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Sep. 23 Memorial of St. Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest, Memorial

Padre Pio was born in 1887 in the small Italian village of Pietrelcina. He joined the Capuchin Friars at the age of sixteen and was ordained a priest seven years later. For fifty years at the monastery of San Giovanni Rotundo he was a much sought after spiritual advisor, confessor, and intercessor whose life was devoted to the Eucharist and prayer. Yet despite such notoriety, he would often say, "I only want to be a poor friar who prays."

Catholics Rush to Save Church as Volcano Erupts, Threatens to Engulf Spain Parish (Video)

In recent days, the eruption of Spain’s Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands moved many spectators around the

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U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman and President of Catholic Charities USA Urge Humane Treatment of Haitians, Other Migrants

WASHINGTON—Over the last several weeks, there has been a substantial increase in the number of migrants present in the Del Rio Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border, roughly 145 miles west of San Antonio. The majority of these individuals are Haitian nationals, many of whom have been living in or traveling through Latin America for varying periods of time after fleeing widespread violence, political turmoil, natural disasters, and economic stagnation in their native Haiti. Conditions in Central and South America—including the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic—have forced migration northward to the United States. Recent videos and first-hand accounts from southern Mexico have depicted harrowing instances of mistreatment and abuse of migrants, particularly Haitians. Conditions for migrants in Del Rio have been grim, with daily temperatures exceeding 100 degrees and limited access to basic needs, such as food, water, and shelter.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has responded to this situation by increasing personnel in the region, closing the Del Rio Port of Entry, and accelerating the removal of these migrants from the United States. This includes operating multiple deportation flights to Haiti, which remains crippled by the recent assassination of its president, a major earthquake, Tropical Storm Grace, and other challenges. It was these conditions in Haiti that led DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to recently redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), allowing certain Haitians present in the United States since at least July 29, 2021, to remain and work in the United States for a period of eighteen months. Moreover, federal authorities continue to use Title 42 of the U.S. Code and expedited removal to quickly expel migrants, largely avoiding due process.

In response to these events, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, and Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, issued the following joint statement:

“Policies such as Title 42 and expedited removal all too often deny the reality of forced migration, disregard the responsibilities enshrined in domestic and international law, and undermine the vulnerability of those against whom they are applied. These are not hallmarks of a ‘fair, orderly, and humane’ immigration system.

“As a Church at the service of all God’s people, we embrace Christ’s call to welcome the newcomer and accompany them wherever they may be. During this National Migration Week—through which we prepare to join the Universal Church in marking the World Day for Migrants and Refugees—we are especially mindful of that obligation and saddened to see such a disregard for human dignity. After all, it is in the face of each migrant that we see the face of Christ.

“We call on the U.S. government to reassess its treatment of migrants in Del Rio and elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially Haitians, who face life-threatening conditions if returned to Haiti and possible discrimination if expelled to third countries. In addition to those services and works provided by many Catholic institutions, we offer our prayers for these migrants and all those seeking safety, security, and the opportunity to flourish in accordance with their God-given dignity.”

Last month, Pope Francis encouraged the international community to take a shared interest in the plight of the Haitian people and join in solidarity to alleviate the consequences of recent events. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, released statements following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the recent earthquake in Haiti, conveying the prayers and support of the U.S. bishops for the Church and people of Haiti. Archbishop Gomez also called on all U.S. bishops to consider taking up a special collection in their dioceses to assist with immediate emergency needs and long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts in Haiti.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Statement of U.S. Bishops’ President on the Death of Bishop Anthony Pilla, Former USCCB President

WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement on the passing of Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, bishop emeritus of Cleveland.

Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:

“His Excellency, Anthony M. Pilla, bishop emeritus of Cleveland, passed away yesterday at the age of 88. He led the bishops’ conference in the 1990s as president, and those who worked with him have expressed that his deep love for the Church was evident through his faithful commitment and desire for unity within the Church which he expressed through his pastoral leadership of the Conference. I offer my prayers and sympathy to Bishop Pilla’s family, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched through his ministry over the years as a priest, and then bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland. May the Lord grant him eternal rest.”

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Sep. 22 Wednesday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time, Weekday

Today is the beginning of the Fall or September Ember Days. See Contemporary Observation of Ember Days for more information.

Protestant Shares Incredible First Experience at Mass: “I Felt Something Through My Body”

This is amazing! 😱 Reddit user MicahTheManiac shared an amazing story about his first Catholic Mass experience on the platform’s Catholicism message

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Sep. 21 Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist, Feast

At the time that Jesus summoned him to follow Him, Matthew was a publican, that is, a tax-collector for the Romans. His profession was hateful to the Jews because it reminded them of their subjection; the publican, also, was regarded by the pharisees as the typical sinner. St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist. In the early Church, Matthew's Gospel was thought the first to be written, which explains its position in the New Testament.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Catholic Communion Wine

How much do you know about communion wine? 🍷 On this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, Ryan Scheel, Fr. Rich Pagano,

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Highlighting Human Fraternity, National Migration Week to be Celebrated September 20-26

WASHINGTON—National Migration Week 2021 starts today and will conclude on September 26 in solidarity with the Holy See’s observation of the World Day for Migrants and Refugees (WDMR) on September 26.

The theme for this year’s WDMR is “Towards an Ever Wider ‘We’,” which Pope Francis drew from his encyclical Fratelli tutti. He emphasized in his annual WDMR message that such a focus calls on us to ensure that “we will think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those,’ but only ‘us’” (Fratelli tutti, no. 35) and this universal “us” must become a reality first of all within the Church, which is called to cultivate communion in diversity. In general, National Migration Week is meant to emphasize the ways in which the migration question is important for the Catholic Church in the United States.

“The migration story is one of compassion, welcome, and unity,” said Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration. “It is about opening our hearts to others, and at this critical juncture we do not have to look far to see its practical application or find those with a need to migrate. The Holy Father calls us to embrace and express the Church’s catholicity—her universality—‘according to the will and grace of the Lord who promised to be with us always, until the end of the age.’ Let us, the Catholics of the United States, join together to answer his call and be especially mindful of it during this upcoming week.”

In previous years, National Migration Week was observed in January, but it was changed recently by the USCCB to align with the Vatican’s observation of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Educational materials and other resources for National Migration Week are available for download on the Justice for Immigrants website.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Sep. 20 Memorial of Sts. Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Priest, and Paul Chong Ha-sang, and Companions, Martyrs, Memorial

During the 17th century the Christian faith was brought to Korea through the zeal of lay persons. From the very beginning these Christians suffered terrible persecutions and many suffered martyrdom during the 19th century. Today's feast honors a group of 103 martyrs. Notable of these were Andrew Kim Taegon, the first Korean priest, and the lay apostle, Paul Chong Hasang. Also among the Korean martyrs were three bishops and seven priests, but for the most part they were heroic laity, men and women, married and single of all ages. They were canonized by Pope Saint John Paul II on May 6, 1984.