Catholic leaders said President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change agreement snubs the needs of impoverished people around the world and eschews responsibility to begin addressing the causes of global warming.
They joined a broad cross section of U.S. society and world leaders and organizations in decrying the June 1 announcement.
The signers included leaders of Catholic Climate Covenant, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Franciscan Action Network, Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Global Catholic Climate Movement, Leadership Conference of Women Religious, National Council of Catholic Women, Catholic Health Association of the United States, Catholic Charities USA, Carmelite NGO and Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.
Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, called Trump’s decision “deeply troubling.”
Pope Francis recently advanced the sainthood causes of Wisconsin-born Capuchin Fr. Solanus Casey and Jesuit Fr. John Sullivan. In addition, efforts on the part of the Graymoor Franciscans on behalf of the sainthood cause of their founder, Servant of God Fr. Paul of Graymoor are continuing. We are grateful for their witness to the Gospel of Christ and the charisms of their respective communities and commend the efforts for their eventual canonization to your prayers.
The purpose of the 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly celebrate vocations to the ordained ministry and religious life in all of its forms. It is also known as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” The purpose of the day is to publicly fulfill the Lord’s instruction to “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest.” Please pray that men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord’s call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes.
Please visit the USCCB website for prayers, bulletin quotes, and a copy of Pope Francis’ 2017 message in both English and Spanish.
Hundreds of advocates from various Christian denominations, including representatives from CMSM, gathered in Washington, D.C. this past weekend for Ecumenical Advocacy Days, with a focus on education and skills training for a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill to promote a moral federal budget.
The Lobby Day included a press conference rebuking the Trump administration’s plan to curtail funding to human needs services in the U.S. and around the world, while increasing an already exorbitant Pentagon budget. 7 clergy and religious leaders, including four Catholic leaders (3 associated with Catholic men’s religious organizations), also participated in a planned prayer witness inside the atrium of a Senate Office Building and were arrested while praying, for refusing to disperse when ordered by U.S. Capitol Police. The seven were processed and released about eight hours later. The goals of the direct action were to better illuminate the immoral budget proposal, take risks together to build trust and momentum in the movement, as well as to energize other Christian leaders for creative and courageous mobilizing back home.
Pictured below are the 7 leaders shortly before their arrest. (Photo from Disciples Church Justice Action Network). A video of the event is also available.
We extend our prayers and congratulations to current CMSM board member Rev. Adam Gregory Gonzalez, OCD, who was recently elected by the members of the California-Arizona Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars to become their new provincial. The Provincial-Elect takes office on May 15, 2017.
The following is the text of a letter CMSM received from the U.S. Apostolic Nunciature carrying greetings from Pope Francis in anticipation of Religious Brothers Day on May 1, 2017. A downloadable version of the letter is also available.
Dear Father Pavlik,
I have been asked to forward to you the following message from the Secretariat of State as the Church in the United States prepares to celebrate “Religious Brothers Day”:
As the Church in the United States prepares to celebrate the first annual “Religious Brothers Day,” His Holiness Pope Francis sends cordial greetings to America’s communities of brothers, together with his prayerful good wishes for the spiritual fruitfulness of their varied apostolates. Conscious of the immense contribution made by generations of brothers to the growth of the Church in the United States through their schools, hospitals and other forms of religious and social outreach, the Holy Father trusts that this day of recognition will confirm them in their distinctive witness of consecrated life and their generous service to God’s Kingdom. He likewise expresses his hope that their prophetic testimony to evangelical fraternity and ecclesial communion will act as a leaven for the renewal of the Church in America and the building up of an ever more just society, respectful of the dignity and aspirations of all God’s children. Commending America’s religious brothers to the paternal intercession of Saint Joseph the Worker, His Holiness affectionately imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State
With cordial regards and assuring you of my prayers, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop Christophe Pierre
The following information comes to us by way of Sr. Joan Mumaw of Friends in Solidarity, the U.S. partner to solidarity with South Sudan. Their offices are part of the shared building with CMSM.
On New Year’s Day, the village of Riimenze in Western Equatoria was the scene of intense fighting between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (national army) and rebels, made up primarily of local men and boys “recruited” to defend their area. During the fighting, homes were looted and burned, sometimes with people in them. Over 5000 people from the village fled their homes and are sheltering at the parish in Riimenze, the site of the Solidarity Agricultural Training Project.
Sisters Rosa and Josephine and Brother Christian, members of Solidarity with South Sudan, are assisting these internally displaced people (IDP), helping them to access water, food, shelter and medicines. Fortunately, there was an abundant crop of sweet potatoes harvested from the agricultural project at the end of the year. Solidarity staff from the Teacher Training College bought all the tarps available in the Yambio area, an insufficient number for the 1700 families needing shelter. Generous donors are providing resources for an additional borehole and water tanks.
The needs are greater than our resources. Solidarity with South Sudan is focused on capacity building- training nurses, midwives, teachers and pastoral teams. The urgent needs of the community built up around the agricultural project present Solidarity members with new challenges. Friends in Solidarity is seeking funds to assist the Riimenze team with this great need. JOIN US in supporting Solidarity. Secure tax deductible donations can be made via www.solidarityfriends.org or Facebook. Checks made out to Friends in Solidarity can be sent to the address below.
The United Nations recently warned of famine in South Sudan. 100,000 people in Unity State are facing famine and over a million are food insecure. Others indicate that 40% of the population will soon be in a similar situation. The tragedy is that this is man-made. Leaders in the country have failed to comply with peace agreements and are unable to control their own military groups who continue to ravage the country, looting and burning and raping the women and young girls. Humanitarian agencies are unable to deliver life-saving food and medicines because of the lack of security. Solidarity with South Sudan is partnering with Catholic Relief Services to deliver humanitarian assistance in Wau, Riimenze and Juba. Where possible, assistance is given to support people who want to return to their homes and rebuild. The Riimenze crisis provides us with the opportunity to assist people to return to their plots of land and rebuild their homes when peace is restored. This is possible because of the work Solidarity has done to build a community around sustainable agricultural practices. Join us, Friends in Solidarity, as we assist Solidarity with South Sudan in this rebuilding effort. www.solidarityfriends.org
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Despite rainy weather and dramatic traffic challenges at the eleventh hour, the Brothers Symposium held on March 25, 2017 was a very special day for all who participated.
Over 225 individuals attended the Symposium and interacted with speakers, facilitators, panel members, breakout session leaders, and scribes who represented over 750 years as vowed religious in over 15 different communities/institutes. Thank you to all — your commitment to religious brothers inspires us all!
Please stay tuned to this website where we plan to publish the text of the Keynote Address given by Br. John Mark Falkenhain, OSB, as well as links to the videotape of his talk, the reflections of the two responders (Br. Ton Sison, C.PP.S., and Br. Peter O’Loughlin, CFC), and the opening/closing remarks by Fr. John Pavlik, OFM Cap., and Cardinal Joe Tobin, C.Ss.R.
As additional photos of the event are received, they will be posted on that website as well. Please send yours to the Symposium Project Manager — Martha Novelly. Some photos and a video from the events are also posted below.
CMSM National Board members Br. Dan Wisniewski, OSFS, and Br. Larry Schatz, FSC, enjoy lunch with Sister Ginger Downey, OLVM.
Br. Chris Patiño, FSC, facilitates "Gift Given - Mission" breakout session.
Br. John Mark Falkenhain, OSB, delivers Keynote Address.
Br. Wayne Fitzpatrick, MM gives last-minute instructions to the breakout session facilitators and their assigned scribes.
Br. John Paige, CSC, leads our Morning Prayer.
Cardinal Joe Tobin, C.Ss.R., serves as celebrant and homilist for closing liturgy at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame.
Br. Paul Michalenko, ST, facilitates the afternoon panel discussion.
Videos of the major talks and Mass celebrated at the Symposium are now available. Below is the Keynote address by Br. John Mark Falkenhain, OSB is below along with a link to the CMSM YouTube channel to view other videos from the event.
For more videos, visit the CMSM YouTube channel.
CMSM was one of fifteen Catholic organizations and religious institutes to endorse the petition.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thousands of Catholics have asked President Donald Trump to honor the Paris climate agreement, continue U.S. contributions to the Green Climate Fund, and implement the Clean Power Plan governing power plant emissions.
Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, said 15,000 Catholics signed an online petition that was submitted to the president March 15. It was developed as one response to Trump administration claims that climate change is not caused by human activities.
“They are issues that our organization, the Catholic bishops, Catholic Relief Services, and other organizations have supported for years,” Misleh said of the three areas addressed in the petition. “We think there is a federal role for action on the climate issue.
In 2013, our friends at Paulist Productions’ produced a special program “A New York Christmas to Remember.” It can now be watched online in it entirety. Produced at the Paulists’ mother church, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City, it features the narration of Regis Philbin, the beautiful puppetry of Jane Henson’s Nativity Story, stirring Christmas carols and more!