Hundreds of bishops, diocesan officials, conference staff members and journalists will be attending the U.S. Catholic bishops' fall 2021 general assembly in Baltimore Nov. 15-18, at a time when COVID-19 is still spreading throughout the country.
Attendees will be required to wear masks, as an indoor mask mandate has been in effect in Baltimore since August. The Marriott Waterfront Hotel, where the general assembly will be held, promises signage throughout the premises reminding guests to maintain social distancing and to wear masks while indoors and in all public spaces.
But while a spokesperson for the bishops' conference said organizers would be prioritizing coronavirus precautions during the event, she also declined to answer whether a vaccine mandate would be imposed on attendees.
Keep up with all of NCR's coverage of the U.S. bishops' fall 2021 assembly here.
If it were not for Fr. Bill Kenneally, I would not be executive editor of the National Catholic Reporter. I would not even be Catholic.
Kenneally, homilist extraordinaire, standup comedian, lover of opera and the Chicago White Sox, and healer of hurting souls, died Oct. 28 at the age of 85. He timed it perfectly so he could be buried on All Souls' Day, although his eulogist called him "saintly," so maybe he was a day off.
I won't get into the details of how Father Bill kept me Catholic, but suffice it to say that I was more than halfway out the door, literally sobbing over repeated hurts from the church. He singlehandedly restored my faith in the institution and provided a parish home, St. Gertrude's in Chicago.
Check out the latest Horizons column at Global Sisters Report. Colleen Gibson, a Sister of St. Joseph of Philadelphia, writes about how, through prayer, God will guide us to what we need.
ICYMI: Twenty-five years after Cardinal Joseph Bernardin's death, Steven P. Millies, the director of The Bernardin Center, says Bernardin was a leader who anticipated the style and ministry of Pope Francis in his openness to dialogue and his efforts to engage the world in constructive conversations.
ICYMI: In Rome and at the Vatican, President Joe Biden found a safe haven from the debates taking place back home, where some U.S. bishops argue Catholic politicians should not be allowed to receive Communion if they support abortion rights.