I am in Washington, D.C. this week for two important events and am just a short drive away from Baltimore where the U.S. bishops are meeting for their annual fall assembly, Several bishops are in Rome, as you will read below, for their “ad limina” visits and thus not in Baltimore for today’s vote on the new USCCB president and vice president. However, arrangements have been made at the North American College where they are staying to watch the Baltimore proceedings. They will be able to cast a written vote in Rome and two of their brother bishops will tally the written votes and communicate them orally and directly to the Baltimore meeting.

There is an event tonight at CUA, Catholic University of America, a special viewing of a new documentary on the life of Cardinal Francis George, the first Chicago native to become the Archbishop of Chicago, and a CUA alumnus. Following the film, a panel presentation featuring bishops and laity who worked with the Cardinal and knew him best will be offered.

The moderator is Professor Chad Pecknold of CUA’s School of Theology and Religious Studies, and panelists include Bishop Thomas Paprocki, Michael Heinlein, Mary Hallan FioRito and Robert Royal. Bishop Barron, scheduled to be present, had to make a presentation to his fellow bishops in Baltimore.

So much of my life was intertwined with Cardinal George during his years in Chicago that I really wanted to attend this event, inaddition to knowing all the panelists.

The second event I will be attending this week will be at the apostolic nunciature and is offered by the Bethlehem University Foundation. This is an annual event and I am always happy to be present when possible because I am a big fan and follower of the Middle East’s only Catholic University (more later this week)

A number of the U.S. bishops and cardinals tweet or post blogs when they are in Rome for their “ad limina” visits. Cardinal O’Malley of Boston did so last week when bishops from his Region I were in Rome.

Cardinal Dolan has been posting since traveling to Rome yesterday for the start of another regional “ad limina” meeting with Vatican office and the Holy Father. ( ( He is part of Region II (New York).

Some info from the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) website:

Episcopal Regions, Archdioceses, and Dioceses in the U.S.
In the United States, there are 195 archdioceses/dioceses, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
§ 145 Latin Catholic dioceses
§ 32 Latin Catholic archdioceses
§ 15 Eastern Catholic dioceses
§ 2 Eastern Catholic archdioceses
§ 1 Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA
§ 1 Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter

There are currently 7 Vacant (Arch)Dioceses in the United States:
§ Diocese of Alexandria – Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond, Apostolic Administrator
§ Archdiocese of Atlanta – Bishop Joel M. Konzen, Apostolic Administrator
§ Diocese of Helena – Rev. Msgr. Kevin O’Neill, Diocesan Administrator
§ Archdiocese of Anchorage – Bishop Andrew E. Bellisario, CM, Apostolic Administrator
§ Diocese of Shreveport – Very Rev. Peter B. Mangum, Diocesan Administrator
§ Diocese of Rapid City – Very Rev. Michel Mulloy, Diocesan Administrator
§ Diocese of Gary – Rev. Michael J. Yardon, Diocesan Administrator

Bishops: There are 432 active and retired (arch)bishops in the United States
Active Bishops:
§ 5 Cardinal Archbishops
§ 28 Archbishops
§ 157 Diocesan Bishops
§ 76 Auxiliary Bishops
§ 4 Diocesan Administrators

Retired Bishops:
(in accordance with Canon Law, all Bishops are required to submit their resignation upon reaching retirement age of 75. However, the Pope can accept a Bishop’s resignation at any point regardless of age)
§ 5 Retired Cardinals
§ 18 retired Archbishops
§ 96 retired Diocesan Bishops
§ 45 retired Auxiliary Bishops

by Vatican News/USCCB

The Bishops of the United States are set to elect a new President and Vice-President of the episcopal conference, during the fall general assembly that opened on Monday in Baltimore.

In addition, the Bishops are expected to vote for the chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and for Chairman-elect of five standing committees: on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance; Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Evangelization and Catechesis; International Justice and Peace; and Protection of Children and Young People.

On the Agenda
The agenda for the Fall Meeting will also feature votes on the Program for Priestly Formation, for use in the United States; and supplements to the document “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship”, addressed to all the faithful, concerning the political responsibility of Catholics.

Bishops of the Latin-Rite will also be asked to vote on translations of two documents: the “Order of Christian Initiation of Adults as the base text for a future edition of this rite for use in the United States; and a translation of the “Hymns of the Liturgy of the Hours”.
In addition, the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs will request authorization of the full body of Bishops to lead the process of developing a new formal statement and comprehensive vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry in response to the V Encuentro process, a process of ecclesial reflection meant to discern the way in which Latino Catholics respond as Church.

The Bishops will also vote on the Revised Strategic Priorities for the 2021-2024 Strategic Plan for the USCCB, as well as the proposed budgets for 2020. They will elect the new Board of Directors for Catholic Relief Services, which carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas.

Finally, the Bishops are also expected to hear an update on progress toward establishing a nationwide, third-party reporting system for abuse or misconduct by Bishops.