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Approved by the U.S. bishops during their Spring 2018 General Assembly, the pastoral response will guide the Catholic Church in the United States in addressing the pastoral needs of Asian and Pacific Island communities and provide a framework for dioceses and parishes. Order your copy by visiting the USCCB Store.
Read Dennis Sadowski's (CNS) article about the U.S. bishops approving Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters during their Spring General Assembly. Watch the Spring General Assembly on-demand video to see Bishop Solis' presentation about Encountering Christ in Harmony to the body of bishops.
December 2018 - Many archdioceses and dioceses celebrate Simbang Gabi, a Filipino tradition of Novena Masses (nine consecutive days) celebrated in parishes across the country leading up to Christmas. It is "a privileged votive mass, i.e., a mass that does not correspond to the liturgical calendar but has a special intention" said Philippines Church historian Fr. Rex Andrew Alarcon. A regularly updated list of arch/diocesan Simbang Gabi masses can be found on the News & Events wepage.
Read the news release containing the text of Cardinal DiNardo's letter in solidarity to Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo, Archbishop of Jakarta and news updates by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and help donate to their efforts in response to the earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia.
Read the news release by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and help donate to their efforts in response to the historic flooding in Kerala, India.
Dear brothers and sisters: In a spirit of heartfelt pastoral concern for the Asian and Pacific people in our midst, we Catholic bishops of the United States write this statement to all Catholics and especially to our Asian and Pacific brothers and sisters to recognize and affirm with loving assurance their presence and prominence in the Lord's house. We pray that this pastoral statement will facilitate a fuller appreciation of their communities in our local churches and will encourage Asian and Pacific Catholics to take on active leadership roles in every level of church life.
-- Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Welcome to the webpage for the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs (SCAPA). The subcommittee works collaboratively and intentionally with the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and other USCCB committees to "affirm the gifts and contributions of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics and to provide more opportunities for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics to engage in the life of the Church and help shape its evangelizing mission." (more)
Greetings of Christ's peace and love.
I wish to share with you the good news regarding the publication and distribution of the document Encountering Christ in Harmony: A Pastoral Response to Our Asian and Pacific Island Brothers and Sisters which was approved by the body of bishops during the 2018 USCCB Spring Assembly in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
It is the first official document issued by the body of US bishops since 2001 that recognizes the growing Asian and Pacific Island population in the United States and clearly indicates an intentional pastoral outreach to advance the Church's mission of evangelization to these particular cultural communities. It is a response to Pope Francis' call to go to the peripheries to proclaim the Gospel but also to bring the peripheries for closer integration and fuller communion with the Church, the Body of Christ.
Our Asian and Pacific Island brothers and sisters are ready for their fuller and active engagement in the Church. However, as they share their rich cultural gifts of strong faith, cultural values and colorful traditions, their diversity also poses a challenge to the Church. The Pastoral Response, the result of a laborious and expansive in-depth study of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics in our country today, offers guidance, resources and a framework for dioceses and parishes to assists diocesan and parish leaders as well as the faithful so they can integrate the suggested approaches in their own pastoral plans or actions specific to the circumstances and needs of their local Asian and Pacific Island communities.
Encountering Christ in Harmony is very significant to the present mission of our Church as it presents a strong message of the collegial voice and intentional effort of the U.S. Catholic Bishops to provide the important pastoral outreach to the Asian and Pacific Island communities and to help them develop able leaders and partners in evangelization as missionary disciples of Christ.
We are extremely grateful to the collaborative work of all the bishop members of our subcommittee, the cooperation from the consultants and Secretariat of Cultural Diversity staff, as well as the tremendous support from the standing Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, Asian and Pacific Catholic leaders and many others who in various ways contributed in completing this document.
I seek your continued support for the concrete implementation of the Pastoral Response in all the dioceses and parishes throughout the nation. Let us join in prayers and in our efforts so that it will be an effective tool to build bridges in our communities and to promote unity in the midst of diversity. May this endeavor through the intercession of Our Blessed Mother Mary merit God's blessings and bring it to fruition.
Most Reverend Oscar A. Solis, D.D.
Bishop of Salt Lake City
Chairman of the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs
The Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs is under the direction of and assists the Committee on Cultural Diversity within the Church by working directly with the standing committee and collaboratively with other USCCB committees to affirm the gifts and contributions of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics and to provide more opportunities for Asian and Pacific Island Catholics to engage in the life of the Church and help shape its evangelizing mission.
This mandate includes the following areas of responsibility:
The subcommittee is directly responsible for outreach to the Asian and Pacific Island Catholic communities and to work closely with the Subcommittee on Pastoral Care of Migrants, Refugees and Travelers.
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