Four-day convocation in Orlando called 'a journey' for U.S. church
By Laura Dodson Catholic News Service

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) -- Theirs was a monumental responsibility: shepherding lay leaders, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, religious, deacons, musicians, event staff and a legion of volunteers at the historic "Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America" July 1–4 in Orlando.

"This convocation is a journey, and there will be three of us here to guide you through the next four days," said Bishop Edward J. Burns of Dallas, one of the event's emcees.

The consistent presence -- on stage and off -- of Bishop Burns, along with emcee Julianne Stanz, director of new evangelization for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and moderator Gloria Purvis, co-host of "Morning Glory" on EWTN Radio, kept the entire program flowing smoothly despite any behind-the-scenes hiccups.

Sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the convocation brought together more than 3,100 lay and religious leaders from 160 dioceses and 185 national organizations. They gathered to explore the current challenges and strengths of the church and its evangelization efforts.

Bishop John G. Noonan of Orlando, host of the convocation, joked that when New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, an event chairman, "called me five years ago to tell me he'd like to come to Orlando in July -- he didn't tell me how many he had invited!"

"Welcome as we celebrate the joy of the Gospel!" Bishop Noonan told the delegates.

"All the good, dedicated, committed lay faithful present truly touched me," Bishop Burns said in an interview for Catholic News Service, "especially knowing that they are the Catholic leaders in their dioceses and Catholic organizations."

"It was powerful to see them engaged in conversation on how we can be missionary disciples," he said. "In addition, seeing the authentic faith of every person on stage and how they shared it so honestly. It was incarnational -- we definitely encountered the word made flesh."

Stanz, who is a wife and the mother of three young children, was impressed by the numbers of Catholics, especially the young people who were all hearing the message personally and realizing, "I can do this!"

"There was the transformative message that each of us is being called and sent out not only by the bishops but also by Jesus Christ himself," Stanz said. "What was most surprising was the availability of the cardinals, bishops, speakers -- the experts working in ministry that made conversations familiar, intimate. I didn't expect it.

"People witnessed to their struggles and the challenge of living out their Catholic faith in 21st-century America. I saw the face of Jesus very clearly," she added.

In an interview, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said, "I understand the pain and the challenges and this is a blessing for me to serve them."

"Even with these difficult subjects, there was always openness, happiness and congeniality," Purvis said. "People were willing to share intimate things, they want to work on everything to make it right, to do what we need to do. It was not about me -- it was about the conversation and how we can better serve the Lord."

A highlight for Purvis was eucharistic adoration. "The public witness on our knees praising God -- I was overcome with tears and grateful to be able to worship. I was very much humbled by how kind people were in my role as moderator. I felt they were encouraging me."

The event, which marked a first in U.S. church history, was a national response to Pope Francis' 2013 apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), according to organizers.

The exhortation lays out a vision of the church dedicated to evangelization -- or missionary discipleship -- in a positive way, with a focus on society's poorest and most vulnerable, including the aged, unborn and forgotten.

In addition to lay delegates, attendees included 155 cardinals, archbishops and bishops, along with 380 priests, 175 women religious, 125 deacons and 10 religious brothers.

The top 10 states that sent delegates included California, Texas, Florida, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Minnesota and Michigan. The top dioceses sending delegations were Cincinnati, Orlando, New York and Miami. Nine of the Eastern Catholic eparchies sent over 50 delegates.

Following the final plenary, delegates met with their respective bishops for goal setting as a result of the convocation. Bishop Noonan was effusive in his gratitude to and for all who had contributed in making the event so seamless.

"What do you want to do for the next few weeks?" Bishop Noonan asked his delegates. "Rest and read over what you have absorbed -- deepen the experience. Listen again -- the seeds have been planted. Make it more of a spiritual time.

"Pope Francis has called us to get moving," he continued. "People are saying a lot on social media -- they are motivated and inspired to spread the good news and bring it into their homes. We will use this weekend as inspiration."

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami summed it all up: "Just three words -- a wonderful encounter."


May 4, 2017 (Detroit Free Press)
A beloved priest from Detroit is one step closer to becoming the first American-born male Catholic saint. On Thursday, church officials announced that the Rev. Solanus Casey, a Capuchin friar who died 60 years ago in Detroit, will be beatified, saying that a woman's skin disease was healed through his intercession.

Father Solanus was a member of the Capuchin Franciscan Order of St. Joseph and helped found the popular Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit. He will be one of only three Catholics born in the U.S. with the title of "blessed," which is the level before becoming a saint.

Father Solanus always said: "God will answer our prayers," said Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron, the religious leader of 1.3 million Catholics in metro Detroit. "This is the great message ... that we should trust in God, whatever our trials are, especially for the poor and sick."

After making the announcement at the Solanus Casey Center on Detroit's east side, Vigneron knelt in prayer at the tomb of Casey, a popular site for Catholics who look to him for healing of illnesses. On the top of the tomb were slips of paper with requests from people seeking his intercession.

Pope John Paul II had declared Father Solanus in 1995 to be venerable, the title that signifies the second step to sainthood. And on Thursday, Pope Francis said that a miracle healed a woman because of Casey's intercession, which means he will be given the title of blessed after a Detroit ceremony to be held in coming months. There are currently three Catholic saints born in the U.S., all women.


"Thank you all for your prayers for Archbishop Quinn during this time of his long illness. It saddens me, though, that I now have to inform you that he passed away on Thursday, June 22, 2017. As you know, he had moved to Jewish Home of San Francisco from Saint Mary's Medical Center. He stated several times since his move that he had achieved his goal of leaving the hospital for a new home where he could enjoy the fresh air, trees, and the sounds of birds in the early morning. The initial days at Jewish Home had gone extremely well, but Archbishop Quinn experienced difficulties with his breathing. He was transported to the nearest hospital, but could not be revived. Our hearts are breaking at losing such a great priest and friend.

Archbishop Quinn was 88 years of age, and had served as the sixth Archbishop of San Francisco from April 26, 1977 until December 27, 1995. He was president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1977 to 1980. Join me in praying for the repose of his soul."

- Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone

Funeral Arrangements for Archbishop Quinn:

A Vigil will be held on Sunday, July 9, at 7:00 pm.
The Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, July 10 at 10:00 am.
Both events will be in the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. New details will be added to as they become available.

1953 - 2016

Rector of the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, 2010-2013

Dear Brothers, Sisters, Family and Friends of the Shrine: Capuchin FR. GREGORY COIRO died peacefully Friday morning, September 9th, at "Coming Home Hospice" in San Francisco, CA. Please pray for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his dear family, especially his beloved mother Terry.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation
in memory of Fr. Gregory Coiro to the
Capuchin Franciscan Foundation for Retired Friars
1345 Cortez Avenue
Burlingame, CA 94010.

Obituary for Fr. Gregory Louis Coiro, OFMCap

Fr. Gregory Coiro was born on January 29, 1953 in Long Island, New York, the son of Anthony D. Coiro and Theresa M. Friedel Shelby. He entered the Capuchin Franciscan Order on August, 15, 1972 and made his perpetual profession of vows on September 22, 1979. He was ordained a priest at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco on May 15, 1982. After ordination he was assigned as Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Church in Roseburg, OR. He was a teacher at St. Francis High School in La Cañada-Flintridge, CA from 1982-1990. He served in the Office of Public Affairs for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Media Relations. He was Associate Pastor at Our Lady of Angels Church in Burlingame, CA. He then was chaplain for St. Francis High School in La Cañada-Flintridge in 2002. He became Rector of the National Shrine of St. Francis in San Francisco, CA in 2010 and served until 2013. He then retired because of health issues. He died from renal failure at Coming Home Hospice in San Francisco, CA on September 9, 2016.

Fr. Greg was brilliant and had a sharp wit. He was a wonderful organist and loved classical music and old hymns. He loved to teach and helped start the Kairos High School Retreats at St. Francis High School. He was excellent in media relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. He loved his faith and he had a wonderful ability of defending and explaining the Church's teaching. He touched many hearts.

He is survived by his dear mother Theresa M. Friedel Shelby and his brother and sisters: Anthony Coiro, Tracy Tinder, Dana Covellone and Jennifer Bravo. He is also survived by many nephews and nieces.

Fr. Gregory's funeral arrangements are as follows: Vigil is Tuesday September 13, 2016 at 7:00 pm at St. Bede the Venerable Church, 215 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada-Flintridge CA 91011. Mass of Christian Burial is Wednesday September 14, 2016 at 10 am also at St. Bede the Venerable Church. Burial is at 10:00 am on Thursday September 15, 2016 at San Lorenzo Friary in Santa Ynez, CA 93460.


Fr. John wishes to offer an invitation to those interested in being a part of the service and outreach of the growing ministries of the Shrine. Fr. John will be hoping to develop strong teams of volunteers to serve as Extra-ordinary ministers of Communion, Altar Servers, Lectors, Greeters, Assistant Sacristans, Ushers, Hospitality Providers, Cantors, Musicians, etc. Especially at a church that is at a stage of expanding its small but vibrant faith community - there is a great reliance on the participation of many of the few. Be a trailblazer, as together we develop the witness of the Shrine to St. Francis. If interested: please submit contact information to Fr. John at e-mail:


PORZIUNCULA PARDON is always available under the conditions the Catholic Church has stipulated. The conditions for receiving the Porziuncula Pardon are:

To receive the the Porziuncula Indulgence on August 2, one must receive sacramental absolution and receive Holy Communion at Mass during the Period beginning eight days before the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels and ending eight days after August 2. Additionally, on August 2 itself, one must visit a church where one prays at least the Creed and an Our Father for the intentions of the Pope. Additionally, one must be completely free of any attachment to sin; if this condition is not met, the indulgence is partial rather then plenary. However, at the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pardon of Assisi may be received on August 2 (either at the Shrine Church or the Porziuncula Nuova chapel); on October 4th, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (in the Shrine Church); on any two days of one's own choosing during the year (one day in the Church and one day in the Porziuncula Nuova); and as often as one makes a formal pilgrimage as part of a group to the Shrine Church or to the Porziuncula Nuova. (One may receive a plenary indulgence only once a day and it may be applied to oneself or to the soul of one of the faithfully departed. All the same conditions as on August 2nd apply.)

Donations Needed for Historic Pipe Organ

You are invited to own a piece of history at the National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi by contributing to help us meet the current needs of our Historic Pipe Organ. The total cost before tax and any unforeseen additions is $3,630.

Church-Hall Revonation Photos