MANILA, June 7, 2016— Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila will lead a retreat for US Catholic bishops next week, offering reflections on ministering with the family.

The retreat is part of a special assembly of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) which is composed of 449 active and retired bishops, including four cardinals.

USCCB President Archbishop Joseph Kurtz has invited the Manila archbishop to be the assembly’s spiritual director to be held in the Diocese of Orange in California on June 13 to 17.

Bishop John Barres of Allentown, chairman of the USCCB Special Assembly Planning Committee, said the US bishops gather in special assembly every third year in June.

He said spiritual director serves as the “central figure” of the assembly, delivering daily reflections and homilies on a theme central to the episcopal ministry.

“All usual public business otherwise associated with plenary assemblies is dispensed with so that the members may engage in a dedicated time of spiritual retreat, prayerful reflection and fraternal support.

The overall theme of the special assembly is “The Bishops as Missionary Leader for the Human Family.”

Bishop Barres said the theme “gives us the opportunity not only to distill some of the richness of the Synods on the Family and the World Meeting of Families but also to address Pope Francis’ emphasis on our role in ministering to the poor, the wounded and those in crisis.”

The US bishops in inviting Cardinal Tagle cited his “wide-range of pastoral experiences, your gift for joyful communication and your courage as a Bishop leading the Church in the Philippines.”

Cardinal Tagle, who is currently in Bangkok, Thailand for the Caritas Asia meeting, has been a much-sought after speaker in international conferences. He has addressed three International Eucharistic Congresses.

In September last year he delivered a keynote speech at the CIDSE/CI High Level Dialogue on Climate Change in New York on the topic “Challenged for a transformative change and integral ecology. A reading of the Encyclical Laudato Si’ in the context of Climate Negotiations.” (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)