WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. bishops will start 2019 with a spiritual retreat to pray and reflect on the important matters facing the Catholic Church.
Set for Jan. 2-8 at Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, the retreat was planned in response to Pope Francis’ request to a delegation of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops leaders during a meeting at the Vatican Sept. 13.
“I welcome this invitation of our Holy Father. Some evils can be driven out only by prayer and fasting,” said Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. “It will be good to be together as brother bishops, asking as a body for light and mercy from the Lord.”
Earlier this month, Bishop Olmsted launched the fidelity.dphx.org website to gather feedback regarding the crisis for him to share with other bishops.
I welcome this invitation of our Holy Father. Some evils can be driven out only by prayer and fasting. It will be good to be together as brother bishops, asking as a body for light and mercy from the Lord.
Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household, will direct the Ignatian style retreat, the USCCB announced Oct. 23.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, thanked Pope Francis for offering Fr. Cantalamessa as retreat director in a statement announcing the retreat.
In September, the bishops’ Administrative Committee outlined actions to address the abuse crisis, including approving the establishment of a third-party confidential reporting system for claims of any abuse by bishops. They also initiated the process of developing a code of conduct for bishops and looking at policies addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of allegations of abuse of minors or adults.
The Church’s response to the sexual abuse crisis also will top the agenda for the bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 12-14.
The bishops face a busy January, with the annual March for Life in the nation’s capital Jan. 18 and World Youth Day in Panama Jan. 22-27.