Tag Archives: USCCB

Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization

The group deputed to work with questions and programs on the teachings of the Catholic faith and the sharing of that faith with others, USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis published “Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization.” There are a lot of great resources herein.  The opening paragraphs are here:

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Christ commands us to be his witnesses to the ends of
the earth. We are to proclaim his Good News to all people, everywhere and at all times. After Christ promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will come upon them, he ascends into heaven. The disciples, rather than heeding Christ’s command to be his witnesses, stare “intently at the sky.” It takes “two men dressed in white garments” asking, “Men of Galilee, why are you . . . looking at the sky?” for the disciples to begin to realize the meaning of Christ’s command (Acts 1:10-11).

How often do we fail to realize that we are called to be Christ’s witnesses to the world? Do we realize that our Baptism, Confirmation, and reception of the Eucharist bestow on us the grace we need to be disciples? Are we like the disciples staring at the sky rather than inviting those around us to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Church? How often do we reach out to our missing brothers and sisters by inviting them to join us at Mass or by asking why they no longer feel welcomed at the Lord’s Table? The answers to these questions underlie the evangelizing mission of the Church, especially in the call of the New Evangelization

The New Evangelization seeks to invite modern man and culture into a relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church. The New Evangelization strives to engage our culture and to help us draw our inspiration from the Gospel. The New Evangelization calls all Catholics first to be evangelized and then in turn to evangelize. While it is directed to all people, the New Evangelization focuses specifically on those Christian communities that have Catholic roots but have “lost the living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church…”

Our First, Most Cherished Freedom — the US Bishops speak up for religious liberty

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Today, the US
bishops issued a call to action to defend religious liberty and urged laity to
protect the First Freedom of the Bill of Rights. No doubt there is 
considerable consternation surrounding
the proposed usurpation of our legal freedom of religion: clearly the US
President has forgotten the first clause of the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof….”

The statement,
“Our First, Most Cherished Freedom,” aims to inform and to encourage the entire
Christian Church in North America –and beyond–in understanding what the Church teaches on religious liberty. Moreover, the US bishops want to encourage a rightful role in
defending the first of our American liberties. Being Catholic 
or a person of faith does not mean that we give up a sense of reasonableness and citizenship. The bishops published this work in order
to reassert their voice in the public square, thus bridging the gap of faith and reason
for a coherent national debate on matters of concern. Religion cannot be
relegated to the closet. Like most documents of the Church, this one also hopes
not only to impart information but also to form Catholics (indeed, all
Christians) as faithful citizens. It is our Christian belief that religious liberty is God-given and is not
imparted by our elected officials. “Our First, Most Cherished Freedom” is a
document of the Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

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The Jesus mandate vs. Obama’s mandate –the challenge of religious freedom

William Edward Lori’s essay, “The Jesus mandate vs. Obama’s mandate” was published this afternoon in The Washington Post. Lori is the 4th bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport and the chairman of the US Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty.

Two paragraphs of Bishop Lori’s essay follow, but the full text is noted here:

Last year alone, Catholic Charities served more than
10 million of the poor, the needy, and the suffering throughout our nation.
 Catholic Charities doesn’t know how many of those served were not
Catholic, because they simply never ask. Our faith compels us to serve, not the
faith of those we help.

Catholic ministries for the needy are as blind to race,
creed, class, and gender as Jesus Christ, their founder. That any one of them,
much less all of them, should be forced to choose between the Gospel mandate
and the U.S. government’s health care mandate strikes at the very heart of the
right to religious liberty on which our country was founded.

New subcommittee for Health Care Issues formed by Catholic Bishops

On 14 November the US Catholic bishops established a permanent Subcommittee on Health Care Issues to deal with the highly contentious subject. The subcommittee will be under the supervision of the Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine which is now chaired by Donald William Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, DC. Wuerl will appoint members of this new subcommittee. The bishops have followed through on their own recommendation from the June 2011 meeting to make this project a reality.

Hartford Archbishop Henry J. Mansell strongly supported the new subcommittee of the relation of health care to “the Gospel mission of the Church” and because the bishops need to have a handle on the “billions and billions of dollars in funding.” Mansell also said, “We run the risk of losing a major ministry of the Church if we don’t keep a close eye on health care issues.” 
Cardinal Donald Wuerl will be succeeded by the Archbishop of St Paul and Minneapolis John C. Nienstedt.
The list of the bishops and consultants to the Doctrine committee is noted here.
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Cardinal Wuerl’s report on the Implementation of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus


on the Implementation of the Apostolic
Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus
November 15, 2011
His Eminence Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Archbishop of

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Thank you Archbishop Dolan.  With me for this presentation are
Bishop Robert McManus and Bishop Kevin Vann, the other members of the
Conference’s ad hoc Committee on the Implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus.

us, as well, are Father Jeffrey Steenson and Father Scott Hurd, who have worked
with the committee.

At our June General Assembly meeting in Seattle, I provided
a brief report and update on the progress being made in the implementation of
the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. At that time, I asked
for and received a show of support for the material I presented by way of a
consultation with the bishops.
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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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