Category Archives: Church Leadership
I’m proud to Congratulate our neighbors from Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church here in Katy, Texas for making the list. I want to also thank all the other great Christian workplaces for such an excellent job over the last year.- Pastor Crutchfield
MERCER ISLAND, Wash., July 31, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Serving a cause that is greater than oneself is one of the top attractions of working in a Christian organization. These survey results indicate employees in Christian workplaces experience work that is meaningful and life giving.
This year’s research conducted by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute concludes there are multiple factors that describe why employees experience healthy, flourishing workplace cultures. Results show employees in our Certified organizations go the extra mile, bring more passion, energy and commitment in order to be sure the organization’s mission and vision are achieved, according to Al Lopus, President of the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI).
The importance of staff culture is growing as more organizations are making it one of their top three strategic initiatives. This year’s list of 117 Certified organizations is larger than ever, as many more organizations survey their staff to discover the health of their workplace culture.
Certified Best Christian Workplaces are global and represent all facets of ministries from churches, private schools, universities, parachurch missions, product and services, book publishers and radio stations. This year we have added Christian led businesses.
Historically, BCWI has surveyed over 180,000 employees from 702 unique organizations in 7 countries. Over the past year ending in June, 234 organizations participated in the survey with 117 achieving Certification, with over twenty two thousand employees confidentially responding to more than 50 questions addressing these topics. Attaining BCWI certification is not easy, many organizations survey multiple years before receiving this distinction. We wish to congratulate the following organizations Certified between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.
4KIDS – Fort Lauderdale, FL
African Leadership, Inc. – Brentwood, TN
Antioch Community Church – Waco, TX
Apartment Life – Euless, TX
Aspen Group – Frankfort, IL
Bethany Community Church – St. Catharines, ON Canada
Beulah Alliance Church – Edmonton, AB Canada
Blue Ridge Community Church – Forest, VA
Briarcrest Christian School – Memphis, TN
Bridgepoint Church – Boise, ID
Bridgeway Community Church – Columbia, MD
C3 Church Kawana Waters – Warana, QLD Australia
CapinCrouse LLP – Greenwood, IN
Care Net – Lansdowne, VA
Central Baptist Church – Sioux Falls, SD
Chalice Canada – Lower Sackville, NS Canada
Chase Oaks Church – Plano, TX
Cherry Hills Christian School – Highlands Ranch, CO
Child Evangelism Fellowship, Greenville/Piedmont District – Taylors, SC
Christian Family Care – Phoenix, AZ
Christian Veterinary Mission – Seattle, WA
Christ’s Church of the Valley – Peoria, AZ
Church of the King – Mandeville, LA
Coalition for Christian Outreach – Pittsburgh, PA
Compassion Australia – Warabrook, NSW Australia
Compassion Canada – London, ON Canada
CRISTA Camps – Seattle, WA
CRISTA Media – Seattle, WA
CRISTA Ministries – Seattle, WA
Cross Point Church – Nashville, TN
Crossroads Bible College – Indianapolis, IN
Denver Rescue Mission – Denver, CO
Desert Christian Academy – Bermuda Dunes, CA
DiscipleMakers, Inc – State College, PA
East-West Ministries – Plano, TX
Emmaus Bible College – Dubuque, IA
English Language Institute/China – Ft. Collins, CO
Experience Life Church – Lubbock, TX
Faith Promise Church – Knoxville, TN
First Assembly Community Ministries – Lafayette, IN
First Assembly West – Cape Coral, FL
Garland Heart – Wylie, TX
Gateway Church – Southlake, TX
The Gideons International – Nashville, TN
Grace Bible Church – Virginia Beach, VA
Grace Church – Middleburg Heights, OH
Grace Church – Overland Park, KS
Grace Family Church – Durban, South Africa
Grace Fellowship UMC – Katy, TX
Grant Memorial Baptist Church – Winnipeg, MB Canada
Hearts at Home – Bloomington, IL
Highlands Church – Scottsdale, AZ
HOPE International – Lancaster, PA
The Human Capital Group, Inc. – Brentwood, TN
International Leadership Institute – Carrollton, GA
InterVarsity Press – Westmont, IL
Joni and Friends – Agoura Hills, CA
King’s Schools – Seattle, WA
Lake Ann Camp – Lake Ann, MI
Lake Pointe Church – Rockwall, TX
Light of Life Ministries, Inc. – Pittsburgh, PA
Lionheart Children’s Academy – Euless, TX
Miracle Hill Ministries, Inc. – Greenville, SC
Mission India – Grand Rapids, MI
The Navigators – Colorado Springs, CO
Network Communications – Maroochydore, QLD Australia
New Covenant Church – Clyde, NC
New Life Ranch – Colford, OK
NewSpring Church – Anderson, SC
North Avenue Presbyterian Church – Atlanta, GA
Novo Ministries – Oklahoma City, OK
Oak Pointe Church – Novi, MI
Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbannais, IL
Overseas Council – Indianapolis, IN
Palmetto Christian Academy – Mt. Pleasant, SC
Pantano Christian Church – Tucson, AZ
Peninsula Covenant Church – Redwood City, CA
Pillar College – Newark, NJ
Pine Harbor Christian Academy – Hastings, MN
Prairie Bible Institute – Three Hills, AB Canada
PrairieLand Partners, Inc. – Emporia, KS
Real Life Christian Church – Valencia, CA
River Pointe Church – Richmond, TX
Riverlife Church – Henty, NSW Australia
Rolling Hills Christian Church – El Dorado Hills, CA
Rose Publishing – Torrance, CA
SA Christian Hope Resource Center – San Antonio, TX
Samaritan Ministries International – Peoria, IL
Santa Fe Christian Schools – Solana Beach, CA
Savannah Christian Church – Savannah, GA
Seattle Urban Academy – Seattle, WA
Seed Company – Arlington, TX
Shepherd Church – Porter Ranch, CA
Southland Christian Church – Lexington, KY
Southridge Community Church – St. Catharines, ON Canada
Sparks Christian Fellowship – Sparks, NV
Syndal Baptist Church – Glen Waverley, VIC Australia
Trinity Academy – Wichita, KS
Trinity Habitat for Humanity – Fort Worth, TX
Union Gospel Mission – Vancouver BC Canada
Union Rescue Mission – Wichita, KS
Upward Sports – Spartanburg, SC
Valor Christian High School – Highlands Ranch, CO
The Vineyard Church – Duluth MN
Vineyard Church – Kansas City, MO
Visalia First Assembly – Visalia, CA
VisionTrust International – Colorado Springs, CO
The Wesleyan Church – Fishers, IN
Wheaton Academy – West Chicago, IL
Whitworth University – Spokane, WA
Willow Creek Community Church – South Barrington, IL
The Woods Church – Warren, MI
World Concern – Seattle, WA
WorldServe Ministries (Canada) – White Rock, BC Canada
Worthington Christian Schools – Worthington, OH
Young Life of Western Washington – Everett, WA
To earn certification as a Best Christian Workplace, organizations participate in BCWI’s employee engagement survey and meet predetermined standards of excellence. The survey covers eight factors defining BCWI’s “FLOURISH Model” including Fantastic Teams, Life-Giving Work, Outstanding Talent, Uplifting Growth, Rewarding Compensation, Inspirational Leadership, Sustainable Strategy and Healthy Communication.
Best Christian Workplaces Institute’s purpose is to serve faith-based and Christian led organizations by creating processes of discovery, facilitating leadership and organizational health and encouraging behaviors that build flourishing organizations. BCWI is a non-profit research based organizational development and human resources consulting firm based on Mercer Island, WA. www.bcwinstitute.org blog.bcwinstitute.org www.facebook.com/bestchristianworkplacesinstitute
DALLAS, June 1, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Recently in Uganda, a small school of theology was approached by a denominational leader to inquire if they could train their pastors. The president of the school naturally asked how many pastors needed training. The response – “30,000!” An impossible task for this small seminary that trains 15 students a year.
In China, house churches are flourishing, Christianity is growing and with it the need for trained pastors. However, reports indicate that there are more than 100 house churches for every trained local pastor and local congregations may see their pastor only once or twice per year.
In Brazil, it is reported that five new churches are started each week, necessitating the need for five new pastors to be trained each week. Access to training is lacking however.
These accounts, among numerous others like them, tell a story about the health of the church worldwide. While we celebrate the growth of global Christianity, we should not be so focused on expansion that we neglect the training of pastoral leaders for long-term sustainability of local churches.
Today, demand for training of pastors is outpacing the supply, as only 5% of pastoral leaders are trained for pastoral ministry. Pastors are in dire need of training worldwide. There are thousands of sheep without a shepherd and multitudes of churches without equipped and maturing pastoral leadership.
The Lord is using a small Dallas based ministry, RREACH, to raise awareness about this global issue. Dr. Ramesh Richard, president of RREACH, has been a leader in pastoral training for nearly 30 years. In 1998, recognizing the need to address this global training deficit, Dr. Richard helped launch Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC) as a collaborative to train pastors internationally.
Now, together with global advocates such at the World Evangelical Alliance and Lausanne Movement, RREACH is mobilizing pastoral trainers across the globe for a once-in-a-generation congress: the Global Proclamation Congress for Pastoral Trainers, also known as the GProCongress. The purpose of this global congress is to connect, unite and strengthen pastoral trainers into a cooperative to better deliver pastoral training to more pastors where the church is growing.
Those involved in pastoral training (a 2012 Gordon Conwell study commissioned by RREACH found over 7,000 organizations and institutions) are being invited to participate in this historic congress, June 15-22, 2016. Up to 5,000 pastoral trainers, from 200 nations, are expected to converge on Bangkok, Thailand for the 2016 GProCongress for Pastoral Trainers.
More than an event, the GProCongress is being developed as a catalyst for what follows. Plans are in development to create a pipeline for delivery of pastoral training worldwide. The mission is 100,000 better trained pastors and 20,000 more pastoral trainers globally by 2020.
If you are a practitioner, resource provider, strategist, theorist or funder of pastoral training, learn more and plan to attend the 2016 GProCongress for Pastoral Trainer. For more information go to www.GProCongress.org or email info@GProCongress.org.
SOUNDS A BIT PRICEY ESPECIALLY FOR NEW AND STRUGGLING CHURCHES WHO COULD PROBABLY USE THE HELP MOST. HOWEVER I FIND IT AN INTRIGUING AND EXCITING IDEA. I WOULD ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO CAN TO GIVE IT A TRY, AND LET US KNOW HOW IT WORKS OUT.-Pastor Crutchfield
Church Staff Apps launches “Care Connect” — first-of-its-kind app for keeping tabs on worshippers’ support needs
FLECTCHER, N.C., May 5, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Church Staff Apps, LLC has announced the national launch of a first-of-its-kind app that gives church leaders the power to minister to the sick more effectively than ever.
The app, called “CareConnect,” provides pastors, clergy and lay leaders up-to-the-minute updates of the health situation of members of their congregation if they are ill, hospitalized or otherwise incapacitated.
A color-coding feature alerts church leaders to immediately determine the relevant needs of each person. It shows them whose situation is urgent, whether someone is recuperating, or if their issue has been resolved. It tells them if someone needs to be visited, where they are located and their current health status. It lets them know who last visited the person and what needs were expressed.
“In effect, it keeps everyone in the loop and ensures that the individual is getting the best possible ministry,” said Ed Frisbee, the app designer and founder of Church Staff Apps, LLC. “Users love the fact that they can glance at the people listed and through the color-coding identify how serious their condition is. Reading notes of previous visits empowers them to pray more personally and more meaningfully on follow-up visits.”
Frisbee, Worship Pastor at Trinity of Fairview in Fletcher, and son of a pastor, came up with the idea for “Care Connect” after an embarrassing personal experience.
He said, “I will never forget the day someone from my choir mentioned that their mom, who was also a church member, had been in the hospital for nearly a week and I was clueless. I felt about an inch tall. I hadn’t known, and neither had anyone else in the church leadership, so we hadn’t called them or visited them or been able to pray for their needs. Thankfully, this person was gracious and forgiving but we all know there are some people who, unfortunately, would leave a church and never return because they would feel uncared for.”
Now when someone calls the church office with information, the office personnel can instantly upload it to the Care Connect app and email to every staff member. The uploaded information is constantly updated—securely and confidentially—which helps coordinate visitation so that no-one receives too many or too few visits.
Added Frisbee, “Care Connect takes so much pressure off everyone on the church leadership team. The information is accessible 24/7. You don’t have to be in the office, or even in the country.”
While Care Connect is Church Staff Apps’ flagship product, the company has several others in the pipeline all designed to help churches communicate more effectively.
The Care Connect app is available through iTunes, Google Play and Windows Store. Users sign up online at www.churchstaffapps.com/care-connect to setup username and password. After a 30-day free trial period each church pays just $15.00 per month for a license.
For more information please visit: www.ChurchStaffApps.com.
EDITORS NOTE: THE FOLLOWING WAS TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL ITALIAN COURTESY GOOGLE TRANSLATE.
During today’s Angelus, the Holy Father Francis has announced the names of the new cardinals who he will appoint in the consistory of 14 February next:
As previously announced, on February 14th will have the joy of holding a Consistory, during which I will appoint 15 new cardinals, who, coming from 14 countries on every continent, show the inseparable bond between the Church of Rome and the particular Churches present in the world.
Sunday, February 15 will preside at a solemn Mass with the new Cardinals, while the 12 and 13 February I will hold a consistory with all the cardinals to reflect on the guidelines and proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia.
The new cardinals are:
1 – Mons. Dominique Mamberti, Titular Archbishop of Sagona, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
2 – Mons. Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon (Portugal).
3 – Mons. Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, CM, Archbishop of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).
4 – Msgr. John Dew, Archbishop of Wellington (New Zealand).
5 – Mons. Edoardo Menichelli, Archbishop of Ancona–Osimo (Italy).
6 – Mons. Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon, Archbishop of Hanoi (Vietnam).
7 – Msgr. Alberto Suarez Inda, Archbishop of Morelia (Mexico).
8 – Mons. Charles Maung Bo, SDB, Archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar).
9 – Mons. Kriengsak Kovitvanit, Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand).
10 – Mons. Francesco Montenegro, Archbishop of Agrigento (Italy).
11 – Mons. Daniel Sturla, SDB, Archbishop of Montevideo (Uruguay).
12 – Mons. Ricardo Blázquez Pérez, Archbishop of Valladolid (Spain).
13 – Mons. José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, OAR, Bishop David (Panama).
14 – Mons. Arlindo Gomes Furtado, Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde Archipelago).
15 – Mons. Soane Patita Paini Mafi, Bishop of Tonga (Tonga Islands).
Will join also to the members of the College of Cardinals 5 Archbishops and Bishops Emeriti who are distinguished for their pastoral charity in service to the Holy See and the Church. They represent many Bishops who, with the same care as pastors, they gave witness of love for Christ and the People of God in the particular Churches, both in the Roman Curia, both in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.
1 – Mons. José de Jesús Rodríguez Pimiento, retired archbishop of Manizales.
2 – Mons. Luigi De Magistris, Titular Archbishop of Nova, Pro-Penitentiary Emeritus.
3 – Msgr. Karl–Joseph Rauber, Titular Archbishop of Giubalziana, Apostolic Nuncio.
4 – Mons. Luis Héctor Villalba, Archbishop Emeritus of Tucumán.
5 – Mons. Julio Duarte Langa, Bishop Emeritus of Xai–Xai.
We pray for the new Cardinals so, renewing their love for Christ, are witnesses of his Gospel in the city of Rome and the world, and with their experience more intensely pastoral support me in my apostolic service.
[00008-01.01] [Original text: Italian]
Brief biographies of the 20 cardinals that will be created by Pope Francis in the consistory of February 14, 2015
[main source for biographies: Bulletin of the Press Office of the Holy See]
S.E. Mons. Dominique MAMBERTI
Titular Archbishop of Sagona
Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
S.E. Mons. Dominique Mamberti was born in Marrakech, in the Archdiocese of Rabat (Morocco), March 7, 1952.
He was ordained priest on 20 September 1981 for the diocese of Ajaccio (Corsica – France).
He holds a degree in Canon and Civil Law.
Entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 March 1986, he lent his work later at the Pontifical Representations in Algeria, Chile, the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York, Lebanon, and finally at the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.
On 18 May 2002 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Sudan and Apostolic Delegate in Somalia and elected to the office holder of Sagona, with the dignity of archbishop. He received his episcopal consecration on 3 July 2002.
On 19 February 2004 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Eritrea.
On 15 September 2006 the Holy Father Benedict XVI appointed him Secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State.
The November 8, 2014 Pope Francis named him Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
S.E. Mons. José Manuel MACÁRIO do NASCIMENTO CLEMENTE
Patriarch of Lisbon (Portugal)
S.E. Mons. José Manuel Macário do Nascimento Clemente was born in Torres Vedras, Patriarchate of Lisbon (Portugal), July 16, 1948.
After graduating in General History from the University of Lisboa, entered the Patriarchal Seminary Cristo Rei dos Olivais. He earned a doctorate in theology, with specialization in Historical Theology at the Catholic University of Portugal.
On 29 June 1979 he was ordained a priest and was incardinated in the Patriarchate of Lisbon.
In Patriarchate has played engagements Vice Rector and Rector of the Major Seminary, Professor of the Faculty of Theology at the Portuguese Catholic University, member of the Cathedral Chapter, the Council of Priests and the Pastoral Council.
On 6 November 1999 he was appointed by Pope John Paul II Titular Bishop of Pinhel and Auxiliary of Lisboa and received episcopal ordination on January 22, 2000.
On 22 February 2007 the Holy Father Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of the Diocese of Porto.
The May 18, 2013 Pope Francis named him Patriarch of Lisboa.
From 19 June 2013, the President of the Portuguese Episcopal Conference, having been its Deputy Chairman. As part of the same conference has held the position of President of the Episcopal Commission for Culture, Cultural and Social Communications.
Author of numerous publications, from 2012 is member of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
S.E. Mons. Berhaneyesus Demerew SOURAPHIEL, C. M.
Archbishop of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
S.E. Mons. Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel was born July 14, 1948 in Tcheleleka, in the Apostolic Vicariate of Harar, nell’Etiopia Central.
In 1963 he entered the minor seminary of Guder, entrusted to the Vincentians. He studied philosophy at the Major Seminary Makanissa.
He was ordained a priest in Addis Ababa, July 4, 1976.
In 1980 he was elected delegate to the General Assembly of the Vincentians in Rome. During this time he graduated in Sociology at the Pontifical Gregorian University; returned to Addis Ababa in 1983. In 1990 he became superior of the Vincentian house in Addis Ababa.
In 1992 he was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Kaffa and Illubabor.
With the erection of the Apostolic Prefecture of Jimma–Bonga June 10, 1994, it became the first Apostolic Prefect.
On 7 November 1997 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Bita and Auxiliary of Addis Ababa. He received episcopal ordination on 25 January 1998.
On 16 June 1999, having vacated the seat Metropolitan Archbishop of Addis Ababa for the resignation of Card. Paulos Tzadua, has been appointed Chief “vacant seat” of the same Archeparchy.
On 7 July 1999 the Holy Father John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
President of the Episcopal Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea (since 1999); President of the Council of the Ethiopian Church (since 1998) and from July 2014 President AMECEA (Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa).
As President of the Episcopal Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea participated in the recent III Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 2014).
S.E. Msgr. John Dew
Archbishop of Wellington (New Zealand)
S.E. Msgr. John Dew was born May 5, 1948 at Waipawa, then in the Archdiocese of Wellington, currently Diocese of Palmerston North.
He completed his ecclesiastical studies at Holy Name Seminary Christchurch and at the National Seminar of Holy Cross College in Mosgiel.
He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Wellington May 9, 1976.
After ordination, he has made the following pastoral ministries: 1976-1979: Vice–pastor at Upper Hutt; 1980-1982: Missionary and parish priest in the diocese of Rarotonga (Cook Islands); 1982-1987: Chaplain of Catholic immigrants in Wellington from the Cook Islands, and at the same time was commissioned dell’Archdiocesan Youth Ministry; 1988-1991: Director of Education for pupils in the National Seminar of Holy Cross in Mosgiel; 1991-1993: Study abroad at the Institute of St Anselm in Kent (England), where he obtained a Diploma in Pastoral Spirituality. From 1993 to 1995 he was pastor of St. Anne‘s Parish in Newtown.
On 1 April 1995 he was appointed titular Bishop of Privata and Auxiliary of Wellington (New Zealand). He received his episcopal consecration on 31 May of that year.
Promoted Coadjutor of the Archdiocese of Wellington on 29 April 2004 he became Archbishop March 21, 2005.
Since April 1, 2005 is also Military Ordinary for New Zealand.
Since 2012 he has been President of the Episcopal Conference of New Zealand, and was also President of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania (FCBCO), from 2011 to May 2014.
As President of the Episcopal Conference of New Zealand participated in the recent III Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 2014), where he was Speaker of the club less English “A”.
S.E. Mons. Edward MENICHELLI
Archbishop of Ancona–Osimo (Italy)
S.E. Mons. Edoardo Menichelli was born in Serripola San Severino Marche (Macerata – Italy) October 14, 1939.
He attended grammar school and middle studies at the Seminary of San Severino Marche and the philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Regional Seminary Pius XI of Fano. In Rome, at the Pontifical Lateran University, he earned a licentiate in Pastoral Theology.
He was ordained a priest on July 3, 1965. The diocese of origin is San Severino Marche, which in 1986 was united to the Archdiocese of Camerino under the name of Camerino–San Severino Marche.
After ordination, he served from 1965 to 1968 his work as vice pastor of the parish of St. Joseph in San Severino Marche and simultaneously also had the task of teacher of religion in state schools of the capital.
From 1968 until 1991 he worked as an Official at the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.
Later, from 1992 to 1994 he was called to work at the Congregation for Oriental Churches as Officer of the Secretariat. He also held the post of secretary to the then Prefect, Cardinal Achille Silvestrini. Meanwhile, he lent his work in the pastoral as Cooperator at the parish of SS. Hearts of Jesus and Mary and as chaplain of Mafalda Clinic. E ‘was also the Associate Family Counseling of the Faculty of Medicine at the Gemelli Hospital. He took an active part in the Synod of the Diocese of Rome.
On June 10, 1994 he was appointed Archbishop of Wondered–Vasto.
On 8 January 2004 he was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Ancona–Osimo.
In the CEI, he served as Vice President of the Episcopal Conference of the Marche and Member of the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education, the school and the university.
You Chaplain National AMCI, Italian Catholic Medical Association.
Appointed by the Pope to the recent III Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 2014), where he was Speaker of the circle smaller Italian “A”.
S.E. Mons. Pierre Nguyen Van NHON
Archbishop of Hanoi (Vietnam)
S.E. Mons. Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon was born on 1 aprile938 to Ðà Lat in Vietnam.
He studied in his country before receiving priestly ordination December 21, 1967.
The October 11, 1991 Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop coadjutor of Ðà Lat and was consecrated December 3 of that year.
It succeeded for coadiutoria as Bishop Ordinary of Ðà Lat March 23, 1994.
In 2007 he was elected President of the Vietnamese Episcopal Conference, a position held until 2013.
April 22, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hanoi, where he became archbishop after only a few weeks, on May 13, following the withdrawal of Archbishop Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet.
S.E. Msgr. Alberto SUÁREZ INDA
Archbishop of Morelia (Mexico)
S.E. Msgr. Alberto Suárez Inda was born in Celaya January 30, 1939. He completed his ecclesiastical studies at the Seminary of Morelia and at the Gregorian University in Urbe, obtaining a Licentiate in Philosophy.
He was ordained a priest on August 8, 1964, incardinated in the Archdiocese of Morelia. When was erected the Diocese of Celaya (13 October 1973), went on to be part of the clergy of the new district.
On November 5, 1985 he was appointed Bishop of Tacambaro and received episcopal ordination December 20 next.
On 20 January 1995, Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Morelia (Mexico).
S.E. Msgr. Charles Maung BO, S.D.B.
Archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar)
S.E. Msgr. Charles Maung Bo, SDB, was born in Mohla, in the Archdiocese of Mandalay, October 29, 1948
Entered and was ordained priest April 9, 1976.
From 1985 he was Prefect Apostolic Prefecture in Lashio
On July 7, 1990, with the elevation of the Prefecture for the Diocese, was appointed the first bishop of Lashio and received episcopal consecration December 16 of the same year.
The Holy Father John Paul II then appointed Bishop of Pathein, March 13, 1996.
From 15 May 2003, Metropolitan Archbishop of Yangon.
President of the Episcopal Conference of Myanmar, 2000-2006.
S.E. Mons. Kriengsak Kovitvanit
Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand)
S.E. Mons. Kriengsak Kovitvanit was born June 27, 1949 at Ban Rak, Archdiocese of Bangkok.
He studied at the Seminary of St. Joseph in Sampran. Sent to Rome, he studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Urban University (1970-1976), residing at the Urban College.
He was ordained a priest on July 11, 1976 for the Archdiocese of Bangkok.
In the same year he was assistant priest of the Nativity of Mary Church in Ban Pan; in the years 1977-1979 assistant priest dell’Epiphany Church in Koh Go; then Vice–Rector of the Minor Seminary of St. Joseph in Sampran (1979-1981). In Rome from 1982 to 1983, he studied in spirituality at the Gregorian University. Returning home, he was for six years Rector of the Seminary intermediate Holy Family, in Nakhon Ratchasima; then, from 1989 to 1993, under secretary of the Episcopal Conference; yet, in the years 1992-2000, the Rector of the National Major Seminary Lux Mundi in Sampran.
Extraordinary professor at the major seminary of Sampran since 2001, was pastor of the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes in Hua Take (2000-2003), then pastor of the Cathedral and the Secretary of the Council of Priests of the Archdiocese of Bangkok, 2003-2007.
March 7, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Nakhon Sawan. He received his episcopal consecration on 2 June.
From 14 May 2009 Metropolitan Archbishop of Bangkok (Thailand).
Vice President of the Episcopal Conference of Thailand, since 2009.
S.E. Mons. Francesco MONTENEGRO
Archbishop of Agrigento (Italy)
S.E. Mons. Francesco Montenegro was born in Messina May 22, 1946. He completed his high school studies, high school students and those in philosophy and theology in the Seminary of St. Pius X of Messina.
He received priestly ordination on August 8, 1969 with incardinated in the Archdiocese of Messina.
He attended courses in Pastoral Theology at the Ignatianum of Messina; 1969-1971 has exercised his priestly ministry in a suburban area of the city; 1971-1988 was private secretary, later, the Archbishop Mons. Francesco Fasola, of bm, and Mons. Ignatius Reedy.
It was in the years 1988-1998 pastor of the Parish of St. Clement in Messina; from 1988 he was Director of Caritas, Regional Director of Caritas and regional representative to the national Caritas.
He also held the following positions: Teacher of Religion, Assistant Diocesan Italian Sports Center, diocesan director of the Apostleship of Prayer, Checklist Chapter dell’Archimandritato, Rector of the Shrine of St. Rita Church and Spiritual Director of the Minor Seminary. He was Member of the Council of Priests.
From 1997 to 2000 he was Pro–Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Messina–Lipari–Saint Lucia del Mela and since 1998 Canon of the Cathedral Chapter Protometropolitano of Messina.
Elected titular of Aurusuliana and appointed Auxiliary of Messina–Lipari–Saint Lucia del Mela March 18, 2000, he received episcopal consecration April 29 of that year.
From May 2003 to May 2008, he was President of the Italian Caritas.
The February 23, 2008 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Archbishop of Agrigento
In the CEI, from 2013 he has been Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for Migration and President of the Foundation “Migrantes”.
S.E. Mons. Daniel Sturla, S.D.B.
Archbishop of Montevideo (Uruguay)
S.E. Mons. Daniel Sturla, SDB, was born July 4, 1959 in Montevideo.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Civil Law in the Instituto Juan XXIII, he studied philosophy and Educational Sciences Instituto Miguel Rúa the Salesians in Montevideo.
He studied theology in the then Instituto Theological Uruguay Mons. Mariano Soler, ottenendovi a licentiate in theology in 2006.
He joined the Institute of the Salesian Province of Uruguay at the end of the seventies of the last century. Made his novitiate in 1979 and made his first religious profession January 31, 1980.
On 21 November 1987 he was ordained a priest.
As a priest he held the following ministries: Vicar of the Salesian Novitiate and Post-Novitiate, Director Aspirantate Salesian and Master of Novices, Director of Pre–university Juan XXIII and Professor of Church History.
On 28 October 2008 he was appointed Inspector Salesian Uruguay and shortly after he was elected President of the Conference of Religious of Uruguay.
On 10 December 2011 he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI Titular Bishop of Felbes and auxiliary of Montevideo.
The February 11, 2014 Pope Francis promoted him Archbishop of Montevideo (Uruguay)
Inside the Episcopal Conference of Uruguay has received the assignments of Head of the Department of Missions and the Laity.
S.E. Mons. Ricardo BLÁZQUEZ PÉREZ
Archbishop of Valladolid (Spain)
S.E. Mons. Ricardo Blázquez Pérez was born in Villanueva del Campillo (Avila), on April 3, 1942. He studied in the Minor and Major Seminaries of Avila (1955-1967) and later earned a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University (1967-1972). In addition to collaborating in the preparation of many documents of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, has published many books and articles of Theology.
Ordained a priest February 18, 1967, has held the following positions: Secretary Abulense Institute (1972-1976); Professor of Theology (1974-1988) and Dean (1978-1981) at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, which from 2000 to 2004 was Chancellor.
Elected Titular Bishop. Germa of Galatia and Auxiliary of Santiago de Compostela on April 8, 1988, was ordained May 29 next.
On 26 May 1992 he was transferred to Palencia
On September 8, 1995 he was appointed Bishop of Bilbao.
March 13, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI promoted him archbishop of Valladolid.
President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference in March 2014, a post he had held from 2005 to 2008, while from 2008 to 2014 he was Vice President.
Within the Spanish Episcopal Conference was also the first member (1988-1993) and then President of the Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith (1993-2003).
As President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference participated in the recent III Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 2014).
S.E. Mons. José Luis LACUNZA Maestrojuan, O.A.R.
Bishop David (Panama)
S.E. Mons. José Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan was born in Pamplona, Spain, February 24, 1944.
He studied at the minor seminary of San Jose PP. Augustinians to Artieda; Then he attended the courses in Zaragoza philosophical, and theological studies in the major seminary Augustinian Nuestra Señora de la Consolación in Pamplona.
He made his solemn profession in the Order of Augustinian Recollects September 16, 1967 and was ordained a priest July 13, 1969 in Pamplona.
About two years later he was sent to Panama, where he was rector of Colego San Agustín, Rector of Santa María la Antigua and president of the Federation of Catholic Schools.
He was appointed Titular Bishop of Partenia and Auxiliary of Panama December 30, 1985 and consecrated January 18, 1986.
On 29 October 1994 the Holy Father John Paul II appointed him Bishop of Chitre.
On 2 July 1999 he was appointed Bishop of David.
He was President of the Episcopal Conference of Panama for two terms (2000-2004 and 2007-2013).
S.E. Mons. Arlindo GOMES FURTADO,
Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde (Cape Verde Archipelago)
S.E. Mons. Arlindo Gomes Furtado was born November 15, 1949 in Santa Catarina, in the Diocese of Santiago de Cabo Verde. He studied in Rome and at the Biblicum, obtaining a licentiate in Sacred Scripture.
He was ordained a priest on July 18, 1976.
After ordination, he has held the positions of assistant priest (1976-1978); Diocesan Chancellor and Treasurer (1978-1984); Chaplain of the Cape–Verdian in the Netherlands (1985-1986). From 1986 to 1990 he performed in Rome Studies of Holy Scripture. Returning home was Professor (1990-1996); Vicar General and then pastor (1996-2003).
On 9 December 2003 the Holy Father John Paul II appointed him first bishop of the new diocese of Mindelo.
22 July 2009 Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Santiago de Cabo Verde.
S.E. Mons. Soane Patita Paini MAFI
Bishop of Tonga (Tonga Islands)
S.E. Mons. Soane Patita Paini Mafi was born December 19, 1961, in Nuku’alofa, on the island of Tongatapu, in the diocese of Tonga. He studied philosophy and theology at the Pacific Regional Seminar in Fiji.
He was ordained priest on 29 June 1991.
After ordination he was parish priest at Ha’apai (1992-1994); Vicar General and Pastor in Nuku’alofa, from 1995 to 1997. For two years, from 1998 to 1999 has made Higher Studies of Psychology at Loyola College in Baltimore in the US. Returning home, he was parish priest in Houma (1999-2000); then Professor and trainer at the Pacific Regional Seminar in Fiji since 2003 and Vice–Rector of the same seminary.
On 28 June 2007, the Holy Father Benedict XVI has appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Tonga (Kingdom of Tonga)
President of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific Ocean, in 2010. As President of the Episcopal Conference participated in the recent III Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 2014).
S.E. Mons. José de Jesús Rodríguez PIMIENTO
Archbishop Emeritus of Manizales
S.E. Mons. José de Jesús Rodríguez was born in Zapatoca Pimiento, in the diocese of Socorro y San Gil, IL18 February 1919.
He completed his ecclesiastical studies in the minor seminary of San Gil and in the Major of Bogotá.
Ordained December 14, 1941 for the Diocese of Socorro y San Gil, has exercised the priestly ministry as coadjutor vicar in several parishes, seminary professor, chaplain in the hospital of San Gil and Coordinator of Acción Social and Catholic Action in Curia Episcopal.
Elected by Pope Pius XII Titular Bishop of Tolerance and Auxiliary Pasto June 14, 1955, he received episcopal consecration August 28 of that year.
On 30 December 1959, the Pope John XXIII appointed him Bishop of Monteria.
He participated as a Council Father to all sessions of the Second Vatican Council.
Pope Paul VI appointed him Bishop of Garzón February 29, 1964.
Promoted by the Holy Father John Paul II, Archbishop of Manizales May 22, 1975, has held the archdiocese for 21 years, until 15 October 1996. Then he served his time as a missionary in the parish of Turbo, in the diocese of Apartadó.
For two consecutive terms from 1972 to 1978 he was President of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia.
He took part in the General Conference of Latin American Bishops (CELALM) of Medellín (1968); Puebla (1979) and Santo Domingo (1992).
Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese native (Socorro y San Gil) from November 2001 to June 2003.
S.E. Msgr. Luigi De Magistris
Titular Archbishop of Nova
S.E. Msgr. Luigi De Magistris was born February 23, 1926 in Cagliari.
He was ordained a priest on 12 April 1952 with incardinated to the Archdiocese of Cagliari.
He studied philosophy and theology at the Pontifical Lateran University.
Since 1952 has exercised the sacred ministry in his archdiocese, in various tasks.
On 1 October 1958, he was hired to serve as Secretary of the Holy See at the Lateran.
Since February 1959 he lent his work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as a substitute before Notaro, Sommista then.
In February 1969 he was transferred as clerk of the Council for Public Affairs of the Church.
He was regent of the Apostolic Penitentiary from 2 May 1979.
On 6 March 1996 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Nova and consecrated on April 28.
On 22 November 2001 he was appointed Pro-Penitentiary, a position he held until 7 October 2003.
It was Consultor of the Congregations for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Causes of Saints, for the Evangelization of Peoples; for the Clergy and the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”.
S.E. Msgr. Karl–Joseph RAUBER
Titular Archbishop of Giubalziana
S.E. Msgr. Karl–Joseph Rauber was born in Nuremberg, in the diocese of Bamberg, the April 11, 1934.
Graduated in 1950 at the St.–Michaels-Gymnasium Benedictine in Metten, he studied theology and philosophy at the University of Mainz.
He was ordained a priest in the Cathedral of Mainz February 28, 1959.
In 1962 he moved to Rome for her doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University and entered the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.
Entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See on 1 October 1966, he lent his work at the Secretary of State until 1977, head of the German section at last; later in the Apostolic Nunciature in Belgium, then Greece, then Charge d’Affaires ai the Papal Representation in Uganda.
On 18 December 1982 he was appointed Apostolic Pro-Nuncio in Uganda and elected Titular Archbishop of Giubalziana. He received episcopal consecration January 6, 1983.
He returned from the mission in Uganda, from 22 January 1990 to 16 March 2003 he was President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy.
On 16 March 1993 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
On 25 April 1997 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio in Hungary and Moldova.
On 22 February 2003 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Belgium and Luxembourg, concluding the mandates in June and July 2009.
S.E. Mons. Luis Héctor VILLALBA
Archbishop Emeritus of Tucumán
S.E. Mons. Luis Héctor Villalba was born in Buenos Aires on October 11, 1934. He entered the seminary in 1952 after earning the title of Perito mercantil in state schools.
He was ordained a priest on September 24, 1960.
In 1961 he obtained a licentiate in theology and Church History at the Pontifical Gregorian University.
In 1967 he was appointed prefect of the major seminary and professor in the Faculty of Theology at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires. In 1968 he became the first director of vocations San Jose, where the aspirants to the priesthood Archdiocese prepare for courses in philosophy and theology. From 1969 to 1971 he was dean of the Faculty of Theology and in 1972 he was named pastor of St. Rose of Lima to Buenos Aires.
On 20 October 1984 he was elected Titular Bishop of Ofena and Auxiliary of Buenos Aires.
On 16 July 1991 he was transferred to the seat of San Martín.
It was Archbishop of Tucumán from 8 July 1999 to 10 June 2011.
Apostolic Administrator of Santiago del Estero from August 2005 to May 2006.
In the Episcopal Conference of Argentina, was First Vice–President for two consecutive terms (2005-2008 and 2008-2011), being the then President Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Card. Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Previously, he was president of the Episcopal Commission for Catechesis and the member for the Apostolate of the Laity.
S.E. Mons. Júlio DUARTE LANGA
Bishop Emeritus of Xai–Xai
S.E. Mons. Julio Duarte Langa was born October 27, 1927 in Mangunze, in today’s Diocese of Xai–Xai.
He attended school before the Seminary of Magude, then in that of Namaacha, in the then Archdiocese of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo).
He was ordained a priest in the Cathedral of Lourenço Marques (now Maputo) June 9, 1957.
Assistant pastor and then pastor in Mission MALAISSE, was then appointed diocesan consultor, member of the Council of Priests and finally Vicar General of the diocese. Deep knowledge of local languages, oversaw the vernacular translation of the texts of the Second Vatican Council.
The May 31, 1976 Pope Paul VI appointed him bishop of the Diocese of João Belo, which from 1 October of that year changed the name in Xai–Xai. He received episcopal consecration October 24, 1976.
He governed the diocese of Xai–Xai for 28 years, becoming Emeritus June 24, 2004.
Message of the Synod Assembly on the pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation
This article from the Episcopal News Service is worth reading by anyone interested in how churches can work with their community on economic development issues. It shows how the church and businesses in the community can work together and both come out stronger.
It also shows the down-side of the “Not invented here” attitude. As this article shows we can all learn from each other. Not only did the Province IX bishops learn much from what they saw in the Philippines, but we in the U.S. and the rest of the world could learn a lot from them as well.
Like the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, we should look for new and unique ways to reach out to, and build the communities we serve.
This story from one of our local news radio stations should prove educational for pastors, and church administrators from all over the country.
LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The president of The Foursquare Church is to serve a second term, continuing to lead the more than 6,600 U.S. credentialed ministers through a season of major change.
Glenn Burris Jr. was ratified Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in a historic vote at the denomination’s annual convention, the first giving qualified absentee voters a voice in choosing their next leader. Glenn will officially begin his next five-year term Sept. 1, 2015, which will end Aug. 31, 2020.
More than 1,300 voting ministers and delegates on site at Foursquare Connection 2014 this week, taking place in Dallas through May 29, and 731 credentialed ministers who returned absentee ballots, voted to ratify Glenn to continue in his role for another five years, precluding the nomination and selection of a new president. According to Foursquare bylaws, 75 percent of the votes cast is required in order for the president to be ratified.
“It’s very humbling to serve you at any level. … Thank you for your trust and confidence,” Glenn told the convention body upon accepting the ratification, before three former Foursquare presidents—Jack Hayford, Paul Risser and Harold Helms—prayed for Glenn, anointing him with oil. “What a great future the Foursquare church has,” he said, referencing the Reimagining of Foursquare discussed throughout this year’s convention.
“I take the responsibilities of the president’s office very seriously, and I will continue to strive for excellence in serving The Foursquare Church and God’s kingdom,” Glenn said in a statement.
The appointment is being widely welcomed within the denomination as an important decision at a time of transition. Foursquare is in the midst of significant organizational changes intended to better position its churches and members for more effective ministry.
Glenn, who has served in various ministry roles with Foursquare since his first appointment in 1976, has earned widespread appreciation for the way he has headed the Reimagine Foursquare process, a reevaluation unparalleled in the movement’s 91-year history. His collaborative leadership approach has been welcomed as national and local leaders, as well as lay members, have been involved in prayer, research and discussion on issues related to church organization, government and practice.
Proposals for realignment organizationally, financially, structurally and pastorally are being presented at this week’s gathering in Dallas, with further research and discussion to follow as changes are implemented. More than 3,000 people from across the U.S. and overseas have gathered in Dallas under the theme, “Multiply.”
A graduate of Mount Vernon Bible College in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Glenn served as a youth pastor and senior pastor before taking on district and national leadership roles. He became supervisor of Foursquare’s historic Southeast District in 1992, and 10 years later was appointed general supervisor of the U.S. national church.
Glenn and his wife, Debbie, have two adult children, two grandchildren and a third grandchild on the way this summer.
As president, Glenn leads a denomination with around 1,700 churches and 7,000 credentialed ministers in the U.S. Globally, there are more than 7.5 million Foursquare members in 136 countries, around 99,000 licensed ministers, and more than 68,000 churches and meeting places.
Officially named the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, The Foursquare Church was founded in 1923 by Aimee Semple McPherson. A pioneering evangelist, she opened the historic Angelus Temple in Los Angeles and was known for her creative use of media in ministry.
A Pentecostal movement, Foursquare draws its name from what members embrace as the essential four-fold ministries of Jesus: Savior, Baptizer With the Holy Spirit, Healer, and Soon-Coming King.
FRISCO, Texas, May 27, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management (NOCSSM™) will present its Tenth Annual Church Security Conference to be held at New Life Church in Colorado Springs on August 8-9, 2014.
“Initial Responder™” Tactics (What to do until SWAT gets there?), Pastoral Protection, Close Quarters Combat, Active Shooters, Armed Security Teams, Control and restraint techniques, Childcare Security, Mission Trip Security — these are all buzzwords that every church is dealing with. Church leaders are asking, “What are the liabilities? What are other churches doing to address these issues?” and “What is legal in my state?”
“Each year we try to have new speakers and new subject matter to add to our attendee’s security skill set.” says Chuck Chadwick (President of NOCSSM),”This year is no different. It is hard for me to believe that we have been helping to protect our church families by providing ‘Real Solutions’ for the ‘Real World’ of church security for over ten years.”
Special sessions this year will include former United State Secret Service agent and Church Security Director Brian Gallagher who will be speaking on Pastoral Protection. New Life Church’s Security Director, Jeff Kowell’s demonstration of team security drills and exercises. Carl Chinn will also be presenting a special session on the newly announced “Gatekeeper Program™” being deployed in Colorado and other western states. Carl will also be speaking about the New Life Church shooting of 2007. Chuck Chadwick will be presenting on Armed “Initial Responder™” Tactics.
While not all churches have the degree of concern as a mega-church, every church wants to meet the unthinkable with a degree of preparedness.
The two day conference is the best training attendees can get and a great value to every church. We anticipate to sell out very quickly.
For further details go to www.nocssm.org
The National Organization of Church Security & Safety Management (NOCSSM) is dedicated to church security and safety issues through the implementation of security and safety measures specifically designed and time tested for churches.
Traveling with Saints
By Edward M. Dougherty, M.M.
Maryknoll Superior General reflects on how two popes to be canonized this spring have influenced his life.
Few people ever get the chance to travel with a saint. I did! In September 1988 I was in the contingent of international church people and journalists that accompanied Pope John Paul II on his fourth pastoral visit to Africa.
When Pope Francis recently announced that he would canonize Pope John Paul along with Pope John XXIII on April 27, I was elated and relived my up close and personal encounter with Pope John Paul.
I can still recall the plane ride to southern Africa when we members of the pope’s entourage were given the opportunity to ask him questions. The questions came rapid-fire in many languages — French, Italian, Polish, English — and he replied in the language of each speaker. I was really impressed.
When my turn came, as a missioner I naturally asked, “Do you have a word for missionaries in Africa?” I waited anxiously for the answer. I will always remember his deep, strong voice bestowing a blessing on the missionaries in Africa and saying how he and the entire Church are grateful for the missioners’ tremendous efforts to share the Gospel. Then he paused and added how encouraged he was to see the African church becoming missionary itself.
Having served in Africa as a Maryknoll priest, I felt proud. Here was the pope affirming not only missioners’ work of evangelization but also the faith of the people in receiving it and handing it on.
Throughout our visit — to Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique — I could tell this pope felt the love of the people and loved them in return. Reserved but warm, he seemed to enjoy the lively African singing and dancing that marked every liturgy he celebrated wherever we went.
In Mozambique, then embroiled in a violent civil war, the warring parties issued a ceasefire for the duration of the pope’s visit. That was miraculous. But he reminded the priests and religious in this country of their role in promoting a lasting peace. He asked them rhetorically, “How can one give witness and preach to the people the new commandment (of love) without promoting, through paths of peace and justice, their authentic progress?” Peace did not come immediately but the pope’s presence certainly planted seeds of hope for a future free from fear and conflict.
John Paul II was pope for over 25 years and, in my opinion, succeeded in presenting the global face of the Church and, by his numerous trips to countries throughout the world, strengthening the ties of Rome with the local churches he visited.
I never, of course, had the privilege of meeting Pope John XXIII personally. I was only in the fourth grade when he became pope in 1958. I thought he was a courageous man, inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring the Church into the modern world. His convening of the Second Vatican Council in 1962 had far-reaching effects on countless lives, including mine.
Like other Catholics who remember a time when the Mass was totally in Latin, I was happy to participate in the liturgy in my own language following Vatican II. As a diocesan seminarian in my native Philadelphia before transferring to Maryknoll in 1974, I experienced the influence of this future saint in “opening the windows” of the Church and urging priests and religious to leave the confines of their rectories and convents and take the Gospel into the streets. Because of this unprecedented papal exhortation, every Thursday we seminarians were required to leave our desks and go out to do field work in parishes to get hands-on preparation for our future work as priests.
A few years ago a former Maryknoll priest associate, Father Don Larmore, with whom I served in Tanzania, gave a retreat on the life and times of John XXIII. It prompted me to recall the powerful hope that John inspired as well as the welcoming and compassionate style that marked his papal leadership. Father Larmore reminded us of how as papal nuncio in Bulgaria, the future pontiff promoted interreligious dialogue and even as pope remained a simple pastor, concerned with ordinary people’s needs and the run of the mill things of life.
John XXIII died in 1963, mourned throughout the world and remembered as “good Pope John.” He was buried in Saint Peter’s Basilica. Following his beatification by Pope John Paul II, in 2001 John’s body was moved from its original place to the altar of Saint Jerome, where it could be seen by all the faithful. At that time I was serving as Procurator General for the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers in Rome, and I can attest that the grave of Pope John XXIII is one of the most visited sites there.
So, I am excited about the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. They inspire me in my own role as Superior General of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. They are great role models for the Church today, John XXIII for his openness and desire to make the message of Christ relevant to the modern world and John Paul II for being an ambassador of Christ to that world.
Last year at a meeting of religious superiors in Rome, I had the privilege of meeting the man who now walks in the footsteps of John XXIII and John Paul II, Pope Francis. I came home encouraged by this spiritual father, who reaches out to all. He truly continues the legacy of the two he will canonize as saints, that is, people who had a call to holiness and acted on it. May we all follow their example.