U.S. bishops gear up for spring gathering in Louisville, Kentucky

U.S. bishops gear up for spring gathering in Louisville, Kentucky



U.S. bishops gather in Baltimore for their spring assembly in 2019. / Credit: Kate Veik/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 12, 2024 / 10:15 am (CNA).


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, from June 12–14 for their 2024 spring plenary assembly.


During the assembly’s public sessions, beginning June 13, the bishops will vote on whether to approve a draft document that contains a pastoral plan for the U.S. Church’s Native American ministry, “Keeping Christ’s Sacred Promise: A Pastoral Framework for Indigenous Ministry.”


In the draft document, a copy of which was obtained by EWTN News, the bishops apologize for Native American Catholics’ “abandonment” by the Church and propose a way forward that takes into account the “unique cultural needs” of these communities.


Also up for vote is a document proposing a new framework for ministries with youth and young adults called “Listen, Teach, Send.” The document is the culmination of a process begun in response to Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Christus Vivit, released in 2019 after the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops on young people, faith, and vocational discernment. 


The assembled bishops will also consider whether to advance on the local level the cause of beatification and canonization of Adele Brise, who in 1859 witnessed the first and only approved Marian apparition in the United States in Champion, Wisconsin.  


The Latin Church members of the USCCB will also vote on whether to approve changes to the translation of the Liturgy of Hours.


Before the public meetings, the bishops will “spend time in prayer and fraternal dialogue with one another,” according to a press release from the USCCB. They will also consider the future of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the national anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops, which has experienced a financial shortfall amid a decline in donations following the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign is funded by an annual collection in U.S. parishes.


Beginning in 2008, the CCHD was criticized by activists — and some Catholic bishops — for funding organizations that have taken positions contrary to Church teaching, such as on abortion and same-sex marriage. In 2010, the USCCB instituted new controls to help ensure that grantees conform with Catholic teaching.


On Thursday, June 13, Cardinal Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, will address the assembly, followed by an address by the president of the USCCB, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA.


Later in the day, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, chairman of the conference’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop Robert Barron, head of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, will provide updates on the USCCB’s mental health campaign.


In addition to action items up for vote on Friday, Bishop Mark Seitz, chairman of the migration committee, will update the bishops on the status of the religious worker visa program. As the National Catholic Register, CNA’s sister news partner, reported in December 2023, a new change in U.S. visa policy has left thousands of visa applicants — including Catholic priests seeking permanent residency — unable to obtain green cards before their initial visas expire. 


The public sessions on June 13 and 14 will be livestreamed on the USCCB website.