The Vatican today announced that Pope Francis has appointed 14 new members to the Dicastery for Bishops, including two nuns and a lay woman from Argentina.

This dicastery, formerly a congregation, is the Vatican office responsible for naming new bishops around the world. Bishops in mission territories, however, are usually appointed by the Dicastery for Evangelization.

Named to this dicastery were Sister Raffaella Petrini, FSE, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State, Sister Yvonne Reungoat, FMA, former superior general of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians and Doctor Maria Lia Zervino, president of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations. (Vatican photo: L-R: Sr. Petrini, Sr. Reungoat and Maria Lia Zervino)

The 2020 Annuario Pontificio or Pontifical Yearbooks listed one nun working in the then Congregation for Bishops, Sister Uribe Solis Maria de los Angels, SGCS.

SISTER RAFFAELLA PETRINI, FSE: (Nov 5, 2021: from “The Angelicum,” the magazine of the Dominican Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, aka the Angelicum): Pope Francis has appointed Angelicum professor, Sr. Raffaella Petrini of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist (F.S.E.), as the Secretary General of the government of Vatican City State. Sr. Raffaella is the first woman to hold this position. Her appointment is a source of joy for our university, since Sr. Raffaella obtained her doctorate from the Angelicum’s faculty of Social Sciences in 2015 and she currently lectures in that same faculty. Sr. Raffaella Petrini belongs to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist Congregation, and was born in 1969. She currently teaches Welfare Economics and Sociology of Economic Processes at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Angelicum. She holds a Doctorate in Social Sciences from the Angelicum in Rome; a Master of Science in Organization Behavior, Barney School of Business, University of Hartford (CT), USA, and a Degree in Political Science (specializing in Industrial Relations) from LUISS in Rome.

SISTER YVONNE REUNGOAT, FMA: Sister Reungoat was born in Plouénan, north-west France on 14 January 1945. She studied Salesian religious life when she was admitted to the Paris Postulancy in 1963. She entered into religious service on 5 August 1965. She earned a degree in History and Geography from the University of Lyon and became a school teacher in Lyon for 11 years. Between 1996 and 2008 she was member of the General Chapter and in 2002 was elected Vicar General of this institute. Sr. Yvonne is one of the first seven women appointed members of the then Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, named on July 8, 2019 by Pope Francis. She is also the 9th Superior General of the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco – and first non-Italian – since 2008. In January 2021, she was appointed Officer of the Légion d’Honneur. She had previously been awarded the Medal of Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour (Wikipedia).

DOCTOR MARIA LIA ZERVINO, president of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations. With today’s papal appointment, she becomes the first lay woman as a member of the Dicastery for Bishops. An Argentinian, she is a friend of Pope Francis’ from his days in their native country. In March 2021, she wrote a personal Letter to Pope Francis that was published in the Jesuit magazine, “America.” (Dear Pope Francis: Thank you for 8 years of challenging and healing the church. But women still deserve more. | America Magazine)


On January 15, 2020, Pope Francis appointed Dr. Francesca Di Giovanni, currently an official of the Secretariat of State, as under-secretary for the Section for Relations with States, responsible for the multilateral sector. Born in Palermo in 1953, Dr. Di Giovanni has worked in the Secretariat for 29 years and holds a law degree. After completing practicum as a notary, she worked in the juridical-administrative area at the International Centre of the Work of Mary (Focolare Movement). On September 15, 1993 she began work as an official in the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State. She has served in the multilateral sector, especially in the areas of migrants and refugees, international humanitarian law, communications, private international law, the status of women, intellectual property, and tourism.

Besides Di Giovanni, perhaps the most well-known and prominent woman in a Vatican leadership position is Barbara Jatta, who was appointed as director of Vatican Museums by Pope Francis in 2017.

In addition, in 2017, the Holy Father named Gabriella Gambino and Linda Ghisoni, two women married with children, as under-secretaries at the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in 2017.

At the Vatican Dicastery for Communications where the number of lay people is high compared to other departments of the Holy See, two women hold senior managerial positions. Slovenian Natasa Govekar heads the Theological-Pastoral Department, the Brazilian Cristiane Murray is Vice Director of the Vatican Press Office.

The numbers of women in leadership positions in the Vatican has grown considerably with Pope Francis in the years of his pontificate.

We may be hearing more in the near future about women being promoted to leadership positions because the March 19, 2022 publication of the new constitution on the Roman Curia, Praedicate Evangelium, foresees a greater presence and participation of the lay faithful in the Roman Curia.

Pope Francis recalls in the Preamble that, “The Pope, the bishops and other ordained ministers are not the only evangelizers in the Church… Every Christian, by virtue of Baptism, is a missionary disciple to the extent that he or she has encountered God’s love in Christ Jesus.” Hence the involvement of laymen and women in the roles of governance and responsibility. If “any member of the faithful” can preside over a Dicastery or a curial body, “given their particular competence, power of governance, and particular function,” it is because every institution of the Curia acts in virtue of the power entrusted to it by the Pope.

That constitution came into force on June 5, 2022, Pentecost Sunday.

(Sources: Vatican News: January 15, 2020; March 6, 2020; March 21, 2022)


I wanted to post this Vatican News story from today as I’ve known Dan Mueggenborg, Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg, for many years, starting with his time in Rome at NAC, the North American College. A few years ago I interviewed him about his book, “Come Follow Me,” reflections on the Sunday Mass liturgy in Liturgical Year C. He is a special friend and now, as a new shepherd, he will be saying, “Come, follow me.”

God bless you, my friend!


Bishop Daniel Henry Mueggenborg has been named to succeed Bishop Randolph Roque Calvo as head of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada, USA.

By Vatican News Staff Reporter

Pope Francis has named Bishop Daniel Henry Mueggenborg as the new Bishop of Reno, USA. Bishop Mueggenborg succeeds Bishop Randolph Roque Calvo, whose resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese was accepted by the Holy Father.

The Diocese of Reno is comprised of 70,852 square miles in the State of Nevada and has a total population of 734,093, of which 89,838 are Catholic.

Biography of Bishop Daniel Mueggenborg

Daniel H. Mueggenborg was born in Okarche, Oklahoma, 15 April 1962, and was formerly a priest of the Diocese of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Oklahoma State University in 1984, studied pre-theology at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana (1984-1985); and earned degrees in theology and biblical theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1985-1990).

Following his priestly ordination on 14 July 1989, in Tulsa, at Holy Family Cathedral, Fr. Mueggenborg undertook various offices in the diocese, including: Parochial Vicar at Saint Mary Parish in Tulsa (1989); St John Parish in Bartlesville (1990-1991), and St Pius X Parish in Tulsa (1991-1994); Chaplain of Bishop Kelley High School (1991-1994); Parochial Administrator of St Cecilia Parish in Claremore (1995-1996); Pastor of the Church of the Madalene, Tulsa; Chaplain of the St Philip Neri Catholic Newman Center at the University of Tulsa (1998-2001); Pastor of St Clement Parish in Bixby (2001-2005); Director of the office of the Diocesan Synod (2002-2005); Assistant Director of Formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome (2005-2006); and Vice-Rector for Administration at the same Pontifical College (2006-2011); and Pastor of Christ the King Parish, Tulsa (2011-2017)

He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle by Pope Francis on 6 April 2017, and was ordained by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain on 31 May 2017. From 2017, he also served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Seattle.



President Trump at March for Life: In a first for the American presidency, President Trump will address tomorrow’s 47th March for Life in Washington, D.C. This annual march is the largest pro-life event in the world. Trump will be the first sitting president to address the March for Life.


Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson Perez, currently the Bishop of Cleveland (USA), as Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia. He succeeds Archbishop Charles Chaput, whose resignation was accepted by the Holy Father. (Vaticannews)

Biography of Bishop Nelson Jesus Perez

Nelson J. Perez was born in Miami, Florida, on June 16, 1961 to David and Emma Perez and is the brother of the late Dr. David Perez and Louis Martin Perez. He was raised in West New York, NJ. Bishop Perez earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1983. He taught at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, prior to entering Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degrees in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

Bishop Perez’s first assignment after ordination to the priesthood was as parochial vicar of Saint Ambrose Parish, Philadelphia (1989-1993). He also served as assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics (1990-1993), founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization (1993-2002), Pastor of Saint William Parish, Philadelphia (2002-2009), and Pastor of Saint Agnes Parish, West Chester, PA (2009-2012).

His work in education included teaching courses in psychology and religious studies at LaSalle University, Philadelphia (1994-2008). Bishop Perez also taught Developmental Psychology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Fall, 2011), in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Reverend Monsignor Nelson J. Perez Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on June 8, 2012. He was ordained a bishop on July 25, 2012 in Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, NY by Bishop William F. Murphy.

As Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, Bishop Perez served as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate, representing the Diocesan Ordinary and overseeing sixty-six parishes. He served as the Episcopal Vicar for Hispanic Ministry, overseeing fifty-four parishes with pastoral ministry to Hispanics; Formation Programs, and Ecclesial Movements.

In addition, Bishop Perez served as a member of the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Priest Personnel Board, Presbyteral Council, corporate member of Catholic Health Services; vice-chair of Catholic Charities Board of Directors and member of its Executive and Governance Committees, member of the Diocesan Pastoral Council, chair of the Diocesan V Encuentro Planning Committee, chair of the Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry, and was formerly a member of the Diocese’s TeleCare TV Board.

As a part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Perez serves as Chair of the Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church, a member of the Administrative Committee of the USCCB, and a member of the Bishops’ Committee of Religious Liberty. He is former Chair of the Bishop’s Sub-Committee for Hispanic Affairs and former member of the Bishop’s Sub-Committee for the Campaign for Human Development.

He speaks English and Spanish.


Following is the statement released today from the President of the Vatican’s AIF, Financial Information Authority, Carmelo Barbagallo:

“I am pleased to announce that, last night, the President of the Egmont Group, Mr Mariano Federici, decided to revoke the decision taken on 13 November 2019 to suspend the Financial Information Authority (AIF) from the international information circuit, Egmont Secure Web. This is a very important step, one which demonstrates the confirmed trust of the Egmont Group in the financial information system of the Vatican. This decision follows the explanations provided by AIF to Egmont concerning the extraordinary nature of the facts that gave rise to the suspension and AIF’s assurances that the information received from the Egmont circuit will be treated in a manner that is consistent with the rules that apply to that circuit, partly thanks to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Promoter of Justice. The decision to revoke the suspension makes it possible for AIF to resume its collaboration with foreign financial intelligence units in full transparency and in the spirit of active cooperation.”

Vaticannews: The President of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority, Carmelo Barbagallo, announces the lifting of the suspension placed on it by the Egmont Group, and says it can now resume its collaboration with its peers in other countries.

In a statement released on Thursday, the President of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority announced that a previous suspension of its participation in the Egmont Group, had been lifted:

“I am pleased,” President Barbagallo said in his statement, “to announce that, last night, the President of the Egmont Group, Mr Mariano Federici, decided to revoke the decision taken on 13 November 2019 to suspend the Financial Information Authority (AIF) from the international information circuit, Egmont Secure Web.”

Barbagallo called this news “a very important step” and said it expresses “the confirmed trust of the Egmont Group in the financial information system of the Vatican.”


Two interesting things about today’s Vaticannews posts:

– The daily press office bulletin notes that, among those the Pope received today in audience were U.S. bishops from Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana (Region VII), on their ad limina visit. Notably missing was the name of Bishop Jenky of Peoria, the diocese that was to have hosted the beatification of Venerable Fulton Sheen on December 21.

– As you will see below, the Vatican today published a list of names of resignations Pope Francis has accepted and appointments he has made. We did this in our daily bulletins for over 21 years when I worked at the Vatican Information Service. VIS was shut down several years ago as part of the Pope’s reorganization of Vatican communications. I’d love to have a euro for every time I have been asked when VIS will come back! I’d love to have collected a euro during those 21 years when bishops and nuncios in particular told us VIS was the best thing the Vatican had ever done in communications! AND I heard from those same folks (and others, over the years) that the first thing they did was scroll down the page to the Nominations section (it was always at the bottom of our news reports)!

Pope Francis, as I write, is celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the liturgical feast day of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe. He has done this for several years now. Journalists have been informed that he will deliver an off-the-cuff homily as there is no prepared written text. I am not sure but believe the US bishops from Region VII will concelebrate at this Mass.

Unless you are fluent in Italian, you will not be able to enjoy the new website of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints (www.causesanti.va), available now only in Italian. A congregation communique says the site offers the bios of 700 saints, has a search engine, presents the saint of the day, and has interactive information on the canonical procedures leading up to beatification and canonization.


Tomorrow, December 13th marks the 50th anniversary of Pope Francis’ ordination to the priesthood. Vatican News celebrates this milestone recalling some of Pope’s reflections regarding priests and the priesthood.
By Sergio Centofanti

On December 13, 1969, just four days before his 33rd birthday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was ordained a priest. His vocation dates back to September 21, 1953, the Feast of St. Matthew, the tax collector converted by Jesus: it was during a confession that day, that the future Pope had a profound experience of God’s mercy. The Pope was born in December 17, 1936

To read some highlights and explore a photo gallery, click here:


Pope Francis has named new Bishops for dioceses in South Sudan, the Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, the United States, and Poland.

By Vatican News

On Thursday, the Holy See announced the following resignations and appointments for various episcopal sees around the world.

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has:
– accepted the resignation of Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro, M.C.C.J., from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Juba, South Sudan; and at the same time, named Bishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla, until now Bishop of Torit, as Archbishop of the same Metropolitan See;
– accepted the resignation of Bishop Jean Gardin, C.S.Sp., from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Impfondo, Republic of Congo; and at the same time, named Father Daniel Nzika, of the clergy of Ouessa, and until now Vicar General, as Bishop of the same Diocese;
– named Father Julius Yakubu Kundi, of the clergy of Zaria, and until now Pastor of Saint John in Muchia, as Bishop of the Diocese of Kafanchan, Nigeria;
– named Bishop Sedundo René Coba Galarza, until now Military Ordinary of Ecuador, as Bishop of Ibarra, Ecuador;
– accepted the resignation of Bishop Carlos Germán Mesa Ruiz from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Socorro y San Gil, Colombia; and named Father Luis Augusto Campos Flórez, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Bogotá, Colombia, and until now Episcopal Vicar of the Archdiocesan Zone of the Holy Spirit, as Bishop of the same Diocese;
– named Father Giorgio Barbetta, of the clergy of Gubbio, Italy, as titular Bishop of Isola and Auxiliary of the Diocese of Huari, Peru, where he has been serving as a fidei donum priest, and Rector of the Señor de Pomallucay Seminary;
– accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul Joseph Swain from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, United States; and named Father Donald Edward DeGrood, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, until now Pastor of St John the Baptist Parish in Savage, Minnesota, as Bishop of the same Diocese;
– named Father Adrian Jósef Galbas, S.A.C., until now Provincial of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate of the Province of Poznań, as Auxiliary of the Diocese of Ełk, Poland, assigning him the titular see of Naisso