WASHINGTON (March 19, 1997) — Frank J. Monahan, head of the U.S. Bishops' Office of Government Liaison, has been named recipient of the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) John F. Meyers Award.
He receives the award "for his exceptional service to Catholic education at the national level for more than 25 years," the NCEA announcement of the honor noted.
The award, which is given annually, will be presented April 3, during the NCEA convention in Minneapolis. Previous winners include Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, Cardinal Terence Cooke and School Sister of Notre Dame Mary Ann Eckhoff, former Superintendent of Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Monahan has been responsible for the overall direction and coordination of lobbying functions of the USCC and has represented the education agenda of the Bishops to 12 Congresses and six Presidential administrations.
Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, praised NCEA's award choice.
"Frank Monahan is one of those behind the scenes persons whose dedication is unstinting yet often unnoticed," said Bishop Pilla. "He has unswerving devotion to the Church and deep insight into government, a combination of qualities which gives him credibility in both worlds. The Bishops are pleased for Frank personally and grateful for the NCEA's recognition of a key USCC staff member."
Monahan has worked at the USCC since 1971, when he joined the USCC Department of Education. Two years later he moved into the government relations office and specialized in education legislation. In 1985 became head of the office.
Before joining the USCC staff, Monahan was Director of the Department of Social Programs of the Archdiocese of Chicago School Board. Before that he was Director of the Archdiocesan School Board's Neighborhood Youth Corps Program.
Monahan holds a master's degree in history from Loyola University, Chicago, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer Nigeria, where he was a secondary school teacher. He is married and the father of two children and a member of Holy Trinity Parish, Washington.