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Priests’ association adds voice
to bishops’ call for end to death penalty
We can't teach that
killing is wrong by killing those who kill
July 27, 2015
For immediate release
Catholic priests in the United States are once again showing their support for the U.S. bishops regarding an effort to end use of the death penalty.
“To help build a culture of life, capital punishment should be abolished,” said Cardinal Sean O’Malley and Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski, who hold leadership positions in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. O’Malley chairs the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Wenski chairs the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. In a news release July 16, O’Malley and Wenski called for recommitment to a campaign initiated 10 years ago.
The bishops called for recommitment to a campaign begun in 2005, A Culture of Life and the Penalty of Death. “We urged a prudential examination of the use of the death penalty, with the aim of helping to build ‘a culture of life in which our nation will no longer try to teach that killing is wrong by killing those who kill. This cycle of violence diminishes all of us.’”
“As the largest association of Catholic priests in the United States, we endorse the bishops’ stance,” said the Rev. Bernard Bonnot, chair of the AUSCP Leaderhip Team. “As priests and pastors, we support the bishops in our prayers, in our preaching and in our public witness.
Bonnot said that an April 2015 membership survey of the priests’ association found nearly universal support for this stance, with 99 percent of respondents agreeing that the AUSCP should “support the call of Pope Francis to abolish capital punishment by endorsing the stance of USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.”
Pope Francis has repeatedly called for ending use of the death penalty, most recently in a March 20, 2015, statement: “Today, the death penalty is inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed. It is an offense against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person.” The pope said the death penalty “does not render justice to the victims, but rather fosters vengeance.”
The bishops urged “all people of good will” to learn about Church teaching regarding capital punishment and to pray for victims of crime, for those facing execution, and for workers in the criminal justice system; to “reach out to the families of those affected by violent crime,” and to “advocate for better public policies to protect society and end the use of the death penalty.”
NOTES FROM THE 2015 ASSEMBLY
Your Leadership Team
Members of the AUSCP Leadership Team gather following the successful conclusion of the 2015 Assembly in St. Louis. Members and officers, left to right, include Father David Cooper, Milwaukee; Father Joe Ruggieri, Youngstown; Father John Stabeno, Camden; Father Frank Eckart, Toledo; Sister Jackie Doepker, Executive Secretary, Franciscan Sisters, Tiffin, Ohio; Father Bernie Survil, Greensburg; Father Kevin Clinton, St. Paul - Minneapolis; Father Frank Wagner, Oblates of Mary Immaculate; Father Bob Bonnot, Youngstown; Father Dan Divis, Cleveland; Father Clarence Williams, National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus; Father Jim Kiesel, Baltimore, and Father Jim Schexnayder, Oakland.
Participants in the 2015 Assembly of the AUSCP engaged in an Open Space process, identifying issues that matter. Following is a list of the issues and an invitation to join in with other members who want to move church and society.
Church and Labor Law Resolution
Coordinator: Gene Pocernich
Diversity in Membership
Coordinator: Jim Schexnayder
Coordinator: Bob Bonnot
Coordinator: Dave Cooper
Connecting with Young Priests
Coordinator: John Kummer
“Francis and Year of Encounter”
Coordinator: Aiden McAleenan
Coordinator: Frank Wagner
Coordinator: Bernie Survil
Collaboration with Religious
Coordinator: Jackie Doepker
Relations with Laity
Coordinators: Len Dubi, Jay Davidson
Email: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: 708-372-0385, 812-455-7265
Relations with Bishops
Coordinator: John Stabeno
Coordinator: Kevin Clinton
Coordinator: Harry Bury
Audio recordings of keynoters,
DVD of Greg Boyle, available online
Resurrection Communications offers audio recordings of the four keynoters: Greg Boyle, Jan Michael Joncas, Thomas Rosica and Simone Campbell. Additionally, a DVD is available of Greg Boyle's presdentation. For order forms, go to Resurrection Communications and select 2015 here.
AUSCP + NBCCC: 'We're better together'
On Thursday, July 2, the AUSCP leadership team appointed and welcomed a new member, Father Clarence Williams, a member of the Society of Precious Blood, who represents the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus and serves as vice president of that organization. Said Clarence: "We're better together!"
Williams is a recipient of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus' "Lifetime Achievement Award," and "The Archbishop James Lyke Award for Global Leadership" from the Pan African Roman Catholic Clergy Conference. He is also the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King "Keep the Dream Alive" in Detroit, Michigan where he served for 15 years as pastor of St. Anthony Church. He produced a documentary for NBC on Sr. Thea Bowman entitled, "Sr. Thea: Her Own Story" for which he won the Christopher Award for Religious Broadcasting.
Promoting the AUSCP at home
Father Pedro Lleo holds up an AUSCP tee shirt at the assembly, inviting brother priests to wear the shirt proudly at diocesan convocations and other gatherings of the local presbyterate. The logo and text will prompt questions, that can be answered with an invitation to join the AUSCP and come to the next assembly.
Invitation to Sweet Home Chicago
Father Dennis 'Blues' Ziomek extends an invitation to the 2016 AUSCP Assembly at the Crown Plaza, near O’Hare Airport in Chicago June 27-30, 2016. This will be the fifth anniversary of the AUSCP, which was founded by a group of 27 priests who gathered at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago for a Vatican II Retreat in 2011; and the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Association of Priests.
Speakers scheduled to date are Peter C. Phan of Georgetown and Sister Carol Zinn, SSJ, a past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.
Peter C Phan, the first non-Anglo to be elected president of the Catholic Theological Society of America, is a native of Vietnam who emigrated as a refugee to the U.S.A. in 1975. He obtained three doctoratesand is currently holding the Ignacio Ellacuría Chair of Catholic Social Thought at Georgetown University.
Carol Zinn, a Sister of St. Joseph from Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, is a past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and on the Leadership Team of her community. She is also a former NGO Representative to the United Nations, where she held the position for eight years, serving as the representative of 15,000 Sisters and thousands of associates serving in 57 countries.
'A Place Called Home'
Song text by Michael Joncas released for limited use
A Place Called Home
Members of AUSCP have the right to reproduce the hymn text free of charge UNTIL the piece is published by GIA, Inc., as long as the copyright notice at the bottom of the page is also reproduced.
The hymn tune is from Jean Sibelius’ tone poem, Finlandia.
A place called home with comfort for the weary:
A place called home of nourishment and rest:
A place called home that welcomes in the stranger,
Where one unknown becomes an honored guest,
Where love can find a human habitation:
God grant us all this grace -- a place called home.
A place called home where tenderness can flourish,
A place called home, a haven from all harm:
A place called home where children sleep in safety:
Where hurts are healed, a shelter from the storm,
Where peace can find a human habitation:
God grant us all this grace -- a place called home.
A place called home, a promise for tomorrow:
A place called home, a vision handed down:
A place called home for all God’s sons and daughters,
Where love prevails and peace is ever found,
Where hope can find a human habitation:
God grant us all this grace -- a place called home.
A place called home for ev’ry human being:
A place called home, where arms are opened wide;
A place called home, where all extend the welcome;
Where none are lost, alone, or cast aside
But members of a single human fam’ly.
God grant us grace to build a place called home.
c. 2015 by The Jan Michael Joncas Trust. All rights reserved.
Pope John XXIII awards
to Sister Simone Campbell,
Father Donald Cozzens
The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests honored Sister Simone Campbell with its John XXIII Award, during the AUSCP Annual Assembly, July 1 in St. Louis. She was the first non-ordained person to receive the award.
Campbell, a member of the Sisters of Social Service, is a lawyer, lobbyist and executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby. She led the “Nuns on the Bus” project to highlight social issues. In honor of her advocacy work she was the 2014 recipient of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award.
She accepted the award from Father Bernard "Bob" Bonnot, a priest of the Youngstown Diocese and current chair of the AUSCP Leadership Team.
Father Donald Cozzens, a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland, will receive the John XXIII Award at the annual assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, to be held in St. Louis, June 29 to July 2.
Father Cozzens is a writer in residence at John Carroll University and a renowned author and lecturer who confronts controversial topics in his lectures, TV appearances and award winning books. The John XXIII Award is the highest honor given by the AUSCP.
The awards were presented on stage, sharing space with the band, "The St. Louis Blues," who provided music for the AUSCP banquet. All the events were held at the Airport Marriott in St. Louis
Promoting the AUSCP
I love my shirt! Pedro Lleo from Fort Lauderdale invites AUSCP members to wear their shirts proudly at convocations and other getherings of the presbyterate -- to invite questions and to engage new members.
Homeboy Industries addresses AUSCP, guests
“If kinship were our goal, we wouldn’t be seeking justice, we’d be celebrating it.!” said Jesuit Father Greg Boyle.
That notion of kinship resonated with Rev. Robert Rosebrough, pastor of Blessed Theresa of Calcutta Parish in Ferguson, Mo., after hearing Boyle’s address in St. Louis June 29, at the assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests.
Rosebrough and several other members of the Ferguson Ministerial Alliance were among invited guests and members of the general public at the presentation.
Boyle started Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, providing jobs and educational opportunities for gang members and ex-offenders. Homeboy Industries runs bakeries, restaurants, a silk screen company and other business that provide skilled trade opportunities.
Boyle has chronicled the joys and sorrows of his ministry in a book, “Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.”
Boyle’s presentation to the AUSCP included humor and heart-stopping sadness. He mentioned the homeboy who had become an accomplished public speaker, who advised Boyle to include “self-defecatory comments” in his own presentations. And the homegirl waitress who thought she recognized actress Diane Keaton: “We were locked up together one time!”
He also told of rival gang members “Youngster” and “Puppet” who had only hatred for each other, but who had to work together. After some six months on the job, a street gang beat and kicked Puppet into flat-lined life support and eventual death. Youngster was distraught, offering to give blood or do whatever he could.
“He was not my enemy, he was my friend,” Boyle quoted him. “We worked together.” That new reality “was God’s dream come true,” said Boyle. It was what Jesus prayed for, that we may all be one.
“Being one” is kinship and it means there is no “us” and “them,” there is only “us,” said Boyle. “Without kinship there is no peace, without kinship there is no justice.”
Rosebrough said that Boyle’s notion of kinship “resonated with him and echoed a recent homily given by Pope Francis.” He said the pope said some people speak well and do good actions, but if they haven’t listened to each other, they are not following Christ.
“You’ve got to listen to each other’s stories,” Rosebrough insisted, as the path toward kinship among factions and groups in a community like Ferguson.
Rosebrough and other members of the Ferguson Ministerial Association continue to work toward healing the community following the violence and turmoil that followed the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was shot by a police officer Aug. 9.
Now, almost a year later, “Our calling is to help with healing, said the Rev. Karen Knodt, interim pastor of Immanuel United Church of Christ and also a member of the Ferguson Ministerial Alliance. Her goal for the members of her congregation is for them “to have their world include all their neighbors.”
That’s another way of describing kinship.
CRUX PUBLISHES BOB BONNOT'S ESSAY ON PASTORAL STRATEGY AND MARRIED PRIESTS. See the NEWS tab.
INTERNATIONALLY PROMINENT SPEAKERS TO GIVE KEYNOTES
The Fourth Annual Assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests Is being held in St. Louis, June 29 to July 2, on the theme, “Gaudium et Spes: Finding and Sharing Gospel Joy in the World Today.”
*** SEE "ASSEMBLIES" PAGE FOR COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF THE 2015 ASSEMBLY ***
*** SEE "NEWS" PAGE FOR NEWS ITEMS AND NEWS RELEASES FROM THE AUSCP ***
Keynote speakers include Jesuit Father Greg Boyle, founder of Homeboy Industries, a non-profit that works with former gang members; Father Thomas M. Rosica, CEO of Canada’s Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and a consultor for the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the social justice lobby, NETWORK, and organizer of the “Nuns on the Bus” tours; and Father Michael Joncas, liturgical theologian and composer.
Why wait? Decide now, register now and mark your calendar NOW. Airline discount available through United Airlines @ www.united.com using offer code ZUG7271545. If booking through a travel agent or United Meetings at 800-426-1122, use Agreement code 271545, Z code ZUG7.
How do you hope to bring peace and respect to a community torn apart? "If you seek to build a sense of kinship in a community where there is no 'them' - there is just 'us.'” says Jesuit Father Greg Boyle. “If you have kinship, you are going to have justice. If you have kinship, you are going to have peace."
Boyle’s keynote address is scheduled at 7 p.m. on June 29, the opening day of the assembly. While registration is required for full participation in the AUSCP assembly, Boyle’s address is open to clergy, religious leaders and interested members of the public.
There will be no charge for admission, but seating is limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Hotel parking, at a reduced rate of $5, is also limited, so car-pooling is suggested.
Father Thomas Rosica, CSB, was chief executive officer and national director of the 2002 World Youth Day and the Papal Visit of Pope John Paul II in Toronto. He became the founding CEO of Salt and Light Television, Canada's first national Catholic Television Network, in 2003.
He served as the English-speaking media attaché of the 2008 Synod of Bishops on "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church," and the 2012 Synod of Bishops on "The New Evangelization." Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and in 2013 he was one of the official spokespersons during the transition from Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis, and continues to serve as English language assistant to the Holy See Press Office.
Father Rosica became President of Assumption University in Windsor, Ontario, in 2011 while continuing to serve in leadership of the Salt and Light Catholic Television Network.
In 1977, Campbell received her law degree from the University of California, Davis, where she had been an editor of thje UC Davis Law Review. The following year she founded the Community Law Center in Oakland, Calilfornia, and served for the next 18 years as its lead attorney.
Between 1995 and 2000, Campbell was the General Director of her religious congregation and oversaw its activities in the United States, Mexico, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
In 2010, she wrote the "nuns' letter" in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed by 60 heads of religious orders and umbrella groups and sent to all members of Congress.
She led the "Nuns on the Bus" project to highlight social issues, and was the 2014 recipient of the Pacem in Terris Peace and Freedom Award.
Father Jan Michael Joncas, a member of the University of St. Thomas community for 40 of his 60 years, has been named a university artist-in-residence and fellow of St. Thomas’ Center for Catholic Studies, where he is free to research and write, compose and lecture.
The appearance of "On Eagle's Wings" in 1978 coincided with his MA in liturgy from Notre Dame, an academic pursuit that took him to the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of the Pontifical Athenaeum, San Anselmo in Rome. He was ordained in 1980 as a priest for the archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis. He and two colleagues, Marty Haugen and David Haas, have produced some of the most effective music for the Church's worship that has appeared in the post-conciliar days.
AUSCP REPORT DELIVERED FOR THE 2015 SYNOD ON THE FAMILY
Two AUSCP Board Members, Jim Schexnayder and John Stabeno, personally delivered a report summarizing the view of more than 500 U.S. Catholic priests to the Vatican's Secretariat for the Synod on Friday, April 10. A news release summarizing the Report can be read by clicking HERE. The full report can be read by clicking HERE.
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To be a priests' voice of hope and joy within our pilgrim church.
To be an association of U.S. Cathoic priests offering mutual support and a collegial voice, thru dialogue, contemplation & prophetic action on issues affecting Church and society.
NEW & RECOMMENDED
AUSCP endorses participation of the faithful in the selections of bishops. A good exampe of that being done can be seen at www.novabishop.org. The faithful or the Diocese of Arlington anticipate a new bishop and are using this instrument to express their hopes. Signing the petition is limited to members of the Diocese, but it can serve as a good model for others.
AUSCP's address is now 200 St. Francis Ave., Tiffin OH 44883-3458; 872-205-5862; email@example.com; Executive Secretary, Sr. Jacquelyn Doepker, OSF.
As priests in good standing, faithful to the Gospel of Jesus and Catholic tradition, AUSCP members are inspired especially by the conciliar magisterium of Vatican II as affirmed by Pope Francis:
“Vatican II was a re-reading of the Gospel in light of contemporary culture. ... Vatican II produced a renewal movement that simply comes from the same Gospel. Its fruits are enormous. Just recall the liturgy. The work of liturgical reform has been a service to the people as a re-reading of the Gospel from a concrete historical situation. Yes, there are hermeneutics of continuity and discontinuity, but one thing is clear: the dynamic of reading the Gospel, actualizing its message for today—which was typical of Vatican II—is absolutely irreversible." --Pope Francis, America, Sept. 19, 2013 (Click HERE to read the article)