WASHINGTON (January 29, 1998) -- Sister Suzanne Hall, Director of Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees (PCMR) at the U.S. Catholic Conference, has announced that she will leave her post effective January 30.
"At a time when society has been less welcoming to the newcomers to our shores, Sister Hall has brought admirable leadership, commitment, and talent to her responsibilities," said Mark Franken, Interim Executive Director of USCC's Migration and Refugee Services of which PCMR is a unit. "She has set high standards for the Church's outreach to immigrants and all people on the move. We are grateful for her service and wish her well in her future endeavors."
Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees, which Sr. Hall has headed since 1994, coordinates the pastoral outreach of the Church to new arrivals to the United States and other people on the move, like migrant farmworkers and circus workers. Through a network of pastoral centers and diocesan personnel ministering to a variety of ethnic groups and other migrants, PCMR addresses several mandates including providing language and culturally appropriate liturgical and religious education materials and assisting with leadership development within particular ethnic communities.
Among her activities during her tenure, Sister Hall has overseen the development of a national curriculum on immigration issues from the Church's perspective for use in Catholic schools and religious education programs; produced a video on immigration issues; secured approximately $750,000 in grants for numerous projects addressing the pastoral needs of refugees and new immigrants; and successfully negotiated the placement of a pastoral team to minister with Cuban and Haitian refugees at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba.
"Sister Hall has worked tirelessly in her years at PCMR to ensure that new immigrants, refugees, and all people on the move have felt welcomed and comfortable in their adopted home," said Msgr. Dennis Schnurr, General Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/USCC. "We are grateful to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur for allowing Sister Hall to work with us -- and for the stranger among us -- for these many years."
Before becoming the PCMR's director, Sister Hall was acting director from 1993 to 1994, and was the unit's assistant director for planning and program development from 1991 to 1993.