WASHINGTON (August 13, 2004) -– Monsignor William Fay, General Secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, today announced his appointment of Dr. Stephen M. Colecchi as the new Director of USCCB's Office of International Justice and Peace. Dr. Colecchi has served as the Director of the Office of Justice and Peace and Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Richmond. He succeeds Gerard Powers who recently accepted the position of Director of Policy Studies at the Kroc Institute for Peace at the University of Notre Dame.
The appointment is effective October 4.
"Dr. Colecchi brings great knowledge of Catholic social teaching and vast experience in helping the Church act on its principles on issues of international justice and peace," Monsignor Fay said. "His expertise and experience will be great assets in helping the bishops teach and act on the moral dimensions of war and peace, trade and development, human rights and religious liberty."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond, said, "I congratulate Stephen Colecchi on his appointment. We are saddened by our loss here in the Diocese of Richmond, but very encouraged by the gain of the bishops' conference in adding this wonderful, talented person to their staff."
Steve Colecchi said, "For many years I have admired and supported the work of the Department of Social Development and World Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. I am thrilled with the prospect of joining the team of the Office of International Justice and Peace and the Department. We live in challenging times, but despite the threats of terrorism, war and global poverty, the Church's international presence and our long tradition of social teaching can help heal the brokenness of our world. I look forward to this new opportunity to answer God's call to foster the Church's social mission."
Colecchi has a Doctor of Ministry from St. Mary's Seminary and University, a Masters in Religion from Yale University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of the Holy Cross. He has served as chair and member of the Board of the Roundtable, the National Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors. He is the author of In the Footsteps of Jesus – Catholic Social Teaching Today Parish Resource manual and Leader's Guide to Sharing Catholic Social Teaching, both published by the USCCB. He has served as a consultant and observer for both the USCCB International and Domestic Policy Committees.
John Carr, Director of the Department of Social Development and World Peace said, "We are delighted Steve Colecchi will bring his sharp mind, clear voice and deep commitment to the Church to the work of the Department and Conference at a time when the Church's moral principles and policies are more important than ever on issues of international justice and peace."