Topic: General Announcements

Pope Francis Releases Apostolic Exhortation on Call to Holiness

Pope Francis smiling


Pope Francis released an Apostolic Exhortation today, on the observed Feast of the Annunciation, Gaudete et exsultate: On the call to holiness in today’s world. He writes that he does not intend the document to be a “treatise.” Rather, “My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”

Read the text here  | Vatican video  | Vatican News Service | Catholic News Service

He notes that holiness grows through “small gestures” and is for each of us: “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.” (14)

In the central portion of the document, he discusses each of the Beatitudes, which are, he writes, “Like a Christian’s identity card. So if anyone asks: ‘What must one do to be a good Christian?’, the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount.[66] In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives.

“The word ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’ thus becomes a synonym for ‘holy.’ It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness.” (para. 64)


Dominican from the Western Province Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco

Dominican Father Robert Christian, O.P., a member of the Western Dominican Province (Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus) was named auxiliary bishop of San Francisco by Pope Francis on March 28, 2018. A native of the San Francisco area, Fr. Christian was serving as Master of Students for the province at the time of his appointment. He also has been a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.

In a statement posted on the Dominican website, Fr. Mark Padrez, O.P., prior provincial of the Western Dominican Province and president-elect of CMSM, said, “This appointment is a recognition of Fr. Robert’s deep love for Christ and the Church, and also a recognition of the Order’s deep roots in the Church in the Bay Area.”

Read more about Bishop-elect Christian and his appointment in Catholic San Francisco. His ordination will be in the next few weeks.


What Is It Like to Be A Religious Brother?

Religious Brother

from Catholic News Agency

by Mary Rezac

When Brother Jim Peterson, OFM Cap., was in middle school and high school, he felt like every time someone prayed for vocations, they were praying for him.

“It was always kind of like, they’re talking about me,” he told CNA.

That was his first inclination that he had a religious vocation, though at first, he assumed he was being called to be a priest.

Although the call was always somewhere in his heart, Peterson said that he finished high school, and then college, and was struggling to find a job when he wondered if he should answer that call.

“But at the same time, I wasn’t sure if it was just me running away from something, so I decided to see if I could make my way in the world before making a decision like that,” he said.

It wasn’t until he finished law school, and worked for a few years as a lawyer in Pennsylvania, that he decided he couldn’t ignore God anymore.

Read more.

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.

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.

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