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Monday, June 16, 2014


Vatican City, 16 June 2014 (VIS) – The awareness that the objective of unity may seem distant, but is always the aim of the path of ecumenism and common concern for the ills of humanity, especially human trafficking, were some of the key themes in the Holy Father's encounter with His Grace Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, in the Vatican this morning.

“The Lord’s question – 'What were you arguing about on the way?' – might also apply to us. When Jesus put this question to his disciples they were silent; they were ashamed, for they had been arguing about who was the greatest among them. We too feel ashamed when we ponder the distance between the Lord’s call and our meagre response. Beneath his merciful gaze, we cannot claim that our division is anything less than a scandal and an obstacle to our proclaiming the Gospel of salvation to the world. Our vision is often blurred by the cumulative burden of our divisions and our will is not always free of that human ambition which can accompany even our desire to preach the Gospel as the Lord commanded”.

Despite these difficulties, “The Holy Spirit gives us the strength not to grow disheartened and invites us to trust fully in the power of His works. As disciples who strive to follow the Lord, we realise that the faith has come to us through many witnesses. We are indebted to great saints, teachers and communities; they have handed down the faith over the ages and they bear witness to our common roots”.

The bishop of Rome went on to remark that yesterday, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the archbishop of Canterbury celebrated Vespers in the Church of San Gregorio al Celio, “from which Pope Gregory the Great sent forth Augustine and his monastic companions to evangelise the peoples of England, thus inaugurating a history of faith and holiness which in turn enriched many other European peoples. This glorious history has profoundly shaped institutions and ecclesial traditions which we share and which serve as a solid basis for our fraternal relations”.

“On this basis, then, let us look with confidence to the future. The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission and the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission represent especially significant forums for examining, in a constructive spirit, older and newer challenges to our ecumenical engagement. He also emphasised their shared “horror in the face of the scourge of human trafficking and forms of modern-day slavery” and thanked Archbishop Welby “for the leadership you have shown in opposing these intolerable crimes against human dignity”.

“In attempting to respond to this urgent need, notable collaborative efforts have been initiated on the ecumenical level and in cooperation with civil authorities and international organisations. Many charitable initiatives have been undertaken by our communities, and they are operating with generosity and courage in various parts of the world. I think in particular of the action network against the trafficking in women set up by a number of women’s religious institutes”. He concluded, “Let us persevere in our commitment to combat new forms of enslavement, in the hope that we can help provide relief to victims and oppose this deplorable trade. I thank God that, as disciples sent to heal a wounded world, we stand together, with perseverance and determination, in opposing this grave evil”.


Vatican City, 16 June 2014 (VIS) – A congress to identify current and practicable forms of investment for greater social equality, entitled “Impact Investing for the Poor”, has been organised by the Pontifical Council “Justice and Peace”, is being held in Rome this week. The participants, including representatives of the Roman Curia, were received in audience by Pope Francis this morning.

Impact Investing is a form of investment that “can benefit local communities and the environment, as well as providing a reasonable return”. Investors who follow this practice, the Pontiff explained, “are conscious of the existence of serious unjust situations, instances of profound social inequality and unacceptable conditions of poverty affecting communities and entire peoples. These investors turn to financial institutes which will use their resources to promote the economic and social development of these groups through investment funds aimed at satisfying basic needs associated with agriculture, access to water, adequate housing and reasonable prices, as well as with primary health care and educational services”.

Investments of this type are intended to have positive social repercussions on local communities, such as job creation, access to energy, training and increased agricultural productivity. The financial return for investors tends to be more moderate than in other types of investment. Pope Francis emphasised that “the logic underlying these innovative forms of intervention is one which acknowledges the ultimate connection between profit and solidarity, the virtuous circle existing between profit and gift … Christians are called to rediscover, experience and proclaim to all this precious and primordial unity between profit and solidarity”.

“It is important that ethics once again play its due part in the world of finance and that markets serve the interests of peoples and the common good of humanity”. He exclaimed, “It is increasingly intolerable that financial markets are shaping the destiny of peoples rather than serving their needs, or that the few derive immense wealth from financial speculation while the many are deeply burdened by the consequences. Advances in technology have increased the speed of financial transactions, but in the long run this is significant only to the extent that it better serves the common good. In this regard, speculation on food prices is a scandal which seriously compromises access to food on the part of the poorest members of our human family. It is urgent that governments throughout the world commit themselves to developing an international framework capable of promoting a market of high impact investments, and thus to combating an economy which excludes and discards”.

Francis mentioned that today the Church celebrates the memorial of Saints Quiricus and Giulitta, a son and mother who, persecuted under Diocletian, left all their possessions to the poor and accepted martyrdom. He concluded, “I join you in asking the Lord to help us never to forget the transience of earthly goods and to renew our commitment to serve the common good with love and with preference for the most poor and vulnerable of our brothers and sisters”.


Vatican City, 15 June 2014 (VIS) – On Sunday afternoon the Pope visited the Sant'Egidio Community in the Roman quarter of Trastevere. In his address, he commented that prayer “preserves the anonymous man of the city from the temptations that may also be ours: the 'protagonism' of those who think that the world revolves around them, indifference, victimism. Prayer is the first task of your Community, and consists of listening to the Word of God, the bread that gives us strength and enables us to go forth. … He who looks to the Lord, sees others. You too have learned to see others, in particular the poorest among you; and I hope that you will be able to live out what Professor Riccardi has described – that is, that among you, you forget who gives and who receives help. A care that slowly ceases to be 'care' and transforms into encounter and embrace. … Who is at the centre of this? Both, or rather, the embrace itself”.

The Holy Father rejoiced to see many elderly among those present, and commented on the importance of the alliance between the young and the elderly, in which everyone receives and gives. “A population who does not care for the elderly and does not care for the young is a population without future, a people without hope. Because the young – children, young people – and the elderly are those who carry history forth. The young with their natural strength, and the elderly, providing their memory. But when a society loses its memory, it is finished”. The Pope also spoke against the “throwaway culture”, which currently afflicts Europe - “a tired Europe that doesn't know what to do”. “We must rejuvenate her and help her to find her roots. It is true that she has disavowed her roots, but we must help her to rediscover them”. He affirmed that change in society starts with the poor and the elderly. “Nowadays, unfortunately, the speculative economy has made the poor ever poorer, depriving them of the essentials for life, such as a home and employment. This is unacceptable! Those who live in solidarity with others do not accept this and react. It seems that many people would prefer to remove this word 'solidarity' from the dictionary, as within a certain culture it can seem almost like a profanity. No! Solidarity is a Christian word!”.

The Pope encouraged all those who collaborate with the Community from other countries to be friends of God, of the poor, and of peace, “because those who live in this way find blessings in life and will be a blessing for others”. Before concluding, he emphasised again the need for prayer and dialogue, but always starting out from one's own identity. “Go forth along this road: prayer, the poor, and peace. In this way you will help compassion grow in the heart of society – which is the true revolution, that of compassion and tenderness – and help friendship to grown instead of enmity and indifference”.


Vatican City, 15 June 2014 (VIS) – At midday sharp today, as on every Sunday, the Pope appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the thousands of faithful and pilgrims who awaited him in St. Peter's Square. Before the prayer, Francis spoke briefly about the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, “profound communion and perfect love”, the origin and objective of all creation. He said, “in the Trinity we also recognise the model of the Church, in which we are called upon to love each other as Jesus loved us. Love is the concrete sign that manifests faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Love is the distinctive feature of the Christian, as Jesus told us: 'By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another'. It is a contradiction to think of Christians who hate each other. It is a contradiction! And the devil seeks precisely this: to make us hate each other, because he sows the discord of hate: he does not know love, the love that is God's!”.

He continued, “We are all called upon to bear witness to and to proclaim the message that 'God is love', that God is not distant from us or insensible to our human affairs. He is close to us, He is always by our side, He walks with us to share our joys and our pains, our hope and our strife. He loves us so much, to the point of making Himself man; He came into the world not to guide us but so that the world might be saved through Jesus. And this is God's love in Jesus, this love that is so difficult to understand but which we feel when we draw close to Jesus. And He always forgives us, He always awaits us, He loves us very much. And the love of Jesus that we feel is God's love”.

He added, “the Holy Spirit communicates the divine life to us and therefore allows us to enter into the dynamism of the Trinity, which is a dynamism of love, of communion, of mutual service, of sharing. A person who loves others for the very joy of loving is a reflection of the Trinity. A family in which the members love and help each other is a reflection of the Trinity. A parish in which the members care for each other and share their spiritual and material assets is a reflection of the Trinity. True love is without limits but knows how to limit itself, in order to move towards the other, to respect the freedom of the other. Every Sunday we go to Mass, we celebrate the Eucharist together and the Eucharist is like the 'burning bush' in which the Trinity humbly resides and communicates”. He explained that it is for this reason that the Church has placed the Feast of Corpus Domini after the Feast of the Trinity. Next Thursday, in accordance with a Roman tradition, Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Basilica of St. John Lateran, followed by a procession with the Holy Sacrament. The Pope invited Romans and pilgrims to participate to “express our wish to be a people united in the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. I will see you all on Thursday, at 7 p.m., for the procession of Corpus Domini”.


Vatican City, 15 June 2014 (VIS) – Following today's Marian Angelus prayer, the Holy Father expressed his concern at the dramatic events that are unfolding in Iraq, and conveyed his hope that the future will bring peace and reconciliation for the people of this country. “I invite you all to join with me in prayer for the beloved Iraqi nation, especially the victims and those who suffer most keenly the consequences of the escalation of violence, and in particular those, including many Christians, who have had to flee their homes. I wish security and peace upon all the population and hope for a future of reconciliation and justice, in which all Iraqis, regardless of their religious beliefs, will be able to build their homeland together, making it into a model of coexistence”.

The Pope also announced that on Sunday 21 September he will visit the Albanian city of Tirana. “With this brief trip I wish to confirm in the faith the Church in Albania, and offer my encouragement and love to a country that has suffered greatly as a result of the ideologies of the past”.

Before concluding, Pope Francis offered some words to domestic collaborators and carers for the elderly, “who come from all over the world and provide a valuable service to families, especially in their care for the elderly and for those who are not autonomous”. He remarked, “Very often we do not do justice to the great and good work they perform in families. Thank you very much!”.


Vatican City, 14 June 2014 (VIS) – The following is the full text of the Holy Father's message for the 188th World Mission Day, to be held on Sunday, 19 October 2014:

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ. For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be most urgent. All the members of the Church are called to participate in this mission, for the Church is missionary by her very nature: she was born 'to go forth'. World Mission Day is a privileged moment when the faithful of various continents engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity in support of the young Churches in mission lands. It is a celebration of grace and joy. A celebration of grace, because the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father, offers wisdom and strength to those who are obedient to his action. A celebration of joy, because Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, sent to evangelise the world, supports and accompanies our missionary efforts. This joy of Jesus and missionary disciples leads me to propose a biblical icon, which we find in the Gospel of Luke.

1. The Evangelist tells us that the Lord sent the seventy-two disciples two by two into cities and villages to proclaim that the Kingdom of God was near, and to prepare people to meet Jesus. After carrying out this mission of preaching, the disciples returned full of joy: joy is a dominant theme of this first and unforgettable missionary experience. Yet the divine Master told them: 'Do not rejoice because the demons are subject to you; but rejoice because your names are written in heaven. At that very moment Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said: “I give you praise, Father...” And, turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see”'.

Luke presents three scenes. Jesus speaks first to his disciples, then to the Father, and then again to the disciples. Jesus wanted to let the disciples share his joy, different and greater than anything they had previously experienced.

2. The disciples were filled with joy, excited about their power to set people free from demons. But Jesus cautioned them to rejoice not so much for the power they had received, but for the love they had received, 'because your names are written in heaven'. The disciples were given an experience of God’s love, but also the possibility of sharing that love. And this experience is a cause for gratitude and joy in the heart of Jesus. Luke saw this jubilation in a perspective of the trinitarian communion: 'Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit', turning to the Father and praising him. This moment of deep joy springs from Jesus’ immense filial love for his Father, Lord of heaven and earth, who hid these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to the childlike. God has both hidden and revealed, and in this prayer of praise it is his revealing which stands out. What is it that God has revealed and hidden? The mysteries of his Kingdom, the manifestation of divine lordship in Jesus and the victory over Satan.

God has hidden this from those who are all too full of themselves and who claim to know everything already. They are blinded by their presumptuousness and they leave no room for God. One can easily think of some of Jesus’ contemporaries whom he repeatedly admonished, but the danger is one that always exists and concerns us too. The 'little ones', for their part, are the humble, the simple, the poor, the marginalised, those without voice, those weary and burdened, whom Jesus pronounced 'blessed'. We readily think of Mary, Joseph, the fishermen of Galilee and the disciples whom Jesus called as he went preaching.

3. 'Yes, Father, for such has been your gracious will'. These words of Jesus must be understood as referring to his inner exultation. The word 'gracious' describes the Father’s saving and benevolent plan for humanity. It was this divine graciousness that made Jesus rejoice, for the Father willed to love people with the same love that he has for his Son. Luke also alludes to the similar exultation of Mary: 'My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit exults in God my Saviour'. This is the Good News that leads to salvation. Mary, bearing in her womb Jesus, the evangeliser par excellence, met Elizabeth and rejoiced in the Holy Spirit as she sang her Magnificat. Jesus, seeing the success of his disciples’ mission and their resulting joy, rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and addressed his Father in prayer. In both cases, it is joy for the working of salvation, for the love with which the Father loves his Son comes down to us, and through the Holy Spirit fills us and grants us a share in the trinitarian life.

The Father is the source of joy. The Son is its manifestation, and the Holy Spirit its giver. Immediately after praising the Father, so the evangelist Matthew tells us, Jesus says: 'Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart, and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden light'. 'The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew'.

The Virgin Mary had a unique experience of this encounter with Jesus, and thus became 'causa nostrae laetitiae'. The disciples, for their part, received the call to follow Jesus and to be sent by him to preach the Gospel, and so they were filled with joy. Why shouldn’t we too enter this flood of joy?

4. 'The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience'. Humanity greatly needs to lay hold of the salvation brought by Christ. His disciples are those who allow themselves to be seized ever more by the love of Jesus and marked by the fire of passion for the Kingdom of God and the proclamation of the joy of the Gospel. All the Lord’s disciples are called to nurture the joy of evangelisation. The Bishops, as those primarily responsible for this proclamation, have the task of promoting the unity of the local Church in her missionary commitment. They are called to acknowledge that the joy of communicating Jesus Christ is expressed in a concern to proclaim him in the most distant places, as well as in a constant outreach to the peripheries of their own territory, where great numbers of the poor are waiting for this message.

Many parts of the world are experiencing a dearth of vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life. Often this is due to the absence of contagious apostolic fervour in communities which lack enthusiasm and thus fail to attract. The joy of the Gospel is born of the encounter with Christ and from sharing with the poor. For this reason I encourage parish communities, associations and groups to live an intense fraternal life, grounded in love for Jesus and concern for the needs of the most disadvantaged. Wherever there is joy, enthusiasm and a desire to bring Christ to others, genuine vocations arise. Among these vocations, we should not overlook lay vocations to mission. There has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the lay faithful in the Church, as well as a recognition that they are called to take an increasingly important role in the spread of the Gospel. Consequently they need to be given a suitable training for the sake of an effective apostolic activity.

5. 'God loves a cheerful giver'. World Mission Day is also an occasion to rekindle the desire and the moral obligation to take joyful part in the mission ad gentes. A monetary contribution on the part of individuals is the sign of a self-offering, first to the Lord and then to others; in this way a material offering can become a means for the evangelisation of humanity built on love.

Dear brothers and sisters, on this World Mission Day my thoughts turn to all the local Churches. Let us not be robbed of the joy of evangelisation! I invite you to immerse yourself in the joy of the Gospel and nurture a love that can light up your vocation and your mission. I urge each of you to recall, as if you were making an interior pilgrimage, that 'first love' with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not for the sake of nostalgia but in order to persevere in joy. The Lord’s disciples persevere in joy when they sense his presence, do his will and share with others their faith, hope and evangelical charity.

Let us pray through the intercession of Mary, the model of humble and joyful evangelisation, that the Church may become a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples and the source of rebirth for our world”.


Vatican City, 14 June 2014 (VIS) – This morning in St. Peter's Square the Holy Father met with the National Confederation for Mercy and the Fratres, Italian groups of blood donors. “All your service takes its meaning and form from this word: 'mercy', a Latin word whose etymological root is 'miseris cor dare', 'to give one's heart to the poor'. This is what Jesus did: he opened his heart wide to man's suffering”. The Pope underlined that the Gospel shows clearly “the gratuity of His love for the suffering and the weak”, and “the closeness, goodness, the tenderness with which Jesus drew alongside the suffering and consoled them, brought them relief, and often healed them”.

He went on to emphasise that we too are called upon “to be close to and to share the conditions of the people we encounter. Our words, gestures and attitudes must express our solidarity, the desire not to remain removed from the pain of others, and must do so with fraternal warmth and without descending to any form of paternalism”. He continued, “there is the risk of being spectators, highly informed but detached from these realities, or of making beautiful speeches that conclude with verbal solutions but a lack of commitment with regard to real problems. Instead, we are required to let ourselves get involved in the human hardships that call out to us every day. Let us imitate Jesus: He went out on the streets and did not plan His encounters with the poor, or the sick, or the incapacitated who crossed His path; however, He stopped with the first He saw, offering succour, a sign of God's closeness which is goodness, providence and love”.

Pope Francis commented that the activity of the Association is inspired by the seven works of corporal mercy: to feed the hungry, to give drink to the thirsty, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick, to visit the imprisoned, to bury the dead. “I encourage you to carry forth your activity with joy and to model it on that of Christ, ensuring that those who suffer may encounter you and depend upon you in their moment of need”.


Vatican City, 14 June 2014 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office published further information on the Pope's engagements during the months of July and August 2014.

During the month of July, all Wednesday general audiences will be suspended. They will resume on the first Wednesday of August in the Vatican, taking place on 6, 20 and 27 August.

On Wednesday, 13 August, there will be no general audience as the Pope will travel to Korea (from 13 to 18 August).

The Angelus prayer will continue to take place in the Vatican every Sunday in July, except during the days of the Holy Father's absence during his trip to Korea (Sundays 15 and 17 August).

The morning mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae will be suspended during the summer, from early July until the end of August, and will resume at the beginning of September.


Vatican City, 14 June 2014 (VIS) – From 11 to 13 June, at the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, the managing board of the Populorum Progressio Foundation held its annual meeting. This year it was held in Rome, primarily to ask Pope Francis for guidance in planning the future of the Foundation after 22 years of work, in the light of his pastoral experience in Latin America.

Of the 135 projects presented in 2014 for the various ecclesiastical jurisdictions in Latin America and the Caribbean, 125 were approved, in conformity with the criteria of the Populorum Progressio, with a total value of 1,800,000 dollars. The majority were initiatives connected to children and young people. In this way, the Foundation will be able to support small communities in their projects for development and human advancement. They are primarily micro-projects in various fields: not only education, but also the creation of wells for drinking water, the institution of revolving funds and seed banks, the construction of community halls, the funding of healthcare projects, and so on.

On Friday Pope Francis received in audience the members of the managing board. During 40 minutes the prelates spoke with him on matters linked to the Latin American continent, taking into account the activity carried out by this Foundation. The Holy Father affirmed, first of all, that Catholic institutions are not NGOs and that they must put into action an anthropology that does not see the person solely as “a mouth to feed”, but must also take into consideration the spiritual dimension, and the yearning for God that every person holds in his heart.

Secondly, the issue of indigenous populations was discussed, and the question of evangelisation and its relationship to charitable works in the context of the works of corporal mercy that cannot be separated from spiritual works. The Holy Father also commented on the ideology centred on the “god of money”, leading to the rejection of two categories of person: children, the future of society, and the elderly, who are its historical memory. He also underlined the dramatic problem of youth unemployment, which leads generations of young people without a future, easy prey to addiction and criminality. Francis asked the Populorum Progressio to pay attention to this sector of the population through projects for education and professional training. The dialogue was frank, open and constructive.

Holding the meeting in Rome made it possible for the managing board to consult with entities such as the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, whose secretary Guzamn Carriquiry Lecour spoke upon request by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., president of the Commission, during the round table of the first day of the meeting. A very fruitful exchange took place regarding the theme of indigenism and the question of formation. It is also worth noting that the Foundation has undertaken a collaborative project with the Catholic University San Antonio de Murcia to establish training courses for agents of pastoral care, often directly responsible to the Foundation's projects in the same area.

The Foundation must face the great challenge of enlarging the geographical horizons of its donations, with the aim of ensuring that all the projects presented may be accepted by the Pope's charity. In this regard, the members of the Foundation were given the aim of increasing awareness among the particular Churches and persons of good will so that the funds available will allow this this work, so greatly appreciated by the Holy Father, to continue with ever greater intensity.


Vatican City, 16 June 2014 (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on Sunday, 22 June, at 10.30 a.m., Cardinal Gerald Cyprien Lacroix, archbishop of Quebec, Canada, will take possession of the title of San Giuseppe all'Aurelio (Via Boccea, 362).


Vatican City, 16 June 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Monica Jimenez de la Jara, ambassador of Chile, presenting her letters of credence.

- Archbishop Luigi Bianco, apostolic nuncio in Honduras.

On Saturday, 14 June, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.


Vatican City, 14 June 2014 (VIS) – The Holy Father has:

- appointed Archbishop George Panikulam, formerly apostolic nuncio in Ethiopia and Djibouti and apostolic delegate in Somalia, as apostolic nuncio in Uruguay.

- appointed Bishop Gary Gordon of Whitehorse, Canada as Bishop of Victoria (area 33,197, population 729,000, Catholics 98,400, priests 47, religious 80), Canada.

- appointed Msgr. John J. Jenik, Fr. Peter J. Byrne, and Fr. John J. O'Hara as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of New York (area 12,212, population 5,854,721, Catholics 2,634,624, priests 1,515, permanent deacons 292, religious 3,840), U.S.A.

Bishop-elect Jenik was born in Manhattan, U.S.A. in 1944 and was ordained a priest in 1970. He holds a bachelor's degree in theology from the St. Joseph's seminary, Yonkers, and a master's degree in education from the Fordham University, Yonkers. He has served as deputy priest of the “St. Jerome's Parish” and the “St. Thomas Aquinas Parish” in the Bronx, New York, and is currently priest of the “Our Lady of Refuge Parish”, the Bronx, New York and regional vicar for north-west Bronx. He was named Prelate of Honour of His Holiness in 1995.

Bishop-elect Byrne was born in Manhattan, U.S.A. in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a bachelor's degree in history and social sciences from the Fordham University, Yonkers, and a bachelor's degree in theology from the St. Joseph's seminary, Yonkers. He has served as deputy priest of the “Holy Family Parish” in the Bronx, New York, and administrator and subsequently priest of the “Immaculate Conception” and the “St. John the Baptist” parishes in Staten Island. He is currently priest of the “St. Elizabeth Parish” in Manhattan, New York.

Bishop-elect O'Hara was born in Jersey City, U.S.A. in 1946 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He holds a bachelor's degree in English from the Seton Hall University, South Orange, and carried out his ecclesiastical studies at the St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers. He has served as deputy priest of the “St. Augustine Parish”, New City, the “St. Charles Parish”, Staten Island, and the “St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus Parish”, Staten Island, where he subsequently became priest in 2000. He is also director for Strategic Parish Planning for the archdiocese of New York.

- appointed Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile, as his special envoy to the Third World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM III), to be held in Bogota, Colombia from 15 to 19 August 2014.

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