Broadcasting the Truth of Jesus Christ
Oct. 20, 2023

Happy 20th Anniversary Bishop Jugis!

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Confessions of a ‘Papa-razzi’

By SueAnn Howell

CHARLOTTE — The fourth bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte, His Excellency Bishop Peter J. Jugis, celebrates 20 years of service to the diocese Oct. 24.

On his ordination day in 2003, I was glued to my computer screen, lamenting the sloth-like speed of my dial-up connection while livestreaming the Mass from St. Matthew Church, not knowing that seven years later I would have a much better view of the sacred liturgies our new bishop would celebrate.

I started working in the Pastoral Center in 2008, and by 2009 moved into the communications office. In 2010 I became the reporter/photographer for the diocesan newspaper. So for the past 13 years, I greatly enjoyed following His Excellency around; capturing sacred, historic, solemn, and joy-filled moments with each click of the shutter.

I spent many moving hours looking through the lenses of my cameras at him, poised to press the shutter release at just the right moment when something holy, or monumental, or poignant was happening.

I spent countless hours on my feet during Adoration, liturgies, processions, marches, church dedications, receptions, and ribbon cuttings, following along with this servant of God as he participated in these events.

I also spent innumerable hours kneeling on concrete or hardwood floors, or crouching down, so as to be close enough to capture sacred moments without distracting others in prayer.

Some of my favorite memories are sitting on the floor of St. Patrick Cathedral and the Charlotte Convention Center, cameras at my side, being caught up in the moment listening to his homilies, like St. Mary Magdalene did at the feet of Jesus.

When His Excellency traveled to Rome for the Ad Limina in 2012, I accompanied our pilgrims and also zipped around the Eternal City following the bishops of Region XIV as they celebrated Mass at all of the Station Churches of Rome.

I’ll never forget the moment in St. Peter’s Basilica when I was waiting for the bishops to come out of the sacristy for the Mass they were to celebrate at the altar of Pope St. John Paul II. A priest from Africa had started celebrating Mass there just moments before the bishops processed toward the altar. I tried to warn the security guards near the altar that our bishops were on their way to celebrate Mass, but they did not act. So I watched the interesting situation unfold and got a kick out of the bishops’ reactions as they were diverted to the altar of Pope St. John XXIII. Lots of smiles and expressions indicating they were at peace celebrating their Mass at another altar.

Many poignant moments occurred the day I rode with the bishops on their bus as they traveled inside the Vatican to the Apostolic Palace to meet with Pope Benedict XVI. I snapped photos of them and witnessed their joy as they entered the Apostolic Palace. A Swiss guard would not allow me up the elevator with the bishops, and demanded I walk across the expansive courtyard to wait for them. After they had all gone inside, I followed his command and found a column to lean against, then started praying the Rosary.

By the grace of God, and a little help from a priest, Our Lady, and St. Therese, I was escorted into the Apostolic Palace by a monsignor who had some pull at the Vatican, and I spent a moment in prayer while waiting for our bishops to complete their visit with the pope. I was escorted back outside and waited for them to emerge.

His Excellency and the other bishops came out of the Apostolic Palace carrying boxes containing new pectoral crosses from the Holy Father, and they all looked like children on Christmas morning who had received a treasured gift. I captured that moment in photos, and it will always be one of my most cherished memories.

So much grace was poured out upon me as I gave my ‘yes’ to God in service to Him and His Excellency Bishop Jugis, and the Diocese of Charlotte over the past 13 years. And although I am no longer a “Papa-razzi,” I confess it was one of my life’s greatest joys to view His Excellency, one of our spiritual fathers, living out the majority of his episcopate through the lens of my camera over those years.

Happy 20th Anniversary, Your Excellency, Bishop Jugis! May you have many more fruitful years.

2012 scenes from Rome and home – Howell with Bishop Peter Jugis pre Ad Limina trip, the late Bishop William Curlin with Bishop Jugis after the Chrism Mass, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the bishops of Region XIV on the bus after leaving the Apostolic Palace.
(Photos by SueAnn Howell)

Special moments with Bishop Jugis – Rome 2012 after receiving a pectoral cross from Pope Benedict XVI, at the Bishop’s Youth Pilgrimage in 2014 with Abbot Placid Solari, blessing a Rosary for youth at Belmont Abbey at the Bishop’s Youth Pilgrimage, a 2013 ribbon-cutting at Christ The King High School, and 2013 a reception for Holy Cross Church in Kernersville. (Photos by SueAnn Howell)

Photos from over the years at the Eucharistic Congress, priestly ordination, Chrism Mass, dedication and blessing at the original St. Joseph College Seminary, and Holy Hour at the Eucharistic Congress in Charlotte. (Photos by SueAnn Howell)
More poignant moments – Duc In Altum women’s retreat at Belmont Abbey, Father Joseph Wasswa’s priestly ordination Mass, World Day For Consecrated Life with the Missionaries of Charity, stirring the sacred chrism at the Chrism Mass, and a quick photo opp on the steps of St. Patrick Cathedral in 2022. (Photos by SueAnn Howell)

Diocese marks Bishop Peter Jugis’ 20th anniversary
A Story of Growth: Churches, schools, vocations, faith

Over the past two decades, Bishop Peter Jugis has led the Diocese of Charlotte through unprecedented growth, welcoming new families, opening churches and schools, and increasing vocations — a clear sign the Holy Spirit is at work. CLICK HERE to follow the story of our growth in the timeline below:

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Hi CCDOC Human Trafficking Awareness Committee and friends,

 I attended the 10th Anniversary conference with the US Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking last week and it was amazing! See all the details in their October newsletter below including information on Fair Trade month! I will be sending a sample article/bulletin post about Fair & Ethical Trade in a separate email.
**First of all, please note the USCSAHT announced their new name: Alliance to End Human Trafficking. Please watch the attached Video regarding their 10th Year Anniversary and the evolution of this great organization, and what they are planning next to help lead us all in putting an End to Human Trafficking!
*Also please note the upcoming Labor Trafficking Webinar on October 10th which you may share with your ministries and outreach groups. This crime happens all through the United States, as well as globally.
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