WASHINGTON (November 3, 1997) -- Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/U.S. Catholic Conference was named a delegate to the Synod of Bishops' Special Assembly for America by Pope John Paul II.
Three additional NCCB/USCC staff, Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, Father James Ronan and Ronaldo Cruz, were named experts to the synod.
Father Christiansen heads the Bishops' Office for International Justice and Peace, Father Ronan heads the Bishops' Secretariat for the Church in Latin America, and Mr. Cruz heads the Bishops' Secretariat for Hispanic Affairs.
Msgr. Schnurr, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, was named a member of the synod by Pope John Paul II. He holds a doctorate in canon law from The Catholic University of America and was elected general secretary in 1994. He has been an active participant in several meetings of the Bishops of the United States and Latin America and has knowledge of the workings of the Bishops' conferences worldwide, particularly those in the United States, Canada and Latin America.
Father Christiansen holds a doctorate in religious studies with a concentration in ethics from Yale University. He is co-editor with Gerard Powers and Robert Hennemeyer of Peacemaking: Moral Policy Challenges for a New World and co-editor with George Lopez of Ethics and the Changing Use of Force.
Father Ronan, whose office provides funding for pastoral initiatives in needy dioceses in Latin America, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston. He holds a doctorate in higher education/student personnel from Boston College and was a member of the St. James Society, which sends diocesan priests as missionaries in Latin America. From 1988 to 1994, he was pastor of a parish in Duran, Ecuador.
Mr. Cruz holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Arizona, and is on the board of the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio, Texas. He frequently speaks on Hispanic-related issues.
Additional NCCB/USCC personnel will staff offices to assist the U.S. Bishops attending the month-long assembly. They include Msgr. William Fay, Associate General Secretary; Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, Director of Communications; and Sister Mary Ann Walsh, RSM, Associate Director of Communications.
The Synod for America is one of several synods which Pope John Paul II has called to look at conditions around the world in preparation for the coming of the Third Millennium and Jubilee Year 2000. The theme of the Synod for America is Encounter With the Living Jesus Christ: The Way to Conversion, Communion and Solidarity in America.