Conference of Bishops

Q. When the U.S. bishops meet in the spring and fall, which I noticed they do in a brief news report, what do they tend to talk about? I think I saw the next meeting is in June.

A. Here’s a reply from Father Reginald Martin:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) meets regularly to discuss issues affecting the Church in America, as well as the local impact of larger Church conversations. For example, when the world’s bishops met with Pope Benedict in 2012 to consider ways the Church might renew the faith among believers and promote it among nonbelievers, U.S. bishops responded by embracing a three-year strategic plan for Christian renewal in this country. The plan called for increased educational opportunities among practicing Catholics, outreach to those who have not heard the Gospel, and invitations to those who have abandoned the faith to re-embrace their former belief.

This year U.S. bishops will meet in New Orleans June 11-13. Agenda topics include “Marriage and the Economy,” “The New Evangelization and Poverty,” as well as discussions of the upcoming extraordinary synod (an international meeting of bishops) on the family and a report of recent Catholic relief efforts in the Philippines.

The USCCB has a very informative website (www.usccb.org), which provides day by day details of the Conference’s many activities. In addition to hosting the bishops’ annual meetings, the conference sends delegates to numerous theological, spiritual and social-action conferences throughout the United States.