WASHINGTON (September 21, 2001) -- Bishop William R. Houck of Jackson, Mississippi has been named President
of the Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States.
Bishop Houck succeeds Monsignor Kenneth Velo who currently serves at Our Lady of Hope Church in Rosemont, IL.
The appointment was made by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Secretary of State to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, upon the recommendation of Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago, who serves ex officio as Chancellor of the Catholic Church Extension Society. It was announced by Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in a letter to Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"Bishop Houck's pastoral concern for the problems of the Church and its people in the neediest areas of the country is well known," Bishop Fiorenza said. "He will do an outstanding job guiding the work of the society."
Established in 1905, the Catholic Church Extension Society of the United States serves the Church in rural and isolated parts of the United States and its territories through home mission work, education of seminarians, religious education, and missionary subsidies.
More than $300 million has been donated and distributed to help build more than 10,000 churches nationwide since the society began.
A native of Mobile, Alabama, Bishop Houck studied at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and at the Catholic University of America in Washington and was ordained for the Archdiocese of Mobile in 1951. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Jackson in 1979 and Bishop of Jackson in 1984.