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Maryland Bishops Encourage Use of Covid Vaccine

Maryland Catholic women

“Solidarity finds concrete expression in service, which can take a variety of forms in an effort to care for others. And service in great part means ‘caring for vulnerability, for the vulnerable members of our families, our society, our people.’”
Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti, 115

Download PDF: English |  Spanish

December 12, 2020
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

As the current pandemic continues to devastate families and communities, we must, as people of faith, continue to take necessary steps to protect the health and life of our families and communities, even when it is difficult or uncomfortable.

We are grateful to the clergy, religious and lay people in our parishes, schools, social service programs and health care facilities who have been providing ministry under very difficult circumstances, as well as the parishioners and parents who have made significant sacrifices to help protect public health.

We look with hope toward recent developments to produce effective and life-saving vaccines. We are heartened by the quick progress to date and look forward to working with federal, state and local government leaders to promote widespread vaccination against COVID-19 in the interests of protecting public health and human life.

In response to some questions about the source of the vaccines, we wish to provide some clarity regarding the ethical and moral status of COVID-19 vaccines. As a recent communication from the chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pro-life and doctrine committees notes: 

“Neither the Pfizer nor the Moderna vaccine involved the use of cell lines that originated in fetal tissue taken from the body of an aborted baby at any level of design, development, or production.”

At the same time, they add, “They are not completely free from any connection to abortion, however, as both Pfizer and Moderna made use of a tainted cell line for one of the confirmatory lab tests of their products. There is thus a connection, but it is relatively remote.”

Over a number of years, the Holy See has addressed the use of tainted vaccines and, as the chairmen write, “at the level of the recipient, it is morally permissible to accept vaccination when there are no alternatives and there is a serious risk to health.”

Therefore, a Catholic can in good conscience receive these COVID-19 vaccines. Moreover, given the grave risk of harm to others, we strongly encourage the faithful to receive a vaccine against COVID, unless medically indicated otherwise. It is vitally important that the most vulnerable among us and those who are from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID receive the vaccine swiftly. It also is imperative that pharmaceutical companies be urged to develop vaccines that fully respect the dignity of the human person at all stages.

This has been a difficult year. We mourn with all those who have lost loved ones. We pray for the faithful departed and for all those experiencing deep suffering, including illness, loss of employment, isolation, loneliness and anxiety. May the intercession of Mary, Health of the Sick, bring healing and comfort to our Catholic community. And may she draw us ever closer to her Son, the Divine Physician.

In Christ,

Most Reverend William E. Lori 
Archbishop of Baltimore

Wilton Cardinal Gregory
Archbishop of Washington


Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington

Most Reverend Roy E. Campbell Jr.
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington


Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville-Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington

Most Reverend Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore


Most Reverend Denis J. Madden
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Baltimore

Most Reverend Adam J. Parker
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore


On Dec. 21, 2020, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released a "Note on the morality of using some anti-COVID-19 vaccines" that discusses the morality of use of these vaccines in detail and also notes, "from the ethical point of view, the morality of vaccination depends not only on the duty to protect one's own health, but also on the duty to pursue the common good."

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Webinar on End of Life Planning

In Joyful Hope Webinar

Watch the recording online here | Originally aired Nov. 11, 2020

Planning for end of life care can be uncomfortable and you may not know where to start, but it's important to make sure your faith and wishes are known and followed. Our free webinar, In Joyful Hope: Planning Your Healthcare, will bring together experts to guide you through the process. Topics will include Catholic teaching on end of life care, guidance on filling out an advance health care directive, and options for excellent care, including palliative and hospice care. 

Panelists: Rev. Michael DeAscanis, STL; Shannon Hammond, Esq.; and Joan Panke, NP.

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Congratulations to Cardinal-elect Gregory


Jenny Kraska, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference, spoke about the elevation of Washington’s Archbishop, Cardinal-designate Wilton D. Gregory, to the College of Cardinals. Cardinal-designate Gregory serves on the Board of Governors of the Conference:

“Today’s appointment of Cardinal-designate Gregory to the College of Cardinals is a great honor for him, the people he serves, and for all of us here in Maryland. Cardinal-designate Gregory is a pastor at heart whose gentle ministry is guided by his deep love for Christ. The universal Church will gain from his wisdom, kindness and faith as he takes on this new responsibility as a special advisor to the Holy Father and papal elector.

"As our state and nation continue to grapple with racial tension, the appointment of the first African-American Cardinal in history also has special significance. Throughout his ministry, Cardinal-designate Gregory has sought to address wrongs and bridge differences. Earlier this month, he participated in a virtual town hall on police reform in Maryland and in June, he and the other bishops of Maryland released a letter on racial justice.

"We offer him our prayers and support!"

(Photo credit: Catholic Standard)

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Town Halls on Police Reform



The Maryland Catholic Conference is convening two virtual town halls to discuss police reform and racial justice in Maryland, in partnership with two members of the Maryland House of Delegates Workgroup to Address Police Reform and Accountability, Delegate Darryl Barnes (D-25, Prince George’s County and chair of the Legislative Black Caucus) and Delegate Samuel “Sandy” Rosenberg (D-41, Baltimore City).

The town halls will be held:

  • Tuesday, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. (our virtual "host" is Bishop McNamara High School, Forestville)
  • Monday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. (our virtual "host" is St. Bernardine parish, Baltimore)

Parishioners are invited to submit questions in advance or during the event here (please note which town hall). The town halls will be streamed live on the Maryland Catholic Conference’s Facebook page and can be accessed at


Panelists for the Oct. 6 town hall are Archbishop of Washington Wilton D. Gregory; Delegate Barnes; William Milam, vice-president of the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police; and Renee Mortel Joy, chief of the Public Integrity Unit of the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office and member of the Prince George’s County Police Reform Work Group.

Panelists for the Oct. 26 town hall are Archbishop of Baltimore William E. Lori, Delegate Rosenberg, State Senator Jill P. Carter (D-41, City of Baltimore), and Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael S. Harrison.

The House of Delegates’ Police Reform Workgroup is holding hearings, reviewing policies and procedures, identifying best practices for reform and accountability, and making recommendations prior to the January 2021 General Assembly session.

Bishops' Letter on Racial Justice

In June 2020, the Maryland bishops released a statement on racial justice that called for “…healing, harmony and solutions that recognize that every person has been created in the image of God and that every person possesses human dignity. …We pray that God will guide us during these difficult times and give us the courage to act with conviction in our duty to seek racial equality, heal divisions, and build bridges of understanding and hope.”

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Celebrating 100 Years of Women's Suffrage

Maryland Catholic women

"The world doesn't need what women have, it needs what women are." - Edith Stein

Download PDF: English | FrenchSpanish | Vietnamese

 August 26, 2020

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Today, the United States recognizes an important milestone. One hundred years ago, women gained the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment was the culmination of decades of steadfast advocacy, often in the face of violence and discrimination, by heroic women from all walks of life throughout our nation.

As we celebrate this landmark achievement, we also acknowledge that many obstacles still must be overcome to achieve full recognition of the dignity of all women in our society.

Given the contributions of women to the electorate over the last century, it seems almost inconceivable that so many did not support women’s suffrage 100 years ago, including some of our predecessors. We express our deep gratitude for the women who devoted their lives to fighting for the dignity of women at a time when this was considered unacceptable.

The life of the Church in Maryland and, indeed, throughout our nation and world, has been enriched by women of the greatest caliber, women who have left their mark not only on the Church, but on all aspects of civilization. These women, and countless others, continue to inspire new generations of girls and women to share their unique gifts in service to the Church and for the common good.

As we mark this historic occasion, we also recognize the many hurdles women continue to confront as they live out their vocations.

We must remain vigilant to ensure that all women are treated with respect, acceptance and sincerity in the home, church, and workplace. We recall the prophetic words of St. John Paul II, who in his Letter to Women, said,“…there is an urgent need to achieve real equality in every area: equal pay for equal work, protection for working mothers, fairness in career advancements, equality of spouses with regard to family rights and the recognition of everything that is part of the rights and duties of citizens in a democratic State” while at the same time recognizing that  “…much remains to be done to prevent discrimination against those who have chosen to be wives and mothers.”  

In Christ is Alive,  Pope Francis calls forth respect for women and acknowledgement that we as Church must recognize our own history: “[A] living Church can react by being attentive to the legitimate claims of those women who seek greater justice and equality. A living Church can look back on history and acknowledge a fair share of male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement, abuse and sexist violence.”

He goes on to note the desire of young women in the Church to have women role models and mentors. To this end, we are grateful in a particular way to the women who serve in leadership positions in our own (arch)dioceses, parishes, schools, and Catholic ministries for the witness and encouragement they provide to young people as women of faith, intelligence and leadership. We hold up, as well, all women who provide their children and our society a loving witness to the beauty of family life.

Our gratitude will never fully capture the heartfelt love we have for the many women in our own lives who have left an indelible mark on our character and vocations, beginning with our heavenly mother Mary. The enduring example of womanhood that Mary provides is a guiding light for all women; it is the ultimate example of unconditional love, sacrifice, strength, grace, and perseverance.

It is our desire that the next 100 years of our nation’s history will serve as a time of continued progress that never fails to recognize the God-given dignity of all women. The voices and contributions of women are needed now more than ever as we seek to build a culture that recognizes that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights and those rights must be protected and preserved.

We pray that all people of good will will join us in celebrating this momentous anniversary for women in the United States and may God’s grace continue to bless all women as they seek to live out their vocations.

In Christ,

Most Reverend William E. Lori 
Archbishop of Baltimore

Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Archbishop of Washington
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington
Most Reverend Roy E. Campbell Jr.
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington

Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville-Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington

Most Reverend Michael W. Fisher
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington

Most Reverend Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore
Most Reverend Denis J. Madden
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Baltimore
Most Reverend Adam J. Parker
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore



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What do the recent Supreme Court decisions say?


The Supreme Court of the United States issued a number of opinions at the end of this year's session that directly impact Catholic entities or have been followed closely by the Church. Our staff summarized the issues and what the decisions mean: 

Little Sisters of the Poor Win on Religious Freedom    

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a “contraceptive mandate” requiring the Little Sisters of the Poor to pay for contraceptives in their healthcare plan against their religious and moral objections. After a number of challenges, these women religious made their third appearance at the Supreme Court earlier this year in a case about religious freedom and conscience protections. In a 7-2 decision in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the Court upheld the authority of a government agency to promulgate rules exempting employers with religious or moral objections from providing contraceptive coverage. The Little Sisters hope this will bring finality to their right to conscience protections on the issue.

Faith-Based Organizations May Employ Those Who Uphold Their Mission

In two cases consolidated into one for the Supreme Court’s decision, St. James School v. Biel and Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, the Court upheld and expanded upon constitutional protections for faith-based organizations in employment decisions. In both cases, Catholic schools were sued by teachers for employment decisions made relative to whether the teachers were effectively carrying out the schools’ mission and identity as faith-based institutions. The Court had previously ruled that the “ministerial exception” could apply in instances where a person was in fact considered a “minister.”  In a 7-2 decision, the Court expanded upon that principle, ruling that faith-based schools may hire those who agree to carry out their faith mission and beliefs.

States Cannot Prevent Faith-Based Schools from Educational Choice Programs

Rooted in 19th-century anti-Catholic bigotry, “Blaine Amendments” in state constitutions that prohibited aid to faith-based schools have been used to block state-funded assistance to families and faith-based schools. In Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, Ms. Espinoza, a single mother working three jobs, used a state-funded scholarship program to provide her children with the best education for their needs. The program was invalidated under Montana’s Blaine Amendment because it allowed families to choose a faith-based school. In a decision for educational choice and religious freedom, the Court invalidated the Blaine Amendment and ruled that it is unconstitutionally discriminatory for states to prohibit the participation of faith-based schools in state-funded programs simply due to their religious affiliation. Maryland does not have a Blaine Amendment.

Louisiana Abortion Regulations Struck Down

June Medical Services v. Russo dealt with a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring physicians to have admitting privileges at local hospitals in order to perform abortions. The Court held that its 2016 precedent in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt applied. There, an almost identical Texas law was struck down as an unconstitutional impediment to abortion. Though Chief Justice Roberts disagreed with the 2016 decision, he indicated that he was bound by the principles of legal precedent in concurring in the 5-4 decision. 

DREAMERS Handed Victory in DACA Case

Since 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program has postponed the deportation of those brought into the United States as children. The program was created largely to ensure that students (a/k/a “DREAMERS”) who were by and large raised in the United States could continue their education and not be subject to deportation. In Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, the Court considered whether it was lawful for the current administration to phase out the DACA Program. The Court ultimately decided that the current administration did not have the authority to phase out the program in the manner that it did, and the program was thus upheld. 

Clean Water Act Victory for Environmental Conservation

An environmental case of interest here in Maryland also was decided. In County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, the Court considered the just how far the Clean Water Act was intended to go toward protecting oceans and other navigable waters from harmful waste discharge. In a 6-3 decision, the court upheld a significant expansion of the instances where a permit is required for pollutant discharge into those waters, thus further protecting against harmful pollutants finding their way into our waterways. 

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July 15: Taxes, Scholarships & Health Care!

July 15 deadline


Wednesday, July 15, 2020 is an important deadline in three areas: 2019 taxes must be filed; it is the last day for uninsured Maryland residents to take advantage of a special window to enroll in health care and it is the deadline to apply for a Maryland state BOOST scholarship for your children to attend a non-public school this fall.

The state will be awarding $7.5 million in need-based scholarships. The application deadline was delayed due to the pandemic and change in tax filing date. The state has indicated plans to start reviewing applications later this month. 

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Maryland Bishops Release Letter on Racial Justice

racial justice letter

Building Bridges of Understanding and Hope

Download PDF: English | Spanish |
French | KoreanVietnamese 


June 15, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

For centuries, our country and our State have been plagued with problems of racial inequality and injustice. Although many people have acted in good faith in service and prayer to bring about just change, to acknowledge the dignity of each life, and to love one another, our current crisis causes us to reflect on how much we still must do together to make impactful progress. We vividly recall our own Church’s past sins and failings and admit to them freely.

With regret and humility, we must recognize that as Catholic leaders and as an institution we have, at times, not followed the Gospel to which we profess and have been too slow in correcting our shortcomings. For this reason, it is incumbent upon us to place ourselves at the forefront of efforts to remove the inequalities and discrimination that are still present in Maryland and our nation today.

Despite our painful history, the Church in Maryland has been deeply enriched by the gifts of Black Catholics. We think of Mother Mary Lange, who founded the first Catholic school for Black children in the United States, in Baltimore in 1828. One year later, she founded the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first religious order for women of African descent. Today, she is a Servant of God, in the process to be canonized a Catholic saint, a cause for which all Catholics should pray.

Maryland is also home to the National Black Catholic Congress, which acts as a witness and guide to the realities of the Black Catholic experience across the United States. It is also home to the Josephite priests and brothers, whose mission is to serve the African American community.

At a time when school segregation, sadly, was the norm in Maryland, two of our predecessors – Cardinal Patrick O’Boyle and Cardinal Lawrence Shehan – began the process of desegregating Catholic schools and parishes.

On March 12, 1950, in a homily on race relations, then-Archbishop O’Boyle said, "Unless the full resources of the Church are placed at the disposal of every single member of the church and made available to every man, there is no Catholicism worthy of the name. Our Sacraments, and our societies, our Mass and mysteries of the Faith are a common possession. Just as God is Our Father What is Catholic is ours; it is all of us united as one."

This history provides the context for us today and should act to animate our prayers, thoughts and actions for an end, finally, to the sin of racism that remains with us and in us. The unjust killing of George Floyd and other Black Americans, and the subsequent protests, rallies and vigils that continue to take place make it clear that the conscience of our nation is on trial as questions of race and equality confront each and every one of us.

We must recognize that all of us share the same human nature and dignity because we are all created in the image and likeness of God; this is why human life is sacred. We call all people of good will to prayer to root out any hatred and animosity that has taken hold in one’s own heart. Inspired by Jesus’ command to “love one another as I love you” (John 15:12), we must seek to know and understand one another and to work to break down barriers through listening, prayer and a commitment to change hearts and minds.

However, prayer and dialogue, alone, are not enough. We must act to bring about true change. United, we seek healing, harmony and solutions that recognize that every person has been created in the image of God and that every person possesses human dignity. Over the years, the Catholic Bishops of Maryland have stood firmly in our support of laws that sought to bring about justice and an end to unequal treatment based on race.

This includes access to health and maternal care, meaningful educational opportunities, prison reforms, restorative justice initiatives, housing anti-discrimination efforts, juvenile justice reforms, and ending the grossly disparate practice of capital punishment. We commend the efforts of our state lawmakers to convene working groups to discuss legislative initiatives that are needed for reform, transparency, and racial equality. We look forward to playing an active part in these conversations on both a state and national level, and to lending our voices to those whose own have been stifled or altogether silenced by those who seek to quiet them.

We continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will enlighten the minds and hearts of our elected representatives so that truth and justice will prevail over the falsehoods of discrimination and injustice.

We pray that God will guide us during these difficult times and give us the courage to act with conviction in our duty to seek racial equality, heal divisions, and build bridges of understanding and hope.

In Christ,

Most Reverend William E. Lori                  
Archbishop of Baltimore
Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
Archbishop of Washington
Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly
Bishop of Wilmington
Most Reverend Roy E. Campbell Jr.
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Most Reverend Mario E. Dorsonville-Rodriguez
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Most Reverend Michael W. Fisher
Auxiliary Bishop of Washington
Most Reverend Adam J. Parker
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore
Most Reverend Denis J. Madden
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Baltimore
Bishop-designate Bruce Lewandowski, CSsR
Auxiliary Bishop-designate of Baltimore



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Ecuador needs our help with COVID relief

Ecuador covid relief

Ecuador needs our help. Join us in supporting our brothers and sisters in need today!

The Maryland Catholic Conference is joining with a coalition of leaders to send 20 tons of medical and cleaning supplies to help relieve the suffering from the coronavirus in our sister state of Ecuador.

Donation date extended to July 18!

Our brothers and sisters in Ecuador have suffered terribly from the Covid-19 pandemic, with over 40,000 confirmed cases and 3,500 deaths, more than any South American country except Brazil. The most populous city, Guayaquil, has been especially hard hit. Frontline workers are facing overwhelmed hospitals, little personal protective equipment, families are lacking access to health care, and the government is struggling to collect the bodies from the staggering death toll.

Our neighbors are in need, and we as the Catholic community want to reach out in solidarity. As the body of Christ, let's open our hearts to our sister state of Ecuador.

Collect Donations

Hospitals and frontline workers desperately need personal protective equipment (PPE), and medical and cleaning supplies including

  • Surgical or N95 masks
  • Exam and surgical gloves
  • Dishwashing gloves
  • Disposable and reusable surgical gowns
  • Face shields
  • Shoe covers
  • Vitamins (prenatal, kids, elderly)
  • Clorox wipes
  • Liquid bleach
  • Liquid soap
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant supplies
  • Unopened bedsheets
  • Unopened blankets
  • Unopened pillows

Supplies can be dropped off at the following business locations by July 14 (click the location for directions) 

Mr Car Locations

Toro Taxes
Silver Spring

An Ecuadorian military plane will deliver the donations on July 14; items must be dropped off prior to this date to make it on the plane.

Donate to the Ecuadent Foundation

You can make a secure donation through Paypal to the Ecuadent Foundation which is organizing these efforts. Ecuadent has directed medical missions to Ecuador for the past 30 years, providing excellent medical and dental care to impoverished children in the country. Each donation will go directly to providing medical supplies, cleaning supplies and food to those in need.

Relief supplies are being organized by a coalition including the Maryland Secretary of State, Ecuadent Foundation, Ecuadorian Consulate in D.C., Ecuadorian Armed Forces, Maryland’s Sister State Program and the Healing Hands Foundation.

Thank you for opening your hearts to our brothers and sisters in Ecuador. For more information, please contact Molly Sheahan at the Maryland Catholic Conference, [email protected].

Ecuador necesita nuestra ayuda. ¡Acompáñanos a apoyar a nuestros hermanos y hermanas necesitados hoy!

La Conferencia Católica de Maryland se une a una coalición de líderes para enviar 20 toneladas de suministros médicos y de limpieza para ayudar a aliviar el sufrimiento del coronavirus en nuestro estado hermano de Ecuador.

Nuestros hermanos/as en Ecuador han sufrido terriblemente por la pandemia Covid-19, con más de 40.000 casos confirmados y 3.500 muertes, más que cualquier país sudamericano excepto Brasil.

La ciudad más poblada, Guayaquil, ha sido especialmente afectada. Los trabajadores de primera línea se enfrentan a hospitales abrumados, poco equipo de protección personal, las familias carecen de acceso a atención médica y el gobierno está teniendo dificultades para recoger los cuerpos de los muertos por la asombrosa cifra de víctimas del virus.

Nuestros vecinos están necesitados y nosotros como comunidad católica queremos acercarnos en solidaridad. Como el cuerpo de Cristo, abramos nuestros corazones a nuestro estado hermano de Ecuador.

Colecciona Donaciones:

Los hospitales y los trabajadores de primera línea necesitan desesperadamente equipo de protección personal (EPP) y suministros médicos y de limpieza, incluyendo: 

  • Mascarillas quirúrjicas
  • Guantes quirúrjicos y para examinación
  • Guantes para lavar platos
  • Batas quirúrjicas desechables y reutilizables
  • Protectores faciales
  • Cubiertas para zapatos
  • Vitaminas prenatales o para niños y ancianos
  • Toallitas húmedas con Cloro
  • Blanqueador
  • Jabón líquido
  • Desinfectantes
  • Sábanas, cobijas, y almohadas nuevas
  • Otros suministros médicos (consulte la lista)

Los suministros se pueden dejar en las siguientes ubicaciones antes del 14 de julio (haz clic para indicaciones):

Mr Car concesionarios

Toro Taxes
Silver Spring

Un avión militar ecuatoriano entregará las donaciones en el 14 de julio; artículos deben ser dejados antes de esta fecha.

Dona a la Fundación Ecuadent

Se pueden donar de forma segura por Paypal a la Fundación Ecuadent que organiza estos esfuerzos.  Ecuadent han dirigido misiones médicas a Ecuador durante los últimos treinta años, proporcionando excelente atención médica y dental a niños pobres en el país. Cada donación se destinará a proporcionar suministros médicos, suministros de limpieza y alimentos a los necesitados.

Los suministros de ayuda están siendo organizados por una coalición que incluye al Secretario de Estado de Maryland, la Fundación Ecuadent, el Consulado Ecuatoriano en D.C., las Fuerzas Armadas Ecuatorianas, el Programa de Estado Hermanas de Maryland y la Fundación Healing Hands.

Gracias por abrir sus corazones a nuestros hermanos/as en Ecuador. Para obtener más información, contacte a Molly Sheahan en la Conferencia Católica de Maryland, [email protected].


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Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore

Bishop-designate Lewandowski

The Maryland Catholic Conference congratulates Father Bruce Lewandowski, C.Ss.R., who was named an Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore today by Pope Francis.

Bishop-designate Lewandowski, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus/Sagrado Corazón de Jesus Parish in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood and the archdiocesan delegate for Hispanic ministry, will continue in these roles as Auxiliary Bishop.

He has been a strong advocate for immigrants and the marginalized. While at Sacred Heart, he worked with agencies in Baltimore City to develop two major initiatives addressing pressing needs in the Spanish-speaking community.

These included the creation of a parish ID for undocumented residents. City agencies recognized these as verification of residency so individuals could receive emergency and other services. 

The Bishop-designate also recently partnered with the Baltimore City Health Department and Johns Hopkins Medical Center to create a COVID-19 testing site at the parish, which is located in a predominantly Latino neighborhood.

“The Maryland Catholic Conference is elated at the appointment of Bishop-elect Lewandowski, who has been a steady and pastoral voice on behalf of Baltimore’s Hispanic community, as well as an advocate for their dignity,” said Jenny Kraska, Executive Director of the Conference.

She noted, “He has demonstrated a willingness to work with public and private partners alike to improve the lives of others, especially the marginalized. We look forward to welcoming him to the Conference’s Board of Governors and to the addition of his voice as we represent the public policy interests of Catholics across Maryland.”

Bishop-designate Lewandowski was ordained in 1994 as a priest for the Baltimore Province of the Redemptorists

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