Topic: For the Public

Catholic Apostolate Center and Fr. Frank Donio Receive Award

Frank Donio received award

The Catholic Apostolate Center and its Director, Fr. Frank Donio, S.A.C., were honored with the Gaudium et Spes Award from the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM) on June 1, 2018 at an awards luncheon jointly hosted by NALM and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL). The awards luncheon took place during the 2018 conference hosted by NALM, NCCL, and the Federation for Catechesis with Hispanics.

Fr. Frank is a consultant to CMSM’s formation committee and he and the Catholic Apostolate Center are strategic partners with CMSM.

The Gaudium et Spes Award recognizes an outstanding individual or organization for promoting understanding of the Church in the world according to the vision of Vatican II. It is the highest honor that the association can bestow. Although the award has been given eighteen times since its inception in 1989, NALM has only recognized an individual and an organization together once before.

Fr. Frank and the Center were chosen for this award because of the extensive collaboration they engage in through his ministry as a Pallottine priest and the work of the Center. The Center was recognized for its ability to provide extensive resources to individuals and ministries so that many can revive faith, rekindle charity, and form apostles.

Read Fr. Frank’s remarks on accepting the award here.

Franciscan Friars Vote to Recommend One U.S. Province

Franciscan Friars gathering


by Jim McIntosh

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Voicing their support for the revitalization of Franciscan life in the US, six provinces of the Order of Friars Minor have voted to form one new organization.

On May 30, the friars of each of the six provinces voted at meetings in their communities to support the formation of one new organization. It will comprise the almost 1,000 Catholic Franciscan friars belonging to the existing six provinces – both brothers and priests – and will be headquartered in a yet-to-be-determined location.

“The other provincial ministers and I are delighted with the outcome of the vote,” said Friar David Gaa, OFM, provincial minister of St. Barbara Province. “This is an important step in the process of revitalizing Franciscan life in the United States.”

The Franciscan friars of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province (based in Franklin, Wisc.), Holy Name Province (headquartered on 31st Street in New York City), Our Lady of Guadalupe Province (Albuquerque, N.M.), Sacred Heart Province (St. Louis, Mo.), St. Barbara Province (Oakland, Calif.), and St. John the Baptist Province (Cincinnati, Ohio) have been in dialogue about unifying their communities since 2012.

“The new entity will better serve the friars’ fraternal life and mission in the United States by making adjustments to the current administrative structure,” said Friar Jack Clark Robinson, OFM, the provincial minister of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province.

Like many other religious communities throughout the United States, the Franciscans are facing a reduction in its members. During the 1960s and 1970s, the number of Friars Minor in the United States peaked at 3,252, but today the numbers are down below 1,000 friars.

The reconfiguration will not happen immediately. The next step in the process is to obtain approval to unify from the Order’s minister general, Friar Michael Perry, OFM, who is based in Rome. Should he decide that such a reconfiguration would be helpful to Franciscan life and ministry, he will appoint a delegate to visit the friars in the United States. If his delegate’s report is favorable, it is expected that the process of reconfiguration will move forward.

Meanwhile, the process is continuing as issues of canon and civil law are resolved. Franciscan leaders expect that the new province will be officially formed in late 2022 or early 2023.

The worldwide Franciscan Order, founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi, comprises brothers and priests who work in a variety of settings including parishes, schools, retreat centers, and social justice ministries. Today, St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, remains one of the most widely known saints, revered for his affection for nature and care for creation.

CMSM Executive Director Participates at 32nd General Assembly of the Canadian Religious Conference

Canadian Religious Conference 2018

From May 24 to 27, 2018, more than 250 religious leaders from some 240 Catholic congregations from across Canada and other partners, including Rev. John Pavlik, OFM Cap, CMSM Executive Director, attended the 32nd General Assembly of the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC). The theme of this edition, “The nights are laden with life. Watcher, what do you say?,” was developed by Elena Lasida, doctor in Social and Economic Sciences and professor at the Catholic Institute of Paris. Working for over 15 years in the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF), she has developed a reflection based on the encyclical Laudato Si’ on how sustainable development and a new economy might apply to the Canadian religious context.

For more information on the presentations as well as videos of Dr. Lasida’s presentations, visit the CRC website.

Pope Confirms Heroic Virtues of 12 Servants of God

Pope Francis smiling


Pope Francis has confirmed the heroic virtues of 12 Servants of God in a decree promulgated by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on May 19th.

The list of the 12 includes members of religious communities and institutes for consecrated life.

Here is the full list of decrees:

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God August Józef Hlond, of the Salesian Society of Saint John Bosco, archbishop of Gniezno and Warszawa, primate of Poland, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, founder of the Society of Christ for Emigrants; born on 5 July 1881 in Brzęczkowice, Poland, and died in Warszawa, Poland on 22 October 1948;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Miguel Angel Builes, bishop of Santa Rosa de Osos, founder of various religious Congregations; born in Antioquia, Colombia, on 9 September 1888 and died on 29 September 1971 in Medellín, Colombia;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Enrico Mauri, diocesan priest, founder of the Oblates of Christ the King; born in Bosisio Parini, Italy on 26 October 1883 and died in Sestri Levante, Italy, on 10 May 1967;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Jean-Baptiste Berthier, professed priest of the Institute of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette; founder of the Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Family; born in Châtonnay, France on 24 February 1840 and died in Grave, Netherlands, on 16 October 1908;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Wilhelm Eberschweiler, professed priest of the Society of Jesus; born on 5 December 1837 in Püttlingen, Germany and died on 23 December 1921 in Exaten, Netherlands;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Pietro Uccelli, professed priest of the Pious Society of Saint Francis Xavier for the Foreign Missions (Xaverian Missionaries); born in Barco di Bibbiano, Italy, on 10 March 1874, and died in Vicenza, Italy on 29 October 1954;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Pio Dellepiane, professed priest of the Order of Minims; born in Genoa, Italy, on 4 January 1904, and died in Rome on 12 December 1976;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Norbert McAuliffe (né: John), professed religious of the Institute of the Brothers of the Sacred Heart; born in New York, United States of America, on 30 September 1886, and died in Alokolum, Uganda, on 3 July 1959;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Francesca of the Wounds of Christ (née: Coloma Antònia Martí y Valls), professed nun of the Second Order of Saint Francis of the Monastery of Divine Providence of Badalona; born in Badalona, Spain, on 26 June 1860 and died there on 4 June 1899;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Leonor of Saint Mary (née Isora Maria Ocampo), professed religious of the Order of Saint Dominic; born on 14 August 1841 in Cerro Famatina, Argentina, and died in Córdoba, Argentina, on 28 December 1900;

– the heroic virtues of the Servant of God Angela Maria of the Heart of Jesus (née Maria Cäcilia Autsch), of the Congregation of the Trinitarian Sisters of Valencia; born on 26 March 1900 in Röllecken, Germany, and died in the Birkenau concentration camp in Auschwitz, Poland on 23 December 1944.

International Conference on Religious Life Held at Vatican

Nearly 700 people attended an international conference on consecrated life, held in Rome from May 3-6 by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL). Pope Francis addressed participants on May 4. His off-the-cuff remarks focused on the Holy Spirit and discernment. According to Catholic News Service, he said, “What are the things the Spirit wants to stay strong in consecrated life? Prayer, poverty and patience.”

Cardinal João Braz De Aviz, prefect of CICLSAL, gave the closing remarks.  According to Zenit, Cardinal De Aviz, said, “We need to keep journeying together, in a synodal manner, because the Holy Spirit speaks only where there is harmony of fraternal life.”


DeSales University Inaugurates Former CMSM President Rev. James Greenfield, OSFS, as 4th President

Rev. Jim Greenfield OSFS


On a very windy but joyful day in Center Valley, Pa. on April 4, 2018, DeSales University faculty, administrators, delegates from universities spanning several states, representatives from several religious communities and more gathered for the inauguration celebration as University alumnus and former CMSM President Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS formally began his tenure as the University’s fourth president. It was a joyful celebration for all, capped by Rev. Greenfield’s thoughtful and visionary inaugural address, which can be viewed in the video below.

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.


Bankruptcy Court Approves Settlement Between Sexual Abuse Survivors and Crosier Order

Jesus with the Children


(Minneapolis, MN) – Today, sexual abuse survivors, attorneys, and members of the Crosier order appeared before Judge Robert J. Kressel in United States Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis seeking approval of a consensual bankruptcy plan between sexual abuse survivors and the Crosiers.

Judge Kressel approved the proposed plan, but what made this hearing notable is the never-before-seen tenor between the Crosiers and survivors. After the bankruptcy plan was approved, Fr. Thomas Enneking, the Crosier Prior Provincial, offered a sincere and heartfelt apology to all of the sexual abuse survivors.

“The Crosiers and their attorneys helped build a model of transparency and accountability,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “The reality is that survivors can take comfort in knowing the Crosiers are not hiding offenders or their assets so this fair settlement could be reached.”

Anderson followed Fr. Enneking’s apology, commending survivors for their courage in speaking up. He also lauded Fr. Enneking for his heartfelt apology and expression of sorrow. Anderson promised he would convey this message to all of the sexual abuse survivors who were harmed and who could not be present in court today. He also commended the Crosiers and their attorneys, Bill Tipping and Rob Vaccaro, for the way they handled the sexual abuse claims over the past 20 years.

The settlement provides for the Crosiers to contribute approximately $5.7 million and its insurer to contribute approximately $19.7 million.

On June 1, 2017, the Crosiers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota. The Crosier order is a Roman Catholic religious order of priests and brothers with communities in Phoenix, Arizona and Onamia, Minnesota.

Catholic Religious Across the Americas Escalate Migrant Accompaniment

CMSM Y& LCWR on the Border

Silver Spring, Md. – We are moved by the anxiety and suffering of the Dreamers to escalate our accompaniment and our resistance to injustice, especially as the March 5th deadline approaches. On Friday Feb. 23rd, Catholic leaders from the religious conferences of the U.S. (Conference of Superiors of Men and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious), Mexico, Caribbean and Latin American Confederation of Religious, and Canada crossed borders to meet for the first time as a group, and journeyed to the border wall at Sasabe, AZ. We offered a prayer service for Dreamers as well as all our migrant sisters and brothers. We sensed the deep pain of their struggles and the desire in us for our country to build bridges, not walls between communities and countries. We heard from a Samaritan leader in Tucson about how immigrants continue to die in the desert and more walls mean more deaths.

Religious leaders participating in the encounter were Fr. Brian Terry, SA, Fr. Mark Padrez, OP, Fr. Roberto Salvidar-Ureno, MSpS, and Fr. John Pavlik, OFM Cap from the U.S. Conference of Superiors of Men, Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI, Sr. Sharlet Ann Wagner, CSC, and Sr. Carole Shinnick, SSND, from the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Sr. Clara Alcantara Torres, ME, Br. Francisco Flores, FSC, and Fr. Gerardo Maya Gonzalez, MJ from the Conference of Major Superiors of Religious in Mexico (CIRM), Sr. Mercedes Leticia Casas Sanchez, FSpS from the Caribbean and Latin American Confederation of Religious (CLAR), along with Br. Louis Cinq-Mars, OFM Cap and Sr. Michelle Payette, MIC from the Canadian Religious Conference.


Sr. Clara Alcantara, ME: “Thank you for allowing us to participate in this experience of solidarity and presence with the reality of migration and dreamers. In religious life we have to be where there are no signs of the kingdom and actions such as today are steps to create chains of encounter and prayer.”

Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI: “Standing on the US-Mexico Border contemplating the miles of desert where thousands of migrants have died in an effort to get to a better life I prayed for our Church. I prayed because I realized what losing DACA means. We could fail the young men and women who deserve the basic human rights of work, education, and legal personality. But I prayed for all Christians everywhere to stand up and refuse to fail our fellow human beings by the complicity of silence. This would be the greater moral failure, to remain silent when human dignity is being refused.”

Sr. Michelle Payette, MIC: “At the foot of this wall, in the desert, we prayed in solidarity with Dreamers and migrants. The text of Leviticus 19: 33-34 guided our prayer: If a foreigner resides with you in your land, you will not mistreat them. The foreigner who resides with you will be for you like your compatriot and you will love them as yourself, for you have been strangers in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.”

Fr. John Pavlik, OFM Cap: “Praying at the border of Mexico and the United States, with the steel and concrete wall running far onto the horizon, and standing shoulder to shoulder with women and men religious from Mexico, Canada, and the United States, allowed us to touch a periphery, a narrow space but opening to wide, empty spaces where real persons have perished in braving harsh, unforgiving landscape in order to escape harsh and deadly social conditions. How many of the citizens of the three countries represented at the wall in Sasabe came to another land for similar reasons? As women and men of the Gospel, we could not close our ears to the cry of the downtrodden nor could we close our eyes to persons hurting; let not our country want to become cruel again by evicting those who endured great pain to escape worst. We are much better than this self-protective impulse.”

Together, we renew our commitment to act in concrete, courageous solidarity with Dreamers and all our migrant sisters and brothers across the Americas. This Tuesday Feb. 27th in the U.S. we will be participating in the Catholic Day of Action with Dreamers. We strongly encourage our fellow Catholics to participate in this day and for our Catholic congressional representatives to take a leadership role in passing a clean Dream Act.