WASHINGTON (January 29, 1999) -- -Mercy Sister Lourdes Sheehan has been named Secretary for Education at the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) effective June 1, a post she held from 1990 to 1995. Sister Sheehan succeeds Msgr. Thomas McDade who is returning to his home Archdiocese of Newark in late June.
Msgr. Dennis M. Schnurr, USCC General Secretary made the announcement.
"We are pleased that Sister Sheehan has agreed to return to a position we were sorry to see her leave more than three years ago," said Msgr. Schnurr. "At the same time, it will be difficult to say farewell to Msgr. McDade who has guided the Conference's Education Department with the wisdom of someone experienced in education for many years."
Sister Sheehan, a member of the Regional Community of Baltimore of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, is currently the Executive Director of the Department of Chief Administrators of Catholic Education (CACE) at the National Catholic Educational Association, a position to which she was appointed in 1996. She was previously the first Director of the Alliance for Catholic Education, a volunteer teacher corps sponsored by the University of Notre Dame.
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Sister Sheehan studied history and education at Mount Saint Agnes College, Baltimore, and earned a master's degree in colonial history from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. She holds a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Virginia Tech University.
Prior to her previous appointment as USCC's Secretary for Education, Sister Sheehan held a number of posts in the field of education. She has served as a secondary school teacher and principal; superintendent of schools and director of Christian formation for the Diocese of Richmond; and as executive director of the National Association of Boards of Education at NCEA.
Msgr. Schnurr expressed his gratitude to Msgr. McDade for his commitment to Catholic education and for his work at USCC.
"Msgr. McDade provided outstanding leadership," said Msgr. Schnurr. "We are grateful that Archbishop McCarrick has allowed him to share his talents and expertise with the Bishops' Conference."
The Department of Education is one of three major USCC departments. It represents the Bishops' concerns in all virtually aspects of education, Catholic schools, as well as in the areas of catechetical formation and religious education.