Delegates from the Diocese of Trenton pose for a photo on the last day of the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando, Fla. Front row, from left: Diana Hernandez, Bonds of Marian Love missionary; Angela Dodson of Blessed Sacrament-Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd Parish, Trenton; Jeff Schaffer, director of Campus Ministry for Georgian Court University, Lakewood. Middle row, from left: Debbie Gaudino, executive director of the Diocese’s Catholic Charismatic Renewal; Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Mary Agnes Ryan, director of the diocesan Department of Catechesis; Cristina D’Averso Collins, Catholic campus minister in Monmouth and Rider Universities; Terry Ginther, diocesan chancellor; Laura Rivas, associate director of evangelization and adult faith formation; Franciscan Father Gabriel Zeis, diocesan vicar for Catholic education and chaplain in Princeton University; Jennifer Mauro, managing editor of the diocesan newspaper, The Monitor. Back row, from left: Josue Arriola, diocesan director of Evangelization and Family Life, and Michael Days of Blessed Sacrament-Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd Parish. Jennifer Mauro photo
There were many takeaways from the historic Convocation of Catholic Leaders I was fortunate to attend in Orlando with my fellow delegates from the Diocese of Trenton.
After four days of hearing cardinals, bishops, and lay people speak on faith and evangelization, of attending numerous prayer services and Masses with thousands of faithful from around the country, and being able to engage in meaningful dialogue to address some of the most important issues of our time facing the Church and our world, it’s safe to say my brain was on Catholicism overload – in the most wonderful way.
But two themes based heavily on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel,” which inspired the convocation, spoke to me personally: identifying and evangelizing those on the peripheries of society and being open to the joy of the Lord in order to recognize and utilize the gifts he has given me.
It was a great honor to be a part of the delegation of our Diocese to participate in the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in the United States." This historic evangelization event held July 1-4 in Orlando was called by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, bringing us together with thousands of lay people, priests, religious and bishops representing the different dioceses in the United States. More ... Monday, July 17, 2017
“I should not have to face this alone. Scripture itself tells me I should not have to,” a gentleman insisted during a session, speaking of his experience with cancer. He was right: every person deserves to know that he or she is not alone. God is with them. He brings meaning and hope into life and even into suffering. But if we want people to know that God is by their side, you and I need to be by them as well, so that we can introduce Him. That introduction is crucial.
The Convocation of Catholic Leaders, convened by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, offered an unprecedented opportunity for leaders in dioceses, ministries and religious communities to share their thoughts and insights regarding our current Catholic cultural situation within the United States. More ... Saturday, July 15, 2017
“There is someone out there who is waiting for what you have been given to give, and their life hangs in the balance … in God’s providence you are the one who has been anointed, who has been prepared and it matters that you say yes.” This statement, made by Sherry Weddell at the Convocation for Catholic Leaders in Orlando, struck me powerfully. More ... Saturday, July 15, 2017
Attending the Convocation of Catholic Leaders was a truly enriching experience. As a member of the delegation from the Diocese, I had the opportunity to meet servant leaders from around the Diocese and across the nation. I met lay, religious and ordained ministers serving at chanceries, universities, parishes, and a vast array of other ministries – all serving God’s family with commitment and joy. More ... Saturday, July 15, 2017
CHICAGO -- Catholic Extension has announced eight finalists for its Lumen Christi Award, which recognizes Catholic leaders "for bringing the light of Christ" to poor communities across the United States. More ... Friday, July 14, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. – United by the words of the prophet of social justice, Catholic Church leaders urged black Catholics to become active, just disciples of Christ.
More than 2,000 people – including Diocese of Trenton residents Angela Dodson and her husband, Michael Days, of Blessed Sacrament-Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd Parish, Trenton – converged on Orlando July 6-9 for the 12th National Black Catholic Congress, where clergy, lay and religious speakers addressed a variety of topics and concerns facing black communities and families, while urging those present to take an active, enthusiastic role in living out the Gospel as just disciples of Christ.
VATICAN CITY -- Bishops should look at ways to help verify and guarantee the validity and worthiness of the bread and wine used for the celebration of the Eucharist, the Vatican said in a recent document.
Because bread and wine for the Eucharist are no longer supplied just by religious communities, but "are also sold in supermarkets and other stores and even over the internet," bishops should set up guidelines, an oversight body and/or even a form of certification to help "remove any doubt about the validity of the matter for the Eucharist," the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said.
The recommendations came in a circular letter, "On the bread and wine for the Eucharist," sent to diocesan bishops "at the request of the Holy Father, Pope Francis." Dated June 15 -- the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ -- the letter was made public by the Vatican July 8. The letter was signed by Cardinal Robert Sarah, congregation prefect, and Archbishop Arthur Roche, secretary. More ... Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Following is a compilation of recent briefs published by Catholic News Service on these topics: Boy choristers on tour; Navarro-Valls dies, and Beatification in Colombia planned. More ... Friday, July 7, 2017
WASHINGTON -- Agencies of the U.S. and European Catholic bishops have called for all nations to develop a plan to eliminate nuclear weapons from their military arsenals. More ... Thursday, July 6, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Jesus took a few loaves and fishes and turned them into a feast for thousands, offering the Church an example of faith in action, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said in sending 3,500 delegates home from the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America."
In the face of adversity and naysayers in today's world -- not unlike the apostles who wondered how they would feed the masses -- the Church is called to take what they have, as Jesus did and reap the rewards of achieving great things in the face of the impossible, Cardinal DiNardo said in his homily during the convocation's closing Mass July 4.
"When we see the complexity, when we see the impossible ... Jesus will say, 'Just give me what you have.' Imagine what we will have left over after we do it at the Lord's Word," he said.
"Jesus gives the apostles and everybody who listens to them ... he gives them that power. Do we believe? St. Paul says if we believe can go out and do what is asked," said Cardinal DiNardo, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Delegates at the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders. The Joy of the Gospel in America" have their work cut out for them but they are equipped to do it, said speakers at the final plenary session July 4. More ... Tuesday, July 4, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. -- In the July 3 closing Mass for the Fortnight for Freedom, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori called on Catholics to thank God for the gift of freedom and to pray that they "use this gift well and wisely." More ... Tuesday, July 4, 2017
ORLANDO, Fla. – Being Christian is more than accepting Jesus as savior, but requires the faithful to go to the peripheries of society where people are struggling materially and spiritually, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles told the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America."
"Jesus calls us to follow him. That is an action, a decision that implies a way of life," Archbishop Gomez said during a plenary session July 3, the third day of the convocation.
He said Pope Francis has focused the mission of the Church on going to people on the sidelines of society, calling it a responsibility not just for bishops, clergy and Church professionals, but for the entire Church.
ORLANDO, Fla. – The U.S. Catholic Church's increasing diversity presents Catholics with the opportunity to accompany each other on the journey of faith Pope Francis envisions, a Boston College professor told delegates to the "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America" in Orlando.
Hosffman Ospino, associate professor of theology and religious education at Boston College, said the changes in the landscape are a sign of strength and present new opportunities to welcome newcomers into the Church family.
"It's OK if we wrestle with diversity and pluralism," he told the 3,500 delegates assembled for the convocation's first plenary session July 2. "This where we need to exercise the pastoral practice of mutual accompaniment."
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Over 100 Catholic leaders attending the Leadership Roundtable's annual convening in Orlando said the Church needs to go beyond "engaging laity" to "appointing, recruiting, promoting and empowering diverse lay leaders." More ... Monday, July 3, 2017