Category Archives: Church Leadership

Anglican Communion Leaders Suspend Episcopal Church

“This sanction is the ecclesiastical equivalent of being placed in ‘time out.'” — IRD Anglican Program Director Jeff Walton

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Top bishops in the Anglican Communion have voted to suspend the U.S.-based Episcopal Church from full participation in the worldwide family of churches historically descended from the Church of England. The suspension will last for three years; enough time for the Episcopal Church’s General Convention to address the matter at the denomination’s next governing General Convention in 2018.

The gathering of leaders (known as ‘primates’) from 38 Anglican Communion provinces, including Anglican Church in North America Archbishop Foley Beach, was convened by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby to discuss pressing issues facing the third largest family of Christian churches.

The worldwide Anglican Communion has been riven by discord since the U.S.-based Episcopal Church consecrated an openly partnered homosexual man as bishop of the diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. The consecration brought to the forefront long-simmering disagreements about scriptural authority and resulted in impaired communion between the Episcopal Church and more traditionalist provinces located primarily in the Global South.

IRD Anglican Program Director Jeff Walton commented:

“This sanction is the ecclesiastical equivalent of being placed in ‘time out.’ But the goal of ‘time out’ is to change behavior, and the Episcopal Church has clearly spoken that it will not deviate from its chosen trajectory.

“There will be no formal schism, but primates will continue — as they have since 2003 — refusing to take the Holy Eucharist with their fellow bishops due to the ‘impaired’ or ‘broken communion’ between their provinces and the Episcopal Church.

“The primates who have taken this step have cited three reasons for doing so: the lack of reconciliation between the Episcopal Church and their provinces, obedience to Scripture, and the admonitions of the Book of Common Prayer. For them it’s a question of faithfulness to Jesus Christ.

“The other major development from the Canterbury gathering is the seating of Archbishop Foley Beach among the primates as an equal with voice and vote. From the primates’ perspective, the Anglican Church in North America is now a de-facto province of the Anglican Communion.”

Archdiocese of Chicago Names Mary Ann Hynes General Counsel


CHICAGO, Jan. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Archdiocese of Chicago today announced the appointment of Mary Ann Hynes as its general counsel. Ms. Hynes was the first female general counsel of a Fortune 500 company and has most recently been senior counsel at the Chicago office of Dentons, the world’s largest law firm by number of lawyers.

Mary Ann brings enormous experience and a solid record of high performance that has won her the admiration of her colleagues and community leaders,” said Archbishop Blase J. Cupich. “We welcome her to our team and look forward to the contribution she will make to our mission.”

Ms. Hynes, who joined Dentons in 2013 is a governance and compliance expert with more than 20 years of service on the boards of Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations. She is a seasoned strategist with extensive mergers and acquisitions and integration experience and a focus on mining, high tech aerospace and industrial products, commodity-based manufacturing and media /software companies. She worked for seven years at Ingredion, Inc., (formerly Corn Products International), as a senior vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer. Ms. Hynes began her career and spent 25 years at CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business, rising to the rank of vice president and general counsel.

She serves on the Board of Trustees for the John Marshall Law School and is a board member of the Dr. Scholl Foundation. She served as a member of the Advisory Manufacturing Council to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. She has also served as a member of the boards of directors for GHD Pty Ltd, IMC Global Affiliates, Rafhan Maize and other subsidiaries of Ingredion, Inc. and its predecessor companies.

Ms. Hynes, a native of Chicago, holds a BA degree from Loyola University, an MBA from the Lake Forest School of Management and JD and LLM degrees from the John Marshall Law School.

Christians Honoring their Pastors’ Relevancy this Christmas through Gratitude Award

MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 9, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — 1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month feeling burnout, irrelevancy… North Central Theological Seminary has aligned with Favorfloat Corporation to encourage Christians to honor, appreciate, and show gratitude to their pastors this Christmas through the Gratitude Award, instead of just sending Christmas greeting cards with pre-written messages that don’t come from the heart.
“Why do you think pastors often say, ‘Somebody say amen!’ when they preach?” asked Dr. Jay. “They want to feel heard and appreciated,” he answered. According to the New York Times (August 1, 2010), “Members of the clergy now suffer from obesity, hypertension and depression at rates higher than most Americans. In the last decade, their use of antidepressants has risen.” Dr. Jay continues, “Listed below is what your pastor may be feeling that you may not know.”
·         75% of pastors report severe stress causing anguish, worry, bewilderment, anger, depression, fear, and alienation.

·         45% say that they’ve experienced depression or burnout to the extent that they needed to take a leave of absence from ministry.

·         57% would leave the pastorate if they had somewhere else to go or some other vocation they could do.

·         70% don’t have any close friends.

·         80% say they have insufficient time with their spouse.

·         90% work more than 50 hours a week.

·         94% feel under pressure to have a perfect family.

·         56% of pastors’ wives say that they have no close friends.

·         1,500 pastors leave their ministries each month due to burnout, conflict, or moral failure.
In response, North Central Theological Seminary has, on behalf of its students and all Christians in general, paid Favorfloat Corporation to grant free access for Christians to issue, as seen on television, their registered trademark Gratitude Award® (five star gold status, pdf), emailed for them to print out, frame, and give to their pastors, pastors’ wives, or pastoral staff members this Christmas for all they meant for them or their family in 2015. To do so, North Central Seminary has provided this special link:
“Christmas is the most joyful time, but perhaps also the most lonely and depressing time for so many pastors and Christians,” said Dr. Jay, who is also encouraging people to remember to honor those few special people who’ve made a huge difference in your life – wife, husband, brother, sister, other family members, coworkers or your boss. “They may be feeling unappreciated and depressed this year. Your Gratitude Award may be all it takes to lift their spirit this season,” concluded Dr. Jay.
Only honoring your pastor is free. Charges apply for those honoring others at:

Church Staffing Firm Vanderbloemen Search Group Ranked No. 1 On Inaugural Top Company Cultures List Presented By Entrepreneur And CultureIQ

Interesting that a Christian company, that serves churches comes out on top of  a list dominated by secular companies, that was compiled by a secular magazine. Who says Christian companies, churches, and groups can’t compete in the secular world. This story proves they can !-Pastor Crutchfield

HOUSTON, Nov. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Vanderbloemen Search Group was recently ranked No. 1 in the small enterprise category on Entrepreneur’s Top Company Cultures list, a comprehensive ranking of U.S.-based businesses exhibiting high-performance cultures created in partnership with culture management software and service provider CultureIQ®. Vanderbloemen Search Group, a pastor search firm that helps churches and ministries find their key staff, is recognized for creating an exceptional culture that drives employee engagement, exceeds employee expectations and directly impacts company success.

“We’re honored to be seen as a leading model in inspiring company culture, as our values and recognition extends from the integrity founded in nine total pillars and the day-to-day operations fused into the cultural backbone of our executive search practice,” said William Vanderbloemen, CEO/Founder of Vanderbloemen Search Group. “The happiness and hard work from our employees creates a positive and synergistic relationship for the company that continues to reside at the center of running a successful business.”

“Creating an entrepreneurial culture is a key priority for business leaders, yet no one until now has really assessed the role culture plays in success,” says Ray Hennessey, editorial director of “This ranking celebrates the dedication that all teams, from entry-level to the C-suite, have in ensuring they are creating vibrant, healthy and sustainable work environments. That’s good for employees, investors and customers.”

The full list, presenting a total of 75 companies categorized as small, medium or large enterprises—25-49 employees, 50-99 employees and more than 100 employees— is available on Core insights, behaviors and attributes that have helped to shape the high-performing cultures presented by the top companies are shared alongside practices to help other companies work on their own workplace environments.

“There is always an opportunity to learn from each other when running and growing a business, which is why we are excited to honor these companies and share their success in building an effective culture,” says CultureIQ founder and CEO Greg Besner. “I find it particularly inspiring to see a wide variety of companies represented in the list, confirming that you can have a strong culture regardless of industry, size, or business maturity.”

The rankings for all companies were determined using CultureIQ’s methodology for measuring high-performance cultures. Employees at each company received a survey of 21 short, multiple-choice questions. The answers were used to assess a company’s strength across 10 core qualities of culture – performance focus, support and innovation, to name a few. These quality strength scores were combined with the employee Net Promoter Score to create a cumulative CultureIQ Score. The companies with the highest CultureIQ Scores became the Top Company Culture list in ranking order. To be considered for the ranking, a company must have at least 25 employees, have been founded before Jan. 1, 2014 and be headquartered in the U.S.

To view Vanderbloemen Search Group in the full ranking, visit

Based out of Houston, Texas, Vanderbloemen Search Group is the premier full-service, pastoral search firm dedicated to helping churches, ministries and faith-based organizations around the world of every size find their key staff. The firm, has worked with over 60 different denominations of churches and ministries around the world, and has helped place pastoral staff in the fastest-growing churches according to the Outreach 100 over the past two years, provides consulting services customized for each client’s staff structure, long-term and emergency succession planning, and thorough compensation analyses.

SOURCE Vanderbloemen Search Group

Philadelphia Urges Vistors and Locals Alike to Book Hotel rooms for Papal Visit.

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — With Pope Francis’ visit and the Francis Festival just two weeks away (September 26 and 27), Philadelphia is ready to welcome locals and visitors to enjoy this once-in-a-generation event. To experience it in the most comfortable and convenient way possible, city officials and hospitality leaders are encouraging everyone to book a long weekend stay in a Center City hotel. As an added benefit and to encourage return visitation, those checking into city hotels on Friday or Saturday will receive two free tickets to the One Liberty Observation Deck, opening in November. Hotels are bookable at

(Note: The city will conduct business as usual Monday through Friday, September 21-25 during the World Meeting of Families Congress. Hotel rooms are available, and transportation will run normally.)

The Experience:

The entire Philadelphia region is celebrating Pope Francis’ visit, and here are some of the many reasons locals and visitors won’t want to miss out on the celebration:

  • Papal Appearances, September 26-27: Visitors to Philadelphia will find plenty of opportunities to see Pope Francis and hear his inspiring message—including on 40 Jumbotrons, which will stream all papal events. Key public moments include:
    • Saturday, September 26:
      • An address by Pope Francis at Independence Hall, 4:45 p.m. (free tickets required, but no longer available; viewable on Jumbotrons)
      • Papal parade along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway from Eakins Oval to and around City Hall, time TBD (tickets not necessary)
      • Festival of Families, featuring Andrea Bocelli, Juanes, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Pope Francis himself, 7:30 p.m. (free tickets for certain areas required, but no longer available; not necessary for areas from
        20th Street to City Hall and beyond)
    • Sunday, September 27:
      • Papal parade; route and time TBD (tickets not necessary)
      • Public mass celebrated by Pope Francis in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 4:00 p.m. (free tickets for certain areas required, but no longer available; not necessary for areas from 20th Street to City Hall and beyond)
  • The Francis Festival, September 26-27: Running from South Street to Girard Avenue and from the Delaware River to 38th Street, this weekend-long, Philly-style block party features affordable food, drinks and souvenirs, along with free entertainment and Jumbotrons for an up-close look at all of the papal happenings. Plus, it’s a pedestrian-friendly affair.
  • Special Events & Exhibits, All Week Long: Museums and attractions are hosting all sorts of special happenings in celebration of the pope’s visit. Just a sampling: Religious Liberty and the Founding of America at the National Constitution Center, Vatican Splendors at The Franklin Institute, Verbum Domini II: God’s Word Goes Out to the Nations (free exhibit) at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and Catholics in the New World: A Selection of 16th-18th Century Texts at The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia, among many, many others.
  • Food & Drink Specials, All Week Long: The pope’s visit gives restaurants and bars the opportunity to get creative with their menus, and that’s exactly what they’ve done with items like the Il Papa pie (a Neapolitan-style pizza with Black Mission figs, mozzarella, lardo and Pecorino Toscano, oregano and fresh basil) from Pizzeria Vetri, the Pope Dog (chorizo sausage, chimichurri and pickled red onion salad) from Underdogs and Holy Wooder Belgian-style Tripel beer from Philadelphia Brewing Company.

Why Book A Hotel Room:

Staying in a hotel for the long weekend is the most comfortable and convenient way to experience the Francis Festival and papal visit. Those staying in Center City will enjoy easy walks to all papal events and throughout the festival grounds.

There are plenty of first-class hotel rooms available in Philadelphia, including many within the Francis Festival grounds, and most hotels do not require a minimum-night stay. As an incentive to return to Philadelphia, all visitors checking into a hotel on Friday or Saturday will receive two tickets to the city’s newest attraction, the One Liberty Observation Deck, opening in November. Tickets are redeemable from January 1 through March 31, 2016.

In addition, many hotels are offering fun papal perks for those booking rooms. The Inn at Penn, for example, is providing guests with SEPTA tokens and a “Pope Pack” containing Philadelphia-inspired snack items to take with them on their pilgrimage to the papal events.

To book a hotel stay, go to

Getting Here & Getting Around:

Getting to and around Philadelphia will operate as it normally does from Monday through Thursday, with restrictions and road closures beginning at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 24 and increasing on Friday. By Friday night, public transportation will be the best option for getting into the city. Once inside Center City, walking and biking are ideal for getting around.

  • Airlines: Reporting availability, with SEPTA’s Airport Line running to and from Philadelphia International Airport throughout the weekend.
  • Amtrak: Tickets still available and required for the weekend of the papal visit; no on-board ticket purchases permitted.
  • Highways/Bridges: Closed beginning on Friday, September 25: the Benjamin Franklin Bridge; I-76 eastbound from I-476 to I-95; I-76 westbound from I-95 to U.S. Route 1 (Roosevelt Extension); I-676 in both directions from I-76 to I-95; and U.S. Route 1 in both directions from U.S. 30 to Belmont Avenue
  • SEPTA: Special regional rail passes available, with trains picking up passengers at a limited number of stations; the subway, elevated train, buses and trolley buses also operating on a special schedule, with tokens, transfers and passes accepted and a three-day pass available.
  • New Jersey Transit: Modified schedule on the Atlantic City Rail Line and River Line; special tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • PATCO: Non-stop service to Center City during the papal weekend, with pickups available at four New Jersey Stations; tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • Taxis/Uber: Servicing the Francis Festival grounds until 2:00 a.m. on Saturday and resuming at 3:00 a.m. on Monday.

Key Resources:

Plenty of resources are available for those planning their visits to Philadelphia for this historic week:

Online Resources:

  • Go-to place for information about the congress schedule, papal visit, World Meeting of Families history and the Papal Visit Playbook, a how-to guide for Philly residents
  • Go Philadelphia! App: App featuring information about regional attractions and the family-friendly events, activities and exhibitions taking place between September 18 and 29. Available for Apple and Android devices. 
  • The place for information about road closures, secure perimeters and business resources
  •, featuring Visitor-focused site with comprehensive coverage of the WMOF and papal events, accommodations, transportation, what’s opened and closed and more
  • Insider blog focusing on what to do today, tomorrow and this weekend
  • and Downloadable guides to the city available in multiple languages

In-person Resources:

  • Independence Visitor Center, (See site for weekend hours)
    • Main location, 6th & Market Streets
    • Sister Cities Park, 200 N. 18th Street
    • Fairmount Park Welcome Center, 1599 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
    • City Hall Visitor Center, Broad & Market Streets, Room 121
    • Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1102 Arch Street

BCWI Announces the Complete List of 2015 Best Christian Workplaces

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.

Global Congress to Address Need for Pastoral Training

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 or email

New App Boosts Church Leaders’ Ability to Minister to the Sick


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 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:

Pope Announces New Cardinals


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 AnconaOsimo (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.

They are:

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. KarlJoseph Rauber, Titular Archbishop of Giubalziana, Apostolic Nuncio.

4 Mons. Luis Héctor Villalba, Archbishop Emeritus of Tucumán.

5 Mons. Julio Duarte Langa, Bishop Emeritus of XaiXai.

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.


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 JimmaBonga 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: Vicepastor 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 AnconaOsimo (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 CamerinoSan 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 WonderedVasto.

On 8 January 2004 he was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of AnconaOsimo.

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 ViceRector 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 ProVicar General of the Archdiocese of MessinaLipariSaint Lucia del Mela and since 1998 Canon of the Cathedral Chapter Protometropolitano of Messina.

Elected titular of Aurusuliana and appointed Auxiliary of MessinaLipariSaint 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 Preuniversity 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.


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 CapeVerdian 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 ViceRector 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

Pro-Penitentiary Emeritus

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. KarlJoseph RAUBER

Titular Archbishop of Giubalziana

Apostolic Nuncio

S.E. Msgr. KarlJoseph 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 VicePresident 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.


Bishop Emeritus of XaiXai

S.E. Mons. Julio Duarte Langa was born October 27, 1927 in Mangunze, in today’s Diocese of XaiXai.

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 XaiXai. He received episcopal consecration October 24, 1976.

He governed the diocese of XaiXai 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

Vatican City, 18 October 2014 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the Message of the Third Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, dedicated to the “Pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelisation” (5-19 October). The speakers were Cardinals Raymundo Damasceno Assis, archbishop of Aparecida, Brazil, delegate president; Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Commission for the Message and Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India. The full text of the message is published below:
“We, Synod Fathers, gathered in Rome together with Pope Francis in the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, greet all families of the different continents and in particular all who follow Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We admire and are grateful for the daily witness which you offer us and the world with your fidelity, faith, hope, and love.
Each of us, pastors of the Church, grew up in a family, and we come from a great variety of backgrounds and experiences. As priests and bishops we have lived alongside families who have spoken to us and shown us the saga of their joys and their difficulties.
The preparation for this synod assembly, beginning with the questionnaire sent to the Churches around the world, has given us the opportunity to listen to the experience of many families. Our dialogue during the Synod has been mutually enriching, helping us to look at the complex situations which face families today.
We offer you the words of Christ: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me”. On his journeys along the roads of the Holy Land, Jesus would enter village houses. He continues to pass even today along the streets of our cities. In your homes there are light and shadow. Challenges often present themselves and at times even great trials. The darkness can grow deep to the point of becoming a dense shadow when evil and sin work into the heart of the family.
We recognise the great challenge to remain faithful in conjugal love. Enfeebled faith and indifference to true values, individualism, impoverishment of relationships, and stress that excludes reflection leave their mark on family life. There are often crises in marriage, often confronted in haste and without the courage to have patience and reflect, to make sacrifices and to forgive one another. Failures give rise to new relationships, new couples, new civil unions, and new marriages, creating family situations which are complex and problematic, where the Christian choice is not obvious.
We think also of the burden imposed by life in the suffering that can arise with a child with special needs, with grave illness, in deterioration of old age, or in the death of a loved one. We admire the fidelity of so many families who endure these trials with courage, faith, and love. They see them not as a burden inflicted on them, but as something in which they themselves give, seeing the suffering Christ in the weakness of the flesh.
We recall the difficulties caused by economic systems, by the “the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose” which weakens the dignity of people. We remember unemployed parents who are powerless to provide basic needs for their families, and youth who see before them days of empty expectation, who are prey to drugs and crime.
We think of so many poor families, of those who cling to boats in order to reach a shore of survival, of refugees wandering without hope in the desert, of those persecuted because of their faith and the human and spiritual values which they hold. These are stricken by the brutality of war and oppression. We remember the women who suffer violence and exploitation, victims of human trafficking, children abused by those who ought to have protected them and fostered their development, and the members of so many families who have been degraded and burdened with difficulties. “The culture of prosperity deadens us…. all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us”. We call on governments and international organizations to promote the rights of the family for the common good.
Christ wanted his Church to be a house with doors always open to welcome everyone. We warmly thank our pastors, lay faithful, and communities who accompany couples and families and care for their wounds.
There is also the evening light behind the windowpanes in the houses of the cities, in modest residences of suburbs and villages, and even in mere shacks, which shines out brightly, warming bodies and souls. This light—the light of a wedding story—shines from the encounter between spouses: it is a gift, a grace expressed, as the Book of Genesis says, when the two are “face to face” as equal and mutual helpers. The love of man and woman teaches us that each needs the other in order to be truly self. Each remains different from the other that opens self and is revealed in the reciprocal gift. It is this that the bride of the Song of Songs sings in her canticle: “My beloved is mine and I am his… I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”.
This authentic encounter begins with courtship, a time of waiting and preparation. It is realized in the sacrament where God sets his seal, his presence, and grace. This path also includes sexual relationship, tenderness, intimacy, and beauty capable of lasting longer than the vigour and freshness of youth. Such love, of its nature, strives to be forever to the point of laying down one’s life for the beloved. In this light conjugal love, which is unique and indissoluble, endures despite many difficulties. It is one of the most beautiful of all miracles and the most common.
This love spreads through fertility and generativity, which involves not only the procreation of children but also the gift of divine life in baptism, their catechesis, and their education. It includes the capacity to offer life, affection, and values—an experience possible even for those who have not been able to bear children. Families who live this light-filled adventure become a sign for all, especially for young people.
This journey is sometimes a mountainous trek with hardships and falls. God is always there to accompany us. The family experiences his presence in affection and dialogue between husband and wife, parents and children, sisters and brothers. They embrace him in family prayer and listening to the Word of God—a small, daily oasis of the spirit. They discover him every day as they educate their children in the faith and in the beauty of a life lived according to the Gospel, a life of holiness. Grandparents also share in this task with great affection and dedication. The family is thus an authentic domestic Church that expands to become the family of families which is the ecclesial community. Christian spouses are called to become teachers of faith and of love for young couples as well.
Another expression of fraternal communion is charity, giving, nearness to those who are last, marginalized, poor, lonely, sick, strangers, and families in crisis, aware of the Lord’s word, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. It is a gift of goods, of fellowship, of love and mercy, and also a witness to the truth, to light, and to the meaning of life.
The high point which sums up all the threads of communion with God and neighbor is the Sunday Eucharist when the family and the whole Church sits at table with the Lord. He gives himself to all of us, pilgrims through history towards the goal of the final encounter when “Christ is all and in all”. In the first stage of our Synod itinerary, therefore, we have reflected on how to accompany those who have been divorced and remarried and on their participation in the sacraments.
We Synod Fathers ask you walk with us towards the next Synod. The presence of the family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in their modest home hovers over you. United to the Family of Nazareth, we raise to the Father of all our petition for the families of the world:
Father, grant to all families the presence of strong and wise spouses who may be the source of a free and united family.
Father, grant that parents may have a home in which to live in peace with their families.
Father, grant that children may be a sign of trust and hope and that young people may have the courage to forge life-long, faithful commitments.
Father, grant to all that they may be able to earn bread with their hands, that they may enjoy serenity of spirit and that they may keep aflame the torch of faith even in periods of darkness.
Father, grant that we may all see flourish a Church that is ever more faithful and credible, a just and humane city, a world that loves truth, justice and mercy”.

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