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Don't stop at synod: Continue participating, says Catholic women's leader

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's synodal process is an invitation to invest in the pastoral and professional formation of women in the church, said the newly elected president of a global network of Catholic women's associations.

In a weeklong general assembly that she called an "exercise in synodality," Mónica Santamarina was elected president general of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations, WUCWO, by 832 representatives of Catholic women's organizations from 38 countries.

The assembly gathered in Assisi May 14-20 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic under the theme, "Women of WUCWO: Artisans of human fraternity for world peace."

"When you have different nationalities and cultures come together there are difficult moments, but you see how dialogue moves forward with understanding and coexistence," she told Catholic News Service in WUCWO's Vatican offices June 1. "It all contributes to an environment of synodality, of prayer and openness."

Pope Francis shakes woman's hand
Pope Francis greets representatives of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations during an audience with the group in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 13, 2023, before it opened its general assembly in Assisi May 14-20. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

As a network of organizations that represents some eight million members worldwide, WUCWO has a bird's eye view on the state of Catholic women around the world. In its general assembly, participants set priorities for the organization's next four years focusing on religious freedom, the global food crisis, promoting family love, solidarity with migrants and what Santamarina said is particularly pertinent in the church today: increasing women's formation and participation in the church through a spirit of synodality.

In Africa, Latin America and Asia, she said, "women don't feel capable of participating" in the church; "they are insecure." That phenomenon is linked to gaps in education, salary, work formation and study opportunities, only worsened by the pandemic, which prevent women from fully developing themselves, Santamarina told CNS.

"One way to close those gaps is through greater formation of women in all ways, theological, pastoral, professional, so that they have a larger and better presence in the different spheres of the church," Santamarina said. "We have to work so that each woman recognizes all the dignity she has, all of her potential, since the first person to recognize it has to be the woman herself. She needs to be aware of her worth."

Already, she said, the church's synodal process has been an important step in making women feel that they have a significant role to play in the life of the church.

In March, the World Women's Observatory, a WUCWO project that seeks to gather data on the state of Catholic women worldwide, published a survey of 459 women who played a leadership role in the synodal process at the diocesan, national or continental levels.

The observatory is meant to give visibility to vulnerable women and develop strategies to support them with church, state and non-governmental partners. It was adopted to become a permanent undertaking of WUCWO during its general assembly.

In an audience with WUCWO representatives May 13, Pope Francis asked the hundreds of women gathered at the Vatican "to listen to the lament of so many women in the world who suffer injustice, abandonment, discrimination, poverty or inhuman treatment since childhood in some cases."

Woman holds baby
A woman holds a sleeping infant during an audience Pope Francis held with representatives of the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 13, 2023. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

The results of the synod survey, Santamarina said, show that the majority of women involved in the synod felt they had been listened to -- 55% of women said they were "always" or "usually" listened to -- but also that an important percentage felt their opinions had not been taken into consideration. Of those surveyed, 19% said they were rarely listened to and 2% said they were never listened to, while 20% said they were not effectively involved in decision-making during the synodal process.

Among the biggest obstacles to women's participation in the church that arose in the survey, Santamarina said, is clericalism -- a sense of ecclesial superiority on the part of the clergy often condemned by Pope Francis -- coupled with a fear of men by some women in the church. One way to combat that, she proposed, is through a greater presence of women in seminaries and throughout priestly formation, to allow women and men, and clergy and laity, to "walk together as church."

"It's not about substitution or 'taking something away,' it's about working together with women to bring their gifts to the table and giving them a greater voice in decision-making," she said, "otherwise, the church is losing a real richness, the church needs to rely on the experience of women."

The survey showed that while certain regions, namely Europe and Latin America, called for the female diaconate, Santamarina said that the most prevalent theme in the results was the call for increased involvement of women in decision-making in the church.

While Santamarina welcomed changes in structures of the church that give women increased responsibility in the church -- she called the pope's decision to make some three dozen women voting members in October's Synod of Bishops "very important" -- she stressed the need for Catholic women to remain united in church teaching throughout the synodal process.

"When you begin to open a door, all of the sudden you want to push it wide open. But you need to find a balance which is important," she said. "For us, it is the magisterium of the pope that guides us. We are always under the light of the pope's magisterium, and that is what helps us not become polarized, to not go to the extremes."

Santamarina noted that a recurrent and "natural" fear is that once the synod ends in October 2024, "the church will again close its doors," which is why she said the push for women to become more active participants in the church should not be limited to the synod. While women need to be encouraged to advocate for themselves, "they also need the ongoing opportunity to do so," she said.

Ensuring a lasting push for women's participation in the church involves engaging with young women today, Santamarina said, which will be one of WUCWO's priorities over the next four years. She told CNS that Catholic organizations today must implement flexible ways of working to create space for young people to get involved.

"Women today are overworked, they have long workdays and demanding family responsibilities, so the options for their participation in the church need to be adjusted to these realities," she said.

Although she recognized that the slow pace of change in the church can be frustrating for young people, "the best changes happen from within, even if it moves slowly and requires some patience," Santamarina said.

"This synodal process is showing us what synodality is," she said. "There are still many challenges, but the process is progress."

Annual Survey Provides Insight into the State of the Permanent Diaconate in the Church

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations has released its annual survey, A Portrait of the Permanent Diaconate in 2022: A Study for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Since 2005, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University has conducted this survey which provides important statistics and forecasting trends on the state of the permanent diaconate in the Church in the United States.

Bishop Earl A. Boyea of Lansing, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations expressed his gratitude for the service of permanent deacons in the Church: “Permanent deacons are essential to the Church’s ministry of love and service, especially to the poor and vulnerable. By virtue of their ordination, they give witness to Christ the Servant in the daily exercise of their work and ministry. I invite all the faithful to continue to pray for our deacons that they may remain faithful to their vocation of bringing Christ’s presence to all.”

The survey utilized contact information from the National Association of Diaconate Directors (NADD) and was sent to the Office of the Permanent Diaconate in the Latin and Eastern Rite (arch)dioceses and eparchies. In total, CARA received responses from 143 of the 183 (arch)dioceses/eparchies whose bishops are members of the USCCB and have an active Office of Deacons, for a 78% response rate.

  • The estimated number of permanent deacons in active ministry was 13,695 in 2022, the lowest amount since 2011. While the share of active permanent deacons in the Latin Church is forecasted to remain relatively stable (72%±3% in 2027), this trend is in keeping with the slow decline in the diaconate over the past several years.
  • The Archdiocese of Chicago had the greatest number of permanent deacons (868) followed by Galveston-Houston (361), New York (350), Joliet (322), and Rockville Centre (318).
  • An unusually high number of men (910) were ordained to the permanent diaconate in 2022. Since 2014, the estimated number of ordinations averaged 642.
  • Most active deacons are between 60-69 years old (41%) or aged 70 or older (36%).
  • Most permanent deacons are Caucasian/white (76%) followed by Hispanic/Latino (18%), Asian/Pacific Islander (3%), African American/black (3%), and Native American/other (1%).
  • Deacons fill a wide range of ministerial positions in the Church. The most common position is a parish ministerial position, such as a DRE or youth minister, (22%) followed by ensuring the pastoral care of one or more parishes (21%), a parish non-ministerial position, such as administration or business (15%), diocesan non-ministerial positions (9%), and hospital ministry (9%).

The full survey conducted by CARA may be accessed here.

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Pope doing well after abdominal surgery, asks for continued prayers

ROME (CNS) -- Pope Francis had a restful, peaceful first night at Rome's Gemelli hospital after a successful three-hour operation June 7 for a hernia.

He has been informed of the many messages of "closeness and affection" from well-wishers and he "expresses his gratitude, while asking for continued prayers," said Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office, in a written statement June 8.

The medical staff in charge of monitoring the 86-year-old pope's post-operative recovery said that "Pope Francis had a peaceful night, managing to rest extensively," Bruni said.

The pope "is in good general condition, alert and breathing on his own. Routine follow-up examinations are good. He will observe the necessary post-operative rest for the entire day," June 8, Bruni added.

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, asked that Catholics "keep Pope Francis and all those in the hospital in your prayers."

"As Pope Francis recovers from surgery, he is strengthened by faith in the healing power of our merciful God," he said in a written statement released June 7. "Jesus always walks with us and is even closer whenever we need healing and comfort."

Pope Francis underwent a three-hour abdominal surgery "without complications" June 7 to treat a hernia, according to the Vatican press office.

Videographer films hospital
A videographer films the windows of the papal suite on the top floor of Rome's Gemelli hospital June 8, 2023. Pope Francis is staying in the hospital after undergoing abdominal surgery to treat a hernia June 7, 2023. (CNS photo/Justin McLellan)

The 86-year-old pope was taken to Rome's Gemelli hospital shortly after his general audience June 7. He was put under general anesthesia and underwent abdominal surgery to treat a hernia that developed at the site of abdominal incisions from previous operations, Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the chief surgeon operating on the pope, said at a news conference at the hospital following the operation.

Speaking to journalists after the surgery, Alfieri said Pope Francis had a number of internal scars and adhesions from two operations many years ago, possibly in Argentina; one was to treat peritonitis -- inflammation of abdominal tissue -- caused by an infected gallbladder and another to treat hydatid disease caused by cysts containing a parasite. It was this last operation that had left behind scars in the pope's abdominal tissue where another hernia had developed.

Alfieri said that during the three-hour operation adhesions were found between the intestine and the membrane that lines the abdomen, that for months caused an "aggravating, painful" intestinal blockage.

The adhesions were freed during the surgery and the opening in the abdomen's wall that led to the hernia was repaired with prosthetic mesh.

Alfieri, who also operated on the pope in 2021, said the pope had no complications and responded well to the general anesthesia he was administered during this surgery and the one in 2021 that removed part of his colon.

The chief surgeon underscored that, in both operations, all affected tissue had been benign.

"The pope does not have other illnesses," he said.

Alfieri explained that while the medical team that follows the pope had been discussing the scheduled operation for several days, the final decision to operate was not taken until June 6, when Pope Francis briefly visited the hospital for a medical checkup and tests.

"It was not urgent," he said, "or else we would have operated on him then."

Before going to the hospital the pope seemed well and in good spirits, holding his general audience as usual, riding in the popemobile, blessing babies, walking with a cane and meeting special guests afterward. He had held two private meetings before the general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Vatican News reported he arrived at the Gemelli hospital around 11:30 a.m. local time in the compact Fiat 500 he often rides in. The windows of the papal suite on the 10th floor of the hospital were opened just after 6 p.m.

Alfieri noted that shortly after the surgery Pope Francis was already working and making jokes, and had asked the surgeon in jest: "When are we doing the third (surgery)?"

While Alfieri said recovery for this operation typically lasts about seven days. Vatican News reported that the pope's audiences have been canceled until June 18 as a "precaution."

Bruni said June 7 that, for now, all events the pope was scheduled to attend after June 18 were still on his calendar and had not been canceled.

Pope Francis was scheduled to meet with 29 Nobel Peace Prize winners at the Vatican June 10 for an event to celebrate human fraternity. Before going to the hospital, the pope encouraged its organizers to continue with the event as planned without him, a statement from the foundation organizing the event said.

This was Pope Francis' third hospitalization at the Gemelli hospital, the most recent was from March 29 to April 1 when he was admitted for an acute respiratory infection.

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Contributing to this story was Justin McLellan in Rome.

 

Pope Francis undergoes successful three-hour surgery for hernia

ROME (CNS) -- Pope Francis was conscious and alert after a three-hour abdominal surgery that was performed "without complications" to treat a hernia, the Vatican said.

The 86-year-old pope was taken to Rome's Gemelli hospital shortly after his general audience June 7. He was put under general anesthesia and underwent abdominal surgery to treat a hernia that developed at the site of abdominal incisions from previous operations, Dr. Sergio Alfieri, the chief surgeon operating on the pope, said at a news conference at the hospital following the operation.

Speaking to journalists after the surgery, Alfieri said Pope Francis had a number of internal scars and adhesions from two operations many years ago, possibly in Argentina; one was to treat peritonitis -- inflammation of abdominal tissue -- caused by an infected gallbladder and another to treat hydatid disease caused by cysts containing a parasite. It was this last operation that had left behind scars in the pope's abdominal tissue where another hernia had developed.

Alfieri said that during the three-hour operation adhesions were found between the intestine and the membrane that lines the abdomen, that for months caused an "aggravating, painful" intestinal blockage.

The adhesions were freed during the surgery and the opening in the abdomen's wall that led to the hernia was repaired with prosthetic mesh.

Alfieri, who also operated on the pope in 2021, said the pope had no complications and responded well to the general anesthesia he was administered during this surgery and the one in 2021 that removed part of his colon.

The chief surgeon underscored that, in both operations, all affected tissue had been benign.

"The pope does not have other illnesses," he said.

Alfieri explained that while the medical team that follows the pope had been discussing the scheduled operation for several days, the final decision to operate was not taken until June 6, when Pope Francis briefly visited the hospital for a medical checkup and tests.

"It was not urgent," he said, "or else we would have operated on him then."

Before going to the hospital the pope seemed well and in good spirits, holding his general audience as usual, riding in the popemobile, blessing babies, walking with a cane and meeting special guests afterward. He had held two private meetings before the general audience in St. Peter's Square.

Vatican News reported he arrived at the Gemelli hospital around 11:30 a.m. local time in the compact Fiat 500 he often rides in. The windows of the papal suite on the 10th floor of the hospital were opened just after 6 p.m.

Alfieri noted that shortly after the surgery Pope Francis was already working and making jokes, and had asked the surgeon in jest: "When are we doing the third (surgery)?"

While Alfieri said recovery for this operation typically lasts about seven days. Vatican News reported that the pope's audiences have been canceled until June 18 as a "precaution."

Pope Francis was scheduled to meet with 29 Nobel Peace Prize winners at the Vatican June 10 for an event to celebrate human fraternity. Before going to the hospital, the pope encouraged its organizers to continue with the event as planned, a statement from the foundation organizing the event said.

This was Pope Francis' third hospitalization at the Gemelli hospital, the most recent was from March 29 to April 1 when he was admitted for an acute respiratory infection.

As Pope Francis Recovers From Surgery, U.S. Bishops’ President Offers Prayers for the Holy Father

WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, June 7, Pope Francis underwent abdominal surgery at Gemelli Hospital in Rome. Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement regarding the Holy Father:

“As Pope Francis recovers from surgery, he is strengthened by faith in the healing power of our merciful God. Please keep Pope Francis and all those in the hospital in your prayers today and every day. Jesus always walks with us and is even closer whenever we need healing and comfort.”

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Bishop Chairmen Call on Lawmakers to Protect Children Online

WASHINGTON - In a letter to members of the U.S. Congress, four bishops who serve as chairmen of committees in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) encouraged lawmakers to address the growing problem of the exploitation of children over the Internet and through mobile technology. The bishops lead committees that include among their purview the issues of protecting children and the vulnerable and upholding healthy individuals and families.

“As pastors, we have seen the destructive effects of the reprehensible offenses of child exploitation firsthand,” the bishops wrote. “And as leaders of an institution that, for many years, failed to meet its responsibility to protect all children, we know all too well the consequences of a culture that fails to give adequate attention to the problem of child sexual exploitation.” The bishops noted that the exploitation of children has always been a problem but has increased exponentially over the last several years in large part due to the Internet and mobile technology. 

“Online child exploitation threatens the safety and well-being of our young people and destroys families and communities. The ability of a child to grow into adulthood in peace and security is both a human right and a demand of the common good: the dignity of the human person requires protections for our young people so that they may flourish as they mature,” they said. They encouraged lawmakers to consider three longstanding moral principles in discerning legislation that addresses the protection of children online:

  • Respect for life and dignity
  • The call to family
  • The call to community and participation

The signatories of the letter are Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr. of Kansas City-St. Joseph, chairman of the Committee on Protection of Children & Young People; Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Bishop Robert P. Reed, auxiliary bishop of Boston, and chairman of the Committee on Communications; and Bishop Robert E. Barron of Winona-Rochester, and chairman of the  Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth.

A copy of the bishops’ letter to Congress may be found here.  

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Pope plans to write document dedicated to St. Thérèse of Lisieux

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Individuals become Christian because they have been touched by Christ's love, not because they have been convinced or coerced by someone else, Pope Francis said.

The Catholic Church needs missionary disciples who have hearts like St. Thérèse of Lisieux and who "draw people to love and bring people closer to God," he told people at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square June 7.

"Let us ask this saint for the grace to overcome our selfishness and for the passion to intercede that Jesus might be known and loved," he said.

The pope continued his series of talks about "zeal" for evangelization by focusing on St. Thérèse, the 19th-century French Carmelite nun who is patron saint of missions and a doctor of the church.

Before beginning his general audience talk, the pope walked with his cane to a large reliquary containing the relics of St. Thérèse that was placed on a table near where he sits to deliver his catechesis. He placed a large white rose before the ornate reliquary and stood a few moments in prayer.

During his catechesis he announced was planning to dedicate an apostolic letter to her to mark the 150th anniversary of her birth this year.

Pope Francis has said he has a special devotion to the saint, once telling an interviewer that he used to keep a photo of this 19th-century French Carmelite nun on his library shelf when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires. He told journalist Sergio Rubin in 2010, "When I have a problem I ask the saint, not to solve it, but to take it in her hands and help me accept it, and, as a sign, I almost always receive a white rose."

St. Thérèse displayed patience, trust in God and a "spirit of humility, tenderness and goodness," that God "wants from all of us," Pope Francis has said.

During his Wednesday general audience talk, the pope asked Christians to find inspiration in the life of St. Thérèse, who lived "according to the way of littleness and weakness," defining herself as "a small grain of sand."

She lived in poor health and died at the age of 24, but "her heart was vibrant, missionary," the pope said.

The Carmelite nun wanted to be a missionary and served, from her monastery, as a "spiritual sister" to several missionaries, accompanying them through her letters and prayers, he said.

"Without being visible, she interceded for the missions, like an engine that, although hidden, gives a vehicle the power to move forward," Pope Francis said. "Such is the power of intercession moved by charity; such is the engine of mission!"

Therefore, missionaries are not only those who "travel long distances, learn new languages, do good works and are good at proclamation," he said. "No, a missionary is anyone who lives as an instrument of God's love where they are" so that "through their witness, their prayer, their intercession, Jesus might pass by."

St. Thérèse's daily resolution was to "make Jesus loved" and to intercede for others, the pope said. "Following the example of Jesus the Good Shepherd, her zeal was directed especially toward sinners."

Apostolic zeal never works with proselytism or coercion, he said. "One does not become a Christian because they are forced by someone, but because they have been touched by love."

"The church needs hearts like Thérèse's, hearts that draw people to love and bring people closer to God," he said.

The pope ended the audience with his usual greetings to special guests and then went to Rome's Gemelli hospital for abdominal surgery that was scheduled for that afternoon. He was expected to remain for several days, according to the Vatican press office.

U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman on the Anniversary of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

WASHINGTON – On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in all 50 states. In advance of the anniversary of the Court’s landmark decision, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement celebrating Dobbs and explaining how the Court’s decision marked the beginning of a critical new phase in protecting human life.

“June 24, 2023, marks the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, and we have much to celebrate,” Bishop Burbidge said. “By the grace of God, the nearly fifty-year reign of national abortion on demand has been put to an end. Roe v. Wade—a seemingly insurmountable blight on our nation—is no more!”

“Over the past year, while some states have acted to protect preborn children, others have tragically moved to enshrine abortion in law—enacting extreme abortion policies that leave children vulnerable to abortion, even until the moment of birth…The work that lies ahead continues to be not just changing laws but also helping to change hearts, with steadfast faith in the power of God to do so,” he said.

“The task before us begins with the knowledge of the truth and our courage to speak it and to live it with compassion,” he said, and stated that we are each called to “radical solidarity” with women facing an unexpected or challenging pregnancy and doing whatever we can to provide them with the care and support they need to welcome their children.”

Read Bishop Burbidge’s statement in its entirety here.

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Pope has quick medical checkup at Rome hospital

ROME (CNS) -- Pope Francis returned to the hospital for a brief medical checkup June 6, the Vatican said.

In a statement to journalists, Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, said Pope Francis visited Rome's Gemelli hospital the morning of June 6 "to undergo some clinical examinations and returned to the Vatican before noon."

According to Italian news agency ANSA, the pope entered the hospital at 10:40 a.m. for a visit to the hospital's geriatric medical center. He reportedly left the hospital at 11:20 a.m. to return to the Vatican.

Citing Vatican sources, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica said the visit had been scheduled, and consisted of an exam using radiation to provide information about internal organs and tissues.

A CT scan is a commonly used medical scan which uses radiation to obtain images of internal images of the body, but the Vatican did not provide any details about what tests were done.

In March, Pope Francis spent four days in the papal suite of Rome's Gemelli hospital for treatment for a respiratory infection.

He also spent 10 days there in July, 2021, after undergoing a three-hour surgery that removed part of his large intestine. In January, Pope Francis told the Associated Press that his diverticulosis, the inflammation of bulges in the intestinal wall that led him to get the operation, had returned.

The 86-year-old has said his health is "not like at the beginning of the pontificate," and has canceled some events due to medical reasons. He canceled his day's audiences May 26 due to a fever but returned to his normal schedule the following day and presided over Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Basilica May 28.

Pope Francis Names New Auxiliary Bishops of San Diego

WASHINGTON - Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Michael Pham and Rev. Felipe Pulido as auxiliary bishops of San Diego. Bishop-elect Pham is a priest of the Diocese of San Diego and currently serves as vicar general of the Diocese of San Diego and pastor of Good Shepherd parish in San Diego. Bishop-elect Pulido is a priest of the Diocese of Yakima, and currently serves as vicar for clergy and director of vocations for the Diocese of Yakima, and as pastor of St. Joseph parish in Kennewick, Washington. The appointments were publicized in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2023, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Father Pham was born January 27, 1967, in Da Nang, Vietnam. He graduated from San Diego University with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He attended Saint Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California, and in 2020 completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of San Diego on June 25, 1999.

Bishop-elect Pham’s assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at St. Mary, Star of the Sea parish in Oceanside (1999-2001); diocesan vocation director (2001-2004); pastor at Holy Family parish in San Diego (2004-2014); and pastor at St. Therese parish in San Diego (2014-2016). In 2016, he was named pastor of Good Shepherd parish in San Diego, where he currently serves. He has been episcopal vicar for ethnic and intercultural communities since 2017, and since 2018, he has served as vicar general of the Diocese of San Diego. Bishop-elect Pham is a native speaker of Vietnamese, and also speaks English and Spanish.

Father Pulido was born January 13, 1970, in Dos Aguas, Michoacan, Mexico. He began his priestly formation at Mount Angel Seminary in St. Benedict, Oregon (1994-1998) where he graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1998 and continued at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy and received a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology with high honors at the Angelicum in Rome in 2000. He studied at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome from 2001 to 2002. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Yakima on June 28, 2002.

Bishop-elect Pulido’s assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Holy Family parish in Yakima (2002-2003) and at Our Lady of Fatima parish in Moses Lake (2003-2006); and pastor of Our Lady of the Snows parish in Leavenworth (2006-2008). In 2008, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Fatima parish in Moses Lake, and of Queen of All Saints parish in Warden where he served the two parishes concurrently until 2012. In 2011, he was appointed to serve the Diocese of Yakima as vicar for clergy and director of vocations, while continuing his service as pastor of two parishes. In 2012, he was appointed pastor of St. Joseph parish in Yakima where he served until 2020. Since 2020, Father Pulido has been pastor of St. Joseph parish in Kennewick, in addition to continuing his role as the vicar for clergy and director of vocations for the Diocese of Yakima. Bishop-elect Pulido speaks English and Spanish.

The Diocese of San Diego is comprised of 8,852 square miles in the State of California and has a total population of 3,478,336 of which 1,391,334 are Catholic.

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