WASHINGTON (December 31, 2001) -- Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Florida, has been named president and chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) by Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of Belleville, Illinois, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which oversees CRS.
The appointment is effective January 1, 2002. The term of office concludes December 31, 2004.
Bishop Lynch succeeds Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, who completes the second of two consecutive three-year terms in the positions.
Bishop Gregory expressed gratitude to Bishop Lynch for his willingness to assume this responsibility.
"The mission of CRS is the most important work of the Church in the United States to the neediest of our brothers and sisters around the world," Bishop Gregory said in a December 10 letter to Bishop Lynch. "The knowledge that you have of this mission by your close association to CRS over the years, as well as the formidable leadership skills that you have so successfully brought to any work that the Church has given you, will be a real source of blessing to the Board, Management and Staff of CRS."
Bishop Gregory also expressed gratitude to Bishop Ricard for his six years as chairman and president as well as for his previous service to CRS as treasurer and board member.
In a separate December 10 letter to Bishop Ricard, Bishop Gregory praised Bishop Ricard's service.
"The guidance and oversight that you have given to CRS has strengthened the mission and work of CRS tremendously," Bishop Gregory wrote to Bishop Ricard. "As important, the personal attention and care that you brought to the staff at CRS in Baltimore and wherever you found them working in the Lord's vineyard throughout the world was always a wonderful source of strength for their own enthusiasm in and dedication to their work. I felt very privileged to see this myself in our recent trip together to Africa."
CRS was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and disadvantaged outside the United States. CRS provides assistance to millions of people in more than 85 countries around the world by providing relief in emergency situations and helping people in the developing world break the cycle of poverty through community-based, sustainable development initiatives.