Message from Bishop Powers
C A T H O L I C
D I O C E S E O F S U P E R I O R
1201 HUGHITT AVENUE, P.O. BOX 969, SUPERIOR, WISCONSIN 54880
715-392-2937 FAX 715-395-3149
April 27, 2021 Catholic Diocese of Superior statement on Attorney General clergy abuse review
On April 26th, the Catholic Diocese of Superior participated in a virtual meeting with the Wisconsin Attorney General. The reason for the meeting was for the Attorney General to announce a “new statewide initiative to address clergy sex abuse,” which was announced publicly on April 27th, 2021. The Attorney General is starting a review of “historical cases,” not any new or recent reports or allegations against anyone in the Diocese of Superior.
The Diocese recognizes that some cases were mishandled in the past. That is not today’s Church. The Diocese of Superior implemented a Morals and Ethics Policy in 1988. In 2002 the Catholic Church instituted a comprehensive set of reforms, the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (the Charter). The Diocese of Superior has fully implemented the Charter to hold itself accountable to address sexual abuse of minors. The Church and the Charter have since become a model for how abuse is to be addressed. Our safeties include a coordinator of victim assistance, lay person members appointed to the Diocesan Abuse Review Board, background checks, safe environment and prevention training, mandatory reporting to law enforcement, and independent auditing. In sum, the Diocese of Superior takes the issue of sexual abuse of minors very seriously.
The Diocese of Superior voluntarily hired Defenbaugh & Associates for an independent third-party review of clergy files. The Diocese of Superior is in the process of using the independent report to list the names of clergy against whom substantiated child sexual abuse claims have been made.
The Attorney General stated his intent to request Diocesan records. We will carefully evaluate that request, and the authority for it, when it is received. We have deep concerns about the potential adverse impact this could have on abuse survivors, because the publicity has the potential to re-victimize them. Many of those whose voices have been heard have requested that their information remain private. While we are concerned with the Attorney General’s focus on the Catholic Church, we will keep the lines of communication open.
We have diligently complied with the Charter to prevent abuse, and we believe that the Diocese of Superior has never been safer for our youth. We continue to pray for and offer appropriate assistance to clergy abuse survivors. May God pour out His peace and healing on all victims, survivors, and their families.
OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
During these challenging times, supporting our parish and Diocesan programs has absolutely been a priority. The U.S. Bishops' Subcommittee on Catholic Home Missions is a grant-making agency that has helped. It offers financial support to missionary activities that strengthen the Catholic Church in the United States through its annual fundraising campaign, the Catholic Home Missions Appeal - April 24 and 25, 2021. The CHM Appeal educates American Catholics about mission needs and invites them to assist fellow Catholics in the practice of the faith.
Catholic Home Mission is a designation that used to describe a Diocese like ours that has few resources available to provide basic pastoral services without outside support. Basic pastoral services include Mass, the sacraments, religious education, and ministry training for priests, deacons, religious sisters, and laypeople.
Right now, over 40% of dioceses in the United States and its territories are considered home missions.
I ask that you prayerfully consider participating in the CHM Appeal by mailing your designated donation envelope provided by your parish to your parish office or give it through your parish online portal if it's an option. Through your generosity, many churches over the years have been able to keep their doors open and provide essential pastoral services. ·
This past year, thanks to our generous collection response, the United States Bishops' Committee on the Home Missions awarded the Diocese of Superior $125,000 for Lay Formation and Leadership Development, Seminary Education support, Priestly Education, and Diaconate Formation. With your support, the CHM Appeal can continue to provide essential pastoral outreach here in our Diocesan parishes.
Please prayerfully consider how you can continue to support your parish and the CHM Appeal this year. Thank you, and God bless you and your family during these challenging times.
Lenten greetings to you all again. I write to you to share a resource and an invitation.
On December 8, 2020 the Holy Father, Pope Francis, surprised the Church around the world by declaring this to be the Year of St. Joseph. This being the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s proclamation of St. Joseph as the Patron of the Universal Church, Francis is encouraging us to turn to St. Joseph anew in this hour of need not only for the Church but for the whole world. The year will conclude December 8, 2021.
I propose to you several opportunities for entering into this year. There are of course many pilgrimages, books, and devotions – consecrations, prayers and traditions – that would all be wonderfully appropriate for the year. The Office of Catholic Formation has compiled many of these into a convenient resource that I will append to this letter. Two particular items that I would like to highlight are the availability of a plenary indulgence offered during this year as well as a novena to St. Joseph which will begin March 11th culminating on his feast March 19th.
I would also like to encourage you to read the Holy Father’s letter, Patris Corde, ‘With a Father’s Heart’. In it, he beautifully details the many virtues of St. Joseph that make him a timeless saint particularly well-suited to intercede for us today. His devoted constancy to Mary and Jesus, his chastity, and his faith and trust in God are examples we should all seek to emulate – indeed, they are virtues the world around us needs to see us emulating!
In a world beset by challenge after challenge, St. Joseph remained faithful and hopeful – always deeply rooted in the knowledge that God was with him, guiding him and providing for him. Our world, too, at times feels beset by challenges, but with Joseph-like faith we too can persevere and stay close to the heart of the Lord.
Let us turn to St. Joseph for his intercession for the end of the pandemic, for peace amidst cultural and political unrest and upheaval, and as Pope Francis concludes, especially asking him “for the grace of graces: our conversion.”
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Rev. James P. Powers Bishop, Diocese of Superior
My Dear Friends in Christ,
When we give to the Lord’s work, even amid a pandemic, we demonstrate a deep trust in the Lord to save or provide for us. Lent is a time of sacrifice through giving in preparation for Easter. Each year without interruption our northland parishes participate in two major Lenten initiatives that genuinely impact people in our Diocese and beyond; Operation Rice Bowl and the Black and Indian Mission Collection.
These are challenging times and I invite you to support the Black and Indian Mission Collection on the first weekend of Lent. Financial support for the Black and Indian Mission Collection has been a vital mechanism that supports evangelization and education efforts for American Indians, Alaskan Americans, and African Americans throughout the United States. By our baptism into Christ Jesus, we are all missionaries, beginning with our own families and parishes. Within the Diocese of Superior, we have religious education programs and Catholic elementary schools that rely on grants from the collection each year. Contributing to the collection on the first weekend of Lent provides an opportunity for all Catholics to actively participate in local evangelization programs. This past year our Diocese received a grant for $60,000 that was made possible only through our local participation in the collection.
I also invite you and your family to participate in Operation Rice Bowl beginning Ash Wednesday, February 17 and continuing throughout Lent. Operation Rice Bowl provides parish resources to bring Lenten spirituality to life for families, parish and school communities while continuing to connect Catholics in the Diocese of Superior with our brothers and sisters in need around the world. Seventy-five percent of your gifts through Operation Rice Bowl support Catholic Relief Services’ relief work in 100 countries. Twenty-five percent remain within our diocese. Contact your parish to pick up a Rice Bowl for your Lenten gifts or visit crsricebowl.org to watch videos of the people and communities you support through your Lenten gifts to Operation Rice Bowl and even find special Lenten Recipes.
I ask everyone in the Diocese of Superior to be as generous as possible to Operation Rice Bowl and the Black and Indian Mission Collection this Lent. Together, let us join in the work of the missionaries across the country as our gifts help their support and evangelization efforts.
With warmest personal regards and continuing prayer, I am
Gratefully yours in the Lord,
January 7, 2021
Dear Fathers, Parish Director, and Parish Life Coordinators,
May God bless us all today as we realize the need for His intervention in our divided United States. I can’t believe any of us were not shocked as we watched the disturbing events unfold at the United States Capitol yesterday. I share with you the statement by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in response to yesterday’s events:
“I join people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol. This is not who we are as Americans. I am praying for members of Congress and Capitol staff and for the police and all those working to restore order and public safety.
“The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of this great nation. In this troubling moment, we must recommit ourselves to the values and principles of our democracy and come together as one nation under God. I entrust all of us to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. May she guide us in the ways of peace and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.”
Today and in the days to come, let us join in prayer for our Country. Let us accept our Lord’s invitation to go to prayer asking our Father to give us the grace and strength to help bring forth “Thy Kingdon come, Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” I also invite all to prayerfully recite and reflect on our Pledge of Allegiance as we pray for “One Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
I also offer the following “Prayer for our Nation”:
Almighty God, our Rock and our Salvation, we beg You
to pour out your Holy Spirit upon our fractured nation.
Heal the divisions that separate us and remove all obstacles to authentic unity.
May you guide this great country of ours and lead our citizens
to embrace one another as neighbors and fellow countrymen and women,
created in your own image and likeness.
Give us a fresh opportunity for renewal and true solidarity
for the common good of our homeland.
May we return to our true identity as a people of faith and charity,
Help us to always remain One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with
Liberty and Justice for All. AMEN
-Pedro de la Cruz ©www.CatholicPrayerCards.org 1-888-244-2788 email: [email protected] Card #597
May God bless us all and our Nation.
Most Rev. James P. Powers
Bishop of Superior
NOTICE FROM BISHOP POWERS
Regarding Scam Solicitations
If anyone contacts you through any form of communication (such as calls, texts or emails) claiming to be me, someone from the Diocese (Chancery Office personnel), a priest, parish employee or anyone else honestly affiliated with the Catholic Diocese of Superior asking you to send money or get gift cards of any kind, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, DO NOT RESPOND TO THEIR REQUEST. IT IS A SCAM.
ANYONE OFFICIALLY CONNECTED TO OR ACTING ON BEHALF OF THE DIOCESE OR ANY OF THE PARISHES OR ANY OTHER DIOCESAN SPONSORED ORGANIZATION WILL NOT CONTACT YOU IN THIS MANNER, BECAUSE IF THEY DID, IT WOULD BE GROUNDS FOR THEIR IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL.
For some time now these types of SCAMS have become more prevalent and more sophisticated in their making the request look real. LET ME REPEAT AGAIN, NO ONE OFFICIALLY CONNECTED TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE DIOCESE OF SUPERIOR WILL EVER CONTACT YOU IN THIS MANNER TO EITHER ASK A FAVOR OR SOLICIT FUNDS.
NOTE: This does not say a parish can’t solicit gift cards to be used for raffle prizes etc. However, in this case the cards should be dropped off at the parish office.