Latest News Releases from USCCB
  1. USCCB President and Migration Chair Urge Against Further Reduction in Refugee Resettlement as Contrary to American Values

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —Administration officials will reportedly recommend to President Trump that the number of refugee admissions for the coming year will be fewer than 30,000 refugees, already an historic low. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Chair of USCCB Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:

    “Further reductions in the number of refugees allowed to seek freedom in the United States would be wholly counter to our values as a nation of immigrants. America welcomes refugees; that is who we are, that is what we do. Such reductions would undermine America’s leadership role as a global champion and protector of religious freedom and human rights. Beginning with European refugees in the aftermath of World War I, the Catholic Church in the United States has more than a century of experience resettling vulnerable populations to a safer life and one in which they have contributed to the greatness of America. The 3.4 million refugees that America has welcomed since 1975 have paid billions of dollars in taxes, founded companies, earned citizenship, and bought homes at notably high rates.

    As the Catholic Church prepares to celebrate the World Day of Migrants and Refugees on September 29th, we are reminded of Pope Francis urging us all to work for a ‘globalization of solidarity’ with refugees, not a globalization of ‘indifference’. In light of refugees’ extraordinary contributions to our country, and of the world’s struggle with the greatest forced displacement crisis on record and historic highs in religious persecution, we categorically oppose any further reductions in the refugee resettlement program.”

    Keywords: USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal DiNardo, Bishop Joe S. Vásquez


    Media Contact:
    Chieko Noguchi
    (202) 541-3200

    Mark Priceman
    (202) 541-3064


  2. U.S. Bishops’ Vice-President Leads Delegation to the Holy See to Present V Encuentro Proceedings and Conclusions to Pope Francis

    WASHINGTON— Archbishop José H. Gomez, of Los Angeles, and Vice-President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB); Bishop Nelson J. Pérez, of Cleveland, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, and Bishop Arturo Cepeda, of Detroit, chairman of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs will lead a delegation that will visit the Holy See, September 13-18, to present to Pope Francis the Proceedings and Conclusions of the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry.

    Delegates accompanying the Bishops include USCCB staff, members of the National V Encuentro Team and a cross-section of V Encuentro delegates representing a diversity of ages, geographical areas, ministries and states in life. The delegation is scheduled to meet with the leadership and staff of various Vatican offices, including the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life; the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The visit will conclude with an audience and encounter with the Holy Father.

    “This visit to the Holy See provides an important opportunity to follow up with Vatican offices on what we have seen and heard, what we learned so far, and the next steps in the V Encuentro process. We bring with us the voices and wisdom of thousands of Hispanic Catholics and other leaders who have accompanied us in this process,” said Bishop Pérez. “Meeting with the Holy Father and handing over a copy of the Proceedings and Conclusions will be a very special moment. Pope Francis and Vatican officials have been very supportive of the V Encuentro process and have followed its developments closely. They have accompanied us with their presence, messages and prayers. We are extremely grateful and pleased to have this opportunity to offer them a report on the V Encuentro.”

    The USCCB’s Administrative Committee authorized the publication of the Proceedings and Conclusions of the V National Encuentro of Hispanic Latino Ministry during its September meeting. The resource will be available for sale at the USCCB store in October; other related tools and resources will be posted soon thereafter on the V Encuentro website.

    The document is expected to facilitate collaboration and coordination on Hispanic Ministry initiatives between the Bishops’ Conference and dioceses across the country. Numerous initiatives are emerging at the local, regional, and national level as a direct result of the V Encuentro.

    For the last two and a half years, the Catholic Church in the United States has taken Pope Francis’ call to embrace an experience what it means to evangelize, reaching out in a special way to those in the peripheries (Evangelii Gaudium, 20-24), specifically through the V National Encuentro. The Proceeding and Conclusions, meant to be a practical resource for utilization by dioceses, captures the five steps of the V Encuentro process.

    The Proceedings and Conclusions provide a summary of challenges and opportunities, hopes and dreams, gifts and talents, insights, recommendations, strategies, and successful practices for the pastoral care and accompaniment of the Hispanic/Latinos in the United States. Dioceses around the country have already begun a process of incorporating V Encuentro findings to their existing pastoral plans or are in the process of developing new ones.

    More information about the V Encuentro can be found at:

    The following is a complete list of V Encuentro Delegates that will travel to the Holy See:


    • Most Rev. José H. Gomez, Archbishop of Los Angeles, USCCB Vice-President

    • Most Rev. Nelson J. Pérez, Bishop of Cleveland, Chairman, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church

    • Most Rev. Arturo Cepeda, Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit, Chairman, Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs

    USCCB Staff:
    • María del Mar Muñoz-Visoso, Executive Director, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church

    • Alejandro Aguilera-Titus, Assistant Director of Hispanic Affairs, National Coordinator of the V Encuentro, Secretariat of Cultural Diversity in the Church

    Delegates and National V Encuentro Team:
    • Junuee Castro, Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Diocese of Salt Lake City

    • Dr. Patricia Jiménez, V Encuentro Communications Coordinator

    • Ken Johnson-Mondragón V Encuentro Research Coordinator

    • Mario and Paola Martínez, Co-Directors, Office of Marriage and Family Life Ministry, Diocese of San Bernardino

    • Roberto Navarro, Senior Director of U.S. Church Engagement, Catholic Relief Services

    • Luis Peña, Hispanic Ministry Inter-Parish Coordinator, Archdiocese of New York

    • Wanda Vásquez Director of Hispanic Ministry, Archdiocese of New York, and Board Member of the National Catholic Association of Diocesan Directors of Hispanic Ministry (NCADDHM), Episcopal Region II Representative

    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry, Archbishop José Gomez, Bishop Nelson Pérez, Bishop Arturo Cepeda, missionary discipleship, Church in the United States, Holy Father, Hispanic/Latino minister, Catholic Leaders, evangelization, USCCB Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.


    Media Contacts:
    Chieko Noguchi

    Mar Muñoz-Visoso


  3. President of U.S. Bishops Conference Calls for Prayers After Deadly Hurricane Hits the Bahamas and Moves Closer to the Southeastern Coast

    WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement regarding Hurricane Dorian that left seven people dead in the Bahamas and is moving closer to the southeastern United States.

    Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

    “As we continue to be vigilant for the effects of Hurricane Dorian as it approaches the U.S. coast, we are extremely mindful of the dire need faced by the community in the Bahamas so devastated by this catastrophic storm. We pray for all affected and invite Catholics and all people of goodwill to donate to Catholic Relief Services and Catholic Charities USA.”

    The donations to CRS can be made at and to Catholic Charities USA at

    Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Bahamas, Hurricane Dorian, Florida, Georgia, Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA donations

    Media Contact:
    Miguel Guilarte


  4. Pope Francis Appoints Bishop Paul Etienne as Archbishop of Seattle; Accepts Resignation of Most. Rev J. Peter Sartain from the Pastoral Governance of the Same See

    WASHINGTON— Pope Francis has appointed Coadjutor Archbishop Paul Etienne as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle and accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend J. Peter Sartain from the pastoral governance of the same see.

    The appointment and resignation were publicized in Washington, DC, on September 3, 2019 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
    Archbishop Etienne graduated from University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota obtaining a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1986. He served with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as Assistant Coordinator for Papal Visits for Pope John Paul II to the United States. He later pursued his ecclesiastical studies at Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a bachelor’s in Sacred Theology in 1995.  

    Archbishop Etienne was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on June 27, 1992. On October 19, 2009, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Cheyenne. On April 29, 2019, Pope Francis appointed him Coadjutor Archbishop of Seattle.

    His assignments included: Vocation Director at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in New Albany, Spiritual Director at St. Meinrad School of Theology, Vice-Rector of the Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary, member of the Archdiocesan Review Board, pastor at St. Simon and several other parishes.

    Archbishop J. Peter Sartain was ordained a priest in 1978 in Memphis, Tennessee. He served as Bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock from 2000 to 2006 and then served as Bishop of Joliet from 2006 to 2010.

    Archbishop Sartain serves on a number of Catholic boards and has served as Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is the author of several books, including Of You My Heart Has Spoken (Arkansas Catholic, 2005); Strengthen Your Brothers: An Archbishop’s Letters of Encouragement to His Priests (Liturgical Press, 2012), and The Journey to the Heart of Jesus (Our Sunday Visitor, 2014).

    The Archdiocese of Seattle is compromised of 24,814 square miles in the state of Washington and has a total population of 5,501,540 of which 863,000 or 15.7 percent are Catholic.


    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Most. Rev J. Peter Sartain, Most. Rev Paul Etienne, Archdiocese of Seattle


    Media Contact:
    Miguel Guilarte


  5. USCCB President Issues Statement Following Shootings in Midland and Odessa

    WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued the following statement in response to the tragic shootings in Midland and Odessa, Texas.

    The full statement follows:

    “As we travel to Sunday Mass, we do so with heavy hearts. Just a few short hours ago, less than a month after the horrific instances of gun violence in California, Texas and Ohio, yet further terrible shootings took place, this time involving random targeting of victims on roads and highways. There are reports of at least 5 fatalities, and numerous critical injuries. Once again, these horrific onslaughts demonstrate unequivocally the undeniable existence of evil in our society. I am deeply saddened to witness yet again scenes of violence and contempt for human life being repeated in our Nation’s streets. With renewed resolve, I call on all people of good will, starting with our Catholic leaders and faithful, to work tirelessly to root out the causes of such crimes. As people of faith, we must continue to pray for all the victims, and for healing in all these shattered communities that now extend across the length and breadth of our land.”


    Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Galveston-Houston, shootings, Midland, Odessa, Texas, gun violence


    Media Contact:

    Miguel Guilarte