Pope Francis, who visited Colombia in early September, spoke on September 9 to priests, religious, seminarians and their families in Medellin. The Pope spoke of a “contagious apostolic zeal” that results from knowing and encountering Jesus, saying that “making him known by our word and deeds is our joy.” Comparing the Church of Colombia to “Jesus’ vine”, Pope Francis explained that the health of the vine is gauged by the harvest of genuine vocations despite today’s cultural crisis. This vine, he said, needs to be pruned of its imperfections through an “intimate and fruitful union with Jesus.”
Above: Bob Bozek with CMSM Executive Director Fr. John Pavlik at a farewell reception in his honor at the CMSM National Office in July. Bob’s last official day in the office was August 31.
Few of our Conference members have been around for all or even most of the seventeen years that Bob Bozek worked with us. A brilliant, learned and talented man and cleric, Bob contributed immensely not only to the daily work of the Conference but also to such latent tasks that researched and composed documents; responded knowingly to correspondence with the Vatican including officials with such titles as under-secretaries and secretaries and prefects; advised wisely on expressions chosen in official documents; cited the Canon Law codes appropriate to any major development or project; and, perhaps most tellingly, assisted in myriad ways with and remained fully aware of the intricacies of statements and standards and citations regarding our CMSM Instruments of Hope and Healing.
A professional with a perfectionist edge, everything that Bob composed and/or edited was completed to his highest standards. He became the institutional memory of the Conference, often pointing out that before being ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington his heart had long been oriented to affiliation with the Congregation of the Holy Cross. Even though Bob had served a Cardinal in the Archdiocesan offices and spent some years in Rome, he was content and happy to work diligently for us everywhere, feeling welcomed, respected, and affirmed. He is truly a good, even a great man. We will lament the loss of his institutional memory and his wisdom, but we wish him a happy and refreshing retirement in Florida.
Below are some photos from Bob’s farewell party in late July, at which we also wished a fond farewell to Sr. Grace Hertzog from the staff of our partners at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious who share our common office space in Silver Spring, Md. Bob’s last day was August 31.
We commend to your prayers the late Fr. Michael Crosby, O.F.M. Cap. Crosby died August 5 at age 77, following months of battling cancer of the esophagus. A distinguished theologian and friar for over 50 years, Crosby’s books and lectures on church reform and biblical discipleship made his name known to Catholics across the country. He also proved a familiar and formidable figure in the boardrooms of corporate America through his dogged pursuit of socially responsible practices. The National Catholic Reporter’s Brian Roewe has offered an obituary tribute to his life and work.
A delegation from CMSM recently participated in the national gathering called by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops celebrating their centenary and affirming the importance of the ongoing development of ministry competency in the U.S. church. Held from July 1-4, 2017 in Orlando, Florida, the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America,” brought together more than 3,100 people, mainly laity but also more than 150 bishops and 500 priests and deacons.
A tour de force was the final address by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio to the United States. He called the gathering “a new Catholic moment, a privileged time to be renewed for the mission of evangelization in this country.”
Rev. John Pavlik, OFM. Cap., CMSM Executive Director (center, in Franciscan habit), recently attended the annual Anglophone Safeguards Conference in Rome from June 19-22, 2017 at the Gregorian University. This year’s conference, co-hosted by the Episcopal Conferences of Scotland and Malta with the Centre for Child Protection, Gregorian University, Rome, focused on the theme of “Celebrating Hope.” Through keynote speakers, workshops and, most importantly, the opportunity to network and share good practice, the attendees explored the importance of hope for us as a Church working in this very important and sensitive area of ministry. Hope was considered from the perspective of survivors, those working in the Church in safeguarding and for those who offend.
CMSM extends congratulations to the new executive director for the National Religious Vocation Conference. Sister Sharon Dillon, S.S.J.-T.O.S.F. began her work on June 1.
The website “Catholic Profiles” recently published an in-depth interview with NRVC’s new executive director, which gave her the opportunity to convey the good news about those responding to God’s call.
In the above photo, Sr. Sharon is the top row, center.
Father Owens, a Philadelphia born and bred native and a Capuchin Franciscan priest, has been named director of the archdiocesan Office for Black Catholics, effective July 1. Ordained in 2013, he has been serving as a parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in York, Pa.
He succeeds Deacon William Bradley as director of the office, a post he has held for six years.
Father Owens is the eldest of the three children of Richard and Mary Owens, and he is originally from the former Our Lady of the Holy Souls Parish and then Our Lady of Hope Parish in Nonh Philadelphia.
He is a graduate of Mercy Vocational School (now Mercy Career and Technical School) where he had studied business administration and continued on to La Salle University where he received a degree in management and information systems. He worked for a mortgage firm for two years before entering the Order of Friars Minor, Capuchins.
The seed of his religious vocation really traces back to Mercy Tech and the Sisters of Mercy, especially Sister Ann Provost and Sister Raymond Mary.
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.