Archbishop Cupich lends his support for Extension

By Joyce Duriga
Sunday, October 2, 2016

“We’re here as mission dioceses, but we also have to see ourselves as dioceses with a mission.” That’s what Archbishop Cupich told 75 bishops gathered at the Lincolnshire Marriott Sept. 26 as they gathered for Catholic Extension’s annual meeting.

As archbishop of Chicago, Archbishop Cupich serves as chancellor to Catholic Extension, a national fundraising organization based in Chicago that supports poor mission dioceses across the United States. It provides funding and resources through programs and services investing in people, infrastructure and ministries.

There are 90 mission dioceses in the United States and prior to coming to Chicago Archbishop Cupich headed two — Spokane, Washington and Rapid City, South Dakota. He also served on its board of governors since 2009.

During his remarks, Archbishop Cupich acknowledged the history of Catholic Extension in Chicago.

“Almost 111 years ago, Chicago Catholics stepped out into the unknown and took a risk that has paid off for the entire U.S. church. The church of Chicago gave a home to a newly-created idea called the Catholic Church Extension Society,” he told the bishops. “I firmly believe that over the years Catholic Extension has been a great blessing not just to mission dioceses around the country, but to our local church as well.”

In his first address as chancellor, the archbishop told the bishops that he pledged to raise awareness of and support for Catholic Extension in both the Archdiocese of Chicago and the broader United States.

“As archbishop of Chicago, I have made a special commitment to keeping Catholic Extension front and center in our local church,” he said. “Catholic Extension, I believe, helps us discover the core of our identity as Chicago Catholics, which is the mission to serve others in need.”

He also has encouraged archdiocesan priests to participate in Extension’s immersion trips where they see first-hand the life in mission dioceses.

“And it opened up their eyes, their hearts, and, in some cases, their wallets, to the church in mission dioceses,” he said. “More importantly, for many of these men, it affirmed their priesthood because it gave them a sense of belonging to a larger reality that is bigger than any one parish or diocese.”


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