USCCB concludes assembly after votes on canonizations, ‘Faithful Citizenship’
By Vatican News staff writer
The fall general assembly of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is set to conclude on Thursday after several notable votes were taken.
A new president and vice president were selected and a decision was made on how to proceed in disseminating the Conference’s document on Catholic participation in public life.
Finally, the canonization causes of three American women were advanced after presentation during the assembly.
New Advancement of the Cause of Sainthood for three American women
During the Plenary Assembly, the Bishops held a canonical consultation on the cause of sainthood for three American women: Servants of God Cora Louise Evans, Michelle Duppong, and Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy.
Servant of God Cora Evans
Born a Mormon, Cora Evans converted to the Catholic faith and was remembered for her mystical experiences expressing her closeness to the humanity of Christ.
Her devotion and deep faith helped inspire hundreds of Mormons to convert to Catholicism.
Servant of God Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy
Servant of God Mother Margaret Mary Healy-Murphy was born in 1833 and is the foundress of the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate.
An Irish immigrant and widow, Mrs. Murphy used her personal funds to build St. Peter Claver Academy, the first privately funded school for African Americans, in the state of Texas, USA.
She also constructed a chapel on the campus which was the first Catholic parish for African Americans in the state.
Shortly after the school opened, Mrs. Murphy and her teachers were threatened by members of the community who objected to the school’s mission.
In response, she founded the Sisters of the Holy Spirit and Mary Immaculate to run the school in 1893.
It was the first Catholic community of religious women founded in Texas.
Servant of God Michelle Duppong
Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, also presented the cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God Michelle Duppong, a lay woman.
A former FOCUS missionary, Ms. Duppong was the director of adult faith formation for the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota.
She died at the age of 31 from cancer and is remembered for her steadfast faith in the Lord.
Revisitation of ‘Faithful Citizenship’ document
The Bishops also discussed the “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” the conference’s teaching document on the “political responsibility of Catholics.”
The aim of the document is to serve as a guide for Catholics “in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our democracy.”
In context of Pope Francis’ teachings, notably Fratelli tutti on fraternity and social friendship, the document has been revised over the years to align more closely to the teachings of the Pope.
After consideration and a vote, the decision was made to reissue the Faithful Citizenship document “without revisions” to the main document; however, it will include a new introduction and additional inserts.
The process of re-examining the document will begin after the 2024 election.
Votes for USCCB Secretary and Committee Chairmen
After the election of Archbishop Timonthy Brioglio of the Military Services as as the new president of USCCB and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore on 15 November, the Bishops proceeded to vote on several other positions.
Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City was elected as Conference secretary and chairman of the Committee on Priorities and Plans.
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington was elected as chairman of the Committee for Pro-Life Activities and will serve through November 2024, at which time he will be eligible for re-election.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois, was elected as chairman-elect of the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance.
Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, was elected as chairman-elect of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
Archbishop Charles C. Thompson of Indianapolis, was elected as chairman-elect of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.
Bishop Abdallah Elias Zaidan, MLM, of the Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, as chairman-elect of the Committee on International Justice and Peace.
Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Richmond, as chairman-elect of the Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People.
Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, as chairman-elect of the Committee on Religious Liberty.