WASHINGTON (November 19, 1997) -- H. Richard McCord, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth for the past 10 years, has been named Executive Director of the Secretariat.
He will succeed Dolores Leckey who has held the post since 1977. Mrs. Leckey will retire from the staff of the Catholic Bishops' Conference at the end of the current year.
The appointment was announced by Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference.
"I want to thank Dolores Leckey for her many achievements on behalf of the Conference," Msgr. Schnurr said. "As founding director of this increasingly important Secretariat, she has truly made a lasting contribution to the life of the Church in our country. The level of her accomplishments is well reflected in the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice medal which the Holy Father recently conferred on her, and in the tribute given to her by the Bishops of the United States at their meeting last week. We will miss her and we wish her well in her future plans and interests."
"At the same time I am delighted to announce the appointment of H. Richard McCord as the new Executive Director of the Secretariat. Rick McCord has proven himself invaluable to the Conference during the past decade. He is completely dedicated to the Church and his knowledge of developments in the areas addressed by the committees served by the secretariat is vast. The Secretariat will be in good hands."
Mr. McCord was named Associate Director of the NCCB Secretariat for Laity and Family Life (now the Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth) on February 1, 1988. He had previously served for thirteen years in the Archdiocese of Baltimore where he had been Assistant Secretary of the archdiocesan Department of Christian Formation. He had also been Co-Director of the archdiocesan Comprehensive Ministry Formation Program and had directed its Division of Adult and Family Ministry and Division of Adult Religious Education.
Before joining the Archdiocese, Mr. McCord was Co-Director of Adult Religious Education for Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, Miami, Florida, from 1973 to 1975.
Mr. McCord received a Doctorate in Education from the University of Maryland in 1985. He holds an M.A. in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Master of Divinity degree from Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pennsylvania. He also pursued studies in Liberal Arts at John Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Since joining the staff of the Secretariat, Mr. McCord has given special attention to the areas of marriage and the family, the vocation and mission of the laity, and especially lay ministry and education.
In addition, he has assisted the Bishops' committees in the preparation of pastoral statements on family, youth, young adults, domestic violence, women's leadership, and the lay vocation. In October, 1997, he led the U.S. delegation participating in the Second World Meeting of the Holy Father and Families, in Rio de Janerio.
"I look forward to serving at this new level of responsibility and to building upon the inspiring work of my colleague and friend, Dolores Leckey," said Mr. McCord.
Richard McCord and his wife Denise reside in Baltimore.
The Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women and Youth was originally established as the Laity Secretariat in 1977, with Dolores Leckey as its founding director. In 1988 it became the Secretariat for Laity and Family Life, with a particular focus on family life, women and youth, along with lay ministry and lay spirituality. In 1991, the Secretariat adopted its current name, which more fully reflects its expanding mandate..
The Secretariat serves three standing committees of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops: the Committee on the Laity, the Committee on Marriage and Family, and the Committee on Women in Society and in the Church. In addition, the Laity Committee has two subcommittees--the Subcommittee on Youth and the Subcommittee on Lay Ministry--composed of bishop-representatives from several Conference committees.