USCCB news

Latest News Releases from USCCB
  1. WASHINGTON—On Tuesday, April 24th, the Vice President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration will hold a press conference regarding future endeavors to finding a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers.

    Archbishop José H. Gomez of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Vice President of the USCCB, as well as Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas, Chair of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, will announce their support for a legislative solution for Dreamers, and take questions from the media.

    WHAT:   Press Conference with Archbishop José Gomez,
                   Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Vice President of the USCCB
                   joined by Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Texas,
                   Chair of the USCCB Committee on Migration

    WHEN: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 10:00 am (EDT)

    WHERE:  Hall of States Building
                   444 North Capitol Street, Suite 383
                   Washington, DC 20001

    To RSVP please email MRS Communications Manager, Mark Priceman, at mpriceman@usccb.org.

    ###

    Media Contacts:

    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200

    Mark Priceman
    202-541-3064

  2. WASHINGTON—According to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate's (CARA) annual survey, in the Ordination Class of 2018, almost all responding ordinands reported being baptized Catholic as an infant (90 percent). Among those who became Catholic later in life, the average age of conversion was 26. Four in five responding ordinands (83 percent) report that both their parents were Catholic when they were children. One in three (35 percent) has or had a relative who is a priest or religious.

    The total number of potential ordinands for the class of 2018, 430, is a lower number from 590 in 2017.

    Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, of Newark, Chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, found that the data gives reason for hope as well as provides areas for future growth.

    "Although the overall number of ordinations to the Priesthood is lower this year, the information gathered from this survey and the generosity of those to be ordained continues to inform the important work of vocations ministry for the future. It is essential that we continue to make the conscious effort to encourage young men to be open to hearing God's call in their life and assist them in the discernment process."

    Father Ralph B. O'Donnell, Executive Director of the Secretariat, cited the significance of encouraging vocations awareness: "One of the most encouraging statistics to see in this study is that 86 percent of those to be ordained to the priesthood this year were encouraged to do so by someone in their life (most frequently a parish priest, friend or another parishioner). A similar percentage was reported in February in the most recent survey of those solemnly professed. This fact should enliven in the faithful a resolve to actively encourage the young people that they encounter to consider to what vocation God is calling them and to be generous in their response."

    The Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate gathered the data for "The Class of 2018: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood." CARA collects the data annually for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. Approximately 78 percent of the 430 potential ordinands reported to CARA. These 334 respondents include 252 ordinands to the diocesan priesthood and 78 ordinands to the religious priesthood.

    Among the survey's major findings:

    The majority of responding ordinands are Caucasian (seven in ten) and were born in the United States (three in four). One in four is foreign-born. By comparison, since 1999, on average each year, 30 percent of responding ordinands were foreign-born.

    The four most common countries of birth among the foreign-born are Mexico, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Colombia. On average, foreign-born responding ordinands came to live in the United States 12 years ago at the age of 23.

    On average, responding ordinands first considered priesthood when they were 17 years old. Responding ordinands were scheduled for ordination on average 18 years later (at the age of 35). Since 1999, the average age of responding ordinands has fluctuated only slightly each year, from an average of 36 in 1999 to the current average age of 35.

    Between 39 and 47 percent of all responding ordinands attended a Catholic school for at least some part of their schooling. Half of responding ordinands (51 percent) participated in a religious education program in their parish for seven years, on average.

    Nearly half of responding ordinands (45 percent) report that they completed a college or university undergraduate degree before entering the seminary. The most common fields of study are social science, theology or philosophy, business, or liberal arts.

    Two in three responding ordinands (64 percent) reported full-time work experience prior to entering the seminary. One in twenty responding ordinands served in the U.S. Armed Forces themselves. About one in eight responding ordinands (13 percent) reported that one or both parents had a military career in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    Almost all responding ordinands reported being baptized Catholic as an infant (90 percent). Among those who became Catholic later in life, the average age of conversion was 26. Four in five responding ordinands (83 percent) report that both their parents were Catholic when they were children. One in three (35 percent) has or had a relative who is a priest or religious.

    Regarding participation in parish ministries before entering the seminary, nearly three fourths of responding ordinands (74 percent) served as altar servers before entering the seminary. Nearly three in five (57 percent) served as lectors. Around half served as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (46 percent). One in three served as catechists (38 percent), in campus ministry or youth ministry (35 percent), or as confirmation sponsors/godfathers (31 percent).

    In regard to participation in vocation programs before entering the seminary, half of responding ordinands (46 percent) reported participating in "Come and See" weekends at the seminary or the religious institute/society.

    Nearly nine in ten responding ordinands (86 percent) reported being encouraged to consider the priesthood by someone in their life (most frequently, a parish priest, friend, or another parishioner). Responding ordinands indicate that, on average, four individuals encouraged their vocation.

    One-half of responding ordinands (51 percent) indicated that they were discouraged from considering the priesthood by one or more persons. Most often, this person was a friend/classmate or a family member (other than parents).

    The full report can be found online: http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/ordination-class/class-of-2018/ordination-class-of-2018.cfm.

    ---
    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, ordination, class of 2018, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Father Ralph B. O'Donnell, priesthood, ordinands, Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, diocesan priesthood, religious life

    ###

    Media Contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200

  3. WASHINGTON—Miguel Guilarte has been named manager of the Office of Public Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

    Mr. Guilarte previously worked as a reporter and editor for eighteen years at El Tiempo Latino, a Spanish-language weekly newspaper published in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Founded in 1991, it was acquired by The Washington Post in 2004 and then by El Planeta Media in 2016.  

    While at El Tiempo Latino, Guilarte covered sports, community, politics, education, cultural and health content. He has received multiple awards for his feature stories and article series from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Miguel has also written for Major League Soccer.

    "Miguel offers an impressive background as a bilingual communications professional who will support the USCCB Office of Public Affairs in expanding our Spanish media outreach, social media content and bilingual communications strategy on behalf of the bishops," said Judy Keane, Director of USCCB Public Affairs.

    He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Santa Maria University, Caracas, Venezuela, and resides in the DC area. Miguel began his new role at the USCCB on April 9.

    The Office of Public Affairs represents the Catholic Bishops of the United States to the media and the media to the bishops. Responsibilities of the office include preparing and distributing statements and other resources for the media, arranging for interviews with bishops and staff of the USCCB, organizing press conferences, responding to media queries and credentialing media for coverage of such events as the bishops' annual meetings. For more information about the USCCB Office of Public Affairs, please visit: http://www.usccb.org/about/public-affairs/index.cfm.

    ###

    Media Contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200


  4. WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) annual Catholic Home Missions Appeal will be held in parishes across the country over the weekend of April 28-29. The Catholic Home Missions (CHM) grants assist dioceses and eparchies that would otherwise struggle due to difficult geography, impoverished populations, and limited resources. CHM funding supports essential pastoral programs, including religious education and youth ministry, priestly and religious formation, prison ministry, and lay ministry training.

    "Too many of our brothers and sisters in the United States do not have access to even the most basic pastoral resources," said Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, Archbishop of Anchorage and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions. "As members of the Body of Christ we are called to help our neighbors and build the faith. Your generosity to the Catholic Home Missions Appeal has made the Church in the United States stronger."

    The Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions oversees the Catholic Home Missions Appeal as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. The Subcommittee's grants are funded by donations to the annual collection. In 2017, the Subcommittee approved over $9.4 million in grants to assist 83 dioceses and eparchies for 2018.

    Currently, there are 83 dioceses and eparchies that qualify for support from the Subcommittee on Catholic Home Mission – over 40 percent of all US dioceses. Home mission dioceses are located across the United States, including the Deep South, Appalachia, and the Rocky Mountains, as well as in US territories in the Caribbean and the far-away Pacific.

    More information about the collection can be found at www.usccb.org/home-missions. Resources to promote the collection, including a social media toolkit, can be found at www.usccb.org/home-missions/collection.

    ---
    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, National Collections, Catholic Home Missions Appeal, ministry, evangelization, Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions, Archbishop Paul D. Etienne, religious education, priests, seminarians, religious formation, lay ministry

    ###

    Media Contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200

  5. WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia and appoints Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy of the same Archeparchy as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia until the appointment of the new Archeparch. 

    The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington on April 16, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. 

    Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy, now Apostolic Administrator sede vacante, was born October 1, 1975 in Lviv, Ukraine. He pursued seminary studies at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington, D.C., and was ordained a priest in December of 2001 by Archbishop Stefan Soroka at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia.

    Bishop Rabiy holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy (1999) and a licentiate in Canon Law (2008) from Catholic University of America; and a Master of Divinity degree (2002), from the Dominican House of Studies, in Washington D.C.

    After ordination, Rabiy held pastoral assignments at St. Michael the Archangel parish, Hillsborough, New Jersey, and at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2002-2005. Other assignments after ordination include: pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Reading, 2008-present; coordinator, Sexual Abuse Prevention and Youth Protection Office, 2008-2015; member, Administrative Board, Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, 2008-2017; vicar general, 2009-present; vice-chancellor, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial College of Consultors, 2009-present; member, Archeparchial Presbyteral Council, 2011-2017.

    On August 8, 2017, Pope Francis named Father Andriy Rabiy as auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

    Archbishop Stefan Soroka was born on November 13, 1951 in Winnipeg, Province of Manitoba, Canada. He received a bachelor's degree in Social Work (1973) and a Masters in Social Work (1978) from the University of Manitoba.  His seminary formation was undertaken at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, D.C. At the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1978) and a Doctorate in Social Work in 1985.  

    He was ordained a priest on June 13, 1982, for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg at Saints Vladimir and Olga Cathedral, Winnipeg.

    Assignments after priestly ordination included: assistant priest, Blessed Virgin Mary Parish, Winnipeg, 1984-1986; parish priest, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption, Portage la Prairie, Canada, 1986-1987; parish priest, St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church, Winnipeg, 1987-1995; chaplain, St. Josaphat Council, Knights of Columbus, 1986-1989; chaplain, St Anne Council, Knights of Columbus, 1987-1995; chaplain, National Executive, Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada, 1989-1992; vocations director, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985-2000; state chaplain, Knights of Columbus, Manitoba State Council, 1989-1992; judge, Archeparchial Marriage Tribunal, 1984-1993; vice-chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1985-1994; chancellor, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994-1996; econom, Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, 1994-1998.

    On March 29, 1996 he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg and was ordained to the episcopate on June 13, 1996. He then also served as: chairman, Asset Protection Group Insurance Corporation for Western and Northern Canada Dioceses/Eparchies, 1998-2000; chaplain, Ukrainian Catholic Women's League of Canada, 1998-2000; and editor, Progress Ukrainian Catholic News, 1996-2000.

    On November 29, 2000 he was appointed Metropolitan-Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and was installed on February 29, 2001.

    At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he served as: member of the Committee for Aid to Home Missions, 2010-present; member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, 2001-present; member of the Committee on Relations between Eastern and Latin Catholic Churches, November 2003-2010; member of Task Force on Content and Flow of General Meeting, June 2003; and member of the Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, 2002-2009. 

    The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia includes the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and parts of eastern Pennsylvania. It has a total Catholic population of 12,846.

    ---
    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Archbishop Stefan Soroka, Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy


    ###

    Media Contact:
    Judy Keane
    202-541-3200