June assembly is a chance for U.S. bishops to grow “intellectually, pastorally and spiritually”

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Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney. . Daniel Ibanez/ANC

Fisher will give various spiritual talks Monday through Friday. Its topics, Talley said, will include episcopal fellowship and communion in the teaching of Christ, in the experience of the apostolic generation and in the traditions of the Church. He will discuss the Second Vatican Council’s use of the language of collegiality and post-Council developments, including the theme of ‘synodality’. Fisher will reflect on the implications for the spirituality of bishops today, and for the friendships, preaching and other actions of bishops.

Talley’s March 7 memo reported that the organizing committee also suggested that Fisher address topics such as unity and mutual support among the bishops; the struggles of bishops against isolation, loneliness and a secularizing national culture; the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic at the personal and institutional level; division and polarization in the country and in the Church; and themes of suffering and healing. Other suggested topics include unity with the Pope; unity with Jesus Christ; the centrality of the Cross and the transformation of suffering; and how to make fraternal correction with love.

The bishops will also celebrate Mass together throughout the week.

On Tuesday, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, was scheduled to celebrate Mass with the bishops of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, was scheduled to celebrate Mass on Wednesday, while Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, recently chosen by Pope Francis to become a cardinal, was scheduled to celebrate Mass on Thursday. Archbishop Fisher was due to celebrate the closing mass on Friday.

The special assembly was preceded by meetings of the committee of bishops, held from June 11 to 13.

According to Talley’s memos, these meetings included sessions on: the National Examination Board and the Committee for Youth Welfare; the Church in Latin America; a meeting of the board of directors of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network; the Church in Africa; Doctrine; the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; divine worship; National collections; Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe; the Ad Hoc Committee against Racism; Black and Indian missions; Catholic relief services; the Pontifical North American College and the Advisory Group for Eucharistic Renewal.

Optional post-assembly events for the bishops included a visit to the San Diego Zoo, a visit to the USS Midway aircraft carrier-turned-museum, a trolley tour of San Diego and golf.

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