USCCB officials author booklet

Bill Brewer Catholic Church, Leadership

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (above) of Louisville, Ky., and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield co-authored the booklet "The Gift of Joy." (CNS photo/Mary D. Dillard, One Voice)

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz (above) of Louisville, Ky., and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield co-authored the booklet “The Gift of Joy.” (CNS photo/Mary D. Dillard, One Voice)

WASHINGTON (CNS)—A new booklet on “The Blessing of the Child in the Womb” co-authored by the vice president and associate general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is now available from Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. “The Gift of Joy,” by Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, explains the vocation of Christian mothers and fathers  and how it relates to parish life and society as a whole.

“The blessing of the child in the womb unites the parish,” write Archbishop Kurtz and Msgr. Bransfield, noting that the blessing can be celebrated in the context of Sunday Mass. They add that the experience of having a child draws new parents deeper into their parish community and their faith as they accept the loving support of others.

“The Gift of Joy” is available online from Our Sunday Visitor: https://catalog.osv.com/Catalog.aspx?SimpleDisplay=true&ProductCode=X1433

Information on the blessing is available online: www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/prayers/pro-life-blessings.cfm

“The Blessing of the Child in the Womb” originated at the request of then-Bishop Kurtz of Knoxville, Tennessee. USCCB’s Committees on Pro-Life Activities and Divine Worship prepared a text, which was approved by the U.S. bishops in November 2008 and sent to Rome for final approval, which it received in 2012. Archbishop Kurtz focused on the blessing in his intervention during the 2012 Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization in Rome.