Topic: General Announcements

Pope Francis Speaks to Columbian Priests, Religious in Recent Apostolic Visit

Pope Francis smiling

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.”

Read the full text of the Pope’s remarks.

In Memoriam: Fr. Michael Crosby, O.F.M. Cap.

Fr. Michael Crosby

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.

CMSM Participates in USCCB ‘Convocation of Catholic Leaders’

Convocation of Catholic Leaders 2017

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.”

Read the full report on the event from Catholic News Service.

CMSM Executive Director Attends Annual Conference for Child Protection in Rome

Anglophone Safeguarding Conference - 2017 - Rome


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 Congratulates Sister Sharon Dillon, S.S.J.-T.O.S.F., New Executive Director of NRVC

Sr. Sharon Dillon and NRVC Staff

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.

North Philadelphia Capuchin Priest to Take Over Black Catholics Office

Fr. Richard Owens, OFM Cap.


By Lou Baldwin

Welcome home Father Richard Owens.

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.

Read the full article.

Catholic organizations decry U.S. decision to abandon climate accord

A globe held by two gentle hands

from Catholic Transcript Online

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.”

Read the full article.

Causes for Sainthood for Three Religious Priests Move Forward

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.

World Day of Prayer for Vocations – May 7, 2017

Brothers smiling

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.

CMSM Representatives Participate in annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days

EAD 2017 Witness
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.
EAD 2017 Witness