Fr. Mark Padrez, OP, executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men:
“As tensions between the United States and Iran grow, this is a time of intense prayer for our world leaders, and of deep reflection, especially in this Christmas season, on the Prince of Peace. We are committed to continue to pray, advocate, and teach the way of peace. As men religious dedicated to living out the Gospel, we do not believe that violence is a deterrent to violence. Rather, we call for our leaders to model nonviolent engagement. As Pope Francis has reminded us in the past: ‘Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare.’”
Fr. Mark Padrez, OP
Dominican Father Mark Padrez, executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, has been appointed the Socius for Fraternal Life and Formation for the Order of Preachers worldwide. His new position will be based at the General Curia offices in Rome, and will start in early 2020.
Father Adam Gregory Gonzales, O.C.D., president of CMSM, noted in a message to our members, “It is with heavy hearts that the Board of Directors received this news, yet we understand why the Order would call someone with Mark’s gifts to serve the Dominicans worldwide. He has been both a strong president and executive director for CMSM and we are confident he will serve his Dominican brothers well in this new capacity … Please join me in congratulating Mark and in prayer as we begin the search for a new executive director.”
The CMSM Board of Directors will oversee the process for a new Executive Director and will work closely with the CMSM staff through the transition.
Over 400 Catholics, including a number of men religious – Franciscan, Columban, Jesuit, de la Salle Christian Brother, and others – participated in a Sept. 4 Day of Action in Newark, New Jersey, to protest federal government policies and practices that traumatize immigrant children, particularly the policy of child and family detention.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin, CSsR, Archbishop of Newark, offered a prayer for the group. Learn more on the campaign page here, and see photos posted by the Franciscan Action Network here.
Please feel free to reach out to the CMSM Justice and Peace office for more information.
Rev. Adam Gonzales, O.C.D.
Reverend Adam Gregory Gonzales, O.C.D., was elected president of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men at the CMSM National Assembly, held Aug. 6-8, in San Antonio, Texas. Brother Patrick McNamara, FMS, was elected vice-president, and Rev. Jeffrey Kirch, CPPS, and Rev. Eric Andrews, CSP, were elected at-large board members.
A Discalced Carmelite friar, Fr. Gonzales is provincial superior of the California-Arizona Province of St. Joseph. He previously served on the provincial council, as director of the Carmelite Directors of Formation Program, which serves formation directors for all Carmelite friars and nuns in the United States, and as superior of El Carmelo Retreat House in Redlands, California. He has been an at-large board member of CMSM since 2016.
Br. McNamara is provincial for the Marist Brothers in the United States. In addition to four terms as provincial (in the 1990s and currently), he has held a number of positions, including campus minister, vocation director, and principal. Br. Pat has been a member of the CMSM board as the Region 2 representative since 2016.
Fr. Kirch is provincial director of the Cincinnati Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood and Fr. Andrews is president of the Paulist Fathers. Both are new to the Board of Directors.
Hundreds of Catholic leaders, including representatives of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, gathered at the US Capitol in mid-July to demand an end to detention of immigrant children. Later, in an act of nonviolent civil disobedience, scores were arrested in the Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda while praying, singing, and chanting. CMSM member Fr. Mike Barth, ST, offered a blessing.
The campaign page is here. Please feel free to reach out to the CMSM Justice and Peace office for more information.
Renew the Face of the Earth: An Urgent Catholic Call to Energy Transition
“Lord send out your spirit and renew the face of the Earth.” – Psalm 104
Following Pope Francis’ meeting on June 13-14, 2019, with major fossil fuel executives and investors at the Vatican, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) announced support for Pope Francis’ recent urgent plea to these companies and investors to a renewable energy transition. In support of this global effort, our members, who are leaders of men’s religious institutes in the United States, issued a statement that calls upon the U.S. Senate to pass the International Climate Accountability Act, the companion to the recently passed Climate Action Now Act (HR9). We also support an equitable pricing mechanism on carbon pollution along with financial resources toward a national transition to a renewable energy economy.
CMSM President Brother Larry Schatz, FSC, said, “The journey toward holiness calls us to ongoing transformation and conversion. There are pivotal moments in our personal and social experience that determine the well-being of our fellow brothers and sisters, as well as the earth. Motivated by our Holy Father, our collective discernment has illuminated one of those moments for a renewable energy economy. Let us enter, be transformed, and grow toward holiness together.”
As Catholic leaders, the members of CMSM call on our fellow Catholics and interfaith partners to take the lead in this area through prayer, local energy transition (ex. Catholic Energies program), and congressional advocacy until our earth is sustainably renewed.
A new apostolic letter issued today by Pope Francis, Vox estis lux mundi, expands the Church’s response to abuse by establishing worldwide standards for reporting abuse against minors and vulnerable adults, including by bishops and religious superiors.
CMSM welcomes the guidance provided by the document and will undertake a review to ensure the national safeguarding standards for religious institutes of men in the United States reflect the new provisions in this document.
CMSM is committed to prevention, accountability, healing and reconciliation, and has worked since 2002 through its members, the leaders of men’s religious institutes, in partnership with other national organizations, to promote the protection of minors. Efforts include education, awareness, the development of national standards for religious institutes, a National Advisory Council of experts, and a Director of Safeguarding Initiatives.
Deacon Steven DeMartino is the new Director of Safeguarding Initiatives for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. He will focus on promoting and sustaining a culture of safety with men’s religious institutes in the United States, and will build upon safeguarding efforts undertaken by CMSM since 2002.
Deacon DeMartino is a permanent deacon for the Archdiocese of New York. He has deep experience with priest wellness, and mental and behavioral health concerns.
He has been active in Chapter and Assembly facilitation for Religious institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life, served on several review boards for Religious, provided consultation to leadership teams of Religious Institutes, taught at the seminary level, and is engaged in parish ministry and retreat work.
Prior positions include coordinator of the vocations office for the Catholic Foreign Missionary Association, assistant vice-president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, and leadership roles at several behavioral health care centers.
He holds a bachelor’s in psychology from SUNY Buffalo, and an MPA from CUNY Baruch College, and has several certifications in counseling. He has supported leadership teams and Religious in both planning and direct support on safeguarding.
May 1 is the third annual Religious Brothers Day. In anticipation of this annual celebration of the life and vocation of Catholic religious brothers, CMSM has launched a new website, religiousbrothers.org. This site includes information about brothers, links to community websites, profiles, and upcoming events, such as the 2020 National Brothers Symposium.
Religious brothers and their supporters are invited to join in the conversation on social media. Share your prayers, vocation, celebrations, and thanks to Brothers who have made a positive difference in your life. #religiousbrothersday
Br. Larry Schatz, FSC, and Fr. Mark Padrez, OP
Dominican Father Mark Padrez is the new executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, effective April 1, 2019. He had been serving as president of CMSM and just completed his second term as provincial for the Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus.
Brother Larry Schatz, FSC, Visitor for the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, assumed presidency of CMSM. He had been vice-president.
Born and raised in Nogales, AZ, in 1963, Father Padrez was a student at the University of Arizona when he met the Dominicans at the university’s Newman Center. He joined the Order in 1987 and made his first profession the next year. After studies at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, CA, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1995. He served at Holy Rosary Church, Antioch, CA, and at the Newman Center at the University of California of San Diego. He also served as the director of vocations, then socius of the Province before being elected as Prior Provincial in 2011. He was re-elected in 2015.
As president-elect and then president of CMSM, Mark was deeply engaged in the mission of CMSM and in projects such as the transition to our new national office. He also represented CMSM in meetings with Vatican dicasteries, most recently in March 2019, and the USCCB. He is the first Hispanic executive director of CMSM.