Bishop Jugis: Good news to tell pope during May ad limina visit
Diocese of Charlotte shows 'signs of vitality'
CHARLOTTE — It has been eight years since Bishop Peter Jugis met with the pope to report on the state of the faithful in the Diocese of Charlotte. The last time Bishop Jugis made such a visit to Rome was in 2004, when he met with Pope John Paul II during his first ad limina visit after being ordained as bishop of the Charlotte diocese.
This time Bishop Jugis will be among 15 bishops from the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida meeting for the first time with Pope Benedict XVI during the week of May 6-12.
Each bishop prepares an ad limina report in advance for the pope and the Vatican offices to review before and during the ad limina visit.
Pictured: Bishop Peter Jugis displays the diocese's three-volume 2012 ad limina report, copies of which are already at the Vatican in preparation for his upcoming visit May 6-12. (SueAnn Howell | Catholic News Herald)
The diocese's 2012 ad limina report is bound into three volumes. Essentially an overview of the state of the diocese, the report contains 23 sections covering topics such as statistics, liturgical and sacramental life, Catholic education and faith formation, pastoral care to families, the Eucharistic Congress, Church administration, religious orders and communications.
The diocese's growth and vibrant faith is evident in the numbers, Bishop Jugis said during his spring reflection to the Charlotte Catholic Women's Group April 16, where he shared highlights from the report.
In 2004 the diocese counted 52,788 registered Catholic households; in 2011 there were 64,281. That's an increase of about 21.7 percent. The total estimated number of Catholics, registered and unregistered, grew 22 percent: from 145,148 in 2004 to 177,364 in 2011.
Average weekly Mass attendance also grew nearly 16 percent, from 83,000 people in 2004 to 96,000 in 2011. More than 27,000 children were enrolled in schools and faith formation programs in 2011.
Since Bishop Jugis' previous ad limina visit in 2004, four new parishes have been established, and 17 churches and eight parish activity centers have been built. One new Catholic elementary school and a third Catholic high school has opened, and one K-8 school has moved to a larger location.
Religious vocations are on the rise in the Diocese of Charlotte, as well. Seventeen men are studying for the priesthood this year, up from 15 men in 2004.
The administering of the sacraments of baptism and marriage are also on the rise. In 2011, 3,233 infant baptisms were performed. The number of marriages rose 14 percent, from 816 marriages in 2004 to 927 in 2011.
"This is a sign of the vitality of our diocese," Bishop Jugis said. "It is a sign of strong marriages and family life, too."
Besides discussing the contents of the ad limina report with the pope, Bishop Jugis will attend 10 meetings with various Vatican offices during the week and visit the diocese's five seminarians who are studying in Rome. He will also celebrate Mass at the altar of Blessed John Paul II, who ordained him to the priesthood in 1983, and concelebrate Mass with his brother bishops at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, the spiritual basis for the ad limina visits.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
Join us on A Virtual Pilgrimage
Join Catholic News Herald staff writer SueAnn Howell on a virtual pilgrimage as she travels to Italy to report on Charlotte Bishop Peter J. Jugis' ad limina visit to Rome.
In addition to reporting on the ad limina meetings and special Masses, SueAnn will share her impressions, insights and photos from her perspective as a first-time pilgrim visiting Assisi, Siena and the Eternal City.
Patron saints of familiesThere's a saint for everyone, and families are no different. Here are a few noteworthy examples for your family to learn more about. There is the familiar and beloved St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, and St. Francis of Assisi, who's on everyone's...
Reflections on St. PeterPeter the fishermanAfter Jesus, Peter is the figure best known and most frequently cited in the New Testament writings: he is mentioned 154 times with the nickname of Pétros, "rock," the Greek translation of the Aramaic name Jesus gave him directly;...
Pope Francis on the Year of FaithPope Francis spoke about the Year of Faith in his audience with representatives of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities, and other religions March 20: "I begin my apostolic ministry in this year that my venerated predecessor, Pope Benedict...
As pope, Benedict worked to promote understanding of Vatican IIVATICAN CITY — On Feb. 14, in one of the last public appearances of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the clergy of Rome about his experiences at the Second Vatican Council, which he had attended as an expert consultant half a century...
People around world pledge to say rosary daily during Year of FaithEASTON, Mass. — The Family Rosary division of Holy Cross Family Ministries in Easton has gathered more than 80,000 pledges from people around the globe who said they would pray the rosary daily during the 2012-13 Year of Faith. The pledges,...
A culture of lifeIn 2013 our country observes a shameful anniversary: marking 40 years of a "culture of death" that began when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, struck down all state laws restricting abortion. Since the advent of "legalized" abortion,...
The Fathers of the Church
Lives of the Saints
St. Mark the Evangelist's feast day celebrated on April 25St. Mark is the patron of St. Mark Church in Huntersville, which was dedicated in 2009. (File, Catholic News Herald)St. Mark, the Evangelist, is the author of the second Gospel and the patron saint of notaries. He wrote the Gospel in Greek for the Gentile...
St. Damien of Molokai's life of sacrifice remembered May 10The Church will remember St. Damien of Molokai May 10. The Belgian priest sacrificed his life and health to become a spiritual father to the victims of leprosy quarantined on a Hawaiian island. Joseph de Veuser, who later took the name Damien in religious...
'Oracle of Palestine' St. Epiphanius of Salamis celebrated May 12On May 12 the Church honors St. Epiphanius of Salamis, an early monk, bishop and Church Father known for his extensive learning and defense of Catholic teachings in the fourth century. During a 2007 visit with the Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, Pope...
St. Katharine Drexel has local connectionOn March 3, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Katharine Drexel, a Philadelphia heiress who abandoned her family's fortune to found an order of sisters dedicated to serving the impoverished African American and Native American populations...
St. Bede known for scholarship and holiness, honored May 25The Church will celebrate the feast of St. Bede May 25. The English priest, monk and scholar is sometimes known as "the Venerable Bede" for his combination of personal holiness and intellectual brilliance. Bede was born during 673 near the...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy