will report on the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Summit, to be held in St. Louis ahead of the bishops' meeting.

Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, USCCB secretary and chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans, along with Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans, secretary-elect, will lead a discussion on feedback on the bishops' recommended priorities for the 2017-2020 planning cycle. The bishops will vote on the strategic priorities for the next planning cycle.

The bishops will also debate and vote on revised Canticles for the Liturgy of the Hours for use in U.S. dioceses and whether to seek renewal of a five-year recognitio from the Vatican for the Program of Priestly Formation, Fifth Edition.

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