WASHINGTON (May 13, 1998) -- Father John Pollard, for the past three years director of the Office for the Catechism of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, has been named Director of the newly-formed Department of Education of the Archdiocese of Chicago, effective August 15. The appointment, made by Francis Cardinal George,O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago, was announced at the archdiocesan Pastoral Center there.
Cardinal George said of the appointment: "Father Pollard will bring priestly zeal, dedication and learning to his post in the Pastoral Center. I am glad to welcome him home."
Father Pollard is a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago who has spent the past six years on the staff of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) in Washington. In 1993 Pope John Paul II appointed him a permanent member of the International Council for Catechesis. Two years later, Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, General Secretary of the NCCB, appointed Father Pollard to be founding director of the Office for the Catechism. In that capacity, he was primarily responsible for providing staff assistance to the U.S. Bishops' ad hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, chaired by Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein of Indianapolis.
"As founding director of the Office for the Catechism, Father Pollard laid a firm foundation for this extremely important work of the Church in our day," Msgr.Schnurr said.
"He has performed a great and lasting service for the Bishops and the Catholic Church in the United States."
Father Pollard holds a Masters Degree in Supervision and Administration from Loyola University of Chicago and a Masters Degree in Divinity and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Mundelein Seminary. He is presently a candidate for the Doctorate in Sacred Thology at the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
Ordained in 1974, Father Pollard served in Chicago as associate pastor in St. Albert the Great parish (1974-1980), St. Julian Eymard (1980-1985), Our Lady of Mount Carmel (1985-1988), and St. Clement (1988-1992). He was Executive Director of De Paul University's Center for Church/State Studies from 1981 to 1988. In 1987 Cardinal Joseph Bernardin appointed him Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of Chicago, a post which he held until appointed to the staff of the Bishops' Conference, in 1992.
As director of the Office for the Catechism, Father Pollard was also responsible to oversee the review of catechetical materials as to their conformity with the Catechism and to supervise a feasibility study for a national catechism/catechetical series that would be developed by the Bishops.
Father Pollard served as director of catechesis for the World Youth Day in Denver in 1993 and as a consultant for catechesis for World Youth Day '95 in Manila.
The newly-created Chicago archdiocesan Department of Education will consist of the Office of Catholic Education, the Office for Religious Education, the Office for Special Religious Education, and Ministry in Higher Education. In addition to these reponsibilities, Father Pollard will provide assistance to Cardinal George as his delegate to Catholic college and university presidents and as coordinator of the Cardinal's commitments to the NCCB and the International Committee for English in the Liturgy.