Monthly Newspaper • DIOCESE OF BRIDGEPORT

Cordileone: ‘Unrealistic’ limits on public worship

SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco’s archbishop told hundreds of Catholics gathered near City Hall September 20 that “it is because of our Catholic faith that we are being put at the end of the line” by city officials in enacting what could be the country’s harshest pandemic restrictions on religious worship.

“The city continues to place unrealistic and suffocating restrictions on our natural and constitutional right to worship. This willful discrimination is affecting us all,” said Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone. “Yes, discrimination, because there is no other word for it.”

He made the comments in a homily at a Mass that followed eucharistic processions to a plaza near San Francisco’s City Hall.

On September 13, in a memo to all priests of the archdiocese, Archbishop Cordileone announced that three parishes were organizing eucharistic processions starting at different points and ending up next to City Hall, to be followed by Masses outside the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption. He urged all parishes to participate.

More than 1,000 Catholics participated in the archdiocesan “Free the Mass” demonstration.

In his memo, in an op-ed in The Washington Post September 16 and in his homily, the archbishop said Catholics are asking to be treated like anyone else in being able to exercise their right to worship in public at a “level consistent with other activities” in the city, like shopping, protesting and gathering in a public park.

Church leaders have no issue with the faithful being asked to following safety protocols amid the pandemic, he said, and he has reiterated that being asked to adhere to these measures is within the purview of city and health officials, but keeping people from worship is not.

“Months ago, we submitted a safety plan to the city including masks and social distancing, just like indoor retail stores did,” explained in his homily. “The city said yes to indoor retail, but we Catholics are still waiting to hear back.”

Right now, he said, people can shop at Nordstrom’s at 25 percent capacity “but only one of you at a time is allowed to pray inside of this great cathedral, your cathedral? Is this equality? No, there is no reason for this new rule except a desire to put Catholics—to put you—at the back of the line.”

The archbishop made several references to the “back of the line” and “end of the line” in his homily, titled “Going to the End of the Line for the Glory of God.”

He said that Sunday’s Gospel reading from Matthew reminded him of the time he spent as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Calexico, California, at the U.S.-Mexico border and his morning jog along the border fence.

“There I would see the exact scene Our Lord describes: men standing in the streets, waiting to be hired to work in fields so they could make a day’s wage,” he said. “Like the workers at the Eleventh Hour, these men were at the end of the line: the ones left out and ignored by society, the people barely able to survive.”

One time he gave a ride to the bus station to a man who had entered the country illegally and was trying to get to the next stop to start his new life in the United States. He bought the man a ticket so he could continue on his journey.

“I was aware that I was breaking the law, since it is against the law to provide transportation to an undocumented immigrant,” he continued. “But the highest law is love of God and love of neighbor, and that law has to take precedence over the human-made law of the state when government would ask us to turn our backs on God or our neighbor in need.

“Now in San Francisco, all of us here are being put at the end of the line,” he said. “No matter how rich or poor, no matter whether newly arrived or from families that have been here for many generations, it is our Catholic faith that unites us, and it is because of our Catholic faith that we are being put at the end of the line.”

Archbishop Cordileone noted that amid the pandemic, the work of the Catholic Church of San Francisco has been ongoing, such as Catholic Charities’ outreach to the homeless or and the efforts of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul assisting the needy at the parish level.

He thanked the priests, religious and “the sacrificing lay faithful, for what you are doing to keep the love of Christ alive and visible in these distressing times. This is what it means to go to the end of the line.”

He urged Catholics to remain spiritually grounded during this time by spending at least one hour a week in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and, fasting on Fridays and going to confession frequently.

By Catholic News Services

Pope thanks elderly, ill priests for witness

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis reminded elderly and ill priests that they need not be afraid of suffering because Christ is always there to help them carry that cross.

With God’s grace, their situation, which was made even more difficult and risky because of the COVID-19 pandemic and strict protocols for containing its spread, can be “an experience of purification,” he said.

For priests, fragility can be like a fire that refines and soap that purifies, and which, “raising us up to God, refines and sanctifies us,” he said.

“We are not afraid of suffering; the Lord carries the cross with us,” he said.

The pope’s message was sent to priests taking part in an annual day of prayer and fraternity for elderly and sick clergy Sept. 17 in Italy’s northern Lombardy region — the region that had been hit hardest by coronavirus infections and deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Vatican released the message the same day.

Over the past several months, the pope said, “we have all experienced restrictions. Days spent in confined spaces seemed endless and always the same.”

“We have missed the affection of those dearest to us and of friends; the fear of infection has reminded us of our precariousness,” and, he added, it has also given people an idea of what many elderly people experience every day.

Pope Francis said he hoped this period would help everyone understand how “it is necessary not to waste the time that is given to us; that it will help us to enjoy the beauty of encountering others, to heal from the virus of self-sufficiency.”

He said he was pleased the group could travel with their bishops to the town of Caravaggio and pray at the city’s Marian sanctuary.

He thanked them for their faithful and silent witness, and their love for God and the church.

By Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service

Pastoral urges Catholics to draw closer to God

SAN ANTONIO (CNS) — Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller of San Antonio said that “we do not know exactly what God has in store for us,” but he hopes that while “we wait and work” for this COVID-19 crisis to be over, it will not “just be an episode in history from which we recovered.”

Instead, it must be “a turning point that we embraced allowing God to heal and transform each one of us, our archdiocese and the whole world into something better,” he said before promulgating a new pastoral during a Mass at San Fernando Cathedral Sept. 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

The pastoral, which is in English and Spanish, is titled “Transformed by Hope, Let Us Rebuild Our Tomorrow!” and addressed to all the people of the Archdiocese of San Antonio.

“In this challenging time, we ask the Holy Spirit to grant us freedom in spirit, in order to loosen ties and hold-backs that prevent our souls from flying toward the divine,” he said before signing the pastoral at the Mass, attended by ministry representatives from various institutions — primarily educational entities — in the archdiocese.

“We pray humbly and constantly for the virtue of fortitude, a gift of the Holy Spirit that is rooted in trust,” Archbishop García-Siller he said.

Copies of the pastoral letter will be distributed to parishes of the archdiocese as well as Catholic schools. It also is available on the archdiocesan website, www.archsa.org, and on archdiocesan social media outlets.

The 38-page document states: “Ignited by the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts, let us dive into the dynamics of the current times! Let us come in closer spiritual contact with God and with one another!

“Let us recognize and caress the face of the Lord — whom we adore — in the flesh of every suffering brother or sister. And may our perception, thoughts, feelings and actions become a channel of God’s love for his children. Ven, Holy Spirit, Ven!”

Archbishop García-Siller in the pastoral said that so many have suffered in numerous ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have lost their lives, millions have suffered from the illness or have lost dear ones. Countless more are currently undergoing financial turmoil, necessary seclusion or find themselves facing varied causes of seemingly unbearable distress,” he said.

The archbishop said he was “particularly heartbroken” by how the pandemic has exacerbated the “neglect and abandonment” experienced by the marginalized in society, those who are looked on “with indifference or disdain,” who lack access to health care, food and shelter and have other hardships — all of which has been made worse by the pandemic.

As the scientific community works on a C OVID vaccine, “we must also cure a larger virus, that of social injustice, inequality of opportunity, marginalization and the lack of protection for the weakest,” he said quoting Pope Francis from his Aug. 19 general audience.

More than ever immigrants “are being treated in less than human ways in many dimensions of our social life, including the legal system,” he said, and “some ethnic groups are suffering more than others.”

“Unequal opportunities and services, stereotypes and prejudices, still tremendously affect the way African American communities are generally treated, as opposed to most people of Western European descent,” he continued. “The same can be said about Native American groups, Hispanics and others.”

During this time, he said, an increased number of people of East Asian and Pacific Island heritage, “have been mocked, bullied and assaulted.”

The “tremendous recession” caused by the pandemic “has caused further exposed grave deficiencies in our economic system,” leading more low-income people and the middle class to struggle financially, while the rich get richer, he said.

He expressed concern the pandemic and the suffering it has caused have led some to promote “the business of abortion and euthanasia,” with the latter being used to deprive the elderly and the terminally ill of the natural end to their pilgrimage due to a lost sense of the meaning of life in their suffering, and because their treatments are considered too costly by people who care more about their own profit.”

Archbishop García-Siller also called it scandalous some use fetal cell lines taken from aborted babies for research purposes, including trying to develop a COVID vaccine.

He pointed to other important problems drawing attention during the last few months, including the “brutality of some police officers and its frequent connection with racism.”

“Legitimate indignation has triggered demonstrations, which have been infiltrated by violent agitators and ideological agendas. In addition to that, we have witnessed the desecration and destruction of religious and historic symbols,” he added.

“In one way or another the pandemic is affecting the whole world. … There are undoubtedly some very unique challenges,” he said.

“We are all called to share each other’s burdens as well as their joys. ‘We are in this together’ is a common hope expressed these days,” he added.

During this time “not only is God’s grace readily available for us … but perhaps the circumstances to which the pandemic is forcing us can be used as opportunities to get to know ourselves, God and the people around us better, in new and different ways, as we grow spiritually,” he said.

“It is a paradox that now that many people cannot go out, we can make a trip inside ourselves,” he added.

“As we strive to look ahead full of trust and hope, let us turn our hearts and our minds to Mary,” Archbishop García-Siller said. Quoting the pope, he added: “Our Lady is the star that guides us.”

By | Catholic News Service

Decree on Old Saint Patrick Church, Redding

The Most Rev. Frank J. Caggiano
By the Grace of God and the Authority of the Apostolic See
Bishop of Bridgeport
DECREE
RELEGATION TO PROFANE BUT NOT SORDID USE OF OLD SAINT PATRICK CHURCH, REDDING, CT

Whereas the old Saint Patrick Church of Redding, CT has been replaced by a new church structure and;

Whereas the old structure is no longer being used as a center of worship of Saint Patrick Parish and;

Whereas it was decided by the Pastor and the faithful that the old Saint Patrick Church could best serve the parish as a center of evangelization for the youth and;

Whereas the remodeling of the old Saint Patrick Church for the aforementioned purpose has received diocesan approval;

In virtue of the office entrusted to me, I, the Most Rev. Frank J. Caggiano, Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, concerned with the welfare of the diocese and souls entrusted to me, in conformity with cc. 1212 and 1222, §2 of the Code of Canon Law, hereby relegate to profane but not sordid use the old Saint Patrick Church of Redding, CT.

Due consideration has been given to the above reasons and the presbyteral council was duly consulted on September 10, 2020 and approval has been received from the interested parties whose rights must be protected by law.

Given at the Diocese of Bridgeport Catholic Center on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, this 14th day of September of the Year of the Lord 2020.

USCCB Labor Day 2020 Statement

“Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5)
Rebuilding a Dignified Post-COVID World

This Labor Day is a somber one. The COVID-19 pandemic goes on. Economic circumstances for so many families are stressful or even dire. Anxiety is high. Millions are out of work and wondering how they will pay the bills. And for workers deemed “essential” who continue to work outside the home, there is the heightened danger of exposure to the virus. Yet, as Pope Francis points out in a set of beautiful and challenging reflections on the pandemic, “In this wasteland, the Lord is committed to the regeneration of beauty and rebirth of hope:

‘Behold, I am doing something new: right now it is sprouting, don’t you see it?’ (Is 43:19). God never abandons his people, he is always close to them, especially when pain becomes more present.”1

As God declares to John in Revelation: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). God knows the challenges we face and the loss and grief we feel. The question to us is this: will we pray for and willingly participate in God’s work healing the hurt, loss, and injustice that this pandemic has caused and exposed? Will we offer all we can to the Lord to “make all things new?”

As public reports show, the virus has spread widely among essential workers such as meat packers, agricultural workers, healthcare providers, janitors, transit workers, emergency responders, and others. As a result, low wage workers, migrant workers, and workers of color, have borne a disproportionate share of the costs of the pandemic. Before the pandemic, a significant number of Americans were trapped in low wage jobs, with insecurity around food, housing, and health care, and with little opportunity for savings or advancing in their career. Those same workers have been hit particularly hard, and, it is devastating to say, many have paid with their life. As one New York subway worker put it, “We are not essential. We are sacrificial.”2

These words, and the reality behind them, should haunt us. As Pope Francis pointed out at the beginning of his pontificate, “today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”3

What was wrong before the pandemic has been accelerated now. What may have been hidden to some is now revealed. Against this backdrop, the murder of George Floyd was like lighting a match in a gas-filled room. Pope Francis writes of the pandemic:

We are all frail, all equal, all precious. May we be profoundly shaken by what is happening all around us: the time has come to eliminate inequalities, to heal the injustice that is undermining the health of the entire human family!4

The Holy Father is now using his weekly general audience as an occasion for catechesis on Church teaching on inequalities that have been aggravated by the pandemic.5

The dignity of the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, is not at the center of our society in the way it should be. In some workplaces, this has meant an emphasis on profits over safety. That is unjust.

Consumerism and individualism fuel pressures on employers and policy makers that lead to these outcomes.

The good news is that injustice does not need to have the last word. The Lord came to free us from sin, including the sins by which we diminish workers and ourselves. “This is the favorable time of the Lord, who is asking us not to conform or content ourselves, let alone justify ourselves with substitutive or palliative logic, which prevents us from sustaining the impact and serious consequences of what we are living.”6

Beginning with our own decisions, we might ask when we buy goods from stores or online: do we know where they came from?

Do we know whether the people who made them were treated with dignity and respect? Was the workplace made safe during the pandemic, and did workers receive a just wage? If not, what can we do to remedy this?

Our government also plays an indispensable role. Policy makers must address the outstanding needs that people have around nutrition, housing, health care, jobs and income support, as I and my brother bishops have written repeatedly.7

People are hurting, and some of the relief measures of previous legislation are expiring. Congress and the White House should reach a deal that prioritizes protecting the poor and vulnerable. A sign of great hope springing up at the roots is the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. Founded to do more than meet emergency needs, CCHD supports low-income-led efforts to address poverty, create good jobs and be a force for transformation in families and communities. Over its history, CCHD has distributed over 8,000 grants worth more than 400 million dollars to help create grassroots change. Pope Francis has made the work of the popular movements that CCHD supports a key theme in his pontificate. In April, he again wrote to the leaders of these groups in light of the pandemic, noting how extraordinarily important these movements are at this very moment.8

Unions and workers’ associations have a central role to play as well.

In response to COVID-19, CCHD’s community organizations have quickly amplified their efforts to address its devastating impacts. As one example, workers in meat processing plants are faced with dangerous working conditions as companies fail to provide basic protections from COVID-19 or do not make sufficient workplace modifications to reduce risk of exposure to the virus. The CCHD-supported Rural Community Workers Alliance has helped organize workers in rural Missouri, pressuring employers to take these concerns seriously and advancing the dignity of workers.9 These groups, as well as labor unions and other worker associations, make an invaluable contribution to the safety and wellbeing of workers.

In order to protect the dignity of work and the rights of workers, we are each called to practice solidarity with those in harm’s way. In addition, we can offer charitable assistance to all those who have become unemployed during this time by donating to local food banks and Catholic Charities agencies. Catholic Charities helped 13 million people last year, and the demand has increased 30-50% so far during the pandemic and is anticipated to increase. Catholic hospitals are also strained as doctors, nurses, and staff have also been working relentlessly, and have in many instances done so at a loss of significant resources.

Pope Francis is fond of citing the 1964 dogmatic constitution, Lumen Gentium, which reminded us that “no one can save themselves alone.”10 This is true in this life and the next. The fruits of individualism are clear in the disparities brought to light by this crisis. Through our work of solidarity, let us be a counter-witness to individualism. “Let us not think only of our interests, our vested interests. Let us welcome this time of trial as an opportunity to prepare for our collective future, a future for all without discarding anyone.”11 Let us pray for the grace to participate in God’s work in healing what is so deeply wounded in our society. Let our response to the Psalm at Mass this Labor Day echo in deed and truth: “Lead me in your justice, Lord” (Ps 5:9).

Most Reverend Paul S. Coakley
Archbishop of Oklahoma City
Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
September 7, 2020

Original statement with footnotes.

Fr. Frank Winn, 79

BRIDGEPORT–The Reverend Frank A. Winn, who became a priest of the Diocese of Bridgeport after a successful career in advertising, died in Providence, Rhode Island, August 31 after a long illness.

“Fr. Winn will be affectionately remembered by many across the diocese, particularly at St. Paul Parish in Greenwich, for his humble and joyful service. Please pray for the repose of the soul of Fr. Winn and for the consolation of his family,” said Bishop Frank J. Caggiano.

He was 79. Born in Providence, son of Joseph R. and Margaret M. (McDonell) Winn, Father Winn grew up in North Scituate, R.I., and attended LaSalle Academy in Providence and Scituate Junior-Senior High, graduating in 1958. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree in English and religious studies at Fordham University.

Following a long career as an advertising executive in Manhattan, Father Winn heeded a spiritual calling that would keep him active in the Catholic Church for the next 25 years. After receiving a master’s degree in theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y., in 1992, he completed a one-year residency program in Hospital Chaplaincy at Cabrini Hospital in New York and at Bridgeport Hospital, then serving in both cities providing pastoral care. After chaplaincy service,

Father Winn studied for the priesthood at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass., a spiritual community dedicated to educating older seminarians.

He was ordained to the priesthood by the Most Reverend Edward M. Egan at St. Augustine Cathedral, Bridgeport on May 23, 1998.

Following ordination, Father Winn was appointed parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Ridgefield, where he said his first Mass on Sunday, May 24, 1998. He later served at St. James Parish in Stratford and went on to serve as parochial vicar of Assumption Parish in Fairfield.

In 2005, Bishop William E. Lori appointed Father Winn as pastor of St. Paul Church in the Glenville section of Greenwich where he served until his retirement in 2015.
Father Winn also served as Territorial Vicar for Vicariate 1 (Greenwich, Stamford and Darien) from 2006 through 2009.

In announcing his retirement due to ill health, Father Winn reflected on his long and joyous service at St Paul, telling his beloved parishioners, “Many of you know the priesthood was a second career vocation for me, and these last 11 years here at St. Paul have truly been the best years of my life. This has been my home and all of you have been my extended family – it was a good match; God has been good to me.”

Father Winn is survived by a sister, Marilyn Winn Seymour and her husband, David, of North Kingston, R.I; a brother, Joseph R. Winn Jr., and his partner, Elizabeth A. Laposata, MD, of Providence; nieces Jennifer Hodge and husband William, and Jane Dickinson and husband Blake; four grand nieces; and a grand nephew.

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial and Fr. Thomas Lynch will deliver the homily on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. in St. Paul Church, 84 Sherwood Ave., Greenwich, CT. Burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery will be private. Relatives & friends are invited and may call at the church on Saturday from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. prior to the Mass. Due to COVID restrictions and limited seating and masks and social distancing are required.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the MS Society of Rhode Island in memory of John E. Seymour, Father Winn’s nephew and godchild.
Arrangements have been entrusted to THE CRANSTON-MURPHY FUNERAL HOME of WICKFORD. For online messages of condolence, kindly visit www.CranstonMurphy.com

Gospel cannot be parsed in partisan terms

CLEVELAND—The U.S. bishops’ quadrennial document on political responsibility is rooted in the Catholic Church’s long-standing moral tradition that upholds human dignity and the common good of all, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City said.

“The document is meant to give Catholic voters an opportunity to reflect upon how their faith intersects with their political and civic responsibilities,” said the archbishop, who chairs the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Titled “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility From the Catholic Bishops of the United States,” the document has been offered as a guide to Catholic voters every presidential election year since 1976.

It has been updated and revised at four-year intervals to reflect changes in the issues confronting the country since it first appeared.

One thing “Faithful Citizenship” is not is a mandate on which candidate for public office to vote for, Archbishop Coakley said.

Voting, he added, is a responsibility to be taken seriously and that requires prudential judgment in determining who can best serve the common good.

“No candidate will likely reflect all of our values,” he told Catholic News Service August 18. “But I think we need to begin in prayer. We need to know our faith. We need to study our faith. We need to have recourse to the catechism and what it might teach about certain questions.

“This document is intended to be that, an official guide for the formation of consciences that Catholics can utilize as they weigh these questions,” the archbishop said.

Furthermore, he continued, “the Gospel cannot be parsed in political or partisan terms. The Gospel calls us to live by standards and our Catholic faith calls us to embrace standards that are not divisible into left or right, Republican or Democratic terminology.”

The document went through no major revisions for this year’s election, but it is being supplemented by an introductory letter, which underwent a long debate before its adoption by the full body of bishops during their fall general assembly in November.

This time around, the document also is accompanied by a series of five videos that highlight vital public policy issues.

The document has three parts.

The first part outlines the responsibility of Catholics to incorporate Catholic teaching as they consider their vote as well as their support for myriad public policy issues that confront society.

The text explores a series of questions related to why the church teaches about public policy issues; who in the church should participate in political life; how the church helps Catholics to speak about political and social questions; and what the church says about social teaching in the public square.

Part two outlines policy positions of the bishops on numerous issues. Topics addressed include human life and dignity, promoting peace, marriage and family religious freedom, economic justice, health care, migration, Catholic education, promoting justice and countering violence, combating unjust discrimination, care for the environment, communications, media and culture and global solidarity.

The bishops said they wanted to “call attention to issues with significant moral dimensions that should be carefully considered in each campaign and as policy decisions are made in the years to come.”

Part three lists goals for Catholics’ participation in political life, whether they are citizens, candidates or public officials. Notably, it invites Catholics to assess moral and ethical questions emanating from public policy issues. It also lists nine goals for Catholics to weigh in public life.

“Faithful Citizenship” also draws from the teaching of Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI, St. John Paul II, St. John XXIII, the Second Vatican Council, and “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.”

The introductory letter reminds Catholics that “we bring the richness of our faith to the public square” and that “faith and reason inform our efforts to affirm both the dignity of the human person and the common good of all.”

The letter also says, “The threat of abortion remains our preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself, because it takes place within the sanctuary of the family, and because of the number of lives destroyed. At the same time, we cannot dismiss or ignore other serious threats to human life and dignity, such as racism, the environmental crisis, poverty and the death penalty.”

It concludes by reminding Catholics to “bring their faith and our consistent moral framework to contribute to important work in our communities, nation, and world on an ongoing basis, not just during election season.”

The full document also is available in Spanish.

The text of “Faithful Citizenship” can be downloaded as a free PDF from USCCB.org, or it can be purchased by going to Store.USCCB.org.

In addition to English, the videos were produced in Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

The productions explore various aspects of Catholic social teaching while reflecting on the teaching of Pope Francis.

The videos are posted on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ website at faithfulcitizenship.org and the USCCB’s YouTube channel at bit.ly/31DHDGN. They are part of the bishops’ effort to broaden their outreach through the document.

“People respond to different media,” Archbishop Coakley said. “This is a very technically savvy audience today, especially younger voters. The videos use powerful images and brief statements that illustrate some of the teaching embodied in the formal document.”

Four English-language videos of about two minutes in length examine participation in public life, protecting human life and dignity, promoting the common good and loving others. The fifth video is a six-minute compilation of the highlights of the four shorter pieces.

The foreign language videos are slightly longer.

Each video was produced with young people in mind, said Jill Rauh, director of education and outreach in the USCCB’s Department of Justice Peace and Human Development.

Along with the images and voices of young people, each piece features one bishop narrating an aspect of Catholic social teaching. Each production closes with a different prayer specifically written for the series.

Scenes showing people feeding the hungry, protecting God’s creation, comforting the elderly, caring for children, migrant people and families, and engaging in civil discussions are prominent in the productions.

“The videos are meant to reflect the teaching of the bishops in ‘Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,’” Rauh said. “The videos are really trying to make that teaching more accessible.”

Other wide-ranging resources are being made available to parishes, schools, prayer groups and other interested parties through the faithful citizenship web page.

As summer ends and Election Day, November 3, nears, dioceses and parishes have been gearing up their use of “Faithful Citizenship” resources, according to social ministry directors across the country.

Archbishop Coakley said the bishops expect the guidance offered in the “Faithful Citizenship” materials will gain wider attention this year.

“My hope and prayer is that Catholics who really want their faith to influence their decision making when it comes to going to the polls will give the reflections in this document consideration rather than just going to their favorite news source,” he said. “That’s going to be a very different kind of guidance than what they receive from their favorite cable news anchor or pundit.

“This is our chance to bring a different light to bear to a very important fundamental civic responsibility.”

By Dennis Sadowski   I   Catholic News Service