FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City named Chairman of Board of Catholic Relief Services

BALTIMORE/OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 19, 2013) -- Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City has been appointed chairman of the Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Archbishop Kurtz made the announcement Nov. 19.

Archbishop Coakley, a CRS board member since 2012 and a member of the board’s Governance and Nominations Committee, succeeds Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas, of Tucson, Ariz., as CRS chairman.

"It is a privilege to be appointed Chairman of the Catholic Relief Services Board of Directors, and I thank Archbishop Kurtz for entrusting me with this responsibility," Archbishop Coakley said. "I am also deeply grateful to Bishop Kicanas for his sterling example and dedication as the previous chair. As a member of the CRS board, I have witnessed CRS at work and know firsthand what an effective and essential organization it is."

"Even now, as I transition into this role, more than 100 CRS workers are on the ground in the Philippines, offering their expertise and assistance as our Filipino brothers and sisters face great and unexpected suffering in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan," the archbishop added. "The work of CRS – its mission to extend the love and compassion of Christ to the poor wherever there is need – continues."

Archbishop Kurtz said Archbishop Coakley "has the gratitude of the USCCB" for his willingness to take on the role.

"A mere look at the evening news indicates how important CRS is in carrying the Church’s compassion worldwide," Archbishop Kurtz said. "I and the other members of the USCCB also want to voice our gratitude to Bishop Kicanas for his relentless efforts at CRS these past three years. He has led heroic efforts to address poverty and the effects of national disasters worldwide."

Carolyn Woo, PhD., CRS president and CEO, welcomed Archbishop Coakley as new chairman of the CRS board.

"Archbishop Coakley has been an active supporter of many of the issues that CRS works on, and I know his experience and expertise will be a great asset to this agency," she said. "After marking 70 years of service to the poor this year, we look forward to Archbishop Coakley’s leadership at this important moment in CRS history."

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