By Julie Asher, Catholic Information Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) – When the American Bishops meet for their fall assembly in Baltimore from November 15 to 18, it will be the first face-to-face meeting of all bishops since November 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the June 2020 spring meeting of bishops to be canceled, and their November 2020 fall assembly and June 2021 spring meeting were both held in a virtual format.
At the top of the meeting’s agenda, a debate and votes on a proposal for a document on the Eucharist, âThe mystery of the Eucharist in the life of the Churchâ, and on a Eucharistic revival initiative .
At their spring meeting last June, 75% of American bishops approved the drafting of a document, addressed to all Catholic faithful, on Eucharistic coherence.
A Pew study carried out in the fall of 2019 showed that only 30% of Catholics âhave what we might call a good understanding of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
The Eucharistic revival would be launched on the feast of Corpus Christi in June 2022. The three-year effort will include events at the diocesan level such as Eucharistic processions across the country as well as adoration and prayer.
In 2023, the focus will be on parishes with resources available at the parish level to increase Catholics’ understanding of what the Eucharist really means. This would culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress in the summer of 2024.
The Baltimore assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will begin with an address by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Pope’s Nuncio to the United States.
The bishops will also hear from Archbishop JosÃ© H. Gomez of Los Angeles, President of the USCCB.
The agenda also includes a report to the bishops of the National Advisory Council, a group created by the USCCB that is made up of religious and lay people primarily for consultation on action items and briefing reports presented to the administrative committee. bishops.
Other action items on the agenda requiring debate and a vote will be an update to the âGuidelines for Socially Responsible Investmentâ; a proposal to add Saint Teresa of Kolkata to the âAppropriate Calendar for Dioceses in the United Statesâ as an optional memorial on September 5; a resolution on diocesan financial reports; new English and Spanish versions of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults; a translation of âHoly Communion and the Cult of the Eucharistic Mystery outside Massâ; âNational Statutes for the Catechumenateâ in English and Spanish; and the USCCB’s 2022 budget.
During the assembly, the bishops will also vote for an elected treasurer for the USCCB, as well as the elected presidents of five standing committees: clergy, consecrated life and vocations; Divine worship; Domestic justice and human development; lay people, marriage, family life and youth; and migrations.
Elected bishops will serve for one year as âelectedâ before beginning their three-year term in their respective positions at the end of the fall 2022 general assembly.
There will also be a vote for the board members of Catholic Relief Services, the relief and development agency for American bishops abroad, and the election of a new USCCB secretary general.
Father Michael JK Fuller, who was Deputy Secretary General, is currently Acting Secretary General. Archbishop Gomez appointed him to this post in July when Mgr. Jeffrey D. Burrill has resigned.
Also planned is a consultation of the bishops on the causes of holiness of Charlene Marie Richard and Auguste Robert “Nonco” Pelafigue.
Both bear the title of âServant of Godâ and came from the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana, where Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel officially opened their causes of holiness.
Charlene, a Cajun girl who died of leukemia in 1959 at the age of 12, is considered by many in southern Louisiana and beyond to be a saint, saying her intercession resulted in miracles in their lives. . She is known as “The Little Cajun Saint”.
Pelafigue was born in France and since the age of almost 2 he has lived in Arnaudville, Louisiana. He died on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 6, 1977. He is known for his decades of ministry in the League of the Sacred Heart, the Apostleship of Prayer – now called the Global Prayer Network from the pope.
The 2007 Vatican document âSanctorum Materâ requires that the diocesan bishop promoting a cause of holiness consult with the body of bishops on the advisability of continuing the cause.
Other items that will be presented and discussed at the assembly of bishops include:
- The Synod of Bishops 2021-2023.
- The work of CRS, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., or CLINIC.
- The 50th anniversary of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the national anti-poverty program of American bishops.
- The âTraveling Togetherâ process of intercultural dialogue and encounter âfocuses on the ministry of the Church to youth and young adults that fosters understanding and trust within and between cultural families towards a more welcoming faith community. and fairer â.
- The application and implementation of the âPastoral Framework for Marriage and Family Life Ministry in the United States: Called to the Joy of Loveâ. At their June assembly, the American bishops approved a draft document that provides a pastoral framework for strengthening marriage and family ministry in parishes and dioceses.
- The USCCB Pro-Life Activities Committee’s âWalking with Moms in Needâ initiative which calls on every diocese and parish to help mothers facing difficult pregnancies to find or provide services and resources when they need it. ‘they see gaps in these services.
The public sessions of the General Assembly discussions and votes will be streamed live at usccb.org/meetings. Updates, vote totals, address texts, presentations and other documents will be posted on this page.
Those who wish to follow the meeting on social media can use the hashtag # USCCB21 and follow it on Twitter, @USCCB, as well as on Facebook, facebook.com/usccb, and Instagram, instagram.com/usccb.